Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I want to ask about the promises in Psalm 91 regarding the pandemic, or any "pestilence" we face. Verse 1. "He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." This seems to be the requirement for receiving all of the protections in the rest of this psalm. Am I right on that?

Also, what does it mean to dwell in the secret place of the most high? Does it mean that I am following God and putting him first and participating in the life of the Church? And, of course, what if I slip?

Is this a promise?

This is a very beautiful and tender psalm. Under the shadow of the Almighty and in the secret place of the Most High is referring to a spiritual and physical position close to God's heart, in which one hopes, trusts, lives, and finds comfort. Even if you slip, quickly repent and return, hoping and trusting in His love, mercy, compassion, and acceptance. Under His wings is where He desires to have us all, as He said: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37). Sadly, many still refuse to seek spiritual shelter beneath His wings. The Church is also that sacred shelter where the Lord is upon the holy altar, body and blood. We must not ever take it for granted. We must follow Him, put Him first and above all, and participate in the life of the Church with all our hearts, minds, and souls.
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