My beloved family in Christ,
I just wish I could be with you and see you this weekend. I with the altar servers will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy this Sunday so that prayers may be offered unto our merciful Lord for our people and the people of the whole world. Let us all pray to God that this virus that has made so many ill and caused so many to die, will soon pass over us and a life of "normalcy" return. This is a good time to reflect, as I am doing, on the purpose for which our Lord has allowed this plague on the earth. For us Orthodox we know that nothing happens by accident, (Without God's providential permission.). Why has he allowed the rhythm of our church life to be interrupted, even the possibility that Pascha and its joy will not be celebrated by us together? Is it because of our sins and a wakeup call to repent? Is it because we take the church for granted, that it will always be there for us? Is it because we take the riches of health which he has bestowed on us so freely forgetting the One who gave this to us.? I don't know and it is left to each of us to find the answer. I am finding that I can live quite well without the habits that so governed my life. I have more time to read and be inspired by the Holy Fathers and Elders of the Church. The Elder Paisios of Mount Athos in his book "With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man" is such a good read for all of us who seek understanding for our spiritual life..
In Christ's love