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To ROCOR USA Flock - From Ab Laurus

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  • Priest Seraphim Holland
    To the Faithful Flock of the Dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Within the United States of America During the morning of Tuesday, 29
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2001
      To the Faithful Flock of the Dioceses
      of the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia
      Within the United States of America

      During the morning of Tuesday, 29 August/11 September, terrorists
      overpowered the pilots and crew of four passenger jets and crashed
      them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City
      and the Pentagon, near Washington, D.C. In so doing they
      intentionally killed everyone on board the planes, including
      themselves, and many thousands of innocent lives in the buildings
      they destroyed.

      These horrific acts of terrorism have by their savagery and audacity
      instantly wrought a profound change in American society. Everywhere,
      the American people are weighed down by the magnitude of the loss of
      life, filled with indignation at those who have committed these
      senseless acts and their supporters abroad, and newly aware that much
      that they have taken for granted in their lives must now undergo a
      fundamental change.

      Regrettably, we hear repeated cries for revenge and retribution. To
      these the Orthodox must respond with the words of divine Scripture:
      "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Rom. 12: 19). Let
      us also not forget the words of our Savior, said of those who were
      putting Him to death, as He endured the excruciating pain of His
      brutal crucifixion: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what
      they do" (Lk. 32: 34).

      Beloved children in our Savior, let us use these sad days for serious
      introspection. Speaking to His disciples of the fall of another
      tower, in which lives were likewise lost, Jesus called His followers
      to examine their lives, and repent. He said: "Or those eighteen, upon
      whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were
      sinners above all men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but,
      except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk. 13: 4-5).

      Many search the Scriptures to see if these be the last times which
      were foretold, and see "wars, and rumors of wars" as signs that this
      is so. Be this so or not, let us repent as He urges us, and dedicate
      the remaining time of our lives to the acquisition of the Holy

      Aware of how swiftly death came upon the many thousands who perished
      in the recent disaster, let us use the time remaining to us to
      acquire the virtues and to do good to our neighbors, so that they may
      marvel and say: "See what men of love these Orthodox Christians are!"
      Beloved, let us dedicate ourselves to this goal, and not be dissuaded
      from the straight and narrow path which leads to it.

      Thus, let us begin by entreating God in our private prayers, that He
      have mercy upon the victims of this tragedy, and more especially upon
      the families and loved ones they have left behind. And let us also
      offer Him fervent plea, that He direct the leaders of this great
      country, that, guided by His wisdom, in days to come they may make
      their crucial decisions with prudence, dispassion and circumspection,
      so that amid peace and tranquility "we may work out our own salvation
      in fear and trembling" (Phil. 2: 12).

      Laurus, Archbishop of Syracuse & Trinity,
      Deputy of the First Hierarch
      Secretary of the Synod of Bishops
      Priest Seraphim Holland St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Dallas, Texas, USA
      seraphim@... Ph:972/529-2754 MOBILE & VOICE MAIL 214 336-3464
      FAX: 603/908-2408 Home Address: 2102 Summit, McKinney, TX 75070, USA
      WEBMASTER FOR: St Nicholas Home Page - http://www.orthodox.net
      Official ROCOR Page - http://www.rocor.org
      10 questions (many subjects) http://www.orthodox.net/questions
      Thoughts on the Sunday gospels http://www.orthodox.net/sermons
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