Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I am a Grateful Man
Thirty-one Years a Monk

After thirty-one years as a monk, and eighteen years in the priesthood, I am hard pressed to think there could be any other life for me. I am content. Living in community with my brothers, and celebrating the divine services in the monastery's temple, has given me the spiritual sustenance needed for all the other ministries God has called me to do. Hearing confessions, reaching out with the Gospel through my internet ministry and podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio, and serving as a police and fire chaplain, are all made possible by the many hours I am afforded each day in contemplative prayer.

As the co-founder, along with Hieromonk Paul, of a monastery in a region of the country where Orthodoxy was virtually unknown by most people, I found myself becoming a missionary monk. Like the monks who came from Russia to evangelize Alaska in the eighteenth century, Father Paul and I had to introduce the local people not only to monasticism, but to Orthodoxy. We did so by following the example of the Valaam monks, befriending the local people, networking with community leaders on projects that were important to the sustainability, quality of life, and well being of the population, and getting to know the local religious leaders.

During the early years we supported ourselves by selling icons, prayer ropes, incense, and Orthodox books and CD's, at the local farmers market. We had a small chapel in a house we rented, and struggled to make ends meet, as we shared our faith with all who came in contact with us. We did not push Orthodoxy on people, but shared the truth of Orthodoxy by acts of kindness, charity, and openness. We made it a policy never to go into the village unless we were willing to be accessible to the people, willing to answer questions, and warmly interact with others, always trying to be a witness to the Christ Whom we serve. This is the Orthodox way, and, for me, there is no other way.

The poverty I have embraced in the common life of monastic community, has made me a rich man. I am a servant of the people, because I am first a servant to my Lord Jesus Christ. Although I gave up family life, and children, I have been blessed to have many children, spiritual children, all of whom I love as does a grandfather.

In my solitary life I am never lonely, for the joy I have in my life in Christ connects me to the whole of God's people, and even the whole of the cosmos. In my monastic cell, I live in the City of God, surrounded by the hosts of heaven, and all the saints. My joy is overflowing, for I am a blessed and grateful man.


With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monk Moses calling on Skype from the Holy Mountain

Photographs: We are overjoyed that our long time friend, Bishop George of Mayfield (and Abbot of our brother monastery in West Virginia, Holy Cross Monastery), has been spending a week and a half with us. This has help fill in the gap since our youngest monk, Father Moses, has been on pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Athos. Father Moses returns a week from today. The photo above was taken when he Skyped us using the iPad of one of the Elders in an Athonite skete.

Tuesday May 28, 2013 / May 15, 2013
Fourth Week of Pascha. Tone three.

Venerable Pachomius the Great, founder of cenobitic monasticism (346).
St. Isaiah, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov (1090).
The slain Crown Prince Demetrius of Moscow (1591).
Venerable Isaiah, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (1115).
Venerable Pachomius, abbot and Silvanus of Nerekhta (1384).
Venerable Euphrosynus (Eleazar), abbot, wonderworker of Pskov (1481), and his disciple St. Serapion (1480).
Venerable Achilles, bishop of Larissa (330).
Venerable Pachomius, abbot of Nerekhta (1384), and St. Silvanus, of Nerekhta.
St. Macarius (Glukharev), archimandrite, of Altai (1847).
St. Barbaras the Myrrh-gusher of Greece (9th c.) (Greek).
St. Andrew the hermit and wonderworker (Greek).
New Hieromartyrs Pachomius, archbishop of Chernigov (1938), his brother Abercius, archbishop of Zhitomir (1937), their father Priest Nicholas Kedrov (1936), and their brother-in-law Priest Vladimir Zagarsky (1937).
St. Dymphna, martyr of Geel, Flanders (7th c.) (Neth.).
St. Arethas of Verkhoturye and Valaam (1903).
St. Hallvard of Husaby.
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 for the Day

Acts 10:21-33

21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?”
22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.” 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them.
On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

Peter Meets Cornelius

24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”
30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”

John 7:1-13

Jesus’ Brothers Disbelieve

7 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

The Heavenly Scholar

10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

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 Tryphon, I am also so grateful that you share your life with us via this blog. Your love for Christ and others is so evident in everything you write and the pictures you post. The photos of people that you put here on your blog just radiate such joy. For instance, the picture of you and your brother monks/priests above just gives me joy seeing the peace and love that emanates from all of you. Again, thank you so much for this blog - I look forward to it every day.
    In the love of Christ Jesus our Lord,