Monday, December 23, 2013

The Right to Life
The 2011 March for Life, State Capitol, Olympia, WA.
"Those who use abortifacients
commit homicide."
Saint Clement

Cruel and Depraved is the
Killing of the Unborn Child

We are living in a period of history that has seen the cause of human rights take the forefront as never before. We champion the cause of equality under the law for minorities, and continue the struggle for equal rights and equal pay for women, but ignore the rights of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. We'd rather kill the child in the womb than deprive ourselves of a lifestyle that would be hampered by a baby. Sexual gratification takes priority over the right to life of the unwanted child that is the result of our unchecked lust. 

We deny the humanity of the unborn, dismissing the reality of a life by deciding the child is not a real person until the moment they are born. We dispose of that which God has created, through the gift of our sexuality, preferring lustful gratification to chastity. The idea of saving oneself for the marriage bed has become as outdated as a Victrola.

We explain away the infanticide that is abortion, while our legal system can find a man guilty of murder should his attack on a pregnant woman result in the death of her unborn child. We think nothing of depriving another human being of life, while we pursue a life of unbridled pleasure for ourselves.
Saint Basil the Great said, "The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us."


If we are to be a friend of God, we must keep the laws of God. An unborn child has been given the gift of life, even if under circumstances that are the result of our sin. That the child should forfeit her life for the convenience of selfish parents is unconscionable. The sin of sexual intercourse outside the marriage bed is compounded ten thousand times by the sin of abortion. The woman who would abort her child to avoid poverty will have placed her soul in a state of absolute poverty.

In an age when many question the morality of state sanctioned executions of criminals, or question the justification of war, it is beyond the pale that we would think we have the right to kill an unborn child. 

We must ask ourselves, as did Saint John Chrysostom, "Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit? Where there are medicines of sterility? Where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well. Indeed, it is something worse than murder and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gifts of God, and fight with His laws? What is a curse you seek as though it were a blessing. Do you make the anteroom of slaughter? Do you teach the women who are given to you for a procreation of offspring to perpetuate killing?"

Let us stand firm for the rights of all people, especially for the most vulnerable, defenseless of them all, the unborn children. The Sixth Commandment tells us that we must not kill, and makes no distinction between the killing of another person, the killing of oneself (suicide), or the killing of the unborn. 

The Church has confessed from the beginning that each life is created by God, that human life is the supreme gift of the Creator. Human life is not given unconditionally, but is given under the condition that we will be responsible for preserving it. The testimony that God respects life above all else is contained in the words of the Gospel:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

In so far as God's perfection is beyond our understanding, by His grace and mercy we are called to theosis, the process of becoming like God. Theosis (deification) begins from the moment of our conception and continues until the very hour of our death. No one has the right to interfere in this process that was begun when God created us.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday December 23, 2013 / December 10, 2013
27th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Nativity (St. Philip's Fast). By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Martyrs Menas the Melodius, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus of Alexandria (310).
St. Ioasaph, bishop of Belgorod (1754).
New Hieromartyr Jacob and Alexander priests, Hieromartyr Eugraph and his son (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Anatolius, Alexander, Eugine, Constantine, Nicholas priests and with them Martyrs Peter, Michael, Dorotheus, Laurentius, Gregory and Virgin-martyrs Alexandra and Tatiana, New Hieromartyr Michael priest, New Hieromartyr Sergius (1937).
Virgin-martyr Eudocia (after 1937).
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas and Alexis priests (1938).
Virgin-martyrs Anna and Tatiana confessors (1948).
Virgin-martyr Thecla confessor (1954).
Venerable Anna confessor (1958).
Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia (361).
Venerable Thomas of Bithynia (10th c.).
Blessed John, king of Serbia (1503), and his parents Stephen (1468) and Angelina Brancovich (16th c.).
Hieromartyr Theotecnus (Greek).
Martyr Marianus (Greek).
Martyr Eugene (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 5:1-10

Treatment of Church Members

5 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

Honor True Widows

Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. And these things command, that they may be blameless. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, 10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

Mark 8:11-21

The Pharisees Seek a Sign

11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod

13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. 14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”

They said to Him, “Twelve.”
20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
And they said, “Seven.”
21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

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