Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

6 March 2012. The Truth is EXCITING… Heaven is Joyful… Hell is in Earnest… Ponder That…


To hear some people talk, all the fun’s on the hell-bound train, whilst the road to Heaven is paved with tears and sadness, and one has to subsist on a diet of thin gruel, Brussels sprouts, stewed prunes, and water on the way. Actually, the opposite is true. Heaven’s full of joyful abandon and GOD SMILES… hell’s full of deadly earnest seriousness, humourless keenness, and Satan‘s perpetual grimace of all-consuming care. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Heaven is more like the child-like simplicity that Fr Vladimir Sukhobok showed during his life than it’s like the high-minded purposefulness of Panteimon Metropoulos or Gleb Podmoshensky. It’s NEVER “pious”… it’s loving… it’s NEVER “serious”… it’s playful.

Know this… as Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov put it, we need to grasp “unholy holiness”… think on that one… now, there’s a Lenten meditation…



Sunday, 25 September 2011

25 September 2011. Why Do I Cover “Negative” Things? “Homo Momento Mori!”

The Last Judgement

Unknown Artist


Church of the Most Holy Mother of God “of Kazan”

Tolyatti (Samara Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF


Some people take me to task for being so “negative”. Firstly, that word isn’t applicable to our spiritual life, as our spiritual life deals with ultimate realities, and “positive” and “negative” refer to radically-subjective states, whereas the eschaton deals with the naked and objective ground of BEING. The questions that God asks us aren’t, “Have you been pleasant? Have you been nice? Did you follow all the formalities? Did you give all clergymen their ‘due respect?'” Rather, He says, “I AM WHO AM… DID YOU FOLLOW MY TRUTH?” The saddest excuse out there is, “You must do this ‘for the good of the Church'”. If the Church is Christ’s Body, then, it’s God’s Dwelling… and GOD IS TRUTH. YOU CAN’T LIE FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH (save in a few exceptional instances where actual persecution is involved). If you want to serve Christ and His Church, you must tell the Truth… but what if the Truth implicates clergymen? Well… it still must be told, regardless of what the angered clergymen might do to you. Clergy do NOT have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Neither do layfolk. We both stand liable before the judgement.

I’m not perfect… not by a long shot. There’s not a single one of us who’s blameless, so, be especially wary of those who say, “Don’t listen to them, they’re sinners”. The ones saying that are sinners, too! You can see the point, can’t you? The older that I get, the less inclined I am to “please men”. I’m going to face judgement… and not too far in the future, either (not tomorrow, nor next year, but I can see that I’m almost in the last quarter of my life). This leads to another realisation… the actions of some clergy lead many of us to think that they’re unbelievers. Are they? Only God knows the heart… but when one sees actions like clergymen destroying records, using “creative” accounting, vicious bullying (and worse) of ordinary believers, abuse of children, and rampant closeted homosexuality, one can’t be silent.

I’ll be able to face my God on the Last Day and say, “I didn’t acquiesce in sin”. Maybe, I can’t stop it… maybe, I’ll be ground down for trying to halt it… but I won’t just sit there and say, “I’ve got to excuse manifest sin for the good of my soul”. THAT’S what’s being taught out there. “Be silent for the good of your soul… pay, pray, and obey; God will bless you for it”. That’s not the way of it… even if I’m alone, I’ll take my stand. I’m mature enough to know that nothing’s free… least of all, being true to God. That’s why I won’t be quiet… that’s why I’ll speak up… and accept the cost, if need be.

What about you? It’d be good to have companions on the road… but you must join of your own volition and decision. Choose well…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 25 September 2011

Albany NY 

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