The Nativity Fast begins today for the Orthodox. It is a challenge for me to observe the fasts diligently, not having been raised Orthodox. I fail in so many ways to practice my faith and I pray that my failings might not cause others to stumble. If I have offended any of you, dear readers, please forgive me.
Perhaps these words will satisfy our spiritual hunger and strengthen us for the Fast.
Troparion of the Forefeast Tone 4
Make ready, Bethlehem, Eden has been opened to all.
Prepare Ephratha, for the Tree of Life has blossomed in the cave from the Virgin.
Her womb was a spiritual paradise whence came the Divine Plant.
If we eat it we shall live and not die like Adam.
Christ is born to raise up the image that of old had fallen.
H/T to Orthocath