In the trials of our time, we have so many hurdles that come before us. The obvious pandemic has its own set of hurdles, but there is also that of our faith. As a Catechumen in the Orthodox Church, I have a whole new set of hurdles. These hurdles are not really related to the Church just things that come along with converting to Orthodoxy, killing the old man, and bringing the new man forth. It is a struggle, but everyday people struggle with even little things like what to eat and what color they want their baby’s room to be. Through this the main principle of keeping true to the Faith and struggling in the world of passions and sins so that we can purify ourselves and have salvation. The orthodox definition of salvation is an ongoing process of purification that reaches beyond this world into eternity. It is referred to as deification or theosis. An article to read on theosis would be this one http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf.
The faith that is at times so much of a struggle that some begin to despair and feel as though there is nothing that can help them. In this we are called to help them, we don’t have to be priests or monks to do. We can be the angel unawares to those who have become distant in faith. It is a requirement that we be lights in the dark of this world. This is sometimes hard to do especially when we are looking out at something that seems hopeless, but we need to persevere and help those who can’t help themselves. When we help our brothers and sisters in Christ, we can get satisfaction knowing we helped someone even little things like helping grandmother get something from a top shelf or greater things when we help the homeless, the sick, and the suffering. These things become unnoticeably a calling and something that at first is hard but afterward, it feels as though someone else is doing it and you are just there watching.
I write this because there is a hole in the world that seems to be being filled with something that demoralizes people without their knowledge. It seems to be a popular idea that we need to be feminists, BLM supporters, communist/socialist, as well as blind followers to people who are the presumed experts. The Churches are told to keep the people distanced and that they wear the masks. The pandemic has helped many have extra time to research the world and see things differently. From this, some have woken up to the agenda in play and are attempting to take steps towards true freedom. Knowing that the masks are a symbol of our oppression and that we are called not to be followers of Christ but sheep to the system. The system that calls for mandatory vaccinations and abortion on demand even forcing some to stay inside their homes for the good of humanity. I don’t personally see how so many people have succumbed to these demands of mask-wearing and lockdowns when just a few years ago the mass media talked about personal health rights, yet now they say you have no right to think for yourself. This is part of the struggle on the path to salvation, to struggle with the world and always keep our eyes and hearts on God. “Even if we fall a hundred times a day, it does not matter; we must get up and go on walking toward God without looking back.” Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, an important quote in my own opinion.
The ideas that are out there are going to bring people down, but we need to remember to be positive. Having a happy outlook on life and being appreciative of everything that God puts in front of us even if we fail. There is no time that we are not faced with a passion or sin that can not be turned away from. If we stand tall in the faith and understand that our life in this world is fleeting and we are going to be gone soon, we need to have our focus on what really matters. If we forget that there is always room for sin to enter and cause any number of issues. “Do not let anything deprive you of hope” St Nektarios of Aegina. “Blessed the one who farms fair and good thoughts each day and by hope conquers the wicked passion of despondency, by which the Lord’s ascetics are warred upon.” St. Ephrem of Syria. “Everything in this life passes away only God remains, only He is worth struggling towards. We have a choice: to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God; or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for Whom our heart is searching.” Blessed Fr Seraphim Rose. Remember to always help those in need and be positive and happy to those around you.
here is a video that can help understand that its better to be positive than negative towards others if you are not religious https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1sWVjXhKfg