Priest Valery: We partake of the Body and the Blood of the Lord — the Creator of the Universe does not reject us. Some people receive God with joy; some receive him with awe, some with fear. One's personal attitude determines the measure of God's closeness to him.
How long can we endure this communication — for a minute, an hour, a day? How do we receive God? What happens? Do we change? Unfortunately, our earthen vessel cannot keep these gifts intact. Nonetheless, we should work hard in this direction. As long as we keep thinking about God, we do not lose a connection to him.
Sermon after the All-Night Vigil on February 27, 2016
As soon as self-righteousness creeps in, we do not only take a step back — in fact, we go all the way back to where we started. Seeing how ugly we really are, we come to realize that we have missed the point and took a mirage for a real thing again: we claimed for ourselves the light of Christ that used to make us holy, and it disappeared, while we and our relationships with God became distorted again.
Whenever we realize it, we are given another opportunity to restore our initial condition, i.e., God's image in us. The Lord is ready to carry out this task all by himself; we only have to open our hearts to him and admit our imperfections before him, showing him what we would like to change. And the Lord will change us…
Sermon before a confession in the Boarding Home for Children with SpecialNeeds on February 26, 2016
All temptations that we encounter are sent to us in order to make our faith stronger and to motivate us to look at God, not at ourselves.
Sermon after a moleben on February 26, 2016
Priest Sergius: We hope that we begin a different life if we force ourselves into doing things we don't want to do. We have already noticed that the life we used to have — a life in pursuit of our desires — does not lead to real joy; instead, it leads to emptiness and a dead-end. This is why we have to take a new step, and this is sometimes difficult. May the Lord help us not to be lazy, not to be afraid to curb our desires, even in smallest things.
Sometimes people find it hard to make an effort to simply listen to someone, to see someone, to talk with someone. You can avoid doing all that — and this will be fairly normal. At the same time, we miss something really important. What if we stop being afraid and finally take a step towards another person? Probably, this will be our step towards God, too. Even though this step towards God might sometimes be painful enough. Anyway, we should not be afraid of pain and hardships: we've got to move forward.
Sermon after a Liturgy on February 29, 2016
Priest George: Christianity cannot be a coin to exchange in the gambling of politicians; it cannot be a tool to exert pressure and influence, because the Church of God is not of this world, it is beyond it.
The image of Christ — the unfading and undying image that is present in each Christian's heart — must direct the steps of a Christians onto the road of peace.
We can only reach the Heavenly Kingdom if there is charity, love, and mercy, even to our enemies, in our hearts. We will only be able to enter the realm of God's love if we build our lives upon trusting God instead of relying on other people's failures and misgivings to become happier.
Sermon after the All-Night Vigil on February 29, 2016
We must forever remember that our worth and our glory have their roots in the One who was humiliated. Our love is in the One who was betrayed. Our triumph is in the One who was crucified. Our life is in the One who rose from the dead and gave us the chance of the eternal life.
If we want to be with God, we should treat other people as He treats us. Only if we accept our neighbor and try to help him, we accept God.
Sermon after a Liturgy on March 1, 2016
Archpriest Andrew: Confession is filled with loving God, trusting him and God's love to such an extent that this really is a great Sacrament!
When a person says, «Yes, I am so-and-so…» and I ask him, «Do you repent?» — «Yes, I do». — «May God forgive you». Is there repentance? We don't know… What if people, after everything they have done, really stop and say, «Enough! God has forgiven us. We must stop doing these things!» But we go on living as if nobody forgave us.
Sermon after the Akathist to St Elisabeth on February 28, 2016
The Great Lent is near. What will I renounce? The sin. What is my sin? For instance, I like to talk too much, or I am quick-spirited and demand too much from my loved ones, so I have to quit it. Repentance calls for us to change our lives. It is a decisive action of getting rid of the sin.
I would like all of us to return to our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us. The Lord opens up his embrace on Golgotha and says, Come to Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden! He calls us home.
Spring is near, the spiritual spring when one wakes up from their sinful hibernation, when they hear, «Wake up, O my soul, why are you asleep? The end is near…» The Church wants to attune us to this season. The Church helps us to see what we should change and how we should adapt to start a life with God.
Sermon after a Liturgy on February 28, 2016