Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Wednesday 27 July 2022 and for the 154th day, the Ukrainian people have been in this unequal battle with the enemy who came to kill on our land, and whose army is much larger than the Ukrainian army and our capabilities. However, they are gnashing their teeth about the stability of Ukraine and the firmness of the Ukrainian will, the will to be a free people, an independent state.
Last night and during the last day, the Ukrainian land trembled again, people died again. Eight regions of Ukraine were shelled with various types of weapons. Our border areas of Chernihiv Oblast and Sumy Oblast, our Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, suffered from Russian missile and bomb attacks, and the Black Sea coast of Odesa Oblast is recovering from heavy missile attacks. Earlier today, a powerful blow was inflicted on our Kharkiv. Huge S-300 missiles once again bombarded the industrial areas of this big city. And the most intense battles, where a large number of manpower and weapons of various kinds have accumulated, are taking place in Luhansk region and Donetsk region, in particular around the city of Bakhmut, and in the south of our homeland, in our Kherson region.
But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying.
The enemy is trying to intimidate us. It hits peaceful cities with rocket strikes in order to break the stability of the Ukrainian people. But this achieves the opposite effect. The will within our people to defend the homeland is only being forged, like a steel door.
Today, we continue with you our reflections on different types of prayer, which can sometimes be separate stages of one and the same prayer, of our appeal to God. We asked ourselves what we should pray for. And so we understood that there are five main types of prayer, regarding the content of this deep mysterious reality, this breath of the soul. We said that it is necessary to begin the prayer with thanks to God, therefore with repentance, to continue this prayer with a prayer of intercession for our neighbours, for other people, in the spirit of such spiritual altruism. Yesterday we reflected on the importance of our personal prayer and the importance of tirelessly opening our personal requests and prayers to God. We mentioned that such persistence in prayer sometimes increases our desire, our desire for God, and changes us, expands our heart and our soul, makes us able to receive even more gifts from the Lord God than we ask.
Today I would like to reflect on a type of prayer, which seems to be the crown of all those four previous stages. This prayer is called the prayer of praise. We said that when we approach the Lord God, it is very important to trust Him. It is very important to understand that the Lord God knows what I need, wishes me good, will have mercy on me, that my prayer to Him is needed by me rather than by God, because He changes and transforms me as a person in prayer.
And different stages of prayer can also be called or looked at as different stages of a person’s maturation in prayer. When we begin to pray, we very often ask the Lord God to grant our will, to do what we hope or ask from Him. But real mature prayer is a kind of conversion from what I long for, to a deep prayerful trust in God, which is expressed in the phrase “God, let Your will be done.”
And here is the prayer of praise—this is the prayer that crowns our appeal to the Lord God, because in reality we are not asking anything from God. We glorify Him for what He is, we glorify Him for being able to approach Him. We praise Him for the fact that He sanctifies His name even in our human and our personal life, as we pray for this in the prayer “Our Father”, saying: “Hallowed be Your name.” We praise God because we have experienced His greatness, His goodness, His mercy.
And our appeal to Him ends with an expression of admiration and exuberance for our God, Creator, and Saviour. And we, together with the angels in heaven, the saints, all those who have known God, we praise Him, we praise the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is how all Christian prayers usually end with glorification, with doxology. This prayer of praise will be our prayer in eternity. All our aspirations, all our desires, all our requests will be fulfilled, and the prayer of praise will be our life in heaven for ever.
Yesterday, I was personally shaken by one piece of news. We have repeatedly emphasized the importance of telling the truth during war, because as Pope Francis has repeatedly stated, every great war involves a great lie. And we have repeatedly thanked and thank various honest journalists who come to Ukraine from all over the world, who experience our grief with us, all in order to be our voice of the Ukrainian people before the world public, to speak the truth about the trouble and suffering in Ukraine.
So, this piece if news stated that one journalist dies every four days in Ukraine, dies from Russian bullets, from Russian bombs, shells, and missiles. And during these 154 days, 37 journalists have already died in Ukraine. Today we want to thank those workers who have the courage to raise those words in defense of our people. We want to thank all of them for their compassion, for being ready to experience that which every Ukrainian is experiencing today in his homeland. May the Lord God accept in His eternal embrace those heroes who gave their lives for the truth in Ukraine. As a heroic servant of the truth, fulfilling the professional duty of a journalist, a media worker, today he is an example for others who, according to the dictates of their own conscience, speak the truth, and no bribery or instrumentalization of this or that false propaganda can ever destroy.
O God, receive them into your embrace. Eternal memory to all journalists who gave their lives for the truth in Ukraine.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of mankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!