Horlivka, the Ukraine, September 23, 2014
On September 21, the feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Archbishop Mitrophan of Horlivka and Sloviansk celebrated a Divine Liturgy at the Church of Nativity of Holy Theotokos in Horlivka with numerous clergy concelebrating. A procession of the cross around the church took place after the Liturgy, reports the Horlivka and Sloviansk Diocese’s website.
After the service Archbishop Mitrophan addressed those gathered.
“There are things in life that you will not understand until you have experienced them. When we had peace, we did not appreciate it; to be more exact, we thought it was the way it should be. We celebrated Victory Day on May 9 and used to say since our school years that peace was the most essential thing. But we did not understand what peace was, because we always had peace, from the time we were born, and nobody deprived us of it. Today, when there is no longer peace, we realize how happy we were when we had peace.
“Not everything was perfect: we did have problems and difficulties, there were weak points in our life – bother personal and societal. But there was the most important thing: people did not kill each other. Today, when we do not have this any more, we wish to have it again. We are praying: the Lord, grant us peace, and we will somehow set up, glaze windows and will learn to live normally – if only peace would reign, if only the war would stop.
“Imagine how people waited for the coming of the Savior to the world. Before the fall they did not know what it meant to live without God. And when they lost (the special relationship with) God and were driven out of Paradise, they saw that everything around them was not so simple: there were storms, wild animals, even enmity had appeared among people as well as other “delights” of a godless life, which causes people to lose guiding principles and the meaning of life. And they yearned for someone to return everything to the way it had been.
“They had such a promise; the Lord said to them that the time would come when a woman would give birth to the One Who would restore the situation: “The seed of the woman will crush the serpent’s head.” And the whole history of the Old Testament with its prophets, Law, extraordinary events is the history of how people waited for fulfillment of this promise, how they waited for the dawn, for reappearing of the sun and warmth. And the Nativity of the Virgin Mary was the forerunner of this dawn,” the archbishop noted.