metropolitan_joseph“Thy grace hath risen, O Lord and the illumination of our souls hath shown forth.  Lo, now is the acceptable time; the season of repentance hath come.  Let us cast down the works of darkness, and put on the works of light, that we may pass the great tempest of fasting and reach the summit of the third day Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls.”  (from the Aposticha of the Vesper Service for the Evening of Cheese Fare)

Why does the verse above refer to this season as the “great tempest of fasting”?  A tempest is defined to be a violent and windy storm, and that is what we expect to experience if we truly follow a path of sincere repentance during this season.  If we are sincere in this journey we will find ourselves tested in sometimes severe ways, since Satan will not let go of us without a serious battle.  If we do not feel weary during this journey, then we are not trying hard enough.  But this not a weariness of despair, but a weariness of hope, for we know that at the end of this journey, we will bask in the glory of the Light of the Empty Tomb.