Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stay the Course!
We Orthodox are not Always Perfect, 

but Stay the Course!

Orthodoxy is not always easy, and there are many parishes that seem to make living our Orthodox faith far more difficult than needs to be. The lack of joy in some quarters is not about Orthodoxy, but about the fallen people who make up the Church. This is to be expected, of course, since the Church is a hospital for the soul, and therefore home to a lot of sick people. The good news is, we are all in the right place for the needed healing to take place, and wholeness and lasting joy will come to everyone who stays the course.

Don't ever let a mean spirited parishioner, nor a harsh speaking priest, drive you from the Church. This is your home as well, and, just as in a dysfunctional household, a lot of growth can take place, even when the parish is not ideal. Pray for your priest, and for the people who have made you feel uncomfortable. Pray to Saint John the Wonderworker of San Francisco, who was such a loving father and pastor, for help. Although a good confessor and great preacher would be preferable to the priest who never has the time for you, the Church is still your home. He may deliver lousy homilies, seem harsh as a confessor, and be devoid of people skills, but the reality is the Church is still the place for you.

There is an old saying in Orthodox: "The people get the bishop they deserve". Instead of walking away from Orthodoxy, look around for a parish that might be a better fit for you and your family. If language is a problem for your children, find a parish that uses English. If your parish priest serves like a sorcerer, with all the correct and lengthy formulas, but seems devoid of the love of Christ, pray for him. Yet, if you and your children would benefit, by all means look into the possibility that another parish might be a better fit, and a place where you can all grow in the faith. Better to leave a dysfunctional parish, than to leave Orthodoxy.

If you have no other options, and your parish is the only Orthodox church in the region, make the best of it. Remember, most parishes were closed down completely during Soviet times. Priests and bishops were imprisoned, or sent off to their deaths, yet the Church lived on with the faithful making do under the harshest of times. 

Ultimately, your life in the Church is all about Christ, and Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will not betray you, for He is the source of all joy and goodness. It is Christ Who is the Great Physician, the Giver of Life, and the Healer of Souls. The Church belongs to Him, and in spite of the fact we priests sometimes fail to be the Light of Christ to our people, does in no way negate the fact that the Church is still the Fountain of Life, and the place wherein we can receive healing of all that ails us.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday October 1, 2013 / September 18, 2013

15th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.

Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Venerable Eumenes, bishop of Gortyna (7th c.).
Glorification (1698) of Venerable Euphrosyne, nun, of Suzdal (1250).
Venerable Hilarion of Optina (1873).
New Hieromartyrs Alexis and Peter priests (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Amphilius bishop of Krasnoiarsk, John, Boris, Michael, Vladimir, Benjamin, Constantine priests and Martyr Sergius (1937).
Martyr Ariadne of Phrygia (2nd c.).
Martyrs Sophia and Irene of Egypt (3rd c.).
Martyr Castor of Alexandria.
Great-martyr Prince Bidzini and Martyrs Prince Elizbar and Prince Shalva of Ksani, Georgia (1661) (Georgia).
Molchensk (1405), named the "Healer" (18th C) and Starorussk (returned in 1888) Icons of the Mother of God.
St. Arcadius, bishop of Novgorod (1162).

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 2:21-3:7

21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Justification by Faith

3 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

Luke 3:23-4:1

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Satan Tempts Jesus

4 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 

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