Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"It's a Wonderful Life"
Be a Signpost Pointing Toward 
a Bright and Happy Future

One of the most beloved movies ever made was Frank Capra's, "It's a Wonderful Life". Staring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, the movie tells the story of an ever optimistic man, who, while facing life's hardships, set aside his own dreams in order to help others, only to witness a run on his bank. Feeling he'd failed his family, his friends, and the bank's customers, and that he was about to lose everything, George found himself struggling with the idea of committing suicide on Christmas Eve.

At the point in the movie where George utters the words, "It would have been better had I never been born", his guardian angel, Clarence, played by Henry Travers, shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would have been, had he never been born. George is allowed the gift of seeing firsthand the lives he has touched, and as a result learns to understand the miracle of family and friendship.

"It's a Wonderful Life" has become a favorite movie to watch for countless Americans, during the Christmas season, for the message is timeless. All of us have had moments where we felt we just couldn't go on, and suicide seemed like the only logical solution. As a young man I experienced a terrible period of depression and despair, and attempted suicide. Yet, when I hear from others how my daily blog and Ancient Faith Radio podcast, both under the banner, "The Morning Offering", have helped so many people, it is unfathomable that I was ever that despairing young man. Yet perhaps it is because I was that young man, that I am able to sympathize with those who are suffering, and help them see that this dark time can be the very catalyst for a bright future.

It has been my experience that we are all called, at some time or another, to be Clarence, that funny guardian angel who points out the worth of another person, and reaches out with a loving embrace, and soothing words of comfort, and support. If, as Clarence, we pay attention to the fact that many people's high expectations for happiness during the Christmas season, will fall short, and leave them lonely and despairing, our own acts of kindness, words of encouragement, and smile of acceptance, will make all the difference in the world, and we will become that signpost pointing the way to a bright and happy future.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday December 24, 2013 / December 11, 2013
27th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Nativity (St. Philip's Fast). Food with Oil

Venerable Daniel the Stylite of Constantinopole (490).
New Hieromartyr Theophan, bishop of Solokamsk (1918) and with him 2 Hieromartyrs and 5 Martyrs (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1941).
St. Kuksha (Velichko), hieroschemamonk of Odessa (1964).
Venerable Nicon the Dry of Kiev Caves (1101).
Martyr Mirax of Egipt (640).
Martyr Acepsius and Aeithalas at Arbela in Assyria (354).
Venerable Luke the New Stylite of Chalcedon (979).
Venerable Leontius, monk, of Monemdasia in the Peloponnesus (1450).
Monk-martyr Barsabas, abbot og Ishtar and 10 companions in Persia (342).
All Saints of Georgia (Georgia).
Martyrs Terentius, Vincent, Emilian and Bebaia (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

1 Timothy 5:11-21

11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, 12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some have already turned aside after Satan. 16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

Honor the Elders

17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.

Mark 8:22-26

A Blind Man Healed at Bethsaida

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

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

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