Coronavirus came to this world with the main goal of showing us the need for reappraisal of our values and attitudes in life. You and I live in a world of illusions, of which the most important one is that we live our lives in a Christian way. Dear friends, let’s be sincere with ourselves – this is not entirely true. The Apostle Paul says: “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Heb. 12: 4) He is not saying this to monks, because there was yet no monasticism then. He says this to ordinary men and women who worked, got married and raised children.
We are immersed in the world of comfort and bliss. We seriously consider a power outage a disaster. Not only have we “not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood”, we have not yet begun to resist. We, the generation of the late twentieth century, have turned into some kind of wimpy “greenhouse plants”, into an amorphous sinful mass. And yet we hope to achieve “the salvation of souls” with our half-hour morning and evening prayer rule (cf. 1 Peter 1: 9)! The coronavirus puts everything in its place. Are we Scared to die? Then we are not ready yet. But if we believe in God and participate in the Sacraments, then why are we not ready? Because we have not conquered our inner passions yet. Why haven’t we? Because we fight them badly and, deep down, we don’t want to part with them. All these thoughts appear very disturbing when we are in mortal danger.
Whether we get sick or not is God’s business. From the human perspective, our business is to comply with the doctors’ prescriptions. As Christians, we need to keep the commandments of God. Not formally, but filling every hour of every day with a small goal of soul transformation. We need to dedicate every minute of our lives to upholding the purity of our souls, struggling with the wandering of thoughts and assimilating the memory of God.
Let us use prayer to struggle with sinful thoughts approaching us every moment and pushing us to condemnation, anger, gluttony, lust, and so on.
In doing so, we can plant the seed of self-perfection, which will sprout to become a tree of incessant repentance and soul-searching.
Only in this way can we obtain “the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1: 9).
Translated by the Catalogue of Good Deeds
Source: Novogrudok Diocesan Bulletin No. 1 (254), 2021