Friday, February 21, 2014

The Monk
And the Acquisition of a Humble
and a Contrite Heart

When the monk attempts to rely on his own strength to do battle with his fallen nature, he will be defeated. The arena, his field of battle, takes place in his own heart, and will be a life long battle. The monk must manifest his word in deeds, and his weapons in this unseen warfare, must be based on complete lack of self-reliance. His monastic skufa serves as his helmet, symbolizing his total reliance on God's mercy. His shield and his coat of mail, is his firm trust in He whom he serves. The monks armor, his cassock, is bound with his belt, which is the cutting off of bodily passions.

The monks boots keep the monk grounded in humility, and serve as a recognition of his powerlessness in this spiritual warfare without having put on Christ each hour. The Prayer Rope becomes his sword, which he holds in one hand, assures that the Jesus Prayer is ever on his lips or within his heart. His spear, which he holds in his other hand, is the blessing cross, representing his firm resolve to resist the passions which assail him.

The food that sustains him in his battle against the enemy, is frequent communion with God, both through the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, and inwardly; the clear and cloudless atmosphere, which enables him to see the enemy from afar. Finally, the monks mantle reminds him that he must be dead to the world, for this very cloth will become his burial shroud.

The monk must be on guard, ever quick to ask forgiveness of his brothers, ever ready to account before others, his failure to live the Gospels in fullness and truth. For the monk, not a day, not even an hour, must pass without examining his conscience, for only in being ruthless with himself, will he rid every trace of the old man, the fallen man, from his life. The whole of a monks life must be given over the the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, and a humble and a contrite heart.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday February 21, 2014 / February 8, 2014
Week of the Prodigal Son. Tone one.
Fast. Fish Allowed

Great-martyr Theodore Stratelates ("the General") of Heraclea (319).
Prophet Zechariah, from among the 12 Minor Prophets (520 BC).
St. Lyubov of Ryazan, fool-for Christ (1921).
New Hieromartyrs Simeon, Andrew, Sergius and Peter priests (1938).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1942).
St. Sabbas II, archbishop of Serbia (1271).
St. Macarius, bishop of Paphos in Cyprus (Greek).
Martyr Conitus of Alexandria (249).
St. Agathangelus, bishop of Damascus (ca. 325).
Sts. John and Basil of the Kiev Caves.
St. Kew, virgin of Cornwall.
St. Cuthman, hermit of Steyning.
Martyrs Nicephorus and Stephen (Greek).
Martyrs Philadelphus and Polycarp (Greek).
St. Pergetus (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

2 John 1:1-13

Greeting the Elect Lady

The Elder,
To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Walk in Christ’s Commandments

I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

Beware of Antichrist Deceivers

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

John’s Farewell Greeting

12 Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
13 The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

Mark 15:22-25

22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

Mark 15:33-41

Jesus Dies on the Cross

33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”
37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, 41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

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