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Love completes faith and hope by communicating the ineffable completeness of glory that perfects faith into wisdom and hope into glory, fulfilling temporal incompleteness in timeless completeness.  We began the new year 2023 with the language of angels, which is love, centring where God is centred, in the completeness of infinite love. Today is the Feast of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who taught that the reign of God is opened by the Holy Spirit, imparting the Kingdom of God as a realm of infinite love. Saint Silouan the Athonite saw what he meant and declared it anew in the Holy Spirit, revealing love’s reign in all its glory.  Saint Sophrony the Hesychast listened to the Gospel of liberating love taught by Saint Silouan, passing it on as the mystery of loving first-personhood for an age of impersonal nihilism.

Saint Seraphim, Saint Silouan and Saint Sophrony renewed Russian Orthodoxy by immersing themselves in God’s thrice-holy reign of love, revealing that love, not Russian imperialism, is what Russian Orthodoxy is all about.  Love loves its neighbour, so does not wage war on Russia’s neighbour, Ukraine, but seeks loving ways to strengthen ancient links with Kiev, overcoming warring militarism with peace.  Heirs to Russian saints, such as Saint Seraphim, Saint Silouan and Saint Sophrony, adhere to the Gospel of love which genuine Holy Russia also always loves.  Satan inverts this by demonising Ukraine, causing devastating destruction by parodying Holy Orthodoxy. Holy Russia stands steadfast in love, making peace, putting a decisive end to satanic wars of aggressive invasion.

Love is the meaning of the Cross of Christ, overcoming the demonic powers of this world, making Great Peace.  Love is the meaning of Holy Trinity, inspiring Russian Orthodoxy, silencing the lies of Satan.  Ukrainian martyrs glorify God, not Ukraine, reminding Russia what true holiness is, purifying patriotism of ethnic nationalism. Russian betrayal of Holy Orthodoxy could easily infect Ukraine if glorifying nationalism usurped Holy Orthodoxy in opposition to Russian imperialism.  This is why Ukrainian martyrs bear witness to genuine Holy Orthodoxy when they give their lives defending Ukraine.  Love inspires them, including love of the love that inspired genuine Russian saints, exposing demonic parodies for all to see.  Love conquers the many temptations of war, nationalism and imperialism, bearing costly witness to hallowing glorification on the embattled streets of Orthodox Ukraine.

Feast of Saint Seraphim of Sarov