Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trusting in God

Putting our Trust in God, Regardless

It is often difficult for us to put our total trust in God. We have our own agenda as to what WE think needs to happen and wonder where God is when we don't get the answer to our prayers the way we think it should be. We are like little children who doubt our mom's love when we don't get the cookie we want, just before dinner.

When good things happen to us we are convinced God is looking kindly upon us, but when things happen that are disappointing or even bad we think God absent.  As God is everywhere present He is involved with everything that happens in our lives. Harmonious and good things are from God, but when disappointing things happen, God is still in charge, giving us what we need for our salvation.

Our holy brotherhood has a close relationship with the brethren of Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia, so I follow their progress. Both our monasteries were founded twenty five year ago. We recently celebrated the twenty-fifth Silver Jubilee with only one priest guest and thirty people in attendance. We'd sent out posters, presented notices on the Internet, notified all the clergy of the local area, as well as the diocesan clergy.

When none of the clergy from the local area showed up and only one priest from the diocese called to congratulate us, I felt my monastery abandoned and dismissed. Looking at the website of Holy Cross Monastery added to my sadness, seeing the huge turnout for their recent celebration of their secondary feast, honoring their Patron Saint Panteleimon.

I'd failed to put my trust in God and recognizing that all the details of our own event were orchestrated by the Lord because what we received was just what we needed as a monastic brotherhood. Nothing that happened took place without the will of God. Everything that happened during our community's Silver Jubilee was part of God's Divine providence. The low turnout and lack of recognition was just what was needed for our brotherhood.

In assessing the apparent failure of our Pilgrimage I realized that the thirty people where just what God knew we needed. Our monastery is located on an island and is surrounded by a forest. We have a very small portion of our land that is cleared of trees, and a very small temple. All this adds up to an ideal place for solitudes.

As we've prayed for God's will to be expressed in the life of this monastery, we've come to the realization that God is calling this brotherhood to enter into a more solitary life. The low turnout and lack of congratulatory calls was God's gift to us.

As an abbot I have a very different calling. My ministry is an on line ministry, one where I am constantly reaching out to those who would otherwise have no contact with a monastery. Writing my daily blog requires a great deal of energy and I need to be refreshed in both body and spirit if I am to have the spiritual and physical strength to continue this specialized ministry. As well, I've been asked by Ancient Faith Radio to become a PodCaster, yet another ministry that will demand much spiritual preparation on my part.

We do not plan to have another Pilgrimage, having seen the will of God. As monastics we now see that God is calling us to a more contemplative life, placing more emphasis on the Grand Silence, and inner prayer. We rejoice with the successes of our brother monastery, but give thanks to God for that which He's seen fit to send us.

It is our intention to bow down to the will of God and be in obedience to that which He has called us. We will be retreating inward, seeking God's grace as we attempt to fulfill His will for us. If we be worthy of being God-bearers, we must do so as He has called us, following as best we can, His will.

Glory to God for all things.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


Sunday August 21, 2011 / August 8, 2011
10th Sunday after Pentecost.
Dormition Fast. Food with Oil

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration.

St. Emilian the Confessor, bishop of Cyzicus (820).
St. Philaret of Ichalka, Ivanovo (1913).
New Hieromartyr Joseph (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr Nicodemus (Krotov) archbishop of Kostroma and Galich (1938).
Venerable Gregory, iconographer of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).

click on photos to enlarge

1 Corinthians 4:9-16

9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

Paul’s Paternal Care

14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.

Matthew 17:14-23

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death and Resurrection

22 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.


  1. Dear Hegumen Tryphon
    I live within 4 hours of the Holy Cross Hermitage, however I don't go to their pilgrimage. I do however enjoy the visits there when there is not a crowd, because I go there for solitude and prayer. Excellent post I would love to come to your monastery some time if it weren't so far to travel. Pray that god keeps your so isolated that the world leaves you to your vocation without the troubles of this fallen world.
    Please Pray for us that are stuck in this world.

    Serge King

  2. Father Bless
    Thank you for your ministry as it is. Being from the Mid-Southwest (East Texas) I find myself equally distance challenged by both West Virginia and Washington. However, your daily thoughts and inspiration provide me with a much-needed quietude amid child-raising, overtime and the craziness of 21st century survival. Thank you all for your ministry and prayers during this time of my life and my journey toward Orthodoxy.

  3. To paraphrase Mother Teresa "God asks us to be faithful not successful. " The prayers and life of Monastics is a source of strength to all of us when performed in Love, especially when not noticed, Asking your prayers at the Altar. Anthony