Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Church
The Church: Unity in Faith

The Lord Jesus Christ desires that each of us be joined together in unity within the confines of His Church. This union of all who confess Christ as true God and true man, and who are united as one body in Him, have as their goal the spiritual perfection that can come only through Him. The life of holiness is not about adherence to religion, but to a way of life that brings about healing of body and soul. 
To be a Christian is not about rules and formulas of conduct, nor is it about ritual. To be a Christian is about putting on Christ, daily. It is about commitment to a relationship with the very God Who created us. To be a Christian means we are committed to acquiring a humble and contrite heart, made possible by grace, found in abundance within the confines of the Church.

It is important to note that the Church is not some invisible, mystical body, as protestants teach. The Church is the very visible institution founded by Christ Himself, the Orthodox Church, from which we receive the medicine needed to bring about the transformation that comes from our encounter with the God of mercy, Who has invited us into the unity of this Body, wherein grace abounds.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: I was grateful for the recent opportunity to offer the invocation for the Scout's Explorers organization, at the two day training for Puget Sound area youth who desire to enter fire service, and for the honor to have offered the invocation for the Washington State Senate.

Tuesday March 11, 2014 / February 26, 2014
Second Week of the Great Lent. Tone four.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

St. Porphyrius, bishop of Gaza (420).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1930).
New Hieromartyr Sergius priest (1933).
Virgin-martyr Anna (1937).
New Hieromartyrs John bishop of Rylsk and John priest (1938).
Venerable Sebastian, monk of Poshekhonye (1542).
Martyrs Sebastian and Christodoulos (66).
New Martyr John Calphas ("the Apprentice") at Constantinople (1575) (Greek).
St. Photina, the Samaritan woman, and her sisters Anatola, Phota, Photis, Parasceva, and Cyriaca; her sons Photinus and Joses; and Sebastian the Duke, Victor, and Christodulus — all martyred under Nero (66) (Greek).
Martyr Theoclitas, martyred with St. Photina (Greek).
The Mezhetsk Icon of the Mother of God.
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a non-profit, 501 C3 organization, under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We support ourselves through the sales of Monastery Blend Coffee, our fine line of teas, and make Monastery Jams, all sold in little gift shop. We grow as many of our fruits and vegetables as we can, tend bee hives, and raise free range chickens for our eggs. With all we do to support ourselves, we still depend on the generosity of our friend and supporters.

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery  
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Isaiah 5:7-16

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.

Impending Judgment on Excesses

Woe to those who join house to house;
They add field to field,
Till there is no place
Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land!
In my hearing the Lord of hosts said,
“Truly, many houses shall be desolate,
Great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant.
10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,
And a homer of seed shall yield one ephah.”

11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
That they may follow intoxicating drink;
Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!
12 The harp and the strings,
The tambourine and flute,
And wine are in their feasts;
But they do not regard the work of the Lord,
Nor consider the operation of His hands.

13 Therefore my people have gone into captivity,
Because they have no knowledge;
Their honorable men are famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself
And opened its mouth beyond measure;
Their glory and their multitude and their pomp,
And he who is jubilant, shall descend into it.
15 People shall be brought down,
Each man shall be humbled,
And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled.
16 But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.

Genesis 4:8-15

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”
He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”
13 And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”
15 And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

Proverbs 5:1-15

The Peril of Adultery

5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding,
That you may preserve discretion,
And your lips may keep knowledge.
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of hell.
Lest you ponder her path of life—
Her ways are unstable;
You do not know them.

Therefore hear me now, my children,
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.
Remove your way far from her,
And do not go near the door of her house,
Lest you give your honor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
10 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth,
And your labors go to the house of a foreigner;
11 And you mourn at last,
When your flesh and your body are consumed,
12 And say:
“How I have hated instruction,
And my heart despised correction!
13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!
14 I was on the verge of total ruin,
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.

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