Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Birth Control
Birth Control, and the Orthodox Christian

Marriage, for the Orthodox Christian, is to have as it's foundation, Jesus Christ, and a commitment to live in full communion with the Church. When a couple are joined together in this mystical (sacramental) union with one another, they become one flesh, and begin their relationship as one. The crowning ceremony symbolizes martyrdom of self and a commitment to sacrifice self-will.

Marriage is not about sexual gratification, although sexual intimacy is an important component of any healthy marriage, but the intimacy of the marriage bed be open to the possibility of having children. The Church allows no form of contraception that is abortifacient, and the Fathers of the Church, such as Ss. Athanasius the Great, John Chrysostom, Epiphanios, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Caesarious, Gregory the Great, Augustine of Canterbury and Maximos the Confessor, all explicitely condemned abortion as well as the use of abortifacients.

The bottom line is that a Christian couple must be open to having children. A couple who would choose to have no children, or limit the number of children based on a desire for financial and lifestyle security, forgo the joy that only children can bring to a Christian marriage. Birth control should never be based on selfish motives, or the desire to live a more comfortable lifestyle. This life is not meant for personal gratification, nor personal gain, but that we might give glory and worship to God in all we do.

I believe that the only alternative is "Natural Family Planning" and I think many Orthodox clergy have waffled on this issue. It seems to me that we are seeing the "Law of Unintended Consequences" at play in our society. China & India- not enough wives for the population; the U.S.- No family to care for the elderly, not enough people to support Social Security, etc. I am open to any other perspective from the Fathers but I cannot find it, at this point.

With love in Christ,

Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday June 13, 2012 / May 31, 2012
2nd Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Apostle Hermes of the Seventy (1st c.).
Martyr Hermias at Comana (160).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Philosoph Ornatsky with his sons Boris and Nicholas, in St. Petersburg (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Hierotheus, bishop of Nikolsk (1928), and his friend Hieroschemamonk Seraphim (Nikolsky) (1923).
Martyr Philosophus at Alexandria (252).
Martyr Marus the Magician who was converted on witnessing the martyrdom of Hermias.
Five Martyrs of Ascalon (Greek).
Martyrs Eusebius and Charalampus (Greek).
St. Eustathius, patriarch of Constantinople (1025).
Finding of the relics of New Martyr Nicholas the Deacon of Lesbos.
Translation of the relics (1591) of St. Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow (1569), to Solovki.
St. Philotheus, metropolitan of Tobolsk (1727).
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

Our thanks and gratitude to all of you who have contributed to the monastery through your generous contributions. May God richly bless you for your kindness, and support, of this monastery.
With love and blessings,
Abbot Tryphon

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

Romans 4:13-25

The Promise Granted Through Faith

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Matthew 7:21-23

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

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

1 comment:

  1. The Gospel reading is very scary, when you think about it!