Friday, October 12, 2012

The Planting of a Monastery (chapter 2)

The Search

In early 1987, after receiving a blessing from our bishop to relocate the monastery, we rented a storage unit in Santa Rosa, packed away our library, icons, and furniture, and left the Bay Area in search of our promised land. We rented a two-bedroom cabin on Cobb Mountain, just north of the Napa Valley wine country, and began our quest for that rural location. With the financial backing of a benefactor in Berkeley (an Episcopalian), we set out each morning, with a realtor, searching for just the right old farm or ranch house, hoping to replant the sprout that was our fledging monastery.

After two months of looking in Lake County, we set our sights on Oregon. Traveling in our old Ford pickup with a camper on the back, and pitching a tent each night, we continued our journey, seeking after God’s will. The sight of two bearded monks, dressed in black robes, joining other campers in state parks, certainly attracted attention. I remember one old man trading freshly caught trout each morning, for a cup of dark roasted coffee, which I’d prepared in a French Press. His wife was sick of trout, and he was sick of her coffee. We were the beneficiaries of their marital spat, enjoying pan-fried trout for breakfast each morning.

We had a large dyptich with an icon of Christ on the right and the Holy Virgin on the left, which serviced as our traveling iconostasis. Each morning we would set the dyptich on a picnic table, place incense in the censer, and pray Matins together. The smell of the campfire, fresh coffee, and incense, united together, seemed as a beautiful offering to God, and has remained with me to this very day.

One campsite that was particularly memorable was just east of Portland, Oregon. The mornings were crisp with the air and scent of early autumn, and we were the only people occupying the state campground. Mount Hood loomed above us like the spire of a great cathedral, and felt I could remain there forever. Chanting Matins before this mountain made me feel connected to the Prophet Moses of the Old Testament, for I felt I was standing on holy ground. 

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday October 12, 2012 / September 29, 2012

19th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Venerable Cyriacus the Hermit of Palestine (556).
New Hieromartyr John, archbishop of Riga in Latvia (1934).
Martyrs Dada, Gabdelas, and Casdoe (Casdoa) of Persia (4th c.).
Venerable Theophanes the Merciful of Gaza.
Holy Martyr Gudelia of Persia (4th c.).
Venerable Cyprian, abbot, of Ustiug (Vologda) (1276).
The Eighty Holy Martyrs of Byzantium (4th c.).
Martyrs Tryphon, Trophimus, and Dorymedon, and 150 Martyrs m Palestine (Greek).
Translation of the relics of Venerable Neophytus the Recluse of Cyprus (1214) (Greek).
St. Auxentius the Wonderworker (Greek).
New Monk-martyr Malachias of Rhodes (1500).
St. Onuphrius the Wonderworker of Garesja, Georgia (18th c.).

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

Philippians 1:27-2:4

Striving and Suffering for Christ

27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

Unity Through Humility

2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Luke 6:17-23

Jesus Heals a Great Multitude

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes

20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you poor,
    For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
    And when they exclude you,
    And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
    For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
    For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
    For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

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

1 comment:

  1. Evlogeite Father!

    Your description of the mingling scent of campfire, incense, and coffee makes me really long for Canada in the autumn. Home.

    I am really enjoying your series on planting a monastery. Thank you.