Salvation can not be explained in legalistic terms of acquittal and justification, for salvation is much more than simply being forgiven and getting into heaven. The close tie between faith and works, when it comes to the Orthodox view of salvation, is not about being "saved" by our works, for this is impossible. Works do not save us, but when placed in the context of a relationship, works do indeed have an eternal component.
Our "works" do not supplant the place of grace and faith with God, but are part of the whole experience in our relationship with God. Saint John Chrysostom (349-407), one of the greatest of the Church Fathers, and perhaps the greatest preacher in the history of the Church, wrote, “For Scripture says that faith has saved us. Put better: Since God willed it, faith has saved us. Now in what case, tell me, does faith save without itself doing anything at all? Faith’s workings themselves are a gift of God, lest anyone should boast. What then is Paul saying? Not that God has forbidden works but that he has forbidden us to be justified by works. No one, Paul says, is justified by works, precisely in order that the grace and benevolence of God may become apparent.”
The purging fire of God's presence is only a warmth for the one already purified with the good works done in this life. Yet the one who wastes this life, and does nothing to enhance his relationship with others through his good works, will have sacrificed a loving relationship with the God Who has called us into communion with Him. This person will experience the fire on judgement day as painful, for he who has not done good works in this life, will have done nothing to promote a sound relationship with the God Who has called us into a life of transformation. It is God's intent that this life bring us into holiness, preparing us for an eternity in the presence of God's holiness. If we have not been made holy, eternity in the presence of God, will be as a burning fire.
Our works do not earn us salvation, but neither are works unimportant. According to the Fathers, works make our communion with God fuller, and more complete. Our good works help us gain God's "likeness" in this life, and bring us into a joyful communion with Christ. The more we become like Christ, the more joy we will experience. Pain and suffering are the end result of our being less of God's likeness.
With love in Christ,
Photos: The monastery hosted a weekend retreat for young men from the Church of the Annunciation, in Milwaukie, Oregon.
22nd Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Martyrs Galacteon and his wife Episteme at Emesa (253).
Repose of St. Jonah, archbishop of Novgorod (1470).
St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus (Election 1917).
New Hieromartyr Gabriel priest (1937).
Apostles Patrobus, Hermas, Linus, Gaius, and Philologus of the Seventy (1st c.).
St. Gregory, archbishop of Alexandria (9th c.).
Martyrs Domninus, Timothy, Theophilus, Theotimus, Dorotheus, Eupsychius, Carterius, Pamphilius, Agathangelus, and Castorus of Palestine (307).
Hieromartyr Silvanus, bishop of Gaza.
St. Kea, bishop of Devon and Cornwall.
Venerable Odrada, virgin of Balen (8th c.) (Neth.).
St. Cybi, abbot in Cornwall and Wales (550) (Celtic & British).
St. Gregory of Cassano, Calabria (1002).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
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—
The Parable of the Rich Fool13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Do Not Worry22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
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