Thursday, December 27, 2012

Unplanting the Seeds of Discontent

Unplanting the Seeds of Discontent

End of I John Chapter 4

In the wake of a tragic mass killing of children in Connecticut, Fr. John-Brian gives a sermon on the problems in our society that allow such circumstances that grow from the seeds of discontent.

He speaks to the problems of "grievance collection" and how close any of us may be to becoming such a tragic figure.

The answer is in a few verses appointed for the Sunday before Nativity from the 4th Chapter of John's First Epistle. Fr. John Brian concludes with a homily on those verses to guide us through the dark times.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, December 23, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian and for our mission and help us as you are able.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Knowledge of Life Through Forgiveness

Knowledge of Life Through Forgiveness

Preparing for Holy Nativity
Zechariah Prophecy
end of Luke Chapter 1

Zechariah said, "and you shall give the knowledge of life through the forgiveness of sins."

I Peter 2:25 "...for all have gone astray like sheep."

The direct discussion of our human limitations and how we allow them to dominate our spiritual life; how we take comfort in living inside of limitations rather than go to the limit where we will meet God. Are we motivated to move beyond mistakes, failures and sins?

Through the mercy and kindness of God? perhaps.

Fr. John Brian also discusses the analogy that St. Paul uses in Galatians Chapter 4 to enhance our Orthodox Christian spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, December 9, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Friday, December 07, 2012

How Love Dwells Within

How Love Dwells Within
Preparing for Holy Nativity
Mary Prophecy
Luke Chapter 1

Mary said, "He has filled the hungry with good things and has dismissed the rich, empty."

I John 3: "...how can the love of God dwell within him?"

The direct discussion of the problems of the rich and wealth as well as the poor and envy of wealth are discussed as a crucial part of Christian spiritual development in this commerce oriented materialistic time of year.

Fr. John Brian uses writings of St. John Chrysostom and 1 John chapter 3 to enhance gospel lessons from Luke.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, December 2, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission
Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Seed of God

The Seed of God

Preparing for Holy Nativity
Annunciation to Mary
Luke Chapter 1

"How can this be?
"All things are possible with God."

"The angel said, do not be afraid."

The metaphor of a seed is used to describe a crucial part in Christian spiritual development. Fr John Brian explores this metaphor and its vital spirituality.

Fr. John Brian uses Galatians 3 and 4 as well as 1 John 3 to enhance gospel lessons from Luke.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, November 25, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Keys to Orthodox Christian Spiritual Renewal

Keys to Orthodox Christian Spiritual Renewal
Renewal (Foundation) Sunday

Every day we are called to the spiritual life, but so often we take the spiritual gifts for granted. Sometimes we forget to partake of the spiritual nourishment available to us in Holy Church.

Fr. John Brian talks about spiritual renewal, using Luke 9:23-27 to bring to light keys for our continuing and aily renewal as Christ asks of us: "He who wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross every day and follow me." (Luke 9:23)

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, November 11, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Monday, November 05, 2012

Voting for the Good

Voting for the Good
Sanctification Sunday

What does a major US election upcoming have to do with sanctification of the church? How are we to vote as Christians?

Fr. John Brian talks about the issues of good and evil, the importance of sanctification in this world, and the realities of living among human beings - all part of coming to an authentic spirituality of God's presence in this world, being truly Christian as Christ asks of us.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, November 4, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Removing Masks to See Clearly

Removing Masks to See Clearly

God is Already There, Part 5

"...anyone who says, 2018You fool!2019 will be in danger of the fire of hell."Matthew 5

What does Halloween and secular costume wearing have to do with eternal life and authentic sprituality?

Fr. John Brian gives another inspirational sermon of living in the authentic spirituality of God's presence in this world, continuing
themes of previous sermons.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, October 28, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Good and Wealthy

Good and Wealthy
God is Already There, Part 4

"There is no one good, but God." Luke 18
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle..."

What is true wealth? Is it our great obstacle to being with God always; to have eternal life?

Fr. John Brian gives another inspirational sermon of living in the authentic spirituality of God's presence in this world, continuing
themes of previous sermons.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, October 21, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Truly Ourselves With God

Truly Ourselves With God

God is Already There, Part 3

"He who would be greatest should be servant of all." Matthew 23

What is true humility? What is our great obstacle to being with God always?

Fr. John Brian gives another inspirational sermon of living in the authentic spirituality of God's presence in this world, continuing themes of previous sermons.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, October 14, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Continually With God

Continually With God

God is Already There, Part 2

Talking about the Sabbath, Jesus Christ makes a point about humanity and the Law as well as about the Lord of the Sabbath.

St Paul in Romans 8, makes the point thet we are not condemned for walking in the flesh.

Fr.. John Brian gives an inspirational sermon of living in the authentic spirituality of God's presence in this world that continues the themes of the previous sermons

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, September 30, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Friday, September 28, 2012

God is Already There

God is Already There

In the view from God's perspective, He is always ready for us to be with Him. He waits for us to be with Him.

From our perspective, if we are trying to advance spiritually, we can feel that we are taking one step forward and two steps back.

Good news! God is already there!

Fr. John Brian gives an inspirational sermon of living in the authentic spirituality of God's presence in this world.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, September 23, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Taking Comfort in Forever

Taking Comfort in Forever

What does the enduring of the symbol of the cross mean? Perhaps it is only to remind us that forever is longer than a single human life in this world.

Fr. John Brian gives a sermon on the end of St Mark Chapter 13.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, September 16, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Monday, September 03, 2012

Love is Always Available

Love is Always Available

At the end of year in many cultures and in the church year, we remember Mary. We also confront the end and what separates us from God.

Fr. John Brian talked about God as Love and God as Fire. In this sermon, the last chapter of James is discussed in context.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, September 2, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Asking for the Intercessions of Mary

Asking for the Intercessions of Mary

At this time of year, many parishes and individuals, prayer groups and missions of the Orthodox faith ask for the intercessions of Mary, Virgin-Mother of God, birthgiver of Jesus Christ the Saviour.

Fr. John Brian gave a sermon after such prayers on asking for the intercession of St. Mary - what we ask for and why we ask her.

To some it may appear that Orthodox are praying to St. Mary, asking her to fulfill prayers, but in Orthodoxy we are praying that she will pray (or intercede) for us or act on our behalf. This is similar to asking an elder, monastic, priest or bishop for their prayers.

In this short sermon, Fr. John Brian clarifies this act of prayerful faith.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, August 26, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Transforming Way

A Transforming Way

"...Now that we are children of God, we do not know what will become..." I John 3:2

After receiving the visiting bishop's blessing, Fr. John Brian gave a short sermon on St. Mary and St. John's first epistle (especially chapter 3). Part of that epistle is an appointed reading for the Sunday after Assumption.

In this short and inspirational sermon, Fr. John Brian talks about change and the changes every Christian should anticipate. Then, he speaks to the idea that there is a gentle transformation that we do not, or rather cannot, know because it is becoming everything we were created to be.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, August 19, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Doing It Anyway

Doing It Anyway

"Which of these sons does the will of his father?" Matthew 21

With a rhetorical question, Jesus gives a lesson on how to follow God's will. In this sermon, Fr John Brian discusses 'lip service" and doing the work anyway.

In Matthew Chapter 21, Jesus also tells his followers that tax collectors and harlots will get to heaven before those that say they believe. How are they going to get to heaven before us?

Fr. John Brian speaks to the presented issues of today's lesson in spiritual development.

May the Lord have mercy on us that we may be as willing to reach for the kingdom of God as the repent tax collector and harlot and enter the kingdom of heaven, according to Christ Jesus.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, August 12, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

HOW to be as children to enter the kingdom

HOW to be as children

"Except you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18

In this sermon, Fr John Brian discusses the lesson of Jesus Christ in Matthew CHapter 18, where He is asked, who shall be greatest in heaven?"

Jesus answers in an enigmatic and often quoted phrase - except you become as one of these young ones."

Fr. John Brian speaks to several spiritual principles of children that every Christian should seek to develop to become spiritually mature. This may seem a paradox; to become as a child to become spiritually mature. In this sermon, three key attributes of children are discussed along with two characteristics that are vital to the spiritual life.

May the Lord have mercy on us that we may be as children and enter the kingdom of heaven.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, August 5, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Humbly Exalted

Humbly Exalted

"He who exalts himself will be humbled; and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14

Fr John Brian discusses humility and the lessons of Jesus Christ. In what may seem like a paradox or a play of words, there is a central pillar of the church and Christian spiritual development. Without this fundamental teaching, hypocrisy would run rampant through the hierarchy and among the followers of Christ - as they would say they believe but then act in non-belief.

Without humility, none of us could follow the way of Christ that was shown to the world 2,000 years ago and is still relevant today. Without humilty, we are easily manipulated and deceived due to our conceit.

May the Lord have mercy on us.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, July 29, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

God Knows How We Feel

God Knows How We Feel


Ever since the birth of Jesus Christ, over 2,000 years ago, the human-divine relationship has been forever changed.
Fr John Brian discusses our issues in context with God's incarnation and the willingness to demonstrate the divinity of human life despite the ravages of sin's distortion.

We are created in the image of God and, to fully realized as human beings, we must be willing to be that image in completeness. This can lead to some radical interactions with other human beings - also made in the image of God!

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, July 22, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml

LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Divine Image in Reflection

Divine Image in Reflection

Do we conform to the divine image in which we are created? Or do we try to conform God to our image of God?

Fr John Brian discusses the reality of the divine image and the human problem with being made in that image. Another inspirational sermon. This sermon refers to Ephesians Chapter 2.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, July 15, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml

LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Super Duper Human Power

Super Duper Human Power

What is the super power of humanity? The super duper power of each one of us?

This sermon reflection compares the super powers of the Apostles with our own super power. Fr John Brian discusses in a plain and inspirational manner, using a passage of 1 Corinthians to clarify.

Have you figured out what super power you already have?

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, July 8, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml

LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

God Dependency and Independence

God Dependency and Independence

As we reflect and remember the Apostles and their mission of the church, Fr John Brian discusses issues of clergy and laity, clarifying our complete dependence on God.

Another low key presentation that is instructional and inspirational - on a day that there is a solemn remembrance of one who has passed and the gospel lesson about miracle of the bread and fishes. Listen how these are brought together in another lesson in Christian spiritual development.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, July 1, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml

LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rejoice in the Day the Lord has Made

Rejoice in the Day the Lord has Made

At this time of year, we reflect and remember the Apostles and the mission of the church.

In this low key inspirational and extemporaneous sermon , Fr John Brian reminds everyone of the very premise of mission and purpose in Christian spiritual development.

Fr. John Brian challenges listeners to live in the day the Lord has made and bring others to the ever-present love of God available every day.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, June 24, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml

LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mercy From the Beginning - Retreat Talk

Mercy From the Beginning
Retreat Talk for Youth/Adult group

The theme for the 2012 annual retreat of the Kerala Christian Congregation of Minneapolis was Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

Fr John-Brian was one of two presenters on the theme. On Saturday afternoon, he gave an extemporaneous talk "Mercy From the Beginning" from questions after the first talk.

Earlier, Fr John Brian spoke with the pre-teen group about mercy by going through the mercy demonstrated in the five parables of the first talk "Mercy Mercy"

This talk uses and refers to the scriptures and the church fathers. It was given on Saturday, June 16, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel in Madison, Wisconsin at the KCC of Minneapolis Annual Retreat in Amery, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Mercy Mercy - audio from retreat talk

Mercy Mercy - audio from retreat talk

The theme for the 2012 annual retreat of the Kerala Christian Congregation of Minneapolis was Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

Fr John-Brian was one of two presenters on the theme. On Friday night, he gave an introduction to mercy: "Mercy Mercy" which was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation which is also available on-line:


http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/06/mercy-mercy-slideshow-of-retreat.html

This talk uses and refers to the scriptures and the church fathers as well as to an article by Fr. Thomas Hopko. It was given on Friday, June 15, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel in Madison, Wisconsin at the KCC of MInneapolis Annual Retreat in Amery, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mercy Mercy - slideshow of retreat presentation

Mercy Mercy - retreat theme presentation by Fr. John-Brian Paprock
Given at Kerala Christian Congregation of Minneapolis Annual Reterat
Amery, Wisconsin - June 15, 2012

To listen to audio recording of two "Mercy Mercy " presentations
LISTEN ON-LINE
1. Mercy Mercy (recorded 06-15-12)
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/06/mercy-mercy-audio-from-retreat-talk.html

2. Mercy From The Beginning (recorded 06-16-12)
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/06/mercy-from-beginning-retreat-talk.html

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD either or both:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian
or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

iTunes: Now Available Two Books by Fr. John Brian

Fully Alive
by Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
This book is available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes. Books must be read on an iOS device.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rev.-fr.-john-brian-paprock/id460397293?mt=11



Neighbors, Strangers and Everyone Else
by Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
This book is available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes. Books must be read on an iOS device.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rev.-fr.-john-brian-paprock/id460397293?mt=11





Book Review: Living in the Eighth Day

Living in the Eighth Day (2006)
Google Books User Review
by Jarrod Ryder 
(note: The reviewer has disclosed that he is a member of Coptic Orthodox Church)

Fr John Brian Paprock is an American priest in the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church [sic], who shepherds a mission parish of the Holy Transfiguration, Madison Wisconsin. Although he has been exposed to some of the great academic theological minds of our time, including Paulos Mar Gregorios (famous for his work on St Gregory of Nyssa's theology - Cosmic Man) he shows in this collection of homilies and pastoral recollections from the Church year a wonderful ability to communicate to all people.

Fr John-Brian Paprock's service should be interesting not only to Orthodox, but to people interested in religious studies in general because he represents a new trend in people seeking to know the mystical and ancient Christian faith of the early centuries in a contemporary setting.

Who would have thought, that amidst the mega churches of America with their modern innovations, people would begin to search for the heart of their historical faith and find it amidst a spiritual fountain of cultural and spiritual blessings from those ancient cultures that have preserved the original faith handed down via the apostles. I see many similarities in the experiences and message being promoted in the Church of the Holy Transfiguration to our small sister Church in Australia with the same faith and purpose, and it is a delightful read not only for its message(s) but also for an insight into a new breed of Christian mission that is older than the New Testament.

review originally appeared at this url:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Essential Unity in Saintliness

Essential Unity in Saintliness

In the time of Pentecost, the church lessons are focused on mission, purpose and lives of the apostles and the saints.

Starting with Paul's words to the Ephesians (Chapter 2) about two becoming one, diverse becoming united through the Spirit.

In front of each of us is a saintliness we are called to fulfill. Fr. John Brian talks about the essential unity of Christian spirituality. Our spiritual development must meet the saints in the actions of our everyday life.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, June 10, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Monday, June 04, 2012

Holy Spirit Imitation

Holy Spirit Imitation
Holy Spirit Trust

The Holy Spirit has descended. The comforter has come. Now what?

The popular ideas of what is to happen are fantastic and supernatural. Beyond the natural world - Yes! But not always fantastic.

We are called to fulfill the ideal to which we were created - that we are created in God's image. It is only by the Holy Spirit that we are able to do what Christians are called to do - that which is un-natural or supernatural in the views of this world.

This world is either in awe or in disdain for our un-natural work of Christian spiritual development. It is entertained by the fantastic and revels in criticism when we are unable to live up to the lofty ideals of Christian mercy.

Fr. John Brian talks about the spirituality of the Holy Spirit using excerpts from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, June 3, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Trusting the Trinity for the Summer Season

Trusting the Trinity for the Summer Season
Trusting God this Summer

Unofficially, the last weekend in May - Memorial Day Weekend - begins the three month summer season in America.

Public schools are nearly all let out and many of the seasonal activities begin: beaches open, campsites open, the big outdoors beckons all to a season of leisure and fun. Every family takes vacation during the summer. Many travel.

Coincindentally, two of the most important holy days usually end up being celebrated as this summer season begins: Ascension and Pentecost.

Fr. John Brian talks about how very important these holy days are for our spiritual development and discusses the spirituality of the Holy Trinity, giving a new perspective on the summer season.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, May 27, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin. Please, as you are inspired, pray for us and help us.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Healing Ascension Deficit Disorder

Healing Ascension Deficit Disorder

40 days away from Easter, the Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ, it seems so many Christians suffer from Ascension Deficit Disorder - either asking: where is Jesus? or what's the big deal about the Ascension anyway? But there is a cure. There is healing.

Fr. John Brian give the medicine of an inspirational homiletic on the first Chapter of Colossians to give an answer to the bigger questions of the importance of Ascension.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, May 20, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired to pray for us and help us, let us know your prayer needs during this auspicious time.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Letting Go on Mother's Day

Letting Go on Mother's Day

Christ is risen!

There is a saying "By letting go, the whole world gets done."

Fr. John Brian weaves this saying with Mother's Day and what is important to hold on to during this special time of year - at the same time recognizing what we need to let go.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, May 13, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired to pray for us and help us, let us know your prayer needs during this auspicious time. Thank you for your prayers, especially for Fr John Brian.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

GIGO - God In God Out

GIGO - God In, God Out

Christ is risen!

GIGO is an old computer programming term that literally means: Garbage In, Garbage Out - that what you input is directly related to your output; computer programs will only give out what they are programmed to give out based upon what data is given.

In many ways, we created the computer in our own intellectual image. It is a reflection of how we think and what is most important.

In this inspirational sermon, Fr John Brian talks about GIGO, but suggests that Orthodox Christianity of the East has known this for two thousand years, but would interpret GIGO as GOD IN, GOD OUT.

This is what St Paul speaks of when he writes about the "new man." It is the "born again" answer given to Nicodemus by Jesus. And it the equivalent of the charge to "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!"

Fr John Brian gives examples of how the Orthodox Church has been practicing the GIGO principle through the centuries and how it applies to our modern spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, May 6, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired to pray for us and help us, let us know your prayer needs during this auspicious time. Thank you for your prayers, especially for Fr John Brian.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Continuing in Resurrection Grace

Continuing in Resurrection Grace

Christ is risen from the dead and on those in the tombs giving life!

Maintaining the grace of the Resurrection can be difficult. The symbol of the butterfly has been a symbol of the resurrection for centuries and gives insight into how we can keep more of the Resurrection grace.

In this homiletic sermon, Fr John Brian walks through the end of Ephesians Chapter 4. He equates the "new man" - that St Paul's tells us to "put on" - with the superhoero each of us has within us.

This is an inspirational sermon by Fr. John Brian on Orthodox Christian spirituality completely within the New Testament teaching of St. Paul.

Fr John Brian lays the groundwork for us to share the Good News of the light and life and deep abiding love presented to us at the Resurrection and bourn upon the Word from the beginning.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, April 29, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired to pray for us and help us, let us know your prayer needs during this auspicious time. Thank you for your prayers, especially for Fr John Brian. This is an important time for our mission parish - please continue your prayers and good intentions for us.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Breath of God is Love

Breath of God is Love

Christ is risen from the dead and on those in the tombs giving life!

There is a profound and intimate connection between the Resurrection and the Creation.

This is an inspirational sermon by Fr. John Brian, that speaks about the breath of God that creates life and sends the Word of creation, when He said, "It is good!"

Fr John Brian lays the groundwork for us to share the Good News of the light and life and deep abiding love presented to us at the Resurrection and bourn upon the Word from the beginning.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, April 22, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please, as you are inspired to pray for us and help us, let us know your prayer needs during this auspicious time. Thank you for your prayers, especially for Fr John Brian. This is an important time for our mission parish - please continue your prayers and good intentions for us.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Short Paschal Message

Short Paschal Message

Christ is risen from the dead and on those in the tombs giving life!

This is a short message given at Eastern Orthodox Easter liturgy.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, April 15, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please let us know your support and thank you for your prayers, especially for Fr John Brian. This is an important time for our mission parish - please continue your prayers and good intentions for us. Thank you in advance for your continuing kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Glory Which Shall Be Revealed in Us

The Glory Which Shall Be Revealed in Us

"The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

In this sermon, Holy Week is discussed, but, in the Christian life, every week can be a holy week.

Despite the joys at the end of Holy Week, there are many in the world who are suffering, but the glory of God in us will be greater than any suffering. The sermon focuses on St Paul words to the Romans in Chapter18:18-19.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, April 8, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please let us know your support and thank you for your prayers, especially for Fr John Brian. This is an important time for our mission parish - please continue your prayers and good intentions for us. Thank you in advance for your continuing kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Meaning of Christian Sacrifice

The Meaning of Christian Sacrifice

Meaningful Sacrifice - Part 8

In this sermon, Fr. John Brian concludes the series on meaningful sacrifice. He puts together the meaning and intent of Christian sacrifice that leads to Holy Communion as a sacrifice acceptable to God and ultimately to our common resurrection.

Using Ephesians Chapter 5 (the first few verses), Fr John Brian emphasizes the biblical connection of Orthodox Christian practice and understanding.


This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, April 1, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.



Thank you for your prayers and support. This is an important time for our mission parish - please continue your prayers and good intentions for us and let us know your support. Thank you in advance for your continuing kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Sacrifice of Penance

The Sacrifice of Penance

Meaningful Sacrifice - Part 7

In this sermon, Fr. John Brian continues a series of sermons on the topic of meaningful sacrifice.

This week, Fr. John Brian is the second on Origen's seventh remission - the remission through penance and "weeping," to which Origen adds healing of illness. Fr. John Brian takes time to bring us to an understanding of the sacrifice involved in confession, weeping for our own sins, penance and the mercy of God.

Psalm 6 is emphasized for its help in understanding where the sacrifice meets the grace and mercy of God.

After baptism, this is the culmination of early Church Father Origen's "Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions" (The excerpt from his "Homilies on Leviticus" can be read at: http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/02/seven-sacrifices-seven-remissions.html )

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, March 25, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We continue to be in a particularly important time for our parish - please continue to pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your support. Thank you in advance for your continuing kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Confession is a Sacrifice

Confession is a Sacrifice
Meaningful Sacrifice - part 6

In this sermon, Fr. John Brian continues a series of sermons on the topic of meaningful sacrifice by using an excerpt of a
writing by an early Church Father, Origen. The excerpt is from his "Homilies on Leviticus." It is entitled "Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions" and has been posted at
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/02/seven-sacrifices-seven-remissions.html

This week, Fr. John Brian gives a few minutes for memory of the departed servant of God, H.H. Baba Shenouda, Coptic Patriarch, who passed to eternal life on Saturday, March 17, 2012 - before speaking to the sermon topic. May his memory be eternal!

This sermon is one of two on Origen's seventh remission - the remission through penance and "weeping," to which Origen adds healing of illness.

Fr. John Brian takes time to bring us to an understanding of the sacrifice involved in confession, weeping for our own sins, penance and the mercy of God. Because this sacrifice is perhaps the most difficult practice of all of Origen's list, Fr. John Brian will continue on the topic of confession next week.

He also mentions the prayers the priest says when asking forgiveness of sins before the altar before he offers the oblation on behalf of the congregation.  This is to further our understanding of Christian sacrifice.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, March 18, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We continue to be in a particularly important time for our parish - please continue to pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your support. Thank you in advance for your continuing kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The True Sacrifice of Christian Love

The True Sacrifice of Christian Love Meaningful Sacrifice - part 5

In this sermon, Fr. John Brian continues a series of sermons on the topic of meaningful sacrifice by using an excerpt of a
writing by an early Church Father, Origen. The excerpt is from his "Homilies on Leviticus." It is entitled "Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions" and has been posted at
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/02/seven-sacrifices-seven-remissions.html

Fr. John Brian gives a little bit longer sermon on Origen's sixth remission - the remission through "sacrifice of abundant love," as Origen names it.

Fr. John Brian takes time, using the first verses of Romans Chapter 5, to bring us to an understanding of the love that Origen's Second Century voice speaks. Fr. John Brian talks about FAITH and then HOPE and in context then he explains The True Sacrifice of Christian Love.

He also explains the prayers the priest says when washing his hands to further our understanding of Christian sacrifice.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, March 11, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

We continue to be in a particularly important time for our mission - please pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your support. Thank you in advance for your kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Monday, March 05, 2012

The Sacrifice of Conversion

The Sacrifice of Conversion
Meaningful Sacrifice - part 4

In this powerful short sermon, Fr. John Brian continues a series of sermons on the topic of meaningful sacrifice by using an excerpt of a writing by an early Church Father, Origen. The excerpt is from his "Homilies on Leviticus." It is entitled "Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions" and has been posted at
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/02/seven-sacrifices-seven-remissions.html

Fr John Brian gives a short sermon on Origen's fifth remission - the remission through "converting one to the Truth."

He explains how much this is a sacrifice as it requires complete honesty of the Christian - enough to admit the inherent hypocrisy of talking about living ideals without the complete manifestation in the Christian's day to day life.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, March 4, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

This is a particularly important time for our mission (a bit of this is mentioned in this sermon) - please pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your support. Thank you in advance for your kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Sacrifice of Forgiving Others


The Sacrifice of Forgiving Others
Meaningful Sacrifice - Part 3

Fr John Brian continues a series of sermons on the topic of meaningful sacrifice by using an excerpt of a writing by an early Church Father, Origen. The excerpt is from his "Homilies on Leviticus." It is entitled "Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions" and has been posted at
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/02/seven-sacrifices-seven-remissions.html

Fr John Brian gives a short sermon on Origen's fourth remission - the remission through "forgiving the sins of a brother."

Romans 14 is used in the sermon along with prayers from the first service of preparation for Holy Qurbana.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, February 26, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

This is a particularly important time for our mission - please pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your support. Thank you in advance for your kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meaningful Sacrifice - Part 2

Meaningful Sacrifice - part 2

Fr John Brian continues a series of sermons on the topic of meaningful sacrifice by using an excerpt of a writing by an early Church Father, Origen. The excerpt is from his "Homilies on Leviticus." It is entitled "Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions" and has been posted at
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/02/seven-sacrifices-seven-remissions.html

In preparation for Lent, Fr John Brian further clarifies a definition of sacrifice, reviewing Origen's first two correlations
with sacrifices in Leviticus: baptism and martyrdom. Then he talks about Origen's third remission - the remission through alms and charitible giving.

Luke 12:32-34 is used in the sermon.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, February 19, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission
Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

This is a particularly important time for our mission - please pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your spiritual and earthly encouragement and support. Thank you in advance for your kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meaningful Sacrifice - part 1

Meaningful Sacrifice - part 1

Fr. John Brian begins a series of sermons on the topic of meaningful sacrifice by using an excerpt of a writing by an early Church Father, Origen. The excerpt is entitled "Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions" and has been posted at
http://frjohbrian.blogspot.com/2012/02/seven-sacrifices-seven-remissions.html

This week of preparation for Lent, Fr. John Brian focuses on a definition of sacrifice, using the root of the English word for undertanding. Then he talks about Origen's first two correlations with sacrifices in Leviticus: baptism and martyrdom.

To be continued through Lent.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, February 12, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission
Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

This is a particularly important time for our mission - please pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your spiritual and earthly encouragement and support. Thank you in advance for your kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
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Seven Sacrifices - Seven Remissions

Seven Sacrifices
Seven Remissions
~ + ~
Origen, 2nd Century Father of the Church
excerpted from
Homilies on Leviticus - Fathers of the Church Series, Volume 83
~ + ~

Summary list

A. Seven Sacrifices in Leviticus:
> These were killed - sheep, goats, cattle and birds.
> This was moistened - wheat flour/bread.
1. a calf
2. he-goat (also called scape-goats
3. fat goats
4. ram/sheep
5. pair of turle doves or two pidgeons
6. loaves of fine wheat flour
7. fine wheat flour from gridiron

B. Seven Remissions correlated by Origen:
1. baptism
2. martyrdom
3. alms
4. forgive your brother's sins
5. convert a sinner
6. abundance of love
7. penance and weeping

~ + ~
[Origen's excerpted text in English begins here]

... perhaps the hearers of the Church may say, generally it was better with the ancients than with us, when pardon for sinners was obtained by offering sacrifices in a diverse ritual.

Among us, there is only one pardon of sins, which is given in the beginning through the grace of baptism.

After this, neither mercy nor any indulgence is granted to the sinner. Certainly, it is fitting that the Christian, "for whom Christ died” (Rom 14:15) have a more difficult discipline. For the ancients, sheep, he-goats, cattle, and birds were killed and fine wheat flour was moistened. For you, the Son of God was killed.

How could it please you to sin again? And yet, lest these things not so much build up your souls for virtue as cast them down to despair, you heard how many sacrifices there were in the Law for sins. Now hear how many remissions of sins are in the gospel.

First is the one by which we are baptized "for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4).

A second remission is in the suffering of martyrdom.

Third is that which is given through alms. For the Savior says, "but nevertheless, give what you have and, behold, all things are clean for you. (Luke 11:41).

A fourth remission of sins is given for us through the fact that we also forgive the sins of our brothers. For thus the Lord and Savior himself says, "If you will forgive from the heart your brothers' sins, your Father will also forgive you your sins. But if you will not forgive your brothers from the heart, neither will your Father forgive you” (Mt 6: 14, 15). And thus he taught us to say in prayer, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Mt 6:12).

A fifth forgiveness of sins is when "someone will convert a sinner from the error of his way." For thus divine Scripture says, "Whoever will make a sinner turn from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”(Jas 5:20).

There is also a sixth forgiveness through the abundance of love as the Lord himself says, "Truly I say to you, her many sins are forgiven because she loved much.” (Luke 7:47). And the Apostle says, "Because love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Pet 4:8).

And there is still a seventh remission of sins through penance, although admittedly it is difficult and toilsome, when the sinner washes "his couch in tears” (Ps 6:7) and his "tears" become his "bread day and night” (Ps 41:4) when he is not ashamed to make known his sin to the priest of the Lord and to seek a cure according to the one who says, "I said, 'I will proclaim to the Lord my injustice against myself,' and you forgave the impiety of my heart" (Ps 31:5).

What the Apostle James said is fulfilled in this:' "But if anyone is sick, let that person call the presbyters of the Church, and they will place their hands on him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and if he is in sins, they will be forgiven him.” (Jas 5:14-15).

And you, therefore, when you come to the grace of baptism, you offer "a calf," for "you are baptized into Christ's death” (Rom 6:3). But when you are led to martyrdom, you offer "a he-goat," because you kill the devil, the originator of sins. When you give alms and bestow the love of mercy moved by pity toward those in need, you load the sacred altar with fat goats.

For "if you should forgive your brother's sin from your heart” (Matt 18:35) and, having laid aside the tumor of your rage, gather within you a mild and simple spirit, be assured, you have killed your ram or offered your sheep in a sacrifice.

Furthermore, if, instructed in the divine readings "by meditating as a dove" (Isa 38:14) and by keeping watch in "the Law" of the Lord "day and night" (Ps 1:2) you should convert the sinner from his error and call him back from worthless wickedness to the innocence of a dove; and if, by clinging to the saints. (Rom 12:9) you should make him imitate the fellowship of a dove, you offered to the Lord "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

Because of this "love" which is "greater" than hope or faith," (1Cor 13:13) should abound in your heart, so that "you love your neighbor" not only "as yourself" (Mt 19:19) but as that one shows who said "No one has greater love than this, that he lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) know that you have offered loaves made of fine wheat flour "kneaded in the oil” (Lev 2:4) of love, without any "fermentation of malice and wickedness in the unleavened loaf of purity and truth" (1 Cor 5:8).

But if in the bitterness of your weeping you have been consumed in mourning, tears, and lamentations, if you have tortured your flesh and become parched with fastings and much self-restraint and have said, "My bones were fried as a frying pan” (Ps 101:4) then you have offered "as a sacrifice, fine wheat flour from the frying pan or gridiron." (Lev 2:4).

In this way, you will have discovered that you have offered sacrifices more fittingly and more perfectly, which Israel can no longer offer according to the Law.

+ ~ + ~ +

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Something To Hold On To

Something To Hold On To

At the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple on his 40 day after birth, Fr. John Brian talks about holding on to one thing. Righteous Simeon held the infant Lord in his arms and prophesied (as told in Luke Chapter 2)

This is juxtaposed with the pre-Lenten focus on remembering the departed. On this particular Sunday, it happens to be the 40th day after the death of a member of the mission. This brought a certain theme to the sermon this week.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, February 5, 2012 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission
Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

This is a particularly important time for our mission - please pray for us and let us know your support. This year has great potential and we need your spiritual and earthly encouragement and support. Thank you in advance for your kindness and considerations.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or
http://frjohnbrian.hipcast.com/rss/spiritual_reflections_or_fr_john_brian.xml
LISTEN ON-LINE HERE: