Monday, January 9, 2012

A Joyful Life
Thirty Years a Monk

  After almost thirty years as a monk, and nearing eighteen years in the priesthood, I am hard pressed to think there could be any other life for me. I am content. Living in community with my brothers, celebrating the divine services in the monastery's temple, counseling people, hearing confessions, and spending many hours each day in contemplative prayer, I am a happy man.

As the co-founder of a monastery in a region of the country where, until relatively recent, Orthodoxy was virtually unknown, I found myself becoming a missionary monk. Like the monks who came from Russia to evangelize Alaska in the eighteenth century, Father Paul and I had to introduce the local people, not only to monasticism, but to Orthodoxy. We did so by following the example of the Valaam monks, befriending the local people, networking with community leaders on projects that were important to the sustainability, quality of life, and well being of the population, and getting to know the local religious leaders.

During the early years we supported ourselves by selling icons, prayer ropes, incense, and Orthodox books and CD's, at the local farmers market. We had a small chapel in a house we rented, and struggled to make ends meet, as we shared our faith with those who were drawn to us. We did not push Orthodoxy on people, but shared the truth of Orthodoxy by acts of kindness, charity, and openness. We made it a policy never to go into the village unless we were willing to be accessible to the people, be willing to answer questions, and warmly interact with others, always trying to be a witness to the Christ Whom we serve. This is the Orthodox way, and, for me, there is no other life I could possibly want.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

click on photos to enlarge

Monday January 9, 2012 / December 27, 2011

31st Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Third Day of the Feast of the Nativity. Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen (34).
Venerable Theodore Graptus ("the Branded") of Palestine and Bithynia, confessor (840), brother of St. Theophanes the Confessor and Hymnographer (850).
New Hieromartyrs Tikhon, archbishop of Voronezh and with him 160 martyred priests (1919).
Virgin-Martyr Antonina (1937).
St. Theodore, archbishop of Constantinople (686).
Uncovering of Relics (1514) of Venerable Pherapont of Mozhaisk, Luzhetsk.
Venerable Luke, monk, of Tryglia.
St. Maximus, bishop of Alexandria (282).
St. Maurice and the Theban Legion. (Candidus, Innocent, Exuperius and 6,600 others) (302).

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


These photos were taken in the location of Cannon Beach, Oregon, where I am attending the International Conference of Police Chaplains, Northwest Region. I will be here for a week (hardship duty, of course).

Hebrews 11:17-23

The Faith of the Patriarchs
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”[a] 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
The Faith of Moses
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

Hebrews 11:27-31

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
By Faith They Overcame
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Mark 10:46-52

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

The PodCast is always different than the blog article.

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