Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Petty Clergy

Pettiness is the Enemy of Clergy

Pettiness is that sickness of the heart that can lead some clergy to constantly be on the lookout for anyone who might offend them. Ready at a moments notice, they are poised to confront the offender. Such clergy build up their low self esteem by finding someone they can look down upon, needing, as they do, to find others who are lower in status then them. Such a priest inevitably suffers from low self esteem, and his need to berate others makes him lash out at anyone he considers beneath him. Whether they be a waitress, gardener, store clerk, or a parishioner, they are fare game for these petty clergy, for they are unwilling to see anyone as their equal.

We priests need to be on guard, lest we become petty, and give fodder to those who would dismiss the Church as a medieval institution not worthy of the twenty-first century.
The secular world will always ignore the good and exaggerate the bad in Christianity. When pettiness enters the life of the Church, and unimportant, non-essential things become the focus of  we clergy, the damage done can be enormous. As Orthodox clergy, we must put aside all pettiness, and concentrate on the love of God, and the things of faith that are truly important. We must be open and accessible to all with whom we come in contact, that we may be vehicles for God's grace.

Within the life of the Church there is no room for pomposity or snobbery. Orthodox clergy must be open, warm, and engaging, so the love of Christ is not concealed. If we are to be true ambassadors of Christ, we must not be like the pharisees, and think of ourselves as above others, and worthy of special treatment. Rather, we must imitate our Lord Jesus Christ, Who came as a humble servant, and be willing to modestly serve others.

The priesthood is not a job, but a vocation, and one that the demons despise. Whatever insecurity a priest has is known by the demons, and they will do everything they can to exploit a vulnerable clergyman, attacking him at his weakest point. An attack upon a deacon, priest or bishop, is a direct attack on the Body of Christ, the Church. It is therefore essential that we clergy be on guard for the enemy's assault, that in knowing our weak points, we not be found vulnerable. The mission of the Church is far too important, and we must not be found standing in the way, blocking the narrow path that leads to Christ.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday February 29, 2012 / February 16, 2012
First Week of the Great Lent. Tone four.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Martyrs Pamphilus presbyter, Valens deacon, Paul, Seleucus, Porphyrius, Julian, Theodulus, Elias, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Samuel, and Daniel, at Caesarea in Palestine (307-309).
St. Macarius, metropolitan of Moscow, apostle to the Altai (1926).
New Hieromartyrs Priests Elias Chetverukhin (1934) of Moscow and Peter Lagov (1931).
New Hieromartyr Paul priest (1938).
Venerable Marutha, bishop of Sophene and Martyropolis, and others with him in Mesopotamia (422).
St. Flavian, Archbishop of Antioch (381-404).
New Monk-martyr Romanus of Carpenision, who suffered at Constantinople (1694) (Greek).
St. Mary the New of Byzia in Thrace (9th c.).
St. Basil Gryaznov of Pavlovo-Posadsky (1869).

We are hoping to retire the mortgage debt of $250,000.00. Having this hanging over our heads, and knowing the bank owns the monastery, is not a good thing. Your prayers are most appreciated, as we need a miracle.

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

Isaiah 2:3-11

Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.

The Day of the Lord

O house of Jacob, come and let us walk
In the light of the Lord.
For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with eastern ways;
They are soothsayers like the Philistines,
And they are pleased with the children of foreigners.
Their land is also full of silver and gold,
And there is no end to their treasures;
Their land is also full of horses,
And there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is also full of idols;
They worship the work of their own hands,
That which their own fingers have made.
People bow down,
And each man humbles himself;
Therefore do not forgive them.
10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust,
From the terror of the Lord
And the glory of His majesty.
11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,
And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.

Genesis 1:24-2:3

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Proverbs 2:1-22

The Value of Wisdom


2 My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
10 When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things,
13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
14 Who rejoice in doing evil,
And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
15 Whose ways are crooked,
And who are devious in their paths;
16 To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words,
17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.
18 For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
19 None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life—
20 So you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21 For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.

The PodCast is always different than the blog article.

1 comment:

  1. I love what you said....

    "The secular world will always ignore the good and exaggerate the bad in Christianity."

    This not only applies to Clergy but to all Christians! Those who do not wish to follow God will look for any excuse in the weakness of Christ's followers to justify their ways.