Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011 / May 12, 2011

Apodosis of Prepolovenie. Tone four.
Fast. Fish Allowed
St. Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus (403).
St. Germanus, patriarch of Constantinople (740).
Glorification (1913) of Hieromartyr Hermogenes (1612) the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
New Martyr Abbess Athanasia of the Smolensk Hodigitria Convent, near Moscow (1931).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1937).
Venerable Dionysius, archimandrite of St. Sergius' Lavra (1633).
Second Uncovering of the relics (1992) of Righteous Simeon of Verkhoturye (1642).
St. Sabinus, archbishop of Cyprus (5th c.).
St. Polybius of Cyprus, bishop of Rinokyr in Egypt (5th c.).
Martyr John of Wallachia, at Constantinople (1662).
Martyr Pancratius of Rome (304).
St. Philp Argyrius (Silversmith) (395-408).
Venerable Theodore of Cythera, monk (Greek).
St. Anthony (Medvedev), archimandrite of St. Sergius' Lavra (1877).

Words from the Abbot:

God is always closer to us than our own breath. When He seems to have withdrawn Himself from us, it is to make us work a little harder on our own struggle, much like a toddler is left standing, with her parent across the room, waiting for those first steps.

When I was in my early twenties (back in 1846,) I went through a period of time feeling alone, friendless. I was estranged from my family, and doing everything possible to push my friends away, even though I was desperately needing all of them. Like many young college students, I was fearful of the future, unsure of myself, and undecided about my academic direction. It didn't help much that I was also going through a major spiritual crisis, and wondering if God really existed.

Like so many other young people, in my own self consumption, I failed, utterly, to notice that I was not the only one who was filled with self doubt. My own "showiness" of struggle, made other young people uneasy, for they were, as is often the case, trying to stay afloat themselves. If you are in denial, the struggle to maintain is made all the more difficult when your friend is caving in.

In my tormented state, I sought out the guidance of a faculty member, one whom I'd grown to respect. As I sat in his office, pouring out my pain, fear, and sorrow, and suggesting that I might as well drop out of college, since I was bound to total failure, this professor reached for his banjo, and played a few songs. When he'd completed his "set," he looked deeply into my eyes, and said, "It's all going to be just fine," and smiled broadly. I was initially stunned, and wondered if he'd even heard what I'd just said. Then, I found myself smiling, as well, and feeling like a huge boulder had just been lifted from my shoulders. I walked out of his office, laughing to myself, and realizing that I'd been taking myself too seriously.

It crossed my mind, in the days that ensued, that this professor, in my time of need, had become an agent of God, an angel of mercy. There was absolutely nothing he could have "said" that could have helped me, in my darkened state. It was as thought God had played that banjo for me, through this professor.

I now know that this was, indeed, God speaking to me. God often talks to us through others, through music, through art, or through the action of a big ocean wave. Sometimes He even speaks to us in the quiet of an early morning, when we're viewing a sunrise. God is, indeed, closer to us than our own breath.

With love and blessings,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos of the Day:

The Monastery's gardens.


Scripture Readings for the Day:

Acts 13:13-24

At Antioch in Pisidia

13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. 19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20 “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ 23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus— 24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

John 6:5-14

5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Click photo to enlarge.

1 comment:

  1. Abbot, I love you being here for us, please keep me in your prayers. Mary Anita Bongiorno