“The Primate Speaks”: Virtue of mercy destroys fear and despair

His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. Photo: news.church.ua

In this production of the new cycle of “The Primate Speaks” program, dedicated to Christian virtues, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry spoke about mercy.

The commandment of mercy is the most powerful commandment that destroys despair in a person and releases him/her from fear. The Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, spoke about this in the 61st production of “The Primate Speaks” program, which was aired on Inter TV channel on June 27, 2020.

The Archpastor noted that today, due to the situation with the coronavirus, people often fall into despair, wondering why the Lord allows such a disease.

“The Lord grants us all kinds of trials for our sins, for the fact that we hate each other, for the fact that we steal from each other, rob each other, destroy each other, for the fact that we do such things that we’re even ashamed to talk about,” His Beatitude recalled.

According to him, life under the divine laws helps a person to endure a test, which invigorates man "to withstand any tribulations, temptations and difficulties with dignity, without falling into fear or despair."

“The strongest commandment of God, which destroys despair in a person and takes away fear from him/her, is the commandment of mercy,” His Beatitude Onuphry emphasized.

The Primate told a life story about how compassion for a poor and suffering person softened the spiritual cruelty of a young man – the son of wealthy industrialists who, having left his father's house, began to lead a dissolute life. When the soul of the man began to drown in sadness and pain, he tried to please his carnal passions even more, but he felt even worse instead. In the end, he decided to shoot himself but before that went to the bank to give the last orders regarding his property.

“When he left the house and got into the carriage, a poor emaciated woman came up to him, in ragged clothes, with a small child in her arms,” His Beatitude continued. “She raised her eyes, full of sorrow, and held out her hand to him. He was so moved that gave her everything he had in his pocket. He got into the carriage, and her eyes full of sorrow and pain stuck in his head ... The compassion in his soul, which he showed to this woman, broke the cold fetters that had gripped his soul and killed his life ... And so he was not going to the bank but was looking for a church ... He approached the image of the Mother of God, and it occurred to him that he had been insulting God with his life. His eyes began to fill with tears. He cried before God being aware of his sins and left the church being a different person.”

Arriving home, the young man wrote checks for this poor woman so that she could have enough for her whole life; the woman in tears thanked him, and he felt better at heart because he helped the woman to survive. Then the young man suddenly abandoned everything, left for Mount Athos, built a magnificent church there in St. Andrew’s Monastery, helped monasteries, hermits and the needy, and departed to the Lord in the rank of schema-monk. Now the pilgrims on Mount Athos pray for his soul, said the Primate of the UOC.

“Perhaps, we will not be able to feel compassion for a poor person, for an afflicted person, but we must force ourselves to be attentive to such people, help them, and if we can’t help, then we should at least regret and pray for them. Even this little effort can become a merciful deed, which will soften our soul and fill it with the Divine power that helps us to endure the earthly test with dignity,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry summed up.

Recall, on June 25, the UOJ congratulated His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry on his St. Patron’s Day.

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