Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Father Moses making a cover for the Holy Table
Neither Self-esteem nor Self-loathing

Humility does not require we think poorly of ourselves, nor be given over to self-loathing. Just as we must not be over-lauding ourselves, we must not sink to a state of self-loathing, for both states have their basis in the ego. I would be the last person to suggest anyone be trapped in a state of self-hatred, or wallow in the mire of low self-esteem. I am rather concerned for those who are drawn into the sin of pride, which is the result of a false attempt at self-esteem. Feeling good about yourself is not the same as being puffed up with pride.

C.S. Lewis wrote that it is not wrong or sinful for a pretty woman to look in a mirror and notice she possesses beauty, but it is better that she should walk away and forget about it.  In the same way, it is not pride that leads us to notice we have a special gift as a musician, a writer, an orator, or are good with children. What is important for the Christian, is to give thanks to God for our gifts, while turning our face towards Christ with gratitude, thankful for the opportunity to use our gifts in service to God, and to our neighbor.

When we possess a healthy humility, we are neither filled with self-loathing, nor over-lauding, but immersing our self in service to the God Who created us, as we are. We do not stand like the Pharisee, giving thanks that we are not like other men, but, like the Publican, we stand before God, in all our nakedness, asking to be made whole. We confess before the Lord our unworthiness, yet give thanks for the status we have as His children. We are a royal people, delivered from our sin and death by a Saviour Who came down as a servant.

I was a practicing therapist for many years, before becoming a monk. It is sometimes good for people to see a psychologist, and I've recommended such, over the years. However, the problem with psychology is to be found in it's humanistic base. Orthodoxy Psychotherapy, as expounded so beautifully by Metropolitan Hierotheos in his book by the same name, is far superior for bringing about healing.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday March 14, 2012 / March 1, 2012
Third Week of the Great Lent. Tone six.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Martyr Eudocia of Heliopolis (152).
New Hieromartyr Olga (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Basil, Peter, John, Benjamin, Michael priests, New Hieromartyr Anthony, Virgin-martyrs Anna, Daria, Eudokia, Alexandra, Martyr Basil, Virgin-martyr Nadezhda (1938).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1942).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1943).
New Hieromartyrs Abbess Antonina of Kizliar (1924), Methodius (1920) and Anastasia Andreyevna, fool-for-Christ.
Venerable Martyrius, abbot of Zelenets (Tikhvin) (1603).
Martyrs Nestor, Tribimius, Marcellus, and Anthony of Perge in Pamphylia (3rd c.).
Martyr Antonina of Nicaea in Bithynia (284-305).
Venerable Domnina of Syria (450-460).
Venerable Agapius of Vatopedi Skete of Kolitsou, Mt. Athos, and his four companions.
Venerable Swidbert, monastic founder on the Rhine River (713).
St. David of Wales, bishop (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Albinus, bishop of Angers (550).
St. Leo-Luke of Corleone, Sicily (900).
New Martyr Paraskevas of Trebizond (1659).
Martyrs Sophronius and Silvester (Greek).
Martyrs Charisius, Nicephorus, and Agapius (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

Brother Theofil makes homemade hummus.

Isaiah 10:12-20

12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”
13 For he says:
“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
And by my wisdom, for I am prudent;
Also I have removed the boundaries of the people,
And have robbed their treasuries;
So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.
14 My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people,
And as one gathers eggs that are left,
I have gathered all the earth;
And there was no one who moved his wing,
Nor opened his mouth with even a peep.”
15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it?
Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it?
As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up,
Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord, the Lord[a] of hosts,
Will send leanness among his fat ones;
And under his glory
He will kindle a burning
Like the burning of a fire.
17 So the Light of Israel will be for a fire,
And his Holy One for a flame;
It will burn and devour
His thorns and his briers in one day.
18 And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field,
Both soul and body;
And they will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 Then the rest of the trees of his forest
Will be so few in number
That a child may write them.

The Returning Remnant of Israel

20 And it shall come to pass in that day
That the remnant of Israel,
And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob,
Will never again depend on him who defeated them,
But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

Genesis 7:6-9

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.
So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

Proverbs 9:12-18

12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”

The Way of Folly


13 A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house,
On a seat by the highest places of the city,
15 To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”;
And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of hell.

The PodCast is always different than the blog article.

1 comment:

  1. Hierithos Vlachos book seemed excellent. For a brief time I was reading it online but then the pages disappeared. Perhaps it was not approved ebook. I'm looking forward to a new printing as current used copies are exorbitantly priced. This blog is the closest I have found to orthodox spiritual guidance or therapy in the west. Are there any orthodox psychotherapists in the US or online? Spiritual fathers or mothers for non orthodox persons?