Sunday, November 3, 2013

Entering into the Silence
All Orthodox Christians are aware of the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, in our journey to God. These three practices are at the heart of the Great Lenten Fast. Prayer is our way of communicating with God on a daily basis, and fasting days (Wednesday and Friday) are called for throughout the Church Year. As Christians, we are also obligated to give alms to the poor, as demonstrated throughout the New Testament. Yet we often overlook the great spiritual practice of entering into the Silence as a way to discover ourselves, and deepen our experience with God's presence.

Today's technological advancements have introduced noise into our lives in ways unthinkable to the ancients. Not more than a hundred years ago, most families found silence as an everyday experience, for when the sun went down, families nestled into warm corners of their parlors, and their kitchens, often reading books, or simply watching a crackling fire. Along with this quieting down of the day, silence was part of every evening. Orthodox families were especially cognisant of the need to spend quiet time on the eve of the Sunday Liturgy, as well as great feasts of the Church, knowing that this silence served as a preparation time for receiving Christ's Body and Blood, during the celebration of the upcoming Liturgy.

Keeping silence by turning off radios and television sets, muting iPods, and turning off computers, is a splendid way of allowing everyone in the family to experience the silence that allows us to listen for the voice of God, speaking in our hearts. Refraining from conversation, music, and all forms of entertainment for just an hour or two, helps open us to an experience of God that has become foreign to most modern Americans.

Silence is the means by which we may access and deepen our relationship with God, and develop self-knowledge. Silence allows us to live more harmoniously in our world, and actually listen for the voice of God speaking to our hearts. Saint Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, placed the virtue of silence on par with the faith itself in a synodal letter from AD 400. "Monks—if they wish to be what they are called—will love silence and the catholic faith, for nothing at all is more important than these two things." This invitation into the silence is not for monks only.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Sunday November 3, 2013 / October 21, 2013
19th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone two.
Venerable Hilarion the Great of Palestine (371).
Translation of the relics (1206) of St. Hilarion, bishop of Meglin, Bulgaria (1164).
New Hieromartyrs Paulinus bisop of Mogilev, Arkadius bishop of Ekaterinburg and with them Anatolius and Nicander priests and Martyr Cyprian (1937).
New Hieromartyr Damian bishop of Kursk (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Constantine, Sergius, Basil, Theodore, Vladimir, Nicholas, John, Basil, Alexander, Demetrius and Alexis priests, Sergius and John deacons and Martyr Sophronius (1937).
New Woman-Hieromartyr Pelagia (1944).
Venerable Hilarion of the Kiev Caves (1067).
Venerable Hilarion, abbot, of Pskov (1476).
Venerables Theophilus and James, abbots of Omutch on Pskov Lake (1412).
Martyrs Dasius, Gaius, and Zoticus at Nicomedia (303).
Saint Hilarion, Metropolitan of Kiev (16th C).
Venerable Philotheus of Neapolis and Mt. Athos (14th c.) (Greek).
Martyr John of Peloponnesus (1773) (Greek).
Venerables Bessarion (Sarai), hieromonk (1745), and Sophronius of Ciorara, monk (ca. 1765), confessors, and St. Oprea of Salistie, martyred by the Latins in Romania (Romania).
Priest-Confessors John of Gales, and Moses (Macinic) of Sibiel (18th c.) (Transylvania).
Newly-revealed Martyrs Andrew, Stephen, Paul and Peter (Greek).
Hieromartyr Priest Socrates and Martyr Theodote of Ancyra (230) (Greek).
Monk-martyr Eucratus (Greek).
St. Baruch, monk (Greek).
Monk-martyr Zachariah (Greek).
Martyr Azes (Greek).
Translation of the relics of St. Christodulus the Wonderworker of Patmos (1093) (Greek).
Martyr Ursula of Cologne and her companions (383).
St. Fintan Munnu of Teachmunnu (635) (Celtic & British).
St. Malathgeny of Cluain-Edneach (767) (Celtic & British).
St. Condedus, hermit of Fontenelle. 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

2 Corinthians 11:31-12:9

31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

The Vision of Paradise

12 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

The Thorn in the Flesh

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Luke 16:19-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

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