Thursday, January 26, 2012

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Run from the Praise of Others

Pride is the mother of all sins, for it blinds us to our faults, puffs up our egos, and makes us think we are better than others. It is this pride that weighs us down, and makes us think we don't need to change. We are blinded, thinking we are good, and that God must be pleased with us, bloated as we are in the sin of self importance.

Rather than allowing us to be brought down by our sinful pride, God allows humiliating experiences to prepare our hearts for true transformation. When we were blinded to our faults, God allows things to happen that put down the ego, and remind us that we are but sinful creatures, in need of His mercy. The praise of others should be avoided, but when we are belittled by others, we must give glory to God, for it is in such difficult and humiliating times that we make the most progress.

Saint Isaac the Syrian said, "It is a greater miracle to be able to see your sins than to be raised from the dead." When we suffer humiliation, and are brought down, we must see this as a gift from God. Such moments are by far the most spiritually profitable, for it can lead the soul to a state of humility and godliness.

The praise of men can lead to our spiritual death, for such praise can be like poison for us. When we embrace humiliation, or the disdain of others, God's grace can abound. Pride is put to death when we embrace humiliation. The saints ran from the praise of others, and we should follow their example, if we wish to be saved.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday January 26, 2012 / January 13, 2012

33rd Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Afterfeast of the Theophany.

Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus at Belgrade (315).
Venerable Irinarch of Rostov (1616).
Venerable Eleazar of Anzersk Island at Solovki (1656).
Martyr Peter of Anium, at Eleutheropolis (1st c.).
Venerable James, bishop of Nisibis (350).
Venerable Maximus of Kapsokalyvia Skete, Mt. Athos (1364) (Greek).
Martyrs Athanasius.
St. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers (369).
Martyrs Pachomius and Papyrinus in Greece (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

James 4:7-5:9

Humility Cures Worldliness
 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Do Not Judge a Brother
 11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
Do Not Boast About Tomorrow
 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

James 5

Rich Oppressors Will Be Judged
 1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Be Patient and Persevering
 7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

Mark 11:27-33

Jesus’ Authority Questioned
 27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. 28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”
 29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”
 31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. 33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.”
   And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” 

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