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

“On the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Why did the Lord say “patience”?

In the parable of the sower, the Lord concludes: “On the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Why did He specify patience as the necessary virtue, and not faith, hope, love, zeal, etc? We examine patience, and how it is the active aspect of faith, hope, love and many virtues. How can we increase our patience?

“Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself…” – Basic (but not well known) Christology and what happened on the cross.

Colossians chapter 1 contains one of the most succinct and clear descriptions of Who Christ is, what He did, how the cross was involved, and what we must therefore do. It is “Christology 101” and we must understand it and act accordingly. This is not your Baptist Grandmother’s Christology or understanding of the cross!

Parable! of the Resurrection of the Son of the Widow of Nain.

The Resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain, like most miracles in the NT, must be read as a parable to receive the full benefit of its instruction. This miracle is our life in microcosm. We are both the woman and the boy in the “parable”, and the words “Weep Not” do not fully apply to us now, but they will. In our life we must weep, with purpose and hope, and also “stand still”, and only if we do this, will we receive the much anticipated words of our Savior, “weep Not”. Apologies for the sound quality. The homily was inadvertently recorded at too low a volume, and the audio was massaged by an incompetent sound engineer!

Why does a priest wear black? Joyful mourning, and the remembrance of death.

An answer to a question posed in a prison visit: “Why do priests wear black?”. The answer covers a lot of ground, from prison to abortion clinics to the pain of pastoral ministry and life in general for those who are paying attention, to Johnny Cash, who gave a superficially correct answer to this question, and of critical importance, “Remembrance of death” (which we speak of at some length) and “Joyful mourning”

“Launch out into the deep” – the first great catch of fish teaches about the Jesus prayer!

Synopsis: When Jesus commanded Peter to “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught;”, He was giving a principle, by which, and only by which we will stand in the presence of God, even in this life. This principle is all over the Scriptures. It involves patience, courage, obedience and INTENSITY. Although prayer is not explicitly mentioned, it is also about prayer, and especially about the Jesus prayer. How and why must we “launch out into the deep”?

Martyr Zosima the Wilderness-Dweller Commemorated Sep 19 – I AM A CHRISTIAN!

Let’s learn something today from the slave of God Zosimas the wilderness dweller. We live in difficult times. Almost nobody tells the truth anymore, and our society is becoming infested with legally enforced and subsidized immorality and depravity. Many who identify as Christian are no different than those in the world and their love for Christ is cold. I suppose the conditions are no worse and not better than those in which Zosimas live. He chose to reject all the depravity and become holy. That is the ultimate solution for all of us.

When you read his life below, ask yourself if you can answer the question as he did – “I am a Christian”. I cannot say this completely yet, and that is why I suppose I confess that I am a liar twice a week, at least when I say my preparation prayers for communion

“I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” – the Cross and the REMEMBRANCE OF DEATH, which is the ONLY way of life.

We begin with an admonition from the Apostle Paul, in the selection read on the 17th Sunday after Pentecost: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” This is the what, but most of a pastor’s life is spent explaining the how, which the readings for the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Precious cross do very well. The Epistle ends with the stirring words ” I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…”, and the Gospel tells us that “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it “. These describe an attitude, a way of living. Without this attitude, we will not be able to make our way and be “perfecting holiness”. One way to explain this attitude is to elucidate the uniquely ascetic and Orthodox understanding of the “remembrance of death”; this is CRITICAL stuff! We must understand this way of life, the ONLY way of life, which starts with baptism and the cross, and must continue in the way of the cross.