Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Never Converse with Demons

In 1986 I spent fourteen days in retreat at Saint Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. Staying in the monastic quarters, I had two weeks of wonderful fellowship with fellow monastics, worshiping in their temple, eating with them in trapeza, walking the trails through their forest, praying in their large Orthodox cemetery, and visiting the seminary bookstore.

One night I was awakened around two in the morning with a knock at the door, with someone calling my name. Startled out of a sound sleep, I realized my name was being called in unison by three voices, in a mocking tone, and that the knocking was not on the door to my cell, but on the outside wall. Frightened, I reached out in total darkness, grabbing my prayer rope from the night stand. The voices called out, "Father Tryphon, Father Tryphon, Father Tryphon", from the other side of the door, then moving to a wall opposite my bed. The knocking continued from the outside wall. 

I said nothing, for I immediately realized the voices were demonic, and mocking me by calling with three voices, since Tryphon means, "three voices". I was too frightened to get up, but continued praying the Jesus Prayer for about an hour. Once the voices stopped, I managed to reach for the light which was next to the door, got up to light a lampada before the icons, and returned to bed, where I continued the Jesus Prayer.

Following the morning service, I went outside to see if there was a tree branch that had been tapping against the outside of my room. There were not only no trees, but there were no footprints in the snow which had fallen the day before.

During trapeza that next afternoon, I told the assembled monks what had happened, and my recounting was met with silence. I spent the rest of the day thinking they all were thinking poor Father Tryphon must be mentally ill.

Later that evening while sitting with one of the monks in the kitchen, eating a microwaved potato, he brought up the subject. He said the silent response from the monks was the result of shock, for it had happened to the last monk who had stayed in that cell. He went on to tell me that the cell next to mine had been used as a storage room for years, following an exorcism service that their bishop had performed a number of years earlier. When the second need for an exorcism arose, the room was abandoned.

I share this experience in order to remind my readers that demons do exist, and they are the enemies of God, and the enemies of human kind. They use trickery and deception to bring us down, and they serve the devil, who is the great deceiver. It is important that we never enter into conversation with them, and never answer them, whether they speak to us directly as happened to me, or tempt us through evil thoughts. They can have no power over us unless we give it to them. Our God is more powerful than the devil and all the fallen angels, and they can be dispersed by calling upon the Holy Name of Jesus.

When those demons called out to me, had I responded, they would have gained power over me. By remaining silent, and calling upon the name of Jesus, they left me. We blessed my room with holy water that evening, lit the lampada before the icons, and they were gone.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday January 4, 2012 / December 22, 2011

30th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Nativity Fast. Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ.
Great-martyr Anastasia of Rome, deliverer from bonds, and her teacher Martyr Chrysogonus, and with them martyrs Theodota, Evodias, Eutychianus, and others who suffered under Diocletian (304).
New Hieromartyrs Demetrius and Theodore priests (1938).
Martyr Zoilus (Greek).

I wish to thank those of you who have been contributing towards the principle of our mortgage ($250,000.00). For those of you who can't donate due to the depressed economy, please remember to pray for the monastery. It would be such a great blessing if we were able to retire the mortgage debt altogether.

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

Hebrews 10:1-18

Animal Sacrifices Insufficient
 1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Christ’s Death Fulfills God’s Will
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

      “ Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
      But a body You have prepared for Me.
       6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
      You had no pleasure.
       7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
      In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
      To do Your will, O God.’”
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all
Christ’s Death Perfects the Sanctified
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Mark 10:11-16


11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
The PodCast is always different than the blog article.

1 comment:

  1. What a truely powerful story and message. Thank you.