The body without the soul, says Father Nicholas, is called a corpse. And while we might able to live without God in our soul, it is not a real life at all. The Holy Fathers wrote that the image of God within us, is an indestructible blueprint. We can truly develop into this likeness if we seek God.
Our passions are like the strings of a puppet. With them we are no longer able to do what we want to do, we are controlled instead by demons.
In this sermon, Father Nicholas laments that when people do not actively attend services, particularly vigils, they miss out on reading, hearing or understanding what is said about God at church. Liturgical theology is imbued with beauty and insight. Theology can be one of two things – learning about God or actually getting to know God by communicating with Him. "The theologian is the one who prays," he says.
In the process of learning about Him, our hearts are filled with love - His indescribable beauty and love fill us?
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On the feast day of one of Russia's greatest icons, the Kazan icon of the Mother of God, Father Nicholas discusses the difference of those who call upon the name of the Lord and those who only talk about it. "Just talking about it is religion at the level of ideology," he says.
On the feast day of Saints Cosmas and Damian – two brothers and healers who were famous across the Roman Empire and who ultimately were stoned to death – Father Nicholas discusses the miracles of Christ which were mostly healings.
The Orthodox teaching is that sin is separation from God, a condition which causes spiritual and physical illness and ultimately leads to death. The entire life of the Church is filled with things that heal – the sacraments such as unction, confession and communion, prayers.
Troparion — Tone 8Blessed art You O Christ Our God / You have revealed the fishermen as most wise / By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit / Through them You drew the world into Your net / O Lover of Man, Glory to You!
Тропарь В Неделю Пятидесятницы (День Святой Троицы)Благословен еси, Христе Боже наш, /
Иже премудры ловцы явлей, /
низпослав им Духа Святаго, /
и теми уловлей вселенную, /
Человеколюбче, слава Тебе.
After the gospel reading where Christ heals the blind man, Father Nicholas Karipoff discusses the miracle. The glory of God, he reasons, is not only in the miracle that occurred and was witnessed. The greater miracle is the human being who is filled with the glory of God. Such a person is fearless, not faint-hearted.
On the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, Father Nicholas Karipoff discusses the wonderful conversation that Christ has with the Samaritan Woman at the well. Although this is indeed an actual occurrence, it is possible to look at the story allegorically. Although the woman claims to have no husband it soon emerges she has had no less than five husbands in her time. The five husbands that the Lord talks about with this woman can be taken to mean the five senses – what connects us and enslaves us to the world. When the woman says she has no husband, it is taken to mean that she has no relationship with God. Christ says to her that true worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find that God is called 'kind''— in the Old Testament He is called 'Just' and in the New Testament, He is called 'Love.'
In the Palm Sunday sermon, Father Nicholas Karipoff talks about our yearning for God – which is present in the vast majority of people, and yet despite this yearning, there is a lack of participation in our own salvation.
Fr. Nicholas cites the touching example of the French youth who were seen tearfully singing hymns as the Notre Dame cathedral burned recently. Despite the spiritual darkness in the world, humanity is still drawn to God.
The crowd that met Christ with palm branches on His entry into Jerusalem came to see the vanquisher of death. Christ had risen Lazarus – a prominent citizen – from the dead, a man who had been dead for four days. This crowd is an example of us, instead of having faith we walk through life riddled with anxiety. We are more concerned by our material world than the life to come.
Instead of spiritual hope we have earthly attachments. The nation - the people were ready to accept Christ as an earthly king but could not understand the meaning of His spiritual kingdom.
At the midpoint of Great Lent, Father Peter Sheko draws worshipers attention to the point of fasting: to work on oneself, overcoming our weakness and limitations. To achieve this personal growth, we require God's help.
The Sunday of the Adoration of the Cross reminds us at this crucial point in our struggle through Lent and its theme of repentance – that it is Christ's Cross, his offering to humanity, that allowed for the restoration of mankind.
Let us observe a fast acceptable and pleasing to the Lord.
Sermons given by our parish priests, recorded by Jonathan Page.