There is a lot of complaining and virue-signalling amongst Orthodox and traditionalist Roman catholics about the closure of churches by government decree. For a start there is a great difference between a government for the good of all the people, decreeing that all places of public gathering including churches should be closed, and a Church hierarch doing the same for reasons of fear and lack of faith.

Christ told us to obey the civil authorities, and so we should for we are not a lawless people.

As for the closure of churches and lack of access to the sacraments: I often wonder how many people go to church of a Sunday to genuinely worship and praise God, to genuinely partake of Holy Communion. And how many go for ethnic gathering, social gathering, sensual enjoyment of music and atmosphere, for a feeling of community and family that is lacking in their urban lives.

In our daily lives, do we really carry out from the church building the true spirit of Christ into our dealings with those around us?

Or do we gossip among our friends and acquaintances, do we spread stories of supposed scandal, do we rejoice at the revelation of some prominent person’s wrongdoing, do we privately (or publicly) wish ill to some person who is found to have done wrong? How scrupulously honest are we in day to day affairs? How scrupulously honest are we when talking to others?

Will it actually do us harm to stay away from church services for a month or two? To actually pray seriously in our icon corners morning and night? To spend an hour or two or three every night, sitting and recollecting our lives since Baptism and mentioning every sin we can remember before God? Naming every deceased relative, asking for God’s mercy on them, every living family member asking for God’s enlightenment of them, every deceased friend, asking for God’s mercy on them, every living friend or acquaintance or “enemy” asking for God’s enlightenment of them. And asking God to enlighten and guide our government. And praising God and thanking Him for all that we have. Will it hurt us to genuinely examine our relationships – long past and see where we might have done harm, said something injurious or thoughtless. The more we remember and bring before God today, the less will be brought before us to answer for after we die.

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