Class - On Prayer
Release Date: 10/12/2019
Dn. Michael Abrahamson talks about the role music (and kindness) has played in his deepening his love of God. Enjoy the show!info_outline Homily - Finding Our Story in the Prodigal Son
In this homily on the parable of the Prodigal Son (St. Luke 15:11-32), Fr. Anthony challenges us to move beyond seeing ourselves just as the Prodigal into imitating the Father (while avoiding becoming the Older Son!). Enjoy the show!info_outline Anaphora - Holy Holy Holy
Arranged by Dn. Michael Abrahamson, sung as part of the Divine Liturgy at Holy Resurrection Mission (UOC-USA) in Waynesville, NC on 2/16/2020.info_outline Trisagion-OdetoJoy
Arranged by Dn. Michael Abrahamson. Sung as part of the Divine Liturgy at Holy Resurrection Mission (UOC-USA) in Waynesville, NC on 2/16/2020.info_outline Homily - Sanctify the Moment with the Publican
Homily – Publican and Pharisee Fr. Anthony Perkins All of creation is pregnant with potential – less full of lifeless atoms or particles than of seeds just waiting to be brought forth into fruition. And here I speak not just of literal seeds (although it is almost time to start working with those and getting them ready for transfer into the garden come Spring), but of everything. All of creation is ready to grow, made that way by its Maker, just waiting for our attention – the attention of its stewards – to bring it from possibility into realization. When sown by...info_outline Zacchaeus and the Steps of Salvation
In this homily, Fr. Anthony draws on the example Zacchaeus to describe the need for repentance and commitment in the life of the Christian. Enjoy the show!info_outline Class - The Way of Ascetics 2
Tito Coliander's Way of Ascetics. It's awesome. We're working our way through it together. Enjoy the show!info_outline Homily - Theophany and Orthodox Sacramental Theology
In this homily given on the celebration of the Trinitarian Epiphany at Christ's Baptism, Fr. Anthony literally goes back to the beginning and then places the celebration of Christ's baptism within the economy of salvation (Lord, I hope the homily was better than that summary of it!). Enjoy the show!info_outline Homily - Freedom and the Empowerment of the Saints
In this homily on the Sunday after Theophany (Ephesians 4:7-13; St. Matthew 4:12-17), Fr. Anthony talks about the gains made in the spreading of wealth (and the dramatic reduction of poverty) brought about through economic freedom, a freedom that encourages and empowers people to identify needs and contribute to the good of all; and uses that as a metaphor for understanding the St. Paul's call to all to find and exercise their gifts toward the building up of the Kingdom. Enjoy the show!info_outline Class - The Way of Ascetics 01
Tito Coliander's Way of Ascetics. It's awesome. We're going to work our way through it together. Today's class was interrupted by a tornado warning. We're all okay, but the recorder shut off (I guess it got scared?)!info_outline
Our Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Prayer as a Mystery and Medicine for Pride
Questions for consideration: what happens when we pray? What is the purpose of prayer? How does pride (noetic effect of the fall!) affect our prayer?
- Pride divides us from one another and from God. It makes honest communication and healthy relationships with even people who love us and whom we love difficult (much less everyone else). How can you communicate and have relationship with someone we “see” so poorly?
- The absurd puppet show in our mind (with us as the star and hero or victim…).
- Unless we are willing do some serious work, God is just another puppet in that show.
- “Work?! We aren’t saved by works?!” Becoming “perfect as God as perfect” is more than being forgiven, redeemed, and saved.
- How do we get to know our family and friends? How can we get to know God?
- How SHOULD we communicate (and commune) with our family? How SHOULD we communicate with God? Wouldn’t it be great if there was an instruction manual for prayer?
An Apology for Prayer… and for using a Prayer Book
- Prayer is one of the best ways to develop and maintain our relationship with God. “Reading” these prayers (is reading the right term? It’s not like reading a novel!) does that for us.
- Prayer is the way we thank God for blessings and ask for His help. These prayers do that well and in the proper way.
- We CAN use our own words, but these were the words of saints preserved and passed down (and tested and confirmed) through many, many generations (note that they are often labeled according to the saint). These can serve as models even for when we use “our own words.” These prayers teach us how to pray! “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father…” St. Luke 10:1-2a).
- “Rote” prayer trains our minds (and this also speaks to REPITITION!).
- Train the reasoning brain. Teaches us words, phrases, and approaches that pattern our thoughts and responses. It also crowds out immature and self-centered approaches to prayer.
- Train the passions. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, I am going to focus on THESE things and nothing else. This is a controlled arena; a weight room; a rifle range. Humility must be earned. This helps us deal with the problem of pride!
- Train the nous. Humility, awe, and thankfulness; these are the only rational responses to being a human in the presence of God. More on this in a future class.
- Back to repetition. Why is this not “vain repetitions” (St. Matthew 8:6)? What keeps us praying as the Publican and not the Pharisee? Submission. Love (we MUST have love; that’s complicated).
- Requires repetition of scales arpeggios, and practice pieces to 1) learn how the musical world is structured and 2) how to attune your senses and your actions to it; first self-consciously but over time more automatically.
- Without this, there is only what one hears… to the extent one’s “ear” is good, one might begin to intuit some patterns… but what about the voice? What about performing? What about composing?
- This is the way it is with us and our moral actions. We will intuit some patterns from the world; this will forming our own “conscience” (DON’T “trust your feelings, Luke!”) and affect our ability to know and communicate (remember: the fallen world makes the problem of pride worse).
- Repetition builds up a reliable pattern. It establishes a healthy order. It builds a wall around our minds to provide a safe place for us to interact with ideas and challenges. We need that sense of order and reliability.
Final point for tonight. We begin prayers; “In the Name…” This is scriptural, but what does it mean? We are God’s imagers. We re-present Him. We act in His name. Done with confident humility. Here’s a mind-bender: the Logos prayed to the Father (a witness of them being “One” as we should be one)!
Next week: Asceticism as training for perfection.