JORDANVILLE: September 12, 2005

Statement by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus

During these days, as we mourn over the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, I call upon all to raise their prayers for the dead and the suffering, their relatives, the rescuers and others who lend their help and support.

I pray before the Kurk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, the main holy icon of our Church, with the hope that the Most-Blessed Virgin will strengthen and console everyone, including Priest Alexander Logunov and the parishioners of St John of Shanghai Community in Mobile, Alabama, whose church suffered damage.

The Gospel shows us that the Mother of God possessed true humility. She always accepted the will of God, subjecting and submitting herself totally to it, remembering that everything—both the good and the fearsome—is a gift from God. Let us try to follow Her example and look upon all things that happen to us in this life in this vale of sorrows in the same way, for Divine will sends all things to man for his own benefit, as we sing during the pannikhida: "Thou only Creator Who, with wisdom profound, mercifully orderest all things, and givest that which is useful to all men." And only then, with God's help, will we acquire true spiritual peace and consolation. I wish this with all my heart for those "weeping and mourning, seeking the consolation of Christ" during these days.

+Metropolitan Laurus,
First Hierarch of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

September 8, 2005.