Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Counteracting the Dark Side of the Internet

I often google topics that interest me, finding information that would have required hours in the library in the past. I've visited Russian monasteries, watched videos of chanters in Greek monasteries, viewed Orthodox patriarchs serving the Divine Liturgy, all on the Internet. I've read the writings of some of the world's most gifted Orthodox theologians, and read the blogs of some of my favorite fellow clergy. I've received photographs of pilgrimages of brother monasteries, and cartoons emailed to me by fellow clergy.

For all the good that one can find on the Internet there is also a dark side. There's the temptations that usher in pornography for young men, and the music videos of female pop singers that a generation ago would have been banned on TV. Young people growing into adulthood without having had the experience of a real childhood. Youth who've missed the social skills that come from social situations that are now missing, all because they spend too much time with "friends" who's faces they've only seen on a screen. Evil men looking for innocent young people to sexually exploit while masquerading as young people.

I've become convinced that the Internet has become the major vehicle for the workings of the Evil One. Our children are not the only vulnerable ones, for many men have become so addicted to the Internet that they spend more time on line than with their wives and children. There are women who ignore the needs of their kids because they're too consumed by the Internet.

Given these observations one would wonder why a monk would be posting on facebook and writing a daily article on a blog. Why would I be using the Internet to upload Podcasts for Ancient Faith Radio? Why would I engage in conversations with people from around the world?

The Internet is a vast network that does a lot of harm, yet it is also a tremendous vehicle for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Internet is a great way to teach others about the Orthodox Church, sharing the ancient Christian path that has been unknown to most people in the Western world. It is also a wonderful vehicle for connecting Orthodox Christians from many lands, creating friendships and support for living a life that is in opposition to that of this world. It is easier to live the otherworldly life of an Orthodox Christian when you receive support and love from those who are doing so under the extreme conditions of the persecuted.

We can all help in this missionary outreach by forwarding on articles that touch our lives and quicken our faith. The hearts of family, friends and strangers we've met through the Internet can be transformed by one little inspirational article we've passed on. We can help young people know of Jesus Christ by sharing the Good News through this medium that has become such a normal part of their everyday lives.

I labor in this vineyard for the Lord, Whom I believe has called me to this online mission. I post my blog articles, together with the daily scripture readings, because I care from the depth of my heart for the next generation. I upload weekly podcasts to Ancient Faith Radio because, like the wonderful Christians who produce this on line radio station that reaches 151 countries with Holy Orthodoxy, I care deeply about our world. I labor for the love of Christ, Whom I serve.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday July 9, 2013 / June 26, 2013
3rd Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast. Fish Allowed

Appearance of the Tikhvin Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1383).
Venerable David of Thessalonica (540).
New Hieromartyr Gregory priest (1918).
St. Dionysius, archbishop of Suzdal (1385).
Translation of the relics (1569) of Venerable Tikhon of Lukhov (1503).
Venerable John, bishop of the Goths in Crimea (ca. 787).
Kazan "Of the Seven Lakes", "Nemetsk" (1399) and "Lidda" or Roman Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos.
The Holy Martyred Brothers John and Paul, and Gallicanus
Venerable Serapion of Kozha Lake.
Translation of the relics of St. Brannock (Brynach) of Braunton, England (Celtic & British).
New Martyr David of St. Anne's Skete, martyred in Thessalonica (1813).
Anthion, monk.(Greek).

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 7:14-8:2

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Free from Indwelling Sin

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Matthew 10:9-15

Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

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

1 comment:

  1. I see the internet just like I see the library - it has bad "books" and good "books." It would be a sad day if all the good authors recalled their books and left only the bad ones.

    I benefit much from your blog every day - thanks for the faithful posts.