Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Good Place
Photo taken on the ferry, with Vashon Island in the distance.
Keeping one's mind and heart in a good place

Walking through life with a smile on your face and a song in your heart is the best way to keep your mind and heart in a good place. Life has many turns and many trials, but when you keep centered on all the good that is in your life, the trials are short lived. Smiles are contagious. Ever notice how a room brightens up when someone walks in who is always smiling, always happy, always extending a warm greeting to others? What better gift can you give another, than a sincere smile.

I remember finding a young man sitting on a log, deep in an Oregon forest, many years ago, while hiking on a trail. The trail head was some four miles from that spot, and I was somewhat surprised to find another person, alone, that far into the forest (I'd thought I was the only one who loved to hike alone). He was deep in thought, so I apologized for startling him. I commented on the beauty of God's creation and asked if he'd like to share a sandwich and some coffee. Sitting down on the log next to him, I opened my backpack, and handed him half of my lunch.

A few moments passed when he turned to me, showed me a revolver, and told me he'd come to this remote spot with the intent of killing himself. When he saw me appear with a long beard, long hair, and dressed in my long black robe, he'd first thought I might be an angel, sent by God. He'd been praying that God would forgive him for what he was about to do. I assured him that I was indeed flesh and blood, and no angel. But I also told him that I was sent by God with a message. The message from God was that he was loved, and that God had a plan for his life, and this period of despair would soon pass.

He handed me his revolver, which I placed in my backpack, and we had a long conversation about his life. Eventually we walked together back to our vehicles. With the promise that he would return the revolver to his father's desk drawer, I handed him the gun, and we parted ways.

I've long wondered about the direction his life must have taken after that encounter in the forest, so very many years ago. I've also wondered what may have happened if I'd continued on that trail without stopping to greet him, without offering a smile and a shared sandwich.

To this day I feel blessed that God allowed me to be His messenger on that lonely trail, and I try to be available each and every day as His messenger. When we make a concerted effort to be centered in Christ, each and every day, each and every hour, we make way for a heart and mind that is always in a good place, and we allow the love of Christ to be seen and experienced by others. When we put aside ourselves and put on Christ, we become God's messengers.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday February 13, 2013 / January 31, 2013
37th Week after Pentecost. Tone three. Fast. Fish Allowed
Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cyrus and John (311) and with them Martyrs Athanasia and her daughters Theoctiste, Theodota, and Eudoxia, at Canopus in Egypt (311).
St. Nicetas of the Kiev Caves, bishop of Novgorod (1108).
Martyrs Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudius, Diodorus, Serapion, and Papias of Egypt (251).
Martyr Tryphaenes at Cyzicus (1st c.).
Remembrance of all the departed who suffered in the years of persecution for faith in Christ.
New Martyr Elias (Ardunis) of Mt. Athos (1686) (Greek).
Venerable Pachomius, abbot of Keno Lake Monastery (1525).
St. Marcella of Rome (410).
St. Athanasius, bishop of Methona (880).
St. Arsenius of Paros (1877).

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

James 3:11-4:6

11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Heavenly Versus Demonic Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Pride Promotes Strife

4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Mark 11:23-26

23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Forgiveness and Prayer

25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

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

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