The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 8 months ago

The Joy of Being an Orthodox Christian | The Triumph of Orthodoxy 2021

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———LINKS———

Contemporary Women Saints                              

The Hidden Man of the Heart | Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou) 

A Simple Heart: Cultivating Simplicity in the Spiritual Life | Bishop Irenei

Prayer of the Heart in an Age of Technology and Distractions | Fr. Maximos (Constas)

A Heart for God: Lessons from the Life of the Holy King and Prophet David | Fr. Josiah Trenham


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Now available at patristic nectar,Dodorg the hidden man of the heart by the highly esteemed ArchimandriteZacharias Zacaru, the spiritual son of the late elder Suphroni of Essex, His grace Bishop Basil, of which Itarand mid America introduces this series with these words in father, Zacchorias's words and veryperson. We hear the mind of the church in ways that we usually do not hear itfor in father. Zacharias is teaching. We hear the saints both elder Saphroniand Saint Silowon. He presents a tapestry of Christian experience. Letus attend so that you too might be woven into that tapestry, that we knowas sacred tradition. These lectures culminated in a bookentitled the Hidden Man of the heart published in two thousand, a seven bythe holy stavlopagic monastery of Saint John, the Baptist in Essex England andavailable in the United States from Mount Tabore publishing these titles of Father Zacharius's.Seventh lecture are as follows: Lecture one: The mystery of Man's heartlecture to the awakening of the heart lecture; three, the awakening of theheart through the fear of death lecture; four, the building up of the heartthrough the grace of repentance Letcour five go in and you will findrest lecture six, the building up of theheart through vigilance and prayer lecture, seven on the gift of speakingin tongues for these and other available titles,queeze visit our website at patristic, nectr, Godorg, and now the arena with Father JessiahTrenna, in the name of the father and of theson, and of the Holy Spirit, a blessed Sunday of Orthodoxy to all ofyour brothers and sisters and a very happy joyfilled lent. This is probablythe first time on a Sunday you've ever seen our magnificent new Purple Altar vestments for lent its the first.Let that we've had them praise the Lord and I I wish you all good strength and focusthese holy days. I read a beautiful quote this week from that Great Gift of Christ to the Churchin recent times who died in s? Nineteen. Seventy nine in Serbia, after suffering,much and after illumining many people...

...and even more since he died, SaintJustin papavitch Saint Justin, says a very simple wordabout lynt. He says the holy fast is a force of God period. That's what lent is it's the power of God for the salvationof cinners for people to change and Itthe outcouring of grace. This is whatlent is for. There is no orthodoxy, withoutlend brothers and sisters neverhas been, and there never will be. I've entitled my homily today, the joyof being Orthodox, the joy of being Orthodox of believingthe true faith. Recently I was up in Santa Barbara, a city that I owe somuch to was there that I became Orthodox. Itwas there that I met my wife there that I became a priest and servedmy first years as a priest, and I, of course, whenever I go there,I make my pilgrimage to kids world. I have to go to kids world thatmagnificent playground that has thrilled so many of our youth here inthis parish over the years, and there is a massive, what's an even greater wordthan massive, not sure there is one prodigiously massive victory, there's a fig tree that is very ancientright at the base of kids world kids worded world is literally built aroundthis victory and the victory provides shade to all the young people who areplaying at the at the playground. SANA BARA has a number of these very, veryfamous old, fig torees, and when I went there in one housand, nine hundred andeighty five I found out about these triks and Iused to go down to one of them down by the beach and its roots are so massive,not just under the ground but above the ground that you could lay down on awindy day in between the roots and not even know that there was any wind. I've always loved these trees, and so,while we were there, Presitera had to go tog a little errand and I went overto see the tree and I just embraced her and I was holding the tree just restingmy head on the tree until she came back and when she came back, I let go of thetree and, as I was walking away from the tree, a man and his little childwere looking at me smiling and he said to me what did the tree say and without hesitation? I looked at himand I said the tree said this grow deep roots and you will become large andbear much fruit. That's what the tree said. That's whatit says every day to anyone who's...

...willing to listen, it's a message that God is bringingforth from the magnificent trees and especially this victory. I also told them just as my wife walkedup. I also told him you know he said: Do you know that there's another figtree down by the beach- and I said Oh yeah, when I was young, I used to sleepin between its roots, which I did my first year in college, and she said no,you didn't because that's where all the homeless people slept too, and she thought I was communicating tothis man that I used to live on the street as a homeless person. But yes, the lesson of the fictory brothers andsisters. This is your life. You are the fruit of the massive deeply rooted tree,which is the church, the churchis bearing fruits, the treeof life for the nations, it's bringing forth the fruit of life,eternal life and offering it to the world, and the reason that the church is stillhere and still doing today. What she has always done is because she is deeply rooted. This is what allows her to endurestorms and heat and persecution and being pounded on, like she's beingpounded on today, as she has been pounded on in every generation of everycentury. Her roots are so deep in the soil ofGod's grace that she can't be moved and it is atremendous joy to be a little tiny branch. A little tiny leave on that tree. Isn't it it's so exhausting to be tossedconstantly by the newest religious fads, and there has never been a country thatproduces religious fads more than the United States of America were a deeply religious people, butunfortunately our history hasn't allowed us to be deeply rooted andtherefore we allow our energy, our religious energy, to spawn all sorts ofcraziness and it's exhausting to see them developing in theology, thechanging concepts of God, the fights about who, God is in American religionor isn't all the fads associated with worship. I know some of you who have the greatprivilege of being raised in Orthodox families. You can't sympathize thatmuch with our catachumans, because you really haven't been tortured by goingto religious worship services that change month after month year after t,would you never know what is going to happen? Next,...

...it's exhausting it's a torment and then what about the fads andmorality? Not Just in theology and worship, but morality itself, look at all of the so called churchesthat have now literally put their stamp on what the Scripture considers themost bats, immorality practitions of which thescriptures called dogs, and there are all sorts of churches inAmerica at they give blessings to people practicing this type ofimmorality. The pupe this week literally had to issue a statementcoming out of a sented that we don't bless same sex unions wow. What a shock we need to have a Synid and make aproclamation about such a thing. Can you imagine how blessed we are brothersand sisters how blessed we are to be Orthodox Christians to know that our theology is notchanging. Our worship is not changing. Our morality is not changing period and that's what This Day is about thetriumph of Orthodoxy. This is a source of great joy for us. What Peter Calls An inexpressible joy full of glory to belong to the faith, to belong to Jesus, who is the sameyesterday and to day and forever more and the qualities of the head are thequalities of the body. The Church has the same qualities as its savior, whichis why the church is the same yesterday to day and forever. It's. Why us we,who are in process of becoming the same but hate not yet reached that spot,can't alter the church herself, but rather the church alters us when we read the Senoticon for theSunday of Orthodoxy. Today at the procession were goining to mention thenames of so many holy fathers who literally shed rivers of blood todefend the church and her truth against all sorts of heresies that wanted tochange or update the faith, make it more relevant more understandable. These holy fathers are not new to us that language, the Holy Fathers is ancient. We didn't start talking this way aboutthe holy fathers and following the holy fathers or through the prayers of theHoly Fathers. We didn't start that in the year one thousand after we had a really great history ofyou know hundreds and hundreds of Holy...

Fathers and holy mothers that wedecided to make sure we needed to follow. We didn't start that in onethousand. We didn't start that in fifteen hundred when things really wentnuts, do you know that this has been ourlanguage from the beginning, even just after our savior was resurrectedfrom the dead and ascended into heaven immediately we began using thislanguage. That's how conscientious from thebeginning, the Church has been that we are people who are rooted inthe Truth and therefore the truth does not change. Jesus is the way the truth, the life. We actually think that we actuallybelieve in the truth. How much does that set a part up this our faith fromour culture? We actually believe there is somethingthat is true in every place and at all times whether anyone likes it or not, and wemay all be against hit, but t doesn't make it any less true, we don't change the truth. The truthchanges us. We believe in the true faith, in thewords of the Holy Apostle Jude, which was once for all delivered to thesaints we believe that it can't be altered. It can't be improved. It's not given tous to give it a facelift every few generations, that's not what we do. Rather it gives us a Sol lift the faith is what saves us? We don'tsave it. This is why, at the end of every arthro service and at the end ofevery vestfer service, what do we say? Preserve O God, the Holy Orthodox Faithand all Orthodox Christians? We don't say improve O God, the faith, the faith doesn't need improveent. Itneeds to be embraced and lived so that it can save us. This is Holl the orthodoxy. This is why we speak about holytradition and the holy fathers and always have there's never been a time when wedidn't talk that way, just think about Saint Paul, thinkabout when he was writing his letter to the Corinthians. Maybe the year, Fiftyseven twenty four years after Jesus iscrucifixion in His resurrection and what does he say, stand fast and holdto the tradition, which I taught you not twenty five years after Jesus'sresurrection and Paul is talking about the fact that he himself wasincorporated into a holy tradition and he has been passing it on and he toldhis son Timothy. You do the same thing, the things that I have taught you youfind faithful men to impart the same tradition to it was already holly tradition.

Twenty five years that later we werealready talking about that after Jesus's resurrection. This is why Clement of Rome who letter to the Corinthian church isthe earliest post New Testament. Writing that we have most think it was written around eigty.Ninety five and in his letter he calls upon theBelievers to quote: obey the rule of the tradition. This is our way. This is why Sant ignatious of Antiochjust a few years after Clement, certainly no later than about a d onehundred and seven in his letter to the Magnesians as he was moving to Rome to be martyred. He uses the word Christianity, the first time it's ever recorded inhistory is in his letter to the Magnetians, and he calls on Christians to fight theheretics who want to change the faith, because the faith has been embraced byUS and does not change. These are his words. He said you must avoid theheretics as wild beasts. They are mad dogs that bite by itstelth. You must beon guard against them, for their bite is hard to heal. Once you startimproving the faith because you're so intelligent, like thousands, have triedto do throughout yhurch history, and so many today, so many smarty pans PhDs.Ah, all over the world, you get a PhD. You know better than the holy fathers. You know, I must say, I'm very proud ofone of our young men, Zacq Porku, who, by the way this week,please pray for him in three days he's going to defend his dissertation atCatholic University in America, he's going to have his vyba defendinghis dissertation and he wrote me a little note and he sent me his finalcopy of his dissertation and he said Father. I I dealt, I dealt a lot withorigin in my in my dissertation. He goes, but Iremember what you said to me before I went to do my PhD. He said you lookedat and you said, don't become smarter than the Church praise the Lord. He kept his soul anddidn't become under these pompous popes that so fill our universities, evenpeople who claim to be Orthodox, who are always trying to correct the churchhere and there once you start doing that. When does itever end? What is the end of it? This is why he says avoid them likewild beasts, they're mad dogs that bite byt Stell, you must be on guard againstthem, for their bide is hard to heal. These heretics will go to theunquenchable fire, as also will those who listen to them be deaf wheneveranyone speaks to you apart from Jesus Christ.

This is why saying ignatious wrote inhis letter to the church in Rome. Christianity is greatest when it is hated by the world. That's when we're greatest, when we'renot trying to accommodate our faith, to the worldly spirit, which is impossible.What we do is lovingly accommodate ourselves and others to the faith. All heresy is change. All heresy is aneffort to conform the faith to the world to make some aspect of our faithpalatable to the world. Why do Christian churches bless immoralrelationships because the world demands it and they care they don't want to die? They wantsomehow to make the offense of the Cross go away. This is why the Epistle to diignituswritten just shortly after sandicnatious. Do you notice how I'mtrying to show you? This has always been our way by using the earliest documents that wehave from the New Testament. This is why the epistle to Dignita says this.Christians must never transgrist by the way it could have been written as earlyas one and twenty, maybe as late as hundred and fifty, but you get it rightearly. Christians must never transgress thebounds fixed by the fathers. Can you imagine what the author of thisletter meant by that compared to us we who live after all of them? Still we were talking this language,never transgressd the bounds fixed by the fathers in unred twenty. This is our faith, brothers and sisters,and this is why we're so happy this day. This is why we're so happy not to betormented by the constant compromises outside the church. This is why we're not swimming anuncertainty and doubt wondering who is God, who am I? What'sthe purpose of my life, the very questions that can't be answered in ourown culture? Our culture is desperately looking for something and it has noroot. It has no anchor any more terrible desperation. Christians do not compromise with theworld. The church does not conform to the world, but the Church conforms the work to Christ,that's what's happening in our lives and that as what's happening in theworld by the Ministry of the Church. Today, in just a few minutes after we have theblessing of receiving the Lord we're going to process outside andwe're going to read the Sinodicon from the triumph of Orthodoxy from theSevenh cumenical council and from the exultation of the icons in eight fortythree, when definitively the heresy of ICONICLASSM. After a hundred and twentyplus years of killing US literally...

...killing our faithful, especially by the authority of agodless or a Horetical, at that time, state finally was put down we're going to mention all of theseincredibly triumphant people, and you can add all of the names you're goingto hear to all the names you just heard in the Episteesson, all those whostruggled for the faith and found victory by holding to the truth andnever letting go of God. All of these triumphs are the fruit of the one supremetriumph that horrible death that to the world. Look like thegreatest defeat, which was turned into the greatest victory. The world hasever seen the death and resurrection of ourSaviour. This is the ultimate triumph that makesus Christians and that we celebrate it is the caust ceegrate of every time weget together. Every feast we celebrate. It's Jesus's triumph, that's at itsheart for three hundred years of the Lordinspired our brothers and sisters through every act of martyrdom andthrough oceans of slaughter and the very empire that destroyed Christ,embraced him after three hundred years and that launched he period of fivehundred years in whench, once we had been, we had won the empire. We foughtheresy after heresy until the exultation. Today, the triumph ofOrthodoxy. Today, in eight forty three and for the last twelve hundred years,the Church has continued her task of bringing the triumph of faith to peoplefar and wide, and we continue it to day. It's our joy, it's our happiness to bea part of this faith. Never let go brothers and sisters, never let go holdthe faith that has redeemed the universe Hald ittightly so that we can somehow be associatedwith all of our faithful brothers and sisters who have been able to keep thetrue faith unto their salvation and the salvation of all those who havefollowed after them. This is what we're celebrating today. Isn't it a joy to be an Orthodox Christian Plessiti? We hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar,Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourrishing thespiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in otheravailable titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectarpublications, please visit our website...

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