Patriarch Kirill: Do Not Renounce Grace

On the eve of the Feast of Theophany His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, followed by the blessing of waters appointed on this day. After the service, His Holiness addressed the faithful with a sermon, focusing on God-given grace.

"Today we celebrate the Epiphany, or Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan river, commemorating that event when the Holy Trinity appeared to this world, having united with the entire creation through the human nature of the Son of God. By His Incarnation, He has entered human flesh and blood and given immeasurable grace to the whole world."

"Grace is the Divine energy transmitting God’s power to mankind. Very much like in the physical world, nothing can transpire without Divine energy in the world incorporeal." 

"We receive the gift of the Divine grace in the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Eucharist, and other Sacraments of the Church, and it has a decisive influence upon our whole life. 'Without Me ye can do nothing,' says the Lord (John 15:5). If this applies to our everyday chores, so much more it concerns the life of the human spirit: nothing good for mankind can be possibly done without God’s energy, without His grace."

"God does not force His grace onto anyone. He calls us to salvation and gives us His grace, helping us follow His call. But if someone evades grace, he also evades God Himself, and it remains to wait for a miracle, for a miraculous removal of the obstructions between God and a human heart."

"Our prayer today is for all and for everyone, especially for those who fell under the influence of the external forces which effect the schism. Brothers and sisters, this is not a choice of whither to go, of where to reside: this is the choice between salvation and perdition, because breaking away from One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is breaking away from God’s grace."