Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Sin of Nationalism
The Unpardonable Blasphemy of
turning the Church into a National Institution

With the fall of communism, some nations with a history of Orthodoxy would seek to establish the Orthodox Church as a State Church, something that history tells us can be a big mistake. When the Bolsheviks defeated Imperial Russia, the former government's close ties with the Church led to the wholesale murder of countless bishops, priests, monastics, and faithful, all seen as an inseparable part of the government. The institution of the Church was seen as so closely tied to the former government, the new government sought to completely destroy the Church.

When we behold the Church in the light of how the Church sees herself, we realize as Christians, our true nation is not the country of our birth, but the Church herself. We Orthodox Christians belong to Christ and His Church. Our true nation is therefore the Church.

Whether we are Americans, Russians, Greeks, or Norwegians, by birth, our second birth in baptism has made us members of the nation of Orthodoxy. I am an American by my first birth, but in baptism my nation is Orthodoxy, and I am of one nation with all Orthodox Christians throughout the world.

This unity of Faith is based on a personal relationship with Christ, Who is the head of His Church. Our true nationality is not based on political ideology, be it democratic, socialist, or monarchical, but on our common baptism that has united us to Christ, and to each other as the Body of Christ, the Church.

Saint Justin Popovitch wrote, "The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy — an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Spirit — to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata".

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday July 30, 2013 / July 17, 2013
6th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.

Great-martyr Marina (Margaret) of Antioch in Pisidia (4th c.).
Venerable Irenarchus, abbot of Solovki (1628).
Venerable Leonid, abbot of Ust-Neduma (Vologda) (1654).
Translation of the relics of Venerable Lazarus, monk, of Mt. Galesion near Ephesus (1054).
"Svyatogorsk" (1569) Icon of the Mother of God.
Child Martyr Prince Kenelm of Wales (821) (Celtic & British).
Martyrs Speratus and Veronica (Greek).
St. Euphrasius of Ionopolis, bishop (Greek).
St. Timothy, fool-for-Christ of Svyatogorsk near Pskov (1563).
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

1 Corinthians 1:1-9


1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Gifts at Corinth

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matthew 13:24-30

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

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1 comment:

  1. lovely gardens reflect the beauty of our Lord and His creation