Thursday, July 28, 2016
Metropolitan Agafangel urges us all to pray for an increase of love
O Lord, our God, Thou Who art glorified and worshiped as One in Trinity! Thou Who hast bound us in the unity of love and commanded us to be one; put an end to the strife and discord that the enemy has sown among Thy faithful children! Transform hatred and anger into love, and multiply this love in our hearts, that we may arise together to do Thy work and faithfully serve Thee, through the prayers of Thy most pure Mother and of all Thy saints. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ our God:
Accept from us, Thine unworthy servants, this fervent supplication, and, having forgiven us all our sins, remember all our enemies that hate and wrong us, and render not unto them according to their deeds, but according to Thy great mercy convert them: the unbelieving to true faith and piety, and the believing that they may turn away from evil and do good.
By Thine all-powerful might, mercifully deliver all of us and Thy holy Church from every evil circumstance.
Free our Russian Land from the cruel godless ones and their power and raise the holy Orthodox Russia; hearken unto the painful cry of Thy faithful servants who cry unto Thee day and night in tribulation and sorrow, O our most merciful God, and lead their life out of corruption.
Grant peace and tranquillity, love and steadfastness, and swift reconciliation to Thy people, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy precious Blood.
But unto them that have departed from Thee and seek Thee not, be Thou manifest, that not one of them perish, but that all of them be saved and come to the knowledge of Thy truth, that all in harmonious oneness of mind and unceasing love may glorify Thy most holy name, O patient-hearted Lord Who art quick to forgive, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Today the Holy Church commemorates the Apostles Peter and Paul.
Thousands of faithful walk for days, for hundreds of kilometres, in all weather, praying and keeping a fast joyously and in happiness, praying for the assistance of the Mother of God of Pochaev.
We should not presume we are more righteous than others! We do not see such examples of piety in the west any more. We should humble ourselves and understand that God acts in mysterious ways in drawing people to piety and a Christian life.
Although massive demonstrations of faith are uplifting and touching, they are not the essence of life in the Church.
The main path for us, according to Saint Ignaty Brianchaninov, is to endure sorrows without grumbling, with the understanding that everything God allows is for our spiritual healing and growth. Presumption, self-righteousness and judgement are the great modern spiritual diseases, which totally prevent spiritual growth…If we have these illnesses, even if we have some outward virtues, we will not gain entry into the Heavenly Kingdom! We should read the writings of the Holy Fathers to find out whether these diseases are present in our hearts - and follow their advice on how to uproot them.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
On Friday 18 June/1 July the community dedicated to the Tabinsk Icon of the Mother of God celebrated its feast day. Most of the parishioners received Holy Communion, and gathered to share memories of the Tabinsk Icon from their life in China. After the revolution, during the time of civil strife, the Icon miraculously saved people from destruction by stopping and refusing to move further, changing the direction the refugees were walking. People could do nothing but wait until the Mother of God allowed Herself to be carried forward again, in the direction She willed. In this way a large number of people were brought to safety.
The Icon remained with the Russian emigres until the mid 1960s, when most of the people had immigrated to Australia and other countries. It is now unknown where the Tabinsk Icon is.
May the Mother of God help us to live worthily in these turbulent times, and lead us to our salvation!
O Most Holy Mother of God, save us!