Митрополит Александр посетил строящийся собор в честь Живоначальной Троицы и преподобного старца Севастиана в микрорайоне Михайловка
Митрополит Александр принял участие в заседании Священного Синода, которое стало 60-ым со времени начала Первосвятительского служения Святейшего Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла
Преставился ко Господу первый проректор Алма-Атинской духовной семинарии митрофорный протоиерей Александр Милованов
Воскресное архиерейское богослужение в Никольском соборе Южной столицы
Appeal of the Head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan Metropolitan of Astana and Kazakhstan Alexander before the start of the Christmas Lent

Dear brother archpastors, all-honorable fathers, brothers and sisters, residents of the land of Kazakhstan!
The sacred time of the Nativity Fast has approached - the period of preparation for the great and world-saving feast of the Nativity of Christ.

The upcoming feat of fasting is our heartfelt response to the Savior’s call to repentance (Matt. 4:17), your labor prompted by love (1 Thess 1:3), performed for the sake of the incarnate Christ, this is the path from a far country to the house of the Heavenly Father (Luke 15:11-32), this is the time that frees us from sin and unites us with eternity.

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2), complains the prophet Isaiah. People grieve over the imperfection of life, both spiritual and material, wish themselves and their loved ones health and well-being, but often forget that happiness and joy come only when a person is with God. The Church of Christ gives us the opportunity and indicates ways to eliminate the main causes of sorrows and misfortunes - sins, passions, vices, bad inclinations. Everything has been generously given to us from Above for salvation – the life-giving word of God set forth in Holy Scripture, divine services and sacred rites constantly performed under the vaults of churches, the books of the Holy Fathers and the sermons of pastors and the most importantly the sacraments of Confession and Communion. The point is only in the determination of a person, in the desire to correct life according to the commandments of Christ, in the firm desire to be with God both now and in eternity. Therefore, it is so important to learn to overcome laziness and negligence. “The kingdom of heaven is taken by force and those who use force take it by force,” the Savior instructs us.

It is regrettable when a Christian through laziness or negligence deviates from the main source of his life - from the divine, holy, heavenly and immortal Mysteries. At each Divine Liturgy we participate in the Gospel Last Supper and the Lord Himself addresses us, calling us to partake of His most pure Body and His precious and life-giving Blood. The desire to participate in the sacrament of the Eucharist, the desire to partake of the Mysteries of Christ is a sign of a true spiritual path.

The blessed days of fasting should become for us a school of piety, fill our minds with knowledge about God, about the Church, about spiritual life. Today, many people strive to get a good secular education, to learn foreign languages, to read a lot of various books. Intellectual development is necessary for a person, but the mind, memory, talents and abilities should serve not only earthly life, but above all - eternal. Let us take upon ourselves a special work during the period of fasting – let us show zeal for the study of the Gospel, read soul-saving books; instead of idle watching television and the Internet, let's dive into the teachings of the holy fathers and teachers. “Where there are spiritual books,” St. John Chrysostom instructs us, “from there every power of the devil is driven away, and there is a great learning in virtue for those who live there.” The Monk Pimen the Great, when his disciples asked him how to get rid of hardness of heart, of the rudeness of the soul, answered: “Water is soft by its nature, and stone is hard. But, flowing down drop by drop, water is able to break through a stone little by little. So the word of God is soft, but our heart is hard, but if a person often hears the word of God, then reverence and peace come into his heart.”

The Advent fast prepares us for a meeting with Christ, Who testifies of Himself: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46). We, Orthodox Christians being, according to the word of God, children of the light (John 12:36), are called with our whole lives to fill the world around us with the light of the Gospel and the grace of God bestowed upon us in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:4). Let us try to show those who are close to us examples of our steadfastness and courage, long-suffering and spiritual nobility, generosity and unfeigned love for our neighbors. Let us hear the call of the Apostle Paul: "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ " (Gal. 6:2). Overcoming big and small conflicts, stopping quarrels and insults, forgiveness of insults will become the most convincing sermon about the incarnate God and an active testimony to the beauty and spiritual strength of native Orthodoxy.

Today, when the world is trembling from difficult trials, when the hearts of people are seized with fear and anxiety for the future, it is especially important for us to strengthen conciliar and domestic prayer and bring to the Lord the special gift of works of mercy. Every day let us lift up petitions for the grieving and suffering to the Merciful Creator, so that He would renew their spiritual and bodily strength and send down His help. It is important for all of us to remember that no problems, no difficulties can break a person’s spirit if he maintains a living faith and relies on the Lord in everything. Let us pray that the imperishable light of the Divine will illuminate our lives, that our hearts, like a manger in Bethlehem, would reverently accept Christ the Life-Giver who came into the world. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24).

Invoking God's blessing, the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos and the prayerful help of the New Martyrs, Confessors and all Saints,

HEAD OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF KAZAKHSTAN

Обращение Главы Православной Церкви Казахстана митрополита Астанайского и Казахстанского Александра перед началом Рождественского поста

METROPOLITAN OF ASTANAI AND KAZAKHSTAN