We spoke to Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany of ROCOR--who had contributed a great deal towards the overcoming of division in the Russian Church--about the experience of the Church over the last decade, about the importance of venerating the New Martyrs, and about the events and processes that made reconciliation possible.
“The fathers of the Church say that this bliss is a pledge of great blessings for us, perhaps greater than the holy apostles were accounted worthy of, but on condition that we, like the apostles, full of this blessedness, must give our entire lives to Christ, and serve His Gospel evangelism. This is the condition for felicity. Such a great gift the Lord gives us: We are more blessed in this world than the apostles.“
Divine grace is indeed the real meat and drink for all of us. If we deprive ourselves of this grace, then anything else that we will achieve and acquire in our life will have no meaning—it will only lead us further and further away from our salvation and Christ, from communion with God.
The Montenegrin official authorities, unlike those of neighboring Serbia, in every possible way are trying to diminish the importance of St. Sava’s heritage and do not arrange any official celebrations on his feast-day. But the Church commemorates his memory for several days and organizes a wide range of meetings and cultural events.
"We still have hope," states a communiqué in the Rasko-Prizren diocese, "that the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, which prayerfully revived the monastery of the Holy Trinity, will be followed by other steps leading to a popular and spiritual rebirth, and Serbian return to this land."
We imagine New Zealand as a distant, fairy tale land at the end of the earth. Its landscapes have become known only recently through their depiction in the movies. Nevertheless, few know that Orthodox parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad have existed here for a half century now. Other local Orthodox churches also serve the spiritual needs of their flocks in New Zealand.
Missionary work in this area is always dangerous. We hope in God's grace and the protection of the Mother of God. I am often in hot spots of Eastern Congo; we experience all those events, and are consoled and thank God that we have endured these trials. We have Christians there, missionary centers and parishes, which must not be abandoned.