MESSAGE FROM Fr. Ivon Kolodiy

Fr. Ivan Kolodiy,    The Living Rosary – UKRAINE

 Dear Members, Benefactors and Apostles of the Living Rosary,

I apologize for my long silence. My Lenten duties took up a great deal of time and the faithful wished to go to Confession and attend the Sacraments often. They are longing for peace and for the war to end. Many of the men try to stay hidden so they will not be sent to the army as they do not believe in this war. I try to tell them of the importance of the Holy Rosary and the Sacraments to help them persevere in their Faith. On Saturday, we had 140 in attendance for the parish retreat. I gave them the St. Michael holy card, Rosaries and Miraculous Medals. We have two or three rocket alerts every day. It is a very difficult time as morale and courage are wanting. Most people ask me especially about the war and why God cannot stop it. They pray and the war continues, and so they lose faith in religion. Suffering makes us like Our Savior, gives us a share in His Passion and will win for us the glory of Heaven. We must pray to Our Lady of Sorrows in all our sufferings. No mother on earth ever loved a child as Our Blessed Mother loves us. Let us go to Mary with absolute confidence.

Christ showed His wounds, which were bleeding and painful a week earlier, to the Apostles during the week of the Paschal joys. They later appeared glorious and shining with the rays of His divinity. He willed to preserve them in His Risen Body as an irrefutable proof that it was the same Body which had suffered and died for us.

These wounds are sacred fountains out of which we must draw grace continually with unlimited confidence in their merits. Whether we will it or not, we must suffer: suffer in our body, our mind and our heart; suffer from others who displease and molest us; suffer from ourselves, from our sadness, impatience, melancholy and bad temper. These sufferings ought to be highly esteemed by us: Christ said, “Blessed are those who suffer; blessed are those who weep for, without suffering, there is no virtue, no merit and no salvation.”

Suffering endured with patience renders us dear to the Heart of God the Father.
Fervent hearts spare themselves nothing. As soon as there is a question of serving God, they devote themselves entirely to His cause. They are afraid of nothing! Jesus Christ alone has unlimited power in Heaven and over the whole earth. He sends His Apostles out to conquer the world. They are lambs in the midst of wolves. They have nothing to fear as the omnipotence of God accompanies them. They are to go forth and teach all Nations all that He has commanded.

The Peace of the Risen Savior consists in tranquility of heart, which is always in possession of itself. It consists in a sweet liberality of spirit which does everything in its proper time without being troubled or hurried. The Holy Ghost dwells in calmness and repose. Peace of soul is the essential secret and the fundamental stone of the whole interior life. It is the precious peace that must be bought at the cost of all which we possess. This peace is beyond all price!

Excessive activity is the greatest obstacle to peace. In order to live in peace, we must act with simplicity and moderation. Too often, we are besieged by a thousand occupations, from morning till night, which leave us no repose. In calmness and freedom of mind, let us take them, one at a time, until they are done. After sin, there is no greater evil than disquietude.

St. Vincent de Paul understood this matter and, amidst his most absorbing occupations, he was always calm and entirely a master of himself. If we lose our peace, it is best to humble ourselves, rise again with full confidence in Divine Mercy and cast ourselves into the arms of God with a heart full of love. Some torment themselves with scruples in which they always fear displeasing God. We sin only with our will. God wishes us to be gentle and moderate in His service. He only asks that we have a will which is resolutely determined to conform itself to His Will. When in doubt, the scrupulous person ought never to believe that he has committed a mortal sin. We must look upon God as a good Father, Who desires to see simplicity and confidence in those who serve Him with the love of a child and not the fear of a slave.

Perfect conformity to the Will of God gives us a pleasant peace. It is good to make a resolution not to desire any other talents, condition or fortune than what He has given us and lovingly follow the Will of God in all the details of our lives, even as the Magi followed the Star which led them to Bethlehem. Christ is our Refuge! Christ is our Light! Christ is our Love! Christ is our HOPE!