In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen +
Many Orthodox Christians around the world, some of whom I know personally, whether on social media or in-person have decided they want to use science and rationale when it comes to the Holy Tradition of the Church. They insist that we should embrace what civil and scientific authorities are telling us; I.e. Social Distancing, mask-wearing, etc. in the Church (while inside the Church building).
I’ll say it and own it. Science and rationale have no place in the Ethos and Dogma of our Faith.
After two thousand years of Holy Tradition, do you think you’ve discovered some reason, scientifically, that the Ethos and Dogma of the Church need to change for “the safety of others”? Do you think your opinion of “what” the Church “should” or “should not” do somehow nullifies the teaching of the Holy Fathers and Mothers who spoke out, defended, and died for our faith? This is almost certainly a product of the sexual revolution of the sixties; The two children “Individualism” and “Entitlement” have grown up and are here to claim their birthright. How you ask?
Some are claiming that the common communion spoon is “just an instrument” to deliver Christ’s Holy Body and Blood and they argue the focus is purely on the Holy Mysteries themselves, not “how” they are delivered. Let’s explore that rationale, shall we?
The Holy and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was just an instrument, a tool, and it should be discarded. Right? St. Helen around the year 323 set out to find the Holy Cross. Upon destroying and excavating the area under the former pagan temple, three crosses were found. St. Macarius alternately touched the crosses to a corpse. When the dead man was touched by the True Cross of the Lord, the body came to life. Having beheld the raising of the dead, everyone was convinced that the Life-Creating Cross was found. Oh and this wasn’t the only miracle that happened that day. A grievously sick woman, beneath the shadow of the Holy Cross, was healed instantly.
The hem of Christ’s robe was just an instrument, a mere piece of fabric, a tool, by which the woman with the issue of blood was healed and should be discarded. (Luke 8:43)
The Apostle Peter’s shadow was merely an instrument, a tool, by which those in faith were healed and should also be discarded (Acts 5:15)
The countless Holy, myrrh streaming, and miracle-working icons by which the faithful have touched prayed, and been healed by should be discarded as just instruments.
The untold number of Holy Relics by which the faithful throughout the centuries have been healed from various illnesses should be discarded as just instruments.
All of these should be discarded because they cannot be rationalized with science and reason. This is what the world and those who worship the intellect and academia are telling the faithful. This is what those who are imposing “guidelines” within our Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church are telling you, the faithful.
We know through Holy Tradition that Jesus Christ transfigures and sanctifies all things, even you and I. That He voluntarily suffered His passion, death on the Holy Cross, was laid in the Tomb, descended into Hades, freeing the captives therein, and on the third day, rose from the dead because of His love for all of mankind. Brothers and sisters, do you not know that the Holy Body and Blood of Christ which is offered to you during the Divine Services are for “the healing of soul and body“? That these Holy Gifts are for “life eternal” and for “the forgiveness of sins“? For “Joy, Health, and Gladness“? That “at Thy fearful second coming makes us sinners, worthy to stand at the right hand of Thy glory“?
Those who were wise by the world’s standard and accused our Lord of blasphemy were made foolish. Those who thought themselves more religious than others were maddened by Christ’s humility and silence. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts“.(Isaiah 55:8-9)
Let us remember, we the faithful belong to Christ Jesus and His kingdom. We are sojourners and strangers in this land. We venerate Holy Icons and Relics because they do not contain disease, but are given to us as gift’s from God to strengthen our faith. We receive freely the gift of our Lord’s Holy Body and Blood from a common spoon because there is found no disease in Him or that which He touches. We, the faithful embrace one another as brothers and sisters, heirs of His kingdom, revealing our love for God and our neighbor in works of mercy, patience, loving-kindness, and humility. This is the faith of our Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, and Sisters. This is the faith which Christ Himself has established. It will not be shaken and the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.
If we have not fully given ourselves over to Jesus Christ; If we do not fully embrace the Ethos and Dogma of His perfect Church, then we have no business approaching the Holy Icons, Holy Relics, or His Holy Body and Blood. Lord have mercy. Science and rationale have no place in the Church; She who contains the Holy Mysteries, whom countless Holy men and women defended and died for.
The Church is being sifted brothers and sisters; Either we embrace the Church in humility and be changed by Her or in pride, we seek to change Her. If our response is the latter, we must genuinely as ourselves some hard questions.
May God have mercy on us all +