Monday, October 1, 2012

Addressing the youth of the Ethiopian cathedral in Seattle
Moving on to the Horizon
Recently I spoke with an old friend of forty years, an Episcopal priest who is dying of a rare form of cancer. The day I called him was the second anniversary, to the day, that his doctors told him he had three months to live. That Father Leo would have beat those odds by living for two years, has not been a surprise to me. He has never, in all the years I've known him, been one to sit around doing nothing. During these two years he continued to serve his small Northern California parish. Each and every Sunday, when strength allowed, Father Leo would be serving their communion service, and preaching the sermon. Where other men might stay home and try to battle with their whole strength, in an attempt to fight off the cancer, Father Leo pushed himself to get as much done as possible. Retiring was not an option for him. 

Each week he would be attending to the spiritual needs of his people, attending parish vestry meetings, all the while making the long drive to San Francisco to see his doctors. All of this in spite of the fact he wakes up every day feeling like he has the flu. Exhaustion is his greatest enemy, yet he just keeps on pushing himself, driven by the work he loves the most. Father Leo has always been happiest when in service, and this, I am convinced, is why he has been beating all the odds.

Father Leo told me he has asked the Lord how long this is to continue, for it is getting increasingly difficult to stave off his exhaustion. A date has come to him, one he feels in his heart is to be the date of his repose. When he told me he felt it would be November 9th, I reminded him that this was my birthday. He promptly made a joke about this being his final gift to me.

Thinking about Father Leo's eventual death reminded me of a story I once heard. I don't know the source of this description of death, but do want to share it with all of my readers.

"A ship sails, and I stand watching, til she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, "She is gone."  Gone where?

Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large as when I saw her.....
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says "She is gone", there are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up the glad shout "Here she comes.....!"
And that is dying. "

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

click on photo to enlarge

Monday October 1, 2012 / September 18, 2012
18th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.

Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Venerable Eumenes, bishop of Gortyna (7th c.).
Glorification (1698) of Venerable Euphrosyne, nun, of Suzdal (1250).
Venerable Hilarion of Optina (1873).
New Hieromartyrs Alexis and Peter priests (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Amphilius bishop of Krasnoiarsk, John, Boris, Michael, Vladimir, Benjamin, Constantine priests and Martyr Sergius (1937).
Martyr Ariadne of Phrygia (2nd c.).
Martyrs Sophia and Irene of Egypt (3rd c.).
Martyr Castor of Alexandria.
Great-martyr Prince Bidzini and Martyrs Prince Elizbar and Prince Shalva of Ksani, Georgia (1661) (Georgia).
Molchensk (1405), named the "Healer" (18th C) and Starorussk (returned in 1888) Icons of the Mother of God.
St. Arcadius, bishop of Novgorod (1162).

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

Ephesians 4:25-32

Do Not Grieve the Spirit

25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Luke 3:19-22

19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.

John Baptizes Jesus

21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

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

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