Friday, June 22, 2012

Reformation of the Nation Must Begin with Me

The wife of a priest friend, a school teacher, told me how horrified a number of fellow teachers were, when they found out her husband was a priest. One teacher avoided talking to her for the next three months, and another commented that she must feel very limited by the restrictions placed upon her because she was married to a priest. This woman is a respected school teacher, and a dear person, yet her faith, previously unknown to her co-workers, instantly became problematic when her husband's line of work became known. 

Shocking as it was to hear this, I was ultimately not surprised, for the Puget Sound region of Washington State is said to have the most self-proclaimed atheists, in the nation. In this age of political and religious polarization, I am afraid we are going to see such overt hostility towards Christianity become ever more common. People are becoming hostile towards the values and teachings of Christianity, yet ever more accommodating to the rising presence of Islam in the nation.  If you are dressed in traditional Islamic fashion, you are welcome in the work place and the neighborhood, yet Christians are increasingly experiencing the type of overt discrimination experienced by the wife of this priest.  

The Christian response to such changing attitudes within American society should be met, not with hostility and anger, but with a renewed commitment on our part, to return Christ to a place of prominence in our nation, through a spiritual revival within our own hearts. Our fellow Americans must see in us, the love of Christ, and the joy of our life in Christ must translate into a life lived in harmony with our environment, peaceful coexistence with those of different religious and social persuasions, and a non-judgmental embrace of others.  

Christianity should not be reduce to political activism, or the enforcement of morality, for societal reformation can only take place when Christ is allowed to change the heart of every citizen. Every man and woman who enters into a personal relationship with Christ, is confronted with the knowledge that he has fallen far short of the Glory of God, and is in need of forgiveness. 

The negative attitudes seen in growing numbers of Americans towards Christianity is the result, I am convinced, of our failure as Christians, to truly live the Gospel. I must ask Christ to change this nation, by beginning with me. The reformation of the nation must begin with my own reformation.  

With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Friday June 22, 2012 / June 9, 2012
3rd Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

St. Cyril, archbishop of Alexandria (444).
Venerable Cyril, abbot of White Lake (Byelozersk) (1427).
St. Alexius Mechev, priest of Moscow (1923).
Venerable Alexander, abbot of Kushta (Vologda) (1439).
Five nuns beheaded in Persia: Martyrs Thecla, Mariamne, Martha, Mary, and Enmatha (346).
Righteous Cyril of Velsk or Vazhe (Vologda) (15th c.).
St. Columba of Iona (597) (Celtic & British).
St. Baithene of Tiree (600) (Celtic & British).
Hieromartyr Alexander, bishop of Prusa (Greek).
Venarable Cyril, monk (Greek).
Three Virgin-martyrs of Chios (Greek).
St. John of Shavtel-Gaenati, Georgia (13th c.) (Georgia).
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 9:6-19

Israel’s Rejection and God’s Purpose

But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”
10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

Israel’s Rejection and God’s Justice

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”[f] 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”

Matthew 10:32-36

Confess Christ Before Men

32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Christ Brings Division

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

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

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