Friday, September 27, 2013

Achieving Holiness
Through Little Victories Progress is Made

The acquisition of holiness is not simply the result of having cultivated virtues, or controlling oneself through asceticism, but rather having a completely organic relationship with Christ. This organic relationship is the result of going through stages of repentance and purity, leading to a remarkable state of union with Christ, seen by the Church as deification, or theosis.

We can feel discouraged when we struggle to change our bad behaviors, or overcome sins that seem to follow us like bad debt. We feel overwhelmed and wonder if we will ever have victory. During times like these it is good to remember the words of Saint Peter of Damaskos: "It is through victories in small things that the fathers won their great battles."

Because this victory has as its foundation the gradual transformation of self, one must never think any sin too small to be confessed. The more we are truthful with our confessor, the greater the chance of victory over all our sins, including sins that seem incidental. These sins build up over time, helping submerge the will, so that even the big sins are excusable in our minds. The big battles are never won without the little skirmishes leading to victory.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday September 27, 2013 / September 14, 2013
14th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Fast. Food with Oil

The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross.
Fast day.
Repose of St. John Chrysostom (407).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1937).
"Lesna" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1696).
Martyr Papas of Lycaonia (305).
St. Placilla the Empress (400), wife of Theodosius the Great.
St. Maria of Tarsus (607).
New Martyr Macarius of Thessalonica (Mt. Athos) (1527), disciple of St. Niphon, patriarch of Constantinople (Greek).
Uncovering of the relics (2000) of Sts. Alexandra, Martha and Helen of Diveyevo.
Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Greek).
Martyr Theocles and Child-martyr Valerian (Greek).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted 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 1:18-24

Christ the Power and Wisdom of God

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

John 19:6-11

Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”
Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

John 19:13-20

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.

The King on a Cross

17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:
20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

John 19:25-28

Behold Your Mother

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

It Is Finished

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”

John 19:30-35

30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 

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

No comments:

Post a Comment