3 Answers from Father Andrew: How should I interpret the words “first of all make peace with those who wronged you?”

Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok, the spiritual father of St. Elisabeth Convent answers various questions of the parishioners.

How should I interpret the words from the Prayers for the Holy Eucharist,“first of all make peace with those who wronged you?”

I think it means not to bear grudges against that person and forgive him. That’s it. If your heart is at peace and you don’t feel aversion to that person, it means that you have reconciled with them. If you have wronged someone, you must ask him to forgive you and restore your relationship with that person, or at least, do your best to do so. If neither you nor the other person is ready to talk with one another, it will make things worse. Therefore, go and confess and ask God to make your heart peaceful and soft and to help you to forgive the wrongdoings of others. You can pray for that person, asking the Lord to grant him blessings, too.

The most vital condition for communion is to have peace in your heart. If you feel hurt, you cannot take communion. If you want to get rid of it and fight your feelings but you haven’t defeated them yet, you MUST take communion to receive power from the Lord to say farewell to your offence forever.

Can I go to healers if doctors can’t help me?

There are different kinds of healers. There are people who make herbal remedies. They may have the gift to treat others with herbs and massage. That’s one kind of healers.

However, if a healer treats with self-written prayers, I’d rather not go to him. We have the Church, the Sacraments, and the grace that can heal and restore our health if God wants it to happen. However, if someone heals others with prayers, it is dangerous. The Church cannot bless it.

It seems to me that you have to use your brain at all times. If you are a Christian, you will instantly feel and know whether that person is from God or not. There are lots of charlatans or spiritually ill people among healers. They try helping others without any blessing, just by using their own powers. They might even believe in God, but it is very dangerous to access the spiritual realm and to become a healer at will. We have our Saviour who heals us and who has given us the power to defeat sin and death. It must suffice for a believer.

Can I have a dog in my house?

I think that yes, you can. I have a dog at home, too. When I asked Father Nikolai Gurianov about it, he replied, “You can but you must feed it well.” I don’t see any issues with it.

January 24, 2018

St. Elisabeth Convent