The Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna, saint and martyr for the Faith, who was politically inept along with her equally politically inept, but beloved husband, Tsar Nicholas, did make the very pertinent observation that the ordinary Russian peasant loved the whip. She was no opponent of Western democracy, in fact culturally she was an English woman to her finger tips, rather than a German woman. Her mother Princess Alice of Hess, daughter of Queen Victoria, decorated the family home in Hess-Darmstadt with English paintings and the atmosphere was far more English than German. Alexandra was acutely aware that what worked in Britain France, or Italy, would not work for Russia. Despite Peter the Great and Catherine the Great trying to make Russian culturally like the Western European countries, the likeness was only superficial. If either of them had been sincere, they would have abolished serfdom. In fact under Catherine the amount of serfs doubled.
America, so obsessed with her supposedly impeccable democratic credentials, is a in fact a republic founded by oligarchs, but it appears that President Obama’s grasp of history and reality is tenuous, and with his militarizing of The United States, it looks as if he is beginning to resemble Ivan The Terrible. He has purged those generals, who refused to fire upon Americans if called to do so. The poor American people might begin to appear like the poor Russians, who suffered, along with the Ukranians,at the hands of Joseph Stalin, who the much lauded F.D. Roosevelt was taken in by, and who gave oil and military armaments gratis, which enabled the Soviets to beat the Nazis, but only loaned money to the British, because he mistakenly thought that Uncle Joe was not an Imperialist like the British rulers. How wrong he was! America is not the land of the Free. Lichtenstein and Andorra might be, but great lumbering Imperial countries are never the land of the Free. The only land of the Free is our heavenly homeland where obedience and love will be truly one.
The one thing that both Russia and most of the Ukraine have in common is the Orthodox Faith. Sadly there is great hostility displayed by the Russian Orthodox towards the Eastern Rite Catholic Church, and we can only hope and pray that it will be healed, but they are both profoundly religious people, and if the truth be told, the Russians and the Ukrainians are the same people. For it was the Grand Prince of Kiev, Vladimir, who embraced Orthodoxy, rather than the Catholicism of his grandmother Olga. He was also the great grandson of Rurik, the founder of the Russian State. The Ukrainians and the Russians are one. They have both been brutalized by the terrible Mongol invasions of the 13th Century that caused, certainly in the Russians, and no doubt the Ukrainians too, to display two extremes in their character, one of great tenderness, and the other of great violence. Vladimir and his successors, it is gratifying to note, fostered excellent relations with the Latin Christians, and one of his successors Waldemar, King of Novogorod, married the daughter of the ill starred Harold II, last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, who was defeated by William the Conqueror, every inch as tough as any Tsar.
We see the poor Ukrainians being worked upon by the Godless American and equally Godless EU, who want to export to the Ukraine, Gay marriage, globalisation, population control (killing people by abortion, war, abortifacient contraception, and ordinary contraception, and GM crops), all in the name of Democracy. I would think the rediscovered Orthodox Russia, despite its autocratic make up, would be eminently preferable. More interestingly, George Soros, who was involved with the Orange Revolution, has been involved with the present one. I hope that he realizes that his call for an Open Society à la Karl Popper, to be taken up by the Ukraine, has opened the way for neo-fascism, a wave of anti-Semitism, and the almost successful torching of a Synagogue. Not long before this attempt at religious hatred for a Jewish place of worship, one of the leading Ukrainian rabbis, warned Russians and Jews to leave Ukraine. I was rather surprised by this, but later events vindicated the good Rabbi's warnings. As George Soros is a Jew, I hope he takes to heart that his actions are having a very bad effect on his fellow Jews. However as he does not believe in God, I suppose it doesn’t worry him.
The Russians are being vilified by the supposedly liberal, left wing press in Europe and America. No-one, as usual is thinking, or they are thinking thoughts that are diametrically opposed to the law of God. Hermits have the rather distressing vocation of having to warn people; religious should be doing it, but on the whole they are taken up with simple issues such as Justice and Peace and feeding the hungry, all laudable, but one also needs the moral dimension. One could do without it, but as St. John the Baptist is the Prince of Hermits, one has no option. So we see liberal and not so liberal Christians who are quite right in pointing out that oppression of the poor, and defrauding labourers of their wages are wrong, in fact unbeknown to these moderns they are two of the sins crying to heaven for vengeance, but they would be dumbstruck to hear that one of the others was The sin of Sodom! Wilful murder is the fourth. Let the West pause for thought before it contemplates attacking Russia. It is not for nothing that Russia is called Holy Russia. No other country has suffered as much as she, not even Poland, who suffered at the hands of Russia, Prussia, Austria, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Ireland has suffered dreadfully at the hands of the English, but Russia suffered at the hands of her own rulers. Her Christian spirituality is second to none. She has understood the Poor Crucified Christ better than any other of the Christian nations. The deplorable West of the present day, spiritually, morally, and economically bankrupt has nothing to show Mother Russia, and certainly not bravery.
We can only pray and hope that Vladimir Putin continues to display the very balanced statesmanship that he has been deploying over the last year. President Obama needs our prayers to, as does David Cameron, Angela Merkel, and Francois Hollande. Let us hope that the three former ones rediscover a more profound Christianity than they are displaying at present, which is dismally shallow and hardly worthy of the name. They cannot serve both God and Mammon; at least Francoise Holland does not pretend to be Christian, having forsworn the Catholicism of his youth. France has always had a soft spot for Russia, with the exception of Napoleon, who was of course a Corsican, and part of Italy at that time, if my memory serves me. French Catholicism, when it gets it right, and it is not at present sad to say, is second to none, and in that way she has something common with Russia.
And so we commend the Kievan Rus and the Muscovite Russians, who are brothers to the prayers of Mary the Mother of God, and to all the martyrs of the Communist Era, first and foremost Saints Nicholas II, and Alexandra, and their sainted children, her sister Elizabeth, and all the martyrs of the Ukraine and Russia. For if a war does break out then we must rely totally on the Divine Mercy, and I commend to you the chaplet given by Jesus to Saint Faustina Kowalska, a humble Polish nun in the 1930’s.
It begins with an Our Father, Hail Mary, the Apostles Creed,
and then on the Our Father beads of the Rosary is said:
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body, and Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins
and those of the whole world.
On the Hail Mary beads is said:
For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and the whole world.
At the end of the chaplet is said three times:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy and Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
St. Nicholas and Alexandra and their children,
And all martyrs of Russia and the Ukraine,
Pray for us,
AND MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS