On How Christians Should Be in Church

St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite 1749-1809

Therefore, since the Church is an earthly Heaven, as we have demonstrated, it follows that, just as the Angels and the Saints stand in Heaven, so too should Christians stand in the Church of Christ. The Angels and the Saints stand in Heaven with fear and trembling; Christians should stand in Church with fear and trembling. The Angels and the Saints do not think about any earthly or worldly thing in Heaven; so also Christians should not think about any earthly or worldly thing when they are in Church. The Angels and the Saints have great peace in Heaven; such peace, of body and soul, of the senses and the mind, should Christians have when standing in Church. The Angels and the Saints have love, unanimity, and concord with each other in Heaven; such love and unanimity should Christians have when in Church. The Angels and the Saints in Heaven do not chat with each other, laugh, or gaze heard and there, but look with great attentiveness and reverence only at God Who is present before them. Thus does it behoove Christians, when in Church, not to chat with one another, laugh, or gaze here and there; they should look only and solely in front of them and listen to the Divine Scriptures with attentiveness and reverence, bearing mind that they are standing before God, the Heavenly King. (On Christian Morality, p. 485)

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