Wednesday, August 7, 2013

spiritual awakening in Russia?

This past week news reports emerged that upwards of 1 million Russians had venerated an icon of the crucifix of St Andrew. In the Orthodox churches Andrew is held in higher esteem than Peter because he is the one the Lord called first. The relic originated in Greece and was shown with the approval of the Greek and Russian patriarchs. Why is this such good news? It shows that the faith of the people, the devotional life is still there.Bishop Cote, Bishop of Norwich, CT visited Russia while a seminarian in Rome. The bishop had to request special permission to celebrate mass in what was once a Catholic church. Permission was granted and the group departed in the strict timeframe of the Govt. They arrived. There was one woman praying in the church. She asked them...are you going to celebrate mass? They said yes...proceeded to the sacristy and when they came out the church was full! Such a hunger for God! Such faith! Do we in the US have that same hunger for God? I do not think so. For so many years people have prayed for the conversion of Russia, I believe we are beginning to see some fruit. Fr Walter Ciszek, SJ, spent many years as a prisoner in Soviet Russia. His two books are "He leadership me" and "With God in Russia". In "He leadership me" he speaks about a period of intense interrogation. The Soviets thought he was aspy. All of a sudden, and the guards noticed this....He became different....courageous, confident even. They could not understand this. The difference.... In a moment of grace, he realized he was doing God's will. God had his back...from that moment on he was a changed man.For those of you in Russia or any of the former Russian assured.....if you are praying to Jesus Christ...He has your back. All of us can learn from the example of Fr Walter Ciszek. He is a future canonized saint who shows us that sanctity is possible in all the little moments of each day. Not my will be done but yours, Lord. Amen

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