Christ is Risen!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Thursday 26 May 2022 and our homeland and our people have been resisting the full-scale military invasion of the Russian army into the territory of our homeland for 92 days.
Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting, although it is paying the highest price for its freedom in this struggle. Cities and villages of our homeland are on fire. In particular, heavy fighting has been going on in the Luhansk region for the last day and last night. Although Russia can no longer wage a full-scale war on all fronts in the same way, in some areas and regions blood is flowing. Today we are especially worried and we are praying for Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region, we are praying for Slovyansk, for Kramatorsk, for that part of Ukraine that is today at the epicentre of the Russian attack. There are full-scale hostilities along the entire front line. Our Donetsk region is flowing with blood. The south of our Ukraine is heroically holding on, although the enemy is trying to attack and shell our Dnipropetrovsk region, Zaporizhzhia region. There are fights in the north of the Kherson area, the city of Mykolayiv is being fired upon.
But Ukraine is praying. Praying and asking the Lord God for strength to resist evil. And Ukraine testifies, witnesses to the whole world that evil can and must be defeated. But we need allies, we need help to fight evil together. Because only together, together with all sincere and honest people of the world, Ukraine can and will be able to survive in this battle.
Today I would like to reflect with you on another phenomenon of the sinful state of man, from the series “sins of others”. This sin is the following: “Do not punish for sin.” We see that human sin is a spiritual disease. It is a certain weakness, a disease that has the very dangerous property of infecting other people around you. And just like in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, in order to curb the spread of the disease it was necessary to isolate the sick person, in the same way, when it comes to a sinful person who infects everyone around him with his sins, everything must truly be done to distance oneself from the actions of such a person. If the crime is not punished, then criminal behaviour with its impunity grows and spreads.
In the spiritual life, sin must be treated properly. And so, it is very important to find the right remedy for this sin. It is obvious that the first step is to dissociate oneself from this sinful behaviour, to evaluate it fairly, but then one really needs to find appropriate remedies for the severity of that transgression. Therefore, in the spiritual sense, punishment is a medicine. Sometimes the spiritual struggle we might even call a punishment, a penance, may not be very pleasant, it may be difficult, but it is salvation for a sick person from sin. Sin can be contracted and it brings death. But wise healing, a wise spiritual director helps us to overcome sin, to cure it, not to infect oneself with the death that this sin transmits, and to help those who suffer from this sinful disease.
Today, we must do everything we can to ensure that Russia’s war crimes do not spread throughout the world. And today Ukraine is at the forefront of this struggle. We are stopping this evil. But the whole world must realize the danger of this pandemic of the “russkiy mir” [Russian world] ideology, a pandemic of justification of war crimes, even for some religious reason.
Today we ask the whole world to be careful with these spiritual diseases that are being spread by our invaders. Be attentive not to remain silent about this misfortune, because every silence, every unwillingness to distance oneself, to condemn and punish these crimes, becomes toxic today, becomes dangerous, infecting innocent souls with the death that is brought on by the war in Ukraine.
O God, bless our army! Bless the sons and daughters of Ukraine who are face to face with evil. O God, bless the children of Ukraine! Give us spiritual immunity to fight the deadly virus of war. O God, bless Ukraine and its children with heavenly peace!
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for humankind, now and always, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!