Friday, August 19, 2011

The Hermit

The Hermit's Contribution to Community

The personalism of Orthodox asceticism in the life of a hermit is inseparable from the life of the Church. Saint Seraphim of Sarov tells us that if we acquire the Holy Spirit a thousand around us will be saved. Hermits, although distancing themselves from the world, enter into direct communion with God and become intimately connected to community through their contact with God. Their prayers and asceticism build up the very community they've left behind because they've become closer to the life of the Church by entering the heart of God.

In Orthodoxy a monk within a brotherhood can not gain a blessing from his abbot to become a hermit unless he's already attained a certain height of holiness. Those blessed to live as hermits are not people who want to flee from other people, but rather those who want to flee into the Heart of God. Therein they are so united to the Body of Christ that they are closer to the rest of us than are we living in community.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday August 19, 2011 / August 6, 2011
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.

Fast. Fish Allowed

The Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Second "Feast of the Saviour" in August).

(click on the green above to read about the Transfiguration)

2 Peter 1:10-19


10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter’s Approaching Death
12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.

The Trustworthy Prophetic Word
16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

Matthew 17:1-9


 1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us[a] make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

1 comment:

  1. Bless!

    What you wrote reminded me of words by Elder Porphyrios:

    "I'll say something that will seem grossly excessive to you. But I want you to believe it. It is about the contribution of a monk's prayer. Listen to me carefully.

    Let us assume that there are seven educated preachers who live holy lives. Their rhetorical skill is unparalleled. Each has a parish with ten thousand parishioners. Every day their words are heard by seventy thousand people. Thousands who hear them are moved to repentance and return to Christ. Whole families are saved.

    Nevertheless, one monk whom no one sees and who sits in a cave somewhere has a much greater effect with his humble prayer. One produces a greater effect than seven. That is what I see. I am sure of it. That is how important a monk's prayer is. He is on his own in his cell, but the reverberations of his prayer reach everyone, even if they are far off. With his prayer, the monk participates in all the problems which people face and works miracles. His contribution, accordingly, is greater than that of the most gifted and worthy preacher."

    (from the book, Wounded By Love)