Moscow, February 4, 2021
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia addressed the gathered hierarchs, clergy, and faithful on February 1, the celebration of the 12th anniversary of his enthronement as the primate of the Russian Church, speaking of the weight of the cross of ministry in Christ’s Church and the apocalyptic nature of the trials of the 21st century.
Having celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Moscow’s Christ the Savior, the Patriarch thanked the hierarchs who concelebrated with him on the occasion, “despite the straitened circumstances of our current social life.”
The day of his episcopal consecration is the greatest day in the life of any bishop, who has imposed upon himself the greatest responsibility, by Divine providence. And it is impossible to bear this burden and responsibility alone, but it is possible only by the grace of God through the prayers of the faithful, His Holiness said, reports Patriarchia.ru.
You can save your own soul in solitude, “but it is impossible to be responsible for the salvation of God’s people in solitude,” Pat. Kirill continued, imploring the prayers of the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and laity.
And turning to the spiritual foundations of the apocalyptic trials facing the contemporary Church, His Holiness preached:
Our times are not becoming any easier or calmer, and even the viral pandemic that has befallen us all is a sign of this distress and these difficulties. This is only one material sign, but there are so many spiritual, hidden signs of the trouble that touches the lives of so many people! And if we get to the root cause of this problem, it’s certainly not material factors, which don’t get any worse over the years—although this trial also fell to the lot of our people during the pandemic.
First of all, it’s not so much material temptations and difficulties as purely spiritual temptations. We understand, we see—when I say “we,” I mean the whole Church—that the trials the 21st-century Church is going through are undoubtedly apocalyptic. These are tests connected primarily with our faith, with our faithfulness to the Lord, with our ability to live according to God’s law—not to profess faith in words and not to go to church out of habit, but to follow the foundations of our faith, the Divine commandments in our own lives, through which salvation and the true well-being of human life are achieved by God’s grace—both here on earth, and, of course, in the Kingdom of Heaven.
His Holiness then concluded again entreating the prayers of the Church for his difficult primatial ministry.