Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011 / June 21, 2011
4th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Apostles' Fast.  

By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil
Martyr Julian of Tarsus in Cilicia (305).
New Hieromartyr John (1918).
Venerable George (Lavrov) the Confessor, archimandrite of Kaluga (1932)
New Hieromartyrs Alexis, Paul and Nicholas priests (1938).
New Hieromartyr Ionna (1938).
New Martyr Nicetas (1942).
Finding of the relics (1996) of Venerable Maximus the Greek (1556).
Hieromartyr Terence (Tertius), bishop of Iconium (1st c.).
Venerable Julius, presbyter of Novara, and his brother Venerable Julian the Deacon (5th c.).
Martyrs Archil II (744) and Luarsab II (1622), kings of Georgia (Georgia).
New Martyr Nicetas of Nisyros, near Rhodes (1732) (Greek).
Martyr Aphrodisius in Cilicia.
Martyr Julian of Libya (Greek).
Hieromartyr Anthony, Martyrs Anastasius, who was raised from the dead, Celsius and his mother Vasilissa, 20 prison guards and 7 brothers, martyred with St. Julian (Greek).
Venerable Anastasia (Anna) of Serbia, mother of St. Sava (1200) (Serbia).
Martyr Theodore, right-believing prince of Starodub (1330).
St. Cormac of the Sea (590) (Celtic & British).
St. Mewan, abbot of St. Meen.

Words from the Abbot:



These very moving photos first appeared in a French newspaper. The photos showed a male swallow attending his mate, who'd been hit by a car and was unable to fly. The male sparrow was photographed bringing food to the female in an attempt to aid her in this critical time of need. 

As the photographer continued taking photos, the female died. The male attempted to revive her by jumping on top of her, but eventually realized she was dead. The remaining photos showed what looked like screaming in anguish and sorrow.

These photos reminded me of a time, back in my early twenties, when I was walking across the Broadway Bridge in downtown Portland, Oregon. Below the bridge, just before the river, were railroad tracks. Hearing a commotion I looked over the bridge and beheld a site that has stayed with me to this day. A pigeon had been hit by a train and was lying dead on the tracks. It's mate was circling the dead body and occasionally leaping on top in a heart wrenching attempt to revive the dead pigeon. There was a circle of about twelve other pigeons surrounding the scene, giving support to the paired couple.

We humans often, in our pride, see other creatures of God's creation as unfeeling. Because of this failure on our part to grant what we see as human expressions of emotion and feeling, we are able to treat animals with disrespect, even cruelty. 

As we celebrate the 4th of July it would be good to remember the suffering and fear that so many animals, be they dogs, cats or birds in trees, suffer as we set off fireworks. Please make sure your animals are inside, safely put away from the sites and sounds that cause many to run from their homes, becoming lost. Remember also the impact YOU may be having on the lives of animals that are raised in meat or egg producing factories and how those animals are forced to live out their lives in pain and suffering so you may have food on your table. 

I am not suggesting that all of you become vegetarians, but I am asking that you, as Christians, make sure the food that is being produced for your table is done in an humane way.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Scripture Readings for the Day:

Romans 9:18-33


18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea:

      “ I will call them My people, who were not My people,
      And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
       26 “ And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,

       You are not My people,’
      There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:

      “ Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
       The remnant will be saved.
       28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
       Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.”

29 And as Isaiah said before:

      “ Unless the LORD of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
       We would have become like Sodom,
      And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
Present Condition of Israel
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

      “ Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
      And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Matthew 11:2-15


2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:

      ‘ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
      Who will prepare Your way before You.’

11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

click on photo to enlarge.

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