MESSAGE FROM Fr. Ivon Kolodiy

Glory Be To Jesus Christ!

April 1, 2021

I am the WAY you ought to FOLLOW,

The TRUTH you ought to HEAR,

The LIFE you ought to LIVE!

Dear Members, Benefactors and Apostles of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

These days are ones of great suffering, uncertainty and distress in the Church, in our homes and in our countries. If we rely upon our own strength, wisdom and individual judgement, the remedies we apply will be totally ineffective. Follow Me! says Our Lord: I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no man cometh to the Father but by Me.”

In following Christ, we will find peace and happiness on earth, and eternal beatitude in Heaven. The Son of God descended from Heaven to earth not only to redeem us but also to be our Model and teach us the Christian life by His example. Jesus led a simple, ordinary life. He ate, slept and labored like us; He suffered, wept and passed through many trials in order to serve as our example in everything. We must meditate on the Life of Christ so that, in all our thoughts, words and actions, we will live as He would have us live. In the Life of Christ, there is meekness, purity, unworldliness, love of souls and pity for the unfortunate. The influence of Christ in our lives does not make us less ourselves, but rather vivifies us, quickens our powers and brings out our dormant faculties of mind and heart.

We do not look to follow Jesus’ external Life as lived in Galilee and Judea, but rather it is His interior eternal Life that we must reproduce in our lives! It is the Spirit of Christ which must be in us, which must guide and fashion us. How do we enter into this communion with the living Christ? It is by Faith and Love!

Faith is the hand which lifts the veil which hides Him from our carnal minds and shows Him to us that we may see.

Love binds us to Him in a bond of understanding and sympathy.

Faith is but a faculty of gaining knowledge, but the knowledge of Christ is to be found in the teachings of the Church, the lives of the Saints and in prayer. If your mind is chiefly wrapped up in things which do not lead to Christ, how can you know Him? It is not enough to know Him; He must be loved! We must enter into a personal relationship with Him. We do love Him in a way and, yet, He is far off. We do not love Him with our whole heart; our hearts are divided. If any creature or interest tends to break our bond of love for Christ, it must go! He must be loved for Himself in the highest degree.

During His hidden Life in Nazareth, we learn from the Master the great lesson of obedience, love of obscurity, humility and poverty, detachment from creatures and the love of labor. In His public Life and Passion, we must consider Jesus Christ as our Model and learn from Him meekness, humility, patience, charity, forgiveness of injuries, love of prayer, zeal for souls, self-restraint, self-denial and perfect conformity to the Will of God. Christ gave us an unequaled example of mercy, gentleness and compassion. He hated sin, but He loved the sinner. He taught us on the Mount of Olives, to love our enemies and to do good to them that hate us. Christ came to serve and, in this manner, He conquered the world! Whatever talents, time and gifts God has given to us, we must use them in the service of others. We must not bury them, hide them or hoard them. They must be given freely and generously in the service of so many who are without hope, health and happiness. When there is a determination to perform all the actions of our day for the love of God, for His glory and the salvation of souls, then our offering will bear fruit.

God in our hearts; God on our lips; loving awareness of God – this is the state to which we aspire that we may live in the presence of God. He will never leave us; unless we first desert Him. He is always with us. His Love for us will never grow cold. He does not wish us to walk alone.

The most solemn and glorious time of the year is quickly approaching: Holy Week and Easter. As we stand at the empty tomb of Our Crucified Savior, our hearts leap with joy: God has triumphed!

We are eternally grateful to you for your kindness, love and gifts. During the Divine Liturgy offered each and every day, we remember you, your family and all your loved ones who are sick and suffering, and your family members who are departed. We extend to you the most profound gratitude for your prayers for us, our families and the suffering Church in Ukraine.

May the profound glory of the Resurrection gladden our hearts and give us boundless courage, hope and joy!