Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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Remembrance of the Things of God

Today is the perfect day to start doing battle with the passions that create a state of unrest in our hearts. Tomorrow may be too late to begin this battle, for none of us knows the day we will face God, and be called upon to account for our life. In our forgetfulness, the goal of union with God has been allowed to become secondary to everything else. We must take control as though we were entering into a battle, for our eternal life is at stake.

Saint Basil the Great tells us we cannot approach the knowledge of the truth with a disturbed heart. Conflict, downheartedness, lust, worry, and judging others, are all things that can not be allowed to distract us from the goal. Letting ourselves become troubled, or full of anxiety, does nothing to further our journey into the heart. Giving ourselves over to the passions depletes us, and leaves us waylaid along the narrow path towards the Kingdom of God.  

Perhaps the fastest way to realign the unrest in our heart, is to focus on the needs of others. Saint Basil tells us that a man who has two coats or two pair of shoes, when his neighbor has none, is a thief.  In the Holy Scriptures we read, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell in it (Psalm 24:1)." 

No one can be saved, according to Saint John Chrysostom, without giving alms and without caring for the poor. We are but stewards of what belongs to God, and now is the perfect time to share the gifts of God's creation with one another as much as we can. To store up earthly possessions, according to Christ, is the epitome of foolishness, and a rich man shall hardly be saved (Luke 12:15-21).

When we turn our attention towards the needs of others, our focus changes, and we are no longer consumed with self. In this turning of the heart towards those in need, we are turning our hearts to God. "Verily I say unto you, Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me (Matthew 25:40)." In our fasting, increased time spent in prayer, and acts of alms giving (charity), we are energized in our battle against the passions, and our hearts become at rest in Christ.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday July 23, 2013 / July 10, 2013

5th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.

The Placing of the Precious Robe of the Lord at Moscow (1625).
Holy 45 Martyrs at Nicopolis in Armenia, including Leontius, Maurice, Daniel, Anthony, Alexander, Anicetus, Sisinius, Meneus, and Belerad (Verelad) (319).
Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Caves (1073).
New Hieromartyrs Peter ans Stephen priests, Gregory and Nestor deacons (1918).
Venerables Eumenes (1920) and Parthenius (1905) of Gortyna.
Venerable Silouan of the Far Caves in Kiev (13th-l4th c.).
Martyr Apollonius of Sardis (3rd c.).
Martyrs Bianor and Silvanus of Pisidia (4th c.).
10,000 Fathers of the desert and caves of Scetis martyred by the impious Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria (398).
"Konevits" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Translation of the relics (1609) of St. Basil, bishop of Ryazan (1295).
St. Gregory, bishop of Assos near Ephesus (1150) (Greek).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Joseph of Damascus and Companions (1860).
Synaxis of All Saints of Vatopedi Monastery, Mt. Athos.
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

Romans 14:9-18

For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:
As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

The Law of Love

14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Matthew 12:14-16

14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Behold, My Servant

15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known,

Matthew 12:22-30

A House Divided Cannot Stand

22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

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