The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Imitating Christ as a Person of Principle

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Ancient faith, radio and patristicnector publications present the arena Sunday homilies and theologicalreflections with Father Jessiah trenum. When we speak about keeping thetradition following the holy fathers that which is the insence of what itmeans to be Orthodox Christians, what we mean primarily is praying the waythey pray. This is what we mean communing with the Holy Trinity, theway that they commune the cultivation of sincere and unceasing prayer by theChristian masters. I would like to talk about bodily worship, bodily worship, how we use our bodiesin prayer as we offer a prayer from the wholeperson, body and soul. There are many types of prayer thatexpress themselves in each of our prayer rules; prayers, not just askingGod for things. So your prayer shows where you stand. I know that's a hard saying it's a hardsaying, but it's very important for us to believe it so that if we don't pray,we can make the right judgment about the cause. When we don't pray, it's notthat we're easily distracted. It's not that we have have a busy life. Those things all may be true, but if wedon't pray the issue is we don't love at that moment, our hearts cold? Whatyou have just heard are soundbites from some of the lectures in a six part,lecture series entitled the Prayer Rule. These lectures explore the disciplineof classical Orthodox Christian personal prayer, examining the contentand order of the prayerol, giving special emphasis to the prayers ofrepentance the rule of prostrations, the giving of thanks and the use of theJesus prayer. Patristic nextyaur publications invite you to download thefirst of these six lectures here at ancient faith, radio for moreinformation and the remaining lectures. Please visit our website at www, dat,patristic, nectar, Dotorg and now here's father, Josia Trento, with theSunday homily in the name of the father and the son,and the Holy Spirit, wone God, our life brothers and sisters in thechurch is a mystery. It's a mystery of Jesus's presence in our midst. Insideof US and in the middle of the community. We express that in thechurch by often sang to one another,...

Christ is in our midst. He is in Shalby. We affirm the fact that this is not a temporarystate, it's an eternal one he's with us now and he will be with US forever. The church is not just a school ofstudents, taking notes, learning to be able to have the ideas of theirfounder, their masters. More than that his life is our life. His blood courses, through our veinshis mind, is our mind. We and the church are in the process of beingtransformed into his life on the earth. Saint Paul puts it this way. It's verybeautiful. The end of the first chapter of hisepistle to the EPHESIANS. He says that God made him head over all things tothe church, which is his body. The fullness of him who fills all in all this is a radical apfirmation aboutwhat we are St Paul Calls Us Jesusis fullness. So if you want the full Christ, youcan't just go to the right hand of the father and take him as though somehowhe exists independently, and if you have Jesus, you have the full Christ,not so the whole Christ is Jesus and us. The whole church is the fullness ofChrist, and if you want the whole Chris, youhave to have the church with him. That's how intimate that's how closethe connection is between Jesus and ourselves. His life is our life. Thatmeans that the church on the Earth is literally Christ walking the Earth. Now it is the continuation of themiraculous incarnation in the twenty fint century. It means this parish in Riverside isthe mysterious presence of Jesus Christ. Now that's Christianity and we, who are members of this church,wy members of the mystical body of Christ. Our life is a life of becominghim becoming like him thinking his thoughtshaving his heart walking in his footsteps, Sant John Says it verybeautifully in his second epistle. He says that we walk in the footsteps ofJesus. Now, I'm telling you all that, becauseit's the background, it's the what undergirds so much apostolicinstruction. If you listen to the epistoe lessen today from RomansChapter Fifteen, you would have heard Saint Paul ask us to do two things, andhe said that we should do these things because Christ did them and if we'reauthentic Christians, that means his life is ours.

His life belongs to you and you arebecoming him. These two things are these first. He says that we ought not please ourselves, but each of us ought to please hisneighbor to his edification for his good,because crive himself did not please himself, but the reproaches of thosewho reproached the fell on me. Jesus did not live a life ofselfishness. He lived a life of service for us. He didn't do anything to please himself.This is one of the shocking realities. If you read the Gospels is that wecan't find Jesus getting his alone time. His time forhimself didn't have that his life was to do his father's willand to love and serve and redeem us. It didn't please himself. His life was thedeath of selfishness, and we who are attached to him are called by God to dothe same thing not to please ourselves, but to please our neighbor for his goodto his edification. This means that we should view our live here for the upbuilding of our brothers andsisters. Is that how you view your life? I think, if we're honest a lot of times,we think through the day. What should I do to build myself up if we're making some progress? We maybe thinking. What can I do to build up my children or my friends, but what we're being called to do if to not think about ourselves and not do those things which pleaseourselves, to put a death to sell centeredness and to live forthe upbuilding of our neighbors? That's number one very difficult to do, and especially, Iwant to use my finger to poke the young. There is a great danger, a great dangerbetween the ages of fifteen and twenty five to fall into the pit of pleasingyourself. The reason you can do it is because so many other people areserving you, your parents are talking to you. Your grandparents are talkingto you. Your church is talking to you everyone's trying to help you. People are going into debt for you and it's a great danger. If you'rebetween fifteen and twenty five, that you can actually come to believe it'sabout you, you can think that Educationis aboutyou, you can think the new job is about you and none of it's about you.

It's all trying to strengthen you, soyou can serve others and please the Lord. That's what it's about! TSA GREAT DANGER! You also don't have the natural thingsthat God gives as gifts to help us not be self centered like a wife or ahusband and children. This is why brothers and sisters,especially Yuyon Between Fifteen and twenty five watchout, watch out. Invest Yourselves back in your families. Find a ministry in the Church, be aservant to your neighbors to those who you share. Darm rooms with to yourfriends. Serve then tell yourself: your life is found in not seeking your own,but seeking the good of your neighbor to is up building, that's number one. The second thing Saint Paul says and the episto lesson today to dobecause Jesus did it is to welcome one another, just asChrist welcomed us to the glory of God. This means to follow him to the AuthenticChristians. We have to accept one another in the context: Saint Paul's, talkingabout the strong accepting the week and the week accepting the strong, and hegoes on in the chapter to talk about the Jews, excepting the gentilebelievers and the gentile believers accepting the Jewish believers. But it applies to every differentiationamongst human beings. It means especially that we accept andwelcome strangers. Let me say something aboutthat: We all were one strangers. We know what it's like. Our families were welcomed into thatgreat olive three, which is God's family, even though wewere wild. I speak mostly for myself. My Anglo Saxon and Celtic ancestorswere the definition of wild men and God welcomed us and he tamed us andhe washed us, and he made us holy by faith. We who are strangers and who werewelcome to have to welcome the Stranger Sant Paul puts it this way and hisepistle to the Hebrews. I love this text. He says make sure that youpractice hospitality to strangers, because some have entertained angelsunawares, Ita Beautiful Text, sometimes by taking stranger into your home and feedingthem, taking them out to lunch even sitting down with them to talk withthem to let them know that they're welcome that they're accepted wereactually not dealing with human beings,...

...but we're passing the test that God issending to us with angels. You know this perishes strength. Whatwe have the strength that we have a decentportion of that strength is that that precept is der to us, we're okay being different, and we havea collage of people, young, medium old, colors of all sorts countries of allsorts. This is a blessing, it's a blessing that we have to hold and wehave to nurture. Of course, it's a natural to want to.You know as a default position, it's natural to talk to people who look likeyou, who speak your language, it's natural for for the the Arabs, to talkto Arabs, for the Russians, to talk to Russians for the angle of to talk toAnglos, for the Africans, to talk to the Africans for the Greeks to talk tothe Greeks, it's natural, it's understandable, butit has to be very seriously regulated. One of the things I really don't likeseeing in the fellowship hall are tables of people who speak the samelanguage, don't like it, don't like it at all. This is not the place for it that just naturally happens outside ofthe church. That, naturally happens. You don't need to nurture that here.What you need to nurture here is what SAE pauls calling us to in this text. Welcome one another except one another when you're at the church, it'sespecially important for the young to mingle with the old and not to just bein the parking lot with the young and for the old tomingle with the young,and not just to talk to the retires. It's important for those who don'tspeak the same first language to talk at church, because we transcend naturalassociations by supernatural ones, and we have supernatural associationsthat are deeper than all of our beloved ethnicities, which we give thanks toGod for, but we never give thanks to God forthose as much as we give, thanks to God for the one race, the Christian racewhich is compiled constituted by so many different nationalities. These areour principles, brothers and sister, and this is what we're living these twothings: we're welcoming and accepting all onprinciple living by Supernatural Association and were taking care of each other. We'renot despising one another. We reject self service. We think that we existhere for each other to the building. Up of each other, those are the principlesthat Jesus model for us and we and Mister Col Union with him. We who arebecoming his presence whose faces are becoming the face of Christ to theworld. This is how we have to live on...

...principle, and I think we should bepeople a principle. Is My last point: can you take it yeah? I don't want you to fall asleep.I know it's hot. I know it's hot big temptation for me when people sleepduring my homilies, big temptation, I always think of the great revivalistpreacher. John Wesley Oaby told you the story hundred times, so what the great revivalist preacher JohnWesley, who he was so talented at speaking to the heart of humanbeings, that he could speak to ten thousand peoplewithout amplification outside people could hear him. It was incredible, butone thing he couldn't bear is to have the word of the Lorddespised by people sleeping when he was preaching so one time someone dared to this. This was insideand he saw them man. He stopped his harmily no offence bill, but let's say was you:He walked up to him. The person sleeping comes right up nextto him. He slams his leg on the ground and he claps his hand, and he saysbehold the art angel of God and the Trumpet The Lord is upon you. I can promise you that man did not fallasleep in any other future servoly. I want to just end with this this. Thisimportant teaching about being people of principle. We believe its Aur people of principle.This means that we keep the Lord's Sacred Commandments in season and outof season when it's easy and when it's hard, that's what people e principal do I'll tell you an interesting story. I once heard some of you mighthave heard it once it comes from the the earlyen mid twenteth centuryplaywright and novelist George Bernard Shaw. He once said that he was havingsocializing with a woman and he wanted to test her. So he says to her: Would you sleep with me for one milliondollars? She looks at him and she goes m she's kind of thinking she doesn't want to answer so then helooks at her and says: Will you sleep with me for five dollars and she goes? Are you crazy? What kindof person do you think I am, and he says we already have determined whatkind of person you are we're simply haggling about the price,...

...it's a profound interaction about beinga person AF principle or not. There is no price brothers and sisters for us no prize. That would be enough for usnot to keep the commands of the Lord and not to do these things. I'msuggesting to you. I read a beautiful story yesterdayabout the man of principal one of the best inthe recent years elder Pisios, the Atheni. Some of you are reading hisbiography because we sold more than forty of them. Other Peter was here there's a beautiful story when he had.He had gone to his home village to fulfil a vow to the Virgin Mary torebuild her monastery there and as he was doing it, he was able to reconnectafter many years of being gone from his village. He had gone to Madaphos. He become among, he was able to reconnect with family and friends. He hadn't seen in along time, and they were able to see the grace of God in Him. They weregetting a lot from him and he heard a bad story about a girl he had grown upwith, who had really just fallen. She had just really fallen,and so he prayed to God that God would send her to him and ask a word from himso that he could help her fix get fixed. So she did. She came with a coupleother women and the things he heard were realy scandalous and he was reallyhard on her too hard and when she left a temptation cameupon him that he had never felt a temptation oflust. It was so violent. He couldn't shake it. He was becoming afraid thathe was going to fall himself. He even punished himself. I won't tellyou what he did. It's so scary. He punished himself physically and then finally, it didn't go away. Sofinally, he said to himself what am I going to do? I'm either going to fall or die. He said I choose death and hewalked to the forest to be eaten by bears. This was his resolve. I'd rather die then, given to this temptation and ashe was walking to the forest, he had a revelation from God and he discoveredthat he thought about the woman. He had been searching for why this temptationhod come upon him, but he couldn't figure it out until he proved himself and he was going todie and the Lord polled him. The reason you did this is because you were tooharsh with that woman. You judged her imagine if her temptation was asserious as yours if she burned in desire with the same temptation thatyou're having it's almost killing you an Athenide monk. How can you blame herso hard? Maybe she had the same degree of temptation. You should have a littlecompassion and as soon as he thought, the thought as soon as he changed fromjudgment to more compassion, it completely left him and he didn't haveto be eaten by bears...

...beally. That is a man of principle. That's whatI want to be. I know that's what you want to be God's, strengthen us so thein season and out of season when it's easy, when it's hard, we keep the wordsof the Lord and we don't live for ourselve. We livefor our neighbor. We accept and welcome all the Gory of God Oman. We hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation offered to you by patristic nectar,publications, a non profit organization committed to nourishing the spirituallythirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers until next time.

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