Video-message of His Beatitude Sviatoslav. August 3. 161 th day of the war

Thursday, 04 August 2022, 10:43
Glory to Jesus Christ! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Today is Wednesday 3 August 2022 and Ukraine and the Ukrainian people are already experiencing 161 days of a great bloody war.
The entire front line is the line of fire. During the last day, along the entire front line, Russian troops mercilessly sprayed the Ukrainian land with various types of weapons: cannons, air bombs, rockets, and various types of missiles. Many civilians died yesterday, in particular in Donbas. The front line, the line of fire, stretches almost 3,000 km from Kharkiv in the north to Kherson and Mykolayiv in the south. Our cities Mykolayiv and Kharkiv, which we hear about almost every day, have once again become victims of massive Russian missile attacks. Yesterday even Lviv Oblast was hit by rockets fired by the Russians from the Caspian Sea. Thank God that our military managed to destroy most of these missiles. Ukraine is bleeding. But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying. And once again today, we thank the Lord God for the fact that we are alive. We thank the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fact that they, perhaps at the expense of their own lives, gave us this morning, the opportunity to see the sunrise and the opportunity to stand before God's face today. You and I continue our journey along the paths of the wisdom of Christian prayer. In these days, we began with you to draw ourselves closer to the Holy Scriptures, God's Word, which really is and should be a very important element of communication with God, a part of Christian prayer, as it was from the early ages of Christ's Church. You and I started studying at the school of listening to God. Precisely lectio divina, this prayerful reading of the Holy Scriptures, is the modern means by which you and I can really learn to listen to God. We have already talked about five such important steps of listening, communicating with God with the help of the Holy Scriptures, how we can really feel the breath of the Holy Spirit through God's Word. Yesterday we talked about the necessity of the first step, which is preparation, we talked about how to correctly choose the text for reading, how to distribute this order of reading and listening to the Holy Scriptures for each day. Today we will take a step further. The second step in reading the Holy Scriptures, praying with them, is typically the rereading of this text, which we have chosen for this day or which the Church of Christ recommends to us for this day. This second step of reading the Holy Scriptures is similar to the first meeting between people. When we meet a person for the first time, we look at them, how they look, what colour their hair is, how they communicate, and when they addresses us, we carefully try to listen to what they tells us. In the same way, this second stage of reading the Holy Scriptures, which is called lectio, reading, is similar to this first acquaintance with the speaker who speaks to us through his word. When we read this text, when we read a passage from the Holy Scriptures, let us ask ourselves two questions. What kind of God is the God who speaks to me based on this text? Sometimes evangelists describe to us our God–Healer, the God who approaches man, the God who has mercy on us. There are different elements, different such concrete accents, which the inspired text announces to us about the God who reveals Himself to us. Let us pay attention to this. And let us ask ourselves the second question in this short text, which I may have heard and read more than once, but try not to miss a single word, a single comma, and ask ourselves: what struck me the most in that text? What has God's Word that I just read evoked in me, perhaps, some incomprehensible questions, or touched me in some way? This is the most important fruit of that first reading, the first acquaintance with the one we want to listen to, trying to pray with the Holy Scriptures. And the Lord God will surprise us with something every day, will touch us, will speak to us. Today I would like to make a special request to all our listeners. Today in Ukraine, there is not a single family, not a single household, that was not affected by the war. There might not be a single family where the husband or wife, the children, relatives, or loved ones were not mobilized and today would not be at the front. And all those relatives and friends who have their children among the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine feel that since the moment their child was mobilized, their life has completely changed. Every day, a man who has a wife at the front, or a woman who has a husband at the front, a mother who has a son or daughter in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, live in anxiety for them, stand before God, and tirelessly pray for them. And when they have the opportunity to communicate, when they have the opportunity to receive a call from their relatives, for them it is like a ray of sunshine and hope, and they thank God that their loved ones are alive. Today I want the whole world, our whole Church, to pray for relatives and friends whose children, men, and women are fighting at the front, defending Ukraine, because today the entire Ukrainian people, not only the professional military, has stood up to defend the homeland. Let mothers, women, and children feel that the whole Church is rooting for their soldiers with them. May they feel the prayerful support of the great universal community of Christ's disciples. O God, bless Ukraine! O God, bless all those who pray for their children who protect Ukraine. O God, listen to the cry of women and mothers who have lost contact with their children and do not know what their fate is. O God, bless Ukraine with victory over the enemy and grant us the long-awaited just peace. May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of mankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ!

We can imagine what the prayer of the prisoners in the Russian torture centers in the Ukrainian Kharkiv region was like – Head of the UGCC on the 206th day of the war 17 September

A vast cemetery, a mass burial, was found near the city of Izyum, in which more than 400 innocently killed and tortured people have already been...