Shrines on tour
Do pilgrimages bring closer to the relics of eminent saints or something wrong with our spiritual life?
Why do we need material shrines? I am not against such shrines. There are museums of Pushkin, Chekhov and so forth. And we value their personal belongings or things somehow connected with them. Also have the value and things of the saints. If there is a preserved piece of clothing of the Virgin, then it is very valuable for me as a believer, I would like to look at it (though I would not stand in line for several hours for this). But I do not understand why I need it for my prayer, for my appeal to God or the Virgin Mary. Even if the chiton of Christ, in which He walked, is revealed, I will not pray to him. It will be interesting for me to look at him, but his presence will not stimulate my spiritual life in any way, will not bring me closer to Christ.
If someone helps these material shrines, gives inspiration, brings them closer to God, then thank you, Lord! I just don't see it. I see that all these tours of shrines alienate people from God, obscure God. Usually on Orthodox TV channels they just say: you can come to your belt and ask for something. And 99 percent of unchurched people after the belt will not open the Gospel, will not stand up for prayer. This is a sad fact.
The following passages from Scripture lead to the defense of bringing in material shrines: bleeding, which touched the robe of Christ, the belt of the Apostle Paul, who healed, and Peter's shadow, also healing. It is a pity that the shadow up. Peter can not be transported to the dioceses, but if they found the belt up. Paul …
As for the case of Christ, the woman still wanted to touch Christ himself, and not just His robe. Well, okay, let it be a riza. But what fundamentally distinguishes all these three cases from the relics of modern travel? All three instances in Scripture took place in the context of a sermon. This is extremely important! Christ preached all his three years of earthly ministry. And when a woman touched Him, He preached and, just as importantly, He personally addressed her! Also, the apostle Peter, like all the apostles, spent his whole life on the gospel. And the apostle Paul worked harder here than anyone else – he built communities. Does anyone preach to those who come to the relics and belts? Does someone create communities from those who have healed through the belt or introduce them into existing communities? The answer is obvious.
Perhaps there are cases when someone came to God through material shrines, but I think there are very few such cases. In my opinion, much more people these shrines block the entrance to the Church, giving false hope, nurturing spiritual consumerism in them.
The delivery of shrines can be justified if various missionary programs were implemented. If the priests were to set a personal meeting and communication with everyone who comes to the shrine. If, as a result, new publicity groups appeared at the parishes, the number of visitors to Sunday schools or simply worshipers in the temple would increase.
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