Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Narcissistic Clericalism
Hieromonk Paul reading during trapeza
"Clericalism shouldn’t have
anything to do with Christianity"

For those who know me, they would not be surprised to hear that I am anti-clerical. I am sickened when I witness clergy who expect special treatment, or who gush before their bishops, like court officials in some kingdom of bygone days. I was thus delighted to read that Pope Francis has vowed to change the mindset of the Roman Catholic church, declaring that the institution "must return to being a community of the people of God" and rethink the relationship between its leaders and the laity.

The Pope went on to say, “Leaders of the Church have often been Narcissus, flattered and sickeningly excited by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy. Sometimes when I meet a cleric, I suddenly become anti-clerical,” the pontiff said. “Clericalism shouldn’t have anything to do with Christianity.”

I like this pope, and I pray we Orthodox clergy, be we lowly monks like myself, or patriarchs, archbishops, archimandrites, or mitered archpriests, pay attention to the prophetic witness of this man of God. I pray we will not simply dismiss the Roman pope's words, and his humble example, as those of the leader of a church in schism from Orthodoxy, but hear his words as coming from a man who loves Christ, and who wishes to reverse the terrible turning away from God. 

This world cannot well afford the remnant of Christianity to continue living the bad example of privilege, power and wealth, while witnessing the slaughter of innocent Christians in the Middle East, the mass turning away from Christ in the West, and the masses of people lost in poverty and hopelessness.

It would do us well, as priests and bishops, to remember that the kissing of our hand by the laity is not about us. It is given as a way of honoring Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the priest is a servant of Christ and steward of the Mysteries. When someone kisses his right hand, it is about Christ, and Christ only.

“And for their sake I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:19). To sanctify means to consecrate. Christ consecrated Himself for the ministry and our redemption. All the ranks of the priesthood are consecrated for ministry, according to the example of Christ, the High Priest, and if we truly follow the example of Christ, we will serve His people as simple servants.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday October 2, 2013 / September 19, 2013
15th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon of Synnada (276).
St. Theodore, prince of Smolensk and Yaroslav (1299), and his children Sts. David and Constantine.
New Martyr Priest Constantine (Golubev) of Bogorodsk, and two others with him (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1919).
Venerable Alexis, Hieroschemamonk of Zosima Hermitage (1928).
New Martyr Nilus priest, Virgin-martyr Mary (1938).
Martyr Zosimas, hermit of Cilicia (4th c.).
Blessed George (Igor), Prince of Chernigov (1147).
Hieromartyr Januarius, bishop of Benevento, and his companions: Sosius, Proclus and Festus, deacons, Gantiol, Eutychius, Acutius, and Desiderius, at Puzzuoli (305).
St. Seguanos of Gaul (Gaul).
St. Theodore of Tarsus, archbishop of Canterbury (690) (Celtic & British).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

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

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Galatians 3:15-22

The Changeless Promise

15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Purpose of the Law

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Luke 4:1-15

Satan Tempts Jesus

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’
11 and,
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry

14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

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

1 comment:

  1. Father: You have no idea how much your article above has meant to me. I can't get into the details, here, but I had some 'problems' recently with narcissism/clerics and it almost crushed me.When I converted to Russian Orthodoxy in 2009, I was unrealistic; people are people, even the clergy. And you said it all without judging. Christianity is suffering, yes; but it's also JOY. In Christ .