Below is a translation of a short encouraging word from Met. Luke of Zaparozhye. He is a hierarch in the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. His diocese is located in Western Ukraine, the area where the most intense trials and tribulations are occurring (please see “Orthodox situation in Ukraine” in categories for more on this topic). The false “church” under Epiphany, which is under the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarch, uses many violent means to try and intimidate the true Church in Ukraine. So, Met. Luke speaks from one of the centers of the godless attack on Orthodoxy in Ukraine. His Eminence has also been a very courageous voice speaking against the betrayal of Christ Jesus and His Church by some Hierarchs today. It is well worth reminding ourselves that God is the Master of all, and although at times He seemingly allows men to run amuck (His long patience is for our repentance) sooner or later they will hit the end of the leash. All things are measured in the Providence of God.
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In the Gospel reading (Mark 13: 1-8) we hear the prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ regarding the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the final destiny of the world and humanity. The Temple was very dear to the Jews; they held it in great respect. Yet, the Savior knew what destiny awaited this majestic building. He also knew what awaits our world – those tragic events that will accompany its end.
That which we are living through today was long ago ordained through the Providence of God. Therefore do not be perplexed by anything, neither by the betrayal of the faith which some Orthodox Patriarchs are participating in nor by those antichrist laws which today are being adopted in many countries. Throughout the world military conflicts are growing, and the Church is once again being persecuted.
We must in all things learn to trust in the Providence of God.
Once an Athonite elder was asked by a novice, “Geronda, is it true that at some point the borders of Athos will be opened up and anyone will be able to come here, even women? The elder replied, ‘If the Mother of God allows it, then it will be so, but if She does not then it does not matter what they do, nothing will work for them. It is best if you fulfill the obedience given to you.’”
There have been many various events in our Church. When in 1961 the Glinskaya Pustyn (Monastery) the elders there did not mumble nor were they dismayed. They received everything that happened as from the will of God. We also need to learn to live so that in all things we trust in the Providence of God. One of the vital goals of the spiritual life is to be able to trust God in all things, whatever may happen in our lives. Then the Lord will guide us on the way of salvation, which is known to Him alone.
Met. Luke of Zaporozhye