Monday, April 1, 2013

Prayer is the remedy for gloom and despondency

Depression is one of the plagues of the modern age, overtaking many with it's insidious poison, and ravaging many a life. The pain and suffering that comes with deep depression can infect those who surround the sufferer, for the depression of one person can spread like mold on stale bread. Psychiatrists are kept busy writing prescriptions, and drug companies rake in the money manufacturing the "cure". Families are destroyed, marriages come apart, and young people drop out of school, all because of depression.

Although there are certainly cases where depression can be caused by imbalances in the chemical makeup of the body, it far more common for depression to be the result of the sickness of the soul. The cure, in this case, is to be found in the life of the Church. Giving oneself over to the pursuit of God, and increasing the time we spend in prayer and worship, can gradually transform depression and turn it into joy.

Saint John Cassian wrote: "But first we must struggle with the demon of dejection who casts the soul into despair. We must drive him from our heart. It was this demon that did not allow Cain to repent after he had killed his brother, or Judas after he had betrayed his Master".

The period of Great and Holy Lent is a perfect time to confront the spirit of depression, for the increased attendance in the Church's divine services, and the time spent in private prayer, contribute to the healing of the soul, taking our minds off our problems, and turning our hearts towards the things of God. Spiritual reading, frequent confession, and the reception of the Holy Mysteries, all come together, bringing the healing the soul longs for.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: An early sign of Spring, Hieromonk Paul mowing the lawn.

Monday April 1, 2013 / March 19, 2013
Third Week of the Great Lent. Tone two.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria, and those with them at Rome: Claudius, Hilaria, Jason, Maurus, Diodorus presbyter, and Marianus deacon (283).
St. Sophia of Slutsk and Minsk (1612).
St. John confessor (1932).
St. Matrona (1938).
Venerable Innocent of Komel (Vologda), disciple of St. Nilus of Sora (1521).
Martyr Pancharius at Nicomedia (302).
Venerable Bassa, nun, of Pskov (1473).
The Smolensk "Tenderness" Icon of the Mother of God (1103).
Martyr Dimitri of Tornada (564).
New Martyr Demetrius at Constantinople (1564) (Greek).
Righteous Mary, wife of Vsevelod III (1206).
New Martyr Nicholas of Karamanos in Smyrna (1657).
Martyr Alcmund, prince of Northumbria.
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

Genesis 6:9-22

Noah Pleases God

This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

The Ark Prepared

13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.”
22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

Proverbs 8:1-21

The Excellence of Wisdom

Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of the earth.
17 I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
And my revenue than choice silver.
20 I traverse the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
I invite my readers to listen to my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.

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