Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On the Brink
click on photo to enlarge
A Culture Gone Mad
We have moved from a period in which little Samuel said, "speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth," to one in which we now say, "Listen, Lord, for they servant speaketh." Our American culture has become so enamored, even consumed, with the importance of "self" that we've made idols out of personal gain and fulfillment. Americans are ever seeking after "the things of this world," to the degree, in fact, that we have as a culture forgotten the basic truths that our ancestors took for granted. We have forgotten the importance of living altruistic lives, of living for the ultimate good of all, rather than the limiting scope of our personal,  materialistic needs.

We have forgotten the importance of making provision for future generations, whether it be in saving the environment for those who will follow us, or in passing on those beliefs and values that make for a civilized society. Our children are no longer taught a value system that is based on the Christian concept that there is a Truth that should govern our every action. Our educational system has abandoned young people to moral relativism, leaving them rudderless in a sea of too many options.

We do not teach our children the importance of living altruistic lives, where the good of the whole comes first, failing, as we are, to pass on a foundation by which they can govern their lives in the light of the Gospels. Television programing, violent video games, easy access to pornography on line, and movies filled with sex and violence, have impacted our nation like the assault of an enemy army, and we've failed to act.

As a nation we are under spiritual attack and have failed to take notice. Our spiritual weapons gather dust, while we hope for the best, but do nothing to prepare our youth for victory. Relativism reigns, while Truth is forgotten, and our nation stands on the brink, having become powerless to withstand a spiritual attack it does not understand.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday February 19, 2013 / February 6, 2013
38th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.

Venerable Bucolus, bishop of Smyrna (ca. 100).
New Hieromartyrs Demetrius priest and Martyr Anatolius (1921).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1930).
New Hieromartyr Priest Basil Nadezhnin of Moscow, (1937).
New Hieromartyr Alexanderpriest (1938).
Venerables Barsanuphius the Great and John the Prophet, monks of Palestine (6th c.).
St. Photius, patriarch of Constantinople (891).
Virgin-martyr Dorothea, and with her Martyrs Christina and Callista, sisters, and Theophilus, at Caesarea in Cappadocia (288-300).
Martyr Julian of Emesa (312).
Virgin-martyr Fausta, and with her Martyrs Evilasius and Maximus, at Cyzicus (ca. 305-311).
Virgin-martyrs Martha and Mary, and their brother Martyr Lycarion, in Egypt.
Venerable Dorothea, schemanun of Kashin (1629).
St. Mael, bishop of Ardagh, disciple of St. Patrick (488) (Celtic & British).
Martyrs Faustus, Basil and Silvanus of Darion in Constantinople (Greek).
Venerable John of Thebes, monk (Greek).
St. James, ascetic of Syria (ca. 460).
St. Vedast, bishop of Arras (540).
St. Amand, apostle of Maastricht (675) (Neth.).
St. Arsen of Iqalto, Georgia (1127).
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

1 Peter 3:10-22

10 For
“He who would love life And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Suffering for Right and Wrong

13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Christ’s Suffering and Ours

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Mark 12:18-27

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. 23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”
24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”

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

1 comment:

  1. Father, bless!

    Please forgive me, but I must disagree. While I cannot but concur with your estimation of the assault on us and our children by our culture and all of its wickedness, there are many of us who fight where we can through prayer and witness and love. My wife, for example, teaches special-needs children in a public school, and she along with other public school teachers gather weekly for fellowship and a lesson from the Holy Scriptures. She does what she can to teach right from wrong and serve as an example of a godly life to these children. As do her fellow teachers who are believers.

    Our little (Protestant evangelical) church is filled with many believers who live earnestly and well as much as their faith will allow. As a teacher in this church, I am encouraged very much by the growing faith and love of those whom we would normally write off as being beyond hope: the homeless, the poor, the recovering addict, and the backslidden. Christ is in our midst.

    Our American landscape has become a battleground where evil struts about as though he has won the day. But there are many who have not caved in and strive instead to live a life of warfare, where our armaments are love and compassion, prayer and hope. And we depend on strong words of encouragement and guidance from those who have charged into the breach before us, having lived a life of love and obedience to Christ.

    I for one depend on you. Your words are brief and to the point, and they are filled with love toward your fellow soldiers. They provide me solid direction, and I am greatly privileged to serve Christ as I am able alongside you.

    Thank you, Father. Lord bless you.

    Christopher Albee