Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Orthodox Christian Fellowship, University of Washington

The Preeminence of Love


Obedience is a central theme throughout the history of salvation. Without obedience to God's commandments, there can be no salvation, for the nous (our spiritual center) must be healed before we can be made whole.  The role of obedience is so central, in fact, that submission to God's will must take place before the healing process can begin.

Obedience has often been misunderstood, for many associate submission as a sort of enslavement. For many, obedience is a relic of the past, when people had to bow before kings. Some parents even treat their children as though they were simply little friends, for fear that teaching a child obedience might stifle creativity.

Children who've been raise by permissive parents, often feel unloved, for they interpret this leniency as a sign they are not love. Since the parent who truly loves their child desires to protect and nurture that child, they are willing to set boundaries. Age gives the adult the advantage, and their years of experience, allow them to guide and protect the child. This is why it is never a good idea to leave church attendance up to the child, just as one would ever think of asking the child if an education is something they like to have. Love is the root of a good parents expectation of obedience from their child.

Bishops and Spiritual Fathers

Obedience also plays a role in our spiritual development, and our willingness to seek out spiritual guidance, and in turn, try to follow the direction we are given. The husband and wife who are obedient to one another, find true freedom in their mutual submission, for in surrendering their self will, they open themselves to the Grace of God, and healing of the nous can take place.

The obedience of a monk to his abbot, and to the rule of the brotherhood, also leads to a freedom that can not be enjoyed when he wallows in self will. Likewise, the obedience one gives to his bishop, is ultimately liberating, for in surrendering himself in obedience, the priest gives himself over to God's will. The lives of monastic saints are filled with stories of persecution by bishops, but the monk who humbly embraces this suffering as the will of God, is made holy. Holiness does not come without suffering, and ascetic struggle.

For the bishop, abbot, or husband, whose position is God ordained, love must rule. Intimidation has no place in the life of any Christian, and the husband, priest, abbot, or bishop, who rules without fatherly love, betrays the love of Christ, Whose example we are called to emulate. The preeminence of love is the core of our Christian faith, and the foundation stone of our relationship with Christ. Without love, Christianity is simply another religion.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Hieromonk Paul bringing Hammi to the library.

Tuesday February 21, 2012 / February 8, 2012

Week of the Last Judgment. Tone three.
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded

Great-martyr Theodore Stratelates ("the General") of Heraclea (319).
Prophet Zechariah, from among the 12 Minor Prophets (520 BC).
St. Lyubov of Ryazan, fool-for Christ (1921).
New Hieromartyrs Simeon, Andrew, Sergius and Peter priests (1938).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1942).
St. Sabbas II, archbishop of Serbia (1271).
St. Macarius, bishop of Paphos in Cyprus (Greek).
Martyr Conitus of Alexandria (249).
St. Agathangelus, bishop of Damascus (ca. 325).
Sts. John and Basil of the Kiev Caves.
St. Kew, virgin of Cornwall.
St. Cuthman, hermit of Steyning.
Martyrs Nicephorus and Stephen (Greek).
Martyrs Philadelphus and Polycarp (Greek).
St. Pergetus (Greek).

We are hoping to be able to retire the mortgage debt of 250 thousand dollars. Your prayers and contributions are most appreciated. 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

Jude 1:1-10

Greeting to the Called

Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:
Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Contend for the Faith


Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Old and New Apostates


But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

Luke 22:39-42


The Prayer in the Garden


39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Luke 22:45-23:1

45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane


47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly


54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”
57 But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”
58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.”
But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”
59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”
Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Mocked and Beaten


63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” 65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin


66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.”
But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.  69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”
70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?”
So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.”
71 And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

Jesus Handed Over to Pontius Pilate


23 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate.

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