First of all, what — or who — is meant or denoted by Holy Rus‘?
Traditional usage of this designation by the Church, and of course by St. John Maximovich, refers to the saints who have shown forth in the “Lands of all the Russias” (Rosiskii / Российскую) that is, those sons and daughters of the Church who have achieved sanctity and shone forth in these lands, rather than a mere modern nation-state. Great/Mother Russia, Little Russia (Ukraine), White Russia (Byelorus), Carpatho Russia, etc. Kievan Rus’, Muscovy, and the rest. All Rus’.
This ‘great cloud of witnesses’ includes the now-thought-to-be-Irish saints Sergius and Herman of Valaam, as there were countless monastic settlements along the Russian north at the time some of which having extant Celtic crosses. And Holy Rus’ certainly includes those of the more than 300 ethnicities found across all the Russias throughout their over-1000-year temporal history, both known and unknown (save by God).
Why, then, would the diasporic preservation program spun into a political nationalist conspiracy myth by Western Academics known as “Russky Mir” get any mileage (kilometerage?) at all let alone as fast as a gossip scandal moves through an American high school?
Now, sure, there has been such a label for a totally harmless patriotic cultural-value campaign supported by leaders of the modern nation-state. But such a program common to those cultures with large emigre diasporas around the world hardly justifies universalizing the spy villains in Rocky & Bullwinkle (viz., Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale) to all Russians and beyond.
With the onset of the Western global government/media/corporate conglomerate’s reception and propagandizing spin of the RF’s decision finally at long last to take action against the forces set in motion against its very existence by such a conglomerate (and a de facto promised NATO nuke as the spearhead) on its very doorstep, its academic and otherwise humanist ambassadors went absolutely nuts, chanting “Russky Mir” like it was the very Hollycost itself come back in a WMD Mobile Lab in a Delorian.
All of them instantly and permanently bought into the Western lies that its hawks did not push into motion the Maidan Coup of 2014 to gain a foothold on the contiguous viable superpower which finally gained an effective leader with actual values and sense (including and beyond dollars and cents). All of them had been waiting for any reason to pounce on such a leader for over a decade, actually, just given the fact that he’s an autocrat, as if that’s automatically a dictator or Hitlerian tyrant (one must read AND understand the out-of-print “Origin of the Autocrat” for the authentic sense by which autocracy initially came forward in ancient history as absolutely effective — the despot/monarch as gentle father, whose love of the people is earned and gained for him of them by such very effectiveness. Many of our prayers and services refer to our Lord’s despotic love, no less — this should not be that difficult especially for church people!).
[By Thy Despotic Love], Holy Father, keep through Thy name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one as We are (Jn 17:11). The entire Seventeenth Chapter of the Gospel of St. John constitutes such a prayer by our Lord to His Father, in which, according to Holy Hieromartyr Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Smyrna (+1922), He does the following:
He prays first regarding the glory and triumph of His work, which was for the salvation of the world, the salvation of which He was to accomplish with His blood, and the final hour was approaching; secondly, with regard to His disciples, those who from the beginning and at first consisted of the core, the first small flock that believed in His name, and who, though their good shepherd will be taken away, they were to remain as orphaned and unprotected sheep in the midst of wolves, and having need of this support from above and extraordinary divine protection, not only to endure bravely the coming dangers and persecutions, but also with magnanimity to receive joyfully the exalted and thrice-glorious mission, to spread Christianity to the ends of the earth and preach the gospel to the nations glorifying Jesus; and thirdly, Jesus prays for all those, who through the preaching of the Apostles throughout the centuries will believe in Christ, that they will be arrayed as soldiers of that one army under the one flag of the heavenly King, Christ.Holy Hieromartyr Chrysostomos, Λόγοι ευσέβειας: Γραπτά κηρύγματα εις δεσποτικάς εορτάς, 1η έκδ., Θεσσαλονίκη, Μυγδονία, 2000 (translated and published by John Sanidopoulos at https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2021/04/discourse-on-great-despotic-prayer-of.html ).
With magnanimity to receive joyfully the exalted and thrice-glorious mission of the Russian Orthodox Church: to go forth and baptize all nations in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that is, with true humility, absolute recognition of the glorious victory of God alone, and to acquire the gift of the spirit of peace had in true reception (and fulfillment, per St. Seraphim of Sarov) of such mission.
And arrayed as soldiers of the one army under Christ, we in the Russian Church have the unique opportunity to receive this mission of Holy Rus‘ where the Tradition is best preserved, or preserved at all for that matter, considering the rampant modernism if not schism afflicting most if not all other “jurisdictions.” And in a country where Orthodox Christianity is an extreme minority to heretical Christianity, it is the only option.
This predicament renders the Ecclesial Unity of the Russian Church absolutely paramount, to remain aligned with it, directing oneself ever closer to God by it, and ever laying it open for others who are likewise committed. But in a culture of fabricated scandals and political myths, we hear cries for clergy even from long-time faithful to do the opposite, to excommunicate “Supreme Leader” (who happens to be an Orthodox Christian, Bullwinkle!) and pray for his assassination and condemnation; to denounce the national armed forces and its leaders (all leaders are appointed by God) who again have set out to defeat Naziism and its genocidal atrocities (but given the MSM who knew, right? just a few bad apples, as usual); to cease commemoration of His Holiness the Patriarch, etc.
Where were you all the years from 2014 on when moliebens were served almost daily for the lists of the newly-slain ethnic Rus’ in the former eastern provinces of Ukraine? Or when the prayer for Kiev the Mother of Russian Cities and all Ukraine was intoned in special litanies during the Divine Liturgy because the Rus’ were being slain and their temples burned? Or during the long decades of prayer of our hierarchs and faithful leading up to the reunification of the Russian Church Abroad with her restored ancient patriarchate, which continues its now nearly 20-year restoration and exponential growth by some 30 temples per day!?
It is absolutely unbelievable that all the sudden the next psyop includes a war against God that long-time faithful support because they believe the media Rocky & Bullwinkle show. I suppose they also believe that the RF is still a Communist Dictatorship, and who knows what else, really. We must pray for them. We are all sinners and must struggle for our own salvation.
Thus even if we believe a leader to be evil, we must not protest them but pray for them, and if they are Orthodox Christian, we must offer them the prayers of the Church. But as our hierarchs have said, we must not believe everything on the local news and try to access and consider the perspective of the other side. We certainly should not commit schismatic acts or call others to do so because of this passion welling up due to the one-sided sensationalist propaganda.
For it is nothing short of a war against God, one that warranted the special military operation all along — it was a few years later than appropriate even — and most unfortunately one that has Orthodox brother fighting Orthodox brother on top of all the Orthodox Russian human shields that the neonazis have expended.
He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to directEcclesiastes 10: 8-10
God help us!