As the liturgy of Maundy Thursday instructed me to strip and wash the altars of my chapel, the thought came into mind of the title of a famous book by the historian Dr Eamon Duffy. His subject was the English Reformation and the iconoclasm that occurred in the sixteenth century, the worst happening under Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads during the English Revolution in the mid seventeenth century.
Christendom has seen fanaticism and hatred over the centuries, but nothing in comparison with our own times. As I write, churches are destroyed and Christians are martyred by Daesh and other jihadist Muslims. Once again, churches are destroyed, gutted, burned and desecrated, all in the name of a divinity that millions of people in the world worship.
I hope and pray Mr Trump will look at these pictures too before blaming everything on the secular regime in Syria and launching any further attacks on the very forces defending Christians. This is my particular intention as I celebrate the succeeding elements of the Mystery during this Triduum.
Let us pray also for Europe, that we may never fall under the same scourge as befell England in 1649 and in the Middle East now, as we discover horror after horror on reading the news on the Internet and seeing videos on YouTube.
Άγίος ό Θεός, Άγίος ίσχυρος, Άγίος άθανατος, έλεήσον ήμάς.