Great Lent is a time to slow down and reflect, to take time out of our busy lives, to delve deep into our souls and to contemplate our existence. The Holy Fathers and Mothers of our Church tell us that reading helps us to spirituality warm up as one would by stretching before a run. Reading is the forerunner which inspires us to follow the footsteps of the Saints before us and ultimately our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. During Great Lent with God’s help we will suggest books, which we hope will benefit and inspire you on the straight path.
Lord And Master of My Life...
One book we believe to be very relevant for this season of repentance in which we have now embarked is the book by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, entitled “Lord and Master of my Life…” (You can purchase this book here). If we are not aware, during Great Lent, in Monasteries and Parishes we recite many times a day the God-inspired prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian. This prayer encapsulates the deep meaning of this period in our Holy Orthodox Church, which is an insight and reality to our fallen person and yet also a remedy to this fallenness.
Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian
O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors
and not to judge my brother,
for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
(Excerpt from The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America)
Short Biography of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios (Griniezakis) of Australia was elected as the 6th Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, an eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne, on May 9, 2019, by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He was born in Heraklion, Crete, in 1973. He completed his early education in Crete and in the Athens Rizarios Ecclesiastical School. He graduated from the higher Ecclesiastical School of Athens and from the University of Athens’ School of Theology. He pursued graduate studies at Boston University (Master of Sacred Theology), Harvard (Master of Arts) and Monash (Master of Bioethics). His Doctoral dissertation received an “Excellent” score from the Medical School of the University of Crete. He taught at the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Heraklion and occasionally lectured on courses at various universities, including the Theological College of Holy Cross in Boston and Medical Schools of the University of Crete, Thessaly, and Athens. He was also the Dean of the Department of Orthodox Studies of the Autonomous Church of Estonia.
He was tonsured a monk and ordained deacon on October 18, 1993; and he was ordained a priest on June 25, 1997, at the Monastery of Saint George Epanosifis. On Easter Sunday of 2008, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew elevated him to the rank of “Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne” at the Phanar, Istanbul. He served as deacon at the Holy Cathedral of Saint Minas in Heraklion and as the parish priest of Saint Nicholas in Haraso and of the community of Saint George in Southbridge MA.
He founded the publishing series Παντοδαπά της Βιοηθικής (Everything on Bioethics), which is under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In 2009 the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, by the proposal of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, designated him as a representative of the Inter-Orthodox Bioethics Committee, for which he was unanimously appointed Secretary General. He has represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate on various missions; he has given lectures at international academic medical, and theological conferences; he is a member of many academic and ecclesiastical organisations; and he has published articles, studies and books.
On April 27, 2015, he was unanimously elected Bishop of Christoupolis by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He was ordained at the Holy Metropolis of Saint Mina in Herakleion, on the 16th of May in the same year, and given the responsibility of overseeing the Autonomous Church of Estonia by Patriarch Bartholomew and the Great Church. On June 29, 2019, he was enthroned as Archbishop of Australia at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Sydney. Among his many Archepiscopal responsibilities, he is Dean of Saint Andrew’s Theological College.
(Excerpt from the book “Lord and Master of my life…”)