We adore the beauty and magnitude of stone churches, the harmony of domes heading to God, the
music of immaculate walls and crosses. Yet admiring the perfection of a church we seldom
realize that still a more beautiful and majestic church is erected in everyone’s soul by
hand of God and with own forces. A church that you alone can make worth to be called a
House of God. And its first stone is christening.
- Christening, - says Father Valeriy, - implies liberation of the original sin of
Adam and Eve with which each of us is born. A man who adopts Christ adopts the New
Testament and from that moment on answers only for his thoughts and deeds.
Quite often godfather and godmother do not realize their responsibility before God which
is imposed with the sacrament of christening. They must not only care of the child’s health
and guard him in different ways but also dispose his soul towards God with spiritual
education, going to church and communion.
Godfather and godmother lay the foundation of God’s church in a soul of the godchild
with all might of their soul and heart, parental love and care. But without his aspiration
to come to God, without sincere prayer, confession and communion it is impossible to do that.
In Father Valeriy’s strong opinion "a man’s soul is sensitive to each word, action and deed, it
suffers because of all the sins which we either make or plan. The suffering shows itself through
irritability, discontent, sorrow. Just as we come to parents to ask for forgiveness, we appeal
to God at confession with a prayer for forgiveness".
With sincere repentance, deep prayer, boundless long-suffering and mercy a Christian
erects the walls of God’s church in his soul. It is important not to take a false step
on this path, not to destroy it with unbelief or on the contrary with religious bigotry.
In opinion of the senior priest of the church of the Great Martyr St. George the Victory-Bearer,
“religious bigotry is worse than unbelief. A seriously ill person who fasts to the prejudice
of his health is sinful before God".
The path to true understanding, true faith is long and hard. In order to support a person
on this path and not to let him give was to despair God works miracles. Thus for example we
all know about wonder-working icons.
“Each icon, - says Father Valeriy, - is precious and wonder-working in its way, and will
shine in its time when there is a need for that. Consecrator Nikolay comes to rescue and
guards from danger. Holy Guriy, Samon and Aviv are patrons of families, protectors of hearths”.
A number of miraculous wonders takes place at hallows; is not that a reward for our humbleness,
for turning the people who had shied Christ for many years to the right path?
Each icon has its history; and one can only understand the teaching of Christ and become His
follower if he appeals to it with love and faith.