When we sense that our sins are leading us toward a dark and perilous outcome, individual Christians know to stop and pray and repent. But when we hear that our “collective” actions are leading us into darkness, too often our tendency is to look for conspiracies and cast out nets of collective blame. But neither collective subjects nor collective objects actually exist: only individuals can take upon themselves the onus of action. What kind of action?
St Porphyrios explains that it is only the prayers and repentance of those individuals who walk in the light, however haltingly and uncertainly, that can avert the peril to which prophecy awakens us. For authentic prophecy, he explains, consists not in deterministic pronouncements of imminent doom, but in urgent warnings meant to alert us and avert the danger—to wake up precisely those individuals who know better than to react by casting blame on chosen enemies, but know instead to cast their prayers heavenward for the sake of our brothers and sisters and own selves as well.
Although this article comes to us from the year 2012, it is surely even more timely now, as the harrowing year that is now concluding raises apprehensions of even darker times to come.