Monday, April 8, 2013

The Bishop
The Unity and Continuity of the Church
is Found in Her Bishops

Gathering together for the celebration of the Church's Divine Services is that great moment in the life of the People of God that brings together both heaven and earth. In these services we are mystically transported to a place where time and space cease to exist as we know it, and we are transported into the Heavenly Realm. In these services we are mystically standing with the saints and all the Heavenly Powers before the Throne of God. 

These services bring us all together, from the smallest chapel, to the largest cathedral. Patriarchs, metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, and clergy of every rank, stand as one before the Noetic Altar, worshiping the Holy Trinity.

The Unity of the Church is no where more defined than during her services, and the unity of the people of God around their bishop is clearly that defining moment. Whether the Divine Services are celebrated in a tiny monastic cave chapel of a hermit, or in the bishop's own cathedral, all are unity together as if in one liturgical celebration.

It is important to note that in Orthodoxy, Christ is the only priest, pastor, and teacher. Christ is the living Head of His Church, and alone guides and rules his people. He alone offers communion with God, His Father. He, alone, forgives sins. Christ remains with His Church as its living and unique Head, and is present and active in the Church through the Holy Spirit.

The Mystery of Holy Orders is the sacrament by which the bishop brings order to the Church, guaranteeing  the continuity and unity of the Church from age to age and from place to place. It is the bishop who keeps the continuity of worship and doctrine, from the time of Christ and the Apostles until the establishment of God's Kingdom in eternity. 

Bishops receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ in the Holy Spirit to men and women everywhere. Bishops are neither vicars, substitutes, nor representatives of Christ. It is Christ, through his chosen ministers, who acts as teacher, good shepherd, forgiver, and healer. It is Christ remitting sins, and curing the physical, mental, and spiritual ills of humanity. There is reluctance to try to explain it in Orthodoxy, for it remains a great mystery of the Church.

According to Saint John of Kronstadt, the bishop is the source of sanctification for all the Christians of his flock, after God and the Holy Virgin. Thus, the great esteem and love shown to the bishop reflects in the faithful the view that the bishop is, by his office, the most perfect celebrant of the Holy Mysteries. Every priest, regardless of rank, shares in his bishop's priesthood, and represents his bishop among the people.

The bishop, as the Father of the Diocese, is father to all of us. We must therefore include our bishop in our daily prayers, and show him the respect and love that is due his office. The unity and well being of the diocese requires that we never judge our bishop, but only love and respect him. He is the icon of Christ in our midst, is pivotal to the whole of our Orthodox Faith, and is central to what it means to be an Orthodox Christian. Without the office of bishop, the Catholic and Apostolic Church would cease to exist. 

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday April 8, 2013 / March 26, 2013
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone three.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel.
Martyr Parasceva (1939).
Hieromartyr Irenaeus, bishop of Srem (Sirmium), Serbia (304).
Martyrs Bathusius and Bercus presbyters, monk Arpilus, laymen Abibus, Agnus, Reasus, Igathrax, Iscoeus (Iskous, Escoes), Silas, Signicus, Sonerilas, Suimbalus, Thermus, Phillus (Philgas), and the women Anna, Alia, Larissa, Monco (Manca), Mamica, Uirko (Virko), Animais (Animaida), Gaatha, and Duklida, in Crimea (375).
Venerable Malchus of Chalcis in Syria (4th c.).
Venerable Basil the Younger, anchorite near Constantinople (944).
Hieromartyr Eusebius, bishop of Kival, and Martyr Pullius the Reader.
St. Braulio of Saragossa in Iberia (646).
Martyr Codratus (Quadratus), and with him 40 Martyrs, who suffered under Diocletian.
St. Ludger, bishop of Munster (809).
Martyr Montanus the priest, and his wife Maxima at Sirmium (beginning of 4th c.).
St. Eutychius, subdeacon of Alexandria (356).
New Martyr George of Adrianople (1437).
Venerable Stephen the Wonderworker, abbot of Tryglia (815).
St. Govan, hermit of Pembrokeshire.
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 8:21-9:7

21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

22 “While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

God’s Promise to Noah

9 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God
He made man.
And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Bring forth abundantly in the earth
And multiply in it.”

Proverbs 11:19-12:6

19 As righteousness leads to life,
So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
21 Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.

22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
26 The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

27 He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

28 He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

29 He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,
And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.

31 If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth,
How much more the ungodly and the sinner.

12 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.

A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

A man is not established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,”
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.

I invite my readers to listen to my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.

No comments:

Post a Comment