Friday, December 2, 2022

    OCU Primate urges believers not to be indifferent to human grief

    The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, has urged people against being indifferent, noting that it is a common spiritual disease in the modern world, which is progressing rapidly. Indifference is a sin that is displeasing to God.

    That’s according to Metropolitan Epifaniy’s Facebook post.

    “Thousands of people are around, but a person feels lonely amongst them. Instead of seeing someone’s eyes and smiles, people stare at their smartphone screens. When someone gets sick in the middle of the street, others often don’t care because it doesn’t seem to be of any concern to them… A common spiritual disease of today is INDIFFERENCE,” the metropolitan wrote.

    According to the head of the OCU, it is because of indifference that great disasters, catastrophes, unpunished murders, and various human sufferings occur. That’s because indifference shuts down people’s hearts, lulls their conscience, and makes people “deaf and blind.”

    Indifference is a dangerous and insidious weapon of the devil, which teaches to look “past” a person, kills feelings, desires, and aspirations, extinguishes human spirituality, and thus snatches away the meaning of life… Indifference is a state in which people express no interest in anything, when nothing can break through to them, when their heart and soul don’t react,” he stressed.

    Metropolitan Epifaniy noted that “the virtual world has become much more important to many than the real one. The number of likes on social media becomes a criterion for human success, replacing the thoughts and feelings of living individuals. People also seem to “scroll” the realities of the environment – they scroll them down quickly, with no reflection, and therefore they fail to notice not only the beauty that surrounds us, but also the problems, the injustice, and the needs of others.

    “Indifference begins when people start live only for their own sake, their goals and interests, putting them above anything that’s happening around them,” explained the head of the OCU. “Such people are also called selfish as they cannot and do not want to curb the sinful passion of pride; by focusing only on their I’s, they distance themselves from God, as well as from other people: normal relationships, sincere relationships, friendships, and families are destroyed.”

    The grievous sin of indifference has been known since biblical times, since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Following unjust accusations, terrible tortures, beatings, and humiliation, the Son of God was crucified. And what did people do? “The people stood watching” (Luke 23:35).

    The book of Apocalypse quotes the Savior as saying, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”(Rev. 3:15-16). This shows that indifference is a trait unacceptable to the Lord.

    It so happened that society sometimes covers up the usual indifference with the concepts of neutrality, non-interference, restraint, or the concept of ignoring things, etc.,  thus gradually becoming “indifferent to indifference” and failing to understand the full extent of the threat it exposes itself to. So let’s not be indifferent! Let us live by God’s commandments and take care of each other. And we pray to the Lord that He will help us avoid this grave sin, which is indifference: to God, to one’s neighbors, and to our Homeland. That’s because we, the children of God, are not indifferent!” the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine concluded.