Voices from Russia

Sunday, 15 April 2012

2012 Paschal Epistle of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev (1946- ) of Moscow and all the Russias blessing a kulich at Easter services at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow on 15 April 2012.

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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev addressed the archpastors, pastors, monastics, and all the believers of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias with the First Hierarch’s traditional Easter message.

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Beloved in the Lord Most Gracious hierarchs, reverend presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, and all my dear brothers and sisters!

Today, on this triumphal spiritual occasion, on this great and glorious feast of the Resurrection of the Saviour of the World from the dead, when we contemplate His Rising from the tomb, we shout out the life-affirming and soul-fortifying joyous truth:

CHRIST IS RISEN!

On this radiant Paschal evening, the Eternal Son of the Heavenly Fatherrevealed the fullness of God’s love to mankind, He assumed a human nature, healed it from the disease of sin, and, after descending to the depths of Hades, broke the shackles of death, giving us an opportunity of a deeper union with our Creator and Provider. If we immerse ourselves in the all-encompassing love of the Lord, we gain an invincible weapon “against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6.12). We can overcome the fear stemming from the limitations of our human nature, and we can gain the ability to face any challenges fearlessly. For “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4.18). It isn’t coincidence that the Gospel repeatedly proclaims Our Lord‘s words of encouragement, spoken to strengthen the spirit of his followers: “Be not afraid!” Fear of the future, fear of danger, fear of the unknown, fear of imaginary or real threats… these feelings are familiar to many of us. However, the Lord’s with us, if we don’t reject Him. Now, in the days when we celebrate His victory over death, once again, the Saviour appeals to all of us: “Be not afraid, only believe!” (Mark 5.36).

If we conduct ourselves contrary to the spirit of this cunning and crafty age, it’s a visible proof of the Eternal Truth. For, although we now have social and religious freedom, if we desire to live according to Christian moral standards, it means that we make a countercultural movement against the zeitgeist. It means that we disagree with the stereotypes of behaviour and attitudes that justify sin, insistently and systematically incorporated into people’s lives through the means of the modern media. If we ask the Lord, we can escape the spiritual desert and the abode of egotism; we can see the light of the Resurrection, we can perceive it as a landmark in our journey to the Heavenly City. Our approach to the universal Eucharistic chalice is one of the foremost sources of strength in our movement to eternity. It strengthens us through the grace of the Holy Spirit, giving our souls absolute peace, steadfastness in faith, and realisation of the virtues. If we commune with the Body and Blood of Christ, the Scripture tells us that we become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1.4); we’re able to overcome our natural state. Through the Eucharist, we receive the potential imitate Him who, for our sake, “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2.7-8).

At base, moral and spiritual change is the main factor behind any transformation of our society, our people, and our country. However, you can’t improve the whole without improving yourself. If people of all ages, of all social classes and political groups, have the right frame of mind, it’d have a direct effect on the welfare of the Motherland. The paths of our lives depend on the development of all the countries of Historic Rus and our Church, and on the preservation of the environment, of all God’s creation, entrusted to us by the Creator, with the obligation “to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2.15). I prayerfully wish that all of you, my dear ones, keep and sustain the joy of the Risen Victor over Hell, and that He’ll shower abundant aid from above on you in your everyday labours.

TRULY, CHRIST IS RISEN!

Amen.

His Holiness Kirill Gundyaev

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

Easter

2012

14 April 2012

Patriarchia.ru

Official MP Website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/2147824.html

Editor’s Note:

I’ll have more to say later, but for now, let’s be content with what His Holiness implied in all of this. Do note:

If we conduct ourselves contrary to the spirit of this cunning and crafty age, it’s a visible proof of the Eternal Truth. For, although we now have social and religious freedom, if we desire to live according to Christian moral standards, it means that we make a countercultural movement against the zeitgeist. It means that we disagree with the stereotypes of behaviour and attitudes that justify sin, insistently and systematically incorporated into people’s lives through the means of the modern media. …

At base, moral and spiritual change is the main factor behind any transformation of our society, our people, and our country. However, you can’t improve the whole without improving yourself. If people of all ages, of all social classes and political groups, have the right frame of mind, it’d have a direct effect on the welfare of the Motherland. The paths of our lives depend on the development of all the countries of Historic Rus and our Church, and on the preservation of the environment, of all God’s creation, entrusted to us by the Creator, with the obligation “to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2.15).

In short, certain positions advocated by certain loud rightwing circles amongst us (mostly konvertsy) are not only anti-Church, they’re of the anti-Christ, they’re satanic and diabolic at base. His Holiness spoke of “the spirit of this crafty and cunning age”; he’s spot-on correct and on the money with that. Satan LOVES using “religion” to trap people… even more than he likes using irreligion and blasphemy (although he’s not against that at all, if he can get it). For instance, His Holiness is a warrior for Christ, he advocates Social Justice, a fair shake for everybody, state aid for families… the list goes on, but you get my drift, he’s a “lefty”, a “liberal”, using the ignorant mixed-up terminology of Anglosphere rightwing populist nutters. As all educated people know, actual “Liberals” are pro-Free Market and anti-Social Cooperation (“Greed is good”, dontcha know!)… that is, Anglosphere “conservatives”. On the other hand, we have people who’ve succumbed to the Trojan Horse of the “Pro-Life” movement… and they approve of perpetual warfare, torture, the brutalisation of the poor, and the coddling of greedy rich people as a result (the Hard Right politicians they support endorse such programmes).

We can have the Risen Lord or we can have Mammon. It’s up to you to decide one way or the other. Bite the coin when offered… it may be base metal, not gold…

BMD 

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