Liju Cherian – OCP News Service – February 2015
AHMEDABAD, Gujarat, India: Indian Orthodox Metropolitan HG Pullikkottil Dr Geevarghese Yulios, who leads the Diocese of Ahmedabad in the Indian western state of Gujarat, has exhorted the faithful to follow an ethical life of witness based on fasting, prayer, and liturgy for the ongoing great Lent.
Labelled a ‘high-tech’ Bishop, Dr Mar Yulios has called upon the youth to curtail on excessive use of social media and everything which distracts the single-mindedness towards God and the spiritual journey during Lent.
But the Metropolitan reiterates that he will certainly use the social media to propagate Lenten daily Lectionary, post and share Lenten thoughts which will inspire the faithful towards leading a meaningful Christian life.
Dr Mar Yulios who is not touring his Diocese churches this year unlike the previous year, has in a Bull # 04 A/15 dated February 12, 2015 listed seven points to the youth of his Diocese to be followed which will make them participants of salvific suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord.
1. Be vigilant to conduct canonical prayers hourly at least three times a day.
2. Carefully practice prostration while reciting Kaumas, Nicene-Creed and reading Sedros. Encourage the younger generation to follow spiritual practices. All must fast until noon and practice 40 prostrations at the noon prayer.
3. Invest time to read and contemplate Biblical portions entitled for each day of the Lent. Biblical references for daily reading (Lectionary) are available in both Malayalam and English and prepare for devotional thoughts and spiritual journey.
4. Reminding priests to conduct all liturgies of the hours promptly at churches/home and to encourage the believers to participate.
5. During the Lenten, the mind must abstain from evil thoughts while body gives up food. Completely avoid meat, fish, egg, fatty food, milk, dairy products, unhealthy soft drinks and all kinds of alcohol. Keep yourself from being gluttonous and talkative. Consciously avoid watching entertainment programs on TV, socio-political discussions, excessive use of social media and everything which distracts the single-mindedness towards God and the spiritual journey during the season. Rather, invest time in reading Bible and spiritually enriching books to keep the spirituality and commitment towards God.
6. Fervently extend necessary assistance to the poor and needy with the tithe from your income and the savings of your abstinence from extravagance.
7. Be passionate to do good things to others and convey message of peace through words and deeds to everybody around. Make ourselves people praying for the well-being of the whole world as is testified in the Holy Bible about our Lord Jesus Christ.
Aside, Mar Yulios has also advised with paternal love to observe the Lent with spiritual enthusiasm, focus of mind and commitment. “Anyone who shows laxity in observing the Lent and fasting of the Church are not worthy of the kingdom of God,” His Grace adds.
This year for the first time as per the decision of the Holy Episcopal Synod, the Metropolitan will lead the Holy Week Services at St Paul’s and St Peter’s Church, Parumala, Pathanamthitta district (Kerala), the greatest pilgrim centre of the Indian Orthodox Church where St Gregorios of St Parumala is entombed.
The Bishop who calls himself as a ‘weak and sinful servant of God,’ has sought the prayers of the faithful in order to accomplish his responsibility of leading the Holy Week services.The Bull was issued during his recent visit to St Stephan’s Indian Orthodox Congregation, Kuwait.
OCP News Service