Fruitless Discussions


The Power and Influence of Good Deeds

“For it is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (1 Peter 2:15).

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic tells us in The Prologue from Ochrid that we are better off if we do not engage others in lengthy debates and fruitless discussions, but that we can better change their hearts by our love and good deeds. Arguing with others, even over matters of faith, is usually a fruitless venture, rarely leading the other to ponder the truth of your words. Better to demonstrate truth by holiness of life, patience, and kindness in our response. Entering into heated words most often leads to a standoff, where only the demons win in the end.

“It is difficult, my brethren, to dispute with an atheist; it is difficult to converse with a stupid man; it is difficult to change an embittered man. It is only with the greatest difficulty that you will convince an atheist, a stupid man, or an embittered man, with words.”

“If you argue with an atheist on his own diabolical terms, you simply strengthen the demon of atheism. If you converse with a stupid man in a spirit of derision, the darkness of stupidity will be made the greater. If you think to change a bitter man by anger, you will merely add more fuel to the fire of bitterness.”

Responding to the embittered man, the angry man, or the stupid man, while hoping to win him over, does nothing for him, and eventually gives power to the demon who would devour the man’s soul, and consume your own. Thinking you have to prove the correctness of your point of view does nothing for truth, but only gives power to the demons of pride, anger, and stupidity. The power and influence of good deeds always wins out in the end.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon
Tuesday March 19, 2013 / March 6, 2013
First Week of the Great Lent. Tone eight.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

The 42 Martyrs of Ammoria in Phrygia, including: Constantine, Aetius, Theophilus, Theodore, Melissenus, Callistus, Basoes, and others (845).
Venerable Job (Joshua in Schema) of Solovki (1720).
The uncovering of the Precious Cross and the Precious Nails by Empress St. Helen (326).
Monk-martyrs Conon and his son Conon of Iconium (270-275).
Venerable Arcadius, monk, of Cyprus (361), and his disciples Julian and Bulius.
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos “Chenstokhovskaya”, “Shestokhov” (“Hearth”). “Blessed Heaven” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in Moscow.
Translation of the relics (1230) of Martyr Abraham of Bulgaria (1229).
Venerable Fridolin, abbot, enlightener of the Upper Rhine (538).
Martyrs Cyriacus and 12 companions, who suffered under Diocletian in Augsburg (304).
Translation of the relics Sts. Cyneswitha and Cyneburga, abbesses of Caistor, and St. Tibba, nun, of Rynall.
Monk-martyr Maximus (Greek).
Martyr Euphrosynus (Greek).
Martyrs Julian and Eubulus (Greek).
St. Hesychius the Wonderworker, monk (Greek).

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, 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

Isaiah 1:19-2:3

19If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;20But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

The Degenerate City

21How the faithful city has become a harlot!
It was full of justice;
Righteousness lodged in it,
But now murderers.
22Your silver has become dross,Your wine mixed with water.
23Your princes are rebellious,
And companions of thieves;Everyone loves bribes,
And follows after rewards.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.

24Therefore the Lord says,
The Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel,
“Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries,
And take vengeance on My enemies.
25I will turn My hand against you,And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
26I will restore your judges as at the first,And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”
27Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
And her penitents with righteousness.
28The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together,
And those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
29For they[a] shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees
Which you have desired;
And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens
Which you have chosen.
30For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades,
And as a garden that has no water.
31The strong shall be as tinder,
And the work of it as a spark;Both will burn together,
And no one shall quench them.

The Future House of God

2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3Many people shall come and say,“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Genesis 1:14-23

14Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Proverbs 1:20-33

The Call of Wisdom

20Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21She cries out in the chief concourses,[a]
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
27When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
31Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon is Igumen of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

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