|My friend, Koshin Cain, Abbot of the Puget Sound Zen Center, |
joined us for his first Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Kazan Icon
The Link between Repentance and Humility
In an age when "self-focus" is the rule of the day, and where the ego seems to reign, it is hard for people to see the value of humility. Many people, from politicians to rock stars, seem to climb the ladder of success by being anything but humble. In our darkened state, with sin dominating our lives, and bad habits seemingly insurmountable, holiness seems to be about saints, but unattainable for ourselves. Stuck in our habitual patterns of behavior, we seem to have surrendered all hope for real change.
The antidote to this inertia can be found in one simple act, that of repenting. We fall down before our God, confessing our failure at having kept the commandments, and asking for God's help in turning our lives around. We commit ourselves to crushing down the ego, and acquiring a humble heart. We take every opportunity to accept correction or criticism, without becoming defensive, for we know the truth in the words of Saint John Climacus, "As with the appearance of light, darkness retreats; so, at the fragrance of humility, all anger and bitterness vanishes."
We refrain from judging anyone, but only examine our own conscience, accusing only ourselves. Saint Macarius the Great wrote, “Christians therefore ought to strive continually, and never to pass judgment on anyone—no, not upon the harlot on the street, or upon open sinners and disorderly persons—but to regard all men with singleness of intention and purity of eye, so that it may become like a fixed law of nature to despise no one, to abhor no one, to make no distinctions between them….This is purity of heart, when you see sinners or sick people, to have compassion on them and be tenderhearted towards them.”
With love in Christ,
Wednesday November 6, 2013 / October 24, 2013
20th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "The Joy of All Who Sorrow" (1688).
Martyr Arethas of Omir and with him 4299 Martyrs (523).
St. Zosimas (Verkhovsky), elder of Siberia (1833).
New Hieromartyrs Laurence bishop of Balakhninsk, Alexis priest and Martyr Alexis (1918).
Venerable Aretha (1932).
New Hieromartyrs John and Nicholas priests (1937).
New Martyr Peter priest (1938).
Venerables Aretha (12th C), Sisois (13th C) and Theophil (12th-13th C), Hermits of the Kievan Caves, near caves.
Blessed Elesbaan, king of Ethiopia (553).
Martyr Syncletia and her 2 daughters (6th C).
St. Athanasius, patriarch of Constantinople (1311).
Venerable John, recluse of the Pskov Caves (1616).
Martyr Acacius of Armenia (303).
Venerable Senoch, abbot of Tours (576) (Gaul).
Martyr Sebastiana of Heraclea in Thrace (86).
St. Maglorius, abbot of Sark
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,
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
24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
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