How can we combine the modern rhythm of life with our life in Church during the week before Pascha? And in general, how can we combine the religious and the secular in our lives—the spiritual and the daily routine?
Our churches are being taken away from us, but our communities are remaining true to the Church and are becoming even stronger. Our Church is being slandered, but our temples are filled with people who do not believe in falsehood but seek the truth. As the holy apostle Paul said, Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat (1 Cor. 4:12–13).
If we love God, we love everyone—our father and mother, our neighbor and fatherland, as well as other peoples. If we do not love God, we will never be able to love anyone; we will always be prone to committing a sin.
The sole path to destroying sinful consequences is to destroy the sin itself. Christ the Savior, by His Nativity, by taking upon Himself our human nature, brought Divine power to Earth, with the help of which every man can and should overcome his sins, even if they are very great and heavy.
How were simple fishermen able to spread the news of the Resurrected Christ throughout the whole world? Why do we not bury the dead on Pascha? Do we have to fast before Communion during Bright Week? His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry speaks on these and other issues in this interview.
"Fr. Kirill lived according to the Gospel, unswervingly fulfilling the commandments of Christ. He found a Gospel in a building destroyed by shelling during the war, when death was hovering all around. Thus the Lord called him. He carried the Gospel with him and read it, and every word of Christ remained in his heart until the end of his days. In this way the desire to devote his whole life to God was born."
"We believe that the Mother of God, who so many times defended our land, today stands with tears by the throne of her Son praying for us. And we must, having cast aside anger, hatred, and malice, and having armed ourselves with love and forgiveness, strengthen our podvig of prayer in order to stop the flow of maternal tears, that children might not be made orphans, women—widows, children—invalids, that our cities and towns might not be destroyed, and houses abandoned. Such is the goal of the All-Ukrainian cross procession—a walk of peace, love and prayer for Ukraine."
In this interview with the Synodal Information-Education Department of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine answered questions about why the Russian Orthodox Church is not participating in the Pan-Orthodox Council which should begin its acts on June 19. He also expressed his view on whether the crisis of Council preparations will influence the situation of religious life in Ukraine and worldwide Orthodoxy.
The beautiful Black Sea port city of Odessa, home to several Orthodox monasteries and splendid churches, is still reeling from the utterly horrifying incidents of May2, 2014. A population famous for its diversity and upbeat love of life turned against itself and committed fratricide.