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Homily - St. John Chrysostom on how the media manipulates and divides us

OrthoAnalytika

Release Date: 06/14/2020

Homily - A Transfigured Perspective show art Homily - A Transfigured Perspective

OrthoAnalytika

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 and the Transfiguration.  In this well-intentioned mess of a homily, Fr. Anthony diagnoses our divisiveness as a maladaptation to chaos and describes how the peace of Tabor can become a mechanism for moving us from the tribalism of Babel to the graceful unity of Pentecost.  Ignore the bit on multiple reactions to holiness (he didn't really tie that piece in very well, bless his heart!). Enjoy the show!

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OrthoAnalytika

Matthew 9:27-35 and Romans 15:1-7.  Faith is hard.  Trust is hard.  But they are key to our healing and perfection.  Today Fr. Anthony offers encouragement to all those who have been hurt and who want to be made well, but have a hard time being vulnerable because of the many times the world has used their vulnerability (and kindness) to hurt them.  Enjoy the show!

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Way of Ascetics - Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen show art Way of Ascetics - Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen

OrthoAnalytika

Today Fr. Anthony continues leading us through Tito Coliander's "Way of Ascetics" (St. Vladimir Seminary Press), covering chapters fifteen and sixteen, both "On Prayer."  Enjoy the show!

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Homily - Love OFTEN Means Ignoring Your Feelings show art Homily - Love OFTEN Means Ignoring Your Feelings

OrthoAnalytika

Homily on Matthew 9:1-8 and Romans 12:6-14.  The main point Fr. Anthony tries to make is that all of our actions need to be graceful and kind, that our "consciences" are unreliable guides to what is good, and that our feelings often need to be sacrificed for the sake of doing what is right.  Money quote; "You have heard that integrity is doing what is right even when no one is looking; this advice is good and true, but to it I would add that virtue requires doing what is right even when your feelings advise against it." 

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Way of Ascetics - Chapters Thirteen and Fourteen show art Way of Ascetics - Chapters Thirteen and Fourteen

OrthoAnalytika

Fr. Anthony continues his series on Tito Corianser's "Way of Ascetics", covering Chapter Thirteen "On Progress in Depth" and Chapter Fourteen "On Humility and Watchfulness".  Enjoy the show!

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Homily - The Transformative Power of Showing Up show art Homily - The Transformative Power of Showing Up

OrthoAnalytika

Meditation on Romans 10:1-10 (and the Robel's Fiftieth Anniversary!!!).  Fr. Anthony describes how the commitment to show up every day transforms us into saints.  First, it keeps us together and in the game; and second, it allows our relationships with others to work with our attitude of continual repentance to teach us how to do better every day.  Enjoy the show! 

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Homily - Relaxing the Will into Love show art Homily - Relaxing the Will into Love

OrthoAnalytika

Homily on 2 Timothy 2:1-10 & Matthew 8:5-13.  The Centurian was a man under authority and that gave him a way to understand and frame his relationship to God and God's relationship to the world.  The army is intentional about developing this instinct; how are we to submit and train our wills as Orthodox Christians so that we can have "such faith"?  Enjoy the show!

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Way of Ascetics - Chapters Eleven and Twelve show art Way of Ascetics - Chapters Eleven and Twelve

OrthoAnalytika

Fr. Anthony continues his series on Tito Coriander's "Way of Ascetics", covering Chapter Eleven "On the Inner Warfare as a Means to an End" and Chapter Twelve "On Obedience."  Enjoy the show!

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Way of Ascetics - Chapters Nine and Ten show art Way of Ascetics - Chapters Nine and Ten

OrthoAnalytika

Fr. Anthony continues his series on Tito Coriander's "Way of Ascetics", covering Chapter Nine "On the Conquest of the World" and Chapter Ten "On the Sins of Others and One's Own."  Enjoy the show!

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Way of Ascetics - Chapters Seven and Eight show art Way of Ascetics - Chapters Seven and Eight

OrthoAnalytika

Fr. Anthony continues his series on Tito Coriander's "Way of Ascetics", covering Chapter Seven "On the Transfer of Love from the Self to Christ" and Chapter Eight "On Guarding against the Re-entry of Vanquished Evil."  Enjoy the show!

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Homily for All Saints 2020
Continuing on the theme of Division

Call to unity.  But we experience division.  The devil loves to divide us [and to solve that division with hedonism and tyranny]. 

[Review the three parts of the mind]

Rather than taking the unity of God into our minds (through the heart), and spreading it through our families, friendships, communities and the world; we do the opposite: we take the divisions and tyrannies of the devil in the world, bring them into our minds (through our emotions; justified by our brains), and spread them through our families and friendships and communities and the world [giving it back with usury].

We have entire industries devoted to sowing this division through our emotions, under the guise of entertainment and news.

 Everything is turned upside down (in the theater). Who is it that plots against our marriages? Is it not the theater?  Don’t you see how this makes it impossible for women to love their husbands?  Don’t you see how this leads husbands to disdain their wives?  Don’t you see how this encourages insatiability, adultery, and divorce?  This is how it is not just with the theater itself; the theater-goers themselves are subversive of our families and community; they bring a grievous tyranny among themselves and into our midst.  St. John Chrysostom, “Homily 37”.

[Restate that in terms of race.  It also works for politics, sex, etc.]

The media make money by playing up our divisions [and then offering hedonism and tyranny as a solution].  They know how to use the emotions that the images and stories they craft generate to manipulate us to watch more news.  That’s their model for making money.  They devil rejoices in this because it takes people who have SO MUCH in common to distrust and even hate one another.  This is true of the entire news and media system.  We can’t think that we have opted out because we have found an unbiased source or balanced one set against another.  They are still manipulating us and dividing us for market share.

So what is the solution?

God gave us our psychology for our salvation.  The evil one uses it to manipulate and divide us; the Church works with our psychology to save and unite us.

  • First. Cut way back on our screen time, to include news and social media.  Don’t let them feed the emotions.
  • Second.  Pray.  Read pious and useful literature.  Watch pious and useful entertainment.
  • Third.  Love.  Don’t judge.  Be charitable.

It is easier for Christians who actually pray the prayers of the Church in their daily prayer rules, surrounds themselves with icons, and avoid the excesses of the media to live well because they know from the depths of their heart that they live in a beautiful world among the saints.  Such people have has set themselves up for success.

One final thought [drawing on the parallel between marriage and the Church]:

What would you think of a married man who spent more time hanging out at the bar with his bachelor and adulterous friends than with his wife?

What would you think of a wife who spent more time complaining about men with her friends than nurturing her marriage?

How long would you expect their marriages to last?  And if they lasted, how happy would you expect that marriages to be?

[Restate this with regard to our nation and community.]

We have to be intentional about our relationships with one another in order to find peace and joy within them.  It is the same for our relationship with Christ.  We cannot live healthy Christian lives without nurturing our relationship with Him.  He is Incarnate in His Church.  That means that we must devote ourselves to the life of Christ here in this God-protected parish.