Saint Isidore was born in the middle of the sixth century, and was related to the Visigoth royal family who converted to Orthodoxy from Arianism during his lifetime.
Saint Isidore was the brother of three saints: Saint Leander (February 27), Saint Fulgentius, and Saint Florentina. Orphaned at an early age, he was educated by his older brother Leander. The range of his knowledge was extensive, and included the study of Hebrew and Greek. He also wrote biographies of biblical figures and other illustrious men.
A prollific writer, Saint Isidore wrote on religious, historical and scientific topics. His ETYMOLOGIES (or ORIGINS) was a compendium of the knowledge of his time, and was used through the Middle Ages. Today, however, his history of the Goths and Vandals is of greater interest. He even composed a monastic Rule, although he was not a monk.
The tireless bishop also composed treatises refuting the Arian and Monophysite heresies. He participated in a council at Toledo in 610, and presided at the second Council of Seville in 618 or 619.
Saint Isidore fell asleep in the Lord in 636, and his holy relics were later transferred to Leon. Dante mentions him in his PARADISO (X, 130).
Here is a prayer to use before using the Internet. You could print it out or just come here first, pray and then start your searches.
A Prayer before logging onto the internet:
Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image
and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful
especially in the divine person of Thy Only-begotten Son, and our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant, we beseech Thee,
that through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor,
during our journeys through the internet
we will direct our hands and eyes only
to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience all
those souls whom we encounter
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Although I will remain on the Internet in general, I am considering limiting my time on Twitter. It is my main news source but it is also such a hotbed of controversy and uncivil behavior.
However, there is quite a bit about the Internet that is good. Being a convert to Orthodoxy, I find many blogs, and Instagram accounts to be supportive, informative, and useful.
Lent is a struggle. It is supposed to be a struggle and while people have been going throuhg this struggle for centuries without the help of the Internet, I cannot. Well… I suppose I could but I just do not want to. It is the Grand Resource for me for all things Orthodox. Don’t get me wrong. I love my books, I love my bible, yes I will attend as many services this week as possible, but if I have a question, or I need a bit of encouragement, to the Internet I go.
You can use the Internet to strengthen your faith. Like anything else, it is a tool. How you choose to use it is up to you. You can avoid it, of course, but that is no guarantee of remaining pure during Lent or any other time of year.
I think it especially beneficial to those who do not have access to a church or library. Here is a LINK to other links that will take you to free, online resources for Orthodox books in pdf format. How wonderful is THAT?! (Some of the links might be iffy.)
Whatever YOU decide to do is what you need to be doing. Stay online or not, Lent is about the inner struggle, the spiritual renewal that this time of year brings. It is more important to go to church, read something from the ancient fathers everyday, pray, and give alms.
In al your endeavors, my God have mercy on you.