St. John the Baptist Parish, A Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church, Canberra, Australia

Russia and Serbia Are Greatly Afflicted -- to Whom Can They Turn?

By Deacon A. Rudenko

He lives,
He sees,
He beckons with his heav'nly voice,
He thirsts our conscience to awaken...

Silently he bore his cross,
So cruel and bloody;
And our Native Land
From blood can he deliver...

He lives,
He waits,
He beckons,
Calling for our prayerful tears...

This day
With His ikon
He sends us news
From up on high,
from Heaven's Tsar'-Divine...

He, the earthly Tsar', --
He loves us to this day,
And with his holy family
He sainthood offers to us...

Will we respond to him?
To his family
... and to God ...
On bended knee --
And imploring?

Or will we continue
To pass by -- somnolent,
Yawning and depressed --
When we have a mighty Intercessor
before the Tsar'-Eternal?

-- Deacon A. Rudenko

New York
3 April / 6 May 1999
Holy Great-Martyr George the Trophy-Bearer

Postscriptum. A Life For the Tsar', Life Without the Tsar', Rensascence From the Tsar', the Redeemer Of Our Guilt...

Each new anniversary of the terrible atrocity in Ekaterinburg in 1918, while departing into the past, as it were, at the same time clearly reminds us -- in the words of vladyka St. John of Shanghai and many of our other luminaries of the spirit -- of our all-national guilt, and of the necessity for personal and general repentance, on our part, before the Righteousness of God. In their view, it is in repentance that the key to our receiving or re-acquiring the blessing of God upon our people is to be found. "Pray, repent, lift up your hands to heaven...," A. S. Khomiakov once wrote, also in regard to Russia...

In our day, the appearance of the holy ikons of the Tsar'-Martyr with the entire Royal Family (on such significant days as 4/17 July 1998, 6/19 May of this year [see "Pravoslavnaya Rus'", No. 12]), which wondrously exude a delightful fragrance in full view of the five-thousand participants in a procession of the Cross, truly sound the alarm, thus directing our awareness toward genuine deliverance from the 80-year-long flow of blood and suffering, which was brought about through [our] betrayal of the ages-old spiritual foundations of our nation.

In 1917, [our] Gosudar' [= Sovereign] was lacking in his own Ivan Susanin.* Does not our saintly Gosudar', loving us to this day, take upon himself this intercession on our behalf?

Let us attend. The long-suffering patience of God might well have its own limits.


* Ivan Susanin was a seventeenth-century hero of Russian history, who sacrificed his own life during Russia's "Time Of Troubles" in order to save from the Poles who were seeking to murder him, that of 16-year-old Mikhail Romanov, the soon-to-be founder of the Romanov Dynasty. Susanin's story forms the subject-matter of Glinka's renowned opera "A Life For the Tsar'." -- Trans.

Excerpted from "Pravoslavnaya Rus'" ["Orthodox Rus'"], Vol. 71, No. 13 (1634), 1/14 July 1999, p.15 (in Russian). Translated into English from the Russian by G. Spruksts. English-language translation copyright (c) 1999 by The St. Stefan Of Perm' Guild, The Russian Cultural Heritage Society, and the Translator. All Rights Reserved.

Permission is hereby granted to use the English-language version of this essay for non-commercial purposes, as long as the appropriate credits and this entire notice are included therewith.

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