Some of you may have read the quote on the side of this blog, "Wealth should be seen less for its own qualities than for the human misery it stands for. The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold parties, and also big enough to shut out the voice of the poor. The poor man cries before your house, and you pay no attention. There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there in a dilemma over a choice of carpets."
This was written by St Ambrose if Milan, who lived from 338-397 AD. and it makes me cringe on how it still holds true today. Lent is also a time of alms giving (though more people associate that with Christmas) and we should remember to include some form of it in our spiritual preparation for Pascha. One of the holy fathers said "If you are rich, fast, if you are poor give alms". This is pretty self explanatory, and something to keep in mind during this fasting season. As a society, we are so jaded and cynical about the homeless, and the less-fortunate. We should try to overcome some of that cynasism and (not foolishly) give more to those in need.
As a community, we should think about things we can do as an Orthodox community this Lent (I know this is a bit short notice, but it doesn't have to be anything big, it can be as simple as a clothing drive for a local shelter, or a food drive) but we should at least do something. If we call ourselves an Orthodox community, we should act as one.