Thursday, May 30, 2013

How not to be
an Obstacle to Prayer
Bishop George standing in front of 
Vashon Island's Point Robinson Lighthouse
 Place Yourself Secondary when Praying to God

You have associations with certain individuals who get a dazed look on their faces when the conversation drifts to a topic that does not center on them. I remember one such individual who'd actually wait for an entry during a slight pause in the conversation when he could redirect it to be centered on him. There wasn't any subject that would not afford him an opportunity in let you know what an authority he was on the subject, or allow him to recall a moment in his life that was worthy of your attention.

Our prayer life should not be an occasion for us to behave in such fashion with God. The Lord desires a relationship with us, and like the young man who is courting his girlfriend, showering her with attention and wanting to know everything about her, we too should be courting God.
This relationship with God started the moment we were conceived and began anew when we put off the old man at our baptism. The Lord has done all the work and simply awaits our response. Like any relationship, our communion with Christ must be one that we work on.
When we were created we were given the gift of free will, which means it is an equal relationship from the very start. You would not have a deep relationship with someone if you felt obligated or forced. The relationship that Christ offers us is centered in love. He loved us first and has invited us into a relationship that is meant to be eternal.

Your prayer life should reflect the personal nature of this relationship. If you approach God like the person described above, not listening, your relationship will be shallow. God knows what you need and does not require you to present a daily list.

Spend time in silent worship before the Throne of God and you will be rewarded with a joy that passes all understanding.

With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Beach near Point Robinson Lighthouse 
(click to enlarge)

Thursday May 30, 2013 / May 17, 2013
Fourth Week of Pascha. Tone three.

Apostle Andronicus of the Seventy and his fellow laborer Junia (1st c.).
Venerable Euphrosyne (Princess Eudocia) of Moscow (1407).
Martyrs Solochon, Pamphamer, and Pamphalon at Chalcedon (298).
St. Stephen, archbishop of Constantinople (893).
Translation of the relics (1551) of Venerable Adrian, abbot of Ondrusov (Valaam) (1549).
St. Melangell, virgin hermitess of Wales (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
Venerables Nectarius (1550) and Theophanes (1544) of Meteora (Greek).
Venerable Athanasius the New, wonderworker of Christianopolis (18th c.) (Greek).
Great-martyr Nicholas of Sophia (1555).
St. Jonah Atamansk, priest of Odessa (1924).
You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking 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 10:34-43

Preaching to Cornelius’ Household

34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

John 8:12-20

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Jesus Defends His Self-Witness

13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”
14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

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

JUNE 9 - Monasticism Today: A Journey to the Heart of God LIVE CALL IN ON ANCIENT FAITH RADIO
Guest: The V. Rev. Father Tryphon, a monk for almost thirty years, and co-founder and abbot of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, WA. Abbot Tryphon speaks with host Kevin Allen of Ancient Faith Radio about all aspects of (Orthodox Christian) monasticism in the 21 century (and perhaps some of his interesting personal journey story).

It will be a live stream -- as AFR is recording it -- but will also be available later as a download on AFR and the AFT archives.
It will stream live via Internet on Ancient Faith Radio TALK is 5 PM - 6:30 PM Pacific (US); 6 PM Mountain; 7 PM Central; and, 8 PM (- 9:30 PM) Eastern.
For foreign countries, please refer to the US standard times and adjust accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. Father, bless,

    Thank you especially for today's entry. Do you have any more tips/ideas for how to improve your prayer life?

    K in Vancouver