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5067(Excerpt from) Fidelity To Historical Russia

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  • intrprtr@prodigy.net
    Jul 28, 2001

      In the Editorial of the jubilee 800th issue of “Pravoslavnaya Rus’” (No.
      15, 1964), Archimandrite Konstantin (Zaitsev) … wrote: “A single word
      exhausts all that can be said here: fidelity. To what? To our holy past,
      which has found embodiment in what … we call historical Russia.”

      Further on, Father Konstantin explains that we consider historical Russia
      to be pre-revolutionary Russia ­ the Russian Orthodox Tsardom, which
      received its office from Byzantium and became “the support of Orthodoxy ­
      and, thereby, of all Christianity, of all humanity, of the entire
      universe.” When the Russian Tsar’ was overthrown, the thousand-year-long
      existence of that Russia was broken-off; but even the catastrophe of
      October 1917 failed to awaken any understanding of the
      universal significance of what had occurred as being a betrayal of its
      providential appointment by the overwhelming majority of the Russian
      nation. Nearly everyone dreamed of some sort of “bright future” ­ some, of
      a socialistic one; some, of a democratic one; and some, of a
      renovated-monarchical one. Almost all felt themselves to be free from their
      own historical obedience.

      Father Konstantin points out that what happened in Russia is very closely
      bound together with the universal process of creating the new order of
      antichrist. “What can be set up in opposition to all this?” ­ Father
      Konstantin asks. And he answers: “Only one thing: a calm and sure stand in
      steadfast fidelity to the holy past, as it has established itself in the
      Church.” ... [for h]istorical Russia is unthinkable without Orthodoxy. ...

      ... In the aforementioned article, Father Konstantin prophetically
      predicts: “If the Russian nation is reborn… -- will not heavenly help
      return to it?” Although the Russian nation is still very far distant from
      complete spiritual rebirth, nevertheless, even now, as Father Konstantin
      foresaw, the wondrous signs of heavenly assistance are everywhere to be
      seen throughout the Russian Land. Lost relics [of Saints] are being found;
      destroyed shrines are being rebuilt; hundreds of ikons are exuding myrrh;
      etc. But this heavenly help, which has been manifested for the past ten
      years, although it is given for free, nevertheless places an obligation on
      the Russian nation. There is even less justification for those who do not
      wish to be roused from their spiritual slumber; those who,
      instead of holy Orthodoxy, consciously choose a false faith, or the modern
      “ideology of abundant pragmatism.” And it is for this reason that ikons in
      Rus’ not only exude myrrh, but that they also weep, and shed blood. The
      ikons weep, because we do not shed tears for our sins. The ikons shed
      blood, because our hearts have become hardened toward the suffering of our
      own people. ...

      Of what, then, does the weeping and shedding of blood by such ikons speak
      to us? Is it not a reminder of the podvig borne by the holy New Martyrs and
      Confessors of Russia? Does the blood of the New Martyrs not cry out to the
      heavens about what is presently transpiring in Rus’?

      But, they will ask: what is it that is so frightening about what is taking
      place? Is it not dreadful that, with all the external signs of Russia’s
      renascence, there still looms ominously in her very heart ­ Moscow’s Red
      Square -- that abominable devil’s-temple of the twentieth century: Lenin’s
      mausoleum? How many words have already been spent on the necessity of
      removing this mausoleum, but it continues to stand, as before, in the form
      of a gray block [of granite], as if
      nefariously mocking the sacred symbol of historical Russia: Moscow ­ the
      Third Rome. Does the presence of this devil’s-temple not bear clear witness
      as to who, in reality, the true masters of Russia are today? We are not
      speaking here of the communists, of course, although these enemies of
      Russia also have not yet been entirely vanquished. We are speaking of those
      hellish forces which, successively metamorphosing their servants, continue
      the work of destroying
      historical Russia. It is specifically these forces, presently disguised as
      democrats, who, for some reason, still need the mausoleum on Red Square.
      Perhaps there will be a time when it, too, will be essential -- just as
      soviet military symbolism and the music of the soviet anthem have become

      God grant that this dismal prognosis not come true; yet, while the ulcer of
      the mausoleum, replete with the false relics being preserved in it,
      continues to rot in the heart of our native-land, we do not have the right
      to remove the subject of a communist threat from the agenda. ...

      How can we manifest our fidelity to historical Russia, in practice? We will
      answer, again, in the words of Archimandrite Konstantin’s already quoted
      essay, which remain astonishingly of Archimandrite Konstantin, which remain
      astonishingly relevant in our own day.

      “Divine Providence calls the free Orthodox folk of Russia to incessantly
      steadfast activity ­ of the most various kinds. Political activity -- not
      excluded… Except that it bears the nature of service: it must not claim to
      be an end in itself; rather, it must be born organically from out of the
      salvific process of spiritual self-restoration… Truly super-human activity
      is demanded from a relatively
      insignificant little handful of faithful [folk] abroad… For, you see, our
      spiritual self-restoration within the “free” world system is not merely a
      podvig of personal salvation…, this podvig naturally takes the form of
      diverse activity, directed, alike, both to the “free” world without, and to
      … the Russian world within. It is only by steadfastly perceiving ourselves,
      in such activities, as being the last Christians ­
      those who are preparing to meet Christ the Judge and Giver Of Recompense --
      that we will be able, through the power of God, to discover ourselves in
      the number of the first Christians to be beginning some new era of
      historical Russia ­ except, for what period of time, and in what form, God
      alone knows!

      “Let him who will, save his own soul!” If this commandment, from out of the
      depths of Christian centuries and directed toward latter-day Christians,
      should give wings to the Russian people, then -- for some period of time --
      historical Russia will also be reborn, for the salvation of the rest of
      humanity. It is only by saving our own souls, that we will be able actually
      to assist this most excellent of endeavours!”

      -- Editor


      Translated into English by G. Spruksts, from the Russian text of "Vernost'
      istoricheskoi Rossii" ["Fidelity To Historical Russia"], which appeared on
      pp. 1-2, of issue No. 12 (1681), for 15/28 June 2001, of “Pravoslavnaya
      Rus’” ["Orthodox Rus'"]. English-language translation copyright (c) 2001 by
      The St. Stefan Of Perm' Guild, The Russian Cultural Heritage Society, and
      the Translator. All rights reserved.


      -- GeoS


      "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!"
      saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the
      pastors that feed my people: "Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them
      away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of
      your doings," saith the Lord. "And I will gather the remnant of my flock
      out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again
      to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up
      shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor
      be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking," saith the Lord. (Jer 23:1-4)


      "The Russian Church Abroad will remain faithful to her calling to be the
      bastion of Orthodoxy in the Russian Diaspora throughout the entire time of
      her existence." -- Protopriest Mikhail Pomazanksii


      "I do not believe in the evolution of the Moscow Patriarchate, because
      everything that comes from there will be coming from a contaminated
      source." -- P. Budzilovich


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