Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Russians' strength is that they can endure things that would break other nations"

George Friedman makes the wise point that Mother Russia -- having survived so many wrenching changes and privations -- resides in a vastly foreign sphere, with strengths and weaknesses alien to our own.


This excerpt from Archbishop Sheen (from a post several years ago at Mundabor website) sublimely illuminates the point:
“The modern world, which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorced Christ from His Cross; the Bridegroom and Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder. As a result, to the left is the Cross; to the right is the Christ”. […] Communism comes along and picks up the meaningless Cross; Western post-Christian civilization chooses the unscarred Christ.”
“Communism has chosen the Cross in the sense that it has brought back to an egotistic world a sense of discipline, self-abnegation, surrender, hard work, study, and dedication to supraindividual goals. But the Cross without Christ is sacrifice without love. Hence, Communism has produced a society that is authoritarian, cruel, oppressive of human freedom, filled with concentrantion camps, firing squads, and brain-washings.”
“The Western post-Christian civilization has picked up the Christ without His Cross. But a Christ without a sacrifice that reconciles the world to God is a cheap, feminized, colorless, itinerant preacher who deserves to be popular for His great Sermon on the Mount, but also merits unpopularity for what He said about His Divinity on the one hand, and divorce, judgment, and hell on the other. This sentimental Christ is patched together with a thousand commonplaces. […] Without His Cross, He becomes nothing more than a sultry precursor of democracy or a humanitarian who taught brotherhood without tears."
“The problem now is: Will the Cross, which Communism holds in its hands, find Christ before the sentimental Christ of the Western world finds the Cross? It is our belief that Russia will find the Christ before the western world unites Christ with His Redemptive Cross."


                      - Lyubov Glukhova

"Ye who have gone into deep, dark forests,
Taking no sword, but only a cross,
Ye who have built such mighty churches,
Solely by virtue of ardent faith,
Ye the creators of Holy Russia,
Champions strong of its holy truth,
Its intercessors in God’s high kingdom,
Fathers on earth of its Orthodox Church,
Ye who have burned with the fire of purity
All through the narrow and somber ages,
Rise as a wondrously shining banner
Over the sadness of native woods!
Having lost the shrines of our homeland,
We wander in sweat and dust of despair…
Pray for us sinners, o dear holy hierarchs,
O holy saints of the Russian land!"


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