Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Cure
Visitors from Norway, together with Hammi, the Norwegian Forest Cat

Cooperating with the Physician of Our Souls

Although imprecise, we often use anthropomorphic language when speaking about God. Thus, we can say that God is like a mother whose sick child is in need of healing, and is not offended by the child's sickness. Yet, given the truth that God loves His fallen creatures, we can also say that God IS offended by our deliberate turning from the holiness and communion with Him, that we were created for. 

Our sickness is a clear sign of the presence of sin, and this sin grieves God. This same God does not merely offer an escape from the eternal bondage of death, but invites us to entrance into life in Christ here and now.

Perhaps we can say that God is scandalized with the state of our soul, like the doctor might be irritated upon hearing the news that his patient has not been taking his prescribed medication. Like the doctor, God has given us a prescription whereby the healing of the darkened nous can begin to take place. Yet our Orthodox Christianity does not hold to the notion that our guilt as sinful creatures translates as punishment for sin, but rather that confession and repentance are seen in therapeutic terms.

We are invited to be restored to His original intent, and reunited with God. In our fallen state, we are invited to be spiritually healed, not sentenced, for salvation is not merely an escape from punishment. God, although He can be anthropomorphically described as a judge, is in reality our physician, and the cure frees us from the eternal bondage of death, and gives us entrance to life in Christ in the here and now.

We are invited to share in God's divinity, through the action of theosis, whereby we "become as gods". This ancient teaching of the Church in no way implies we become gods, as the Mormons teach, for God is still God, and we are still His creatures. But it does mean that the Creator Who condescended to take on our humanity, shares His divinity with us.

Theosis is both the transformative process by which we "become as gods",  as well as the goal of that process. The goal is the attainment of union with God, and is brought about by the effects of the purification of mind and body. Theosis is the very purpose of human life, and is achievable only through a cooperation between humans' activities and God's uncreated energies (or operations).

With love in Christ,

Abbot Tryphon

Saturday December 8, 2012 / November 25, 2012
27th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Nativity (St. Philip's Fast). Fish Allowed

Apodosis of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple.
Hieromartyr Clement, pope of Rome (101).
Hieromartyr Peter, archbishop of Alexandria (311).
New Hieromartyrs Seraphim archbishop of Smolensk, Gregory, John, Basil, Cosmas, John, Simeon, Hilarion, Iaroslav, Alexander, John, Voctor, Andrew priests and Martyr Paul (1937).
Martyr Nicholas (1938).
Venerable Peter the Silent, of Galata, Syria (429).
St Clement, Bishop of Ochrid and Enlightener of the Bulgarians.
Great-martyr Catherine of Alexandria (305) (Greek).

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

Galatians 5:22-6:2

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Bear and Share the Burdens

6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Luke 10:19-21

19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Jesus Rejoices in the Spirit

21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

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