Thursday, March 22, 2012

Being Sensitive to Other Peoples Crosses

We humans are an odd species. We are capable of great sensitivity and compassion, yet can also be capable of much cruelty. The outpouring of aid and support received by Japanese citizens, following the terrible earthquake and tsunami that caused untold suffering, and great loss of life, was an example of human hearts being opened wide. The international organizations that bring children born with deformities, to Western countries for treatment, demonstrates the capacity for charity that resides within the human spirit.

Yet we are also capable of terrible cruelty. Staring at people with facial deformities, or who may have peculiar, physically malformed bodies, may satisfy our innate curiosity, but the cruelty inflicted upon the sufferer is great. As a child I learned the importance of being sensitive to other peoples differences, for I was raised in a family that had a number of relatives with inherited deformities.

My maternal grandmother had a goiter, caused by the enlargement of the thyroid gland. The goiter on her neck, just below her chin, was rather large (she was afraid to have it surgically removed), and I can remember people staring at her whenever she took me to town for a movie, or for lunch. A second cousin was a dwarf, standing about as tall as myself, when I was in the third grade. Our extended family included a great aunt who had a facial deformity that caused one side of her face to sag, leaving her mouth drooping to one side. I had a great uncle who suffered from an enlarged head, which was about twice the size that would be considered normal. I had an uncle who was a black man, and this in 1950's Spokane, Washington, in a city with a very small black population, and in an age when interracial marriages were rare.

All of these people were wonderful, loving individuals, and I learned to never judge another by their appearance, but rather to always look into their hearts. Even when in grade school, a time when so many children can be cruel, I always befriended classmates who were rejected by other children. One little girl came from a Gypsy family, and had pierced ears, at a time when even adult American women rarely had them. While other children made fun of her, I remember comforting her during on the playground, when she broke down crying. We had a classmate who transferred from another school in the middle of the year, who had a deformed leg, and he became my friend.

I was not an exceptional child, but just a little boy who was blessed to grow up in a family with wonderful, loving relatives who were, in a few cases, different. All my relatives demonstrated the importance of accepting others just as God had created them. As all children, I watched the adults in our extended family, and learned the importance of charity, love, and acceptance.

Racism is a learned behavior, and having Uncle Wally in my family was an early lesson in learning to look beyond skin color. My Great Auntie Grace, whom I adored, and whose kisses I readily received, taught me the important truth that people are just people, regardless of how they look.

I remember a classmate in graduate school who shared the pain he felt, growing up in a wheelchair, when people would act as though he were invisible, and refuse to look at him when he was out in public. From that lessen, I always engage such people, with eye contact, and a smile. These are lessens I always shared with my students, when teaching high school, for I learned that young people are open, if only someone is willing to demonstrate to them the importance of cultivating a sympathetic, and loving heart.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday March 22, 2012 / March 9, 2012
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone seven.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

The Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste: Cyrion (or Quirio), Candidus, Domnus, Hesychius, Heraclius, Smaragdus, Eunoicus, Valens, Vivianus, Claudius, Priscus, Theodulus, Eutychius, John, Xanthias, Helianus, Sisinius, Angus, Aetius, Flavius, Acacius, Ecdicius, Lysimachus, Alexander, Elias, Gorgonius, Theophilus, Dometian, Gaius, Leontius, Athanasius, Cyril, Sacerdon, Nicholas, Valerius, Philoctimon, Severian, Chudion, Aglaius,and Meliton (320).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Mitrophan Buchnoff of Voronezh (1931).
New Hieromartyrs Michael, Alexis, Demetrius, Sergius, Sergius priests and Nicholas deacon, New Hieromartyr Iosaph and Virgin-martyrs Natalia and Alexandra (1938).
Urpasianus of Nicomedia (295).
Righteous Caesarius, brother of St. Gregory the Theologian (369).
St. Tarasius of Liconium.
"Albazin" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos ("The Word Was Made Flesh") (1666).
St. Philoromus the Confessor of Galatia (4th c.).
St. Pacianus, bishop of Barcelona (390).
St. Jonah, archbishop of Novgorod (1470).
St. Vitalius of Castronovo (994).

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

Hebrews 12:1-10

The Race of Faith


12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Discipline of God


For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

Matthew 20:1-16

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard


20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’
“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”

The PodCast is always different than the blog article.

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