Orthodox Church of Mother of God Derzhavnaya
Mr.Charles Mercieca, Ph. D., about the Mother of God Church and Russia.
From the book by Charles Mercieca "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium",
(New Holy Russia Publishers, Moscow, 1997)
Mother of God Church Takes the Lead
"The Mother of God Church is totally emerged in the spirit and life of the Virgin Mary. Its members, above all its priests, brothers, nuns and sisters, are totally absorbed with the thought of the Blessed Mother from morn till night and from night till morn, on a twenty four hour daily basis seven days a week. This Church conducts twice a week liturgical church service, lasting for some six to eight hours or more, to honor the Blessed Mother in a way that makes God thrilled with joy and excitement. This is undoubtedly so because God loves His Blessed Mother infinitely and He loves to see His children on earth loving His Blessed Mother with that same degree of love that He Himself has for her.
The Mother of God Church may be viewed not as a religion in the traditional sense, but more as a beautiful liturgical function that glorifies God to the fullest extent possible by concentrating on the glorification of His Blessed Mother. The religious services the Mother of God Church conducts are open for all people of all religions and of all faiths who share love toward the Blessed Mother or, at least, who share interest in learning about the Blessed Mothers love for her earthly children.
Hence, the Mother of God Church should not be viewed as a "competition" with other existing churches or religions. It should be viewed the way it is, namely, as a vehicle for a supernatural revolution that is meant to change the whole world. It is a vehicle that the Blessed Mother herself is using to bring into full perspective her motherly love for all of her worlds children and Gods fatherly love for all of his worlds children.
This way people all over the world are given the opportunity to view each other the same way God views them, as brothers and sisters of one holy global family whose lovable and caring parents are God Himself and His Blessed Mother. This new approach of bringing the Virgin Marys maternal love to the world will be springing, in the world at large, more visibly from Russia. In view of what has been stated, this great nation of Russia may legitimately and appropriately be viewed as a vehicle for a supernatural revolution that is bound to change the whole world in the foreseeable future.
Future Political System
This may be due to the fact that the Russians are by nature more spiritual and thus more interiorly happy in spite of the very few things they possess. The simplicity of life of the Russians which is revealed in their kind attitudes, their great hospitality, and their enormous faith in God and fellow human beings cannot be taken lightly, far less ignored.
As the Blessed Virgin Mary well pointed out in Medjugorje, the west is moving farther away from God while the east is moving closer to God. While the older politicians in Russia retire or pass away, the younger politicians come in viewing the nation and the future with hope and optimism. The present generation of young Russians tends to be spiritually oriented. Their sense of pride is not derived from a dream of world conquest and communist domination, but from a dream of family unity that is spiritually motivated to please God first and foremost. Russia of the future is a theistic nation that constantly turns to God and His Blessed Mother for continued guidance and assistance.
Rapid Transitional Period
At the moment Russia is going through a rapid transitional period where guidance is sought less and less from the government and more and more from God and His Blessed Mother. For example, in the recent war in Chechnya, Russian soldiers were hesitant to follow orders to destroy their brethren there. Many prayed God and His Blessed Mother for their assistance and guidance. Russian military commanders refused to carry out orders from the Kremlin that would ended up in the massacre of many innocent people. Some even resigned as a matter of principle. This was something unthinkable a few years ago when Russia was still under the iron fist of communism. Mothers intervened and asked their sons not to fight. Episodes of this nature reveal that Russia is going through a rapid transitional period... from the Old Communist Russia to the New Holy Russia... from a Russia that sought to obliterate every trace of God from the world to a Russia that wants to see God reigning in the heart of every human being around the world. A nations political system usually reveals the nature and the mood of the people. In Russia nowadays we see a nation that has consecrated itself to God and His Blessed Mother.
In May 1995, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Catholic Church of Russia, in union with several bishops from various Christian denominations, has consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and has conducted the coronation of our Lord Jesus and his Blessed Mother Mary to the throne of the new holy Russia. This was not a symbolic but a real consecration and coronation. Russia is perhaps one of very few countries in the world that has recognized God as its Father, Jesus Christ as its Brother and King, and the Blessed Virgin Mary as its Mother and Queen on a national scale". (Charles Mercieca "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium", p.10-14).
Emergence of the New Holy Russia
In spite of anything to the contrary, God made his choice which is irrevocable. As the old bad Russia under the patronage of Lenin is dying out slowly but surely, the new holy Russia under the guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary is emerging from the horizon. In several of her recent apparitions in Medjugorje and elsewhere, the Virgin Mary stated with regret that the west is moving away from God while the east is moving toward God. The west, guided by the United States, is becoming increasingly indifferent, apathetic, and atheistic for all practical purposes. The east, influenced by the new holy Russia, is becoming increasingly religious, fervent, and theistic at a faster speed than the human mind can imagine. The Blessed Virgin Mary has set her eyes on the new holy Russia. She loves the people of Russia dearly because they are simple, kind hearted, spiritual minded, and respectable. They converse with her, on a daily basis and in a heart to heart way, perhaps much more than people of any other nation on earth.
The new holy Russia has been entrusted by God with the mission to teach the world for the next millennium a great lesson which is the following. The greatest nation on earth that is capable of guiding other nations to find their rightful place in our earthly society is the nation that is fully immersed in spirituality, a nation that does not hesitate to recognize God as its Supreme Guide, a nation that recognizes the Blessed Virgin Mary as the mother of all people and the queen of all nations.
Just as Japan in the twentieth century gave a lesson to the world that power lies with economy and not with the military, Russia in the twenty first century will give a lesson to the world that the strength of a nation lies with its spirituality and not with its sophisticated weapons of destruction.
Viewing Things as God Sees Them
Well, let us keep in mind here that the present members of the Russian government are not going to be there for ever. As they grow older they retire or die. Their place will be taken in the future by our present children who today are attending school at every level of academic endeavor. Our children of today are the children of the new holy Russia that invites Gods spirit to literally penetrate the vein of the entire nation. They are the beloved children of the Blessed Virgin Mary with whom they communicate constantly.
If anyone in the world wants to learn about what Russia looks like today, one needs to go to Russia and live for a while with the Russian people. One needs also to work for a while in Russia to experience what it means to live a simplistic life on hardly any financial means at all. One needs to witness how the spiritual element in Russia energizes the entire nation and makes it move forward to do great things that are edifying to the rest of the world. One needs to participate in religious functions where Gods presence is felt very vividly. Perhaps it would be a wonderful experience for one to participate in the liturgy of the Mother of God Church which lasts for some eight to ten consecutive hours.
All this will enable one to realize and to understand why God has chosen Russia to become the strongest leading nation during the twenty first century. The world is beginning to deal with the Russians of the new holy Russia which may be viewed as Gods chosen new Jerusalem of the third millennium.
Global Spiritual Revival: Russia Takes the Lead
The 20th century has been characterized mostly by international outbursts of wars across every continent that left countless of millions of people dead. There is hardly one global region that did not experience outrageous conflicts. As we approach the 21st century, which will be the start of a new millennium, many events are taking place that are instilling hope in a prosperous and peaceful future.
Thirst for Spiritual Revival
The thirst for spiritual revival is now being felt everywhere. In Russia, for example, where religion has been declared officially dead for 70 years, there is a constant excitement in the learning, study, and practice of religion. By religion one may not necessarily mean "organized religion." One means simply ones personal experience of a direct encounter with God, the creator of the universe with everything that exists in it. Most importantly is the fact that the present President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin who was once himself a practicing communist, stated the early part of 1992 that education in the schools of Russia cannot be competed without introducing the teaching of religion as well. The problem with Russian schools nowadays lies in finding persons who could teach religion. There is scarcity of such people due to the fact that for the past 70 years hardly anyone was trained for this eventuality.
Ironically, in the United States, where religion is supposedly free to profess itself in the open, the teaching of religion as an academic subject is prohibited in public schools under the guise that the constitutional amendment of separation between church and state cannot allow that kind of teaching to take place. In other words, in a capitalistic nation like the United States, religion is not considered to be a spiritual element that deals with the spiritual evolution and revival of the human being himself/herself, but as an organized entity called "church" which is believed to have a "monopoly" on this vital human spiritual reality which has already existed countless thousands of years before any organized church ever came into existence.
Fruitful Results of Marys Prayers for Russia
Our Blessed Mother has exhorted people to pray for Russia daily. People all over the world prayed and fasted for the Russian nation and the Russian people on a daily basis. God finally heard His childrens prayers and, at a time least expected, the Soviet empire collapsed and the era of communism was over. The Russian people took a deep breath. Although their spirit was no longer suffocated, it was weak due to lack of adequate nourishment for such a long period of time. But that weakness of spirit recuperated very fast. Within a matter of three to five years, churches began to open everywhere. The open practice of religion became visible and there were great celebrations to commemorate this happy event not only in Russia but around the world.
Needless to say, our Blessed Mother, whose concern for Russia was revealed since that year when the good and holy Czar Nicholas II was brutally assassinated, rejoiced for the new era that this great nation was entering. The New Holy Russia has a divine mission to carry out, in spite of the problems it still faces. It is destined to lead the world to God triumphantly. This is a great miracle of Gods mercy. Not only God had finally mercy on Russia and all the Russian people, but He took the initiative to designate this great suffering nation to manifest His glory on earth in the forthcoming twenty first century and throughout the forthcoming Third Millennium.
Russias conversion may be termed to be the greatest miracle of Gods mercy. It proves that nothing is impossible for God. It demonstrates that with prayer we may secure from God anything we ask for without hesitation at a time least expected. Russias spiritual revival has become an inspiration to the whole world. Religious leaders from various countries who visit Russia remain impressed with how religious the Russian people are. They praise the Russian people and humbly ask them to pray God that the whole world will follow the religious footsteps of the New Holy Russia.
Triumphant Miracle of Gods Mercy
The New Holy Russia is the miracle of Gods mercy. The grip of satanic forces that controlled Russia for such a long period was so strong that it really needed the direct intervention of Gods mercy.
The Russian Orthodox Church needs now to awaken to the new spiritual realities that are facing this great nation. The traditional way of viewing spirituality in terms of observation of rules and regulations in religious practice needs to become somewhat flexible. God is letting the spirit of every Russian to move toward Him in manifold different ways. We need to respect this variety of spiritual approaches that are being adopted. The only questions that need to be raised are these: "Are these new spiritual approaches leading people closer to God or farther away from God? Are these new spiritual approaches leading people closer to our Blessed Mother or farther away from her?"
If the new spiritual developments of the Russian people is conducive to a greater union with God, then we should learn how to respect such developments same way as God does. The Mother of God Church is a typical example of the new Russian spirituality of the New Holy Russia. Not that every Russian should be pressured to follow the Mother of God Church liturgical functions, but that every Russian is given the opportunity to participate in such liturgical functions if one chooses to do so. To spend countless hours per week in the presence of the Blessed Mother glorifying her and praying to her, cannot be taken lightly. Such liturgical functions are certainly pleasing not only to the Blessed Mother herself, but also to her beloved Son Jesus and our lovable, adorable, and compassionate God the Father. And that is all that counts in our sphere of spirituality.
The time is approaching when the dominant Church of the New Holy Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church, will establish healthy dialogues with various religious groups, especially with those who share its liturgy. The Russian Orthodox Church has plenty to offer. Also, such a Church has plenty to learn from the new spiritual revival of the New Holy Russia as being advocated by the Mother of God Church and other highly respected liturgical organizations.
New Holy Russia: Cloud of Divine Light
God Working in Mysterious Ways
The New Holy Russia may be compared to the New Paul of Tarsus who is a convert and whose life became characterized with the spirit of Jesus and with all that Jesus had to offer. The New Holy Russia is no more the persecutor of religion which had been virtually exterminated with terror during the seventy years reign of communism. It is a new nation that has been converted through a special divine light similar to that received by Paul of Tarsus. The New Holy Russia has been selected by God to follow the footsteps of St. Paul by taking the lead of the spiritual world throughout the entire Third Millennium. Some people have already began to recognize this fact, although many, as of this stage of history, will need still more time to comprehend Gods great designs on the New Holy Russia.
At this stage of history, the New Holy Russia is like a cloud of divine light that is destined to lead all people to Gods kingdom. The light is seen but we cannot, as yet, see the enormous gifts God has prepared for the world through the New Holy Russia because of the cloud that covers these rich gifts. The cloud will clear itself by the process of time. It can only be cleared through prayer, meditation, fasting, charitable works, faith and hope in God, frequent dialogues with the Blessed Mother, and detachment from anything worldly and useless. What is important is the fact that Gods light is already there. We can see it. We can reach for it with persistence.
Russia is a country of great diversity. It has people from virtually every race on earth speaking different languages and adhering to different cultures. There are some ten to twelve time zones. And because of its vastness, the climate varies greatly from one segment of the country to another. It is a country of great natural resources. In fact, it is being considered as the richest country in the world in terms of the potential of its natural resources" (Charles Mercieca "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium", p.16-24).
Religious development and the role of the blessed Virgin Mary
New Spiritual Revival and the Mission of the Mother of God Church
Throughout the history of divine revelation, covering the last six thousand years, we learned that God, in His effort to save humanity, works in mysterious ways. Many brief statements of wisdom were formulated over the centuries to justify the aforesaid statement. Statements such as "Man proposes and God disposes," or "The judgment of God is very different from the judgment of human beings," have served as major topics of many writings not only in academic circles but in religious circles as well.
Gods Way of Communication
Theological and ascetical studies reveal that, over the centuries, Gods way in communicating with people consisted mostly of selecting the least known and the most insignificant men and women to bring to the world Gods important messages. His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, has also followed the same footsteps in her communication to our world community. And because our criteria of judging human greatness is very different from Gods criteria, we encounter unnecessarily many difficulties that end making our life more miserable, particularly in human relationships. The simplicity of the mind, the openness of the heart, and the sanctity of the soul are indispensable qualities without which we cannot easily recognize Gods voice when we hear it.
God loves all people whom he views as His dearest and most beloved children. The Blessed Virgin Mary told us in Medjugorje that God loves all those who know Him and accept Him as their Father, as well as all those who do not know Him and reject Him as their Father. She also claimed that she is the Mother of all people, of those who know her and of those who do not know her. For us to understand this reality, we need to have only one ounce of common sense. Let us think of a family that has five children ranging from 15 years of age down to 6 months old. The parents love the 6 month old child, who does not know them, who does not recognize them, and who is not aware they are his parents in no lesser way than they love their 15 year old child who knows them, who recognizes them, and who is aware they are his parents.
In the world community of politics and religious affairs in particular, we notice many divisions. Most of these divisions come from cultural and philosophical differences. However, most of these divisions come from our closeness of the mind, from our refusal to open our heart to be receptive to what others have to say in a wholehearted effort to uplift the spiritual sphere of our human existence and to bring it closer to God. This negative altitude of ours toward others, because they do not follow the same identical bureaucratic procedures in their spiritual work, creates unnecessary conflicts that are bound to defeat our own same spiritual purposes and objectives. The devils policy of "divide and conquer" is allowed to celebrate one victory after another to the detriment of our earthy spiritual life.
Advent of Glasnost and Perestroika
After seventy years of communism, which obliterated the open recognition of Gods existence in the Russian society, the inspired policy of glasnost and perestroika brought back to the Russian people the opportunity to express their recognition of Gods existence in the open. The Russian people, who are deeply spiritual by nature, knew that this day would eventually come. Thus, they kept their hopes alive and they prayed in their hearts and within the confines of their homes to see this day. When this day of open religious profession in God arrived, the Russians began to express their joy in different ways. This diversity of religious expression disturbed those good Russians who traditionally viewed their religious expression to be revealed everywhere by all people the same way. On the other hand, this diversity of religious expression, brought new ways of spiritual expression in ones communication with God in the open with pride and dignity. This way, the Russians, who are very diverse people in culture, origin, and philosophy, were provided with alternative spiritual ways to reach God, the Creator of the Universe, and His Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary.
Realizing how God has loved the world so much that two thousand years ago He sent His beloved Son to redeem all people, and realizing how during these last two millennia, God has sent constantly His Blessed Mother to communicate His messages to our earthly family, a new consciousness about the Mother of God was developed. As a result, many religious Marian movements came into existence. Among such movements we find the Legion of Mary, which initiated in Ireland some seventy years ago and is now found across every continent. We also find the Mother of God Church spreading all over Russia and the former Soviet republics. The name of the Mother of God Church speaks of itself. It is a religious Christian community, which is not different from previous religious communities that existed over the past centuries, like the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church, to mention but a few.
Uniqueness of the Mother of God Church
The Mother of God Church has something spiritually unique to offer. It enables the faithful to emerge in the liturgical spirit of the Blessed Mother, who is the apples eye of God Himself, for some eight to ten continuous hours on weekends covering Saturday and Sundays.
This liturgical function preserves the rich traditional celebrations of orthodox churches, while it sheds a new mantle to make it look more beautifully renovated. This new mantle consists of songs that are constantly being composed in honor of the Blessed Mother of God. This new mantle also consists of liturgical movements on the altar and in the church that are demonstrated by both the priests and the laity. In other words, the Mother of God Church presents a liturgy that encompasses the old and new of Christianity in a way that Christianity is made appealing to many people from various walks of life, cultural and religious background, and profession.
The mission of the Mother of God Church is clear. Aware of the many apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the centuries, the Mother of God Church took the initiative to implement the messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary properly and effectively to the best of its ability. Besides, the Mother of God Church is fully aware that the twenty first century society is going to be a society that will be primarily dedicated to the Blessed Mother of God and to her recognized Queenship on Earth. After all, she is the de facto Queen of Heaven and Earth, a title that was attributed to her over the centuries. The Mother of God Church has been assigned by God with the responsibility to enable people everywhere to view Mary as their lovable Mother and to accept her as such with pride, dignity, and respect. Besides, dialogues need to be established between mother and children, that is, between the Blessed Mother and her earthly children who are not only Christians but Buddhists, Moslems, Hindus and people of other faiths as well.
The Mother of God Church should not be viewed as a "new" religion that started a few years ago in Moscow. The messages it promotes are all found in the Holy Scriptures of both the New and Old Testaments. Besides, the Mother of God Church has assumed the responsibility with courage and perseverance to promote all the messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed in all of her apparitions on Earth, which include, above all, those apparitions of Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje. The Blessed Mothers request from her earthly children to pray and fast has become a primary concern, obligation and duty of the Mother of God Church whose ultimate goal is to make Gods Mother radiant with joy and happiness on a twenty four hour basis, day after day till the end of times.
Misunderstandings and Negative Feelings
Regardless of misunderstandings and negative feelings that respectable political and religious leaders may express about the Mother of God Church, this Holy Church is here to stay till the end of times because it is consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and because it is protected by the Blessed Virgin Mary. The everlasting life of any person or organization that works for and with the Blessed Virgin Mary is guaranteed. All the military might on earth, and all the political might on earth as a matter of fact, can never harm, far less destroy, a person or an organization that is exclusively dedicated to the Blessed Mother and that continuously lives closely to her. The very thought of the Blessed Mother makes Satan and his millions of followers tremble and paralyzed.
In Gods sight and on merely the spiritual level, the Mother of God Church is already an integral part of such dominant Christian Churches as the Roman Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church and several other leading and respectful Christian Churches. As far as the traditional teachings of Christianity go, the Mother of God Church embraces them all as they are ut sic. Its presence in the world is desperately needed because, at this stage of history, God has taken the initiative to focus, more than anything else, on His Blessed Mother. This is the ultimate mission of the Mother of God Church........ focusing on the Blessed Mother more than anything else.
In view of what has been stated, we can fully understand why the Mother of God Church has established as its primary mission on earth: Gods extended kingdom on earth: Gods extended kingdom on earth in accordance with the teaching of Jesus as presented over the centuries by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. It is highly convincing and encouraging to see the members of the Mother of God Church venerating the Blessed Mother with such phenomenal love and devotion not only on weekends but on a daily basis.
The traditional Christian motto: Ad Jesum per Mariam To Jesus through Mary has become the living motto of the Mother of God Church in an eminent way to the delight of God Himself, His Blessed Mother Mary, the angels, saints and the entire heavenly court". (Charles Mercieca "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium", p.40-48)
Holy Sobor of Russia: An Introduction to the Proceedings
One of the most conspicuous events that took place in recent times was the celebration of the holy Sobor in Moscow, May 12-14, 1995, under the auspices of the Mother of God Church. The participants were looking forward for such an event for several weeks and quite a few months. They came from various cities of Russia and former Soviet republics to unite in one spirit and merge it with that of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishops from both the eastern and western rites of Christianity led the celebration. Needless to say, the vast majority of those present were from the Mother of God Church which has successfully revived the Orthodox Catholic Church of holy Czar Nicholas II and of his equally holy wife Empress Alexandra soon after the collapse of communism. This holy Orthodox Catholic Church was revived in such a way that it now transcends all the characteristics of an organized religion, it uplifts the human spirit to a higher level of existence, and it enables people to experience heaven in their souls.
This transcendency was felt by every participant that included Roman Catholic bishops from Mexico, Canada, and the United States, not to mention as well good practicing Christians who came from as far as France, Singapore, and Japan. Every participant felt united in the spirit of the Blessed Mother as children of the same family. The celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy by several priests was divinely inspired for it combined the best of the liturgies stemming from both orthodoxy and the western Latin rite of which His Holiness Pope John Paul II, commonly known as the Roman Pontiff, is the head. What is proved to be wonderful in this holy Sobor is the dire felt need for all Christians to unite as members of one family who share the same Father, God the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, who share the same Mother, the most holy Blessed Virgin Mary, and who share the same Brother, Jesus Christ the redeemer and savior of all people without exception.
One of the most encouraging things about this holy Sobor of Russia is that it keeps on coming every four to six months with an increasing number of participants each time. As witnessed by Archbishop John Bereslavsky himself, who is the head of the Mother of God Church and patriarch of the Orthodox Catholic Church in Russia, this May 1995 Sobor has been the most successful so far. Its success is especially measured by visible spiritual blessings accorded from heaven to actual participants.
Last but not least, the joy and happiness that the participants experienced during this holy three-day Sobor, is being carried out to other people, not only across Russia but also across every other continent.
Russian Sobor Event: Meaning and Purpose
Throughout the ages, great happiness was experienced when children gather together as a family and stand around their Mother. Although people are haunted with suspicion from time to time, there seems to be no episodes in history when people had doubts about their Mothers love for them. Motherhood is indeed synonymous with love.
Gods Gift to Russia
The Sobor is usually held in a rented large building that has the capacity of seating quite a few thousands of people who come from all over Russia, the former Soviet Republics, and overseas as well. It takes place about two to three times a year under the auspices of the Mother of God Church. The participants are given the opportunity to uplift their spirit to God and to experience, as a result, the taste of heaven in the strict sense of the word. It is a taste of inner joy and happiness that one feels but cannot easily explain. In every participant one may see Gods energy radiating with phenomenal youthfulness. Regardless of ones age and background, one feels moved by a new life that is characterized by vitality, purity of heart, and full power of concentration in communicating directly with God through the Blessed Virgin Mary as an effective medium.
The Sobor is a holy and unique event that should be viewed as Gods gift to the people of Russia. It is a divine gift because people from all walks of life and profession are given the opportunity to gather together as a family around their heavenly Mother on a periodical basis. The presence of the Blessed Mother is there not only in spirit but in body as well even though she prefers, for the time being, to render herself invisible. She wants us to practice her Sons teaching quite effectively: Blessed are those who believe when they do not see.
Of course, Jesus is the center of attention. He is after all the savior of the human race. Without him there would have been no redemption. He is the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God the Father, the creator of heaven and earth and the entire universe as a matter of fact. He is also the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary without whom his sacred humanity would not have been possible. Hence, the whole world is very much indebted to this Blessed Mother for accepting to give God the opportunity to have his most beloved Son become a human being like each one of us and to redeem us as a result.
Although the Blessed Mother is with everyone participating in the Sobor event unseen, yet she is very much felt. Her spirit vibrates through the veins of everyone present while she showers joy, enthusiasm, love, and dedication on all of those who gathered together in her name. In other words, the Blessed Mother is so happy with the Sobor event that she wants to thank everyone participating by lifting each of these children of hers to the divine level of her Son so as to feel Him more closely and more intimately. And once the human soul experiences this spiritual upliftment to heaven, one would want to remain there without any time limit. This explains why the hours of the Sobor event pass so quickly in singing and praying. The Sobor event creates for everyone concerned an opportunity to be with God and His divine family that includes the angels and the saints.
One of the most significant events that takes place in Russia on a periodical basis is the Sobor. It is a holy event which is purely spiritual in nature. It consists of a three day spiritual service which runs continuously for some eight to ten hours with only one hour break for lunch.
Sobor Event Infuriates the Devil
Needless to say, such a gathering in the name of the Blessed Mother infuriates the devil who will try to do anything to displease our beloved Mother Mary, the Queen of Russia. But our holy Mother is not bothered at all with the devils opposition because she views any infernal opposition to her honor as an opportunity to enable her children become stronger in their cherished faith toward her and toward her beloved Son Jesus.
People are considered to be good sailors not when they sail the ocean while it is calm, but when they sail the ocean when it is rough and make it safe to their destination. Infernal opposition that is usually experienced during the Sobor event is bound to bring the children of the Blessed Mother, who are gathered together to honor her and to praise her, greater unity revealed in a greater determination to be close to her in every way possible. Besides, any infernal opposition experienced during this Sobor event is bound to let Marys children have the full taste of victory over the devil toward the end of this holy periodical gathering.
The Mother of God Church is an instrument in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary to bring many people closer to God through her mediation and protection. This Marian Church is primarily concerned with the salvation of all of Marys children and is ready to work toward this end with all churches and all religions that exist throughout Russia and around the world. What counts for the Mother of God Church is "union with God" through Gods Mother as a mediator and through Gods Son as an intercessor. Any person who genuinely loves the Blessed Virgin Mary is welcome to participate in the liturgical functions of the Mother of God Church without losing ones earthly affiliation with the Church and religion one professes to be in.
Last but not least, let us keep in mind that the Sobor event is Marys event. Its objective is to give the human soul a unique opportunity to become more purified and to become closer to God both in this life and in the next. It is an opportunity for all prospective participants to experience the heavenly joy of the angels and saints. And for those who never had the luck to see the Blessed Mother, it is a unique opportunity where they could experience Marys presence along with the infinite joy that such presence brings to the hearts of all those present. The Sobor event may be viewed as one of the greatest spiritual gifts that God has prepared for the Russian people and for all those who choose to join them.
Education of Priests and the Image of the New Priesthood
At this stage of history, the education of priests needs restructure and revitalization with a full understanding of the fast changing times. Good intentions are not enough. The forces that are having great impact on the daily life of the people need to be realized and properly understood. The image of the traditional priesthood needs to be reviewed and the image of the new priesthood needs to be introduced to a forthcoming twenty first century society and the new millennium.
Early Days of Christianity
The best way to understand the image of the new priesthood is to go back to the early days of Christianity. The priests were simply a part of the community. They were ordinary men with ordinary jobs in life for purpose of making a livelihood. In addition to being plain ordinary people, they performed spiritual functions particularly on week ends. They preached the gospel, they administered to the sick, they celebrated the liturgy of the holy Eucharist, and they performed needed sacramental rites. In other words, the priests of the early days of Christianity were viewed more as lay persons who were deeply spiritual and whose ultimate goal was to share their spirituality with the rest of the people.
However, as time rolled on, the image of the priesthood evolved into that of a new category of people that were distinct from the rest of the community for all practical proposes. This new category of a distinct elite became even more conspicuous when around the fifth century or so the Roman Catholic Church imposed celibacy on those seeking the priesthood. By then the priesthood became to be viewed as a profession along the lines of other professions. The priesthood became officially not only a profession characterized by spiritual functions but also a means of livelihood in itself. And as the centuries passed by, while the priests gained more respect in the community, they were felt to be less an integral part of such a community. People ceased to view the priests just as ordinary people that were an integral part of themselves.
Stereotyping and Categorizations
This episode created stereotyping and categorizations. Between the priests and the people a social gap evolved and developed. New ideas about the priests put them even further from the people at least psychologically. The priests, during the last several centuries, have been viewed as "the privileged elite of God," as though the laity was the unprivileged people of the Lord who needed constantly Gods mercy. Also, the laity took it for granted that the priests, in virtue of the office they held, were by necessity spiritually better and holier than the rest of the people. In other words, the priests were viewed as indispensable intermediaries between God and humans.
Needless to say, there is nothing wrong in what has been stated. But, at this stage of history, where the social distinctions between men and women is disappearing in various global areas, where everything is being measured on individual and collective efforts or merits, and where we find the isolated communities of the world expanding into becoming one global community, the traditional image of the priesthood is becoming increasingly outdated. The global communication explosion, that the world witnesses today through such means as telephone, fax, electronic mail, and the internet communication system, cannot be taken lightly. By the time the child grows to be 18 years of age, the child has the potential to accumulate more knowledge than a few years ago it took a grown up by the time such a person reached the middle thirties.
Need for a New Image of the Priesthood
In a fast growing global community, which is characterized by diversity in numerous branches of knowledge religion, philosophy, culture, languages, political science, new age ascetical movements, scientific discoveries, and nuclear medicine to mention but a few, a new image of the priesthood needs to be developed and projected properly and effectively.
The priests of the twenty first century and the new millennium need to be knowledgeable not only in matters pertaining to spirituality, but also in other branches of knowledge. This simply means that the priests, as a group of individuals whose primary job is to provide the world with spiritual leadership, need to pursue the study and understanding of some other vital areas of knowledge. Some may pursue the study of foreign languages and the appreciation of cultures, others may choose to be knowledgeable of the major religions of the world along with the philosophies they project, others may prefer to study and be aware of the various political systems the way they are affecting our life and our environment, while others may wish to pursue musical and artistic talents to give the human life a better and more colorful purpose.
Most importantly, the priests nowadays must do their best to make the Blessed Virgin Mary the center of their life. After all, this Blessed Mother of all the worlds people has been the focus of Gods attention from all eternity. She was chosen to be the Mother of God Himself through Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of the holy scriptures. And Jesus voluntarily submitted Himself to her and grew up under her protection, following her instructions and learning from her wisdom. Not only so, but during the last two millennia, God has sent this Queen of Heaven numerous times to visit our planet with messages that revealed Gods fatherly care and infinite love for all people without exception. She was chosen by God for such a noble mission of love and concern because, in Gods view, the Blessed Virgin Mary could radiate His infinite love and care for us very effectively.
Role of the Mother of God Church
In view of what has been stated, the Mother of God Church, has already taken a big step in the right direction. This noble church, like God did eternally, has focused its attention on the Blessed Mother with tender love and profound devotion. Its priests have been assigned with the mission of gathering all the messages the Virgin Mary brought to the world in her numerous apparitions of these last two thousand years. They are also assigned with the mission of establishing a library of Mariology which will house everything that was ever written on the Blessed Mother of God.
Last but not least, the new image of the priesthood should reflect on people not only a fatherly image but a brotherly image as well. As a matter of fact, Jesus, the high priest, is viewed as our brother. The priests need the ability to utilize the various branches of knowledge to bring people closer together in a spirit of brotherly love under the protection of the Blessed Mother. In this way, the restructure and revitalization of the new image of the priesthood, with a full understanding of the fast changing times, will become a reality. And this will be one of Gods major gifts to the society of the forthcoming twenty first century and the new millennium". (Charles Mercieca "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium", p.79-86)
Marian Communities in Perspective
What is a Marian community? Marian is derived from Maria which is the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Marian community is the community of Mary, of Our Lady, the Blessed Mother of God. Such a community is totally immersed in the spirit of this holy and beloved daughter of God the Father. It is a fortunate community because everything that the Blessed Mother taught to Jesus will teach it to these special children of her community regardless of their age and background.
Marian Community in Operation
The Mother of God Church in Moscow is perhaps the best example of the ideal Marian community. The members of this holy church are so deeply immersed in the spirit of the Blessed Mother that everything they do is centered on her. Their first and last thoughts of the day begin and end with her, singing praises in her honor. The day is passed in continuous prayer and meditation that may take place while everyone is doing ones chores. When members of this church meet each other, they give to each other Marys salute: "Hail, Mother of God!" The spirit of the Blessed Mother is so deeply felt in her community that one notices a radiation of joy on the face of everyone living in this Marian environment .
Over the centuries, Mary has often been hailed as Queen of Peace. She is, indeed, the Queen of Peace because she never fails to shower peace in the hearts of all those who keep close to her constantly. If God found it wise to entrust his only one and beloved Son to Marys care, we should equally find it wise to entrust all of us to her care. After all, she has adopted us officially as her dear and most beloved children and God has recognized this fortunate adoption. She understands us more than anyone else on earth possibly can. And she surely knows more how to take care of us than our own earthly mother, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends. The Marian community frees itself from the distractions of Satan which consist of worldly attractions that are void from anything spiritual. It also gives the opportunity to community members to experience the taste of heaven on earth.
Theologians tell us that in heaven we spend our eternity glorifying God in ecstasy, singing, praying, and meditating with overwhelming joy in our hearts. In this respect, the Marian community may be considered as the earthly extension of heaven.
Equal Need of Spiritual and Physical Exercises
We may keep in mind here the words of St. Catherine of Sienna who said: Anima sana in corpore sano a healthy mind is found in a healthy body. In order for us to have a healthy mind we need to exercise to keep our body in good shape, to avoid incurring any illness so as to feel in the best of good health on a continuous basis if possible. Hence, in the Marian community, we expect the members to find time for physical exercise which could offer great diversity, depending on the individual person and on the individuals needs. Some may jog, run, or walk. Others may cycle, play tennis or soccer, or make gymnastics performing even acrobats. Others may give themselves to gardening and landscaping, and so on and so forth.
The Marian community is a highly normal community because it recognizes that the human being is composed of soul and body and both need care and nourishment. This community is characterized by a sense of equilibrium which enables every member to be conspicuously virtuous. Some 2,400 years ago, Aristotle said that media via stat virtus virtue stands in the middle. Extremes are always bad regardless of whether they go to the far right or to the far left. This balance between the spiritual and physical exercise enables the members of the community to do constantly what needs to be done rather than merely what is felt like doing. In this way, the spirit is always in full control of the body which is the physical element of our earthly life. As a result, those who live in the Marian community become, in the sight of God, like angels in human form. For the angels this is certainly a beautiful and encouraging sight. The angels feel so much at home with the members of the Marian community that they feel obligated to give a special protection to its members.
In conclusion, the Marian community differs from other communities in that it is fully immersed in the spirit of the Blessed Mother. Because of this, such a community tends to appreciate the spiritual things of life by finding joy in them. It also enjoys the material things of life as long as they lead to the greater strength of the spirit and to the continuous elevation of ones mind to God. Most importantly, the Marian community is consecrated to God through the Blessed Mother. The members of such a community become the special children of God, the delight of Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, and the consolation and pride of the Blessed Mother.
Initiation of New Communities Everywhere
In other words, we need to structure new communities for new families. God wants us to do just that and He will give us the strength and courage needed to this end. That is why in the serenity prayer we ask God to give us the "courage" to change the things we can. In this regard, the Mother of God Church in Moscow has taken a gigantic step in the right direction. These new communities need to live in an environment that is free from air and water pollution, that is free from all the garbage of the news media revealed in pornography, organized crime, open disrespect for ones neighbor, power abuse, and in every conceivable act of dishonesty.
Jesus warned us that if we want trees to grow up straight we have to straighten thorn while they are in their first stages of life, otherwise it would be too late. We need to structure new communities for new families beginning with the children of today who are the adults of tomorrow. The children of today constitute the governments and power of tomorrow. If they grow up embracing what is good and shunning what is evil, then we have established hope for a bright and promising future. Our new communities need to replace, slowly but surely, the present communities in habits formed, in the structure of priorities in life, in the development of ones tastes, in the kind of importance we attach to anything that surrounds us.
Our new communities need to be spiritually oriented. They need to entrust themselves under the full protection of our Blessed Mother. Jesus said in Syria to a young girl, who had several apparitions of Our Lady of Soufanieh, to tell everyone to pray to His Mother saying that He loved her very much. Jesus assured this young girl that everything prayed to His Mother will be granted. What was most impressive in this Syrian apparitions of Jesus and the Blessed Mother lies in the emphasis that Jesus made concerning His love for His Mother.
Since communities are composed of families, we need to concentrate on the formation of new families. These new families must be characterized by a united spirit revealed in devotion to the various members of the individual family and the community. These new families are the hope of our earths future. They need to be spiritually oriented and live completely under the protection of the Blessed Mother and her beloved Son Jesus". (Charles Mercieca "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium", p.128-132)
Russian Orthodox Church in Perspective
Before we understand ways of dialogue that may take place between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Mother of God Church, we need to have a clear concept of the historical development of these two churches. The Russian Orthodox Church represents the dominant and traditional religion of Russia. It is rich in liturgy and it has been blessed with some of the most beautiful cathedrals and churches in the world. The Czars of this great country belonged to this highly revered church which makes the Blessed Virgin Mary the center of religious devotion. Unfortunately, this noble church had to suffer great persecution under the tyranny of seventy years of communism which almost killed its spirit.
When the communists assassinated Czar Nicholas II and his beautiful wife Empress Alexandra, along with their wonderful children, the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church were faced with a dilemma. Either they resist communism and have all the churches confiscated by the government and closed down, or they simply cooperate with the communist regime to the best they can in the hope of keeping some of the churches open. The Russian Orthodox Church leaders chose the latter one in good faith. However, KGB agents of the Russian communist government, who representing satanic forces, infiltrated the hierarchy of this holy and noble church. Such agents were sent to study in the seminary so that afterwards they may he ordained and be given control of the entire church. The communist target was the patriarchate which was abused and paralyzed for all practical purposes. Although some of the churches were left open, only the elderly attended such holy temples. The communist regime succeeded to reduce these beautiful cathedrals and churches into empty elaborated tombs.
A segment of the traditional Russian Orthodox Church went underground and remained there till the end of the communist era. When this noble and holy church resurrected, it came out at the Catholic Orthodox Church of Russia, to distinguish it from the operative Russian Orthodox Church. While retaining the beautiful traditional liturgy, this resurrected Catholic Orthodox Church adapted itself to the present spiritual needs of the people. Thus, a lot of vitality was introduced in the liturgical function during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Emergence of the Mother of God Church
In view of what has been stated, the Mother of God Church emerged as the new image of the Russian orthodoxy following the downfall of the communist era. This providential church has been also referred to as the Catholic Orthodox Church of Russia. Although not officially affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church, it is an integral part of it in spirit. In its religious liturgical functions, the Mother of God Church adheres to traditional Russian Orthodox Church religious functions. At the same time, it uses improved approaches to a liturgical celebration that meets the needs of our fast changing times.
In view of this, a healthy dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Mother of God Church is of paramount importance. The steps for a permanent dialogue may be outlined as follows: I) Immediate recognition of the difficulties the Christian faith went through under the communist regime of Russia, 2) Expressed open sympathy for the Russian Orthodox Church for choosing the apparent lesser of two evils, namely, its decision to keep churches open for worship at the cost of cooperating with the KGB agents, 3) Expressed admiration for the Catholic Orthodox Church of Russia for its courage to denounce communism in the open and go underground as a consequence, 4) Establishment of a common ground of mutual understanding for purpose of initiating a lasting dialogue that will enable to bring the clergy of these two churches together in spirit, 5) Acceptance of the diversity of the liturgical function between the two churches with a positive attitude, and 6) Mutual acceptance of the celebration of the Holy Eucharistic liturgical service.
The Russian Orthodox Church and the Mother of God Church have many things in common. They both inherited Christianity from the same source, some 1,000 years ago celebration of the Holy Eucharist reveals the same basic type of liturgy. The faithful of the two religious groups are all Russian people who share a common historical background. All of this is bound to make a healthy dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Mother of God Church fully possible because such a dialogue was the expressed wish of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje during the decade of the eighties". (Charles Mercieca "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium", p.211-213)
Education of Marian Priests for the Third Millennium
What are Marian priests? They are priests who reveal to have a special love for the Blessed Virgin Mary... priests who have consecrated and dedicated their life to the woman that God had selected to give birth to His Son Jesus... priests who constantly look for Marys guidance in no lesser way than Jesus did during his 33 years of life on earth.
Meaning of Being Marian Priests
Since the forthcoming 21st century marks the beginning of the third millennium, which has been consecrated to the Blessed Mother, it is highly appropriate for priests to become Marian priests, that is, priests of the Blessed Virgin in the strict sense of the word. What a wonderful thing for a priest to start his day and to end his day like Jesus Himself did?..... talking with the Blessed Mother of God! The scriptures say that Jesus grew in age and wisdom. From where did Jesus get all of His wisdom? One may say through God the Father and that is a correct answer. But God channeled His wisdom to His Son through that infinitely holy woman he conceived to create from all eternity. This was a perfect woman from every aspect one can imagine. This was the masterpiece of Gods creation. Without her the very angels and saints in heaven would have felt a vacuum. Without her that very much beloved Son, Savior and Redeemer of the world, could not have materialized. In other words, Mary has been indispensable for God in carrying out the mystery of Gods incarnation.
Needless to say, God Himself found it indispensable for Him to do anything substantially useful to save the entire human race without this most beloved woman. Likewise, the Marian priests must find it equally indispensable to fulfill their noble priestly mission on earth without this Blessed Mother. If one cannot imagine what a Marian priest looks like, I would recommend for one to become in touch with a priest of the Mother of God Church. These lucky priests are so much deeply immersed in the spirit of the Blessed Virgin Mary that you can feel the spirit of the Virgin Mary vibrating in your veins the moment you approach them.
The Blessed Virgin Mary feels so much happy, so much consoled, so much thrilled when she sees her children loving her, recognizing her as their Mother, and asking for her continued protection. This is exactly what Marian priests do. Not only so, but they encourage others to do likewise. Their visible dialogue with the Blessed Mother is so enlightening that when one watches them once, one is likely to become instantaneously addicted by wanting to become even a part of them. People in good faith need to participate, at least once, in the liturgical function of the Mother of God Church which usually takes place on week-ends. It is a function that gives you an out-of-time experience. The hours pass like minutes and the minutes pass like seconds!
Education of Marian Priests
Marian priests do not just happen. They need to receive a special kind of education... a special kind of knowledge that comes to them either directly from heaven or through some earthly institution established for that purpose. Such priests are expected to become experts of Mariology to the best of their ability. They need to understand the role the Blessed Mother played in the mystery of the incarnation. They need to learn Marys mysterious intermingling with the Holy Trinity... she is the daughter of God the Father, the mother of God the Son, and the spouse of God the Holy spirit. They need to be fully aware of her spiritual greatness through a good understanding of her Immaculate Conception and her Glorious Assumption. They need to comprehend how this Blessed Mother become a co-redeemer with Jesus in the salvation of all people. They need to have a good feeling of her love and suffering for us so that they could transmit this to as many people as possible. And finally, they need to promote devotion toward her as extensively as possible through sermons, dialogues, publications and in any way conceivable.
It would be quite appropriate for Marian priests to create a library of Mariology which will house as many books and articles written about the Blessed Virgin Mary as possible. If such Marian priests happen to publish books and journals, copies of them may be sent to selected number of school libraries where many may have the opportunity to read them. Besides, Marian priests may take the initiative to organize conferences and symposia on topics related to the Blessed Virgin Mary. They may also establish ecumenical dialogues with Protestants and non Christians to discuss the maternal aspects of God and how the Blessed Mother is viewed to be the expression of Gods divine maternity.
The proposals just mentioned may serve as tools in the hands of Marian priests to achieve the height of their noble objectives. Above all, the education of Marian priests may be viewed as Marys vehicle of the 3rd millennium, as Marys most effective instruments in bringing about a lasting peace.
Developing Healthy Dialogues Between the Mother of God Church and Protestant Churches
Developing healthy dialogues between the Mother of God Church and Protestant churches is quite a challenging job. Although both type of churches profess belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, they differ considerably in the way they view the position of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Christian in particular and the life of the Church in general. Of course, this diversity should not prevent the development of healthy dialogues.
Purpose of Healthy Dialogues
The purpose of healthy dialogues is not to see who is right in the hope of having the other side converted. On the contrary, such healthy dialogues serve to explain ones personal feelings toward Jesus and His teaching, toward Jesus and those around Him that may include his mother, his foster-father, and the apostles, and toward Jesus and the God of the new covenant whom He presented to us. Through such healthy dialogues we give each other the opportunity to see things from newer angles and to develop newer perspectives in our effort to comprehend the mysteries of God. We are all familiar to the saying that "God acts toward us in mysterious ways." Through such dialogues we give God the opportunity to teach us new things, to inspire us with new enlightenment to understand the hidden mysteries of His Sons divine family in Nazareth, and to enable us to realize that, after all, we are all His children whom He accepts the way we are, nothing mote and nothing less.
Through such healthy dialogues we come to see each other the way God views us. As a result, we are bound to develop mutual respect regardless of whether or not we comprehend fully well the other sides position. Let us keep in mind chat God does not judge us by our success but by our effort to succeed. If our effort is genuine and expressed to the maximum of our ability, then we have succeeded to glorify God making Him very happy. If our effort is not expressed to the fullest of our capability, then God feels deprived of something that He deserved to have and we are bound to feel somewhat unhappy afterwards.
Spiritual Education of Children
Children are the foundation of the future society. The way they sare brought up, that will be the way they will follow later in life. Jesus warned us that if we should straighten up a tree, we should do that while it is in its early stages of life otherwise it would be too late. And Lenin insisted saying: "Give me a child until it is eight and it will be Bolshevist for ever." Hence, the spiritual education of children cannot be taken lightly.
Initiation of Spiritual Education
The spiritual education of children starts with the day the parents contemplate to get married. Their virtues and vices will reflect upon their future children even before the start of pregnancy. As we know, parents transmit their genes to their children which will carry both bodily and spiritual characteristics. This demonstrates the importance for both parents not only to nourish themselves with the right food, but also to live spiritually correct using prayer and meditation as a medium.
When the women gets pregnant she often feels the growing child reacting to certain sounds. Its good for the parents to dialogue briefly with their growing child inside the womb every now and then, even if it takes only two or three minutes. It good for the parents to sing peaceful songs together every day even for just a few minutes. Immediately after birth, the parents need to talk with the child like an adult in miniature. Even though visibly the child cannot respond much to the parents, conversation, yet the psychological bond that forms is bound to develop and grow more healthy.
When the child in its first few months reaches the age of active communication, parents may recite prayers in the presence of their child, they may sing a few spiritual songs as well using various types of music. In doing so, they will soon discover the favorite tune of their child at which time they may proceed to sing those tunes more often. When the child begins to talk, then the first initial prayers may be taught to the child who may join the parents afterwards when they pray together.
From the very outset of the childrens life, parents must portray to their offspring a spiritual outlook of the universe. Schools at every stage of their educational development must emphasize the spiritual aspect of life which raises human beings to higher level of existence. The teachings of religion and spirituality needs to become a part of the curriculum.
Meaning and Purpose
The spiritual education of children does not merely consist in the recital of prayers and in the singing of spiritual songs. Such an education deals with one ability to live a decent life that is highly beneficial to society in general. This would require the practice of such virtues as faith, hope, charity, prudence, patience, meekness, perseverance, enthusiasm, honesty and justice. The concept of God as a most dear and beloved Father needs to be implemented in the minds of our children. The child Jesus may be brought as an example or a model to children.
In addition, various projects may be developed that would enable children think seriously on finding pride in helping others. In geography the teacher may show how the various boundaries that divide people were artificially created by human beings and they are meaningless for all practical purposes.What counts is not the fact that one is a Russian, an American, a Chinese, or a German, but the fact that one is good or bad, beneficial or detrimental to society. Emphasis should then be made of how one could grow up to be good and beneficial with the children participating in the discussion and making input. The teacher of history, for example, could demonstrate how history tends to repeat itself because the human actions tend to repeat themselves.
This way children may learn how to reconstruct their own life and their own future so that life would be better than the one they found. The teacher of languages may demonstrate the importance to communicate with more and more people and the cultural advantages that are derived from such a knowledge. All this may enable our children everywhere to unite them in spirit. And once such a unity takes places a permanent peace is bound to follow on a lasting basis in due time.
Following collapse of the seventy years of communism, the Russians feel thirsty for the expression of their spirituality in the open. This should make the spiritual education of children in Russia especially easier to organize, conduct, and develop.Those that should feel directly involved with the spiritual education of children are primarily the parents, the schools, the churches, and hopefully in due time the government as wel".
(Charles Mercieca. "World and Spirituality of the 3rd Millenium", p.218-224)
(c) All rights reserved. Charles Mercieca, Ph. D., 1997. (c) Orthodox Church of Mother of God Derzhavnaya, 1999. New Holy Russia. Fr. Iliya Popov.
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