Archbishop Seraphim’s address to Penza citizens with Easter greetings
Penza, 12 April 2015. PenzaNews. The Archbishop of Penza and Nizhny Lomov Seraphim has addressed the Orthodox Christian clergy and congregation with the greetings of Easter.
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“The great Resurrection of Christ is the basis of our belief. The Apostle Paul truly says that if the Christ has not risen, our belief was in vain. The Christ’s sacrifice for each one of us gives us our only opportunity to be with God. By meeting again the year’s remembrance of the Saint Resurrection of Christ, we walked through the hardships of the forty day fast, and fasted we not for Easter, but for taming our passions and sins, for reaching his sacraments. This is what makes the perception of the Resurrection of Christ a true unity with the Christ risen. Christ rises within one’s heart, abolishing sinful thoughts and bringing true spiritual happiness,” he said.
The archbishop added that the happy day of the Resurrection of Christ serves to unite and strengthen the intent to bear one’s cross and follow the Savior.
“The Christians always had the tough mission of serving in the ‘spiritual brawl’ at all times, and the call grew stronger recently. The society, rife with passions and unbelief, strikes the church not only with criticism of following it, but judging even the slightest motion from the religious people. Some public officials indeed wish to see the religion stay weak and behind, with no ways to formulate means to defend the rights of the Orthodox Christians on the canonical territories of the Russian Orthodox Church. We all together must stand against this unjust strategy. We must support our brothers in belief, who are attacked and killed in many countries of the modern world,” Archbishop Seraphim stressed.
He pointed out that a Christian’s good image is a depiction of one’s inner soul beauty and harmony, a well chosen path of bearing one’s cross for the Rapture.
“A Christian may not be without church: it is its mother and educator, its spiritual nurturer. A believer must not live without uniting in his spirit with Christ through the sacrament of the Holy Communion, he will not live in harmony if he does not wash his soul and heart with tears of redemption through confession. And, of course, it is impossible to live and find salvation without the enriching and guiding word of God and the holy scriptures of one’s tongue,” the archbishop explained.
He urged the Penza citizens to participate in religious activities, social and missionary works more actively.
“We must understand that if we do not unite in our laities in our love to each other and not show the true works of Christian mercy and enlightenment of our own, we will be left unable to follow the covenant of our God Jesus Christ spoken for us in His final speech to His disciples,” he noted.
Yet another important task is the resurrection of the ideal of a true Christian family, the archbishop added.
“And indeed, a family is a small church that brings up the healthy offspring that loves God and Motherland. It is the family that lays down the foundation for the Orthodox belief. Let us all work hard in it and help our children love motherhood, treat marriage like a Christian should, make them strive towards a healthy family union blessed by God and gifted with great offspring,” he said.
Easter is the greatest celebration of international importance, added the Archbishop of Penza and Nizhny Lomov.
“The Resurrection of Christ changed all, the earth and the heavens. The heavens unveiled the God’s messenger Holy Spirit who set the church; the Christ Resurrected ascended to the heavens to find the church there for the righteous, and thus God united heavens and earth in joy of meeting Him. My dearest people, I wish you all relentless help of God on your Christian path of life, and peace and blessings to your families. May the happiness of this day affirm your Christian belief and love. May we all forgive one another and proclaim together: ‘Christ is risen! Truly he is risen!’” the press service of the Penza diocese quotes archbishop’s Easter greetings.