Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Holy Things
 Mt. Rainier as seen from Vashon Island (click on photo)
 What Should be Our Attitude Toward
Icons and other Holy Things?

One of the attributes of God is holiness, and is reflected in His people, and in physical objects that have been blessed by the Church for the use of His people in their journey towards Him. Therefore, reverence for these sacred objects and images is the manifestation of the relationship between ourselves and God. "And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy... (Leviticus 20: 26)." Icons of Christ, His Holy Mother, the saints, or depictions of biblical events, are not just art objects, popular today, but disposable tomorrow, but are vehicles for God's sustaining grace.

As Orthodox Christians, we should make it a rule never have arguments, or engage in improper behavior before the images of the saints, and instill in children, from the earliest of age, reverence for the holy icons. Not only do we call upon the saints for their heavenly intercession, but their icons serve as reminders that Christ has called us to repentance, and the deification of each human soul.

Under no circumstance can such an icon, even one that has not been blessed, be simply thrown away. A holy item, even if it has lost its original appearance, should always be treated with reverence. This is one of the reasons it is never a good idea to send a greeting card with an icon on it, especially if it is to be sent to someone who might not understand the importance of treating an icon with great reverence and respect.

If an icon's condition has rendered it unfit for use and it cannot be restored, it should be taken to the church, where it can be burned in a furnace or special place set aside for the disposal of holy things. If this is not possible, you should burn the icon yourself, and bury the ashes in a place that will not be sullied or disturbed, such as in a cemetery or under a tree in the garden.

Our patronal icon should be held in particular reverence, for following baptism, we each have a special bond with our personal saint. Parents should make it a tradition to bless their children with the child's personal icon, as they set off for a new year at school, an extended journey, or when they leave home, to start their own family. Family members should be sure to bring at least a few icons into the hospital room or the nursing home, of their loved one, so a person's own departure from this life can take place in the presence of their personal icons.

Holy oils, and any other blessed articles used in the home, should always be treated with the uttermost reverence, and, like the icons, never be improperly disposed of. Those things, like bottles of holy oil, that can not be burned, should be placed in the ground, always in a place that will not be used for something else.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday October 8, 2013 / September 25, 2013
16th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
Venerable Euphrosyne, nun, of Alexandria (445).
Repose of Venerable Sergius, abbot, of Radonezh (1392).
St. Nicholas confessor, priest (1941).
Venerable Euphrosyne, nun, of Suzdal (1250).
Translation of the relics of St. Herman, archbishop of Kazan (1595).
Venerable Dosithea the Recluse of Kiev (1776).
Martyr Paphnutius and 546 companions in Egypt (3rd c.).
Commemoration of the earthquake in Constantinople in 447, when a boy was lifted to heaven and heard the "Trisagion".
St. Finbar (Barry), bishop of Cork (Ireland) (Celtic & British).
St. Cadoc of Llancarfan (Wales) (577) (Celtic & British).
Martyrs Paul and Tatta and their children Sabinian, Maximus, Rufus, and Eugene of Damascus (Greek).
St. Arsenius the Great, Catholicos of Georgia (887).
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

Galatians 5:11-21

11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Walking in the Spirit

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Luke 5:12-16

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.”
15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

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