As long as a person lives on earth, he or she has an opportunity to repent said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine in his sermon during the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Agapit of the Caves of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on April 10, 2022, on the 5th Sunday of Great Lent, reports the Information and Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“When a person struggles with himself, with his inner old man, there comes a time when we get tired of this struggle, it seems to us that it is impossible to defeat ourselves, that our sins are so strong and powerful that they cannot be overcome. And here the Church gives us an example of great repentance. The Venerable Mary of Egypt, being a great sinner, overcame her sins by the feat of patience, prayer and fasting, repented and received the grace of holiness and salvation,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
The life of St. Mary of Egypt is a beautiful, great and deep lesson that recalls the greatness of God’s mercy, continued the metropolitan.
“When a person turns away from God, he experiences suffering, sorrow, illness, and falling. But the Lord never turns away from any person, no matter how sinful we may be. And the life of St. Mary is an image of this great mercy of God,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
He noted that St. Mary prays for those people who courageously fight against sin and repents.
“Repentance is the grace of God for man. The Lord gives repentance to a person for the sake of the infirmities of the flesh, when a person’s soul is separated from the body, the possibility of repentance is taken away from him. One should not be ashamed to repent, one should be ashamed to sin,” His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry stressed.
The greatest root of sin is pride, which people sometimes misunderstand and attribute to human dignity, the metropolitan emphasized.
“But pride is not a virtue, it is a vice, a weakness of a person. The proud one is always weak and cowardly, but the humble one is both brave and strong,” he pointed out.
If a person already comes to an understanding of spiritual things, it means defeating pride in its various forms and acquiring humility, which makes a person favorable in the eyes of God, concluded the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Fervent prayers for peace in Ukraine were offered during the divine service.
*Currently we are experiencing some issue with adding posts on our official page on Facebook. Our IT specialists are working on solving this issue at the moment.