Thursday, August 21, 2014

Passing the Crucible

Ministry is never about the person ministering

This morning we had fifteen senior citizens visit the monastery, followed by a few other visitors in the afternoon. Our monastery has been inundated with visitors since the middle of this past winter, and there seems to be no letup in the number of pilgrims wanted to spend time at the monastery, including numerous men who have requested to stay for a few days in retreat.

Given the large number of visitors, and increased demands on my time with lectures at area colleges, and my work as a police and fire chaplain, I am exhausted to the point that I've found it difficult to keep up with my commitments to my blog postings, and to the podcast recordings for Ancient Faith Radio. Passing the crucible, as the old saying goes, is not something I am even willing to consider, since I feel a passionate calling for everything I do. I am reminded of the words of Henry David Thoreau, who said, "None are so old as those who've outlived enthusiasm", and I am still enthusiastic!

This coming Saturday, I will be delivering one of two keynote addresses at Doxacon Seattle, a convention of Orthodox writers of science fiction and fantasy. Since I am no authority on the subject, I covet your prayers, that my words be an encouragement to those who would spread the gospel message through the art of writing fiction. This event, like all speaking engagements I accept, is all about Christ.

Ministry is never about the person ministering, but is always about Christ. Everything I'm involved with is, ultimately, about Christ, which makes giving up even a small portion of my activities impossible to consider. I love my life, I love people, I love the Orthodox Church, and I love Christ. I want to share God's love in every way possible, so being called out in the middle of the night by the Sheriff's Department is an opportunity for me to be God's presence in a crisis, just as speaking to college classes is an opportunity of sharing my Orthodox faith.

So, I will "keep on truckin'", as the old sixties saying goes, and with the prayerful support of my friends I will not have to drop any portion of my missionary activities. I always did want to die with my boots on, so retirement would be like death, only without the eternal benefits of heaven. Please, dear friends, continue to pray for me, that God, Who has called me to ministry, will continue to give me the strength to do His will.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: 1
) Senior citizens from Tukwila, WA visited the monastery on Wednesday. 2) Hammi, our Norwegian Forest Cat, had to show off for our visitors. 

click on photo to enlarge

Thursday August 21, 2014 / August 8, 2014
11th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Dormition (Theotokos) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration.
St. Emilian the Confessor, bishop of Cyzicus (820).
St. Philaret of Ichalka, Ivanovo (1913).
New Hieromartyr Joseph (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr Nicodemus (Krotov) archbishop of Kostroma and Galich (1938).
Venerable Gregory, iconographer of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).
Translation of the relics (1566) of Venerables Zosimas (1478) and Sabbatius (1435) of Solovki.
Second translation of the relics (1992) of Venerables Zosimas, Sabbatius, and Herman of Solovki
St. Myron, bishop of Crete (350).
Martyrs Eleutherius and Leonides of Constantinople, and many infants with them.
Venerable Gregory of Sinai (Mt. Athos) (1346).
"Tolga" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1314).
Martyr Gormizdas of Persia (418).
New Martyr Triandaphyllus of Zagora in Thessaly (1680) (Greek).
Twelve Ascetics of Egypt (Greek).
Two Martyrs of Tyre (Greek).
Martyr Styracius (Greek).
New Martyr Anastasius (Spaso) of Radovishte in Strumica who suffered at Thessalonica (1794) (Greek).
St. Gregory, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
St. Zosimas the Sinaite of Tumana Monastery, Serbia (14th c.).Monk-martyr Euthymius, abbot of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist at Garesja, Georgia (1804).

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

2 Corinthians 4:1-6

The Light of Christ’s Gospel

4 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:13-28

13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The Great Tribulation

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
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:

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