In comparison to eternity, the trials we suffer in this life are but a blip on the meter. Many are suffering job loss, illnesses, mortgage foreclosures, and all kinds of strife and hardships. Yet if we look at all these difficulties in light of eternity, this time of trial is nothing. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18)".
God's desire that we all come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved, is real. His love for us is all consuming, and nothing that happens in our life is without value in this journey to eternity. Our God does not send anything our way that is beyond our ability to withstand, for His grace is sufficient. Suffering has a salvific role, for it is in suffering that we are able to take up our cross and follow Christ. Without ascetic struggle, we remain unchanged, and transformation of self is unattainable.
God desires all be saved, yet this gift of salvation has to be accepted by the believer, since God will not force salvation on humanity. As we are free to reject the gift of salvation, suffering allows us to remember that this world is transitory, and that we need God. It is in that turning to God during periods of struggle that we grow in our faith, becoming one step closer to deification, where we are united, in our humanity, to God's divinity. This transformation takes place when we give ourselves over in humility to the will of God, embracing repentance as a way of life, and placing ourselves before God's mercy.
There is nothing a person can do to earn salvation, for it is a gift from God. Yet to be saved, we must work together with God in a synergeia whereby our entire being, including our will, effort and actions, are perfectly conformed with, and united to, the Divine.
Our Orthodox life is a life of suffering love, and this is perhaps the most difficult for most of us to accept. We are familiar with suffering, but will do anything we can to avoid it, forgetting that Christ told us that if we were to follow him, we had to take up our cross. Without suffering, the cross cannot be embraced.
With love in Christ,
Wednesday June 5, 2013 / May 23, 2013
Apodosis of Prepolovenie. Tone four.
Fast. Fish Allowed
Venerable Michael the Confessor, bishop of Synnada (818).
Uncovering of the relics (1164) of St. Leontius, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov (1077).
Synaxis of All Saints of Rostov and Yaroslavl: Bishop Leontius (1073), Bishop Isaiah, wonderworker (1090), Bishop Ignatius (1288), Bishop James (1391), Archbishop Theodore (1394), Metropolitan Demetrius (1709), Archimandrite Abraham the wonderworker (1073-1077), Monk Irinarchus the Hermit (1616). Prince Basil ( 1238), Peter, Tsarevich of Ordynsk (1290) Blessed Isidore, Fool-for-Christ (1474) Blessed John of the Hair-Shirt (the Merciful), Fool-for-Christ (1580); Yaroslav Wonderworkers: Princes Basil (1249), Constantine (1257), Theodore (1299) and his sons David (1321) and Constantine (XIV); Pereslavl Wonderworkers: Monk Nikita the Stylite (1186), Monk Daniel the Archimandrite (1540), Prince Alexander Nevsky (1263), Prince Andrew of Smolensk (15th c.); Uglich Wonderworkers: Monk Paisius (1504), Monk Cassian (1504), Monk Ignatius of Lomsk (1591), Prince Roman (1285), Tsarevich Demetrius (1591); Poshekhonsk Wonderworkers: Monk Sylvester of Obnora (1379), Monk Sebastian (1542), Hieromartyr Adrian (1550), Monk Gennadius of Liubimograd and Kostroma (1565).
Venerable Euphrosyne, princess of Polotsk (1173).
Venerable Paisius, abbot, of Galich (1463).
Martyr Michael "the black-robed" of St. Sabbas' Monastery (9th c.).
Holy Myrrh-bearer Mary, wife of Cleopas.
Martyr Salonas the Roman (Greek).
Martyr Seleucus (Greek).
Venarable Damiane (King Demetrius) (1157) (Georgia).
St. Ioannicius I, archbishop of Serbia (1270).
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,
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
At Antioch in Pisidia13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. 19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20 “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ 23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus— 24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.
Ancient Faith Radio live call-in with Abbot Tryphon,
Sunday, June 9th
Sunday, June 9th
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.
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