The Arena
The Arena

Episode 587 · 2 months ago

Power and Faith | The Raising of Jairus' Daugther


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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My Life in Christ: The Life & Teaching of Saint John of Kronstadt | 9 Lectures

Patristic Nectar Publications is pleased to present a new 9-part lecture series entitled My Life in Christ: The Life and Teaching of St. John of Kronstadt. This series consists of two parts. The first consists of four thematic lectures given in 2022 by Fr. Josiah to the St. John Chrysostom Catechetical School in Riverside, Ca. The second part of this series is five talks given by His Grace, Bishop Basil of Wichita, at a men’s retreat in Kansas in 2008. St. John of Kronstadt, the Wonder-Worker, served God in Russia during the second half of the 19th century and fell asleep in Christ in 1908. His life, miracles, and teaching have been cherished by believers as God’s love gift to the Church and to the world on the cusp of the 20th century, the most violent century in the history of humanity.  These lectures and discussions reveal the beauty of a life lived supremely in and for Jesus Christ the Lord.

Lecture #1 - The Life of Saint John of Kronstadt

Lecture #2 - On Prayer

Lecture #3 - The Eucharist and Divine Liturgy

Lecture #4 - On the Priesthood

Lecture #5 - The Russia of St. John of Kronstadt

Lecture #6 - Confession and Communion in St. John's Teaching

Lecture #7 - Q&A (Part 1)

Lecture #8 - St. John Counsels and Teachings on Prayer

Lecture #9 - Q&A (Part 2)

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Now available at Patristic Nectar dot org. Patristic Nectar Publications is pleased to present a nine part lecture series entitled My Life in Christ, The Life and Teaching of Saint John of Kronstadt. This series consists of two parts. The first consists of four thematic lectures given in twenty twenty two by Father Josiah Trenham to the Saint John Chrysostom Catechetical School in Riverside, California. The second part of this series are five talks given by His Grace, Bishop Basil of Wichita to a men's retreat in Kansas in two thousand eight. Saint John of Kronstadt, the wonder Worker, served God in Russia during the second half of the nineteenth century and fell asleep in Christ in nineteen o eight. His life, miracles, and teaching have been cherished by believers as God's love gift to the Church into the world on the cusp of the century, the most violent century in the history of humanity. These lectures and discussions revealed the beauty of a life lived supremely in and for Jesus Christ the Lord. For these and other available titles, please visit our website at Patristic Nectar dot org and now the arena with Father Josiah Trenna in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Blessed Lord's Day to all of you, brothers and sisters. I hope you are all fresh and rested since you've got your extra hour of sleep last night. I can assure you I am not. I am not. I. I was awakened in the middle of the night by Stasi's hug barking in the backyard, so I had to get up and wake...

Stasi, have to go get her dog. You do not want to see your priests stumbling down the hall in the middle of the night when the dogs barking. It's not a pretty site at all. And then again three and a half hours later, when I was sleeping there on my back, and all of a sudden, the dog was really getting forward, came into my room somehow and began to nibble on my cheek. There's a word for that, temptation, temptation. I I survived. I survived. It wasn't pretty. And I came in this morning and I saw the brothers, the Holy Fathers and the altar shared that story just as rider Basil was coming in the altar, and he said to me, oh father, he was sent to assist your ascetical endeavors. And the light bulb went on, Yes, he was. I did not succeed in those ascetical endeavors. I should have looked at the dog and said, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Oh Lord, helped me to take everything as from your hand and to give thanks. But I have been duly humbled this morning. I bowed before my circumstances, and I will try better. I've entitled my homily Dear Ones, power and Faith. Power and Faith. The gospel lesson that you just heard is magnificent, absolutely magnificent. Let's think first about power. We who live in this country, and especially we who live in southern California. Power energy is something that we hear a lot about, an experience I remember as a young...

...boy growing up in l A right on the border of Glendale and Pasadena. There I spent my young life around power poles, massive towers. I remember many times playing underneath them and around them as close as we could get. We would hear the buzz of the energy going through the lines. Every now and then we would hear some in the transformer, and we would kind of step back and you see them, of course, everywhere. You see the lines, you see the towers, if you drow drive down to the water. You even see the plants in places like Huntington Beach and Carlsbad and Santino Frey. You see are electrical plants there so often planted there, not necessarily because they're near the natural resources. Around most of the country, plants are established near whole field so that they don't have to ship coal for a long distance, which is very difficult, but near the water because the water is used in the process for cooling the plant. You know, the electrical production of our country is immense and also important. It's something that is talked about by the common Americans, something that is uh a buzz in our news sources, that's central in our political discussion and certainly in our practical life. Who would think that just such a little simple thing heating up water through coal, making it into steam, letting that steam turn the turbines and move the generators to make an electrical current. You know, the passing of electrons from adam to adam, or through material into lines to our house would become so fundamental to our way of life. But just think about your life. What would happen and what does happen when the power goes out? The lights go off.

You can drive your car as long as you have gas and the power doesn't stay off for very long. If it stays off for too long, the pumps don't work. You can't get gas in your car. You can't run your kitchen, you can't travel to work. You can use your phone until the battery dies, but then you can't recharge it. We've built a whole way of life around the subject the dependency that we have upon electricity and that kind of power. Power is extremely important. I mean, it's uh the core of our foreign policy. We go to war over this kind of thing, and not just today. In the Gospel Lesson, you see power. You don't see natural energy. You see something far more important, far more fundamental to existence the natural energy. You see divine energy. Our Lord is walking through a crowd of people in his love. He did that constantly. And a woman who had been suffering from a horrible hemorrhage for twelve whole years, and who had tried everything to be healed and had only failed she came up behind him, and she touched just the fringe of her raiment, and the moment that she touched his garment, she was completely cured. The most hopeless circumstance became an opportunity for true joy and healing. And our Savior stopped and he said, power has gone out from me. He made everyone stop. He wanted to know who did this, who accessed the power grid, the divine power grid. Who did it? It's not done through power plants and lines. It's done, dear ones, through faith. And he...

...knew someone had sincerely trusted him and had touched him, and that woman came before him. The next scene is even more grievous. The woman had suffered for twelve years. But here again is that number twelve. A dear girl, the son of the synagogue ruler Gyrus, his daughter twelve years old, just on the edge of blossoming into womanhood. Dies. It is misery, and he's come to grab Jesus and to bring Jesus to his house because he's heard that this rabbi has great powers before God and he wants his daughter healed. So he brings Jesus into his house and on the way someone says, don't trouble the teacher anymore. It's too late. It's too late. She's died. She's gone. He certainly can't pull her from hades. This is the thinking Jesus says, never mind, she's only sleeping. She's only sleeping. They thought he was misdiagnosing her, when he was, in fact making a prognosis, not a diagnosis. Death in Christ's presence is sleep. He walks into the room. He only allows Peter, James and John to go with him, and her mother and father. He doesn't want everyone to see at this moment exactly what he's done. He wants there to be a mystery around it so that it won't become such a lightning bolt of communication of what he's done, hoping maybe that most of the people will think she really hadn't died. He only cured her of the sickness. He walked into that room and he said two words, child, get up, that's it, child, arise, And she got up, and he immediately cared for her body. He insisted that some food be given to her and give her back to...

...her parents. Can you imagine being those parents. That's power, dear ones, that's power. When you see that, when you see our Savior transfigured on the top of Mount Tabor, and light shining out from him, brighter than anything that's ever been seeing. When you read the account of Paul being arrested in his sins by the appearance of Christ that noonday when the sun was at its highest, and Jesus made them the sun look dark when he appeared to Paul, and Paul was blinded for three days and could only get his sight back when he was baptized. Understand the power of Christ when you read that last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse, and the Lord gives us the vision of the descent of the new heavens and the new Earth, the New Jerusalem, and you see what heaven is gonna be like. And you hear those words that in that holy place there is no sun, because Jesus himself is the sun. He is the light. He is the electrifying enter g of the whole world. Know who Christ is. Understand who Christ is. Keep it in your mind. Remember who you're approaching. Remember who you're approaching today when you draw near to Holy communion, Remember who you approach. Remember what he offers you. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, possesses eternal life. Remember, because so much for power. And let's think just a moment about faith. Do you notice in both accounts, Jesus absolutely insisted on faith. He absolutely insisted on it. The woman touched him and was healed. Jesus could have just gone on, but he didn't. He insisted that the woman personally face him and publicly identify with him, because that's what faith does. The way that you access the power is not...

...through some ritual. It's not through some superstitious act, not through some recitation of hocus focused. Lots of people try to get power that way. Well, let's go see a psychic. No, the way you access the power of Christ in your life is by trusting him personally and publicly believing in him. And that's what the woman did. He who did this. And then she came forward and he looked at her and he said to her, exactly what I'm telling you. Now. Your faith has saved you. Your faith has saved you. And then the same with Gyrus and his family, Jesus has called. They're telling him, Lord, don't calm because she's already dead. And he said, don't be afraid any longer. Fear is the antithesis of faith. Faith provides confidence in the most scary of circumstances. This is what has it not allowed so many of our people to face the most grievous circumstances with confidence. He says. Don't be a believing don't be disbelieving at all, don't have any fraid, any fear at all. Only believe, Only believe, and then nourishing their little faith, he brought them right into the room and affected the cure. I want to encourage you, dear ones, not just to recognize who Jesus is. St Efrem says the Syrian and his commentary on this text a beautiful commentary, he says. The woman revealed Jesus divinity, and Jesus revealed the woman's faith, a mutual revelation. Ship.

Remember who he is, and don't doubt. Don't doubt access the Lord's guidance in your life, the Lord's assistance, his energy, his power, his grace, his life in your life by trusting him. You know, I recently did in the parish of series on St. John of Kranstad. This great gift the Saint who is such a great gift to modern times, who fell asleep in the Lord in nineteen d and eight and has thrilled the hearts of believers throughout the twentieth century and now into He was glorified as a saint by the Russian bishops who had fled the Communists, the Russian Bists outside of Russia in nineteen sixty four, and then after communism fell, the first thing that the Russian Church did, whence you got her freedom back, was glorified St. John of Cranstad as a saint in nine. He manifested these two qualities so superbly. He was a man of incredible faith, and as a result, his life had incredible power, and he was able to bring the grace of God to so many people. People were able through him and through his encouragement, to trust in God and to really experience change in their lives. He says this about doubt. He said, doubt is a blasphemy against God. Fear it, he says, like you would fear a serpent at your feet and pay no regard to him. And remember, he says that when you draw near to God to ask him some something, when you draw near to Christ to ask Christ something, you first have to answer this question which he secretly is whispering to your heart. Dear, do you believe I can do this? And you must say yes Lord. Those are the...

...words of St. John of Kronstadt, feared doubt. And when you pray, pray in faith and answer the question that Jesus whispers to you as you make your requests by affirming your trust in Him. I want to end my reflection with an encouragement for you. It comes from a man who overcame in a lot of doubt in his life and embraced the Christian faith and through him brought so many to faith in the twentieth century. C. S. Lewis. You know. C. S. Lewis was an atheist, and he overcame his doubt, he overcame his unbelief, and he became not just a believer, but an exceedingly articulate believer who was able to share his personal experience at the highest level in his community and through publication options he had, which was through mostly through through wire and through radio. You can only imagine what his YouTube channel would look like if he was a lie to day. Seriously, what would the C. S. Lewis YouTube channel be? Can you imagine hearing reflection after reflection after reflection on faith from C. S. Lewis on YouTube, We'd be going crazy. We'd be going crazy. He brought so many people to faith, and he talked about doubt. And one of the things that that hurt him the most, that he himself struggled in repentance the most about was even after crucifying his unbelief and coming to love Christ and believe in him and help so many people become believers, he said, doubt hung around him like a dead weight on his feet. And he goes, it wasn't mental doubt. He had overcome his reason issues. He was one convinced of the Christian faith and of Christ, our Savior. It wasn't that kind of doubt, he says. It was the feelings of doubt that were left over from his cruddy life before he became a Christian. He said, and then there was the doubt that was nourished by age of unbelief, a...

...culture of unbelief that nourished it. And then he says, there's just the daily worries of life that killed that killed faith. He struggled against those things and so should we. It's not enough just to confess your faith and be baptized and begin the journey. You have to struggle against doubt your whole life, dear ones, struggle against what the doubt that's promoted by our culture of unbelief. Don't let it rub off on you, because it can very easily do so. Don't let your past choke you out by giving it too much attention or too much memory or too much thought. Instead, nourish your faith. Deep in your faith, try to increase it, because the more that you trust in Christ, the more His life is yours. The more you believe than Him, the less you'll be shackled by your own sins. What a marvelous text, Power and faith to the glory of God. Amen. 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 nourishing 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. I may be the mooning and the...

...wilding ker and be.

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