Numerous warnings have been issued advising us of the dangers associated with global warming and its future impact on mankind and the environment. For several generations now, leaders from a broad cross-section of political, scientific and authoritative offices have harped on the fact that the impending warming of climate will assuredly trigger the demise of mankind. While our earthly leaders claim that humanity is the cause of such a drastic warming effect, I will venture to say that at no time in human history has God’s creation been so ice-cold in terms of its relationship with the Creator. The impending Ice Age of spiritual decay and hedonism which we rapidly find ourselves succumbing to has like a slow moving glacier encroached on the very essence of who we are as Orthodox Christians. It is not the warmth which we as a society have been exuding into the environment that should be of paramount concern, rather it is the lack thereof. In so many ways our souls have become as cold as ice and it is for this reason that we must intensify our struggle, through prayer and fasting, against the wiles of the enemy which are so cunningly thrown against us, and our children. How ironic that the Presidents and Princes of this world dwell on mankind’s warming impact, while the concern of Orthodox thinkers and holy elders supports the antithesis of such an opposing premise.
This spiritual Ice Age which we dwell currently is unparalleled in any epoch and will surely engulf all of humanity if it can do so, but we as Orthodox Christians must stand ready against and recognize these often unseen and hidden, yet enormously slow moving glaciers of spiritual death, sin and atheism.
Each of us at baptism, are by the grace of God given a spiritual flame, some of us through prayer, fasting and spiritual struggle develop this flame of the Holy Spirit into an intense fire of great significance, and this holy flame which dwells in our soul is our weapon against the world’s perverse nihilistic coldness and indifference towards God. The snares of temptation are hidden and the evil one is lurking out of sight, the mines are laid just below the snow covered surface and they patiently wait for us to trample them underfoot—but as we struggle and travel through this spiritual tundra let us not forget that we are not alone, for as we say in the Great Compline service, ‘...God is with us’ and through His warmth and compassion we shall persevere, and so too shall our children.
The blessed elder Amphilochios of Patmos truly recognized the dangers lurking about in contemporary society. He prayerfully reveals, “Our country is covered with the ice of materialism and atheism, and we are all called to take part in their defeat. Only when this ice dissipates will we be able to find and to enjoy once again that true earth which the apostolic ploughs cultivated, and which the blood of martyrs and the sweat of monastic Saints watered. Only then will the noetic sun warm our soil, which will immediately sprout flowers in bloom and will bear fruit as before, to the glory of God.”
Each day, and at every moment, though surrounded by a spiritual Ice Age, we too are offered the blessed opportunity to embrace this warmth of Christ. As the world frets about, and is consumed in the coldness and isolation of mundane concerns and cares, let us never forget the source of our strength, the source of our light and the source of our warmth. Jesus Christ is Lord and it is for Him we live, for as the Scripture tells us, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Let us not be fooled by the cold secular influences of our world, rather let us always focus on Christ and His warm loving embrace for His creation, for each of us.