Monday, March 19, 2012

The Philanthropist
My longtime friend, Hieromonk Mark
Our Home Grown  Philanthropic Selves

As any history buff knows, these times we are living in can sometimes seem like reruns. News reports are filled with stories of wars, disasters, dictators, attacks on the innocent, increased crime, and the ever present persecution of Christians in various parts of the world. With the "Arab Spring", we've witnessed increased attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt, as well as the expulsion of the entire Christian population from parts of Syria. Political unrest is happening in many parts of the world, and genocide is being perpetrated upon ethic groups in parts of Africa. The American economy is in shambles, not unlike what was seen in Germany prior to World War I, and the number of families found homeless is nearing the percentages that were found in the Great Depression.

Times like ours call for us to become spiritually fit, so we can be beacons of light among those who have lost all hope. The Challenges that face all of us are not for the faint of heart. The spiritually fit can triumph over anything, and we must continue trying to encourage this new generation of young people, to be prepared for whatever may be coming. We have before us many challenges, and hardships. Those who have developed a strong faith must be willing to sharing their faith based strength with those who are on the edge.

A study of history can show us that we are not the only people who've faced these problems, and we will not be the last. What is missing, it seems to me, is the sense of community, of a people who are united to find solutions, and not simply war with each other. The present political climate in the United States, with it's polarization of good people, can not lead to the solutions we need to turn things around. What is needed is for people of good faith to step forward and help those who have lost homes, jobs, and hope, and lift them, offering help in whatever way we can. Walling ourselves off from those who've fallen through the cracks will not make things better.

During times like these we must refocus our attention on the things that build up community. Rather than giving ourselves over to entertainment, or on-line friendships (which are not always bad), we can involve ourselves in active philanthropic activities, such as volunteering in soup kitchens, tutoring homeless kids, manning childcare centers that help parents have the freedom to find jobs. We can volunteer to be job counselors
, or for meals-on-wheals. We can look in on the elderly lady living next door, or the young mother whose husband is fighting in Afghanistan.

We can volunteer to teach English as a second language to immigrant families, or drive seniors to doctor appointments. We can fill the gas tank of a struggling family at the next pump, or pay for the groceries for the single mother standing behind us in the checkout line.

When seeing someone on the bus that is looking lost in worry, we can offer to pray for them, or even invite them to church with us on Sunday. We can purchase a few extra hamburgers, with the intention of giving them to the homeless people asking for spare change at the entrance to the fast food store. We can offer to sit with a the sick relative, and let the caregiver have a few hours to get outside for some much needed leisure time. We an offer to take a neighbor out to lunch, who we know is going through some difficult times.
Better yet, buy a fistful of McDonald's booklets of coupons, and you give a booklet to anyone who asks for a handout. The coupons are not that expensive, the person gets several meals out of them, and when you're desperate for a meal, it's a real treat. As you hand the person a booklet, if they say thank you, ask them to pray for you. This allows them to pay for their food, by their prayers, and by preserving their dignity, we make them feel less like a beggar.

Whatever struggles we have on our plate, will seem like nothing, once we've given ourselves over in service to others.
Even when we are struggling to make ends meet, the power of giving can change our life for the better. By becoming philanthropic ourselves, and focusing on others in need, our own problems will seem less serious. We could even find a number of friends who feel the same way, and start a project together, that will focus otherwise difficult times, on good projects that will help a lot of people.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday March 19, 2012 / March 6, 2012
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone seven.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
The 42 Martyrs of Ammoria in Phrygia, including: Constantine, Aetius, Theophilus, Theodore, Melissenus, Callistus, Basoes, and others (845).
Venerable Job (Joshua in Schema) of Solovki (1720).
The uncovering of the Precious Cross and the Precious Nails by Empress St. Helen (326).
Monk-martyrs Conon and his son Conon of Iconium (270-275).
Venerable Arcadius, monk, of Cyprus (361), and his disciples Julian and Bulius.
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos "Chenstokhovskaya", "Shestokhov" ("Hearth"). "Blessed Heaven" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in Moscow.
Translation of the relics (1230) of Martyr Abraham of Bulgaria (1229).
Venerable Fridolin, abbot, enlightener of the Upper Rhine (538).
Martyrs Cyriacus and 12 companions, who suffered under Diocletian in Augsburg (304).
Translation of the relics Sts. Cyneswitha and Cyneburga, abbesses of Caistor, and St. Tibba, nun, of Rynall.
Monk-martyr Maximus (Greek).
Martyr Euphrosynus (Greek).
Martyrs Julian and Eubulus (Greek).
St. Hesychius the Wonderworker, monk (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 14:24-32

Assyria Destroyed

24 The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,
“Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land,
And on My mountains tread him underfoot.
Then his yoke shall be removed from them,
And his burden removed from their shoulders.
26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,
And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
And who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
And who will turn it back?”

Philistia Destroyed

28 This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.
29 “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,
Because the rod that struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper,
And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
30 The firstborn of the poor will feed,
And the needy will lie down in safety;
I will kill your roots with famine,
And it will slay your remnant.
31 Wail, O gate! Cry, O city!
All you of Philistia are dissolved;
For smoke will come from the north,
And no one will be alone in his appointed times.”
32 What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
That the Lord has founded Zion,
And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.

Genesis 8:21-9:7

21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
22 “While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

God’s Promise to Noah


9 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.[a] And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
“Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God
He made man.
And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Bring forth abundantly in the earth
And multiply in it.”

Proverbs 11:19-12:6


19 As righteousness leads to life,
So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
21 Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.
22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
23 The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
26 The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
27 He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.
28 He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like foliage.
29 He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,
And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
31 If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth,
How much more the ungodly and the sinner.
12 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.
A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.
A man is not established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,”
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.

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