Monday, May 12, 2014

The Disturbed Heart
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And the forgetfulness of the things of God

The passions that create a state of unrest in our hearts cause us to forget the real purpose of our life, which is union with God. Saint Basil the Great tells us we cannot approach the knowledge of the truth with a disturbed heart. Conflict, downheartedness, lust, worry, and judging others, are all things that can not be allowed to distract us from the goal. Letting ourselves become troubled, or full of anxiety, does nothing to further our journey into the heart. Giving ourselves over to the passions depletes us, and leaves us waylaid along the side of the narrow path into the Kingdom of God.  

We must not be so self-consumed as to have no compassion for others. Saint Basil the Great tells us that a man who has two coats or two pair of shoes, when his neighbor has none, is a thief. In the Holy Scriptures we read, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell in it (Psalm 24:1)." No one can be saved, according to Saint John Chrysostom, without giving alms and without caring for the poor. We are stewards of what belongs to God, and now is the perfect time to share the gifts of God's creation with one another as much as we can. To store up earthly possessions, according to Christ, is the epitome of foolishness, and a rich man shall hardly be saved (Luke 12:15-21).

When we turn our attention towards the needs of others, our focus changes, and we are no longer consumed with self. In this turning of the heart towards those in need, we are turning our hearts to God. "Verily I say unto you, Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me (Matthew 25:40)." In our fasting, time spent in prayer, and acts of alms giving (charity), we are energized in our battle against the passions, and our hearts become at rest in Christ.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: Delightful young college students from Pennsylvania attended the Sunday Liturgy.

Monday May 12, 2014 / April 29, 2014 Fourth Week of Pascha. Tone three.

Nine Martyrs at Cyzicus: Theognes, Rufus, Antipater, Theostichus, Artemas, Magnus, Theodotus, Thaumasius, and Philemon (3rd c.).
Venerable Memnon the Wonderworker of Corfu (2nd c.).
Venerable Nektarius of Optina (1928).
Venerable Amphilochius of Pochaev (1970).
Martyrs Diodorus and Rhodopianus, deacon, at Aphrodisia in Anatolia (284-305).
St. Basil, bishop of Ostrog in Montenegro (Serbia) (1671).
Saint John of Romania.
Holy Martyrs of Lazeti (Georgia) (17th-18th c.).
Venerable Secundellas the Deacon, in Gaul (Gaul).
Apostles Jason and Sosipater of the Seventy (Greek).
St. John, metropolitan of Thebes, the new merciful one (12th c.) (Greek).
St. John Tolaius, patriarch of Alexandria (482).
St. Nicetas, abbot of Synnada (9th c.).
St. Arsenius, archbishop of Suzdal (1627).
New Martyr Stanko the Shepherd of Montenegro (1712).
St. Nicephorus of Sebaze (9thc.).
St. Endelienta (Endellion), nun-recluse of Cornwall.
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Acts 10:1-16

Cornelius Sends a Delegation

10 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”
So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.

Peter’s Vision

The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

John 6:56-69

56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Turn Away

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

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All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a monastery of the Western American Diocese, under the
omophor of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. The Monastery is a non-profit 501 C3 organization under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery's mailing address.
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