In this first week of the Great Lent, Bishop Macarie Drăgoi, Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe, returned from his pastoral visit to the Faroe Islands and performed the special services of the first week of the Great Lent in the Chapel of the Diocesan Center in Stockholm.
Thus, on Wednesday March 13, 2019, His Grace Bishop Macarie celebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, and many of the faithful who attended the ministry were confessed and received the Holy Communion, until the late hours of the evening. On the other days, Father Bishop Macarie performed the Great Compline with the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete and guided the faithful for this period of spiritual effort. Yesterday evening, at the service of the Great Canon, His Grace Macarie urged the faithful to cultivate love and forgiveness: “We have entered the Great Lent, but all of us should enter into Christian love by tasting the joy of forgiveness, because, as we have heard in the preparatory period for the Lent, the love of one’s neighbor is the criterion of judgment. In the judgment we will be asked, and we will answer for the deeds of Christian mercy, if we have fed the hungry, if we have drunk the thirsty, if we have searched the sick and the prisoner, and received the stranger. We are often tempted to replace the Judge and to divide the people into good and evil, to righteous and sinners, but this is a great deception to try to take the place of the Rightful Judge. Of course, we see so many strongholds, injustices, innocent lives destroyed, cunning and impiety, and all of this will not only have an end, but will also have a just judgment and a loving ransom, but we cannot judge ourselves, For the Lord said, ”The vengeance is mine, I shall repay.” (Romans 12: 19). So let us work on the love among us because it is the only way we can obey God, who speaks and answers to us, because God is love.”