By Archimandrite Vasilios Bakoyiannis
"Do not be afraid. If you have faith, nothing will happen to you!", said a priest from Georgia to a woman who was watching the ship "Norman Atlantic", which caught fire in the Adriatic (December 2014).
And the priest helped the lady to get into a small boat, a lifeboat, and the woman was saved, but after a while the priest drowned! "Who can know the mind of the Lord?" (Rom. 11:34)
When the Constantinople was in danger from the Avars (610), God saved the City. However, this did not happen when the City was besieged by the Turks (1453).
Then thousands of Christians took refuge in Hagia Sophia, crying from the depths of their being to the Lord to save them from the sword of the conqueror.
Mothers made vows that, as long as they are alive, they will get by with a glass of water and a slice of dry bread, as long as their daughters do not get raped by the Turks. However, the merciful Lord did not hear their prayers, their cries!
Both their daughters and their sons were raped! On the Holy Altar! And those who were in Hagia Sophia were slaughtered! (Since then, Hagia Sophia has ceased to be Hagia Sophia, that is, a Holy House of the Lord). If they had taken refuge somewhere else, would they have been saved? Who knows?
God sometimes saves us from danger, sometimes not. (He has His own "philosophy"). Therefore, in case of danger, we take our measures.
"When you are persecuted in one city (says the Lord) go to another" (Matt. 10:23). It does not say "sit where you are, and I will protect you."
Some have the illusion that God will protect them from the coronavirus, because they have faith! (Do they believe it from the heart?) But faith does not save by itself.
The demons also believe, and they believe more than us, that is why they tremble (James 2:19), but it is for Hell! It is also necessary to keep the commandments of Christ. And we also coldly despise them, thus crucifying the Lord once again!
For example, who keeps His commandment "bless those who curse you"? (Luke 6:28). Are we, then, worthy of divine protection? Only a Pharisee would say "yes!" In addition:
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" (Ex. 20:7). Do not "involve" God in simple, personal issues, which you can solve on your own.
It is a violation of His command. In other words, if you can protect yourself from the coronavirus on your own, do not wait for God to protect you. He gave you a brain!
We must, therefore, as Christians, follow the instructions of the State concerning the coronavirus. (Discipline shows strength, self-control).
In other words, masks in the church as well? Where is the blame? With shorts, slippers, etc. they are allowed to enter the church, but not with masks!
"You criticize the priest, and you think that you are worthy to pass through the narthex door (!) of the church?!", said Saint John Chrysostom to his flock. (On Aquila and Priscilla, P.G. 51, 204). Well? When are you more worthy to enter the church?
When you have a mask on your face so as not to make your neighbor sick, or when you have loaded in your soul the sin of blasphemy?
There is no need to refer to other more serious sins ....! "Expensive with the bran, cheap with the flour!"
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.