Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Internet
A cold, sunny day at the monastery 
 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

There is a lot of good that can be discovered on line. A number of years ago I was charged by my archbishop with the task of addressing our Diocesan Pastoral Conference on the subject of Fasting According to the Early Church Fathers. Only after having agreed to the task of preparing such a lecture had I realized that the bulk of our monastery's library was still in boxes, deep in our storage container.

How was I going to put together a lecture of such depth of topic without access to our library? Then it dawned on me, I could google "Fasting According to the Early Church Fathers"! There it was, all the references I could ever have hoped for, right before my eyes! A few weeks of on line research and I had my lecture.


I often google topics that interest me, finding information that would have required hours in the library in the past. I've visited Russian monasteries, watched videos of chanters in Greek monasteries, viewed Orthodox patriarchs serving the Divine Liturgy, all on the Internet. I've read the writings of some of the world's most gifted Orthodox theologians, and read the blogs of some of my favorite fellow clergy. I've received photographs of pilgrimages of brother monasteries, and cartoons emailed to me by fellow clergy.

For all the good that one can find on the Internet there is also a dark side. There's the temptations that usher in pornography for young men, and the music videos of female pop singers that a generation ago would have been banned on TV.  Young people growing into adulthood without having had the experience of a real childhood. Youth who've missed the social skills that come from social situations that are now missing, all because they spend too much time with "friends" who's faces they've only seen on a screen.  Evil men looking for innocent young people to sexually exploit while masquerading as young people.

I've become convinced that the Internet has become the major vehicle for the workings of the Evil One. Our children are not the only vulnerable ones, for many men have become so addicted to the Internet that they spend more time on line than with their wives and children. There are women who ignore the needs of their kids because they're too consumed by the Internet.

Given these observations one would wonder why a monk would be posting on facebook and writing a daily article on a blog. Why would I be using the Internet to upload Podcasts for Ancient Faith Radio? Why would I engage in conversations with people from around the world?

The Internet is a vast network that does a lot of harm, yet it is also a tremendous  vehicle for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Internet is a great way to teach others about the Orthodox Church, sharing the ancient Christian path that has been unknown to most people in the Western world. It is also a wonderful vehicle for connecting Orthodox Christians from many lands, creating friendships and support for living a life that is in opposition to that of this world. It is easier to live the otherworldly life of an Orthodox Christian when you receive support and love from those who are doing so under the extreme conditions of the persecuted.

We  can all help in this missionary outreach by forwarding on articles that touch our lives and quicken our faith. The hearts of family, friends and strangers we've met through the Internet can be transformed by one little inspirational article we've passed on. We can help young people know of Jesus Christ by sharing the Good News through this medium that has become such a normal part of their everyday lives. 

I labor in this vineyard for the Lord, Whom I believe has called me to this online mission. I post my blog articles, together with the daily scripture readings, because I care from the depth of my heart for the next generation. I upload weekly podcasts to Ancient Faith Radio because, like the wonderful Christians who produce this on line radio station that reaches 151 countries with Holy Orthodoxy, I care deeply about our world. I labor for the love of Christ, Whom I serve.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Quarter Master Harbor, Vashon Island

click on photos to enlarge

Saturday April 6, 2013 / March 24, 2013
Third Saturday of the Great Lent. Tone two.
Great Lent. Food with Oil

Parents’ Saturday. Remembrance of the dead.
Forefeast of the Annunciation.
Venerable Zacharias the Recluse of Egypt (4th c.).
St. Artemon, bishop of Seleucia (1st c.).
New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1920).
Venerable Zachariah, faster of the Kiev Caves (13th c.).
Martyrs Stephen and Peter of Kazan (1552).
Venerable James the Confessor, bishop of Catania (802-811).
"The Clouded Mount" Icon of the Mother of God.
Hieromartyr Parthenius, patriarch of Constantinople (1657).
St. Savvas the New of Kalymnos (1948) (Greek).
Eight Martyrs of Caesarea in Palestine (Greek).
Venerable Martin of Thebes, monk (Greek).
St. Thomas, abbot of the monastery of St. Euthymius (542).
St. Severus of Catania (802-811).
St. Artemius, bishop of Thessalonica.
St. Dunchad, abbot of Iona.
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

The Scripture Readings
Click on the green to read:
Hebrews 10:32-38
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 (Departed)
Mark 2:14-17
John 5:24-30 (Departed)
Exodus 3:1-8 Vespers, Theotokos
Proverbs 8:22-30 Vespers, Theotokos
Genesis 28:10-17 Vespers, Theotokos
Ezekiel 43:27-44:4 Vespers, Theotokos
Proverbs 9:1-11 Vespers, Theotokos

1 comment:

  1. I see the internet as being much like a library. We can choose good books or bad books. If no one wrote good books (as you do) then the world would only be left with the bad books to choose from. Thanks for making such a helpful contribution to the "good books!"