Thursday, May 23, 2013

I've Never Met an Atheist!
The young man announced at the beginning of a college class, that he was an atheist. I'd been invited as a guest lecturer, and had opened the talk with the observation that everyone has a nous that hungers for God. This young man took exception, declaring there was no God, and furthermore stating that he certainly did not have hunger for a relationship with anything that could be defined as a god.

I asked him to define the god he'd chosen to deny, and after hearing his definition, I declared that I agreed with him. I, too, did not believe in such a god. The average understanding of just who God is, has largely been based on a concept that is not in sync with the biblical description of God, nor the teachings of the historic Church. Furthermore, the false science that is the basis for the denial of God's involvement in creation, and in the life of our world, has come about due, in large part, to this very misconception of just who God is, to begin with.

The God that has been revealed in the holy scriptures, and the God we worship within the life of the Church, is a God that so loved us, that He took on our human flesh, that He might experience our hunger, our thirst, our sorrow, our pain, and even our joy. He is not a remote God, incapable of understanding His creation, but, rather, a God who chose to join Himself to His creation, and invite us into communion with Him. We have been invited to share in His divinity, and, through the gift of eternal life, to dwell with Him forever.

Our God is present everywhere, and is Light in a darkened universe. Everything that is good, is from God, for He is love, and has invited us into communion within His love. His light shines upon us, even when we chose to live in darkness, for He is everywhere present, and fills all things. Our disbelief in no way cancels out His presence, nor does our disbelief in anyway negate the fact that He is God.

The person who declares himself an atheist, is in fact one who avoids the obvious. Refusing to believe in God's existence in no way cancels out the reality that God indeed does exist. Just as refusing to believe the world is round because it appears flat from our perspective, or denying the existence of molecules because we can't see them, the denial of God's existence emanates from a narrow focus on self.

That one would deny the existence of God, yet accept the theories of quantum physics, which are based on an unprovable noetic science, is proof that we, as a species, have fallen far from that which our Creator God had intended, having become, in our pride, gods unto ourselves.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday May 23, 2013 / May 10, 2013

Third Week of Pascha. Tone two.

Apostle Simon the Zealot (1st. c.). St. Simon, bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal (Kiev Caves) (1226).
Martyrs Philadelphus, Cyprian, Alphaeus, Onesimus, Erasmus, and 14 others, in Sicily (251).
Martyr Hesychius of Antioch (4th c.).
Venerable Isidora the Fool of Tabenna (Egypt) (365).
Blessed Thais (Taisia) of Egypt (5th c.).
Blessed Simon of Yurievits and Zharki, fool-for-Christ (1584).
Icon of the Mother of God "Kiev-Bratsk" (1654).
Venerable Laurence, monk, of Egypt (6th c.). Venerable Dionisius of Radonezh (14-15th c.).
Translation of relics (1670) of Martyr Basil of Mangazea (Siberia) (1602).
St. Synesius of Irkutsk, friend of St. Sophronius (1787).
St. Conleth, hermit and bishop of Kildare (520) (Celtic & British).
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANKS 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

Acts 8:26-39

Christ Is Preached to an Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”
34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

John 6:40-44

40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Rejected by His Own

41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.


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JUNE 9 - Monasticism Today: A Journey to the Heart of God

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