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Sermons and homilies
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JMC
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:22 pm    Post subject: Sermons and homilies  Reply with quote

Christian sermons and homilies (past and present)

A thread for copies or links of sermons we have heard or read. New, ancient, videos, mp3s, texts -- if you think it is useful then please post it here!

Contents (with links):

Fasting abundantly
St Gregory Palamas' sermon on Holy Icons
A sermon for the Sunday of Gregory Palamas
Rejoicing In the Destruction of the Ungodly
St Ephraim the Syrian on the Cross
Overcoming the vice of anger
Sermon on the elder brother of the prodigal son
Sermon for the Sunday of St Mary of Egypt
On Palm Sunday by St Andrew of Crete
The Paschal Sermon
Sermon for Sunday of the Paralyzed Man(Video)
On Being True to Ourselves by Met. Anthony Bloom




It might be a better idea if any discussion about a particular sermon posted here is started in a new thread, so as not to derail (unless you only wish to post agreement, which hopefully shouldn't cause many tangents!). A link to the new thread could be posted here.
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JMC
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:43 pm    Post subject: For Lent.... Reply with quote

Fasting Abundantly (for Lent)
by Fr. Vasile Catalin Tudora

In the Western churches, the idea many have about fasting is strongly linked with renunciation, with giving-up, with sacrificing something for God. In the Orthodox Church however, fasting achieves a much richer meaning. Fasting is not only about giving up, but it is actually more about gaining, about being able to reach things that are possible only through this spiritual exercise.

In a legalistic understanding of salvation some believe that Christ has come on earth to fulfill a duty, to repair an offense that man has brought unto God. His sacrifice on the Cross satisfies this need and mankind enters again in God's favors. From this perspective fasting is a similar symbol: a personal sacrifice that one makes to step back into God's grace. This can be anything ranging from giving up chocolate to abstaining from Facebook for the Lenten period. But such frivolous renunciations really don't cut it into the genuine meaning of fasting. God doesn't need any of these sacrifices as He does not need the whole burnt offering of the Old Testament anymore. It is us, not God, who need the fasting rule.

Reducing the fasting to a symbol, to a mere idea of fasting, the entire exercise of Great Lent is perverted. Fasting becomes a theoretical notion that can be achieved through an act that involves little or no effort because, at the end, is not the fasting that is important, but only the idea of fasting. This intellectual reduction is yet another symptom of our brokenness, of the ontological separation between our mind and our heart. Seduced by dry rationality the mind construes an entire new reality that we confuse many times with the true authenticity of existence that only a heart open to God can perceive.

In this world, made-up by our minds saturated with secular values, the importance of the complete involvement of the body in fasting is forgotten, because for the mind a symbol is enough. But man does not exist in a fantasy of the mind, but lives in the real world, as a true person, body and souls, both physical and spiritual.

Christ saves the world not by spreading the idea of salvation, but coming down Himself, taking body from the Virgin Mary and physically becoming one of us; not a ghost, not a spirit, but flesh and bones. His death on the cross was not a symbol, but a painful reality. His resurrection was not a simple story full of morality, but the defining moment of a new stage in human existence. By reducing everything to symbols we end up living in our minds and missing the genuine existence.

In the Orthodox understanding man is utterly aware that living in a physical world, with a corrupted and fallen nature, the body is subject to passions that affect the state of his entire being. Controlling the body through fasting directs the entire human being towards God, because "a body subdued by fasting brings the human spirit freedom, strength, sobriety, purity, and keen discernment." (St. Ignatiy Brianchaninov). In a paradoxical way by starving the body the entire human being is nourished spiritually and is able to "ascend on high, to contemplate lofty things and to put the heavenly higher than the pleasant and pleasurable things of life." (St. John Chrysostom).

We don't want however to reduce the experience of fasting to a mere vegetarian diet. The Great Lent is a period of total transformation, of metanoia, as the Greek fathers call it. The faster should strive to change his or hers entire way of life, redirecting priorities, seeking new avenues to God, striving for perfection in Christ. As St. Basil the Great advises "True fasting lies in rejecting evil, holding one's tongue, suppressing one's hatred, and banishing one's lust, evil words, lying, and betrayal of vows."

From this perspective we can truly say, paraphrasing St. John Chrysostom, that fasting of the body is a feast for the soul. A soul liberated from the weight of an overfed body and nourished with the manna of virtues can reach into the spiritual heights, free of the passions that drag it to the ground. Such a soul can pray more, can forgive more, can love more. Fasting is not a simple renunciation but an exercise of love, as salvation is not an honor satisfying sacrifice but the greatest act of love ever seen.
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JMC
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

St. Gregory Palamas On Holy Icons
(The second Sunday of Lent is dedicated to St Gregory Palamas)



'You shall not make an image of anything in the heavens above, or in the earth below, or in the sea' (cf. Ex 20.4), in such a way that you worship these things and glorify them as gods. For all are the creations of the one God, created by Him in the Holy Spirit through His Son and Logos, who as Logos of God in these latter times took flesh from a virgin's womb, appeared on earth and associated with men, and who for the salvation of men suffered, died and rose again, ascended with His body into the heavens, and 'sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High' (Heb 1.3), and who will come again with His body to judge the living and the dead. Out of love for Him you should make, therefore, an icon of Him who became man for our sakes, and through His icon you should bring Him to mind and worship Him, elevating your intellect through it to the venerable body of the Saviour, that is set on the right hand of the Father in heaven.

In like manner you should also make icons of the saints and venerate them, not as gods --for this is forbidden-- but because of the attachment, inner affection and sense of surpassing honour that you feel for the saints when by means of their icons the intellect is raised up to them. It was in this spirit that Moses made icons of the Cherubim within the Holy of Holies (cf. Ex 25.18). The Holy of Holies itself was an image of things supercelestial (cf. Ex 25.40; Heb 8.5), while the Holy Place was an image of the entire world.

Moses called these things holy, not glorifying what is created, but through it glorifying God the Creator of the world. You must not, then, deify the icons of Christ and of the saints, but through them you should venerate Him who originally created us in His own image, and who subsequently consented in His ineffable compassion to assume the human image and to be circumscribed by it.

You should venerate not only the icon of Christ, but also the similitude of His cross. For the cross is Christ's great sign and trophy of victory over the devil and all his hostile hosts; for this reason they tremble and flee when they see the figuration of the cross. This figure, even prior to the crucifixion, was greatly glorified by the prophets and wrought great wonders; and when He who was hung upon it, our Lord Jesus Christ, comes again to judge the living and the dead, this His great and terrible sign will precede Him, full of power and glory (cf. Mt 24.30). So glorify the cross now, so that you may boldly look upon it then and be glorified with it. And you should venerate icons of the saints, for the saints have been crucified with the Lord; and you should make the sign of the cross upon your person before doing so, bringing to mind their communion in the sufferings of Christ. In the same way you should venerate their holy shrines and any relic of their bones; for God's grace is not sundered from these things, even as the divinity was not sundered from Christ's venerable body at the time of His life-quickening death. By doing this and by glorifying those who glorified God --for through their actions they showed themselves to be perfect in their love for God-- you too will be glorified together with them by God, and with David you will chant: 'I have held Thy friends in high honour, O Lord' (Ps 139.17 LXX).
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bnabernard
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is a new thread needed to query a quoted psalm?




http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bi...p;c=139&t=LXX#s=t_conc_617017

Root Form (Hebrew)
How
h4100  
mah
precious
h3365  
yaqar
also are Your thoughts
h7454  
רֵעַ  rea`
to me, O God!
h410  
אֵל 'el
How
h4100  
מָה mah
vast
h6105  
עָצַם `atsam
is the sum
h7218  
רֹאשׁ ro'sh
of them!

Root Form (Hebrew)

Or is a new thread neede so as not to disrupt any misleading teachings?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Psalm is from the LXX, as stated, a translation of the Hebrew scriptures that significantly predates the Masoretic texts. The Masoretic hebrew texts, which you have quoted, post-date Christ and were very likely "revised" by the Jewish (i.e. those who had rejected Jesus as the Messiah) scholars, which is where divergences from the LXX occur.

I must admit I didn't know this was one of the differences in the texts, but it is. Here is the correct translation of the Psalm from LXX quoted:

http://ba.21.free.fr/septuaginta/psaumes/psaumes_138.html

The link you gave also contains the same verse in Greek. It is translated correctly in the sermon. The issue of whether the LXX has more authority (being quoted by the Evangelists, St Paul, and the early Church) than the Masoretic OT texts really is an issue for another thread, as it isn't even related to any of the sermons so far posted. You are very welcome to start another thread and even post a link to it here (as I said in the OP), so carrying on any discussion here is really not justifiable despite your snide remarks impugning my motives. Respectfully, I ask that you do not carry on the discussion in this thread.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Sermons and homilies Reply with quote

JMC wrote:
Christian sermons and homilies (past and present)




A thread for copies or links of sermons we have heard or read. New, ancient, videos, mp3s, texts -- if you think it is useful then please post it here!

It might be a better idea if any discussion about a particular sermon posted here is started in a new thread, so as not to derail (unless you only wish to post agreement, which hopefully shouldn't cause many tangents!). A link to the new thread could be posted here.[/b]


When did The Almighty say man can make up his own form of worship?

When has mans ideas of worship been superior to that wihch Jesus instructed?


Matthew 23:5-12
All the works they do, they do to be seen by men, for they broaden the scripture-containing cases that they wear as safeguards and lengthen the fringes of their garments. They like the most prominent place at evening meals and the front seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called Rabbi by men.

But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your Teacher, and all of you are brothers. Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One. Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one, the Christ.

But the greatest one among you must be your minister.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Sermons and homilies Reply with quote

JamesJah wrote:

When did The Almighty say man can make up his own form of worship?


Hello James, I don't think we've introduced ourselves. Hence, you've just done the forum equivalent of shouting at someone in the street when you've just seen them doing something you don't approve of.

Given that, is it worth us getting to know each other?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:43 am    Post subject: Re: Sermons and homilies Reply with quote

JMC wrote:
JamesJah wrote:

When did The Almighty say man can make up his own form of worship?


Hello James, I don't think we've introduced ourselves. Hence, you've just done the forum equivalent of shouting at someone in the street when you've just seen them doing something you don't approve of.

Given that, is it worth us getting to know each other?


I do not shout at people in the street but I do sometimes point to the Almighty God's view on matters and let them do with the information what ever it is they choose.

I do not know how the world should be ruled but I do know a man that does.


Psalm 110:1, 2
.Jehovah declared to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand Until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.  Jehovah will extend the sceptre of your power out of Zion, saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies.

Daniel 2:44
In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever,

Psalm 110:3
Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day of your military force. In splendid holiness, from the womb of the dawn, You have your company of young men just like dewdrops.

You see I am just a servant, like so many others, my work is just to point people to the source of the truth, the rest is up to them.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:52 am    Post subject: Re: Sermons and homilies Reply with quote

JamesJah wrote:

You see I am just a servant, like so many others, my work is just to point people to the source of the truth, the rest is up to them.


Well, if you're satisfied you've done as much as you can (and fwiw I am satisfied you can do no more) then our brief conversation is done. I'll say goodbye, even though we never said hello.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JMC wrote:
The Psalm is from the LXX, as stated, a translation of the Hebrew scriptures that significantly predates the Masoretic texts. The Masoretic hebrew texts, which you have quoted, post-date Christ and were very likely "revised" by the Jewish (i.e. those who had rejected Jesus as the Messiah) scholars, which is where divergences from the LXX occur.

I must admit I didn't know this was one of the differences in the texts, but it is. Here is the correct translation of the Psalm from LXX quoted:


http://ba.21.free.fr/septuaginta/psaumes/psaumes_138.html

The link you gave also contains the same verse in Greek. It is translated correctly in the sermon. The issue of whether the LXX has more authority (being quoted by the Evangelists, St Paul, and the early Church) than the Masoretic OT texts really is an issue for another thread, as it isn't even related to any of the sermons so far posted. You are very welcome to start another thread and even post a link to it here (as I said in the OP), so carrying on any discussion here is really not justifiable despite your snide remarks impugning my motives. Respectfully, I ask that you do not carry on the discussion in this thread.


One does have to uestion the use of the word snide remark, which would seem to either impune some fom of egotistcal superior attitude when the same attitdeis used against the masoretic text by greek teaching ie lxx

Given that you admit to not having knowledge of a the quoted text then I  would say I was, rather than being snide were in fact being genuine and enquireing.

Is it snide to then present a question relating to the objectives of the request for an unhampered thread, do I see a man beating another and continue on my way without question.

Your post's so far appear to be pointing to 'being able to bring the holy of holies into everyday life, into the market square', on that post alone I believe a pause should be made and discussion instigated, after all the threat of upsetting Jesus works both ways.

How many new threads are you intending to instigate?

bernard (hug)

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