In the Orthodox Church

Kissy Orthodox people

I’ve heard talk of people seemingly upset, on hearing that the priest uses the same spoon when giving the holy communion, or because people take turns in kissing an icon, and they’re not cleaning it afterwards, or because thousands of people kiss the relics of a saint and might orally contract diseases

I believe those people are not part of the church, because in these six years I’ve been attending services, worshiping icons, holy relics, and receiving the holy communion, nothing has ever happened to me, I never contracted any form of herpes, or contagious disease, and moreover, I have never heard any of the christians coming to churc saying otherwise.

It’s easy to notice how thousands of people kiss the relics of Saint Parascheva, one after another, day and night, and nothing happens, and everyone is happy to receive her help and Gods blessing. If something would have happened, the TV reporters are always participating in religious events, and believe me they would had speculated any kind of evil that could be broadcasted as sensational, so they would have heard something.

Why are some people mocking those lined up, waiting for hours to worship the relics of a saint, to ask for help, to feel the joy of closeness, to feel closer to God? Are they doing something wrong? Is anyone living in that city or country disturbed by the fact that those people stand quietly, peacefully waiting for their turn? I believe not.

Yet, why is no one laughing at those people who line up in endless traffic queues instead of taking the tram or the subway?

Have you ever heard of anyone getting sick because they have communed with the Holy Body and Blood of Christ in Liturgy? I haven’t. How can God, the source of holiness, spread disease? He, who is always inviting us in Church to transmit His holiness through priests, so as to heal us, forgive us, give us power, do you think He would pass illness down on us?

I guarantee you that if ten people drank water from the same bottle, one of them would surely have herpes the following day. I know this from experience.

Yet, how many thousands of people have been given the Eucharist with the same spoon, in a church, over one year, and there are no bad rumors, on the contrary, people are leaving with great joy, they are empowered, they change, become better, emanate happiness, because they are receiving God.

How can the Holy Body and Blood of Christ be contaminated by the abomination of disease? How can the source of joy, become a source of disease? How can bodies of saints full of the Holy Spirit (relics) be outbreaks of infection?

Just as the transfer of temperature is made, according to the laws of physics, from hot to cold (and never vice versa), the Body and Blood of Christ transfers holiness upon disease (healing it, eliminating it) and never the other way around.

It’s as if you threw a cup of cold water into a lake full of hot water and expected the lake to get cooler. The same happens with God’s holiness. The holiness and power of God are infinitely greater than our sins and diseases.

Bălan Claudiu

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