Excerpts from Sermons: “God Is Talking with Us All the Time”

Priest Alexander: Spiritual life begins with repentance. Absence of repentance paralyses spiritual life. We can approach God only through repentance.
Sermon after the All-Night Vigil on February 20, 2016
The publican from the Gospel teaches us to repent. He teaches us not to look at other people, not to observe how they live and behave, but look inside ourselves instead.
Sermon after a Liturgy on February 21, 2016
The Lord never seeks to punish or kill a person; He wants to save each one of us.
Sermon after a Liturgy on the Day of the Iveron
icon of the Mother of God (February 25, 2016)
Priest Andrew: If one does not control himself, he comes to be proud; he takes the liberty of judging others and showing off his imaginary merits. Therefore, the Lord has to take something away from that person so that his soul wouldn’t die of this satanic pride.
The Lord sends us difficulties and diseases; we have to put up with various temptations and stumbling blocks in our lives, because our proper standing before God is born out of it, and a new person is born.
Sermon after a Liturgy on February 21, 2016
Priest Valery: We come and ask the Lord to give us his gifts. We should never give up and lose hope: keep asking day and night. We do not know when our petition is granted; this is beyond us. We ask, and the Lord manages everything for us, for He knows everything, including the time required to grant our petition; He knows the future; He knows our depths that are hidden from us, so He knows what is beneficial and what is harmful for us.
The Lord has granted us free will. It is a great gift and at the same time it causes a lot of pain and sorrow. If we use it in a wrong way, freedom may turn into a double-edged sword — you can defend truth and purity with it, or you can cut yourself, wound or even kill someone.
Sermon after a Liturgy in the Boarding Home for Children with Special Needs
on February 20, 2016
Everyone meets God. The question is whether this meeting will be a happy or a sad event.
It often happens that our mind is distracted, our will is suppressed, and the world rages around us. You seem to have become strong enough at last, you’ve almost managed to climb the rock of faith, but another wave comes — and it washes you back into the sea again, and you have to climb that rock one more time.
The entire life of an Orthodox person goes from a downfall to a downfall. It would be great if the gaps between these downfalls would become bigger every day, and downfalls did not last too long. That is, if you fall, you should immediately rise up and keep going towards God, not away from Him.
We need to become humble, to be able to accept from God the moments in life that we sometimes do not like and that we consider to be roadblocks on our way. In fact, such moments are the checkpoints that determine our coming closer to God. The closer we become to God, the better we see how far we are from Him. It should not make us depressed. On the contrary, it should make us hope for God’s mercy.
Sermon after a Moleben on February 4, 2016
Archpriest Andrew: On the one hand, we have the letter of Law, and on the other hand, we have the Life-Giving Spirit. How do we combine them? We can get rid of all the letters and abide by the spirit, but what kind of spirit it would be? There are various spirits out there.
We can forget about the Spirit and live according to the letters — they will instruct us and guide us. However, this will prevent us from being creative in our perception of God. Everyone has their own experience of knowing God.
Sermon after a Liturgy on February 21, 2016
Just a couple of words from the heart, «God have mercy on me a sinner». This prayer is so accessible! It is vital, perhaps, to everyone at the time when they cannot read anything anymore, when they cannot think clearly: they can still utter these words. And these words may be saving.
People sometimes come and say, «We don’t know what to do. What would you recommend: should we get married or divorced, become a nun or go to America to earn money? What should we do?»
«What does God tell you?»
«I can’t hear him, I don’t understand what He says».
«Then you should stop and search for God’s word». God is not silent, He is talking with us all the time! We do not talk with him always; in fact, we seldom talk with him. Nevertheless, He talks with us all the time.
Sermon after an Akathist to St Elisabeth on
February 21, 2016
One of the main cures for death and illnesses that we can use is the Name of the Lord — calling upon his Name.
If we trust God, we are aware that we will not lose a single hair without his will. If we start to doubt, it is bad because we keep worrying and being frightened, and we suffer from anxiety: what will happen, what will this or that illness result in, what will the end of the story be? I can tell you that the story will end with the resurrection of the dead! This is what our history will end with.
Sermon after the Akathist to the Pantanassa icon
of the Mother of God on February 19, 2016
Priest Sergius: It is crucial to look at yourself without any illusions, without the rose-colored glasses. However, seeing yourself as you really are is a difficult task. We prefer extremes. Either people take a superficial look at themselves, moving along a beaten path, and they do not care about things that happen in their souls at all; or they start paying too much attention to it and see that everything is wrong. As a result, they are unable to move on because they see no way out.
We should find the middle ground between these two extremes: seeing our sins and weaknesses and at the same time seeing God who came into this world for the sake of everyone, including me. He came to save me. This God’s love towards us must motivate us to keep going, to move on every day.
Sermon after a Liturgy on February 22, 2016
Priest George: Apostle Paul constantly reminds us in his Epistles of the unity of the Body of Christ, the organism of the Church, where each member has their own functions. He expresses the very essence of Christianity in the contemporary world — the unity of all in Christ. We must ponder on this unity of the Christians, where there are no outcasts, there are no «less honorable» ministries; no one is forgotten by the Church.
Sermon after the All-Night Vigil on February 22,
The Resurrection of Christ radically changed the life of all humankind, once and forever. The Lord opened a new life, a new reality for us. He became the Head of a new elect people — the Church of Christ, the renewed humanity.
Even a life that was totally desecrated by sin may be changed if a person trusts God and opens his heart to him, if he allows God to enter his life and change it.
We are not allowed to know when it happens. What we need to have is a living relationship with God that serves as an antidote to mistrust and fear. It will help us to comprehend the inner power and freedom that the Lord has given to us. We can only be Christians when we are free, including freedom from fear, which degenerates our spiritual life and hampers proper relationships with God and our neighbors.
Sermon after a Liturgy on February 23, 2016
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