Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Human Satellites
Egoism of Worldly Educated People

One of the great saints of our age, Saint Paisios of Mt. Athos, said people who are filled with egoism and pride because of their education, "resemble satellites that orbit in the sky, giving one the impression that they are stars. If, however, you observe them carefully you will see their crooked steps and see that it is all a human sham."

The holy elder went on to say, "Internally-oriented people, on account of their humility, are the true stars that move at dizzying speeds, but noiselessly and humbly, without anyone understanding how they move even though they are immense planets. They hide in the depths of heaven and give men the impression that they are little oil lamps aflame with a humble light."

These words of wisdom from the Elder Paisios should be taken into our hearts and become the central theme of our journey to God. It is easy to get puffed up about ourselves when those around us recognize our accomplishments, but this life is not about careers, education, or success, but about our relationship with God. Only one who has acquired a humble and contrite heart will move at "dizzying speeds".

Education in itself is not to be avoided, nor are we expected to avoid success in our chosen field. We must, however, avoid self-promotion, if we are to gain humility.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: The Puget Sound, as seen from a ferry on the way to Vashon Island.

Tuesday January 28, 2014 / January 15, 2014
32nd Week after Pentecost. Tone six.

St. Paul of Thebes, Egypt (341), and St. John Calabytes ("Hut-dweller") of Constantinople, monks (450).
New Hieromartyr Michael, priest (1942).
New Hieromartyr Benjamin, bishop of Romanov (1930).
Monk-martyr Pansophius of Alexandria (249-251).
St. Prochorus, abbot in Vranski Desert on the river Pchinja in Bulgaria (10th c.) (Serbia).
St. Gabriel, founder of Lesnovo Monastery, Serbia-Bulgaria (980) (Serbia).
St. Gerasimus, patriarch of Alexandria (1714).
St. Maximus, bishop of Nola (250).
Venerable Ita of Killeedy, hermitess and foster-mother of St. Brendan (570) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Maurus, disciple of St. Benedict (584) (Celtic & British).
St. Salome of Udjarma, and St. Perozhavra of Sivnia, Georgia (4th c.).
Venerable Barlaam of Keret Lake near the White Sea (16th c.).

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 3:1-10

The Untamable Tongue

3 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

Mark 11:11-23

11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.

The Fig Tree Withered

12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
And His disciples heard it.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree

20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

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