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 MESSAGE FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF SINAI ON THE TERRIBLE PANDEMIC: Great and international is the...

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MESSAGE FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF SINAI ON THE TERRIBLE PANDEMIC:

Great and international is the temptation visited upon the world by the deadly epidemic of the coronavirus. As Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine on the God-trodden Mountain of Sinai, and as a Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, many ask me why God allowed this great trial which has deprived us of church attendance and the reception of Holy Communion.

a) I humbly think that the All-Good God wants to sound the alarm of danger, because unfortunately we have all forgotten the divine benefactions and commandments that lead to the earthly happiness and heavenly blessedness to which He destined us—and for which He was crucified.
Unfortunately, we chose another path to happiness for ourselves; one based on material goods, and which separates us from spiritual ones, together with the virtues.

b) God allows such tribulations in order to show us that, no matter how greatly humanity progresses in science and technology, it is impossible for us to be saved if God Himself does not bless our works and ideas. This would explain why various forms of globalization, undertaken without recourse to His help, have descended into failure, perhaps even calamity.

c) In addition, many Christian confessions have veered from the core message of the Gospel, which was correctly interpreted by minds enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the highly lettered and spiritually proven Fathers of the Orthodox Church.

d) Despite the tribulation that the entire world is undergoing today, the love of God does not cease to visit the creature He fashioned according to His own image. The Orthodox Church thus holds out every hope that with our patience, this heavy trial, having passed, will leave behind immense spiritual profit. The world will awaken from the material lethargy from whose consequences it has suffered globally, and it will show forth love in action reflective of its primal worth, mutual support, and authentic peace between peoples. This begins with the inner peace that stems from reconciliation of the person with God, and by extension, with his neighbor and the natural environment in which God Himself placed him. This is where God gave him the command to love and work. Through sin, however, humanity altered and finally turned this environment against itself; only through love will it pacify it.

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