Friday, February 28, 2014

The Banishment of Hell
The Lenten Journey and the Banishment of Hell

One of my favorite authors as a young man, was Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist monk. In the introduction to his work New Seeds of Contemplation he wrote: "Hell was where no one has anything in common with anyone else except the fact that they all hate one other and cannot get away from each other and from themselves."

This very much fits with the Orthodox view of hell as being in the presence of God for all eternity, and hating it. For the one who has never loved and who is consumed in his own ego and his own passions, being with God for all eternity will be to him, hell. Without love, we can not experience the Fire of God without being burned.

The Lenten journey is the perfect time to reconnect with God's love by strengthening love within our own heart. By reaching out with an ever expanding love and charity for everyone around us, be they family members, fellow believers in the parish, or strangers on the street, loving others becomes our Lenten goal. As love increases, hate and anger decrease. As Christ increases in our own heart, the power of hate and sin decreases around us, and hell is banished.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: View from the upper level of the ferry between Vashon Island and Tacoma.

Friday February 28, 2014 / February 15, 2014
Week of the Last Judgment. Tone two.
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded
Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy (109).
New Hieromartyrs Michael Piataev and John Kumin priests (1930).
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas, Alexis, Alexis priests, Simeon deacon, New Hieromartyr Paul and Virgin-martyr Sophia (1938).
Venerable Paphnutius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (13th c).
Venerable Paphnutius, monk, and his daughter St. Euphrosyne, nun, of Alexandria (5th c.).
Venerable Eusebius, hermit of Syria (440).
"Vilensk" (transferred to Vilnius in 1495) and "Dalmatian" (1646) Icons of the Mother of God.
Venerable Dalmatus, abbot and founder of the Dormition Monastery in Siberia (1697).
Martyr Major of Gaza (304).
St. Oswy, king of Northumbria (670) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Anthimus of Chios (1960) (Greek).
Synaxis of St. John the Theologian at Diaconissa.
St. Theognius, bishop of Bethelia near Gaza (523).

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

Zechariah 8:7-17

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east
And from the land of the west;
I will bring them back,
And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
They shall be My people
And I will be their God,
In truth and righteousness.’

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Let your hands be strong,
You who have been hearing in these days
These words by the mouth of the prophets,
Who spoke in the day the foundation was laid
For the house of the Lord of hosts,
That the temple might be built.
10 For before these days
There were no wages for man nor any hire for beast;
There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in;
For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor.
11 But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ says the Lord of hosts.
12 ‘For the seed shall be prosperous,
The vine shall give its fruit,
The ground shall give her increase,
And the heavens shall give their dew—
I will cause the remnant of this people
To possess all these.
13 And it shall come to pass
That just as you were a curse among the nations,
O house of Judah and house of Israel,
So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing.
Do not fear,
Let your hands be strong.’

14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Just as I determined to punish you
When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’
Says the Lord of hosts,
‘And I would not relent,
15 So again in these days
I am determined to do good
To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
Do not fear.
16 These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’
Says the Lord.”

Zechariah 8:19-23

19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’
20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Peoples shall yet come,
Inhabitants of many cities;
21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,
“Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord,
And seek the Lord of hosts.
I myself will go also.”
22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the Lord.’
23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”

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