To those in the Western Church, especially the Protestant demoninations, Lent is not well understood. Even to most Episcopalians, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics, Lent is not given its due importance, though it is part of the respective church calendars.
For us in the Eastern Church, Great Lent is a time where we are called to reflect upon our sins which separate us from God. It is a time where we truly fast as did Christ during his 40 days in the desert. Great Lent is one of the best opportunities to refocus ourselves on living a Christian life.
Yet, even many Orthodox Christians are like their counterparts in the Western Church, in that their connection to this period of fasting, prayer, alms giving and repentence is weak.
What Frederica Mathewes-Green has done, is that she has provided us guide to help us take the journey that early Christians took in preparing for the celebration of the arisen Christ. She has taken the words of St. Andrew of Crete and given them meaning that we in today's world can relate to. Her commentary takes to the true meaning of what St. Andrew has written, it helps us cross that bridge so that we can pause, reflect and take the daily steps we must take in order to fulfill the commission of this holy season.
Try reading this book at night before retiring, letting the words of St. Andrew and Frderica's skillful interpetive narrative fill your thoughts as you close your eyes to sleep.
This book is not for casual reading, it is for one who is seeking a greater understanding of a spiritual journey we as Christians (East or West)need to take as we approach the day Christ's sacrifice upon the cross.