Friday, February 10, 2012

Multnomah Falls
Be still, and know that I am God

Great and Holy Lent is seen by most as the forty days before Pascha when we give up certain foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish), and give more attention to alms giving. The season of the Great Fast is also a time when we try to cut back on entertainment, avoiding movies, nights out with friends, and replace worldly pleasures with increased time attending the divine services in the temple. Lent is also the time when we increase our spiritual reading, consulting with our priest, or the proprietor of our local Orthodox bookstore, for suggestions on books to accompany our Lenten journey.

I would like to suggest another element, one that is important, but seldom talked about. During the forty days of the Great Fast, why not put aside the “noise” of this world, and discover the value of silence.

When radio was first introduced on the American scene, an important element in daily living was to be lost forever. No longer was silence a part of everyday life. With families gathering around the radio, often listening to shows or music that were far from edifying, the loss for the human spirit was great. As we've entered the "information age", we are seeing even less silence, for not only do we have televisions blaring from the moment we walk in our homes, utube has introduced noise of a different nature, on command at any time. Ipods fill our walking moments with music, shutting out the sounds of nature. Birds chirping, the sound of the wind, the lapping of waves on the beach, are all shut out with noise.

The Psalmist David tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)." Silence to the noise of this world opens our ears to the whispers of the Lord, Who speaks to us from within. Silence should not be feared, but sought out, and embraced as though a lover.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday February 10, 2012 / January 28, 2012

Week of the Publican and the Pharisee. Tone one.
Fast-free Week. Fast-free

Venerable Ephraim the Syrian (373).
Venerable Theodosius, abbot, of Totma (Vologda) (1568).
St. Theodore confessor, priest (1933).
New Hieromartyrs Ignatius bishop of Skopinsk, Vladimir priest and Hieromartyr Bartholomeus, Virgin-martyr Olga (1938).
Venerable Leontius, confessor (1972).
Venerable Ephraim, abbot, wonderworker of Novotorzhok (1053).
Venerable Ephraim, bishop of Pereyaslavl (Kiev Caves) (1098).
Venerable Palladius the Hermit of Antioch (4th c.).
Venerable Isaac the Syrian, bishop of Nineveh (ascetic writer) (7th c.).
"Sumorin Totma" Icon of the Mother of God (16th c.).
Venerable John of Reomans (544) (Gaul).
Venerable James the Ascetic of Porphyreon in Palestine (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

click on photo to enlarge

Photos: During my recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I drove to Multnomah Falls, a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. The falls is along the historic Columbia River Highway, and one of my favorite places to hike when I was a young man. The falls drops in two major steps, split into an upper falls of 542 feet (165 m) and a lower falls of 69 feet (21 m), with a gradual 9 foot (3 m) drop in elevation between the two, so the total height of the waterfall is conventionally given as 620 feet (189 m). Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon.

The other photos where taken at Crown Point, an overlook with a spectacular view of the Columbia River Gorge. A television crew were on site, as the wind was 75 miles per hour. You can imagine how I looked, with my beard and cassock ripping behind me!

1 John 2:7-17

Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Their Spiritual State

12 I write to you, little children,
    Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
13 I write to you, fathers,
    Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
    Because you have known the Father.
14 I have written to you, fathers,
    Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
    Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
    And you have overcome the wicked one.

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Mark 14:3-9

The Anointing at Bethany

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

The PodCast is always different than the blog article.


  1. Abott Tryphon

    Excellent...I found these two sentences poetic and powerful:

    Silence to the noise of this world opens our ears to the to whispers of the Lord, Who speaks to us from within. Silence should not be feared, but sought out, and embraced as though a lover

  2. You were quite a sight indeed, I'm sure! Like a bat out of– uhm… heaven?