The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 1 month ago

The Right Mind about Advent Fast

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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, niter,Dodor, patristic nectar publications is pleased to present a four part lectureseries by father, Josiah Trinum, entitled Male and Female Reflections Ontransgender ISM. These lectures directly address this latest iterationof the sexual revolution and the sexual anarchy unlease by a cultural rejectionof the Christian theological foundations of creation, anthropologysexuality and the traditional therapeutic paths of the church. Theselectures explain why Christians cannot reasonably avoid studying transgenderideology in today's cultural climate, how this new world view on sexualityfinds itself deficient in explaining and healing our fall in human conditionand how love must compel believers to open their arms to persons seeking gonefrom a transgendered background for these and other available titles.Please visit our website a patristic, nectar, donard and now the arena with Father Josiah Trenta, in the name of the father and of theson, and of the Holy Spirit a blessed Lord's Day to all of you,dear ones. I am full of anticipation for to morrow to morrow. We begin the fast ofChristmas. Sometimes it's called the same Phillips fast, because today,Saint Philip, is celebrated. It's the last day before it starts. Sometimesthe advent fast, because adventures the coming of Christ is what we yearn for.We long for the celebration of Christmas over the course of forty days.I particularly...

...welcome it not just as a believer likeyou, but also as a pastor, because we've moved into very dangerous ground. This is the longest period of time. Thechurch ever goes in the in the year without having a fast. The last fast wekept with the fast for the mother of God, a short two week fast. It's beenthree months three months with no fast believe me, its dangerous, reallydangerous dangerous. That will lose our vigor.That will forget what we're striving for the church presents us this morning.The magnificent story of the Good Samaritan to remindus of important things. We can use the parable of the GoodSamaritan as a prism through which to look at the coming forty days to setour course to establish a vision for what we're trying to accomplish inthese days. This mart magnificent text lays out the reminder of our opponents, thosenasty thugs, those hoodlums who assaulted this poor man on the street, those hoodlums- We all know they represent and depict in thespiritual life the demons working through the passions to wound US deeplyand leave us half dead. We see ourselves in the man who hasbeen fallen, whose bleeding he's not dead, but he's kind of dead he's in great need. He is in great need wise Christ in the Good Samaritan, theone who did not regarded quality with his father, athing to be held on to but emptied himself, bending so llow, taking the form of aservant to become our saviour to walk...

...with us to bear our burdens. We see him in the Good Samaritan. We see the church in the inn where theGood Samaritan brought the wounded man after he poured on the mysteries ofwine and oil. He put him in the care of the INN and the innkeeper and promisedto reward that innkeeper properly upon his return there, the man wouldrehabilitate there in the embrace of the church. We find our health. We gofrom strength to strength, we put away weaknesses and wounds of the past andwe replaced them with the strength of virtues we see front and centre the purpose oflife and healing, and also we see the need to become what Christ is to others,to open our eyes to those who are wounded around us to those who need usto stop and notice them. The Samaritan is good, Sir Meriton, if he was toobusy if he was tyrannized by his plans, his obligations, he wouldn't have stopped for this man. He wouldn't have embraced this Godblessed inconvenience in his life to notice this man in his troubles, life dear ones, is about our owntherapeutic healing it's about victory over the devils, and it's about theneed for believers to open our eyes to this, need that is on our road, theroads that will travel and that's what we should think about in this comingfast. We should think about these things: spiritual acquisition healing ourselves from our passions andmaking them a thing of the past, opening our eyes to those who are onour roads that are in great need of us.

I received yesterday a wonderfulcommunication from some parishioners who were in Utah. I knew it. I knew itI'm fully expecting this and I fully support it. Many visitations tosouthern Utah, many friendly ambassadors from Santandres to the newSaint George Mission, where our beloved father thomases. I think this is awonderful thing. I think this is a wonderful thing. Don't get any funnyideas, no funny ideas, but lots of ambassadorships lots of visits,and I got a picture on my phone yesterday from a visit there and it wasfather at a podium just like this lecturing Saturday catechism. I couldn't have been happier to see itand there were a bunch of catechumens there and the prisoner said, I'moscillating between tears and laughing tears and laughing tears of joy to see this beautiful priest, son of ourparish, going there to start this mission and to repeat what happenedhere thirty years ago. She said in her communication. She goesI felt like I was sitting in the old hall. You know in catechism in the oldhall, what a beautiful thing you know we parents, we have. We shed tearsabundant tears of happiness when we see our children grow when we see them become adults who haveowned their life, who have chosen to love Godwho have chosen to make their own family. This brings us the greatest sense of peace and happiness and tearful joy. Itworks also in the larger family in the Ecclesia family, in the core family,which is the church,...

...our hearts dance. When we see theChurch Church multiply, you know this is one of the reasonsthat we've always brought. The church always brings up the catacombs into thecorps of the church to pray for them. Saint John Crysostum comments aboutthis a lot. It's as, though, we're being reminded every time thecatechumens come up were reminded that were pregnant. The church is pregnant, with thesebeautiful souls were taking good care of them in the womb of the church andthere maturing in their spiritual gestation, to come to birth in the font and it's a great joy, every one smilesand everyone dances. When we see this happening, it's the same, when you seechurches multiply, I remember, as a young priest, I used to love to go toour conventions every two years we have a convention, it's a wonderful opportunity to seepeople on the other side of the country, even in another country in Canada to have our representatives come fromour churches in Canada. One of the things that I like the most and that Iwas just on pins and needles for every year was to come to what's called theGeneral Assembly. The General Assembly is when the metropolitan will come outand give his speech, and we would have reports from all of the ministries ofthe Church, and the report I was most interested in was the report from theDepartment of Missions In evangelism. This is back on the day when the thedeeply respected father, Peter Gilwiskaw, had led thousands of peopleinto Holy Orthodoxy. With some of his friends, he became metropolitan, Philipappointed him to be the chair of the Department of Missions In evangelism anevery two years. He would put on the big screen a map of the United Statesi,and he would show on the big screen...

...where all our churches were all theOrthodox churches everywhere and then the major areas in the United States.They didn't have a church and then he would push another button and then upwould come like little green dots and those little green dots were where wehad the core bit the beginnings of a little mission station, and I was always amazed because everytwo years it was five, more churches, ten, more churches,twelve, more churches. We have seven mission stations here where we'vedecided that these cities of forty thousand people or more are going to beour focus this next year it was just a thrill, a thrill, my my heart, pumpedall the time. For those things we have tremendous joy in spiritual acquisition.That's the reality of the matter, seeing the work of God in our life inour parish nourishes the soul, it thrills the heart. This is why we should have positive disposition towards the fast. This is why we should care more about the Magi than about macy's, really, which one are we moreinterested in, because both are asking for our attention. Our culture wants you to thinkcommercialization presence. That's what our culture wantsto think you to think the church is asking you to follow the trail of theMagi to let the coming of Christ into your life. The presence of the king be soimportant that it consumes you as it consumed them. It drives yourenergies. It focuses your attention.

Why is it dear ones that, as we standon the cusp of the fast we have within us, I would confidently say in thisHoly Temple? We have three basic dispositions towards the fate fastright. Now we have a few who are dying for it to start. These are the people in the parish, wholiterally say, as I've heard many times lent, is my favorite season of life. Myfavorite part of the year I've met many monks and nuns who say this: They neverwant lent to end. They want to live a perpetual lent within reason. Of course,they love Pasca and they know it's for Pasca, but for them it's why they wentto the monastery is to live that kind of life that life that so driventowards a heavenly aspiration. Then, on the other spectrum, I'd like to say,there's also only a few there. That may be a little positive thinkingon my part, who absolutely are dreading this they're absolutely dreading this. Theydo not want the fast to come once it comes. They want it to make the mostminimal impact possible. They want to replace all of their happinesses, allof their worldly pleasures with lent an things so that we don'tskip a beat. We can't have the in and out Burger, but we can have the newimitation all plant based Angisteh. Instead with all the trappings in theirappropriate letton style, it will ease the pain of having to dothis for forty days. That's on the other side and thenthere's the middle, which is where I suspect most of us are we're mixed. A part of us is thrilled by the idea ofthe fast, and we remember if we have a spiritual experience if we'reChristians of any age, we remember the good things that have always come to usby effort,...

...the grace of God, which has poured downupon us when we embrace the fast with a positive disposition when we listen toJesus and it don't put on the sorapus face, and instead anoint our heads andgreet the day with joy and expect beautiful things, but then there's a part of us also andwhich were like. Oh that's, going to hurt, that's going to hurt and not going to be able to do that andthis and that, and so we're kind of mixed. What's the difference, what's the difference between those whoare so thrilled and those who are here and those who are in between? Obviouslyit's not the fast. This is not about the fast. This is about us. This isabout the fact that there are different kinds of people with different visionsfor what the fast is, I'm encouraging to day to have the vision of the churchto elect the monks and the nuns be a good example, forr us and to tryto imitate their disposition to try to greet the fast with joy. You knowthat's the first line of the first hymn of lent. Let us embrace the fast with joy first line of the first hymn of thefirst service of lint. I want to do that. I want you to do it. I want you to enterinto a sense of longing not to lack vision, preach to yourself when you're starting to feel like H, preach to yourself remind yourself. Youknow what the small things that were going to give up now are going to obtain for us anincredible harvest of grace, putting aside a little bit of our own pleasures, deciding not to spend money but to savea little money so that we can give it...

...to some. One else is going to bebringing great joy to them, and great happiness to us in the action you know to day happens to be the Feast Day of that Marvellous SaintRight. There, Saint Justinian, the great he was one of our greatest emperors whoever lived. He had also one of the longest rains as a Roman emperor. Hereigned from five twenty seven to five sixty five. I can't record. I couldn't tell you theincredible competence that that man had the gifts that he was endowed with andthat he faithfully used for the sake of the church. He wasn't just a master, a militarystrategist who regained so much of of the world for the Christian Empire.He wasn't just an incredible theologian theologian. Yes, do you knowthe hymn that we just sang? Only Begotten Son and Word of God waswritten by him. Yes, Ambrius Ilian wrote at him. He convoked the fifth atCiminia Council in fine, a fifty three. He himself wrote crystoleum. He was a devoted husband. He was an incredible man of God, eventhough he was living in about the most worldly position. Any one could have,he was known at night for shutting the Imperial Gates to all other visitors,except those who wore black robes and every night people with black roadswould go in for Bible study. He loved the Scriptures and he wanted thescriptures read to him constantly his beloved Theodora died much earlier than he did and he didn'tremarry an emperor. Most emperors have a hard time withhaving less than five wives. At the...

...same time, even if only one's legal Justinian was faithful to one and whenshe died, he lived in chastity the chastity of widowhood. But what I'm really encouraging aboutis his disposition to fasting? Do not that he lived. He had the bestcooks, the emperor got the best cooks, but in land he gave them all time offbecause in latent all he would eat or dry mushrooms, water and dry mushrooms. For forty days,Emperor Justinian Tis Day to day it's a providence. I think, if you look at theSaints for to day the Apostle Pilla Philip, who gave himself in mission, he was a good Samaritan. Imitating theGood Samaritan Emperor Justinian, who was a man who had such a positivedisposition of fasting that he, when he could have had everything, chose to eat just a little bit ofvegetables and Saint Gregory Palamas. It's also his day to day. He gets, ofcourse, a Sunday in lent, but his day to day too, and he is the model for usof prayer. Those three things: Saint Gregorytaught that it was possible for a normal person. Like you for people who had jobs for people wholived in homes with families. He said it was possible to cultivate innerprayer. He taught people and his spiritualfather did as well Saint Gregory of Sinan. He taught people in the worldhow to use the Jesus prayer and help people in their daily life to cultivatequiet and gave them the hope of even seeing the light, the uncreated lightof God to actually have a spiritual renewal by prayer to bring, in hiswords, your baptism to blossom by the practice of the Jesus prayer, praying inside these incredible saintson this last day before the fast. Let...

...them be an encouragement to you tomission, be a good Samaritan this fast tofasting. That justinian's example help you have a positive disposition.Nothing you give up. No denial won't be returned by grace by God, and Iresolved to prayer that Saint Gregory Palamas sets before us all. This iswhat's awaiting in us. This is why it's possible to really think that the fasting seasons are the bestseasons of the whole year. Don't dread, it don't dread. It make your cross withme and let's ask God's blessing upon this in the name of the father and theson and the holy spear on men, 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. If you are interested in otheravailable titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectarpublications, please visit our website at the www dot. patristic nectar, dot,org again, that's W W W dot, patristic nectar, Dodo.

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