Metropolitan Onuphry: Even when despair embraces us, stand up and pray to God

Thessaloniki, October 21, 2019

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Even when feelings of despair and despondency begin to attack and overcome us, we must bravely stand up and pray to God, and He will invariably help us, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, said in the latest edition of “Word of the Primate.”

The beloved primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church addresses his flock every week in his “Word of the Primate” videos, broadcast in the Ukrainian language.

His Beatitude spoke about the Gospel reading for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, in which the Savior resurrects the son of the widow of Nain (Lk. 7:1-16), noting that every Gospel parable has an allegorical meaning that is applicable to the lives of all believers.

“The widow is the human soul, and the son of the soul is faith. God gave faith to every soul. There is no such person who has no faith,” he noted. “Man must believe in God, must commit himself to God, because God is the Source of life … and there is the Source of our happiness.”

His Beatitude also emphasized that he who has a correctly-ordered relationship with God “addresses God as His servant, that is, one who fulfills all of God’s commandments, and such a person achieves happiness.”

Met. Onuphry drew attention to those unfortunate cases when a person becomes desperate and may even cease to believe in God and people and thus falls into despair. “Despair is when faith has died in a person,” he explained, advising: “We should, like the widow who saw off her dead son and wept, worry that we have lost faith, pray if possible, and realize that we brought ourselves to such a state, and therefore we must stop.”

Further, if someone falls into despair, “we must pray to God and not listen to bad thoughts, and God will certainly help,” the primate said, offering the example of an alcoholic man who, with God’s help, not only coped with his despair and thoughts of suicide, but also with his addiction.

“But it is even better to live so as not to fall into despair, and for this we must live according to the Divine commandments,” His Beatitude said. “Let us be courageous even when despair embraces us, stand up, and pray to God! And God, Who is the Creator of the world and the Master of the world, will surely return our interest in life, which is the gift of God and which every human soul and the whole world wants.”

On the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, His Beatitude preached that the Mother of God always helps us out of any dire situation.

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