"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose," writes the Holy Apostle. The devastation inflicted upon the Russian Land--and particularly the Church--during those eighty years under the Communist Yoke is difficult for those of us living in the "Free World" to fully comprehend. The soil of Holy Russia was drenched with the blood of the Holy New Martyrs, who freely chose to endure unimaginable trials and tribulations for the sake of Christ.
Yet it was by this means that the Russian Church received their second Baptism, by which it was tested and purified like unto gold refined in a fiery furnace. And so did these martyrs--who were "accounted as sheep for the slaughter"--bear witness that they were "more than conquerors through Him that loved them." And indeed, "if God is for us, who can be against us?"
The Godless Authority strove by any possible means to eliminate the very idea of God from the consciousness of the Russian people, to create a new Soviet Man to replace the Image of God, to exchange the ineffable glory of the Kingdom of Heaven for a "worker's paradise" that turned out in the end to be hell on earth. Yet as St. Paul assures us, "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers... nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Christ Himself promised that the very gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church He established, which is "the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." He also assures us that the faithful shall be persecuted, betrayed and "hated by all men," but that nevertheless... those who persevere unto the end shall be saved and glorified in God's heavenly Kingdom.
We here in America have in large part been spared the full impact of the destructive violence that has engulfed much of the world during the past hundred years. Nevertheless, prophetic voices proclaim that what began in Russia will end in America. Let us, therefore, strive to prepare ourselves for the trial that is sure to come, remaining steadfast in the Faith--that by the grace of God, we might endure unto the end.