Wednesday, March 7, 2012

click on photo to enlarge
Spiritual Work and Physical Work

The compartmentalization of the work week can wreak havoc on the inner life. It is easier to keep your prayers, spiritual reading, and focus on Christ, reserved for the weekend. Like so many, you struggle to keep spiritually grounded while at work. So many jobs make it seem impossible to stay centered, spiritually, when you are surrounded by the office chatter, stress, gossip, and deadlines. With a boss pressing down on one side, and the worldly cares of coworkers hovering over your shoulder, you, like many Orthodox Christians, feel resigned to put on hold the things of God.

Many of today's jobs require so much mental concentration, it can seem impossible to have even a fleeting moment with God. How does one keep your heart in Christ, when a coworker is standing in your cubicle, whispering the latest office gossip? Is it even possible to be centered, spiritually, when the boss is adding one more deadline to the pile? Can one stay focused in the heart when a coworker is taking credit for work you've done? Can you have a Christ-like love for others, when you are forced to watch work place backstabbers do their thing?

My purpose for writing this blog has, from the very beginning, been a labor of love for people just like you, struggling, as you are, to live Christian lives in settings that are anything but conducive to the inner life. From my monastic cell I pray for you, and try, in my meager way, to offer a small blessing for you, one that can help you get through your day, making progress on the Path to God, while mired in a spiritually hostile setting.

The daily photos, essays, biblical passages, and the posted lives of the saints, are all my offerings to you, so in those fleeting office moments, you can take a spiritual break, and be renewed. For those of you who are prevented from having religious items in your office, such as icons, you can visit my blog, and click on the green lettering found in the saints of the day, and more often than not, see the icon of a saint, together with their life story, pop up on that messy desk of yours (mine is messy).

I try to keep the topics of my daily essays relevant to your needs, but often fail, I'm sure. However I may fail in writing something inspiring, or uplifting, I still provide you with the daily scripture readings, and the lives of the saints. As well, I try to post photos that provide you with a little reprieve from the sameness of your work environment.

Even if you do not have access to a computer at your workplace, you can still take a few moments before you head off for the day, and read The Morning Offering. You can even download my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts, and listen to them while driving to work, or taking your morning run. Although I am not a theologian, nor a great spiritual father, it is my prayer that this little work of mine, will be a blessing to you, helping you walk with Jesus Christ, this day.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon
One of the monastic cells.

Wednesday March 7, 2012 / February 23, 2012
Second Week of the Great Lent. Tone five.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Hieromartyr Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (167).
New Hieromartyrs Alexis, Nicholas priests and Martyr Sergius (1938).
Venerable Polycarp, monk, of Briansk (1620-21).
Venerables John, Antioch, Antoninus, Moses, Zebinas, Polychronius, Moses, and Damian, ascetics of the Syrian desert (5th c.).
Venerable Alexander, founder of the order of the Unsleeping Ones (430).
Venerable Moses, monk, of White Lake (1480).
Venerable Gorgonia, sister of St. Gregory the Theologian (372) (Greek).
Venerable Damian of Esphigmenou, Mt. Athos (1280) (Greek).
New Monk-martyr Damian the New of Philotheou, who suffered at Larissa (1568) (Greek).
St. John the Harvester of Stylos in Calabria (11th c.).
Venerable Cosmas of Zographou, Mt. Athos (1281).
New Hieromartyr Lazarus of the Peloponnese (1618).
St. Nazarius, abbot of Valaam (1809).
St. Mildburga, abbes of Much Wenlock..
Martyr Clement (Greek).
Martyr Thea (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 5:16-25

16 But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.
17 Then the lambs shall feed in their pasture,
And in the waste places of the fat ones strangers shall eat.
18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity,
And sin as if with a cart rope;
19 That say, “Let Him make speed and hasten His work,
That we may see it;
And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come,
That we may know it.
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!
24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore the anger of the Lord is aroused against His people;
He has stretched out His hand against them
And stricken them,
And the hills trembled.
Their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.
For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

Genesis 4:16-26

The Family of Cain

16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.
19 Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. 20 And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. 22 And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.
23 Then Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech!
For I have killed a man for wounding me,
Even a young man for hurting me.
24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

A New Son

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

Proverbs 5:15-6:4

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord,
And He ponders all his paths.
22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man,
And he is caught in the cords of his sin.
23 He shall die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Dangerous Promises

My son, if you become surety for your friend,
If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
You are snared by the words of your mouth;
You are taken by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, and deliver yourself;
For you have come into the hand of your friend:
Go and humble yourself;
Plead with your friend.
Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids.

The PodCast is always different than the blog article.


  1. Well, you described my work week very accurately and your posts are wonderful and uplifting!

  2. Your offering is of great wealth to me. I have passed you on, also, to my son and daughter and to my very best friend. I often email links to my husband. We are all Roman Catholic. You provide a true blessing to my life in Christ daily. I appreciate your inspirations which always seem to address exactly what I need to hear! God is Good! I also enjoy seeing the photos of your monastery - a world apart - and being able to familarize myself with your office of readings and Saints. Thank you for your writing and your prayers.