Essex, England, March 18, 2022
We don’t know everything about world events, and we don’t need to—we need only to pray for everyone and for God to grant peace to the whole world, says Elder Zacharias (Zacharou).
Fr. Zacharias, a longtime monk of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, was a spiritual child of the recently canonized St. Sophrony (Sakharov), and is widely respected as a God-bearing elder in his own right.
Asked by the Pemptousia outlet how to respond to the current political situation, the Elder called on all, especially monks and priests, to focus more on prayer than politics, and to refrain from judgment:
We do not know everything about the conflicts of this world, nor is it necessary to know. We just pray with a compassionate heart for the peace of the world and for all. We do not take sides, because each side will be responsible for crimes, and we do not want to share in these crimes and be condemned. If we pray for those who are more wrong than right, well, we perform the commandment to love even enemies. And if we pray for those who are more right than wrong, we do well. Therefore, we cannot go wrong if we pray that God save all and grant peace to the world.
Especially for us, priests and monks, it is very important not to be political at all, because we offer our sacrifice to God, the Holy Liturgy, for the whole world; and if we are for some and against others, our sacrifice is annulled. I think that when there is a war, the best is not to be judgmental, but to have compassion and pray that the Lord may spare all from suffering. If my Liturgy is to have any value, no one should be missing from my heart when I stand before the altar of God and say to Him, ‘Thine own of Thine own, we offer unto Thee, in all and for all.