Elder Ephraim+ on Lent…
We should not postpone correcting ourselves, lest death finds us. Then we shall weep and lament inconsolably—and I, first of all—without a single ray of hope that the tribulations will change.
Compel yourselves. Behold, Great Lent has come. However, it is not the fasting of the body as much as the fasting of the tongue, of the mind, of the heart, and of the senses that should preoccupy us especially now during Great Lent. Let us purify ourselves with this kind of fasting internally, where spiritual snakes are lurking that poison the life of our soul and deaden our spiritual strength, leaving it unable to correct and transfigure our soul.
Now, during Lent, compel yourselves even more. Become stubborn in your resolve; this stubbornness is holy and not egotistical. You will see how much you will profit spiritually. Merely for the promise that the passions will be suppressed and that we will avoid certain sins corresponding to our efforts, we have good reason to become stubborn with the devil, who continually throws us into the same old sins.
– ‘Counsels from the Holy Mountain’