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While at home, embark on a journey of discovery: beyond the gates of Petru Vodă Monastery in Neamţ County

11 April 2020 No Comment

Father Justin Pârvu recalls the inner strength of Romanian people in overcoming all hardships and difficulties of life
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Father Justin Pârvu often used to talk about the unshakable faith and inner strength of the Romanian people to endure and overcome whatever obstacle life threw in their path: “The Romanian people have learned that the only way of emerging unscathed from any crisis is to raise their hands in prayer and bend their knees on the ground. And the more people will hold their hands lifted in worship, the more Lord will bestow His mercy upon them. Romanians are used to facing a harsh life, they are accustomed to climbing mountains during wintertime. Therefore the Romanians will succeed and prevail, while other nations may well fail this test.”

Father Justin Pârvu: Spiritual advice in times of distress, persecution or illness

“In times of persecution, Christians should gather around the priests. Wherever there is an antimension and an Orthodox priest serving the Holy Mass, the Holy Church is there. Recent history speaks of priests walking from one village to another, carrying antimensions and liturgical vessels with them and performing religious services for the people. The Holy Mass and the Holy Sacraments, regularly performed, used to empower Christians to face hunger and protect them from harm, due to the blessings of Virgin Mary. Christians would say The Lord’s Prayer and The Hail Mary. During the terrible period of communist imprisonment, the prayers kept the hope alive and gave people the strength and endurance necessary to survive the communist regime without giving in to the Red Terror.

But these practices aim not to the most ardent Christians, as those who crave purity are already prepared; they do not need to witness war, hunger and persecution to start looking after their souls with devotion. For the true Christian, it matters not when war or persecution descends upon mankind. The true Christian is always ready to welcome Jesus, the Heavenly Bridegroom, holding the candle of his soul burning with intensity. The true Christian does not persist in fear, anxious about the time when the war comes or when bombs fall nearby. Instead, he seeks with relentless heat to be of service to his neighbor and to God, and bears suffering with trust and faith in the resurrection of the Lord and promise of eternal life. The true Christian ceaselessly seeks the Kingdom of Heaven within, never being afraid of anything happening in the world. As it is said: ”The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (John, 2.17)

We must rest in the knowledge that each life is in God’s hands and only He knows for certain the end of man on earth. Therefore, let us not fall into the abyss of despair whenever we hear of wars and plagues, for all these dangerous things were predicted to come, according to the Bible’s doomsday. But rather let us fervently and without delay become preoccupied that our souls are not ready yet to meet with Christ, our Lord.

By the Grace of the prayers of the Holy Virgin and as a tribute to all the innocent blood split in the communist prisons by the martyrs of the Orthodox kind, may God strengthen us to endure even further the harsh times that are to come upon us and to deepen the faith in our souls, for the blessing of the Romanian nation!”

The fragment presented above has been taken from “The teachings and miracles of Father Justin”, published in Attitudes Magazine, March 2020, edited by Justin Pârvu Foundation.

© Attitudes Magazine, March 2020

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