Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making a Habit
Out of Our Passions
Visiting my friend, Abbess Anastasia of Holy Theophany Monastery
When We do the Wrong Thing Habitually
That we must struggle with our passions is a given. All the holy fathers council us to do battle with the passions, yet we continue committing the same sins over and over. Sometimes it is because we've allowed ourselves to fall into the habit of submitting to the same passions time and again. We stole an item from the office and got away with it, so the next time we think we need an extra pen, we take it. Perhaps we have twenty such corporate pens in a large mug, sitting on the counter in our kitchen. Do we need all of them, or do we ever even use any of them? Yet the count continues, because we've gotten into the habit of taking them from the office.

Do we think our job in a restaurant gives us the right to smuggle out food at the end of our shift, and does our low salary make us excuse such theft? Or perhaps we switch a high end bulk coffee into the low end store brand bag, paying three dollars less per pound than we should, because we could get away with it?
Perhaps we find we snap at our spouse, or our children, even when we are not angry. Or, we drive in an aggressive manner, thinking we need to be ahead of someone driving the speed limit, all because we've been doing so on work days. Maybe we are verbally abusive with our employees because we have the power to do so, given the economy (where are they going to work, if not here).

These are all examples of sinful behavior that can become habitual, and should be addressed directly if we are ever to be freed from our passions. We can start by slowly returning the pens to the office, two by two, until they've all been returned. We can arrive early at the restaurant job, and stay beyond our shift, paying for the stolen food with our extra hours of service. We can purchase a money order and anonymously pay back the grocery store the amount we've stolen from them over the year. We can choose to drive in the slow lane, on a daily basis, leaving early enough to reduce the temptation for aggressive driving. We can use our iPod to hear a talk by Father Thomas Hopko on Ancient Faith Radio, making the end of the day commute a time of spiritual reflection, all the while driving in the slow lane.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Boating with my friend Father Ignatius on Lake Saint Clair

Sunday September 16, 2012 / September 3, 2012
15th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone six.

Hieromartyr Anthimus, bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him: Martyrs Theophilus deacon, Dorotheos, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indes, Gorgonius, Zeno, the Virgin Domna, and Euthymius (302).
Venerable Theoctistus (451), fellow-faster with St. Euthymius the Great.
Blessed John "the Hairy," fool-for-Christ at Rostov (1580).
New Hieromartyr Pimen (Belolikov) bishop of Vernensk and Semirechensk, Sergius, Basil, Philip, Vladimir priests, martyr Meletius (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Basil and Parthenius priests (1919).
New Hieromartyrs Andrew and Theophan priests (1920).
New Hieromartyrs Vladimir amd Michael priests (1921).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1923).
New Hieromartyr Euthymius priest with 4 martyrs (1924).
New Hieromartyr Romanus priest (1929).
New Hieromartyr Alexis and Elias priests (1937).
New Hieromartyr Peter Deacon (1953).
St. Phoebe, deaconess at Cenchreae near Corinth (1st c.).
Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia (309).
Hieromartyr Aristion, bishop of Alexandria, in Syria (3rd c.).
St. Ioannicius II, first patriarch of Serbia (1349).
The Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God (608).
New Martyr Polydorus of Cyprus (1794) (Greek).
Emperor Constantine the New (Greek).
Martyrs Chariton and Archontinus (Greek).
St. Remaclus, bishop of Maastricht (677) (Neth.).
St. Aigulphus of Provence (676) (Gaul).
St. Edward, martyr and king of England (978) (Celtic & British).

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 4:6-15

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Cast Down but Unconquered

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

Matthew 22:35-46

35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

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