Kiev, October 21, 2017
In his homily at Divine Liturgy this morning, Deputy Abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra Metropolitan Paul of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl spoke of prayer as a conversation between God and the open heart of man, giving thanks to God for protecting the Kiev Caves Lavra from the threats of nationalist radicals by the prayers of the faithful, reports the monastery’s website.
As previously reported, the metropolitan raised the issue of a possible attack against the holy site by radical forces during the days of the feast of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God, October 14-17, composing a letter, addressed to President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman, the public prosecutor and Ukrainian Security Service, the head of the national police Sergei Knyazev, and the head of the Ministry of Interior Affairs Arseny Avakov, with a request to suppress all attempts at aggression against the lavra.
“I’m constantly receiving calls from various political powers warning about a possible attack against us,” Met. Paul wrote before the feast.
“Prayer in church is a conversation with the Heavenly Father,” Vladyka preached, “and if it is attentive, if we open our heart and soul before God, it will certainly be heard. The Lord hears every petition for the salvation of our neighbor, for strengthening of faith, for service to Him.”
Directly addressing the possible attacks against the monastery, Met. Paul continued, “In the Gospel there is a story about how the Lord healed ten lepers. Having received their long-awaited healing, they all forgot about the gift which the Lord had given them, and only one returned to thank God. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, in these days, in the days when we celebrated the feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, there could have been riots and provocations around our holy monastery. But the brethren, together with you, prayed for the Lord to save the Holy Lavra, the Church, the country, and every person living in the world, because turmoil, wars, and the shedding of blood are not of God.”
“Today we are gathered in this church to thank God for His blessings which He pours out upon us,” the deputy abbot continued. “We constantly implore the Lord, but the Lord knows our petitions, and when we receive what we have asked, we must always give thanks. Even if we don’t receive our request, we must understand that it wasn’t beneficial for us and for our salvation, and we must also thank God.”
“Let us thank God that He heard our prayers during these days, and blessed our land with peace, understanding, and love, and gave us everything necessary for our earthly and eternal life!”