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День за днем

23 Января

Я готов

(Рим. 1, 15; Деян. 21, 13)

Готов служить, готов страдать, готов умереть - вот к чему готовился ап. Павел! Дай Бог нам такую же готовность ко всему, в чем состоит воля Божия о нас. Обращение ап. Павла было цельное, бесповоротное. В нем не было никаких колебаний, он не обращался за советом к людям, не искал одобрения, не торговался со своею совестью, не стоял в нерешительности на пороге долга. Жизненный подвиг простирался перед ним, и, твердо идя ему навстречу, он говорит: "Я готов!" Вступить в самый центр языческого мира для личной, непосредственной борьбы с язычеством было не легко. Но, не останавливаясь ни на минуту перед этим подвигом, Павел говорит: "Я готов благовествовать и вам, находящимся в Риме" (Рим. 1, 15), и он был одинаково "готов" все перенести для исполнения воли Божией.

Иерусалим был тогда местом казни святых последователей Христа, неминуемая опасность ожидала их там, однако Павел был "готов умереть в Иерусалиме" (Деян. 21, 13); и когда наконец он стал лицом к лицу со смертью, он был "готов" отдать себя в жертву, готов сложить голову за свои убеждения. Высшая черта в характере ап. Павла есть именно эта готовность неуклонно идти навстречу всякому долгу, будь то страдание или даже смерть.

Дай Бог всякому такую готовность! Дай, Господи, и мне с радостью стремиться туда, куда Ты мне повелишь, и неустанно исполнять Твою волю, никогда не ослабевая в усердии. Да буду и я послушен Тебе, даже если придется оторваться от моей деятельности и быть обреченным на узы бездействия. И когда наступит мой смертный час, дай мне быть готовым оставить все дорогое в Твоих руках и, устремившись всем сердцем к Тебе, доверить душу мою Твоей любви!

 

Погода Почаев
THE LAVRA IN XX CENTURY

World War I started in 1914. With its dark wing it also touched this Orthodox cloister. Afraid of desecration and being robbed by Austro-Hungarian troops, monks removed all valuables starting with the bells to the archives, library and candle factory. The miracle-working Icon of the God Mother and St. Job’s relics in silver shrine were moved to Zhytomyr and remained there until 1918. Eighteen people had stayed in the cloister, but Austrians, who occupied the monastery, sent them to Wassargen, Hungary to a prisoner-of-war camp in 1915, where they stayed for three years. Two hermits who stayed in the cloister were evicted from the monastery. Local people gave them shelter. Austro-Hungarians behaved in the monastery very unceremoniously. They put their own alter in the Dormition Cathedral and served mass. They turned the Refectory Church into a movie theatre and the Trinity Cathedral into a stable for horses. The altars were moved from their places and torn; icons were shot; the church plate broken and thrown away; the healing Footprint of the Theotokos was covered with garbage.

It did not last long. In May 1916, as a result of the Brusyliv attack in Galitsia, Russian troops came into Pochayiv. Devine services were renewed in Lavra. Having carried on a thanksgiving prayer, the archbishop Yevlogiy served in the cloister all summer in 1916. Monks returned back from captivity. The economic life started to adjust. In 1918, the Lavra’s relics and bells were returned from Zhytomyr. That was the time of rapid changes in political life. In September 1920 the Volyn was occupied by Polish troops and Lavra fell under a jurisdiction of metropolitan of Warsaw and all of Poland up till 1939. The pressure of Polish government on the church life of the Orthodox had strengthened with each year. The existence of the Lavra as an Orthodox cloister endangered at that time the revindiction - a passing of churches to the Catholic Church. A large number of the Orthodox people stood against and defended their sanctity. In June 1925 quite unexpectedly there was an order to change to new calendar style starting from 15 June. That was like a bolt from the blue, which was out of the question before. The clergy addressed the Orthodox people of the region not to accept this new innovation, as because of it the whole principle of the Orthodox life could be broken, its collegiality; a split in the Church and a violation of its canons as a result would occur. Nevertheless the new style had been introduced into the church life of Volyn, but Theotokos saved the Lavra this time as well.

Beginning in 1939 the Lavra had again been in prayful dialogue with the Russian Church. Monks-front-line soldiers returned back from the war; prayers had been rising in temples, connecting the earth with the sky; Episcopal ordinations (Cheirotoneas) had been made. Parched with the big tragedy of war and repressions, people hurried to bring their worship to the Lavra’s relics, but the time of freedom was not long-lasting. In 1958 a new wave of oppressions and repressions started. The God Mother gave notice to the monks of new persecutions. In 1958 She appeared above the Trinity Cathedral dressed all in black with black Omophorion in Her hands. A miraculous vision signified the intercession of the Queen of Heaven in the approaching of a dashing time and gave strength to prayers in their deeds. The Holy Theotokos helped to go through the antireligious robbery in the monastery when monks literally were drawn out of their cells, poured out of fire-engines with water, deprived residence permits, were imprisoned or put into psychiatric hospitals, etc.

Почаєв

Along with the fields, forests, gardens and agricultural stock, the Soviet authorities took away from the Lavra the mill, the candle factory, the printing-house, the iconography workshops, the hospital with the church, the bishop’s house and some other buildings.

The monastery endured all that, but along with changes in the society and the country, the attitude to Church changed as well.

Temples and monasteries were opened. Orthodox people celebrated the 1000-th anniversary of Russia's christening. The Pochayiv monastery, through its Authorized Divine services and sermons, continue to reveal the true verity and beauty of belief in Christ to the Christians, carrying out its precious mission to be the light of the Orthodoxy in the western lands of Rus. In August 1990 Pochayiv Lavra grandly celebrated its 750-th anniversary. The celebrations headed a distinguished guest - the Most Holy Patriarch Alexey II. The icon-lamp of monastic life had smoldered again in the Holy Spirit Pochayiv Skete, which was closed during the recent persecution. There opened a Sunday school of the Law Divine and later a Theological college, reorganized later into a Theological seminary. Buildings, gardens, land plots were returned to the monastery. The celebration of its new triumph of the truth was the 400 anniversary of the transfer of the wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos from the castle of Anna Hoiskaja to the Pochayiv hill in August 1997.

Почаєв

The sacred monastery entered into the third millennium renewed and obtained one more relics – the incorruptible relics of the Venerable schema-hegumen Amphilochius (Holovatyuk), popularly named as Yosyp-bone-setter, who was canonized on 12 May 2002.

 

The Terrestrial church celebrated together with the Heavenly one. The sun shined with Easter joy. Everyone who saw the white cross on the blue sky - the heavenly miracle, cheered.

With the glorification of the Venerable Yosyp (Amphilochius in schema), the Holy cloister on the Pochayiv hill added one more glorious page into the history of the monastery that experienced many troubles on its way. It passed through raisings and fallings; prosperity and poverty, rise and decline like in the life of each of us. Turning back and recalling all his life, a man first of all, sees all good that had been leading him during his way, leaving in a shadow all overcast days. The cloister likewise went through and left behind everyone and everything who or that caused its desolation.

Today every pilgrim is amazed by the outside transformation of the monastery. Here are new chapels (in honor to 400 years since transfer of the Pochayiv wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos and in honor to the 2000-th anniversary of the Christ's Birth), a summer church, a hotel, a book and icon shop, a seminar temple of the Venerable Job and Amphilochius.

Each visitor feels the abundant life, the Holy Protection of the Theotokos as well as the protection and blessing of the great Pochayiv Saints and wonder-workers Venerable Job and Amphilochius.

Had been chosen and guarded by God, the Pochayiv hill shines with its wondrous beauty glorified in its relics. It will serve as a source of light of the spiritual joy to our descendants as it served to our ancestors and serves us now.

Почаєв


     

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