Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feed Your Soul

How to Find Hope
When you Face Mortality

Earlier this evening I was listening to one of the last songs recorded by Johnny Cash, probably the best country western singer of all time. The line in his song, "put me in my box on the 309", is coming from a man who is facing his own imminent death. With the loss of his beloved wife, June Carter Cash still heavy on his heart, Johnny was ready to go to God.

At sixty-five, I'm more aware than ever of my own mortality. I'm not afraid of death but find myself concerned about the monastery and wanting it to prosper beyond my life. I believe with all my heart that this place was built by God, working one miracle after another to make it happen, but like a mother who's given birth to her child and wanting the best for him, I'm not in a hurry to leave this life. I want to know this monastery will be on sure footing and with enough young monks to continue into the next generation before they put my box on the 309.

Like Johnny Cash in his last album, I find myself driven by a desire to share in words my life experience and help today's young people realize the importance of making  God central in their lives. We live in an age where many are living in a constant state of listlessness, not caring or being concerned about their spiritual condition, or that of the world. Having given themselves over to leisure pursuits and entertainment, they've become unable to be attentive to that which is of eternal importance. As the economy falters and the world seems on the brink of total meltdown, they have failed to build a foundation that will help them face the challenges and dangers that lie ahead.

History is filled with times like ours and the spiritually fit were the ones who came through those difficult times and prospered. The spiritually fit can triumph over anything, so I continue trying to encourage this new generation of young people. You have before you many challenges, but you also have the prayerful support of monks everywhere, and the love and respect of people of my generation. With God's help you will triumph, so don't neglect the needs of your soul.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Sunday July 31, 2011 / July 18, 2011
7th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone six.
Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Councils (movable holiday on Sunday closest to July 16).

Martyr Emilian of Silistra in Bulgaria (363).
Martyr Hyacinth of Amastris (4th c.).
New Hieromartyrs Appolinarius (1918).
Venerable John the Long-suffering of the Kiev Caves (1160).
Venerable Pambo, recluse of the Kiev Caves (1241).
Venerable Pambo, hermit of Egypt (386).
Venerable Leontius, abbot of Karikhov (Novgorod) (1492).
"Kaluga" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1892).
St. Frederich, bishop of Utrecht (9th c.) (Neth.).
Martyr Marcel (Greek).
Martyrs Dasius and Maron (Greek).
Sts. Stephen, archbishop of Constantinople (928), and John the Confessor, metropolitan of Chalcedon (9th c.) (Greek).
Great-martyr Athanasius of Klysma, Egypt (4th c.).
St. Cosmas, hieromonk of Georgia (1630).

The Scripture Readings for the Day:

Hebrews 13:7-16


Concluding Religious Directions

7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

John 17:1-13


Jesus Prays for Himself
 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

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