Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320
Cellular Phone 412-860-0944
We have finished our short presentation about the Ten Commandments which God gave
to the Prophet Moses on Mt. Sinai. These commandments and the history of the Exodus of
Israel from Egypt which precedes it can be found in the book of Exodus, the second of
five books of the Old Testament known as the Pentateuch. The first is Genesis, the
second is Exodus, the third is Leviticus, the fourth is Numbers, the fifth is Deuteronomy.
They are also known as the first, second, third, fourth and fifth books of Moses.
There are many laws, precepts and statutes in the Pentateuch concerning the religious
and social life of the people of Israel.
August 1 / August 14, 2011
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
From a recent sermon at St.Sava Church in St. Petersburg, Florida
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois
The Holy Prophet Moses.
The Ten Commandments.
Moses at the Transfiguration of Christ
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
August 7 - Attended Diocese Day at Shadeland.
August 8 - Went to Morgantown for printing purposes.
August 11 - Visited patient in hospital in Waynesburg
Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other
side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away,
He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone
there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the
wind was contrary. Now in the middle of the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to
them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they
were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. Abut
immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: “Be of good cheer! It is I, do not be afraid.”
And Peter answer Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the
water.” So, He said, “Come,” and when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked
on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was
afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately
Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith,
why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who
were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
The present Gospel speaks about prayer and faith. Prayer and faith are related in
the Christian experience. A person’s prayers will express the degree of faith in God.
A person’s prayers will define the person and shape the person. A person serious in
prayer finds direction in life. Personal goals are refined in prayer.
Impediments to the Christian life are set aside in prayer. Temptations and
distractions are overcome through serious prayer. The believer’s soul is nourished
in prayer. The heart is purified through prayer. God is directly experienced in prayer.
Seriously reading the Holy Scriptures is a form of prayer. Serious prayer transforms
a person. A person is constantly renewed through serious prayer. Unity with Christ is
experienced in prayer.
The Lord Jesus Christ took time to pray. The value of prayer is well established
in the Holy Scriptures. Individuals taking time to pray with attentiveness and great
seriousness know the value of prayer. In the Epistle of St. James we read: “The prayer
of a righteous man has great power in its effects.”
Individuals in crises will seek out and appreciate prayers. Individuals seeking
to draw closer to God and nourish their souls will pray with fervor and regularity.
Prayer involves placing hope and faith in God. Prayer involves believing firmly that
God has the capability and interest in answering prayers. Prayer requires patience
in understanding the ways and actions of God. Prayer enables individuals to learn
more about God.
The Lord Jesus Christ’s set an example when taking time to pray. Serious followers
of Christ place great importance in His example and benefit from practicing prayer
and learning more about prayer. St. Mark the Ascetic said: “Nothing is stronger than
prayer in its action, nothing more effective in winning God’s favor.” 1
Sincerity of heart and mind are proper to prayer. Good intentions and God-pleasing
ends have places in prayer. God knows the condition and desires of the heart. Prayer
is a way to combat evil in the heart and give greater place to the Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christians to prevail in seeking the Kingdom of God, the desire and place for
Christ must be greater in the heart and mind than any thoughts to the contrary.
Concentration on God and eschewing thoughts to the contrary give benefit to
prayer. Individuals will grow in prayer if truly seeking to draw closer to God.
Much is written about the science and art of prayer. While simple prayers are of
benefit, experiences with God increase the more a person prays and devotes the
self to prayer.
The Jesus Prayer is a very short and practical prayer that can be used at
all times and in all places. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me
a sinner” can readily be on the minds and in the hearts of believers. Volumes
have been written about the Jesus Prayer. Writings about the Jesus Prayer reveal
that even with the use of the short and simple Jesus Prayer, advanced states of
life with God are possible and desirable.
The Lord Jesus Christ taught the use of The Lord’s Prayer
(Mt. 6:9-13). The Lord’s Prayer has a place in every believer’s
life. The Lord’s Prayer can be said at all times and in all places and for every need.
We hear the voice of God when reciting The Lord’s Prayer. We heed the voice of God
when saying The Lord’s Prayer. We submit ourselves to God when seriously heeding
the content of The Lord’s Prayer.
The content of our prayers will enable us to understand more about our desired
ends. The way we pray and the seriousness with which we pray are evidence of our
commitment to God. Being lukewarm in prayer reduces the benefits. Being attentive
and fervent is prayer is always desirable.
Individuals control their prayer life and have personal responsibility for
their prayers. The Holy Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing.
(I Thess. 5:17)
Every serious prayer is an investment in the Kingdom of God. Prayers enable a
believer to experience joy in God and have a foretaste of the Kingdom of God.
A person is never alone when praying to God. Believers benefit greatly from
the prayers of individuals not known to them. In all instances when praying,
be grateful to God.
1 The Philokalia Vol. I
Translated by G.E.H. Palmer, Philiip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware and others.
Faber and Faber, London and Boston., 1979. p. 133.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
August 1 / August 14, 2011
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.
Procession of the Cross.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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