Thursday, July 3, 2014

True Authority

Political vs Spiritual Authority

It is a temptation for those who serve the Church to think their parishioners should adhere to the political ideals of their priest or bishop. This is a gross temptation that can lead to the alienation of some members of their flock, especially the young. The society at large has seen great changes in many areas of thought, and the moral and spiritual authority of the Church can not be compromised by any attempt on the part of her clergy to enforce a sort of political litmus test on her faithful. There is room within the Orthodox Church for a great many political views, and it is best that the clergy help the faithful find their way by sticking to the preaching of the gospels. This allows the message of the gospels to work transformation within the heart and conscience of each believer.

The Church can never be about membership in any one political party, nor can Orthodox Christians be expected to put aside views that may even differ from that of the Church. Being a thinking person does not disqualify anyone from membership in Christ's Body. The healing that comes within the sacramental life of the Church is for everyone, and each of us falls short of the ideals that flow out of the gospel message. Forcing anyone to cast aside their opinions, even if they be false, can actually be the force by which a person is driven from the very place where healing can take place.

Not one political party, or human philosophy, is flawless. Truth can be found in many places, and it is the Church, if she be true to her calling, that should be the guiding light for each of us, regardless of our political allegiances. His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, said, “The church must have no political means of exercising an influence on those in authority. The church 'loses public confidence' if it becomes a political player. The church only has one way to influence the powerful and the powerless, the rich and the poor, the educated and the simple-minded – to preach God’s word.”  Let us not, in our zeal for upholding the Truth, become, instead, the stumbling block for those who have not yet been fully realized within the life of Christ's Church.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday July 3, 2014 / June 20, 2014
4th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Apostles' (Peter & Paul) Fast. Fish Allowed

Hieromartyr Methodius, bishop of Patara (312).
Holy Prince Gleb Andreyevich of Vladimir (1175).
St. Minas, bishop of Polotsk (1116).
Translation of the relics of St. Gurias, archbishop of Kazan (1630).
Martyrs Inna, Pinna, and Rimma, disciples of Apostle Andrew in Scythia (1st-2nd c.).
Martyrs Aristocleus presbyter, Demetrian deacon, and Athanasius reader, of Cyprus (306).
St. Leucius the Confessor, bishop of Brindisi (5th c.).
St. Nicholas (Cabasilas) (1397).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Modensk-Kosninsk".
St. Nahum of Ochrid (910) (Bulgaria).
St. Callistus I, patriarch of Constantinople (Mt. Athos) (1363).
Translation of the relics and garments (ca. 960) of the Apostles Luke, Andrew, and Thomas, the Prophet Elisha, and Martyr Lazarus to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople (Greek).
Martyrs Paul, Cyriacus, Paula, Felicilana, Thomas, Felix, Martyrius, Vitaly, Crispinus, and Emilius in Tomi (290).
Blessed Studios, founder of the Studion Monastery (5th c.).
Finding of the relics (1959) of New Martyr Hieromonk Raphael of Lesbos (1463).

You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

"Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission...Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers." His Holiness Patriarch Kirill

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Romans 11:13-24

13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Matthew 11:27-30

27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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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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