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Глава Православной Церкви Казахстана и посол Ватикана обсудили роль традиционных религий в жизни современного общества
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Рождественские митрополичьи елки прошли в Астане
Appeal Heads of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan Metropolitan of Astana and Kazakhstan Alexander before the start of Lent

Honorable fathers, dear brothers and sisters, residents of the land of Kazakhstan!

On February 27, Great Lent begins - a special period in the life of the entire Church and every believer, which prepares us for a worthy meeting of the Feast of Feasts and the Triumph of Celebrations - the Bright Resurrection of Christ. We enter the field of spiritual struggles and intense prayers in order, according to the word of the apostle, to put off your old self and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:22, 24).

Everyone who has read the Holy Scriptures, got acquainted with the works and teachings of the holy fathers and teachers of the Church, knows the great importance attached to fasting by the apostles and prophets, ascetics and righteous people of different centuries. “Fasting is the purity of prayer, the preservation of the mind, the extermination of insensitivity of the heart, the door of compunction, the retention of verbosity, the health of the body, the liberation from sins,” says St. John of the Ladder.

The main content and meaning of fasting labors is repentance, which is understood as a change of mind, correction of the way of life in accordance with the Gospel. In order to make this possible, the Holy Church carefully offers us her grace-filled help and effective means. With the onset of Fortecost, special services begin to be performed in churches, which contribute to the awakening of the soul from sinful oblivion, the disclosure of repentant feelings, and the purification of the mind from vain thoughts. “My soul, my soul, get up, why are you sleeping?” - we hear in the first days of Lent the heartfelt words of the great penitential canon of St. Andrew of Crete, setting us up for sincere, deep communion with God. Awareness of spiritual weakness and a humble vision of our mistakes are taught by the repeatedly repeated prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, performed with prostrations. Psalms form the basis of Lenten services. St. John Chrysostom speaks of the benefits of reading them this way: “Those who call to themselves David with the Psalter, through him call to themselves Christ.”

In order to feel and perceive the transforming power of Holy Fortecost, the fasting person needs to take part in the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. With her strict beauty, she touches everyone, even the most hard-hearted person, to the depths of her soul. The lines of psalms and Old Testament texts resonate in it with persistent calls to come with faith and love to Christ in the sacrament of Communion, to taste and see how good the Lord is. In the Gospel, the Savior testifies: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts teaches us to appreciate this greatest blessing that the Savior revealed to His Church – Heavenly bread, His most pure and life-giving Body and Blood. May each of us, during the holy days of fasting, persevere in the matter of saving the soul, overcome circumstances and inconveniences, and as often as possible approach the Cup of life, as we read in the prayer before Communion, “into the Holy Spirit fellowship and into eternal life, into deliverance from passions and sorrows. The days of fasting spent in the temple, participating in divine services, reveal the true joy of life with Christ. Remember that the time given to God always returns to a person with a special blessing of all good deeds and undertakings, on the contrary, a life in which the Creator is given an inappropriate place turns into vanity and vexation of the spirit (Eccl. 1:14).

The days of Great Lent are a period of special observation of one's spiritual life. St. John Chrysostom accuses us: "We are poor in good deeds, not because we cannot, but because we do not want to do good." To the question of where to get the strength and wisdom to evade evil and do good (Ps. 33:15), there is only one answer - in unity with Christ in prayers and the Sacraments of the Church.

Before entering the field of Great Lent, let us hasten, according to the commandment of the Savior, to forgive our neighbors for their mistakes and insults against us, so that God will forgive all of us countless sins. Let us reconcile with offenders in order to find peace with the Creator. Asking each other for forgiveness and receiving forgiveness, we take the first step on the path leading us to the Crucified and Risen Christ.
May the upcoming Great Lent, through the prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos, the New Martyrs and Confessors of Kazakhstan and all the saints, grant each of us the opportunity to become worthy children of the Heavenly Father. I appeal to you with an apostolic call: " Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love" (Eph. 5:1-2).

Invoking God's blessing

HEAD OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF KAZAKHSTAN
Обращение Главы Православной Церкви Казахстана митрополита Астанайского и Казахстанского Александра перед началом Великого поста
METROPOLITAN OF ASTANAI AND KAZAKHSTAN