Friday, March 9, 2012

God's Love
 God's Love Consumes All

It is good to remember that in Orthodox teaching, heaven and hell are not about places, but about relationship. God is everywhere, and He did not create a heaven for some, and a hell for others. We choose how we will experience the presence of God in the afterlife. God can not be absent from anywhere, and those who have chosen, in this life, to ignore God, will, nevertheless, be in His presence for all of eternity.

At the age of sixty-six (I can't believe I'm this old), I'm beginning to see a thinning in the ranks of my friends. I've lost a number of close friends, a few younger than myself, as well as both my parents. I've also lost relatives whom I dearly loved, and although my faith has been a very important part of my life since early childhood, I'm aware that some of those whom I've lost to death, were not people who placed any importance whatsoever to having a relationship with God.

Although some of my Evangelical friends would hold to the view that anyone who has not committed their life to Christ, will be damned, I am personally comforted with the knowledge that God is a loving, compassionate, and merciful God, and that He desires all be saved. I rely on His mercy, and I trust in His ever abiding love. There is comfort in knowing His mercy even extends to those who've ignored Him. I believe God will take into account the hearts of those who have not placed Him as the center of their lives, and that if they loved others, and put others before self, God will take that into account.

God's love permeates the cosmos, and some experience His presence as blissful joy, while others experience His presence as a burning fire, and as emptiness. As to how we will feel about those whom we've loved in this life, but who have entered eternal life without a relationship with God, we can not know. We do know the prayers of the saints are heard by God, and and are a comfort and support to even those who've died in a state of estrangement. We also know that our loving God hears our prayers, and that our intercessory prayers bring comfort to even those who have pass this life without having developed a relationship with God. Our roll as intercessors is just as important as that of the saints, and if I must take my neighbors salvation as seriously as my own.

All this being said, I am not a proponent of the idea of universal salvation. I am simply sharing my heartfelt gratitude for a personal God Who has been merciful to me, a sinful and unworthy monk of almost thirty years.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday March 9, 2012 / February 25, 2012
Second Week of the Great Lent. Tone five.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

St. Tarasius, archbishop of Constantinople (806).
New Hieromartyr Alexander, priest, Virgin-Martyr Mstislava (1938).
New Hieromartyr Priest Leo Korobczuk of Laskov (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1944).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1945).
Hieromartyr Reginus, bishop of the isle of Skopelos (355).
Venerable Polycarp.
Martyr Anthony.
Venerables Erasmus and Paphnutius of Kephala, monks, contemporaries of St. Anthony the Great (4th c.).
Martyrs Alexander at Marcionopolis (305) and Hypatius.
St. Ethelbert, king of Kent (616) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Walburga, abbess of Heidenheim (779) (Celtic & British).
St. Maecellus, bishop of Apamea in Syria (Greek).
St. Theodore, fool-for-Chist (Greek).

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 7:1-15

Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. And it was told to the house of David, saying, “Syria’s forces are deployed in Ephraim.” So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.
Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him: ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”— thus says the Lord God:
“It shall not stand,
Nor shall it come to pass.
For the head of Syria is Damascus,
And the head of Damascus is Rezin.
Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken,
So that it will not be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
And the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son.
If you will not believe,
Surely you shall not be established.”’”

The Immanuel Prophecy

10 Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”
13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.

Genesis 5:32-6:8

32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

The Wickedness and Judgment of Man

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Proverbs 6:20-7:1

Beware of Adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command,
And do not forsake the law of your mother.
21 Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you roam, they will lead you;
When you sleep, they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
24 To keep you from the evil woman,
From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
25 Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
26 For by means of a harlot
A man is reduced to a crust of bread;
And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.
27 Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one walk on hot coals,
And his feet not be seared?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.
30 People do not despise a thief
If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving.
31 Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold;
He may have to give up all the substance of his house.
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;
He who does so destroys his own soul.
33 Wounds and dishonor he will get,
And his reproach will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy is a husband’s fury;
Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35 He will accept no recompense,
Nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.
My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.

The PodCast is always different than the blog article.

1 comment:

  1. It's been my understanding that hell is the absence of God entire. Is it your understanding that God is present to those in hell? I thought it was a point of supernatural reality where the soul had chosen in finality against God. Also, when you speak of those in between ... Is this your understanding of what I understand as purgatory ?