митрополит Антоний Су́рожский (Блум)

New Year Moleben

31 декабря 1990

… many of those who were with us are now in eternity, in God's own peace, in God’s own joy; all that there was between them and those of us who are still struggling on earth, all that had gone wrong, all bitterness, resentment, fears – all that is gone. They stand now before the Lord, aware of their own sinfulness, and, therefore, beyond being able to condemn or reject anyone on earth.

But forgiveness is something which is given, but also must be received. Let us therefore think of all those whom we have known on earth and who had departed this life, and r e c e i v e their forgiveness; receive it humbly, because if is always undeserved, receive it with an open heart so that forgiveness should give birth to gratitude, and gratitude to the joy and exultation of mutual love, because the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of love.

Let us also think of ourselves; in the face of other people’s death we must remember that a time will come when we also will stand before the Living God, a God Who has so loved us before even we were, that He called us into existence, a God Who so loved us when we had r e n o u n c e d Him, betrayed Him, betrayed in the hands of Satan the world which He had created in an act of love and Who became Man, entered into this world to be crucified, turn to pieces by human hatred and human imperfection, Who descended into hell, in the very depths of horror, of separatedness, and brought us all into a new relationship with God, if we only understand divine love expressed in His Incarnation, in His life, in His death, in His resurrection and teaching.

So, as we will hear to the litanies, let us now, sincerely, reject all evil to which we have given power upon us on earth, in the course of this year; and let us enter into this year with daring; it is a dark year that opens up for multitudes of people: men, women, children are dying of hunger, are dying of violence of others, strife and war. We must enter into it; we cannot enter into it physically, but we can indeed, enter into it by receiving into our hearts every suffering by never turning away from the pain of others whether we inflict them (?) or whether we see it inflicted by others. We are so often afraid of pain and of suffering and this prevents us from being truly compassionate, from being crucified by the crucifixion of others.

Let us make a resolve – not have a good intention, but make a resolve to start this year with courage, start this year with faithfulness: faithfulness to God Who has so loved the world, faithfulness to one another, whether we like or love one another, or not. And let us remember the beautiful words which I have already quoted to you on previous occasion, the words which King George the VI spoke at the beginning of the last war, and which I will read to you now again: ‘I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: Give me light that I мая tread safely into the unknown! And he replied: G o o u t into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God: that shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way…’

Let us enter into the new year in this spirit: live, and give our lives for one another, for God, for the world.

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