His Grace Bishop Macarie: “The formal Christian, being only warm, is the one who does not actually and realistically address the issue of salvation”

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On April 19-21, 2019 His Grace Bishop Macarie of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe was in the midst of the faithful in Sweden and Norway. On Saturday, April 20, 2019, the hierarch served the Liturgy of the Protectors of the Parish, and the Remembrance of those who are asleep in the Lord, in the Romanian community in Linköping, Sweden. In the joy of the celebration, the hierarch wore in a procession the icon – reliquary from the Stockholm Diocesan Center, which preserves a fragment of the relics of the Holy and the Right Lazarus.

On Palm Sunday, April 21, 2019, Father Bishop Macarie performed the Divine Liturgy in the Romanian Orthodox Parish in Oslo, Norway. On this occasion, the hierarch spoke to the faithful about the Mystery of Repentance which is the beginning of our life in Christ: “Repentance is the foundation of our life, its foundation and purpose. Because without a spirit of repentance we cannot live as Christians, we cannot be Christians! We cannot remain Christians! Without this spirit of repentance, we are what the Apostle Paul calls a “resounding cymbal”, that is, an outward form, at the most, of Christians with the name, but spiritless, lifeless. Nothing sadder, nothing more dangerous than such a state. “Oh, to be cold or hot!” (Revelation 3:15), the Lord God Himself says to us. Such a state of formal Christianity, only on the surface, is based on a false self-esteem, self-sufficiency, which can take very different forms. Self-sufficiency means, ultimately, no longer seeking salvation, no longer feeling the need for salvation. It means the loss of that sense of urgency and imminence that is specific to the Christian who seeks to be saved. Salvation becomes an empty formula, a discourse, a reference, but it loses its character as the only, single and essential objective of our life. It becomes more symbolic, without effect. The formal Christian, being only warm, is the one who does not actually and truly address the issue of salvation”, the hierarch said.

During his pastoral visit, Bishop Macarie spoke and guided spiritually many believers in the parish communities. The children received gifts from the hierarch and the believers were given the blessed green branches brought for the Palm Sunday.

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