Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sin as Illness
Arrival of the Wonderworking Kursk-Root Icon
Church as Hospital of the Soul

Our Orthodox Faith defines sin as an illness that is in need of healing, not as a crime that requires punishment. The Church is a hospital for the soul whose therapists (priests) first sought therapy and then became the therapists. As a healing institution the Church is a place for broken souls. We come before Christ as tarnished images, far from that which God intended. Yet this very Creator God is patient and loving, quick to forgive. Our God invites us to holiness, to be made whole. His grace is sufficient to lift us up out of our mire and into the heights of a joy and gladness that is meant to be eternal. We need only to humble ourselves and ask for help and the Kingdom is ours.

Heaven and hell are not about location but about relationship. All that is needed is our responsive word, followed by action. We say yes to God's invitation while seeking out the therapy that is ours within the life of the Church. Wholeness (holiness) is ours through this relationship with Christ, Who's redemptive act upon the Cross, together with His having conquered death by death, delivers us from the depths of estrangement. We are lifted up to God, having been made whole, and eternal communion with God is our destiny.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

click on photos to enlarge

Photos: Sixth Annual St. Herman's West Orthodox Youth Conference, held in Seattle, made a pilgrimage to the monastery, bringing the Wonderworking Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God.

click photos to enlarge

Thursday December 27, 2012 / December 14, 2012
30th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Nativity (St. Philip's Fast). Food with Oil

Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus of Apollonia (250).
Martyrs Apollonius, Philemon, Arianus, and Theoctychus of Alexandria (ca. 305).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1937).
St. Bassian confessor, archbishop of Tambov (1940).
Sainted Ilarion, Metropolitan of Suzdal' and Yur'ev (1707).
St. Venatius Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers (7th c.) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Hygbald, abbot in Lincolnshire (7th c.) (Celtic & British).
Sts. Fingar and Phila, brother and sister, martyrs in Cornwall.
Venerable Daniel the Hesychast of Voronej (17th c.) (Romania).
Four guards converted by St. Arianus and martyred (Greek.).
St. Folciunus, bishop of Tervas (855) (Neth.).

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

Hebrews 10:35-11:7

35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

37 “For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

By Faith We Understand

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith at the Dawn of History

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”;  for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Mark 9:10-16

10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

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