Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spiritual Enlightenment

View of the Temple from the Gardens
click on photos to enlarge

Enlightenment Comes Only With Struggle

There are those who promise spiritual enlightenment, and many gullible people who are willing to spend their money on such bogus offers. In an age of quick fixes and challenged attention spans, it is easy for some to be in a big hurry when it comes to acquiring things of God. Given our weak nature, we must never be in a rush when striving for the spiritual.

We are not compelled by God to enter into communion with Him, nor can we compel Him. When we attempt by artificial means to enter into the realm of the sacred, we gain nothing of lasting value. Heavenly things are acquired only with ascetical struggle.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

From the Porch of the Trapeza

Tuesday August 2, 2011 / July 20, 2011
8th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.

Holy Glorious Prophet Elias (Elijah) (9th c. B.C.).
New Hieromartyrs Constantine and Nicholas priests (1918).
Priest Philosoph Ornalsky and those with him (1918), Juvenal, deacon (1919).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander, George, John, John, Sergius and Theodore priests, Hieromartyrs Tykhon, George, Cosmas and Martyrs Euphimius and Peter (1930).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).
St. Alexis Medvedkov, archpriest of Uzine (1934), Elias Fondaminskii (1942), Priest Demetrius Klepinine (1944), George Skobtsov (1944), and Nun Maria (Skobtsova) (1945), of Paris.
Venerable Abramius of Galich or Chukhloma Lake (1375), disciple of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh.
Uncovering of the relics of St. Athanasius, abbot, of Brest-Litovsk (1649).
"Galich-Chukhlomsk" "Tenderness" (1350) and "Abalatsk" ("Sign") (1637) Icons of the Mother of God.
Righteous Aaron the High Priest, brother of Prophet Moses the God-Seer.
Sts. Elias and Flavius, confessors, patriarchs of Jerusalem and Antioch (518).
St. Elias (Chavchavadze) of Georgia (1907).
St. Ethelwida, widow of King Alfred the Great (9th c.) (Celtic & British).
New Martyrs Lydia, and with her, soldiers Alexei and Cyril (1928).
Venerables Leontius (14 c.) and Sabbas (1392) of Stromyn.
Martyr Salome of Jerusalem and Kartli, who suffered under the Persians (13th c.).

The Scripture Readings for the Day:

James 5:10-20


10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
Meeting Specific Needs
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Bring Back the Erring One
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Luke 4:22-30


22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.

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