“This pandemic is a significant examination for all of us, in which the fear of death and the legal rigours of isolation must be overcome by trusting in God’s help,” His Eminence Metropolitan Laurenţiu of Transylvania said in an interview for a local publication.
“Through this examination,” the Metropolitan explained, “we realized once again how fragile and vulnerable we are as human beings, but at the same time, we realized that only if we stay together through faith and prayer can we move forward.”
The Metropolitan linked the pandemic with our mistakes towards the Divinity and highlighted its pedagogical purpose. “We know that the trials allowed by God because of our sins come upon us to turn our face to Him and acknowledge His merciful love, which helps us to overcome all the hardships of life.”
Regarding the Easter restrictions last year, His Eminence said they were burdensome for both clergy and believers, but the Church received them, however, “with much responsibility and wisdom.”
‘It was very painful, especially on the holy night of Easter, to convey the solemn proclamation and greeting “Christ is risen!” and not hear the joyful answer of the faithful, that “Christ is risen indeed!”‘
Asked to evaluate the clerical mission during the pandemic, the Metropolitan of Transylvania said that “the liturgical and sacramental service of the Church, so necessary to our faithful, especially when we are in need, never stopped, but even intensified, adapting to the newly imposed conditions.”
“We have all intensified both prayer and philanthropic ministry to those suffering and in need. Although we were physically isolated, we were not spiritually separated from our believers. They watched the services broadcast by the Church’s modern media, especially Trinitas TV. Following the imposed rules, at the faithful’s request, the Holy Mysteries were administered to them in churches, hospitals, or homes. All who wished were confessed and communed. Baptisms of infants and weddings of young people were performed. Those who left this world were laid to rest according to all sanitary rules. The priests from hospitals were permanently by the side of the doctors, in the first line fighting against the deadly virus.”
Metropolitan Laurenţiu reminded that in times of trial, people reconsidered the spiritual dimension of life, rediscovering the value of faith as a source of spiritual strengthening, hope and solidarity.”
“We have all been absorbed in the daily routine, in the temporary, more or less important things. In our continual haste, we have forgotten to rekindle and retain in our lives that spiritual force that nourishes and sustains our human life: love for God and love for fellow human beings.”
“This trial that we now want to overcome has made us stop this rush for transient things and think more about the deep meaning of our lives.”
The Metropolitan recalled that during the pandemic, he insisted on transmitting to the believers the trust in God, who always fulfils His promises and does not leave us helpless, casting away from our hearts the fear of death and despair.
His Eminence said that worldwide there is not only a human moral degradation, “but also the worrying degradation of the world, of the natural environment in which we live.”
“We have been in a health crisis for a year, but we have been in an ecological crisis, in a bioethical crisis for a long time. Indifference, selfishness and greed destroy the nature-creation of God, but at the same time make humans overturn the laws of the family, to no longer respect the right to life from conception to its natural end, etc.”
“Here is the nonsense of this life estranged from God, the unnatural becomes natural, and the ridiculed normal is presented as normal! I am convinced that only the return of our life to its divine sources will truly give us and the world in which we live an extra chance.”