Canon of St. Andrew of Crete available here.
(Pravmir) - As we approach Great Lent, the time given to us specifically for repentance, the Church gives us a whole host of images to help us. St. John of Kronstadt teaches that:
“Imagery or symbols are a necessity of human nature in our presently spiritually sensual condition; they explain [by the vision] many things belonging to the spiritual world which we could not know without images and symbols.”
We need pictures to help us think, to help us digest and understand the truths given to us. What St. Andrew of Crete does in the Great Canon written by him, is to being to remembrance many characters of the Old Testament and a few from the New Testament. In earlier times, people knew the scriptures much more than we do. Mention a name like Korah, Datham, Hophni or Phinehas and many people would be able to tell you all about them. When they heard these names in St. Andrew’s canon, they had the opportunity to be struck in the heart and brought to repentance. Unfortunately we are not that scripturally literate so the names can just fly by and not mean anything to us. We could be virtually untouched by the canon. The reason for this talk is to at least start us on the way to knowing to whom St. Andrew is referring.
However, we need to do more than simply know who all those people are. We need to take the canon personally. Their sins and failings are our sins and failings. That St. Andrew expects us to approach the canon personally is clear from the way he writes it...
Complete article here.