Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Petty Clergy
Pettiness is the Enemy of Clergy

Pettiness is that sickness of the heart that can lead some clergy to constantly be on the lookout for anyone who might offend them. Ready at a moment's notice, they are poised to confront the offender. Such clergy build up their low self-esteem by finding someone they can look down upon, needing, as they do, to find others who are lower in status than them. Such a priest inevitably suffers from low self esteem, and his need to berate others makes him lash out at anyone he considers beneath him. Whether they be a waitress, gardener, store clerk, or a parishioner, they are fair game for these petty clergy, for they are unwilling to see anyone as their equal.

We priests need to be on guard, lest we become petty, and give fodder to those who would dismiss the Church as a medieval institution not worthy of the twenty-first century. The secular world will always ignore the good and exaggerate the bad in Christianity. When pettiness enters the life of the Church, and unimportant, non-essential things become the focus of  we clergy, the damage done can be enormous. As Orthodox clergy, we must put aside all pettiness, and concentrate on the love of God, and the things of faith that are truly important. We must be open and accessible to all with whom we come in contact, that we may be vehicles for God's grace.

Within the life of the Church there is no room for pomposity or snobbery. Orthodox clergy must be open, warm, and engaging, so the love of Christ is not concealed. If we are to be true ambassadors of Christ, we must not be like the pharisees, and think of ourselves as above others, and worthy of special treatment. Rather, we must imitate our Lord Jesus Christ, Who came as a humble servant, and be willing to modestly serve others.

The priesthood is not a job, but a vocation, and one that the demons despise. Whatever insecurity a priest has is known by the demons, and they will do everything they can to exploit a vulnerable clergyman, attacking him at his weakest point. An attack upon a deacon, priest or bishop, is a direct attack on the Body of Christ, the Church. It is therefore essential that we clergy be on guard for the enemy's assault, that in knowing our weak points, we not be found vulnerable. The mission of the Church is far too important, and we must not be found standing in the way, blocking the narrow path that leads to Christ.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday April 9, 2013 / March 27, 2013
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone three. Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil
St. Matrona of Thessalonica (4th c.).
Martyrs Manuel and Theodosius (304).
Venerable John the Clairvoyant of Lycopolis, anchorite of Egypt (394).
Venerable Cyricus (Quiricus), monk, of Thrace.
Prophet Hanani (Ananias).
Venerable Paul, bishop of Corinth (ca. 925).
Venerable Paphnutius, disciple of St. Anthony the Great (4th c.).
St. Ephraim of Rostov (1454).
Venerable Alexander, abbot of Voche, near Galich (on the Volga) (16th c.).
St. Anthony, metropolitan of Tobolsk (1740).
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos on Mt. Athos "Glykophylousa" ("Sweet-kissing") and "Of the Akathist".
St. Rupert, bishop of Salzburg (718).
Martyrs John and Baruch (Greek).
St. Eutyches, monk (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

Genesis 9:8-17

Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants[a] after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Proverbs 12:8-22

A man will be commended according to his wisdom,
But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.

Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant,
Than he who honors himself but lacks bread.

10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread,
But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.

12 The wicked covet the catch of evil men,
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.
13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
But the righteous will come through trouble.
14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth,
And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.

15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.
16 A fool’s wrath is known at once,
But a prudent man covers shame.
17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit.
18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
19 The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
21 No grave trouble will overtake the righteous,
But the wicked shall be filled with evil.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

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