Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Repeat Offenders
Repeat Offenders: habitual sins, repetitive sins.

In the Mystery of Confession we avail ourselves before the analoy stand, upon which the holy cross and the Gospel Book rest. The priest stands in as the witness, whereas in the early Church confession was done before the whole congregation of the faithful. After we have confessed before the Lord, the priest, acting in Christ's stead, and by His authority, pronounces the absolution. Thus begins the process of transformation, which leads to holiness. Regular confession is necessary if we are to triumph in our battle over sin, for only in confession do we face the reality of our fallen nature and confront the ego, seeking out God's help in conquering the passions.

Confession and Communion are bound together, for the Church asks that we confess our sins before approaching the Holy Gifts, as the Scriptures make it clear that it is dangerous to partake of Christ's Body and Blood unworthily. The priest, as witness, also helps guide the penitent, helping develop a "war plan" by which we can learn to do battle with our fallen nature and find victory over our sins. The importance of confessing before the priest is evident in that secret sins are rarely triumphed over, for we can happily travel through life dismissing our shortcomings, when no one knows.

Since all sin (even those committed in secret) is against the whole Body of Christ (the Church), confession before the representative of the Church (the priest) is all important. When we confess our sins regularly to our confessor, we are acknowledging our failings and shortcomings to someone who knows us so well that he can help guide us to true repentance, where we find victory over habitual sins that bring us down.

When we find ourselves constantly repeating the same sins, over and over, having a regular confessor is especially valuable, for he can help us focus on ways to avoid the same sins over and over. Keeping a journal of our struggles can be especially helpful, for we can begin to see patterns in our behavior that lead to habitual sins, thereby helping us to minimize the frequency of our falls.

It can be helpful if we remember that sin is that which inhibits us from becoming holy. Holiness being better understood as wholeness. When we are whole, we are as God meant us to be. We are healthy in a spiritual way, and communion with God is opened up. As people made whole, we become the very image and likeness that God intended, gaining our inheritance.

When we find ourselves struggling with the same sins over and over, it is good to remember that we have but to give ourselves over to Christ, Who promises us victory over our sins. The struggle for holiness is not about what we can do, but what Christ can do in us.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday February 26, 2013 / February 13, 2013
Week of the Publican and the Pharisee. Tone five.
Fast-free Week. Fast-free

Venerable Martinian, monk, of Caesarea in Palestine (422).
New Hieromartyrs Basil and Gabriel priests (1919).
New Hieromartyr Silvester (Olshevsky) bishop of Omsk and Pavlodar (1920).
New Hieromartyrs Zosimas, Nicholas, Basil, John, Leontius, Vladimir, Parthenius, John, John, Michael priests and Eugine deacon, and Martyr Paul, Virgin-martyrs Anna, Vera and Irina (1938).
The holy woman Zoe of Bethlehem and Virgin Photina (5th c.).
Venerable Eulogius, archbishop of Alexandria (607-608).
Venerable Symeon the Myrrh-gusher, prince of Serbia (1200).
St. Martin the Merciful.
St. Modomnoc, bishop of Ossory (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
Apostle and Martyr Aquila, and Priscilla (Greek).
St. Timothy, patriarch of Alexandria (385).
St. Joseph of Volokolamsk (1515).
St. Castor of Karden, hieromonk and missionary (Germany)
St. Ermenhilda, abbes of Ely.
St. Huna, priest-monk of Huneya.
Translation of the relicts of St. Edward the Martyr, King of England.
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

2 Peter 1:20-2:9

20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Destructive Doctrines

2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Doom of False Teachers

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

Mark 13:9-13

“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.


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