Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It's Not Easy
Anything that is
quickly 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

Wednesday September 3, 2014 / August 21, 2014
13th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Afterfeast of the Dormition.
Apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy (44).
Martyr Bassa of Edessa and her sons Theogonius, Agapius, and Pistus (4th c.).
Venerable Abramius, archimandrite, wonderworker of Smolensk (1220).
St. Martha, schemanun of Diveyevo (1829).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Paul priest (1937).
New Martyr Ignatius (1942).
Venerable Abramius the Lover-of-Labor of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
Venerable Theocleta the Wonderworker of Asia Minor (840).
Venerable Cornelius, abbot of Palei Island (Valaam) (1420), and his disciple St. Abramius.
Venerable Ephraim (1238) of Smolensk disiciple of St. Abramius.
St. Avitus, bishop of Clermont (594) (Gaul).
Martyrs Donatus the deacon, Romul the priest, Silvan the deacon, and Venust (Romania).
Venerable Isaiah of Mt. Athos (Greek).
St. Sarmean, Catholicos of Kartli, Georgia (779) (Georgia).
Hieromartyr Raphael of Sisatovac, Serbia (1941) (Serbia).
New Martyr Symeon of Samokovo (1737).
Translation of the relicts (1953) of St. Nectarius (Kephalus), metropolitan of Pentapolis (1920).
St. Hardulph of Breedon.

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 9:12-10:7

12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

The Spiritual War

10 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Reality of Paul’s Authority

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.

Mark 3:20-27

A House Divided Cannot Stand

20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

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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.

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

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