Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Friday 1 April 2022. And Ukraine has been standing and waging this patriotic war against the Russian aggressor for 37 days.
Throughout yesterday and this night, the Ukrainian land is once again shaken by Russian missiles and bombs, our cities and villages of our homeland are on fire once again. Our special prayers flow to Mariupol, which has been standing for more than a month and amazes the whole world with its power. In fact, it manifests a miracle on the shores of the Sea of Azov.
Our Kharkiv, our Chernihiv stand heroically. Our special prayers for the occupied Kherson, for our heroic Mykolayiv. But under the pressure of the Ukrainian army the enemy retreats. Our cities and villages are being liberated. However, without success on the ground, the enemy increases attacks from the air. And so, once again, the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) is appealing to the world to help protect the Ukrainian sky, to protect the lives of our peaceful residents of the cities and villages of Ukraine.
We see that the struggle of Ukraine, the struggle of the Ukrainian people against the Russian aggressor, has all the hallmarks of a spiritual struggle. Every great war is accompanied by a great lie. And it is done in the same way to capture, imprison, occupy our minds and our hearts, and to paralyze our will.
Spiritual struggle is characterized by the fact that the devil, first of all, tries to instil in us his thoughts in various ways, his propaganda, his intimidation. Then, the next stage, a person begins to dialogue with that sinful proposition, with that sinful suggestion. And from this begins the struggle within our minds, our hearts, the street battles within the human person with the evil that is trying to capture us. And then, if we continue to succumb, then comes the consent of our will to evil, and comes the internal, sinful occupation, enslavement, passion, sin.
In order to win this internal struggle, first of all, one must realize that one cannot have a dialogue with sin, with the devil. It must be rejected and conquered, as Pope Francis recently proclaimed in Sunday’s catechesis. In order to resist hostile ideology, in order to expel the devil, first of all from our minds, hearts, then from our homes and from our land, we must first be aware of the lie. And so we must resist, with all our strength and will. And then will come the eradication, liberation, then there will come freedom.
Today, in particular, in the days of Lent, I call on all to wage an internal spiritual struggle with the devil and his servants. If you feel that certain news that you read or see on television is news that tries to captivate your mind, will, or feelings, trying to become the inner occupier of your person, know that this propaganda is a suggestion of evil. And then let us resist. It is so important to realize that we can overcome, not by our own strength, but by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit.
We pray for the Ukrainian army, for those who are fighting against the occupier. Let us support them with our prayers. Let us wage our invisible warfare against untruth and all that is trying to paralyze our will and seize our inner spiritual world. Let us pray for Ukraine. Let us resist the occupier and all evil. Let us eradicate evil from our hearts. Let us be Christian and human, even in the circumstances of war. May God’s blessing rest upon all of us, and may victory over evil be Ukraine’s victory in its invisible struggle against the devil.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for humankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!