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Q&A with an Orthodox Priest: Should I partake of the Holy Sacraments if my soul is as dry as a desert?


Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok answers the questions of parishioners and local residents.

Should I partake of the Holy Sacraments if my soul is as dry as a desert?
You know, we mustn't trust our feelings. Only emotionally unstable people walk by their feelings. We must be guided by our efforts and attention. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence (Matthew 11:12). That is why tears are not the main criterion of your repentance and your participation in the Sacrament. Sometimes the evil powers push a person away from the Sacrament and you have to pull through. Sometimes you experience terrible and slanderous thoughts that you have to struggle with by going to Christ and searing the sin with his holy love.
Of course, books have it right but with God everything is completely different sometimes. Having spent some time in the Church, I can give you many examples where, contrary to logic and all human rules, the Lord acted, taught, and revealed something, and it was an act of the Spirit of God. He does not fit into our concepts where we all have to be sorry, be humble, be diligent and laborious, and prepare for the Holy Sacraments with awe. That's not to say that it's wrong. However, the Lord acts illogically sometimes, and we should not confine him to our understanding of piety.

What do I do if my husband wants to divorce me?
I think you shouldn't jump the gun and reach conclusions prematurely. Instead, you should fight for your relationship. You should talk with your husband and ask him what makes him want the divorce. If you have a sincere and open dialogue, you might be able to make amends. You mustn't let fortune-tellers run your life. Believers don't go to fortune-tellers; they know that the Lord will eventually reveal everything they need. Of course, it isn't easy to accept a person with all his flaws and sins. This is what the Church is for. This is why we perform weddings in church. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ (cf. Galatians 6: 2).

Sure, you can strike up a marriage with someone else, again and again, but will it be better for you? Perhaps, it would be better if you try to build your relationship with your first husband in such a way that it would be strong enough. Wouldn't it be great if you fought and found out the beauty in one another? Just try. 
St. Elisabeth Convent

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