The Heguman then strongly opposed Sava's wish to go away from the Monastery. He explained
to Sava how dangerous it was for a Monk in his teens to wrestle alone "against the rulers
of the darkness." It might lead to disappointment and frustration or even to insanity,
as it sometimes did happen. But now Sava was a ripe man of thirty, and had to ask no
superior for permission. He built a small house in Karei with a prettly little chapel in it,
dedicated it to his namesake St. Sava the Sanctified(+532). There, in a narrow, dark cell he
gave himself to the most terrific and rigorours austerities he had seen or heard of.
With these austerities, as with lashes, he whipped his body and his soul without mercy.
Day and night, in the complete darkness of his cell, he spent his time in deep meditation
of every sentence in the Gospels, taking time off only for prostrating himself, in weeping,
and ceaseless prayers.
The Life of St. Sava
(The Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese for the United States and Canada,
St. Sava Monastery, Libertyville, Illinois, 1951. p. 60)
Remember the Students of St. Sava School of Theology - Libertyville
· The continuing influence of St. Sava through the centuries.
· The need to continue to learn about and from St. Sava.
· The need to be true to the Faith practiced by St. Sava.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
January 23 - Visited parishioner in Uniontown Hospital. Visited parishioner in rehab center.
January 25 - Blessed two homes.
January 26 - Blessed eight homes.
From the Desert Fathers
Abba Sisoes said, "Seek God, and do not seek where he dwells."
Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost 2006
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying,
"Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.
But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came to Him, saying,
"Send her away for she cries out after us." But He answered and said,
"I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord help me!" But He answered and said,
"It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from
their master's table." Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Today is a great lesson in faith. Today is a great lesson in faith regarding the woman
with the demon possessed daughter. This woman believed Jesus Christ was the answer to the
problem with her daughter. She was unwilling to settle for anything less.
The disciples wanted to send the woman away. Perhaps she was perceived as a problem.
Jesus Christ can help people with problems. Faith is required. Willingness to follow the
teachings of Christ is required.
The woman was persistent. Her faith was not that described in Revelation 3:16 where it is
said "because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
To deal with the temptations and battles of being a Christian, strong faith is required.
To deal with the long range journey of being a Christian, resoluteness is necessary.
St. Apostle Paul told the Ephesians: "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able
to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph. 6:11)
The way to the Kingdom is narrow. (Mt. 7:14) The woman with the demon
possessed daughter could have given up in frustration. She could have felt her daughter's
condition was beyond being improved. The mother could have resigned herself to having a
daugther that would be demon-possessed for the rest of her life.
The mother had hope in Christ. The mother had hope and determined in Jesus Christ her
daughter's condition could improve. Through the centuries, it would be interesting to document
the lives improved through prayer when individuals turned to Jesus Christ for help.
The mother said: "Have mercy on me Son of David." In the Divine Liturgy and other
services of the Church, believers appeal to God with the words: "Lord have mercy."
If we think carefully, we will recall individuals who have had family members with
certain problems that seemed insurmountable but whose situations changed for the better
through prayer and living a Christian life.
God makes a difference in the lives of those turning to God seeking a better way of life.
The history of the Church back to the time of the Holy Apostles shows that believers
often suffer and even experience the loss of life. When one suffers as a Christian,
when one loses one's life in defense of the faith, God provides the necessary internal peace.
Suffering for Christ does not go unnoticed.Suffering for Christ is not in vain.
The Lord Jesus Christ said: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever
will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Mt. 16:25)
The mother came to Christ with the problem her daughter was experiencing. The woman
presented her problem to Jesus and the problem was resolved. How many people deny themselves
the healing power of Jesus Christ by not turning to Jesus Christ in faith?
How many people seek solutions to personal problems in places outside of the Church and
ways contrary to the teachings of Christ? How many people fail to employ prayer and fasting
as means of healing?
When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cure the child who was sore vexed and
falling into the fire, Jesus told them "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
When we exit the baptismal fount we begin the life-long Orthodox Christian journey.
We determine each step along the way whether we will be serious Orthodox Christians.
We determine each step along the way whether we will be lukewarm or completely faithful
The mother in the present Gospel was not deterred by Jesus' questions. The mother in
the present Gospel did not let the dimensions of her daughter's condition terrify her.
The mother in the present Gospel focused on Jesus Christ.
The mother in the present Gospel articulated her daughter's condtion.
If we take time to study people of faith through the centuries, we will find they were
not disappointed. The Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews is a summary of faith through the centuries.
Jesus told the mother in the present Gospel "O woman, great is your faith."
How would Jesus find the degree of our faith? Would Jesus say to each of us that our faith
was great? Would he find us lukewarm in faith? Would Jesus find us less than resolute in
faith and with great doubts?
The present Gospel is a strong lesson in the healing power of Jesus Christ.
Let us be strong in our faith in Christ that we too may be healed of sinfulness
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 16 / January 29, 2006
Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.
Chains of St. Peter.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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