It's Not Easy
Anything that is quickly
obtained is also easily lost
obtained is also easily lost
Americans are not a particularly patient people, as demonstrated by the fact that the fast food industry began with us. We don't tolerate slow service, thus much of the food we consume is prepared before we order it. We drive our car to a window, order our food, and expect it to be ready, without delay, at the next window. If we be church goers, we expect the service to end within one hour, on the dot. Our gardens are filled with flowers that come fully grown, are dropped into the soil, and look good from the very first watering. No waiting around for the germination of seeds, we want instant beauty.
If an appliance breaks down, we buy a new one, rather than wait a week for repairs. We throw ourselves into the latest fad diet promising fast weight loss, only to see the weight come back after we've tired of the menu. We don't apprentice for a career, but walk out of a university with the expectation our career will begin on day one. Many of our children are allowed to dress in adult pop fashion, resulting in the loss of innocence, and the precious sweetness of childhood is transformed into a sort of miniature adult.
Since we have grown accustomed to having everything happen quickly, and without delay, we also expect our spiritual lives to be on the same quick time line. We don't have the patience to build upon the knowledge of the holy fathers, so we don't practice regular spiritual reading. Our church attendance is limited to the essential Sunday Liturgy, and even then we arrive late and perhaps leave before the Thanksgiving Prayers have been concluded. If fasting is difficult for us, we don't fast at all. If keeping a Prayer Rule is tedious, we don't try at all to develop a set time for our prayers. If our mind wanders during prayer, we let it, avoiding even the least amount of struggle.
If we hope to make progress in the spiritual life, it is good to remember the words of Saint Isaac the Syrian, "For anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost, whereas everything found with toil is also kept with careful watching."
With love in Christ,Abbot Tryphon
Photo: Hieromonk Paul serving Matins.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 / May 8, 2014
Apodosis of Prepolovenie. Tone four.
Fast. Fish Allowed
Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (98-117).
Venerable Arsenius the Great of Scetis (448).
Venerables Arsenius the Lover of Labor (14th c.) and Pimen the Ascetic (12th c.), of the Kiev Caves.
Translation of the relics (1785) of Venerable Arsenius of Novgorod, fool-for-Christ (1570).
Venerable Hierax of Egypt (5th c.).
The Monks Zosima and Adrian of Volokolamsk (15-16th c.).
St. Emilia (375), mother of Sts. Macrina, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa.
Venarable Cassian, recluse and faster of the Kiev Caves (13-14th c.).
St. Macarius of Ghent, archbishop (1012) (Neth.).
St. Iduberga, foundress of Nijvel (652) (Neth.).
Commemoration of the healing of blinded Stephen by the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos of Cassiopia.
Hiermartyrs Indract and Comp, at Shapwick.
St. Wiro, bishop of Utrecht.
St. Odger, hierodeacon, of Odilienberg.
St. Milles the Melode, monk(Greek)
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
The Scripture Readings for the Day
At Antioch in Pisidia13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. 19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20 “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ 23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus— 24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
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