Video-message of His Beatitude Sviatoslav. July 2. 129 th day of the war

Saturday, 02 July 2022, 23:05
Glory to Jesus Christ! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Saturday 2 July 2022 and Ukraine is already experiencing the 129th day of this full-scale war that Russia started and continues to carry out on the territory of our homeland.

Again, last night, the cities and villages of our homeland were burning. The most intense battles are taking place in the Luhansk region and the Donetsk region, but the entire front line is covered by intense fighting. My heart aches the most for peaceful cities that, in particular, experience massive rocket and bomb attacks during the night. Last night, our Kharkiv shuddered from Russian missiles. Also, this morning we received information about a new massive Russian missile attack on the city of Mykolayiv. Our Sumy Oblast and those areas of the north of Chernihiv Oblast adjacent to the Russian-Ukrainian border were heavily shelled, in particular during the course of yesterday.

But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Although this morning, when we thank God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine that we lived to see this Kyiv dawn, we pray for those who died during the last day—and unfortunately there were many of them. But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is learning to be victorious.

Yesterday, too, we received good news that our defenders managed to liberate the towns and villages of our homeland, in particular in the Kherson region. Because of the resistance of the local population, it is becoming more and more difficult for the enemy to hold the captured territories on the shores of the Black and Azov seas. In the same way, the Russians were forced to leave the famous Snake Island in the Black Sea, from where they constantly threatened the city of Odesa.

Today we want to thank the Lord God for the fact that we can stand before the face of God this morning and pray, pray for the victory of good over evil in Ukraine. These days, you and I are contemplating the rules of spiritual struggle, about the dynamics of the invisible warfare with evil forces in particular. Yesterday we talked about how an evil spirit attacks a person, how it inspires him with his thoughts, how he presents to him in different ways various kinds of proposals, sinful temptations. Today I would like to reflect with you, following the path outlined for us by Saint John of Damascus, on the second stage of this spiritual struggle, which is called the struggle or conversation with the inspired thought. Because very often we still open our ears to the flattering words of the tempter, and then the second stage of the spiritual struggle begins, when this proposal, this thought, already begins to become our personal thought. We are already starting to give it space in our inner spiritual world with our thoughts, we are starting to think about this proposal, about it, in favour of it and against it. This is a very dangerous stage, because once we have started talking with the evil tempter, we are definitely in danger of losing. The Holy Scriptures tell us about all the dangers of this conversation when it describes Eve's conversation with this serpent back in the Garden of Eden. Actually, this conversation was the first step towards the sin of our ancestors. In order to still oppose evil at this stage, in order not to give this attacker the opportunity to continue moving into our heart, it is necessary to stop the dialogue, to stop this conversation. We must at all costs push this foreign, uninvited guest out of our spiritual inner world, out of our mind and out of our heart.

An example is given to us by Jesus Christ Himself, Who during the temptation in the desert did not enter into conversation with the tempter, in his arguments for or against, but resolutely rejected them, rejected these suggestions, using the words of the Holy Scriptures. We need to do the same, we need to open our ear to listen to God's Word, and then the word of the tempter will be doomed to failure.

In the same way, during this war against Ukraine, we see that this war—we have mentioned this more than once—has a hybrid nature, that is, it is fought not only with weapons, bombs, missiles, artillery, and tanks on the battlefield, but it is also a war of various kinds of information, or rather disinformation, lies that the enemy spreads to the whole world. And we, as Christians, have our duty here: we must not listen to the voice of the tempter, we must not enter into a dialogue or conversation with him, we must testify to the truth.
Pope Francis says that a great war is always associated with a great lie, and the first victim of war is always the truth. Therefore, no matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, no matter what mission we are currently performing, no matter where we live, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere in the world, let us always listen to the voice of truth. Let us listen to the voice of truth, which is heard through the testimony of eyewitnesses, which is heard through the voice of the Church. Let us listen to God's truth, which speaks to us through the word of the Holy Scriptures, and with God's Word, like a two-edged sword, we will defeat the attacks of the devil's tempter.

O God, give us all the strength to persevere in this invisible spiritual battle. Give us strength with Your truth to overcome the attacks that the unjust aggressor is making against us today. O God, make us witnesses of Your truth and bearers of Your power. O Holy Spirit, strengthen us in this spiritual struggle. O God, bless Ukraine.

May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of humankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen. 

Glory to Jesus Christ!

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