The Annual Checkup

By Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou, Ph.D.

I received a call from my physician’s office, the other day, with the message that it was that time of the year for my annual checkup. It happens every year. We have a full set of blood work, chest examination and everything else. My doctor seems to be very thorough. I like that. He does not want to leave anything unchecked or neglected. He takes no chances. He wants me to be healthy and live a long and happy life. He asks me questions, advises me to exercise, eat properly and come back for anything that may be out of the ordinary.

Through God’s Wisdom, the Fathers of the Church, as spiritual physicians, have also done the same for us. They have set up a special annual time for a spiritual checkup; they have put together a program of spiritual examination; they have assigned special times for prayer and Confession. This period is called “Great Lent”. It is the time to seriously consider our spiritual well-being. The medical physicians try to make sure that we have a healthy and happy life for those years that we live here on this earth. The Fathers of the Church are trying to ensure that we will have a healthy and happy life for ever in the Kingdom of God.

Great Lent is upon us once more! This is the call from the spiritual doctor’s office! This is the time for the General Examination. Time for healing the soul, calming the passions, spiritual cleansing, building up immunity against the attacks of the evil one who “roaming like a lion” is waiting to devour those who are careless and spiritually lazy.

In the Wisdom that God has given them, the Fathers of the Church have set up special prayer services, like the Great Compline and the Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, so that we may have more opportunities to connect with our Creator. The Holy Spirit has breathed inspiration of beautiful spiritual poetry and music in the minds of the saints in an effort to touch our hearts and bring us closer to Him. Our services, during this time, are filled with calls to humility, repentance, forgiveness and contrition of heart. We are called to spiritual exercise through Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving.

I immediately called back the doctor’s office to make an appointment for my “Annual Physical” checkup. I want to have a healthy and happy life for the rest of my years on earth.

Please call the spiritual doctor’s office right away and make your appointment for your “Annual Spiritual Checkup.” You don’t want to risk your eternal health and happiness, do you? 

In Christ’s Love,

Fr. Panayiotis