We need to understand that the first thing we need is the healing of the distortion of our will and, connected to this, the healing of our loneliness.
Our will is distorted because it continually tries to seek perfection outside of God.
In fact, this is the fall of Adam: separation from God.
From where comes our pain?
Our torment is not God’s punishment but our self-punishment through self-isolation.
We do not want to be quarantined to be separated from a virus, but we do want to quarantine ourselves to be separated from God.
Prayer and obedience are the main means through which we unite with God.
Why do we need to pray?
God, knowing that prayer and obedience are the source of our life and happiness, expects us to pray not only because He does not want to enter brutally into our lives, crushing our freedom, but also to be happy precisely because of prayer which is unity with Him. Fulfilling our desires expressed in prayer is a secondary phenomenon in our salvation.
God stands at the door and knocks. If we do not open through prayer, He will not come in and have dinner with us.
We need to pray not so much for our interests, that is, to obtain something—even if God, in His kindness, also accepts this kind of prayer—but to pray precisely to feel the joy of meeting with the perfect Creator and Father, the only one who can overcome the abyss of our loneliness.
The proof that we have a dying soul under the burden of a tyrannical body is that we do not care about our eternal quarantine of separation from God in which we self-isolate ourselves, while we are terrified of a temporary quarantine to be separated from a poor virus.
A prayer to save us from the pandemic
Below is a prayer that is said in Mount Athos at the Vatopedi monastery, to save us from the pandemic.
Lord Jesus Christ, our God, the chief physician of our souls and bodies, who for us became Man in order to heal the great trauma of man; You, who did not despise the incurable ten lepers, but, through Your saving grace, cleansed them; You, who, as God and Man, during Your presence on earth, helped and cured all the sick and suffering; You, who also gave relief and restored health to the paralytic, the blind, the heavily transgressed, the demoniacs and the easily drawn into both the flesh and the spirit, do favorably accept our plea and expel, through Your power, the deadly virus that bears the shape of a corona, causing phobias or even death to the ailing and innocent victims. And, if for our many transgressions, You allowed these tempters, we beseech You, as the benevolent one, to take it away from us and from the entire world. But, if for a test of our faith, You found it necessary to continue its presence, ease the distress of the ailing from this epidemic.
And, if through the evil works of Satan, or the negligence of careless humans, this virus was spread, smash its power, as omnipotent God.
Protect the youth and guard all those who became ill; cure the old from the cursed virus; and deliver us all from the stress of the heart; instead, grant us health, comfort, and broadness through the intercessions of Theotokos and all the saints. Αmen.
His Eminence Joel of Edessa
The photos are from the vigil and from the procession held at the end of the extraordinary vigil held for this purpose at the Vatopedi monastery.
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