Monday, August 31, 2020

Concerns About Prophecies and the Coronavirus

By Father Andreas Agathokleous

It is good to sometimes put ourselves in the shoes of people who do not attend Catechetical and Religious discourses, nor go frequently to ecclesiastical Services, without, however, being considered atheists. They simply stay a little away from "ecclesiastical events", with a bit of skepticism and substantial concern.

These people, listening and reading, through social media, about prophecies, about the relationship between the coronavirus and God's grace, about the demonization of the forthcoming vaccine, and a lot of other "abouts", what do they have to say?

Indeed, what serious person will take seriously all that is claimed and supported by clerics and non-clerics? Has the word of God become such a cheap subject that every irrelevant person can express an opinion and interpret it? Were the saints of our day of such spiritual quality to be regarded as futurists? Is the theology of the Church prophecies? Is not the projection of the difficulties that may come (wars, earthquakes, famine, etc.), with the aim of people "repenting", of Protestant origin? Does not the change of life, that is, repentance based on fear without love and philotimo, create the mentally ill, as Saint Paisios said?

These are some of my concerns. I know, of course, that some "defenders of Orthodoxy" will not like them. Father Alexander Schmemann, in his Journal, writes: "Nothing is more dangerous than the fanatical defense of Orthodoxy." I address those who are troubled and seek the Truth, with sobriety and seriousness. Because they may suspect that the Truth is neither in fanaticism nor in intimidation. And also that it is not expressed by those who seek to be projected on television, those who want to play savior by underestimating the humble and prudent, characterizing them as cowards.

O how the wicked devil managed to confuse the coronavirus with faith and confuse Christians. O how we managed to focus our attention on the possible future instead of the present of our life, that is, our relationship with Christ and people. O how the obvious became a cause of division and different views.

We cannot overlook the fact that, in addition to any confusion, the Church also has its people, mainly clergy, who with their speech or silence, with all their presence, testify to its serious attitude towards any difficult present and future. We are not enslaved to the non-existent fate or the existing wickedness of some. We have one God and Father who loves us without limits, who never abandons us and who can, based on this love, transform even difficulties into blessings.

Such faith-trust can bypass any prophecies or dangers and cultivate prayer and study, within the body of the Church, which leads to Christ who is Truth and freedom.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.