Friday, August 1, 2014

The Holy Things are for the Holy

With these words, we Orthodox Christians pray during the Divine Liturgy that the bread and wine having been presented may become, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Orthodoxy “things” matter, because Jesus, the Divine Incarnate Word of God, entered into creation. The Holy Mysteries of the Church (Sacraments) are each indications that the Grace of God is manifested through His Creation. Even our own hands can become the vehicle of God’s grace when we help those around us.

For those who question the truth of blessed objects, myriad miracles can attest to their power throughout human history. If God can bring water from rocks, (read Exodus 17) why couldn’t He bring other blessings from other physical objects? In the New Testament we hear of “handkerchiefs and aprons” (Acts 19.12) brought from Saint Paul having miraculous healing powers.

But if physical objects can contain the healing power of God, they can also contain the evil works of demons. It concerns me that so many Christians carelessly involve themselves with items used for evil or other demonic purposes. If coffee grounds can be used by demons is it possible there might be residual evil present in the cup? Can tarot cards every really cease to be connected to darkness? Can practices designed to “communicate with other gods” ever be harmless?

The Orthodox Way is the way toward holiness, and we should never dabble in anything that does not convey God’s grace. The Holy Things are for the Holy; leave the unholy for someone else!

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