“Twelve months of winter and the rest is summer” was an expression known by every Zek (prisoner) in the Gulags during the Soviet era and as Europe has had a share in the Siberian Spring in recent years and a fierce winter approaching without gas supply. Coldness is unpleasant and the more severe and protracted the more painful it becomes.
It’s not the only thing that has gone cold in Europe though; they made the same mistake as the Soviets, as Solzhenitsyn put it describing his nation’s woes “Men have forgotten God”
Recent studies among European youth back this up; even the leftovers of a vague identification with cultural Christianity are evaporating with only small percentages in some countries still believing, even less attending church weekly.
We cannot imagine how it feels for the Lord to live in hearts that have frozen over with the frigidity of atheism or indifference. What a cold dark space He must now occupy, much like that of a forgotten prisoner!
In a continent that has replaced God’s authority with its own autonomy, those who are still faithful will need to strive all the more to keep faith alive in their own hearts, gathering round the tabernacles as those who are cold get in close to a stove, and have Him warm their hearts. Then, as they are ignited by prayer and works of mercy, His love can grow in them and overflow into the world.
The only way for the lost to find their way home is to see God reflected in the lives of believers and to be the recipients of the fruits of their life of prayer and service.