Imitating Christ

Doing what the Lord requires of us

As we examine how we live our lives as Christians, we look to those who leave an impression of goodness, kindness, and humility, as examples of the person we would like to become. That saintly person, by their every example, exudes the humbleness of the Lord, and love seems to be palpable when we are in their presence. Such a person didn’t just appear, for these are not the natural traits one finds in most people. Such humility and kindness are developed over time, for this person has sought out the grace of God, and has made, sometimes since childhood, every attempt at giving back the love and goodness they received from the Father of Lights.

Such a person desires, on a daily basis, to become more like Christ. The humility of the Lord becomes their personal standard, for such a person is quick to forgive, quick to grant justice, and desires to be kind to everyone who comes into their presence. This person does not fabricate such sweetness of soul as though he were a politician running for office, for it is the Lord Himself Who dwells in them, and it is Christ in them Who is full of justice, kindness, love, and mercy. “He has shown you, O mortal what is good; and what does the LORD require of you? but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).”

“A Christian must be courteous to all. His words and deeds should breathe with the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abides in his soul, so that in this way he might glorify the name of God. He who regulates all of his speech also regulates all of his actions. He who keeps watch over the words he is about say also keeps watch over the deeds he intends to do, and he never goes out of the bounds of good and benevolent conduct. The graceful speech of a Christian is characterized by delicateness and politeness. This fact, born of love, produces peace and joy. On the other hand, boorishness gives birth to hatred, enmity, affliction, competitiveness, disorder and wars.”
(St. Nektarios of Aegina, The Path to Happiness, 7)

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: I’m attending the Diocesan Pastoral Conference in San Francisco. The conference is being held in Old Holy Virgin Cathedral, the original seat of Saint John the Wonderworker.  I’m basking in 79 degrees, and sunshine, while the monks in my monastery are suffering with 54 degrees, and rain, rain, rain.

Wednesday March 15, 2017 / March 2, 2017
Third Week of the Great Lent. Tone five.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Appearance of the Kolomenskoye Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, “Reigning” (1917).
Hieromartyr Theodotus, bishop of Cyrenia (315).
St. Arsenius, bishop of Tver (1409).
Virgin-martyr Euthalia of Sicily (257).
Martyr Troadius of Neo-Caesarea (3rd c.).
Venerable Agatho of Egypt, monk (5th c.).
440 Martyrs slain by the Lombards (579).
St. Sabbatius, monk, of Tver (1434), and his disciple St. Euphrosynus (1460).
Sts. Barsanuphius (1459) and Sabbas (1467), abbots, of Tver.
St. Chad, bishop of Lichtfield, England (672) (Celtic & British).
Righteous Father Nicholas Planas (1932) (Greek).
St. Quintus of Phrygia, confessor and wonderworker (283) (Greek).
Martyr Andronicus and the virgin Athanasia (Greek).
Hieromartyrs Nestor the bishop and Tribimius the deacon of Perga in Pamphylia (250).
Martyr Hesychius the Palatine of Antioch (304).
New Martyr Theodore Sladich of Komogovina (1788).
St. Joachim (Papoulakis) of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos and Ithaca (1868).

The Scripture Readings

Isaiah 10:12-20

12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”

13 For he says:

“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
And by my wisdom, for I am prudent;
Also I have removed the boundaries of the people,
And have robbed their treasuries;
So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.
14 My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people,
And as one gathers eggs that are left,
I have gathered all the earth;
And there was no one who moved his wing,
Nor opened his mouth with even a peep.”

15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it?
Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it?
As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up,
Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord, the Lord[a] of hosts,
Will send leanness among his fat ones;
And under his glory
He will kindle a burning
Like the burning of a fire.
17 So the Light of Israel will be for a fire,
And his Holy One for a flame;
It will burn and devour
His thorns and his briers in one day.
18 And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field,
Both soul and body;
And they will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 Then the rest of the trees of his forest
Will be so few in number
That a child may write them.

The Returning Remnant of Israel

20 And it shall come to pass in that day
That the remnant of Israel,
And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob,
Will never again depend on him who defeated them,
But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

Genesis 7:6-9

6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.

7 So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, 9 two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

Proverbs 9:12-18

12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”

The Way of Folly

13 A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house,
On a seat by the highest places of the city,
15 To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”;
And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of hell.

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. 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.

5 comments:

  1. I am not Orthodox (as you will know from my previous comments here) but derive great benefit from your daily blog, prayers and Bible readings, for all of which I thank you.

    How sad it is that Donald Trump professes to have a Christian faith but seems to exhibit none of the qualities of which you write so eloquently, with teachings from God’s Word and the wisdom of the Church Fathers.

    Right it is that we should pray for the President, that he might become more like Christ. In saying this I note I must do all in my power, by God’s great grace, to become more like Christ myself. The log is in my eye.

  2. Father Bless!
    A beautiful post, and quote from St. Nektarios. Thank you.
    In the Saint’s quote he says as we come to imitate Christ, this transformation brings peace and joy. This is indeed true. However, right now, as we speak, I am experiencing a paradox that I find very difficult to bear. Little by little, I experience this peace and joy, as my life is being transformed by His immeasurable grace. Yet I have found the few people that were dear to me have become cold and distant, even openly contrary in our communications. These were people I once went to church with. We shared our Christian life together. This began to change fast as I embraced the Orthodox faith. One of the people I speak of is my brother, whom I thought there would be nothing that could possibly separate us. Experiencing the words of Christ where He says brother will turn against brother is a painful reality. I do not want to isolate myself as a means of self protection, as I have done in the past.
    A word from you, Abbot Tryphon, would be a blessing. What do you say about these things?

  3. Thank you, Father.
    Love the quote from St. Nektarios. Strange how we never know we’re not watching until someone reminds us we’re not watching or until some shock occurs. It’s like not knowing we are asleep until we wake up.

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