Patriarch Kirill: the safe family life of the priest is the Christian podvig, the ascetic and pastoral task


21 December 2018, giving report to the Diocesan Assembly of Moscow, his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill urged the governors of the vicariates to support a priestly family, to show more attention to the spouses of priests, including not to neglect the opportunity to invite the clergy and their wives in the days of anniversaries or other memorable days, according to patriarhiei.

“Experience shows that good wise part in the fate of suffering a family crisis in many cases can change the situation. However, it is important that such meetings were not formal. Especially to be avoided in their organization methods administration. Excessive attention to issues of family life from the authorities is sometimes perceived with fear and mistrust as interference and attempt to undue control. The delicacy in this sensitive area will not be excessive,” said Patriarch Kirill.

“Of particular importance, dear fathers and brethren who have kindly attention to each other fellow altar, those who see each other almost every day. After all, discord in the family does not occur overnight. The gap between the loved ones begins with a cooling, fading love, the rising tide of resentment and lack of attention to each other, and sometimes just from fatigue caused by a variety of reasons. See his glowering brother — take an interest in what was happening to him, sincerely pray for him and his loved ones, offer help and friendly advice, even pohodnistvo about him and his family before the parish or diocesan leadership,” advised his Holiness.

“Safe family life, the increase in mutual love is the Christian podvig, the ascetic, and — in our case, the pastoral task, — said the Patriarch. — Needless to say, the collapse of the family life of the priest inevitably casts its shadow on his pastoral service. He will be pure in heart to serve Christ’s Church, when his Church collapsed?”

“Ordinary consciousness is peculiar to judge of Christian asceticism as a set of constraints, even if undertaken voluntarily, as a necessary means of curbing evil. But for well-known words of the Psalmist; Turn away from evil is followed by others: And do good, seek peace and devote thyself to him (PS. 33:14). And if about how to evade the evil we think and talk a lot and willingly, then on the second part of this imperative of Scripture are inclined to forget, believing that the good in our life is made by itself. And it is precisely the desire for the good, of Christ to the world requires the selfless efforts of both parties of the marital Union and, particularly, the head of the family, clothed with the sacred San,” said his Holiness.

According to the Primate, “common prayer, the preservation of mutual love and growth in her, gaining a shared view of the world, the ability to keep attentive, grateful and thankful attitude to each other, generous patience, ability to listen and hear — all of this should be the content of the daily spiritual heroism of the priest and his wife, not only during the formation of a young family, but is no less important — much later, in the years of adulthood and even in old age.”

“We talk about sacrifice in the pastoral Ministry. The sacrifice of the shepherd is first and foremost a willingness to sacrifice themselves, their own, their attention, their rest and time. But this does not mean that we should completely sacrifice others! Is it always fathers attentive to their spouses? If there is no way that engaged the pastoral labors of the priest looks at the mood of his wife, her needs, does not notice her fatigue, leaving her alone with the boredom and monotony of household chores? Attentive and responsive attitude to the congregation is the norm of pastoral conduct. But not least in such an attentive and sensitive relation to Pets in need of a priest in the first place — the one who tied up him and his Ministry their lives. She and her children are at the forefront of his flock,” — said the Patriarch.

Not always the spouse of a priest or deacon from the first days of may well incur associated with its state of charge and certain restrictions. “But where there is true communion of life and is not quenched mutual love and affection, there is sooner or later formed and ideological unity, common vision, like-mindedness and the willingness to bear the burdens of one another and fulfill the law of Christ (cf. 6:2),” — said his Holiness.

“The tradition of election to the diaconal and priestly dignity of married people is not just an ancient custom of our Church. It’s a Testament to her wisdom inspired by the Holy Spirit; it is a wide open window of opportunity for active dissemination of the truth of Christ in the world. That is why the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to Timothy (see 1 Tim. 3:4) reminds us that the ability to manage well your home is one of the criteria of good pastoral Ministry,” — said the Patriarch.

“Take this opportunity to convey my deep appreciation to the spouses — spouses of our priests and deacons, to thank them for their prayers, for their love and for devotion to Christ’s Church and his vocation. Their daily selfless work is almost not visible from the outside, but almost always good pastoral care is largely associated with inconspicuous, sometimes tacit, but constant support and involvement of mother”, — concluded his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.

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