Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 7, 2011 / May 25, 2011
Afterfeast of the Ascension. Tone six.

Third Finding of the Precious Head of St. John the Baptist (850). Virgin-Martyr Helen (1938).
New Hieromartyr Tavrion (1939).
St. Innocent archbishop of Cherson (1857). Hieromartyr Therapon, bishop of Cyprus (4th c.). St. Dodo, prince of Georgia (6th c.).
Synaxis of Saints of Volhynia: Saints Yaropolk, Stephen, Macarius, Igor and Juliana.
Commemoration of the reunion of 3,000,000 Uniates with the Orthodox Church at Vilna in 1831.
Martyrs Pasicrates, Valentinian, Julius and others at Dorostolum (302).
St. Aldehelm, bishop of Sherborne.
Martyr Celestine (Greek).
St. Olbian, monk (Greek).

Words from the Abbot: 


Manifest destiny was the belief that the United States god-given right was to spread westward from sea to shining sea, spreading American beliefs across the continent. As we all know, the First Nations tribes (Indians) were seen as heathen, and fare game for the advancing peoples of European ancestry. Whole tribes were wiped from the face of the map, either by being slaughtered, or succumbing to white man's diseases, for which they had no natural immunity. For those natives who were "lucky enough" to survive the occupation of their lands, relocation by force to reservations, was the norm.


The "Christian" basis for this expansion, had as it's roots the Calvinist doctrine of "Predestination," a false and horrid, teaching that some where predestined to salvation, while others were not. The natural link between the two doctrines, is obvious.

By contrast, the Orthodox missionary monks to Alaska journeyed under strict orders from the Patriarch and the Czar, to respect the First Nations religion, culture, and peoples. They were under direct orders to avoid baptizing the natives, unless they sought to convert, and then only after they were fully catechized. The missionary monks befriended the natives, even to the point of protecting them from Russian fur traders, who mistreated them. They learned the native languages, and respected the local culture.

To this day, Alaska's Orthodox natives, see Orthodoxy as their native religion, because the love and kindness shown them by the Orthodox monks helped them see Christianity as the fulfillment of their own religion.

This has been the Orthodox way of evangelism from the earliest of times. Some have accused we Orthodox of not being missionary minded, not seeing that our missionary efforts are simply different than that of the west. We believe that God transforms hearts, so we, in turn, share our faith by loving those whom we wish to convert. Our evangelism of based in the heart, where love reigns.

The God we Orthodox Christians worship, is the God of love and mercy, and the only way to bring others into a relationship with this God, is to love them into God's Kingdom. We don't pronounce them as heathen, who are destined to hellfire, but God's children, created in His image and likeness. We invite them into the Church as our brothers and sisters, because we love them, and desire that they not only have God as their Father, but the Church as their Mother.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos of the Day: 


The latest aerial photos of the monastery, taken by Edward Pierson.

Scripture Readings for the Day: 

Acts 21:26-32

Arrested in the Temple

26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.
27 Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
30 And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut. 31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

John 16:2-13

2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.
“And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

Click photo to enlarge.

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