Living in a society that calls itself Christian, we are witnessing a reality that sometimes makes us feel scared. What terrifies us is the substitution of such fundamental human concepts as good and evil.
Since many of us are far from the Gospel teaching, there is an increasing deviation from the Christian worldview, morality and way of life. Even in a Christian environment one can find opposite views on many burning problems, such as the death penalty, artificial insemination, euthanasia, abortions, etc.; while those who could provide an example of good sense are often in the minority. Thus, today we can speak of an anomalous understanding of “normal.”
For example, take chastity before marriage: the overwhelming majority of those with an uneasy conscience assert that now everyone is dissolute, although in real life everything is not at all like that. I have personally heard the confessions of thousands of young people in the prime of life who have preserved their virginity and struggled with carnal desires, regarding them as sins and passions from which one should flee.
Nevertheless, today many people are trying to convince us that what is abnormal is now the norm in life, while those who try to live in accordance with Christian values are labelled as “abnormal”, “conservative”, “old-fashioned”, “hypocrites”... At time we nearly cry with pity for those who don’t distinguish light from darkness, truth from falsehood, and virtue from sin.
Often when I ask during confession, “What sins have you committed?”, I hear, “Well, nothing special. My sins are like everyone else’s.” But there are as many people as there are sinful states, trials and falls. Most can’t even imagine the beauty a righteous soul radiates; and on the contrary, how heavy you feel after encountering someone who lives in captivity to passions—although outwardly he may look impressive and well-groomed.
Quite recently I happened to speak with a lady who is very successful and self-fulfilled, and seemingly has everything: She is stylish, has her own business, is well-connected... But all these things are just outward impressions. In reality, hidden behind this rosy veil is a soul tormented by remorse after the murders of unborn babies—and she has committed many of them. And there is no one to console her, although she has never had a shortage of men. And there is no joy from the children born because they grew up spoiled, and all her money brings her no warmth or happiness.
A depraved life always gives rise to the illusion of happiness, and only a virtuous life in the gospel spirit can bring accomplishments and joy.
We must return from illusions to reality as soon as possible because life without God leads to darkness and death; and let us remember the biblical words: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mt. 16:26).
The most unhealthy and harmful phenomena are so ingrained in modern consciousness that attempts are being made to prove their “normality”, and then to legitimize these vices. It has reached the point where it is not enough for someone to lead a sinful life in secret. It is now announced in public: “Oh, let everyone see...” Very young girls already smoke openly and they don’t care when adults scold them for it. These are still “mere trifles” because often people behave worse than dumb beasts. However, everything is fixable, provided that there is a desire.
A year ago, I was invited to a Chisinau junior colleges. The atmosphere in the classroom had become tense, because two guys had begun to act like misogynists, bullying and insulting the female fellow students continually. I decided to enter into a conversation with them and in response, they spouted reproaches and absurd accusations against the clergy and the Church. Nevertheless, I tried to continue the dialogue. I didn’t think then whether it would help or not, but recently I ran into one of those young fellows at my university department. He came up to me, apologized and asked for my blessing...
I so wish that the world to return to normal views of good and evil! After all, it is for the enlightenment of minds, the eradication of hatred, the multiplication of love and the fulfillment of every good deed that our Holy Church prays.
May the Lord enlighten all of us. But let us not forget that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 110:10).
He who has a mind, let him understand.