In the midst of the current persecutions against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the ongoing threats against the Kiev Caves Lavra in particular, the brethren of the ancient monastery are continuing to care for those in need around them, showing them the love of Christ.
As the Lavra’s website reports, the monastery held this week its 50th “Feed Your Neighbor” lunch—an almost-weekly charitable event in which the needy receive both physical and spiritual nourishment.
The lunches are held with the blessing of the abbot of the monastery His Eminence Metropolitan Paul of Vyshhorod and Chernobyl and began in September, 2017, as OrthoChristian previously reported.
During the lunch, the curator of the events, the Deputy Head of the monastery’s Social Department Hieromonk Gleb (Kazmiruk), conveyed Met. Pavel’s blessing to all the participants, giving them all a piece of chocolate on behalf of the abbot, saying:
The abbot and brethren of the Lavra are always glad to provide all possible assistance to those who are in need. We have been gathering here for fifty weeks already, in this place, to help those who for this or that reason are unable to afford themselves any luxuries in this life.
We gather not just for lunch, but also for conversation, and we try to support one another, congratulate one another with memorable dates, and to speak about the feasts and the importance of the fasts and fasting days. And in these days we also celebrate the Joy of All Who Sorrow Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, in honor of which one of the churches of our holy monastery is consecrated. I sincerely wish that through the prayers of the Most Holy Virgin, the Lord will protect you all from every evil, grant you patience and understanding, sincere humility, and most importantly, the desire to amend your life and become better. And may the Lord help us all in this!
A thanksgiving prayer was read at the conclusion of the meal and all present expressed their sincere gratitude to Met. Pavel and the monastery brethren for their unceasing care.