The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 months ago

Believe Yourself a Sinner - Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee 2021


If you are interested in other available titles, or if you would like more information on Patristic Nectar Publications, please visit our website at


Help promote The Arena by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. This helps us others discover the podcast. 



Contemporary Women Saints


Now available on Audible! Sermons on the Spiritual Life by St. Philaret of Moscow


Help us professionally record the Philokalia! Donate by visiting the link below. 




Patristic Nectar Youtube 


Patristic Nectar Instagram


Patristic Nectar Facebook


Patristic Nectar Twitter 





1) Spread the Word - tell your family and friends about Patristic Nectar. Share Patristic Nectar website links to content you have enjoyed. A personal invitation is the number one way the Church grows. Tell a friend to "Come and see!"


2) Make a Donation -Patristic Nectar is a small non-profit ministry with a big vision for expanding access to Patristic Orthodox teaching throughout the world. Since our establishment in 2010, we have made steady progress but there is so much more we could do. With funding, we can work to make our ministry vision a reality. 


3) Pray For Us - remember us in your prayers, asking that the Lord strengthen, help, and direct us according to His divine will.

Now available at Patristic, necter,Dodorg, patristic nectar pullications ispleased to present a new five lecture series entitled Contemporary Women.Saints Saint John of Synie in his ladder ofdivine assent, rites that the lives of the saints arouse us to emulation oftheir courage and lead us to the virtue of humility and compunction. Contemporary Saints are particularlyimportant since they acquired their love for God and holiness in the midstof our current Millyeu, and demonstrate that spiritual acquisition is possibleeven in our own troubled times. The five lectures are as follows: Lecture Number One: The life of SaintZenia of Saint Petersburg; lecture number: Two: The life of SaintElizabeth, the new martyr lecture number; three, the life of Saint Mariaof Paris; Lecture Number; Four: The life of Saint Matrona of Moscow; Lecture Number; Five; the lives ofmother, Maria of Oinette, SCEMENNU Macaria, the beloved, suffer andMatushka Olga of Alaska. For these and other available titles.Queeze visit our website at Patristic, nectur, God or, and now the Orena, with Father JessiahTrenna, in the name of the father and of theson and of the Holy Spirit, blessed Lord's Day. To all of you,brothers and sisters, and a very happy beginning of the Triodiin, a big kiss to all about prissionersoutside good strength, did you hear that incredibleepistolessend, brothers and sisters where Saint Paul expresses hisconfidence in his spiritual son Timothy? Why? Because from his youth, he hasbeen acquainted with the holy scripturesfrom his youth. Can we say that about ourselves? Can we say that about our children andour grandchildren? We have to be able to say that aboutourselves and about our children and our grandchildren and our godchildren. This is why we are constantly studyingdescripture sere. We just started a new series. Sixteen Lecture Series on the epistleof the Romans from Saint Paul started last Wednesday Manev, you came, then, if you didn't,if that scripture from this morning is pressing, you come become more acquainted with theepistle to the Romans. This magnificent treatise of Saint Paul...

I'd like to just take you through three thoughts:Three focts this morning. The first is to welcome you to the Triodian, and the second is to press upon you. The central theme of the Gospel Today, which is the necessity for believers for thosewho are going to be justified to deeply believe that their sinners. If I had to title the homily, I wouldjust call it beleving yourself a sinner and then. Lastly, I want to make achallenge to you for lengt. According to this theme, so perft of a word about welcoming youto the triode, and if you were at vesbrs last night, you would have seenthe marvellous, the thurcical action when the protosalte left the chanterstand and came and m made his metannias in front of a book that wasplayed just under the icon of price on the SOLEA. That book is the Sacred Bookof lent the Linten Triodian and we began are chanting our lint en chanting, our triodianchanting. Last evening you might have heard the specialvolksare this morning, followed by the unique words that always begin on thisday: Open unto us the doors of repentance. This is a the cry of the Church at the beginningof lent. As we're looking at lant, we have one goal, brothers and sisters one,and that is that we might be able to repent more than we ever have were allconscious of being repenters and also at the sametime, knowing that our repentance is insufficient, that we need to repentmore deeply. It needs to be something not just of the mouth, but somethingthat we really believe in our mind and even something that es at the coure ofour being. That has descended into our heart that we believe that were sinnersand that we need to repent. You remember that are proper mill you for life. Our true homeis to be near God and in paradise. That's where he fashioned us. That'swhere humans are meant to be to live face to face in a beautiful and mysterious closeness,with God, a communion with him. This is what it means to be a human being, a dialogue existed a sacred life,giving holiness upholding dialogue. God beganwith man in paradise. He walked with men in the garden and do to our own.Will...

...we rejected that and our first parents fell into tearsand they were cast out of Paradise Adam from that moment has been out ofsorts and we, as his descendants, know hislament Saint Cilowan, describes us sobeautifully and a chapter in his biography. It's near the end. I thinkit's around page four hundred and forty four s an easy wont to remember whenthey're, all fourth and it's just called Adams lament andin that chapter sainct Ciloont describes the feeling that Adam hadwhen he was cast out of paradise and the feeling that all of his successors, all of the human beings, includingourselves, carry in our bosom. He says, since that time we have all been tiningfor a lost paradise. This is our life. This is our life.When our Lord came from heaven in search of us to recoverus to bring us back to be with him inparadise. When he came, he came to reignite that dialogue between God andman that had been broken and how does it get reignited? What's the firstthing he says out of his mouth, to do it? The first word out of Jesus's mouthwhen he began his public ministry. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at handrepentance brothers and sisters is the reengagement of dialogue with God. It's what we want to do, and it'swhat's presented t today to us in this Marvellous Gospel Lessen of thePublican and the PHARISEE. The pharisee was in God's house of allplaces where you have a help to repent andeven in God's house he couldn't repent. He was so arrogant and so selfsatisfied, so religious in exactly the wrong way. The publican felt deeply grieved about himself. He wasmoved and it showed in his life. It showed how he stood in God's house. Howwe stand in Ga God's house is a picture of our inner disposition. If we stand like this, I mean it'sclear to God, what we're saying you know, Lord Really, could you speed itup a little bit Qhir? Could you sin a little faster, please early, there'sonly so much time I have to give the God right. I mean we know that whenyou're doing this we also know you know, when God looks at us and we're lookingaround at other people, you know: Did she wear new pair of shoes? Althokshe's got some really cute red shoes over there. I mean God understands whatwe're really interested in right. But if you stand like this, God knows what you mean...

...and that's exactly how the Publican stood. He wouldn'tlift his head up to God. He stood because on the inside he was humble hewas thinking about his unworthiness. He was asking for mercy, but he knew hewasn't worthy of it and he did more. He took his fist and he bit hit cheft. He took physical action to express hisrepentance, and so do we so do we lent is going to call us to bows lots of them. Lent is going tocall us to prostrations lots of them, they're, not empty actions, brothersand sisters. These are the actions of repentance. This is an imitation of the publican.This is what those who believe deeply that they are sinners due. I want to read you something: I've!Never bed you before, of course, I'm holding the ladder of divine ascentfrom Saint John of sign a whole Sunday in lent is given to it and for those ofyou who have been my parisioners for many many moons. You know I I quotefrom the latter constantly, especially in lint, but the portion that I'm goingto quote to. I never have before it is the roughest most difficult portion ofthe whole latter. But it's exactly on our theme. Today. It comes from the fifth chapter and thefifth chapter is dedicated to what is true repentance true repentance and inthe chapter Saint John of Sini. The Great Abbot of the Monastery of Sinidescribes an event earlier in his life when he had visited the very veryfamous populous city at at this time of Alexandria in North Africa and Egypt, and while he was there, he went to theone th most famous monasteries a massive monastery and he went therebecause the Abbot of that monastery had a reputation for holiness and he wantedto go and sit with him. He wanted to learn with him and with his monks whenhe was there, he was introduced to an area outside the monastery called theprison was called the prison and it was aplace where monks who had fallen monks who had betrayed God in some way, had committeda Martelson its where many of those monks went to live together. Inrepentance John, when he went there wasmesimerized completely undone by what he saw and hespent a lot of chapter five reflecting on what he saw and what it meant to himand how, when he was done, he had a completely different mindabout repentance. I want to read you a section from this.

This is chapter five of the latter on painstaking and true repentance,which constitutes the life of the holy convicts and about the prison. I saw some of those guilty yetguiltless men, what a description he often in describing the men who weredoing their pennancs there, who were really repenting for their sins. Heoften describes them with this double description. He calls them undisgracedcriminals, the guilty who are guiltless. I saw some of those standing theirguilty yet guiltless in the open air all night until morning, never movingtheir feet by force of nature, pitifully dazed by sleep. Yet theyallowed themselves no rest but reproached themselves and drove awaysleep from themselves with dishonors and insults to themselves. Others lifted up their eyes to heavenand with wailings and outcries, they implored help from there. Others stoodin prayer with their hands tied behind their backs like criminals, their faces darkened by sorrow, bent tothe ERRH. This is how they stood before God. They regarded themselves as unworthy tolook up to heaven overwhelmed by the embarrassment of their thoughts andtheir conscience. Others sat on the ground in Sakclothand ashes, hiding their face between their knees and they struck the earthwith their foreheads. Others were continually beating theirbreasts, recalling their past life and the state of their soul. Others Satpensivth, bowed to the ground, swaying their heads unceasingly roaring andmoaning like lions, from their inmost heart to their teeth. Some Beg the Lord that they be punishedhere and receive mercy in the next world. They cried out punish, but spare some went about with downcast face allday, long noisome on account of the corruption of their own bodies, woundsand they refused to take any notice of them. Many considered themselves unworthy ofbeing fed like a human being and they flung the bread given to them away,since they had in their sins behaved like beasts. Where could you see anything like idletalk or irritation or anger?...

They did not even know that such athing as anger existed among men because in themselves, grief hadfinally eradicated anger from the number of their prostrations.Their knees seemed to have become wooden their eyes, dim and sunk deepwithin their sockets. They had no hair, their cheeks were bruised and burnt bythe scalding of hot tears. Their faces were Pale and wasted. They were quiteindistinguishable from corpses, their breasts livid from blows and from theirfrequent beating of the chest. They spat blood where was to be found in this place,any rest any clean or starched clothes. None. When I had seen them and heard this, Ialmost despaired of myself seeing my own indifference in comparingit with their own suffering, having stayed there for thirty days inthe prison impatient as I am, I returned to the Great Monastery and tothe Great Shepherd and when he saw that I was quite changed and had not yetcome to myself like a wise man, he understood what this change meant andhe said this to me. Well, Father John, did you see the struggles of those wholabor at their task, and I replied? I saw them father and I was amazed and Iconsider that those fallen mourners are more blessed than those who have notfallen and are not mourning over themselves because, as a result oftheir fall, they have risen by a sure resurrection. There was his evaluation. How would youhave evaluated those men? He was scandalized, he was shocked, butthen, as he perceived the fact that these men were doing what they weredoing because of a great fall because they had one concern and thatwas to obtain repentance, he considered them blessed. He saw in them the image of Christ.Blessed are those who mourn blessed are those who are poor inspirit. Let us all he concludes we who are fallen, beware and seek for repentance what a word from Saint John Obsina.

This is our go brothers and sisters.This is our goalf for lent. This is what lent is calling us too, to takeour repentance seriously as high as you want to go in Poska, go low and lint as joyful as you want to be in Poska.Put that much effort into humbling yourself put that much effort intorepentance, because the measure of our repentance is the measure of our joy.This is what's going to come to us, so I want to end with an with achallenge. Okay, don't worry we're not going to create a littleprison spot out here and the reason is we don't have enough land all right? We don't have enough space for Y'UALL, we're not going to do that, but I amgoing to challenge you to do something that is a Gardganchuwan feet, a major. It will only be accomplished if youjoin me in a major effort to repent and I have no idea if I'm going tosucceed, but I know if you also labor and we priest Labor, we might be ableto accomplish this together. I've never asked you of this. I'venever asked this of you before, but I want to try it if my challenge, I want up to try for forty days not to speak even one time of anyone else's sin for forty days for forty days to be like the Publicanand not like the Pharisee who all he could do was talk about other people,since let's try you're going to have to really think through this and be prepared for all the temptations,because if we try to do this together, you know how much the devils are goingto try to trip us off day. One they're going to try to trip us up day, one sothat we say oh it'll, never happen. Let's just give up, but I'm going to ask you on the Sundaysof lent I'll, give you a little encouragement in each of my homilies tokeep going. We can just get back up if you fall, you make a mistake and you speak ofanyone else's sins during the forty days of lant Bosh of you who agree todo this, then let's just make e agreement or two. Ifwe do that boom we'll get right back up, we ask got for forgiveness. We give Tit right back at it. What do you say? Can we do this? Can we try to do this? It's going to be incredible. It's goingto be incredible. If we try, I think the Lord will meet us and he'll pour alot of grace on us and how happy must...

...he be? If we make a little success, then ourlent will be truly blessed and maybe it'll be our more joy PASSCA thatwe'ever had in our life to the Goof JOD on that. We hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar,Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spirituallythursty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in otheravailable titles or if you would like more information on patristic necorpublications, please visit our website at the www DT patristic nectar. DODORG.Again, that's www dot, patristic nectar, dodol.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (545)