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Sermons at St. Nicholas

Sermons at St. Nicholas
The Light which Overcomes Darkness (Eph 4:7-13)

Episode date: January 11, 2015
Transcript published: January 12, 2015

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In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ! [Glory to him forever!]

I don’t know if you’ve looked up in the sky lately, but it’s been very rare for us in the past six or more weeks that we’ve seen the sun. It’s been grey; it’s been dark. And yesterday I was driving to vespers, and I looked up and the sky was almost completely clear. And there was the sun, and it was so refreshing. It seemed as though I hadn’t seen the sun in weeks, and there’s something about seeing that bright light that enlivens us and lifts our spirits. We even know that…

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Life Encouraged

Life Encouraged
A Normal Orthodox Christmas

Episode date: January 05, 2015
Transcript published: January 05, 2015

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Christmas is a beautiful time, but there is a temptation in missing the point. This is a great temptation, because it is easy to do. We live in a world where it is easy to miss the point. We live in a world where it is easy to miss the focus.

Every child in here tonight is on pins and needles about what is going to be under the tree in the morning. Some of you have the audacious and heretical practice of actually opening gifts on Christmas Eve. I pray for you, that you will repent and return to the Holy Orthodox way of celebrating Christmas, which is to open [them] on Christmas day, but this is neither here nor there. (Laughter in the…

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Praying in the Rain

Praying in the Rain
How Not To Speak About Spiritual Things

Episode date: December 30, 2014
Transcript published: January 03, 2015

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Hello. This is Fr. Michael Gillis, and we’re Praying in the Rain. Forgive me if I sound a little croaky here in my voice. I’ve had a cold, but, thank God, I’m on the rebound. Today I want to talk to you about how we speak when we talk about spiritual things, and some advice that St. Isaac the Syrian gives us. I want to start with a quote from St. Isaac the Syrian. Here’s the quote:

He who is pure of soul and chaste in life always speaks the words of the Spirit discreetly, and in accord with his own measure he speaks of the things of God and of the things that are within him. But when a man’s…

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The Arena

The Arena
Love Moves: The Life of St. John the Wonderworker

Episode date: December 06, 2014
Transcript published: January 03, 2015

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In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

My beloved fathers, my dear brothers and sisters, it is a joy to be with you again on this glorious day. I am used to living about five miles north in the heart of San Francisco, and if you’ve looked out the windows of this hotel, you see what blankets the city, day to day: that layer of fog. It looks so lovely from over here; it doesn’t look quite the same from underneath. I’ve enjoyed the sunshine outside of the window.

If I’m known for starting almost every talk that I give as I did yesterday, with the phrase, “The life in Christ…

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The Law of the Spirit

The Law of the Spirit
How Do We Deal With Thoughts (Logismoi) During Prayer?

Episode date: October 12, 2014
Transcript published: December 24, 2014

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What should we do when thoughts come? By thoughts, we have in mind what the Fathers call logismoi, distractions, iskushenie. Not just distractions, images, weird images, strange images. If you ever ask a monastic what they have to cope with when they’re praying they’ll tell you all kinds of wild stories about the images they get, really wild images they get when they begin to pray.

Some of it is a demonic attack. They’re planted. Some of it is just comes from—we don’t need any help for that. It just comes from the fact that we are dis-tractable people and we have wounded hearts that are…

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