This is well worth a look (H/T commenter Joseph A); inspiring in its clarity and en-couraging about a properly spiritual attitude to the birdemic specifically - and worldly crises in general - coming from the contemplative, monastic Orthodox perspective.
Ever since the Lord performed the Mystical Supper and handed down the most holy mystery of the Divine Eucharist, the world-saving Divine Liturgy has not ceased to be celebrated to this day.
Neither Diocletian, nor the Turks, nor the communists in Russia, nor the Germans during the years of the occupation managed to stop the Divine Liturgy and the faithful from approaching Holy Communion.
And now, with the fear of the virus, the churches have closed down and the faithful are deprived of the saving grace of the mysteries, of which they have so great a need.
On the contrary, while everyone here [in Greece] remains fearfully silent, in the Orthodox Churches of Serbia, Bulgaria, and Georgia divine worship continues unhindered, the churches are open, Divine Liturgy is celebrated, and the faithful are not afraid of being affected by the virus.
The protective measures employed by the present government are unconstitutional, unbearable, extreme, and unfair to the Greek Orthodox, while they have also created an atmosphere of terrorism, which the media aggravate.
Yes, the virus exists and we must protect our health and the health of those around us. Fear, however, must vanish, because when man is in a state of fear he cannot think and act rationally and discreetly.
Rod Dreher, who follows the Orthodox fatith, would benefit immensely from this article - it might make him re-examine the fear he lives in.
@Frank - He would benefit - IF he was serious about his beliefs. But, because Orthodoxy is a way of life, it is difficult for a Westerner to be serious about Orthodoxy short of becoming a monk/ nun (or hermit). Indeed, it is difficult for anybody, nowadays; since there are currently no Orthodox nations with an (anointed) Orthodox monarch who runs the whole society on Orthodox lines.
You are right. I know he wouldn't benefit. I just didn't want to be to say it.
People are waking up. This is a pastor from the Denver, Colorado area, but there are many others like him.
Dreher's example shows how powerful a spell the modern world casts upon the "educated" classes, despite his Southern background and education. His time on the East coast was enough to leave its mark -- in addition to the need for him not to stray too far from the orbit of respectable opinion. I read him; he usually has insightful writings, and he has really tried to engage the modern world as a Christian. However, you can often smell the odor of the Zeitgeist on his work. He is conscious of it, I think. We're stuck with what we know and see, and his conditioning, I'm afraid, hasn't been utterly broken (well, it never could have been complete; he was always a heretic according to modern dogma).
I know several people far worse afflicted than him -- bright, energetic spirits from Christian families, from "God's country." They go to the Ivy League, get internships with prestigious organizations, corporations, and government bodies, and then they finally enter the coastal professional class. They make it to some elevated rung of the meritocracy . . . and arrive there thoroughly transformed into something alien to what they were before they left home. And these are smart, grounded people! The ones best prepared to enter the field of battle. And yet they switch sides, often unaware of the process until they're so far along.
Our universities are meatgrinders of human souls. And the lure of worldly status, power, and wealth -- well, they've been corrupting people from the beginning of civilization. So, please don't be hard on RD and his "cuckservative" ilk. They're remarkably well-adjusted, self-aware, and wise compared to the vast majority of the people who swim in similar streams.
Richard Rich, from "A Man for All Seasons", is a perfect specimen of the phenomenom you describe. It has been going on for at least 500 years.
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