By Father Seraphim (Rose) of Platina
In answer to numerous requests from readers, the rule of fasting is given for each day of the year. Where no indication of fast is given, and during "fast-free weeks," all foods may be eaten (except during Cheese-fare Week, when meat alone is forbidden every day). Where "fast day" is indicated alone, the fast is a strict one, with no meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, wine or oil to be eaten. Where, underneath "fast day," is indicated "wine and oil allowed," the fast is relaxed for the sake of a feast day or vigil, to allow eating of these foods. Where "fish, wine and oil allowed" is indicated, then all three of these foods may be eaten.
Great Lent is the 40-day season of spiritual preparation that comes before the most important Feast of the Christian year, Holy Pascha (which means “Passover” and is commonly called “Easter”). It is the central part of a larger time of preparation called the Triodion season. The Triodion begins ten weeks before Easter and is divided into three main parts: three Pre-Lenten weeks of preparing our hearts, the six weeks of Lent, and Holy Week. The main theme of the Triodion is repentance — mankind's return to God, our loving Father.
First one must conquer love, and only then spread the word – Archbishop Nicholas (Kasatkin).
The first person to preach the Gospel in Japan was a Spaniard, Francis Xavier, a Catholic monk of the Jesuit order. The first missionary labors of the Catholic monk and his fellow Jesuit strugglers were crowned with success, and many people accepted Christianity, including the Japanese princes Onugo, Arima and Omura (in the year 1582). However, as the Jesuits focused more on the external, ritualistic aspects of the Faith, on violence and threats, and didnt focus on the spirit of love and humility in their apostolic preaching, they were not able to strengthen the Japanese Christians in the Catholic faith, so that many of them, deep down, remained pagans. Unfortunately, the Jesuit missionary movement was accompanied by politics and intrigue, that is, by a clear and ardent desire to make Japan submit to the Vatican. This caused a negative influence in the hearts of the Japanese, and also led to the harsh persecution of those newly-converted men and women, who had sincerely accepted Catholicism, a fact which is witnessed by a Christian historian in Japan:
Serbian Orthodox Youth Association of Queensland (SOYA - QLD) since August of last year has organised spiritual lectures in English. The idea is that each month a member of Orthodox clergy from all Canonical Orthodox jurisdictions presents a lecture on a topic relevant to our Orthodox faith. Before each talk the faithful gather in the church for prayer, sometimes the Akathist to the Mother of God or the Evening prayer is served in English.