Video-message of His Beatitude Sviatoslav. July 19. 146 th day of the war

Wednesday, 20 July 2022, 09:45
Glory to Jesus Christ! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Tuesday 19 July 2022 and the Ukrainian people have been resisting full-scale Russian aggression, Russian invasion of the land of Ukraine for 146 days.

Again, during the last 24 hours, the Ukrainian land was abundantly sprinkled with the blood that flowed from our defenders. The enemy is conducting active offensive operations, in particular in the Luhansk region. The Donetsk region is on fire. A massive missile strike was launched in Odesa region. Also, about 40 rockets were fired at the town of Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Many different types of city infrastructure, including businesses, are now burning. Emergency services are saving people.

But Ukraine stands. Ukraine is fighting. And Ukraine is praying.
And you and I continue to travel along the roads of Christian wisdom, discovering the treasures of the church and learning how to defeat the enemy. Yesterday we began our reflection on what is Christian prayer, what is its meaning, and how to learn to pray correctly.

And today I would like to invite you to think about what are the two main types of Christian prayer. First of all, we Christians pray together. This is common prayer or liturgical prayer. For Christ says: "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them." And the second type of Christian prayer is personal prayer. It is when we in a personal way breathe the grace of the Holy Spirit and communicate with our Father in the Son through the power and action of the Holy Spirit. 

What is liturgical prayer? And why is it so important in the life of a Christian? Why is it important for each of us to participate in the Divine Liturgy as often as possible, especially on Sundays and holy days?

The Divine Liturgy is the strongest form of prayer. Even if you and I stood day and night together with many other Christians in prayer in our homes or churches, or in the squares, on the streets and prayed hard, we would never be able to create such a prayer, which is the Divine Liturgy, by human efforts alone. Because the Liturgy means a joint universal work. And it is divine precisely because at that moment not only people are praying, it is not only a human work. The Divine Liturgy is a service, a work of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When we gather for the Divine Liturgy, we present to the world the icon and image of the Church of Christ, as His body, and the head of this community of worshipers, the head of Christ's Church is Our Lord God Jesus Christ Himself. And when the Divine Liturgy is performed, then not only people pray, not only we as God's people offer our prayers to God, but Jesus Christ Himself, the Head of His body, which is the Church, prays for us, with us, and for us. During the Divine Liturgy, our Lord God Jesus Christ presents His work of salvation. And we just thank Him for all that happened for our salvation: the cross, the tomb, the three-day Resurrection, the Ascension into heaven, the sitting at the right hand. He Himself presents this salvific action to us in order that we may become its partakers, that we join in this saving action of our Saviour, that we appropriate the fruits of this Paschal sacrifice of the cross, which Jesus Christ reveals, makes available to us during His Divine Liturgy.

Every time we partake of the Body and Blood of our Saviour during the Divine Service, we become partakers of eternal life. And that is why it is so important to understand this priceless value of Christ's sacrifice, which He presented in a bloodless way for us during the Divine Liturgy. And this is truly the strongest prayer that the Church can make together with its Saviour.

Today, we want to create this Eucharistic community of worshipers in a special way. Because in times of war it is so important for us to feel that the saving hand of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is with us. Moreover, He makes His sacrifice present for us in order to make us capable of offering the sacrifice of our lives. For our people, our homeland, our Church. To fulfill our vital personal Liturgy of the daily Christian life.

Therefore, when you have a real need, you need the strongest prayer that God gave to man, hurry to the Divine Liturgy. Offer intentions so that the priest can offer this bloodless Eucharistic sacrifice for you, your family, and friends.

Today I want you and I together to remember in prayer our brothers and sisters who are in the occupied territories. We see how after the expulsion of the Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine, terrible war crimes are revealed. Today, everyone knows about Bucha, Borodyanka, and Irpin, because these towns are the closest to Kyiv and you could immediately see these crimes. But such wounds, such mass graves, are covered with the entire Ukrainian land on which the foot of the occupier tread. Even now, when you and I are contemplating this as intensely as possible, we Christians can pray at the Divine Liturgy for our brothers and sisters in the occupied territories who are being tortured, killed, where new mass graves are being dug, terrible crimes against humanity are being committed.

We remember daily in prayer those who found themselves only by the grace of God, who are defenceless before the killing hand of the occupier. We remember our brothers and sisters in Kherson region, Zaporizhzhia, the Donetsk region, the Luhansk region, the occupied part of Kharkiv region. We remember our brothers and sisters in Crimea. May the Lord God save them with His hand where you and I cannot humanly reach them, and bring them our Christian service.

O God, bless Ukraine. O God, bless Your children, especially those who are suffering the most right now. O God, You suffer Yourself in the body of Ukraine today. Let us recognize You suffering at the hands of the occupier in the occupied territories. And let the voice, the voice of Your body, O Lord, of Your Church, be heard by the world to stop this sacrilegious, senseless war. So that the enemy will leave our land, and those who are today in this deadly trap will again receive the gift of will and freedom. O God, bless Ukraine.

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...