Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Asking for Miracles

Asking for Miracles in our Smugness and Pride

Asking for miracles in order to believe, betrays a sort of smugness on our part, sort of like asking for an expensive gift from a perspective friend, before considering their overture for friendship. It could hardly become a true friendship, if it had a beginning like that.  God could easily create miracles that would make all people believers, but He respects our free will, and does not wish to interfere with our freedom. As God awaits our decision, are we to respond to His love, or are we not. God has the power to show forth miracles that would make us all believers, but to do so would hardly leave us with freedom, for He desires that we choose to commune with Him, not because of His power, but because of His love for us.

When I was a young man, in about the eighth grade, I decided that the Roman Catholic Church might possibly be the True Church. I started taking catechetical lessens from the local Roman Catholic priest. Struggling, as I was, to find the True Church, I asked my Lutheran pastor to meet together with the Catholic priest and me, so that I could have them debate. My plan was to choose the winner, and go with that church. The Pastor declined, saying he wasn't going to reduce truth to whomever could win a debate challenge. I'd just joined the high school debate team, and had thought it a good idea to have them debate, thus taking the pressure off myself, making my decision easier. That was a real example of copping out, and relieving myself of having to make the decision.

The above story is not unlike the person who would demand a miracle, asking God to prove Himself worthy of being worshiped. This is would be no different than saying, "give me a car for my birthday, dad, and I'll consider loving you as my father". We must approach God in all humbleness of mind and heart, leaving the rest up to Him.

It is also quite possible that when miracles do come our way, our smugness and pride prevent us from seeing the miracle that is right in front of us. I once asked a young Egyptian Christian, why the Holy Virgin had appeared to crowds of people in Cairo, on the dome of Saint Mary's Coptic Church, where everyone, even Muslims, Jews, and atheists, where able to see her. He responded that Christians in the Middle East lived lives in expectation of miracles, so when they came, they were not surprised, but received them with joy. He went on to say that Westerners, in their collective pride, were skeptics, and ignored miracles sent by God, each and every day.

If we are awaiting the day God will prove Himself to us, we fail to notice that He has been doing just that from the very beginning, but our smugness and pride have blinded us to that which has always been there.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday April 24, 2012 / April 11, 2012
Radonitsa, or Day of Rejoicing. Commemoration of the Dead. Tone one.
Wednesday April 25, 2012 / April 12, 2012
Second Week of Pascha. Tone one.
Fast. Fish Allowed

Venerable Basil the Confessor, bishop of Parium (760).
New Hieromartyr Sergius (1938).
Hieromartyr Zeno, bishop of Verona (ca. 260).
Venerable Isaac the Syrian, abbot of Spoleto, Italy (ca. 550).
Martyrs Menas, David, and John of Palestine (630).
Virgin Anthusa of Constantinople (801).
Venerable Athanasia, abbess of Aegina (860).
"Murom" (12th c.) and "Belynich" (13th c.) Icons of the Mother of God.
St. Acacius of Kapsokalyvia Skete, Mt. Athos (1730).
St. Basil, bishop of Ryazan (1295).
Deposition of the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God in Constantinople (942).
Martyr Sabbas the Goth, who suffered at Buzau in Wallachia (372) (Romania).
St. Sergius, patriarch of Constantinople (1019).
Martyrs Demas, Protion, and those with them (Greek).

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

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

Acts 4:13-22

The Name of Jesus Forbidden

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

John 5:17-24

17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Life and Judgment Are Through the Son

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

I invite my readers to listen to my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.

1 comment:

  1. I was very blessed to read words from your writings and really I am thankful for you effort for sharing God's word and bible within the whole World. Please Remember me in Your Prayer Abbot Tryphon need your prayers for me really. God be with You. Amen!