Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quartermaster Harbor, Vashon Island (click on photo to enlarge)
The Three Disciplines:  
Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

Jesus Christ called for a thorough conversion of our heart and mind, and a complete turning away from the old man (our fallen nature). The main act that begins this conversion is metanoia, which means thorough change of mind. This happens when we become aware that we have sinned, and that we are in need of God's forgiveness, and resolve, with His help, to submit to Him.

Sometimes we see a synonymous use of two words, penance and confession. When going to confession, a priest sometimes gives a penance, which is a spiritual discipline that can aid in our journey to God. We are given guidelines that can lead to spiritual growth, and change of heart.

These penances are often in the form disciplines that are meant to help increase the time spent in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These three disciplines help us deepen our relationship with Christ, and aid in the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we are asked to do akathist hymns, where we seek the aid of saints, or the Holy Virgin, as we struggle to go deeper in our spiritual quest. We might be given extra periods of fasting, that in depriving ourselves of food, we are able to see deeper into our hearts, and, with God's help, be ridden of the dirt and grime that resides within us. Other times we might be asked to perform acts of charity, or increase our almsgiving, as a way of moving beyond ourselves, and focusing on the needs of others.

Disciplines that focus on increased prayer, fasting and almsgiving, along with immersing ourselves in the Holy Scriptures, help us in our continued quest to live a life in total submission to Christ. These three categories of discipline aid us in the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit, and help us to live our life for Christ.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving, are not ends in themselves, but are exercises which help in spiritual warfare against the demons who would bring us down. These disciplines are aids that help us in our attempt to repent, and to have a thorough change of mind (metanoia). And this repentance does not mean that we must feel sad, but that we strive to put off all pride and selfishness, and replace the ego with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, meekness and self control.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday October 10, 2013 / September 27, 2013

16th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.

Martyr Callistratus and his company (49 Martyrs) of Carthage (304).
Venerable Sabbatius, wonderworker of Solovki (1435).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Herman bishop of Volsk and Michael priest (1919).
Hieromartyr Peter, metropolitan of Krutitsa (1937).
New Hieromartyr Theodore priest (1937).
Apostles Mark, Aristarchus, and Zenas of the Seventy.
Martyr Epicharis of Rome (284).
Venerable Ignatius, abbot of the monastery of the Deep Stream (970).
Venerables Sergius (1392) and Nikon (1426) abbots of Radonezh.
New Martyr Aquilina of Thessalonica (1764) (Greek).
St. Flavian, Archbishop of Antioch (381-404).
Hieromartyr Anthimus the Georgian, metropolitan of Wallachia (1716).
St. Rachel, schemanun of Borodino Convent (1928).
St. Sigebert, king of the East Angles, martyr (635) (Celtic & British).
St. Barry, disciple of St. Cadoc.
Martyr Fortunatus and Hieromartyr Philemon (Greek).
Martyr Gaiana (Greek).
25 Martyrs drowned in the sea (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

Ephesians 1:1-9


1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Redemption in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

Luke 6:12-19

The Twelve Apostles

12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; 15 Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.

Jesus Heals a Great Multitude

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

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