Lent peals away all the layers of protection.
I find myself and my fellow Orthodox more thin skinned and quicker to react negatively to even minor offenses. Words and actions that may have been viewed as innocent before Lent began, suddenly become harsh and vindictive after the fast has begun. Why? Denying ourselves dainty meats, cheeses, and dairy for weeks on end does more to expose the spiritual laziness we have been hiding with food during the rest of the year.
Today we venerated the Life giving Cross of Christ. We are called to take up our own cross and to crucify our flesh with its passions and desires. The thing about crucifying yourself is that you can only pound in two nails; someone else has to pound in the third nail. That someone is Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure.”
We must be mindful of our spiritual and emotional condition during this great fasting period, and check our mouths before we react. Giving others the benefit of the doubt as we would like them to do for us.