Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Laying Blame

Putting the Blame in the Right Place

"A humble and spiritually active man, when he reads the Holy Scriptures, will refer everything to himself and not to another." Saint Mark the Ascetic

We all have a natural tendency to lay blame on others, when in truth we must blame only ourselves. When facing our own sins and shortcomings, it is always easy to put the blame on others, yet our faith tells us that spiritual progress can only come with the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart. As long as we are anxious to put the blame on others for our shortcomings, we will remain stagnant on the spiritual path. The saints give clear witness that progress towards holiness can only come when we look only to our own faults, and not see the faults of others.

It is far more comfortable to see the wickedness of others, for in focusing on them, we can forgo the all important work of changing our own behavior, and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our own fallen nature. Focusing on the shortcomings of others allows our own self-serving pride to grow stronger, and we remain puffed up, and wallow in unfounded pride.

When we keep our attention focused on our own shortcomings, we keep vigilant until our last day, guarding our soul until the final judgement. When we take our eyes off our own faults, while focusing on our neighbors sin, we deprive ourselves of precious time for repentance. Since we do not know the day or hour of our last breath, we must treat every moment as though it be our last.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday December 18, 2013 / December 5, 2013
26th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Nativity (St. Philip's Fast). By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (532).
New Hieromartyr Elias priest (1932).
New Hieromartyr Gennadius (1941).
St. Sergius confessor, priest (1950).
St. Gurias, archbishop of Kazan (156).
Martyr Anastasias.
Venerable Karion (Cyrion) and his son St. Zachariah of Egypt (4th c.).
Venerable Nectarius of Bitol (Serbia) (1500), and his elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete, Mt. Athos (Greek).
St. Nicetius, bishop of Trier (566) (Gaul).
Venerable Justinian, hermit of Wales (560) (Celtic & Britis).
Commemoration of St. Cosmas of Vatopedi (1276) and the monks of Karyes, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1283) (Greek).
Martyr Diogenes (Greek).
Martyr Abercius (Greek).
St. Nonnus, monk (Greek).
St. Gratus, monk (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

Galatians 5:22-6:2

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Bear and Share the Burdens

6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 11:27-30

27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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