Holy Pascha 2023

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Dear Friends of Saint Dumitru Monastery,

On this feast of feasts, it is meet for us to “sing unto the Lord, for He has been greatly glorified!” (Exodus 15:1), like the Israelite people when they escaped from their Egyptian slavery, passing the Red Sea on foot. Today is our victory over all evil, or more precisely, our Lord’s victory in which He grants us a share.

But before this victory cry, seeing Pharaoh’s armies approaching menacingly, the same people said to Moses: “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:11-12). From the outside, we marvel at how this people could possibly prefer slavery instead of the freedom promised by God.

In reality, however, we also reach impasses, like the Israelite people, in our own path from slavery (of sin) to freedom (“sons of God” – cf. Romans 8:21). And this is because we don’t understand why this path is the Cross: why, when seeking love, we encounter instead resistance from others and even hatred, why we are bitten by the snakes of temptations (cf. Numbers 21:6), why we need to pass through hunger and thirst (i.e., fasting), through fire and water (i.e., sufferings, misfortunes) to reach a place of rest (cf. Psalm 65:11). In a word, we don’t understand why the path to life passes through death (“Know how to die and resurrect every day for Christ our Lord,” as Father Arsenie Papacioc would often repeat).

But in these days of Resurrection, grace, and joy, may we be saturated with the understanding of the “salvation that God worked in the midst of the earth” (cf. Psalm 73:13), of the paradox that the Cross is the sole path leading to the resurrection of our souls. If we understand these things, we will have the Lord as our companion on our path to salvation, for He is the Way (cf. Ioan 14:6).

We entreat our merciful God that He may heal every wound, sadness, and discouragement, and that He may expel all evil from our souls with His boundless goodness and meekness, and that He may comfort our souls with the grace of His Resurrection.

Summer Feast Day. We wish also to invite you to our summer feast day, the Ascension of the Lord. We have the joy to share that, by God’s grace, for this feast day, which we will celebrate on Saturday, May 27, we will have the father abbot of Holy Putna Monastery, Archimandrite Melchisedec Velnic, in our midst. Father Abbot will bring us a priceless gift: a portion of the holy relics of Saint Jacob of Putna (https://basilica.ro/en/venerable-pachomius-the-great-%E2%80%A0-st-jacob-of-putna/).

Father Abbot Melchisedec will be accompanied by a group of fathers, who will delight us with the renowned “chanting of Putna”. Likewise, on May 26 in the morning, after the Divine Liturgy, we will celebrate Holy Unction for all of the faithful present. And in the afternoon of the feast day, we will have an occasion to hear Father Abbot speak. We await your presence with joy!

Christ is Risen!

Protosinghel Ieremia
Abbot of Saint Dumitru Monastery