Between April 12 and 14, 2019, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim, His Grace Bishop Macarie of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe held several conferences in the Romanian parishes in the western part of Germany. Thus, on Friday, April 12, in the Romanian Orthodox Parish in Düsseldorf, shepherd by the priest Iosif Rădulescu, the hierarch held the conference with the title “How can we cultivate repentance in a world of obduracy?”, while answering many questions of the young people and of the believers present at this spiritual meeting. On Saturday, April 13, 2019, Bishop Macarie held the conference “Repentance Today: Is It Possible?” In the Romanian Orthodox Parish in Münster, pastored by priest Dimitrie Ursache, and on Sunday, April 14, 2019, after the Divine Liturgy celebrated together with parish priest Ispas Ruja, in the church of the Romanian parish in Dortmund, the hierarch held the conference “How can we preserve the fruits of repentance?”
Referring to the conditions that make it harder for repentance, His Grace Macarie has said that the insight created by the virtual world of the new technologies and the consumer society is a great challenge to our union with Christ.
“We are living, more and more, in a virtual world, in which we have a disjointed identity, to varying degrees, of identity and the real world. This virtualization is accompanied by a surrogate psychological over-saturation, because the new technologies are built in such a way as to satisfy, on a very superficial level, some fundamental needs of the human personality: the need for belonging, appreciation, affirmation. This unceasing artificial stimulation of our psyche creates a kind of anesthesia and unsensitiveness of our soul. We become less interested in the real ones around us, increasingly dependent on the impulses from the devices of the new technologies, our spiritual senses are becoming more atrophied. So, the cultivation of passions in consumer culture and the anesthetic of life brought by new technologies is a new challenge to repentance”.
His Grace Macarie specified that the world with the crazy “non-life” rhythm is another challenge to repentance: “We all complain of lack of time, of multiplying burdens, of uninterrupted running, of tasks over tasks, of crowded schedules, of exhaustion. We are shattered, fatigued, drained to the last drop of sweat, squeezed both physically and mentally. This is not by accident. This is the organization of the world in which we live – someone has stood in our time, that is, what is more valuable than anything … The fatigue and bitterness of a day that is heavy on a heart that can no longer recapture and can no longer rejoice or dwell in the rejuvenating pain because he meets with Christ who stands by her door and knocks … We who live this life into the Babylonian city of our day, are dispossessed, robbed of time, of this time of repentance without which the inner life cannot exist”, said the Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Northern Europe.