Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
We find that during this pandemic while our entire family is home bound it is good to find creative and imaginative ways and to use this unique opportunity to strengthen our relationship with each other and to pass this precious time wisely and beneficially for all.
As Orthodox Christian believers we are truly blessed with a wonderful and rich and Holy Tradition and spiritual heritage that offers us incredible guidance and resources for the strengthening spiritually of our family. It would be of great spiritual benefit for us to turn to the reading passages from Holy Scripture, to become familiar with the virtues and holy Lives of the Saints of our Church, to study the sacred writings of the Holy Fathers and Mothers of the Church, to strengthen our communion with Our Creator and God through unceasing prayer.
There are many opportunities to form a strong connection with God. Our family strives always to be Christ-centered. Everything that we do revolves around our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who watches over us and Who desires to dwell within our hearts. When our family participates totally in the life of the church through worship, the mysteries, and virtues living, God bestows His grace and abundant blessings upon us.
There is no greater witness than to willingly follow Christ God. To place our complete trust in Him and to allow Him to lead us to salvation. Without Him, life has no meaning, no purpose. He is our everything! Our hearts must be pure and open to His grace and be willing to be obedient to His Divine Commandments.
Time here on earth is precious and we must always use it wisely. Our life should be a positive experience, fruitful, philanthropic, constructive, and meaningful. Just as we mature physically, emotionally, psychologically, we should also strive toward the attainment of spiritual maturity. To come to the point when we say as Saint Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Just as living in the flesh involves the whole person, body, and soul, so living “in the faith” involves the whole person.
There are so many wonderful lessons to be learned while everyone is at home and how everyone can re-discover the path to Christ our Lord. Pray individually, and as a family, for spiritual strength and inspiration. Look up the words strength and strong in your Holy Bible’s concordance and find passages related to godly strength. Also, see where the words humility, obedience, love, and sacrifice occur for greater connections to strength.
If you have never opened the Holy Bible open it now and don’t be afraid. You do not have to be a biblical scholar or a theologian to read the Holy Scripture. You are not there to give a theological interpretation but to be edified by the word of God. Begin by reading the Gospels and gradually the Epistles (Letters) of Saint Paul. You are not under any pressure to go through it at a specific time. Know that when you turn to the Holy Bible you should approach it with faith, humility, and the understanding that our Lord is speaking to you through His Divine word. It actually becomes a loving dialogue between Him and you. Absorb everything that you read slowly and without any fear. In this way, you will find inspiration, comfort, hope, strength, inner peace, and courage.
Saint Theophan the Recluse wrote, “The final goal of man is communion with God. The path to this communion has been precisely defined: faith, and walking in the Commandments with the help of God’s grace.” We seek holiness and union with God as taught by the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers of the Church. Our Savior and Resurrected Lord came to save us and to open the gates of heaven for us. He showed us how to live through His Divine teaching and example. As you come closer to Him, you increase your capability to deal with the various challenges that you may face in life. You increase your ability to live according to the Christian virtues and precepts.