Friday, April 3, 2020

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on these difficult times

(ROC-Sourozh) - His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia addressed a message to the Right Reverend Archpastors, clergy, monastics and lay people of the dioceses on the territory of the Russian Federation.

In this difficult time, when the state authorities are taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, I urge bishops, clergy, monastics and lay people to strengthen their prayers to the Lord to protect people from harmful infection, and archpastors and pastors - to continue to zealously serve divine services and especially the Divine Eucharist - the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, even in the absence of the flock due to the relevant recommendations by the authorities. Truly - “nothing should be preferred to the work of God” (Statute of the Venerable Benedict of Nursia, chapter 43).

Today, many of us are forced to assume the feat to remain in our homes. To such I say: let the place of your confinement become for you a desert for personal and family prayer, according to the Gospel word: But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly (Matthew 6: 6). May the image of St. Mary of Egypt, who spent many years in solitary prayer in the desert, inspire us with this feat.

These days, we lost the opportunity to be together at our beloved Lenten services. But we know that even the gates of hell cannot prevail over the Church of Christ (cf. Matt. 16:18). Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? <...> in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. <...> neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8: 35-39). Even being in forced separation, as the followers of Christ have been scattered, throughout the history, across deserts and mountains, caves and ravines of the earth, we remain an indestructible community of faith, united by heartfelt prayer to the Lord Jesus. We are not alone in this prayer - our holy ancestors and ascetics of the Russian Church of all times of its historical existence stand together with us in front of the Throne of God, inspiring and encouraging us. Take courage, Church of Christ <...> Christ' friends take care of you, both praying for you and helping you (from the polyelei of the service to the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church).

Let's bear, brothers and sisters, temporary hardships in order to preserve the life and health of our neighbors. We will patiently endure the sorrow that has visited us in the firm hope that the Almighty Lord, who accepted suffering and death on the Cross for the human race and opened, by His Resurrection, the way to salvation for us, will soon change this sorrow with joy of meeting together to praise Him in our church prayers, and that the Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces and will take away the reproach from His people throughout the whole earth (Isa. 25: 8).

On these days, let's pray especially for those who selflessly put their efforts to end the deadly infection, those who work for the livelihood of our cities and villages. Let's be grateful to them and let's give them all possible support. I thank all of you, dear Vladykas, Fathers, brothers and sisters, for your zealous service to the Lord, to His Church and to one another.

I pray continually for all of you.

1 comment:

  1. I don't use microblogs like Facebook or Twitter, but apparently this really happened:

    No doubt some will say it is a sign of the collapse of the Church...LOL ;)