Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis I
A Jesuit with a Franciscan's Simplicity

In Catholic tradition, Francis of Assisi had a mystical vision in which Christ told him to rebuild his Church. In taking the name Francis, this pope seems to be pledging himself to rebuild the image and integrity of a church that has suffered from widespread allegations of corruption, and the cover-up of the child sex abuse by innumerable members of her clergy.

After becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, he sold the archbishop's palace, preferring instead to live in an apartment. He was known to cook his own meals, and rejected the services of a chauffeur, preferring instead to ride the bus. As Jesuit Provincial, he put an end to the Liberation Theology being taught among Jesuits under him, demanding they stop their involvement in politics, and place their energies on serving the spiritual needs of their people.

This is the man who went to a hospice during Holy Week, and washed the feet of twelve aids patients. Known for a simple lifestyle and for dedication to social justice, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had taken a strong stand against the corruption of politicians and business men in Argentina. He has not only been a champion of the poor, but a champion of democracy.

Pope Francis, upon coming out on the papal balcony, asked the crowd to join him in praying "for our emeritus bishop, Benedict XVI." Following the "Our Father," the "Ave Maria," and "Glory Be" prayers in Italian, the Argentinean then continued: "Now, let's start working together, walking together...this is part of the governance of love, of trust."

And before giving the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing to those in the crowd, the Argentinean asked "for a favor. Before the bishop blesses his people, he asks that you pray to the Lord to bless me, the prayer of the people for the blessing of their bishop." As he said these words, he bowed his head and clasped his hands. A 15-second silence lasted in the reported 100,000-person crowd.

In taking the name of a saint known for humility and a simple lifestyle, Pope Francis promises to be the Christ-like image of leadership the Roman Catholic Church, and, dare I say, the whole world, needs. With the rise of secularism, atheism, and Islam, the Christ-like witness we see in this pope, promises to be a leaven for the rebuilding of a Christianity that has been in decline. This, to my mind, is a pope we Orthodox can work with, and a man we can love.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon
Cardinal Bergoglio on a subway

Thursday March 14, 2013 / March 1, 2013
Week of the Last Judgment. Tone seven.
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded

Venerable Shio Mgvime (6th c.) (Georgia) (movable holiday on Thursday of the Cheese-fare Week).
Martyr Eudocia of Heliopolis (152).
New Hieromartyr Olga (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Basil, Peter, John, Benjamin, Michael priests, New Hieromartyr Anthony, Virgin-martyrs Anna, Daria, Eudokia, Alexandra, Martyr Basil, Virgin-martyr Nadezhda (1938).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1942).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1943).
New Hieromartyrs Abbess Antonina of Kizliar (1924), Methodius (1920) and Anastasia Andreyevna, fool-for-Christ.
Venerable Martyrius, abbot of Zelenets (Tikhvin) (1603).
Martyrs Nestor, Tribimius, Marcellus, and Anthony of Perge in Pamphylia (3rd c.).
Martyr Antonina of Nicaea in Bithynia (284-305).
Venerable Domnina of Syria (450-460).
Venerable Agapius of Vatopedi Skete of Kolitsou, Mt. Athos, and his four companions.
Venerable Swidbert, monastic founder on the Rhine River (713).
St. David of Wales, bishop (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Albinus, bishop of Angers (550).
St. Leo-Luke of Corleone, Sicily (900).
New Martyr Paraskevas of Trebizond (1659).
Martyrs Sophronius and Silvester (Greek).
Martyrs Charisius, Nicephorus, and Agapius (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:

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PO Box 2420
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Jude 1:11-25

11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Apostates Depraved and Doomed

12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Apostates Predicted

16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Maintain Your Life with God

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Glory to God

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.

Luke 23:1-34

Jesus Handed Over to Pontius Pilate

23 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
He answered him and said, It is as you say.”
So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”
But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

Jesus Faces Herod

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Taking the Place of Barabbas

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him 17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).
18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.
20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”
23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

The King on a Cross

26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ 31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”
32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

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