Saturday, August 16, 2014

Experiencing the reality of God

My own experience with God is many fold, with everything from witnessing the healing of illnesses of many people, including my own heart condition (I was on the operating table, awaiting bypass surgery, but was healed), to standing before numerous myrrh streaming icons, watching the myrrh well up. I once witnessed a cross (about 12 inches long), held by a Coptic priest friend, literally pouring myrrh into a bucket. Miracles like this are not easily dismissed when you are watching it happen. Perhaps the most impressive miracles I have witnessed over my thirty some years as a monk, have been the healing of peoples hearts. Previously evil people, totally focused on themselves, and hateful to others, have been miraculously transformed into loving, caring, individuals who have become filled with the desire to serve others.

It is important to remember that our God did not create us as puppets, but rather as persons with the freedom to respond, or not, to His invitation to enter into communion with Him. Just as a loving dad, desiring to help his child take those first steps on his own, will let go of the child's hands, as the mother reaches out from a few feet away, allowing their child the freedom to move independently, so does our God withdraw our sense of His presence, that we might freely reach out to Him. This is because, just as the child is given freedom to make that first step, so we are given the opportunity to respond to God's invitation, by our own free will.

I have been able to experience the presence of God because of the freedom I've been granted by a loving God Who has reached out to me, with grace and mercy. I, like everyone, can experience the presence of God through the joyful and awesome encounter with Christ while participating in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. I've experienced God while hearing a good confession, and witnessing the results of the outpouring of God's grace upon the penitent sinner. I experience the presence of God while witnessing the wonder of discovery in the faces of college students who are hearing of the mystical theology of Orthodoxy, for the first time. I experience the presence of God while visiting the old woman who has walked with God her whole life. I experience the presence of the Lord when witnessing the giggle of a child, who is being hugged by his grandmother. I witness the love of God in the face of my confessor, and the fellowship of my brother monks. I experience the love of God while concelebrating with my archbishop, and my brother priests. I experience God in the early hours of the morning, while I do my cell rule.

I experience God in the sunrise, and in the sunset. I experience God in the freshly picked rose, and the lapping of the water while standing at the sea shore. I experience God as I taste the fresh corn from the stalk. I experience God in the purring sound of our cat, Hammi, while holding him in my arms. Finally, I experience God in the solitude of my heart.

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Saturday August 16, 2014 / August 3, 2014
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Dormition (Theotokos) Fast. Food with Oil

Venerables Isaac, Dalmatus, and Faustus, ascetics of the Dalmatian Monastery, Constantinople (5th c.).
Venerable Anthony the Roman, abbot (Novgorod) (1147).
New Hieromartyr Viacheslav deacon (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1938).
Protomartyr Rajden of Tsromi and Nikozi, Georgia (457) (Georgia).
Venerable Cosmas, eunuch and hermit of Palestine (6th c.).
Holy Myrrh-bearer Salome.
Venerable John, confessor, abbot of Patalaria Monastery (Greek).
Venerable Theoctistus the Wonderworker of Optimaton (Greek).
Venerable Theodora of Thessalonica (Greek).
Nine Kherkheulidze brothers, their mother and sister, and 9,000 others, who suffered on the field of Marabde, Georgia (1625) (Georgia).

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 15:30-33

30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Matthew 17:24-18:4

Peter and His Master Pay Their Taxes

24 When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”
25 He said, “Yes.”
And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”
26 Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”

Who Is the Greatest?

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

I invite my readers to listen to my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

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.

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

Abbot Tryphon's email address:

No comments:

Post a Comment