Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ancestral Sin
 The Inheritance of Death Rather 
than the Firstborn's Sin

That the Orthodox Church does not accept the doctrine of original sin as espoused in the West, in no way suggests we do not need to be born anew. Orthodoxy continues the teaching of the Early Church that we inherit only the results of Adam's sin, not his guilt. This is known as Ancestral Sin because the sin of our first parents resulted in our inheriting a cosmos where sickness, and death reign.

Christ's death on the cross has as it's power, not an atonement sacrifice, but in the conquering of the power of death itself. Death has been trampled down by death, and Christ's resurrection opened the door to eternal life, and ended the finality of death. Christ's resurrection becomes our resurrection.

Although we do not refer to ourselves as "saved", as do Evangelical Christians, believing as we do that salvation is a process, we nevertheless know we are in need of salvation. Our understanding of the nature of sin as distinct from the concept of original sin and the hereditary guilt that requires a substitutionary, atonement-type, sacrifice, separates us doctrinally from Western Christianity.

Had there not been a fall, Christ the Logos (Word) would still have, in the mind of many Church Fathers, incarnated in the flesh and taken on our nature. For this condescension by our God to take on the flesh of His creatures, opened wide the door for our communion with Him, allowing us to enter into the very Heart of God, thus completing creation as it was meant to be.  

Our journey into the heart culminates in theosis, whereby we are joined in everlasting communion with the very God Who created us, for as Saint Athanasius of Alexandria said, "The Son of God became man, that we might become god." And in II Peter 1:4, we read that we have become "...partakers of divine nature." Saint Athanasius went on to say that theosis is "becoming by grace what God is by nature."

With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Sunday March 10, 2013 / February 25, 2013

Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare). Tone seven.

St. Tarasius, archbishop of Constantinople (806).
New Hieromartyr Alexander, priest, Virgin-Martyr Mstislava (1938).
New Hieromartyr Priest Leo Korobczuk of Laskov (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1944).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1945).
Hieromartyr Reginus, bishop of the isle of Skopelos (355).
Venerable Polycarp.
Martyr Anthony.
Venerables Erasmus and Paphnutius of Kephala, monks, contemporaries of St. Anthony the Great (4th c.).
Martyrs Alexander at Marcionopolis (305) and Hypatius.
St. Ethelbert, king of Kent (616) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Walburga, abbess of Heidenheim (779) (Celtic & British).
St. Maecellus, bishop of Apamea in Syria (Greek).
St. Theodore, fool-for-Chist (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

1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2

But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.
But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

A Pattern of Self-Denial

9 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

Matthew 25:31-46

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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