Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Acquire Humility
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The Role of Obedience in the Acquisition of Humility

In the Christian life there are two paths to salvation and whichever road you chose must be embraced with your whole being. The married state and monasticism both have as their primary means of aiding in your salvation the acquisition of a humble and a contrite heart. Without having attained this, there is no salvation.

The salvific role of the institution of marriage and the monastic vocation are both based on the destruction of self-will. In marriage the husband and wife are charged with being obedient to one another. The symbolism of the crowns used in the Orthodox marriage ceremony represent the crowns of martyrdom. Death to self. The obedience a monk gives to his abbot, and the obedience to the typicon of the community the abbot gives himself over to, are also paths to the destruction of self will. The ego is the enemy, for like the tempting of Adam and Eve in the Garden, Satan uses the ego to keep us from communion with God.

When we are disobedient to our spouse or the rule of the monastery, God's grace departs from us. If you argue with your spouse or your abbot it is pride and self will that rule and you become the loser.

When you give yourself over to humble obedience, grace abounds! Each day you should begin with the prayer, " Lord Jesus Christ, help me to pass through this day without sin." The use of the Jesus Prayer throughout the day is a good way to keep yourself centered in that plea to Christ to help you through your day. "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

The crushing down of self will takes effort and struggle, for our fallen nature is all about ME and is in rebellion against God. Ascetic struggle, keeping the fasts, being strict in your observance of your prayer rule, making the services at the parish a center of your week, all contribute to your eventual triumph in your struggle for the prize, humbleness of heart.

God's grace abounds and is our ready helper. Like Saint Paul we can say that anything good we have done is Christ in us. God did not create us as robots, but gave us the freedom of choice. Choice wisely and eternal life with God is yours for eternity.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Saturday September 24, 2011 / September 11, 2011
15th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Saturday before the Universal Elevation of the Precious and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord
Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos.
Translation of the relics of Venerables Sergius and Herman of Valaam.
Venerable Theodora of Alexandria (490).
Hieromartyrs Nicholas and Victor priests (1918).
Hieromartyr Carp priest (1937).
Venerable Silouan, elder of Mt. Athos (1938).

1 Corinthians 4:17-5:5


17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

1 Corinthians 5

Immorality Defiles the Church
 1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 24:1-13

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple
 1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

The Morning Offering - Ancient Faith Radio

1 comment:

  1. You have made this point before, and I agree completely, but I would add one caveat: If your spouse demands that you leave your Orthodox Faith, which sustains you in all things, and likewise if your spouse demands that you do something against your conscience, I would think you were required not to obey. Any suggestions on how to handle such a situation? I know many Orthodox Christians in the first situation, but (thankfully) none in the second.