Unceasing prayer, the mystery of prayer, is a mystery of the Resurrection, and the call of our Lord Jesus in our hearts is nothing but a renewal, a resurrection of our soul.
Therefore, when we say the prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner,” at that very moment we free ourselves from the power of sin, from the power of Satan, from all that is evil and harmful. The mind is enlightened, the heart is cleansed, and the will is strong in doing the right deed.
The second thought I would like to put in your heart is to be confessors of the faith. Believe in the depths of the Resurrection. Give thanks to God and let your soul be a confessor, enlightened by the faith of Christ, a soul full of strength and hope that come from the word of the gospel. I urge you to read the Holy Gospels. You will not find words more beautiful and comforting than those of the Holy Gospels. Nourish yourselves with them! Strengthen yourselves with them! You will find meaning in them for everyday life, and they will make us better and keep us more united.
The third thing I would like to remind you is that on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church made an exhortation and announcement that this year, the sesquicentennial of the First Celebration of all Romanians will be marked at the foundation of the Holy Voivode Stephen the Great on August 15, on the Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin. The purpose of the celebration is to affirm and consolidate the unity of Romanians in the country and abroad, but also to strengthen brotherly ties, the communion of love and the working together for the common good of the Romanian people. This year’s celebration will be organized under the theme “The Continuity of an Ideal.”
A few thoughts from the students of that time and Mihai Eminescu moved the entire Romanian nation. Their goal was to show the whole world that we had a past, and we want a future. “A resurrection,” Mihai Eminescu would say, “a resurrection of the nation cannot be achieved without people of God.” Behold the conscience of the great Eminescu. And he continued: “Do not go to the graves of your rulers with the seed of division in your heart but as you go and commune with the Blood of the Savior; so share your soul with the remembrance of the past. No passion and no hatred among the sons of the same land who, no matter how diverse in their opinions, are brothers and sons of the same mother, absolutely all of them.” And further, Mihai Eminescu wrote together with the students from Vienna: “No obstacle stands in the way of our goal but our own negligence and reluctance.”
We are too scattered, too dispersed; we have closed the door of God’s mercy too many times; we have closed the door of love for our neighbor. Faith falters, culture and education are cast aside. That is why I believe that our holy ancestors are speaking to us this year, urging us to a resurrection of the nation, to our awakening from this numbness into which we seem to have entered. If Romanian education is not set on a normal path, then we will lose ourselves. Children and young people especially need a good and healthy culture, useful reading, integral education.
Always have dignity and be determined to be truly Christians. “We are Christians and nothing else,” said the great Eminescu, “we are Christians, and we have the duty to be confessors of the Resurrection of Christ.” Let us not cleave our hearts to what is fleeting, but cling to what our holy ancestors loved, and thus we will have much peace. The unrest, the quarrels, the scandals, the political divergences do not engender anything useful. The good governance of the country must be placed on the strong foundation of love for the nation and homeland; of love for our holy ancestral values; of love for the faith and the soul of this people. Our persistence throughout history is owed to this specific Romanian thought.
In 1871, the students said: first, the union in faith and culture. To this I urge you: Let us stand up and not keep our heads down forever, because we have our values. We can be an example to the whole world. We can be a worthy people, we can be a people of solidarity, we can be a people with a beautiful faith, we can love and not hate one another.
But only if we put Christ in everything. By deed and word let us confess Christ. Let our thoughts be on His name, which will enlighten us, and this light will shine over our entire Romanian nation.
Archimandrite Melchisedec Velnic,
Abbot of Putna Monastery
From the sermon on the night of the Resurrection, 2021