Thursday, September 3, 2020

Returning to Church as a complete person

(Pravmir) - “How to Return to a Regular Church Life after Quarantine If It Is Difficult For You?” – Priests Reply

“Soul Has Muscles Too”

The main thing the quarantine reminded us of is that a person is not only a bodily being, but also a spiritual one. A person does not only need to be well-fed and healthy. Participation in church sacraments is as essential for a Christian as going to a hospital or a store.

Such refreshing of our senses was useful for us. We understood the value of Holy Communion.

If today, when churches reopened to everyone, you find it difficult to return to regular church life, simply ask yourself: why do I need this? What do I want from going to church? Such questions to yourself are generally important in many situations of our life. If you find the answer, your energy will be renewed, going to church will have a meaning, and you will find strength to do it.

When a person really has a need to participate in the Eucharistic life, if he cannot live without communication with Christ through the sacrament, he goes to church and takes Communion. If he does not feel such a craving for Christ, if he was merely forced to do it by his relatives, as it sometimes happen, or by the circumstances of sorrow or illness, then Communion unfortunately turns into an unnecessary rite for him.

So ask yourself this: Is Holy Communion important to me? And if the answer is “yes”, then give yourself a light spiritual kick and go to the church!

But if you suddenly felt that you cannot find the answers to the questions “why?” and “is it important?” yourself, talk to your confessor and try to find these answers with his help.

There is a joke on the Internet: “Lie on the couch as if it will be sold tomorrow”. There is some truth in it, but, you must admit, you also experience the joy from movement. This is a muscle joy. Our soul has muscles too, and they also need to have such muscle joy. With God’s help, I hope you will experience this joy.

“Overcoming Laziness, With an Effort, Stand Up and Go to Church”

Returning to the church after a break is like returning to work from a vacation. It’s hard to start going to bed early and waking up again on time.

I remember one of my friends, an athlete, got a serious leg injury. He could not walk at all for six months, and then he was recovering for another six months. When his leg stopped hurting, he realized that it was difficult for him to return to his usual life: “I am lazy, I stopped doing sport, I don’t run up the stairs, I use the elevator, I don’t walk, but take a taxi and the subway.” He lost his motivation for sports, he lost the joy from physical activity. The same thing happens with our spiritual life.

Regime is important here: overcoming laziness, with an effort, stand up and go to church. Soon you will fall into the familiar, pre-quarantine rhythms.

It is better to return to your usual routine not by yourself only, but together with your whole family. I notice with horror that if I am alone, I do not always force myself to read the morning and evening prayer rules. But together with my family there are no problems. After dinner, everyone stands together. We pray and go to bed. The feeling of responsibility towards each other helps you to overcome yourself, and most importantly, to remember that where two and three are gathered in His Name, there is Christ in their midst.

If you do not feel the spiritual need to return to the church, then ask yourself: How alive is my church life? How much do I need it? In fact, for many people, going to the church brings nothing – they go there out of habit or out of fear. For those people whose spiritual life was on its last legs before the quarantine, this forced break played its negative role.

When, after the massive arrival of people in the Church in the 90s, their numbers suddenly decreased, it was customary to explain this by the fact that the faith stopped being fashionable. But I believe that this is not the case. People who left the church as quickly as they came simply did not get the response they were waiting for: they left the church without feeling comforted, without feeling moved. They felt that they went to church in vain.

A person in general is made in such a way (if you do not take into account the sense of duty) that we communicate only with those people with whom we like to communicate. If after communicating with a person there is a feeling that we wasted our time, then we stop this communication. The same is true with respect to God. After all, this is also a personal relationship. It is in our own power to build them.


  1. I still hear "I'm not ready yet" language. The best answer might be "What would have to happen for you to be ready?"
    In my poor opinion, under the best of circumstances we now live in a world where getting together is more dangerous than it once was, and this isn't likely to change, even with vaccines or whatever.
    So, are we waiting for the risk of coming together for church to drop to zero, or to what it was Before? I think we all need to ask ourselves the question.

    1. Actually, is getting together more dangerous than at other times or has our modern presumption of safety and control been punctured to the point that we have to rely on God?

  2. Ah, if only I were a complete person before the pandemic hit.... The pandemic seems to magnify personal flaws. Of course, I speak only for myself.

  3. Go to Church. God is not a god of fear. What do you have to fear? Remember our God is a good God Who loves all mankind.

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