Dearly beloved,

Long ago, a person who was raised Orthodox, but no longer practices the faith told me, "I don't want to be told how bad I am. I want to be told how good I am."
There is an excellent point in this, as (far too) many believe that Christianity, and perhaps even more Orthodoxy, is aimed at putting us down. This is not the case!

Christianity, and especially the Orthodox Church proclaims and reminds us that we are made in the image and likeness of God, that the God of the universe loves us with a transcendent and divine love, so much so that He became man in order to be with us, and voluntarily died so that we might live. We are called to be the body of Christ, to be one with each other even as He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, to be sons and daughters of the Father by adoption and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. Christianity teaches that each human being is of transcendent, immeasurable value.
The Church also tells us that we are not perfect. This is true! We are not perfect. We do need forgiveness, we need to improve. To deny this is to live a lie. To acknowledge it opens the door to repentance, forgiveness, change - and to the wonderful freedom of having nothing to hide.
May God grant us all a holy, healing, healthy and heavenly guided Great Lent.

May God grant us wisdom!