The blessing of the Lord!
With deep pain and heartfelt sorrow, we have followed the distressing crisis as it has developed and unfolded in the Ukraine over the last [six] days, and we stand profoundly troubled and concerned as we witness the widened scale and scope of human suffering caused by this conflict.
We condole with the innocent victims of this fratricidal war.
We condole with those who have lost their loved ones.
We condole with the refugees who have been forced to flee their homes.
Furthermore, we fervently entreat the Lord for ‘the peace of the world, the good estate of the Holy Churches of God, and for the union [in Greek — enóseos] of all men.’
We know that enduring peace can only be found in and through our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. For only He is able to calm and comfort our hearts, souls, and minds —even in the midst of terrible conflict.
And He has clearly taught us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves [Mark 20:30–31]. But now, the frightened eyes of innocent children beg us for help. And although we are seemingly helpless, we remember that the strongest power and weapon of the Christian is prayer.
We, therefore, call upon all Christians and other people of goodwill everywhere to join us in prayer for the people of Ukraine and for our world.
We pray that this war will be speedily put to an end.
We pray that the controversies will be resolved peacefully.
And we pray that Christ’s peace will prevail among nations and within our own hearts.
We plead with world leaders to seek for such resolutions that promote compromise and peace.
We pray that reason may prevail and that bloodshed may immediately cease for the good of those directly involved in the conflict and for the good of all mankind.
Even as the modern-day Russian Saint, Sophronius of Essex, said: “The greatest sin is war.” The word of Christ remains our firm principle: “Blessed are the peacemakers [who make and maintain peace], for they [reflect the image and likeness of God in this world and] shall be called the sons of God” [Matthew 5:9].
So, to the powerful of the world, the Lord says:
“Come now, and let us reason together [and consider the options]” for “though your sins are like scarlet [and stained by blood], they shall be as white as [freshly fallen] snow. Even if they are stained [as red] as crimson, they shall be [white] like wool. If you are willing and obedient [to Me], you shall eat [of] the best [fruits] of the land; but if you refuse and rebel [against My word], you shall be devoured by the sword!” [Isaiah 1:18–20]. For “those who live by the sword, will perish by the sword” [Matthew 26:52].
In the love of Christ,
Archimandrite Andrew [Vujisić]