Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011 / June 9, 2011
2nd Week after Pentecost.  
Tone eight.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast.  
By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
St. Cyril, archbishop of Alexandria (444).
Venerable Cyril, abbot of White Lake (Byelozersk) (1427).
St. Alexius Mechev, priest of Moscow (1923).
Venerable Alexander, abbot of Kushta (Vologda) (1439).
Five nuns beheaded in Persia: Martyrs Thecla, Mariamne, Martha, Mary, and Enmatha (346).
Righteous Cyril of Velsk or Vazhe (Vologda) (15th c.).
St. Columba of Iona (597) (Celtic & British).
St. Baithene of Tiree (600) (Celtic & British).
Hieromartyr Alexander, bishop of Prusa (Greek).
Venarable Cyril, monk (Greek).
Three Virgin-martyrs of Chios (Greek).
St. John of Shavtel-Gaenati, Georgia (13th c.) (Georgia).

Words from the Abbot:

We of the twenty-first century have given ourselves over to self consuming additions more than any time in history. Even a casual look at how we live our lives makes it abundantly clear that we are so caught up in our addictions that we can't even begin to notice that our world is on the brink of disaster. Scientists have been telling us for years that our over use of fossil fuels has been having a negative effect on our planet. Global warming is a fact, yet we're so addicted to over consumption that we even look at the scientific facts in a selective way, finding ways to deny the inevitable. We've managed to politicize an issue that should have united us, all because we want to continue to feed our additions.

Just recently marine scientists announced that the carbon dioxide that has been spewing into the air has been sinking into our oceans. The result is the devastation of sensitive coral reefs, caused by the warming of ocean temperatures. We're now seeing increased movement of non-native species into ecosystems that are foreign to them and we are now on the brink of mass extinctions of ocean life that have not been seen in thousands of years. Much of the worlds population depends on food from these oceans and the depletion of whole species promises to deplete much of our world's food supply. We're not talking about a hundred years, but tens years.

Because of our addictions to having it all, we've put our collective heads in the sand, pretending that all is going to be just fine. We are a technologically advanced race that can take care of any eventuality, we tell ourselves. The fact that we are seeing record breaking storms, floods, drought, fires and increasingly erratic weather patters, seems too frightening to even contemplate. Our oceans are rising with the melting of the great ice caps and we are denying the reality of global warming. By telling ourselves we are just in a natural climatic change we dismiss any personal responsibility. We live in denial much like the alcoholic who's been confronted by his family.

As a race we have turned our backs on God. We've adopted "abundance and prosperity" theologies that have led us to believe that God wants us to exploit the planet. We've put our priorities in the wrong place. Simple living has been relegated to those losers who can't afford the good life. Meanwhile we fiddle like the grasshopper of the childhood story, all the while running out of time.

We ignore in our pride and arrogance a clear message. God is calling us to repentance. He is calling upon us to turn back to the things that are eternal. Our planet is spewing us up like so much vomit because our sins of over consumption, greed and the acquisition of material things has led us to forget God. We've been worshiping the false gods of prosperity, gluttony and consumption while ignored the invitation of our Creator to place our hearts and minds at His disposal.

"It is the sign of an infantile mind not to care for oneself with the resources that are available, but rather to partake of something clearly and undeniably harmful while trusting in unseen hopes." Saint Basil the Great, "Against Those Who Lend At Interest."

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos of the Day:


This is the last photo to be taken of the Monastic Church of the Protection of the Holy Virgin, before the new doors are installed!!

Scripture Readings for the Day:

Romans 4:13-25

The Promise Granted Through Faith

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Matthew 7:21-23

I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Click photo to enlarge.

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