Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Where is God?
Hieromonk Paul and Abbot Tryphon

How do We find God in an Unbelieving World?

God is a merciful God, quick to forgive, quick to show mercy, quick to embrace us when we turn to Him. In all of eternity our God chose to create humankind in His image and likeness, offering His creatures the opportunity to commune with Him in the endlessness that is time. He's given us free will, allowing us to choose, or not to choose, a relationship with Him. We, in our freedom, can choose between good (God) and evil (Satan), as is our choice.

We can usually tell the difference between good and evil. Murder and theft are obviously to be found in the evil camp, whereas kindness, philanthropic deeds, mercy and love, are in the camp of holiness, and the divine. Yet so many feel that God is simply a myth, a nice idea, but hardly believable. If this God they'd like to believe in were truly real, wouldn't He make it easier to see Him, and seek Him out? If we are free to choose God, why doesn't He make Himself easier to find? Why does this God expect us to believe in Him when we can not see Him, or feel Him? If there be a God, why doesn't He simply make Himself known, letting us choose or not choose communion with Him?

These are questions that many people pose, at least to themselves. Many want to believe there is a God who cares for them, and is capable of making a difference in their day to day struggles, but just can't quite surrender to belief. The nihilistic philosophy that has possessed the hearts of many young people today is based on the despair of an age that has seen so many wars, so much poverty, so many murders, so many children abused, and a seemingly hopeless future. How can there be a God when so much suffering abounds in this world? How can there be a God when even innocent people, good people, suffer?

Where is God? He is in the sunrise. He is in the glorious mountains, and the vast sea that stretches beyond the horizon. He is in the tender touch of a mother's hand on her newborn baby. He is in the protective arm of the police officer who comforts the lost child. He is in the words of absolution pronounced by the priest after a good confession. He is in the smiling face of an old woman at the site of a young couple holding hands. He is in the wonder of the cosmos on a darkened night. He is in the giggle of a small child playing with his grandfather. He is in the warmth of a kitten held in one's hand.

He is in the cross that bore the Son of Man. He is in the bread and wine that become His body and blood. He is the transforming Spirit that changes hearts and makes men saints. He is closer to us than our own breath, more loving than a grandmother's embrace of a sick child. He is everywhere, for there is no place He can not be. He fills all things. He is everywhere to be seen if only we look with open eyes and open hearts.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

2nd Photo: Reader John Simmons, choir director of St. Nicholas Church in Saratoga, CA. (Archpriest Basil Rhodes), made a pilgrimage to the monastery.


Tuesday October 22, 2013 / October 9, 2013

18th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Holy Apostle James, son of Alphaeus (1st c.).
Venerable Andronicus and his wife Venerable Athanasia of Egypt (500).
New Hieromartyrs Constantine and Peter priests (1918).
New Hieromartyr Constantine priest (1937).
Righteous Forefather Abraham (2000 B.C.) and his nephew Righteous Lot.
Martyrs Juventius and Maximus at Antioch (4th c.). St. Publia the Confessor of Antioch (360).
Venerable Peter of Galatia (9th c.).
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos "Korsun" (Cherson) and "Assuage My Sorrow".
St. Stephen the New of Serbia (1427) (Serbia).
St. Demetrius, patriarch of Alexandria (231).
Hieromartyr Dionysius (Denis, Denys) of Paris, bishop (258) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Stephen the Blind, king of Serbia (1468).
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 5:20-26

20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Marriage—Christ and the Church

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

Luke 8:1-3

Many Women Minister to Jesus

8 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.

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  2. Father, bless. Thank you for this post. One of your best, and full of encouragement.