Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Tuesday, July 5, 2022, and Ukraine is already experiencing the 132nd day of a full-scale military invasion of Russia on the territory of our Motherland.
We thank God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine that we are alive, survived until this morning, and can see the light of day.
The front, which stretched from Kharkiv Oblast in the northeast to Mykolaiv Oblast and Kherson Oblast in the south, is a line of human pain, a line of fire where dozens of people die every day. We do not know about all of them, we do not hear about all of them, but enemy bombs do not stop falling on the cities and villages of Ukraine. The most intense battles are taking place in the Donetsk region around the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. And these parts of our Motherland are subjected to various types of bomb attacks almost every night, in different quarters of the city of Kharkiv. The city of Kharkiv trembles every night from Russian strikes and needs special prayer, and special support from all of us.
The fifth stage of such an unsuccessful struggle with evil, when a person accepts an evil thought, begins to think about it, when surrenders his will, when he accepts evil with his will – all this leads to one thing, leads to the fact that a person becomes like a ruined city. The sin we once committed destroys our mind, our will, and our feelings from the inside, and even a one-time sinful act, especially grave sin, brings us into a state of sin, and then our other actions are only a manifestation of our life in a state of sin. And this is the state of sinfulness Eastern Christian spirituality calls passion.
Passion is a state of enslavement of a person as a result of a sinful act. We are all shocked by the footage of burned and destroyed cities and villages of Ukraine, which turn into ghost towns. The footage of burnt, destroyed Mariupol did not leave anyone indifferent. This is what a person’s soul looks like, his mind, will, feelings, and heart when this fiery tornado of grave sin passes through him. This passion, which sin leaves behind, is a disorientation of all our mental powers. Our mind darkens and is unable to fully distinguish what is good and what is evil. And our will becomes rather inclined to choose evil. A passionate person feels a constant urge to evil, and that urge can reach such strength that a person loses the power of resistance, becomes addicted to evil, and becomes a slave to this passion. It’s something like how sometimes we get bitten by a mosquito and itches, and we want to scratch the affected area. And that itch, which we irritate even more, only increases, begins to itch even more, and then this part of the body acquires signs of inflammation, the functioning of that organ of the body is disturbed. The same happens with someone who serves his passions, constantly irritates them, constantly pleases them. Then he is broken, the will strives for one thing, the mind understands and leads to another, and the feelings lead in yet another way. And even in such a broken state, a person does not lose the image of God in his soul, he only loses His likeness. Such a person can no longer rid himself of the urge to evil and needs salvation, needs the help of divine grace, needs its healing, saving power. We will think about this in the following days. We will see how God’s grace helps to rebuild the destroyed human heart.
Today I want to invite all of you to pray for Ukrainian farmers. Ukrainian fallow deer are beginning to mature a little. Our farmers are preparing for the harvest of winter grain crops. And the enemy will invent a new way to strike Ukraine. The enemy begins to burn Ukrainian bread, begins to burn the fields of Ukraine, sown with bread, in order to take bread from those who are hungry. We pray for our farmers, so that they can harvest the harvest given by God, even in this war year, and feed the hungry not only in Ukraine, but in the whole world, and thus save many from starvation, including those circumstances of famine, devastation that causes war.
O God, bless Ukraine. O God, bless the defenders of Ukraine. Bless our farmers. God, protect and bless parents who save the lives of their children. God, bless all those who, in the face of military calamity and death brought by the enemy, save life and serve him.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of humankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages.