Friday, July 31, 2020

"The Divine Liturgy and the Holy Gifts will give Christians the strength to endure hunger and protect them from all evil"

Referring to modern life, the Elder said: “Today, people live for appearances and are so cowardly that they do not even want to seek the Truth, let alone defend His Name. We are weakened, exhausted and scandalized by this world, which is interested in how to divide our lives and our nations. There is a constant tendency for crumbling and erosion of the spiritual, of our Orthodox. The key is to maintain our faith, despite all the hardships and sufferings.

He added:"It is not easy to live in our day. But if the Lord allowed us to suffer in our time, we must obey and gladly accept everything that happens to us, as coming from the hand of God and not the enemy. It is more difficult now because we are used to the comforts, the television, the tender life and the various freedoms. Well, my dears, the detrimental effect of these freedoms is only now being seen: the forces of our soul have waned. The mind is burdened and the body is weakened by the poisonous foods fed to us by those who rule us; and we are not accustomed to waging any war, whether spiritual or physical. So please do not look for solutions! My dear ones, there are no human being solutions. The solution is to die for Christ. "

He understood that our whole life, as Christians, needs to be a constant martyrdom of our sinful self and a preparation for a martyr's death - we need to acquire the purity of a child's heart and have great courage in times of persecution.

Father Justin tried to inspire people to prepare spiritually for whatever life awaits them:
"In times of persecution, Christians must gather around the priests." The Divine Liturgy and the Holy Gifts will give Christians the strength to endure hunger and will protect them from all evil, under the roof and protection of the Blessed Virgin.They also need to say the Jesus prayer and pray to the Virgin Mary, saying: Most Holy Theotokos, save us! … These short prayers saved us in prison and so we were able to withstand the persecution of the communist regime, without submitting to the red beast.

But these are for the lukewarm Christians, because the ardent are always ready - they do not wait for the time of persecution or war to take care of their souls!For the true Christian it does not matter when a war or a persecution comes. The true Christian is always ready, prepared with the candle of his soul lit, to meet the Heavenly Bridegroom. The true Christian does not live in fear and anxiety about when a war will break out or when a bomb will fall on his head. He seeks ways to sacrifice more for his neighbor and for God. The true Christian seeks within himself the Kingdom of Heaven and is not afraid of anything in this ephemeral life. For him, sorrow is joy and the Cross is resurrection.

In any case, our life is in the hands of God and only He knows the end of man. Therefore, let us not be afraid when we hear of wars and other terrible events, for all these things must happen, as our Savior said (cf. Matthew 24: 6 and Mark 13: 7). We should be afraid of the fact that our souls are not ready to meet Christ ".

"Life of Sacrificed Love" Archimandrite Justin (Parvu) - Athos Publications

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