To many it was unthinkable that the son of a king should become a humble monk living
in a monastery and enduring all the privations and hardships of an ascetical life.
Nevertheless, Rastko nursed the burning passion in his soul by studying even harder
and learning everything he could about his people, their life and religion.
Worda of a Shepherd: The Life and Writings of the Very Reverend Protostavrophor
Compiled and edited by Nicolai Roddy, p. 74.
Remember the Students of St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville
· The Cross of Christ as viewed in the present day.
· The Cross of Christ through the centuries.
· The people taking the Cross of Christ seriously each day.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
· September 25 - Visited parishioner.
· September 26 - Went to St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Mckeesport for Vigil of
the Prescious and Life-giving Cross.
· September 28 - Went to West Virginia University to attend lecture on Financial Reporting
for Non-Profit agencies.
· September 29 - Went to Diocesan Center in Mars, Pa.
· September 30 - Served Divine Liturgy in Fairmont, W.Va.
From the Desert Fathers
Abba Tothoes used to say: 'Pilgrimage means that a man should control his own tongue.'
From the Archives
Our Relationship with Jesus Christ
This is the time to consider Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him Jesus Christ
is ever present with us. At times we will clearly sense His presence. At other times,
we will feel distant and have thoughts dwelling other than on Christ. It is important
that we always repent and return to Jesus Christ.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ is more than intellectual. It is intensely and
uniquely personal. Though all Christians are united with and identify with Christ,
each person feels a special relationship with Christ, a one to One relationship.
A special bond exists among Christians which they share with each other and with Christ.
This bond transcends language and territory to link together in spirit and love, people who
have never met personally.
The physical birth of Jesus Christ took place centuries ago. As Orthodox Christians,
we celebrate Christ's nativity each year as a present day reality. We proclaim with joy
each year that "God is with us!"
It is likely that we do not spend sufficient time being amazed at the passage of
centuries and the enduring presence of Christ. Each year at the Divine Liturgy on Pascha
we read from the Gospel of St. John that Jesus existed at what is referred to as
"the beginning."(Jn. 1:2). St. John states that all things were made
through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." (Jn. 1:3).
Jesus Christ is central to our Faith. We take our identity from Him.
We place our hope in Him. He is our salvation, the source for the remission of sins.
As Christians, we live in a busy and diverse world. There are many distractions.
Many individuals in the world blaspheme and do not proclaim Jesus Christ with great glory.
At times, the conclusion can be drawn a war is being waged to denounce and subdue any
references to Jesus Christ in public places.
We must be certain of our faith. Our perspective must be clear. Through prayer,
continual prayer without ceasing, we can come to know Christ as we have never known Him.
The barriers to our relationship with Jesus Christ exist within ourselves.
Each of us exerts control over our personal prayer life. Each of us exerts control over
our use of time. Our thoughts are subject to personal control. We must be sensitive to the
world "discipline" and how it emanates from the word "disciple". To be disciples of Christ,
He must ever be present in our prayers, thoughts and mind. Jesus Christ must be our consuming
The Orthodox Church is a Trinitarian Church. In the Creed, we proclaim our belief in
One God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. We proclaim our belief in the
Son of God, of one essence with the Father. In the Creed, we assert our belief in the
Holy Spirit, the giver of life, who with the Father and Son is worshipped and glorified.
Our beliefs give rise to our actions and they define us as human beings.
We are members of the Holy Orthodox Church. Our religious teachings and services
proclaim Christ as God and enable us to learn more about Him. Through the Holy Mysteries,
we experience Christ in diverse ways in which He is wonderfully impacts our lives.
The Holy Mysteries are turning points in human lives. We meet Christ in the Holy
Mysteries, in Baptism, Chrismation, Confession and Communion, Marriage and Ordination,
in Holy Unction...these are times when changes noticeably occur in human beings.
Participation in the Holy Mysteries is a turning point of life.
There is a subtlety to Jesus Christ. He acts in ways which defy total comprehension
and challenge the best of minds. Jesus Christ became man without giving up His divinity.
He entered the world through humble surroundings. We have no record of His being educated
in institutions of higher learning but His teachings interest the world's best scholars.
Records exist of healing by Jesus Christ. These miracles are sources of hope and
inspiration for the sick and suffering of the world. They are objects of scholarly
research and close scrutiny. More importantly, the miracles of Christ serve to manifest
the faith of Christians everywhere. Christ offers hope!
People of all ages have relationships with Jesus Christ. We know from the Gospel of
St. Matthew that Jesus wanted the little children to come to Him.
(MT. 19:14). From personal observation, we can attest that men and
women of all ages find a bond with Jesus Christ.
For many, the relationship with Jesus Christ begins at infant Baptism and grows
throughout life. Other individuals may experience unity with Christ at later stages in life.
The relationships may mature at different rates and in different ways. With certainty,
we know the relationships with Christ are not limited by age, sex, race or national origin.
Jesus Christ is identified with the Kingdom of God. In the Creed, we refer to His
Second Coming. In the Lord's Prayer, we pray, "Thy Kingdom come..." The Creed,
The Lord's Prayer and our thoughts regarding Jesus Christ, all deserve careful attention.
In the Creed, we refer to the judgment that will take place when Christ returns.
The Gospel of St. Matthew in the Twenty-Fifth Chapter is an additional point of reference
to the Last Judgment.
Our relationship to Jesus Christ is not to be stagnant. We should look to St. Apostle
Paul who said Jesus Christ would be magnified in his body whether by life of by death.
For St. Paul, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:26-27).
Everyday is a new opportunity to renew our relationship with Jesus Christ. Every moment
is an opportunity to say: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."
Throughout our lives, Jesus Christ is ever-present. He is wherever we may go. If we
travel to another country, He is there. If we work in a factory or hospital or office,
Jesus Christ is present. Airplanes and rockets do not reach heights which exceed the grasp
and presence of Christ.
We do not have to search to find Christ. We do not have to travel far. Our challenge is to
open our hearts to Him and to keep them open. Our challenge is to keep our minds on Christ.
We must open our eyes and be sensitive to Christ's presence wherever we are.
Now is the time to consider our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is always time
to consider our relationship with Him. Time is measured according to Christ's birth.
It behooves us to measure each moment of time as a golden opportunity to be with Jesus Christ.
Reissued at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, October 1, 2006
from the Archives.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
September 18 / October 1, 2006
Sunday after the Elevation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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