For many beginning believers, remaining attentive throughout the church service is no easy task. Numerous thoughts overcome the worshipper, forcing him to remain amid earthly cares. This occurs due to a lack of understanding of the language in which the services are conducted, and of the meaning of the texts read during the sacred rites.
In this day and age people in the Orthodox Church have forgotten in Whose name they received the sacrament of baptism, and before Whom they will be called to account. The Lord’s obligatory command to consecrate one day each week to Him Who created us, Who continues to nourish and preserve us, is no great sacrifice, especially considering that it exists for the benefit of man, not God.
The good things of this world intoxicate a person; vanity despoils the soul and the mind, and sobriety is lost. The mostwise Ecclesiastes understood that the soul is not capable of fi nding peace and perfect wisdom in this world. And though the meaninglessness of the world oppresses a person, inattentive people fail to notice the terrible maelstrom into which we are all caught up. The only escape from it is Christ.
Know your enemy, it is said. The passions and those who help them take root are the seed of the devil. The fight against this seed lasts one’s whole life, and only he who turns to God will emerge victorious.
Every Christian gives thought to the question of how oft en one should commune. In asking the advice of various priests, one may hear opinions that discourage frequent communion by the laity, or on the contrary one may be advised to approach the Holy Chalice as oft en as possible, especially on holy days.
The question of how to learn God’s will is one of the most important in a person’s life. God’s will is the most accurate and precise measure of our actions. If a person acts according to his own will instead of God’s, he may err and become doomed to a life of wandering in the darkness of this world.