Metamorphosis is defined as a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means. Typically, this is used to describe the life cycle of moths or butterflies in which caterpillars enter a cocoon and come out completely different.
However, that is not the only kind of metamorphosis. We can change from sinners into saints in the cocoon of the Church. That is indeed my favorite thing about Byzantine spirituality. When I was first becoming Catholic, I was doing so through the Latin rite. One of the ideas that seemed to permeate the mentality of sin was that we cannot change who we are. We are sinners and although we may stop sinning for a time, we will indeed sin again. We are incapable of changing who we are.
To a degree that statement isn’t incorrect. We very much are incapable of changing ourselves. However, in the East, we believe Christ offers us something better. Change. After all, Christ never said “go forth and come back when you slip” but “go and sin no more.” We can be transformed in the presence of Jesus Christ. Christ offers us a roadmap for that goal: Prayer, Fasting, Alms.
But AGAIN! That isn’t the end all, be all. Those are TOOLS to get us to our metamorphosis in Christ. We can be praying, fasting, and giving to the poor, but the prayer is just empty words, the fasting is just a diet, and the alms are just charity, if we aren’t using them to sanctify ourselves.
We are halfway during Lent. It is never too late for us to correct our Lenten practices if we drifted away. Let us commit ourselves back to the Fast so that we may see the Risen Christ.