Christ is in our midst, my dear readers!
Today, each one of us is suffering through the terrible and tragic events that are taking place in our Motherland (Ukraine). But I would like to remind everyone about one known truth. No matter how this war ends, or to what conclusions the opposing sides come, the world is approaching what has been appointed to it by God’s Providence. The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Pet. 3:10). Sooner or later the end of the world will raze and bring to naught all military successes, and social and cultural achievements; it will turn monetary savings into dust and ashes, and so on. But even before this, the soul of each human being will come to a similar conclusion when it is separated from the body, and leaving all its earthly cares and worries behind, proceeds to Divine Judgment. If we do not constantly keep the remembrance of death in ourselves, the devil will easily draw us by our emotions and external information into the world of hell, which will begin for us here, on earth. Keeping our soul in the Church and being saved are one and the same thing, if we are talking not about a solely formal membership in it, but about the living presence of the Holy Spirit in human life.
We are coming to the time when judgment has begun with God’s Church (cf. 1 Pet. 4:17). The Lord has allowed satan to sift the Church’s members through a sieve. The words of the Savior about how many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (Matt. 24:5) can be understood allegorically. Many “in Christ’s name” will call people to antichristian ideas and values. In His name they will spread military propaganda, call us to unity with heretics, bless depravity and perversion, preach the possibility of salvation without repentance and renouncing sins, of flouting the canons of the Church, and so on. We see how all of this is already happening in our days. People in ryassas are “in Christ’s name” teaching that which the very Gospel condemns. Many are scandalized by this and prefer to leave the Church altogether, rather than agree with such calls. In this way the devil, under the guise of piety, is achieving his aim of forcing people to leave the Church’s enclosure.
But I want each one of you to understand that we must not equate these preachers with the voice of the Church. The voice of the Church is first of all the Word of God, and the spirit of its conciliar mind, which is manifested in Holy Scripture. We need to have an inner sense, a habitual rootedness in the Holy Spirit to learn how to discern good from evil; to understand through an internal grace-filled intuition where the voice of the good shepherd is heard, and where the calls of religious-political or liberal agitators. If the words of a false shepherd can so easily separate someone from Christ, then how will people stand steadfast in the faith when the antichrist comes to the earth? In the world everything changes, but God’s Truth, Righteousness, and Love never disappear. Therefore seek, while there is still time, the Eternal Kingdom and its Righteousness—and leave all the rest to God’s will.