Friday, June 29, 2012

Piety and Hypocrisy
Wild Foxglove, growing abundantly on the grounds of the monastery
Putting Aside all Hypocrisy and Living for Christ

How easy it is to worship with all piety and correctness while standing in a service within an Orthodox temple, yet make no effort to live Orthodoxy during the rest of our week. If we are abusive towards our spouse, abrasive with a coworker, and short tempered with a neighbor, all the piety and liturgical correctness of our Sunday morning is of no value.

If we cheat on our taxes, steal pens from the office, or refuse to point out an error to a clerk who has failed to ring up an item, we will have reduced our life in Christ to no more than membership in a club. If we walk past a child who is being bullied, without intervening, we have become the bully. If we fail to call the police when we hear a neighbor pleading with an abusive husband, not wanting to get involved, we are a wife beater. If we smile at the racist joke of a coworker, we are just as guilty of racism as he.

Being a Christian is far more than adherence to a set of doctrines, or the adaptation of liturgical forms of worship and piety. To be a follower of Christ is not like joining the Elks Club, where paying your dues and attending meetings makes you a member. Taking the name of the Saviour for ourselves, and calling ourselves Christian, must mean that we imitate the Saviour's life. It must mean that others see Christ in us, each and every hour of our day.

We must be the neighborhood peacemaker, the one who is quick to forgive when wronged, the person who is always looking for ways of being in service to others. If we truly wish to be called a Christian, we must put aside hypocrisy in all its forms, and live Christ. We must work towards changing the world, just as did Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who told us that if we acquire peace in our heart, we will save a thousand around us. Justice and peace does not come with revolution, but comes when the hearts of men and woman are transformed by the Holy Spirit, and this change can only begin, when we put aside all hypocrisy, and replace it with genuine, heartfelt commitment to Jesus Christ, living in imitation of the Saviour.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

click on photo to enlarge

Friday June 29, 2012 / June 16, 2012
4th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

St. Tychon, bishop of Amathus in Cyprus (425).
Venerable Tikhon of Kaluga or Medin (1492).
Venerable Tikhon of Lukhov (1503).
Venerable Moses of Optina, founder of the Optina Skete (1862).
New Martyr Hermogenes (Germogen), bishop of Tobolsk, Euphremius, Michael and Peter priests and Martyr Constantine (1918).
Translation of the relics (2002) of St. Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov (1894).
Martyrs Tigrius and Eutropius of Constantinople (404).
Venerable Tikhon of Krestogorsk (Vologda).
St. Mark the Just of Apollonias, nephew of the Apostle Barnabas.
Five Martyrs of Nicomedia (Greek).
Forty Martyrs of Rome (Greek).
St. Kaikhosro the Georgian (1612) (Georgia).
St. Ismael, bishop of Menevia.
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to
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 11:25-36

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Matthew 12:1-8

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”
But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

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


  1. Excellent point. Unfortunately, as a Elk's Club member, I can tell you not everybody pays their dues or attends meetings either. So sad.

  2. and writing things like this makes you as judgmental as anyone else. Maybe some people think it's better to mind their own business! People are responsible for their OWN sins! How dare you presume otherwise? The last thing people need is a freaking guilt trip!!!