Chernivtsi bishop in Zadubrivka: Trials strengthen and fortify us in faith

Met. Meletius with the UOC community of the village of Zadubrivka. Photo: the FB page of the St. Michael the Archangel Church

Metropolitan Meletius addressed Zadubrivka believers on the occasion of the one-year prayer standing in the church started on February 15, 2019.

If we live the Gospel, love one another and remember our responsibilities to God and the Church, the Lord will give us the strength to survive any persecution, Metropolitan Meletius of Chernivtsi and Bukovina said in his sermon after Sunday services at the St. Michael the Archangel Church in the village of Zadubrivka of the Zastavna district, Chernivtsi region. A video with the sermon of the bishop was published by the press service of the Chernivtsi-Bukovina Eparchy of the UOC.

“We are witnesses of the struggle against the Church – sad, not good but real,” Met. Meletius said. “What should we do? Usually, they tell us: the world is changing, we, that is Church, need to change so that the Church also keeps pace with modernity, so that something changes, so that a person feels comfortable <...> But each of us knows from our own experience that we feel parental attention from God, that when we come here (to the temple – Ed.), we see that we become partakers of the truth that our predecessors and our forefathers served and followed.”

According to the hierarch, “we do everything as it has been done for centuries”, and in the local church built over a century ago, people read the same texts in the same Church Slavonic language which was loved and cherished by their predecessors, as well as pray for peace, welfare and the Lord's blessing for people.

“What should we seek out and change in church life? Nothing,” he emphasized.

However, the Bishop noted, today is a difficult time when they are trying to replace the truths, and "these circumstances make us hold on to what we have received from our ancestors, make us realize and go deeper into the foundations of our faith in search of what is needed for salvation."

“And for salvation we need the Gospel, Gospel truths, Gospel instructions. We need to love one another; we need to remember our responsibilities to God and the Church. If so, the Lord will be with us, and we will survive not one year of these persecutions but many more trials and temptations. God will give us the strength to survive. And when we go through them, then, looking back, we will be surprised and glad that the Providence of God, which holds and arranges the world, it happens that, going through these trials, we only become stronger and fortified in faith, we only gain that strength, which reveals to us the meaning of our earthly existence and opens eternity for us,” Metropolitan Meletius summed up and thanked the rector of the church, Archpriest Leonid Delikatny, for his efforts to preserve the shrine.

As reported, these days Zadubrivka believers of the UOC have celebrated the 30th anniversary of the community registration and a year of prayer standing to defend their rights.

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