The Arena
The Arena

Episode 571 · 5 months ago

Humility Makes Saints | All Saints Sunday 2022


The Arena Podcast is the flagship of Patristic Nectar Publications and contains the Sunday Sermons and other theological reflections by Father Josiah Trenham delivered from the ambon of St. Andrew Church in Riverside, California and begun in 2010. Currently there are more than 550 sermons and lectures covering ten years worth of preaching through the liturgical calendar.

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Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to present the proceedings of the twenty twenty two annual P and p conference entitled Holy Orthodoxy, presenting the Christian faith. This seven lecture series is designed to present a broad exposure of the contours of the Christian faith, both to prepare inquirers and catechumens for holy baptism, as well as deepening and renewing the faith of believers. These lectures are delivered by a collage of Catechists, for by the deeply respected petrologist are commandrite Maximus Konstas, with additional single lectures by Father Josiah Trenum, Father Bogdan Bukur and doctor t con Pino. For these, as well as other conferences and available titles, please visit our website at patristic nectar dot org. And now the arena with Father Josiah Trennam. In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, a blessed all saints Sunday to all of you, brothers and sisters. You know all the saints. All was follows hope. The Sunday of Holy Pentecost, as a witness to the fruit of pentecost, the bestole of the Holy Spirit upon the church. The in dwelling of the third person of the Holy Trinity in our lives produces the likeness of God and turns us into saints. Sainthood is your destiny. I know it's hard to believe. You're probably thinking, father, I thought you knew me. I do know you. What's worse is I know me. We know each other. But, as Paul says, where Sin Abounds, grace super abounds, and God will have his way with us.

His love will be victorious and we will, by His grace, by his health, come to the fruition of a love of God and become saints. This is what we were made in baptism and this is what God is working out in our lives now, as our salvation is worked out with fear and trembling. Yes, that's why we're here, to be like God, so that he can identify us and say that's my daughter, that's my son. This is what's happening, this is where we're going. I've entitled my homily this morning humility makes saints. Humility makes saints. I just returned from three marvelous days in which are taught Kansas. I went there because my deeply respected and most beloved spiritual father, His grace, Bishop Basil of which at all, was celebrating his thirty and versary as a bishop. Thirty years ago, may the thirty firth one thousand nine hundred and ninety two, he was consecrated bishop. Besides celebrating thirty years as a bishop, we were celebrating his fifty years. Fifty a formal service to our archdiocese. Before he was a bishop, he was for twelve years a priest and before that eight years a youth director and the youth director a portion of that time the youth director for the whole arts diocese, literally on planes, traveling across the country and into Canada every weekend. Then he became a priest and then he became a bishop and started the travel all over again. Fifty Years of funding American Airlines, for for sure. For sure, this was the parish life conference, but it was really punctuated from beginning to end with so many touching, moving moments,... much beauty. I felt really honored to be there in the midst of those people. By the way, I was able to see many of our own and some of our sons who are now serving as priests in that diocese. I was able to see Father Nikolai and Jeanette and their children, Father Jeremiah and Katie and their children. I got to see the Muelers who came down for the conference as well, who are now in that diocese, and so many others. I was surprised to see who had been one time St Andrew Parishioners and we scattered the seed. Told Bishop Basil He owes us. He owes us, as do a lot of other dioceses in this country for that matter. Anyway, I came back deeply blessed and on the occasion of his and His grace's consecration anniversary, we decided to pull some lectures out of our vault. PNP published some lectures that Bishop Basil gave on the life of St Silauan and humility and we edited them and removed all the personal references. It was from a retreat that he had given fifteen years ago and we offered them to his diocese as a little thank offering to God for Bishop Basil's labors for all these decades. And I'm encouraging you. They're they're posted on PNP and they're all for free. You can get them and download them and you'll hear some of the most beautiful teaching on humility, the grace of humility and especially lessons on humility from the life of our father among the Saint, Silaan the Athonite, who adorns our West Wall. There with elder Sophroni, I was refreshed to think, with that diocese about how humble our God,...

God, is and how the pursuit of humility is the pursuit of being like him. Why is it that every one of these beautiful faces, men and women from every culture and every century of the church, from the time of Christ until now? Why is it that they all have in common the virtue of humility? The answer to that question is because it is the character of God. God demonstrated his magnificent, his immeasurable humility in making the world and making us to share his life. God didn't need to do that, he wasn't compelled by a necessity, he wasn't lacking something that he had to make the world and the human being so that he could become full. No, God did it out of his desire to share his life with the world and with us, especially, human beings made in his image. His humility is demonstrated when he made us. He literally got his hands dirty, making us, dub the dirt, fashioned us and then adorned us with his image, gave us freedom and immortal souls and honored us, in his great humility, with communion with him. He spoke to us. Do you know how low God had to bow to speak to his creation, to his human creation? Just think of all the things we do when we're trying to talk to a baby, a newborn baby, and how low we go, how much we delight in it. Also, we take up that little child and we try to say something that that child understands. Gool Gool, whatever. We try right, we try, we say something. This is exactly what God did,...

...except infinitely. He bowed infinitely lower. For US human beings who are twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years older than the child, to bend down and to make a little child sounds so that we can have some connection. It's beautiful enough, but God, the uncreated one, bowing before his creature and speaking his life, giving words that are literally divine energy and their life sustaining them. This is God. God shows his humility and how he responded to us when we rejected him. We who had everything, we lack nothing, we were as rich as rich could be, we had no threats in our life and we rejected him and in his great humility, he endured it. Forgive me, but if any one of us was God and we were treated that way by our creation, literally, the one thing that we had asked them, the one thing after heaping upon them treasure upon treasure, the one thing we asked them not to do just to remember our relationship of who was God and who wasn't. In by the way, that line, that was very important. That was the demarcation of the tree. And then they did it and then they blamed each other. I think if any one of us were God, that would have been the end of the human race right then in they're gone to the entire Earth gone. Let's go back to an untroubled life, father, son and Holy Spirit without these troubled human beings. I think that's probably what we had. It would have done, but not God. God, in his great mulet, in his great humility, didn't destroy us. In fact, he simply embraced us and moved us just...

...outside of paradise, planting us very near Paradise so that we would immediately recognize what we had done to ourselves and would begin the process of recovering what we had lost. God simply manifested physically, geographically to us what we had done by our sins to our relationship with him. We had moved far away from him by doing that sin, and God planted us there to stir us up. And then he sent the prophets and he gave us his law and he inspired the God sea, or Moses, and the Prophet Elias and Isaiah and Jeremiah and Daniel and Ezekiel and so many to bring his words. He rescued our people from slavery, he established a place that was a picture of paradise to come and promised us through the prophets, that he would send the redeemer of the world, his own son. And in time all of those prophecies came true, even though our forbears, for from the time of Abraham until the incarnation of Christ, constantly tried him, and yet, his humility, he didn't reject them. Every chastisement was designed to help them to repent. And despite their waywardness, our waywardness, he sent, in the fullness of times, his own son. He didn't just touch dirt, he became dirt, literally getting into our skin, becoming one of us, taking on everything, including the passions, all of the innocent passions. He took them on. He suffered hunger, he suffered thirst, he fell down and his knees bled, all for our sake, all for our sake, and then he bore. He bore our hmm all the trials that we put him through.

He put them on his own back, all of our diseases, all of our sins and for our say. In his humble love, he died for every one of us, for me and for you. He died with you in his mind, to deliver you from death from the inside, to have a future for you, to forgive your sins, to reconcile you to him and to his father. He did this. And then, as if that's not enough, he goes and he takes our very flesh and his humility and he puts it in heaven, plants it at the right hand of his father, where it is now, guaranteeing us, promising us that our inheritance is there that the Kingdom of God is ours, that this is our future and, if we ever doubt, remember where our flesh is right now, on the throne of the universe. And then he sends his Holy Spirit to take us in our misery and to save us, to sanctify us and to make us like him. Why are all the Saints Humble? Because God is with them, God lives in them and this is the manifestation of his character. Humility makes meets. This is the reality of it. You know, the most important thing, the first fundamental step, if you're going to try to take one step to get some to humility, that step is absolute, brutal honesty with yourself. This is the first and fundamental step. It's the foundation upon which everything else is built. It means being willing to look at yourself...

...and, of course, to look at yourself means you have to quiet down, you have to sit still, you have to be able to calm yourself so that you can know really who you are. Be Still, be still and you'll know God and you'll know yourself. Being absolutely honest with yourself and accepting you all your failures, all your sins, all your weaknesses, every infirmity and we all have them, massive collection of them, actively very large. We don't like to look at them because they depress us. But they depress US only when we're doing that without remembering that we've been saved, without remembering that we have a savior who's already taking care of everything for us. This is why all of these people who have humility had joy. Every one of them had joy. No one do you see a single dour face. The closest is Saint Margaret. Over there. She's kind of painted stern. She's a little bit stern, but that's because she was a queen. She literally reigned. She had to be kings and Queens they have to pee like that. But if you writ if you actually read her life, the woman was overflowing with joy. She became a mother to all of Scotland. They honor her literally to this day, a thousand years later. She wasn't our humility produces joy because God has provided for us. He saved us. I want to want to encourage you in the pursuit of humility. I want you to see how great it really is, how great it really is. You know, elder Paissios of the Holy Mountain Sat Piscios. Now he tells a story in his in his memoirs of this time that he learned from God how...

...great humility was. He was contemplating it and he knew it was immeasurably great. And this little kitten appeared at his hut, his little house there, I'm not Athos, and the cat was in terrible pain. It walked up to and it was just writhing. He said. It was leaning up and it it. He thought it had definitely eaten something that I should not have eaten and that it was just writhing and he felt that the kitten was coming to him so that he could help it somehow. And he felt powerless. And this kitty was just turning and rolling on the ground in front of him, right outside it by his gait, and he's kept making the crossover. It whate over, oh Lord, bless this cat, Oh God, help this cat. Over and over, blessing this kitty. And then he thought to himself, look at me, all of these years of ascetic life and I can't even help a cat. He said. The second he said it, the cat stopped, popped up, walked right over to him and just licked his hands perfectly well, and he learned a lesson, and this is how he describes the lesson. He says an entire lifetime of ascetic effort, decades of fasting and vigil and sleeping on the ground, is not as great as one humble thought. That was his lesson. That's how powerful humility is. One humble thought. I'll end, dear ones, with an an encouragement...

...on how to get one like that. How to get a humble thought? It comes from Saint John of SNA in the latter. He says the way that you get a humble thought is by being committed in your life to forgetting every thing you accomplish. As soon as you've done something wonderful, you've made some victory, you've accomplished some goal. While you're doing it, forget it, forget it, leave it to God to go and go on. Don't keep a record of your accomplishments. How do you do that in this world when the entire world is based upon keeping a record of your accomplishments and selling yourself? Really, we should have mercy on the politicians. We should. I know you're probably laughing, because I don't usually have mercy on politicians because they are accountable and they did want the job. But can you imagine getting a job in which the way that you get the job is selling yourself against someone else? Vote for me because that guy's awful. How do you be saved and do something like that? The whole structure is awful. And then you had onto it. FACEBOOK and twitter. Literally the very structure is anti humble. The very structure is pride. Tell the world about yourself a pope, everything you're doing. Look, I brushed my teeth different today. Let's put it on the snapchat. Wow, how excited. No, we have to be. We have to be intentional. We have to be intentional and...

...value humility, because humility makes saints. It's the character of God. And we can do it, and we can do it by forgetting the things that we accomplished and instead be in raptured. Be In rapture by what God has done for you and is doing for you. Be In rapture of what your brothers and sisters are doing. Let you're all of your attention beyond the accomplishments of God and other people and honor what should be honored and encourage what should be encouraged and leave the rest of God leave the rest of God, and then maybe we can see the benefit of one humble thought. com in, we hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nerve wishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in other available titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot patristic nectar dot org.

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