Monday, December 9, 2013


Community: The Essential Element

Christianity is a communal faith, one that requires its followers to be actively involved with others. The Church's worship is communal, and salvation itself is a corporate act, one that necessitates interaction with others. One is not "saved" in a vacuum, but as part of the corporal life of the Church. Your salvation must be as much a concern to me, as is my own salvation. My relationship with Christ is not about me, but about us. 

Our sins are not just against God, but against the Body of Christ, the Church. Our love of God can not be salvific if we do not love others, for just as the Lord said, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20)".

Given the communal nature of the Church, it is particularly alarming to see increasing numbers of people isolating themselves from others. Many have turned to the Internet as the sole source of interaction with others, finding "friendships" with people who will never be met in person. The importance of social interaction in the central square, as seen in traditional villages where the cafe life and church were the primary source of fraternal interaction, has almost disappeared, pointing the way to a future of estrangement from each other.

Isolated from others, the communal nature that is an important element in what it means to be human, is lost. It is thus imperative that we guard against the temptation of spending too much time in front of the computer, and too little time with others. The sight of young people sitting in coffee houses, together, yet apart, is troubling. Mobile phones, text messaging, ipods, communication through email, and countless hours on facebook, leads to the furtherance of an isolation that is murdering the soul. 

As humans, we are meant to be together, for it is in our lives together that we grow in mind and spirit. It is in community that we learn to love God. For friendships to be limited to on-line chat rooms is a tragedy of major proportions, one that will ultimately be the ruin of society.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon
The recently filmed "interview" with the kidnapped Syrian nuns saw them denying they'd been kidnapped, and saying they were simply taken to a safe place. However, the Islamic Rebels, supported by the American Administration, are now saying the nuns will only be released if the Syrian government agrees to swap the nuns for one thousand Syrian rebel prisoners. Please continue praying for the release of the nuns, as well as the two kidnapped Syrian archbishops.

Monday December 9, 2013 / November 26, 2013
25th Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Nativity (St. Philip's Fast). By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Venerable Alypius the Stylite of Adrianopolis (640).
Dedication of the Church of St. George at Kiev (1051).
Repose of St. Innocent, first bishop of Irkutsk (1731).
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas, John, Gregory and Nazarius, Basil, Basil, Ilia, Basil, Daniel, Michael, Nicholas priests, New Hieromartyr Tikhon (1937).
New Hieromartyr Piter (after 1937).
Venerable James the Solitary of Syria (457).
Venerable Nicon Metanoeite ("Preacher of Repentance") of Armenia (998).
New Martyr George of Chios (1807) (Greek).
Venerables Athanasius and Theodosius of Cherepovets (1382), disciples of St. Sergius of Radonezh.
Venerable Stylianos of Paphlagonia, monk (Greek).
St. Silas, bishop of Persidos (Greek).
St. Peter, patriarch of Jerusalem (552).
St. Acacius of Mt. Latros (6th c.) (Greek).

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 Thessalonians 1:1-10


1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s Final Judgment and Glory

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

Luke 19:37-44

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:
“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

 I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

No comments:

Post a Comment