Monday, October 14, 2013

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And the Demon of Dejection

Depression is one of the plagues of the modern age, overtaking many with it's insidious poison, and ravaging many a life. The pain and suffering that comes with deep depression can infect those who surround the sufferer, for the depression of one person can spread like mold on stale bread. Psychiatrists are kept busy writing prescriptions, and drug companies rake in the money manufacturing the "cure". Families are destroyed, marriages come apart, and young people drop out of school, all because of depression.

Although there are certainly cases where depression can be caused by imbalances in the chemical makeup of the body, it far more common for depression to be the result of the sickness of the soul. The cure, in this case, is to be found in the life of the Church. Giving oneself over to the pursuit of God, and increasing the time we spend in prayer and worship, can gradually transform depression and turn it into joy.

Saint John Cassian wrote: "But first we must struggle with the demon of dejection who casts the soul into despair. We must drive him from our heart. It was this demon that did not allow Cain to repent after he had killed his brother, or Judas after he had betrayed his Master".

The period of the Nativity Fast, the Great and Holy Lent fast, and the numerous other fast periods of the Church, are perfect times to confront the spirit of depression, for the increased attendance in the Church's divine services, and the time spent in private prayer, contribute to the healing of the soul, taking our minds off our problems, and turning our hearts towards the things of God. Spiritual reading, frequent confession, and the reception of the Holy Mysteries, all come together, bringing the healing the soul longs for.

Psalm 39/40: "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He heeded me; And He heard my supplication. And brought me up out of a miserable pit, And from north clay; And He established my feet on a rock, And kept straight my steps. He put a new song in my mouth, A hymn to our God; Many will see and be afraid, And shall hope in the Lord. Blessed is the man whose hope is in the name of the Lord, And did not look into vanities and false frenzies. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you performed, And in your thoughts there is no one who shall be likened to you..."

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday October 14, 2013 / October 1, 2013
17th Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.

The Protection of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Apostle Ananias of the Seventy (1st c.).
Venerable Romanus the Melodist of Constantinople (556).
Venerable Sabbas, abbot of Vishera (Novgorod) (1461).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Michael priest (1920).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander, Gregory, Nicholas priests, Martyr John (1937).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Ismael Rozhdestvensky, of Strelna (St. Petersburg) (1938).
New Hieromartyr Theodore (1940).
Martyr Domninus of Thessalonica (4th c.).
Martyr Michael, abbot in Armenia, and 36 Fathers with him (790).
Miracle of the Pillar with the Robe of the Lord under it at Mtskheta (330) (Georgia).
 Liublinsk, Pskov-Protection, Kasperovsk, Brailovsk, Gerbovetsk and Barsk Icons of the Mother of God.
Venerable John Kukuzelis the Singer of Mt. Athos (ca. 1341) (Greek).
Venerable Gregory the Singer of Mt. Athos (1355) (Greek).
Venerable Bavo of Haarlem (659) (Neth.).
St. Remigius of Rheims, apostle to the Franks (533).
King Mirian and Queen Nana of Mtskheta, St. Abiathar of Mtskheta, and St. Sidonia, disciple of St. Nina (4th c.).
St. Melchizedek, catholicos-patriarch of Georgia (11th c.).
Martyr-prince Mylor of Brittany.

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

Hebrews 9:1-7

The Earthly Sanctuary

9 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

Limitations of the Earthly Service

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;

Luke 10:38-42

Mary and Martha Worship and Serve

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 11:27-28

Keeping the Word

27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
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