Monday, October 28, 2013

The Seen and the Unseen

The Limits of Human Reason 
and the Knowledge of God

There is the seen, and there is the unseen, the material and the immaterial. That which is material can be scientifically examined and experienced, the immaterial can only be seen and experienced spiritually. These are two worlds that are only seemingly at odds with one another. If you attempt to examine that which is of a spiritual nature using a science that is by its very nature meant to explore the material realm, you will fail.

The things that are of God are far beyond the capabilities of our finite mind to comprehend. The divine can only be known through the nous, that place in the heart that is our true center. It, unlike the brain, is capable of knowledge that is beyond human comprehension, coming as it does from noetic knowledge.

When we try to apply words to the noetic form, we fail. We can no more explain God than we can explain quantum physics, since both are unseen. God is outside the realm of human intellectual understanding. The Eastern Church approaches things of God as holy mysteries, since God can only be known in His divine energies, not in His essence. If a scientist can believe in quantum physics, the unseen, why can he not believe in God Whom he has not seen? If we can believe in the concept of infinity, something that goes on and on without end, why can we not believe in God?

The science of the soul is noetic and can be examined and experienced only through the activation of the nous. The nous in Orthodox Christian theology is the "eye of the heart or soul", the mind of the heart. God created us with the nous because the human intellect is not capable of knowing Him without it. The intellect alone can not know God, for human reasoning is limited to the things that are of a material nature. God is unknowable without His divine revelation, and only the nous can perceive this knowledge. God's essence remains inaccessible without noetic knowledge. Science has it's place, but only the heart can know God.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday October 28, 2013 / October 15, 2013
19th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.

Venerable Euthymius the New of Thessalonica, monk of Mt. Athos (889).
Martyr Lucian, presbyter of Greater Antioch (312).
New Hieromartyr Simeon priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Valerian Novitsky, priest of Telyadovich (1930).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1942).
St. Athanasius (Sakharov) the Confessor, bishop of Kovrov (1962).
Synaxis of Twenty-three New Martyrs of Belorussia: archbisop Seraphim (Shakhmut), archpriest Alexander Shalay, archpriest Vladimir Zubkov, archpriest Vladimir Izmajlov, archpriest Vladimir Pasternatsky, archpriest Vladimir Khirasko, archpriest Demetrius Pavsky, archpriest John Voronec, archpriest Leonod Biriukovich, archpriest Mathew Kritsuk, archpriest Michael Novitsky, archpriest Michael Polishevsky, archpriest Porfiry Rubanovich, archpriest Sergius Rodakovsky, priest Valerian Novitsky, priest Vladimir Taliush, priest Vladimir Khrischanovich, priest Demetrius Polyshevsky, priest John Vecherko, priest John Pankratovich, priest Nicholas Matskevich, priest Peter Grudinsky and deacon Nicholas Vasiukovich.
St. John, bishop of Suzdal (1385).
Hieromartyr Lucian, presbyter of the Kiev Caves (1243).
Martyrs Sarbelus and Bebai (Barbea) of Edessa (2nd c.).
St. Sabinus, bishop of Catania (760).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "She Who Ripens the Grain" (19th c.).
St. Dionysius, archbishop of Suzdal (1373).
St. Barses the Confessor, bishop of Edessa (378).
St. Thecla, abbess of Ochsenfurt ( 790) (Germany).
St. Aurelia of Strasburg (Alsace) (383) (Gaul).

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

Philippians 1:1-7


1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thankfulness and Prayer

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.

Luke 9:18-22

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

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