Daily Archives: January 3, 2017

Understanding Recent Russian History

We have not forgiven Lenin for anything.

Metropolitan Nestor (Anisimov) of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in China, who ordained Fr Nicholas Gibbes of Oxford and after 1945 spent many years in Soviet camps. His words were recorded by his godson, the writer A.K. Karaulov.

After the Nazi surrender Private Theodore Valikov, then aged 20, had to serve in Germany. In spring 1946 he found himself driving his officer to the main railway station in Berlin. With time to spare he decided to visit the Reichstag where he had not been before. Leaving his friend in the lorry, he entered the large hall on the ground floor and suddenly saw Tsar Nicholas II, standing on the third step of the dais in his colonel’s uniform with epaulettes, a sword at his side, just as he had seen in a portrait of him kept by his pious aunt in his home village. The Sovereign was inspecting the building which had been fought over in the final victory over the enemy. By the time that the soldier had realized what had happened, the Tsar had disappeared. Later he interpreted the vision, saying that it showed that the Tsar was at the head of the victorious army. After the war Theodore was tonsured monk at the Pskov Caves Monastery.

Hieromonk Theodorit (Valikov, + 9 July 2002) in ‘Russia Before the Second Coming’, compiled by S. and T, Fomin, Third Edition, Saint Petersburg 1998, Vol 2, P. 279

Why do they so hate Russia, the Orthodox Faith and the Church just now? Because they know that Russia will stand up to Antichrist…Antichrist will even fear the Russian Tsar. Russia will be reborn only with Orthodoxy and beneath the protection of the Russian Tsar. There will be God-pleasing elders, just as there were before, until the end of the world. Such is the prophecy of St Laurence of Chernigov.

Igumen Kheruvim Degtariov

The conflict between liberal democracy and Marxism-Leninism was a conflict of ideologies, which, despite all the differences, still had the same external aims: freedom, equality and prosperity. But traditional Russia, with its authority and nationhood, will strive for completely different aims.

Professor Samuel Huntingdon

A Western democrat can very easily have an intellectual debate with a Soviet Marxist. But this would be unthinkable with a traditional Russian. If Russians stop being Marxists, but do not accept liberal democracy and begin to behave like Russians and not Westerners, relations between Russia and the West will once more become estranged and hostile….

The West will never tolerate the rebirth of Holy Rus. It will always try to annihilate us, foisting on us as heroes its one-time agents of influence (to a greater or lesser extent): Lenin, Trotsky or Stalin. It will always strive by any means available to blacken and slander our Orthodox Civilization and our holy Tsar, in order through them to besmirch and compromise our Orthodox Church and our present State, blowing them apart from inside. Unfortunately, many in the State and also in the Church still do not understand the direct connection between these phenomena. Our victory can only be realized when we all go into battle, not for Stalin and Lenin, nor for liberalism and democracy, nor for oil and gas, but for Holy Rus, for our friends, as our ancestors did before us…

It was precisely Moscow that received the great and responsible mission to be the Third Rome, restraining the world from falling into the abyss of evil. This is not some invention or bragging. Mosow was in no way better than Kiev or Vladimir when it became the centre of the Russian Land. The great mission was given to us, not by rebellious human desire, but by the will of God. Our mission has nothing to do with….so-called ‘Russian nationalism’. Our mission is the rebirth of Russian Civilization, in which all nationalities who wish it are united for life in God and with God, in the world of Goodness and Justice, in which we can stand up to the atheistic and anti-human Western ‘New Order’, whose aim is to annihilate man as God’s creation.

Petr Multatuli, Contemporary Russian Historian

Confession and Communion: A False Problem

Is it that confession is obligatory before every communion or is that you take communion whenever you want and have confession whenever you want?

Such is the false question which I first heard over forty years ago, to which any answer must also be false, for false questions can only have false answers. What is the reality?

Confession and communion are two different sacraments. Thus, you can have confession and not take communion and you can, in some circumstances, take communion without confession. In other words, you can have confession very often and take communion less often. This is the opposite of the modernism’s apparent hatred of confession and love of obligatory communion – which is not part of the Church. The impression given is that modernism does not believe that its adherents any sins and that therefore they have nothing to repent of. If this is so, then it is spiritual pride. Of course, this impression may be quite wrong, but it is the one made. After all, a doctor does not prescribe medicine, if he cannot first make a diagnosis, and confession is precisely diagnosis.

If we are talking about nominal Orthodox who take communion only occasionally, perhaps once or twice a year or once or twice every ten or twenty years, then confession before every communion is the rule.

What about communion whenever you want and confession whenever you want? This statement is a piece of consumerism that treats the Church as a supermarket and has its roots in the anti-sacramental and therefore anti-priestly Protestant mentality that lies behind consumerism: ‘Do whatever you want whenever you want’. Little wonder that this mentality is that of certain unChurched converts, precisely of Protestant origin, who always take communion without confession and even scorn cradle Orthodox who do not take communion at every Liturgy. The result is that cradle Orthodox no longer attend convert services, feeling hostility. And that is a pity because it means that unChurched converts can no longer meet anyone they can learn from, with the result that convert ghettos are only reinforced.

What then is the ideal? It is to take communion, voluntarily, according to personal spiritual needs, when you spiritually need it (not when you want it – ‘want’ is the word of consumerists) and to have confession beforehand because we should need confession before communion. If we do not feel the need for confession, it suggests that we do not need communion. Put simply, if a full dustbin does not know that it needs emptying (confession), then it does not need filling (communion).

There are exceptions to this. Firstly, in parish life, for example during Passion Week or Bright Week or at other times as before the Nativity or Theophany, when there may be liturgies on several consecutive days and simply we may feel no need for confession two or more days running because the faithful are striving to live a quiet and devout life ‘in all godliness and honesty’. The second exception is in monastic life or among those who are living a monastic-style life in the world and may take communion more regularly but only have confession every few days or even every few weeks, according to their spiritual father’s directions.

Preparation before communion assumes not only confession, but also that the fast days in the week before communion and due abstinence are observed, together with the fast from midnight, that the faithful attend the vigil service (or vespers and matins) before the Liturgy and that they also read the rule before communion.

Modernism which has more or less abandoned the sacrament of confession (if it ever knew it) will say that it does not need confession frequently because the ‘early Christians’ took communion every day. This is dangerous spiritual pride. Are modernists seriously claiming that they live on the spiritual level of Orthodox in the first centuries who faced possible martyrdom every single day? Let us face reality. Those in modernist groups who want weekly or even daily communion (impossible for menstruating girls and women) are simply copying heterodox, for whom, in any case, there is no Body and Blood of Christ, but just biscuit wafers with or without some wine. And what is unconsumed among them, they throw away. Such modernism is not Orthodox and should learn what the Apostle Paul says and tremble:

Wherefore whoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep. (I Cor 11, 27-30).

Confession and communion form a virtuous circle, for the benefits of communion depend directly on our preparation for it. Modernism which superstitiously misbelieves that communion is a sort of magic, which confers its benefits (listed in the prayers before and after communion) automatically, without any effort on our part, is sadly and dangerously mistaken. I have often seen the sorrowful consequences of this mistake in the past decades and they always lead to lapsing from the Faith, which is the only thing that Satan wants us to do.