Monday, August 13, 2012

Blackmailing God

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Our Prayers Should not be
in the Form of Blackmail

When we approach the Lord with our needs we should take care that our prayer not be a form of blackmail. God knows our needs before we ask, and it is from our fallen nature that we tend to approach God while trying to bargain with Him. If we want to be healed of an illness that has befallen us, or ask for financial help, we should first ask God for strength and patience to endure whatever He has allowed to come our way.

The Lord knows what we need, and if we do not receive that which we've asked for, we should cease to ask. It is more important that we gain peace of heart, and spiritual strength. The more we learn patience and trust, the more we will have gained in the long run. Rather than persist in hounding God for what we think we need, we should seek first the Kingdom of God.

The best prayer of all is simply to say, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner", knowing that union with Him is the ultimate goal. Having good health, money, things, or even earthly happiness, must not be the focus of our prayer life.

It is far more beneficial in the long run if we seek inner peace first, and learn to trust God for the rest. He loves us and desires that we come to the knowledge of the Truth and inherit His Kingdom. When we've acquired a peaceful and contrite heart, we will seek to keep God's commandments, and love Him with all our heart. Then we will have a true relationship with Him that is based on love rather than infantile bargaining, which can be a form of blackmail.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday August 13, 2012 / July 31, 2012
11th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Eve of the Dormittion Fast.

Forefeast of the Procession of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord.
Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia (9th c.).
New Martyrs Benjamin, metropolitan of Petrograd, and those with him: Archimandrite Sergius and George and John of Petrograd (1922).
Martyr Maximus (1928).
New New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr John priest, Martyr Constantine priest, Virgin-martyr Anna, and St. Elizabeth (after 1937).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1941).
New Hieromartyr Basil, bishop of Kineshma (1945)
Martyr Julitta at Caesarea (304).
Martyr Dionysius of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (1822).
Righteous Joseph of Arimathea (1st c.).
St. Germanus, bishop of Auxerre (448) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Neot, hermit in Cornwall (877) (Celtic & British).
Twelve Martyrs of Rome (Greek).
Translation of the relics of Apostle Philip to Cyprus. (Greek).
Consecration of the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos of Blachernae (Greek).
St. John the Exarch of Bulgaria (900).
St. Arsenius the Bishop of Ninotsminda (1082) (Georgia).

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 donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
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

2 Corinthians 2:4-15

For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Triumph in Christ

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Matthew 23:13-22

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

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