Apocalypse Postponed: a Spiritual View on Coronavirus
By Archpriest Igor Riabko - Union of Orthodox Journalists
By Archpriest Igor Riabko – Union of Orthodox Journalists
Сoronavirus is an issue of concern for the entire planet. But there are things that are much more important to reflect on than the virus, whatever dangerous it may be.
All bad things will pass one day because after all, Christ is Risen! So, in the end, we will come out of this earthly tunnel to the Light of God. And the spring joy that the virus took away from us will definitely return. We’ll breathe in the heady scent of flowers, hear the song of birds, smell green grass and feel a fragrant happiness, spilt with a generous, good hand, which will fill up the heart with warmth and the soul with joy. All those kind, bright, pure things that live in our memory will wake up and become a reality.
The chorus of the well-known children’s song that “let there always be sunshine, sky, mum and I” will come true. I believe in it. I believe that my God is my Father, and his Name is Love. His love is as much stronger than motherly love as God is above the man. The time will come, and we will understand why we were given all this suffering. We will be immensely grateful to God for it because in this way He has prepared us for eternal joy. Meantime, we need to be patient because only “but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
But I am sure of one thing – under no circumstances, even in view of the mortal threat, should a Christian refuse the Cup with the Blood and Body of the Lord.
Patience is an important preparation process. There are a lot of different calls now, very right in terms of health security. But I am sure of one thing – under no circumstances, even in view of the mortal threat, should a Christian refuse the Cup with the Blood and Body of the Lord. Because only in it is Eternal Life.
God commanded our body to return into the earth from which it was created. In space-time terms, any person lives on this planet his only day of life. It is not so important how many years it consists of. It’s no big deal. But we take in the infinity of God through the Church. We shouldn’t so much fear the virus as be afraid to lose God because of the fear of death. Now, in fact, there is a test of our faith. What will prevail in us – animal fear or faith in God’s Providence?
It should be understood that God’s Providence does not provide any guarantees for our health. In fact, we can die, including from the virus. Moreover, in any case, we will die sometime anyway. But it is better to die with Christ in the soul and in the body than to live out as a trembling leaf, being scared to approach the Cup with Sacraments.
It is important for us to learn to take death for granted as something inevitable and continue to follow Christ. Maybe, this is the lesson that God wants us to learn now. If our spirit does not reign over our soul and body, we will remain only social animals in the human shell. But if God offers us to take the place from where the angels fell, we will have to learn to live like angels.
It is important for us to learn to take death for granted as something inevitable and continue to follow Christ. Maybe, this is the lesson that God wants us to learn now.
The Bible teaches us that there was once a war in Heaven. And the bright angels led by the Archangel Michael fought against demonic forces. I do not know what the angels risked in that war, but they did risk. Otherwise, it could not have been called a war. We also must learn to take risks, i.e. make the right choice, spiritually speaking, no matter how scared we feel. Actually, the feat of any of the martyrs is built on this very right choice.
In modern military academies, dozens of lectures are devoted to the study of methods of psychological influence on the enemy during hostilities. The principles of repetition, confidence in the source of information, activation of mental processes of perception, the use of suggestion and so on – all these topics are studied seriously and professionally. The task of information weapons is to attract attention, to gain trust, to bring embarrassment and fear to the enemy’s mind and sow panic.
The same methods are used against us by the devilish forces. Can’t you feel how this or that horror story from the Internet strikes your heart? How confusion, fear, despondency and despair overcome your soul. Close these portals.
Look away from the abyss. Let only light into the windows of your soul.
Ф. Nietzsche was right when he wrote: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” Look away from the abyss. Let only light into the windows of your soul.
Instead of absorbing fear-mongering news stories, pay attention to the miracle of the awakening spring. Listen to chickadees singing their wedding songs. Look out – the trees awakening to life start blooming. Think about it – God has prepared the Kingdom for us.
Be happy with what God has given us for happiness today and have hope for what He has prepared for us in the future. Use the quarantine for your spiritual gain. Pay attention to your children and parents. Enjoy the opportunity to slow down and talk not on the run. Remember Solomon and tell your fears, “This too shall pass.”
Say to your soul: “It doesn’t matter whether I am alive or dead, in my body or out of it. The only thing that matters is whether I am with God or without Him.” And when once again evil forces will spin terrible pictures of the realities of modern life before your eyes, turn your eyes to Christ and ask Him: “Lord, what is this?” And you will hear Him answer: “What is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22).