Is the “greatest threat” in this time the coronavirus and quarantine, or is it the comforts and the temptations of the world that draw us away from commending ourselves and our whole life to Christ our God?
Saint Sophia Cathedral
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Christ is Risen!
TOPIC OF THE WEEK:
In the Saint Emmelia Podcast, Noah Bushelli mentions his parishioner, a little boy, who had a bone marrow transplant last year and so he and his family had to be isolated from their friends and non-nuclear family for a long time. This illness was something he might not have chosen, but it was God’s will for him. Read some things he learned from his experience that might help us now in the pandemic in this Isolation Advice from Master Gregory.
“I perceive nothing positive in such house confinement, with churches remaining closed, empty of the laity. I muse loudly so that my wife may hear me: “How can it be God’s will for us to stay away from churches, especially under such circumstances, which make us need the church more than ever before?” It didn’t take her long to offer me her own answer: “Just think of the righteous ones in similar circumstances, or under even worse confinement, and how they suffered much worse than we do!” Or course, she was right…. Maybe my greatest threat comes from the lavish luxury I continue to enjoy, which draws me away from the sacred and productive time of solitude and meditation….”
“… Noah, his wife, his sons and daughters-in-law were my first example. Many people think that they remained in the Ark only for forty days, while the deluge persisted. The Bible, however, makes it clear that they were forced to wait until the waters receded. According to the Biblical timeline, Noah and his family stayed in the Ark for a whole year and ten days. No outings, no grocery stores, no meetings with friends, no internet; just rain, lots of rain…”
“The Righteous Joseph was taken a slave to Egypt. Deprived of the warmth of his own family, he couldn’t even find someone who shared his faith in the true God to worship with him. And yet, remaining just and faithful during his many years of isolation, he amazingly offered forgiveness to his brothers, along with the supplies that would keep them alive….”
“…Daniel was also not permitted to worship the God of Israel, on his own or in the community of fellow believers. Nonetheless, he continued to offer his prayers to God three times a day, in front of his open window. In fact, he persevered in doing so for a lifetime of isolation, away from his homeland and its people, thereby committing a criminal offense, and putting himself in danger of a horrible death in the lions’ den.
I close my eyes and imagine the palpable darkness. I hear the roar of the hungry beasts. I feel my limbs paralyzed by heavy chains. In comparison, my own suffering seems like a school field trip.
The holy apostles Peter, Paul and John were confined to their homes, sent into exile, and chained in prison. Yet, during their isolation, they performed miracles and wrote some of the most important holy books of all time…”
A Message from Maria Spanos
I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help strengthen our relationship with Christ and bind us closer to His Church. I believe they are invaluable in learning about our precious Orthodox Tradition, and are a great aid for teaching family members, friends and others about Orthodoxy. ~Maria
Two of my favorite quotes:
“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one and not only a life here below. In his actions, he does not think what will be said of him here but of what will be said there in heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that someday they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.” — Saint John of Kronstadt
“Of all the holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
— St. Theophan the