Thursday, January 23, 2014

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The True Christian Life is One of Grace
Many people sail through their life thinking happiness is something they have created for themselves. Good fortune, and success in work and play, is something they've brought about, either through struggle, or by pure luck. Yet when they experience difficult times, or loss of the things that brought them comfort, they despair.
Sometimes it takes the loss of this established order, to enlighten our darkened hearts to the reality that only happiness that is of an eternal nature will never be lost. For such a man, there is nothing that can take away from the comfort and security he experiences that are of a faith based nature. This is because God's grace fills his very essence with such peace, nothing, even loss of worldly comforts, can bring about despair.
How can we possibly despair when we know that the God we worship in Trinity, and Who has created us and our world, is become our Co-suffering Saviour, and has showered us with such an abundance of grace, that no hardship that comes our way can detract from the peace and joy that we have experienced in our life in Christ.
Compared to this grace filled life, all else is but folly. Grace has liberated us from all the temporal nature of earthly happiness, and has taken up residence in our heart, from which springs forth the healing that transforms us. This grace makes us whole, and our sickness disappears as though it never was.
With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday January 23, 2014 / January 10, 2014
31st Week after Pentecost. Tone five.

Afterfeast of the Theophany.
St. Gregory of Nyssa (395).
Venerable Dometian, bishop of Melitene (601).
St. Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov (1894).
Venerable Marcian, presbyter of Constantinople (471).
Venerable Paul, abbot of Obnora (Vologda) (1429), and his disciple St. Macarius, abbot of Pisma Monastery.
Venerable Antipas of Valaam (1882).
New Hieromartyr Zenobius priest (1920).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1930).
New Hieromartyr Anatolius metropolite of Odessa (1938).
Woman Hieromartyr Arsenia abbes (1939).
Venerable Macarius of Pisemsk and Kostroma (14c).
Blessed Theosebia the Deaconess (385), sister of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa.
Venerable Ammon of Nitria, monk (5th c.).
Venerable Antipas of Galapodeshti, Romania and Valaam Monastery (1882) (Romania).
Martyred Elder Ephraim and six incorrupt monks of Obnora (1538).
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

James 1:19-27

Qualities Needed in Trials

19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Doers—Not Hearers Only

21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Mark 10:17-27

Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

With God All Things Are Possible

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches[b] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

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