ABOUT YEARNING FOR GOD
St. John of Kronstadt Cathedral, Gai City, 31.12.2022
People have always worried that God is somewhere far far away from them. We threw back our heads, and God seemed to be so far, that sometimes, we got the desire to approach Him, even a little bit. You might remember among the multitude of altars in the Areopagus in Athens, there was one dedicated to the Heavenly God. Even pagans somehow perceived with their “sixth sense” that that was the God, the Only and Main One, Whom they could not fathom. This yearning for approaching God made them create an idol. An idol was easier to understand. You can stand near him, touch him, and venerate him. While that God, Who was somewhat unfamiliar and far away, did not always satisfy that thirst for being together with Him.
In a few moments, a special part of the Liturgy will begin. We have just announced the Ecteniae, “Catechumens, depart.” Who are the “catechumens?” In ancient times, those people, who were not yet the members of the Church and who were not yet baptized, had to undergo the period of catechesis. This is not because the Church disregarded them or treated them as some kind of sub-humans or sub-Christians, but because the Church wisely gave them this thirst for approaching God, so they wanted to be closer to Him. The Church saw this and created this pause and distance on purpose, so a person could yearn and had a burning desire to approach God a little at last. After the Sacrament of Baptism they became members of the Church.