The end will be through China. There will be some unusual outburst and a Divine miracle will take place.
St Aristocleus the Athonite, 1918
There will be three Easters after my death. The first will be bloody, the second will be hungry and the third will be victorious.
Elder Iona of Odessa, 2012
I have been asked several times over the last two months to write about the conflict in the Ukraine or to take sides. I have been silent all that time. I did not wish to speak, for every armed conflict and all innocent victims are tragedies. This is a matter in which prayerful silence is best. Now at the Feast of the Resurrection, I will only say the following:
The Crucifixion showed people as they really were: some showed treachery like Judas, some showed Cowardice and washed their hands like Pilate, some called for crucifixion and crucified like the Pharisees, others helped carry the Cross, others took down the Most Pure Body, and others prepared to anoint it. For at the Crucifixion, the greatest crisis in all human history, as at every crucifixion and crisis (which is the Greek word for ‘Judgement’), the true nature of all is revealed. The crisis in the Ukraine is no exception, with politicians and churchpeople declaring their true natures. Some behave like Judas the Traitor, Pilate the Coward and Caiaphas the Deceiver, but others carry the Cross, take down the Body and anoint Him.
The problem of the last century was precisely that the Western world did not heed the prophets sent to it. On the one hand, St Justin (Popovich) defended the Church against the spirit of Papist tyranny, no matter where it came from, and, on the other hand, Solzhenitsyn clearly foretold the present war in the Ukraine and declared to the US government: ‘No, I cannot recommend your society as the ideal for the transformation of ours’. As a result, today we face the struggle against the political powers of totalitarian Secularism, with its ‘liberal’ censorship and ‘Might is Right’ because ‘West is Best’.
Now, in the present century, we await the time of the fulfilment of the prophecies of St Seraphim of Sarov, St Anatoly of Optina, St John of Kronstadt, St Seraphim of Vyritsa, St Laurence of Chernigov, of the New Martyrs and Confessors, of the Imperial Martyrs and their companions, and of such recent righteous as Elders Nikolai Pskovoezersky (2002) and Iona of Odessa (2012). What is happening in the Ukraine is on both sides a struggle between the Christian Civilisation of Godmanhood and the Secularism of Humanism – Mangodhood. More exactly, it is a struggle to purge the wheat of Orthodox Christian Civilisation from the chaff of the world, and to restore it to the Risen God. To the demons of this world, we must oppose our saints, old and new.