Comments on the 2013 Lenten Pastoral Retreat Diocese of Chicago and Middle America ROCOR Mar 20/April 2 – Mar 22/ April 3 2013

We are a poor diocese, but we are very rich. I have been around a little, especially because of the Internet, and I do not know of a more peaceful diocese anywhere. I truly enjoy being around my brother clergy, and it is always warms my soul to see how freely and easily we interact with our chief shepherd, Bishop Peter. We are truly free to say anything, in public or private, and there is a sense in our gatherings of acceptance, support and calm….

Something always happens at some point during the Divine Liturgy, usually around the time of the Great Entrance. This is always the highlight of my trip, but talking about it cannot convey the experience. I become overwhelmed …

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.quot; The Last Judgment story teaches us we are eternal beings & everything we do must be eternal.

SYNOPSIS: Are you a glass half full or half empty person? How do you look at the Last Judgment story in Matthew 25:31-46? Many people concentrate on the condemnation of those who go to Hell, but the story actually emphasizes that we are eternal beings (“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”), and therefore every thing we do and every work of mercy must be eternal. It teaches us how to accomplish this: “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”

The healing of the woman with a spirit of infirmity 18 years teaches us that love is the highest law and HOW to love + 7 homilies on Psalm 118

Synopsis: The healing of the woman with a spirit of infirmity of 18 years warns us to not be formal in our religion. Love is the highest law; we can only obey this law if we understand something critically important about ourselves. This healing teaches us both of these things.Also 7 homilies on Psalm 118.

Two kinds of faith; whatever faith we have the Lord will respond: Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood.

The number 12 appears twice in the story of the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the healing of the woman with an issue of blood; this is not accidental. We see two kinds of faith – weak and strong, and the good news that the Lord will respond to even to weak faith, but we must also respond when He does! Of course, the whole point of His response to our weak faith is that it would become stronger! We look at the weak faith of Jairus and his necessary response to the Lord, and learn form the strong faith of the woman with an issue of blood. Also links to meditations on Psalm 118, verse by verse.

The Gospel proclaimed and its moral imperative: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works”. Ephesians 2:4-10. 23rd Sunday after Pentecost.

The Gospel is proclaimed succinctly in this classic and often misunderstood! passage from Ephesians. We go through it carefully, emphasizing that we must not only understand what Christ did for us, but also that this understanding places a moral obligation upon us. Every point made by the Apostle has a moral application to our daily lives, culminating in the significant, somewhat forgotten words (since they follow the famous and significant statement: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God") "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." This is important stuff! At the end of the homily, a pastoral exhortation regarding what we MUST expect when we attend the liturgy or any service (and how to learn to do this by degrees) and the MOST important prayer that a pastor must have in his heart when he celebrates any service.

The Holy Orthodox Faith: Finding True Freedom through Slavery & Total Victory through Surrender by Archimandrite Demetrios Carellas Nov 26,27,28 2012 at St Nicholas

The Holy Orthodox Faith: Finding True Freedom through Slavery, & Total Victory through Surrender by by Archiamandrite Demetrios Carellas

3 talk series – Mon, Nov 26 ; Tue, Nov 27; Wed Nov 28

* Vespers at 5:30 PM
* Followed by light fasting food
(in consideration of some Orthodox who have begun the Nativity fast)
* Talk at 7:00 – 8:30
* Visiting and more food after the talk.

The talks will be next door to our church in a very nice lecture hall we use. Our hall will be available at all times.

(so we can know how much food to make)

Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church
708 South Chestnut, McKinney, Texas 75069 Church Phone: 972-529-2754
Priest Seraphim Holland Cell: 972 658-5433