Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to Win the Battle

When we are free there are no battles

Life is a constant battle with the material world. If you understand the tension that takes place on the spiritual level between that which is transitory and that which is eternal, you are better prepared for this spiritual warfare.

Many years ago I had totally given myself over to the acquisition of things. My position placed me in a field where most everyone around me, both colleagues and friends, judged success on what we owned, who we knew, where we vacationed, the car we drove, the clothes we wore, the restaurants we frequented.

With this as the basis of our collective lives, I'd become ever more aware that most of us were not very happy. Divorce was rampant, subtly sabotaging the careers of colleagues was not uncommon, infidelity was the norm, bank accounts were never full enough. Success seemed like a dead-end with a sign post that misdirected all of us.

Having all the possessions, the money, the friendships and the respect, left me empty. My days became battle grounds in a futile attempt at fulfillment and happiness. The things that I'd been taught would bring happiness were not working. All my education and connections were not able to direct me to anything that made me feel like my life was worth the struggle.

My turning point was when I finally realized that the roadblock to that evasive happiness was my state of spiritual bankruptcy. This life was given to me as a time of preparation for eternity and I was squandering it by concentrating my every breath on that which is transitory. 

When you abandon yourself to God you find freedom, and victory is yours. Your life becomes His. Your struggles are His. Freedom is your trophy.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday August 25, 2011 / August 12, 2011
11th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Dormition Fast. Food without Oil
Afterfeast of the Transfiguration.
Martyrs Anicetus and Photius (Photinus) of Nicomedia (305).
New Hieromartyrs Barlaam abbot of Belogor St. Nicholas monastery and brotherhood: hieromonks Sergius, Ilia, Viacheslav, Iosaph, John, Anoty, hierodeacons Mikhey, Bessarion, Mathew, Euphemia, monks Barnabas, Demetrius, Sabbas, Hermogenus, Arcadius, Euphemia, btothers John, Jacob, Peter, another Jacob, Alexander, Theodore, another Peter, Sergius, Alexis (1918).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Leonidas, John and Nicholas priests (1937).
Hieromartyr Alexander, bishop of Comana (3rd c.).
Martyrs Pamphilus and Capito.
Venerable Pallamon of Egypt, instructor of St. Pachomius the Great.
St. Muredach (Murtagh), first bishop of Killala and founder of Innismurray (Ireland) (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Molaise of Devenish (563) (Celtic & British).
St. Seigine, abbot of Iona (652) (Celtic & British).

2 Corinthians 4:1-6

The Light of Christ’s Gospel
 1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:13-28


13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

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