Keeping Vigil

Holiness comes only to those who keep vigil

Not an hour should pass without taking time to examine our heart, for the hour of judgement can come at any time, and we must be ready to give account to God for our life. In the Gospel of Matthew (5:8), we read “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. It is clear that without a humble and contrite heart we shall not see God.

Saint Isaac of Syria tells us, “No one has understanding if he is not humble, and he who lacks humility lacks understanding.” The prescription given to us by all the Holy Fathers point that discrimination and watchfulness are the path to achieve purity of heart, for someone who is proud, and who has not rooted out the sickness that is within his heart, will be unable to please God, for only holiness of life opens the doors to the Paradise that awaits us.

No spiritual improvement can be made if we do not seek to please God with holiness of life, yet any good in our deeds must be attributed to God. “There is none that doeth good, no not one (Romans 3:12)”, and “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not (Ecclesiastes 7:20)”.

If we find we’ve neglected our spiritual struggle, and acted with foolish abandon, we, in our weakness, must turn to God in repentance, and this can happen only with an hourly examination of the heart. We must resolve to turn ourselves around, with God’s help, and fight against the enemy of our souls, for holiness comes only to those who struggle.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday August 2, 2018 / July 20, 2018
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Holy Glorious Prophet Elias (Elijah) (9th c. B.C.).
New Hieromartyrs Constantine and Nicholas priests (1918).
Priest Philosoph Ornalsky and those with him (1918), Juvenal, deacon (1919).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander, George, John, John, Sergius and Theodore priests, Hieromartyrs Tykhon, George, Cosmas and Martyrs Euphimius and Peter (1930).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest od Uzinsk (1934).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).
New Hieromartyr Theodore (1941).
St. Alexis Medvedkov, archpriest of Uzine (1934), EliasFondaminskii (1942), Priest Demetrius Klepinine (1944), GeorgeSkobtsov (1944), and Nun Maria (Skobtsova) (1945), of Paris.
Venerable Abramius of Galich or Chukhloma Lake (1375), disciple of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh.
Uncovering of the relics of St. Athanasius, abbot, of Brest-Litovsk (1649).
“Galich-Chukhlomsk” “Tenderness” (1350), “Abalatsk” (“Sign”) (1637) and Orshansk (1631) Icons of the Mother of God.
Righteous Aaron the High Priest, brother of Prophet Moses the God-Seer.
Sts. Elias and Flavius, confessors, patriarchs of Jerusalem and Antioch (518).
St. Ilia the Righteous (1907) (Georgia).
St. Ethelwida, widow of King Alfred the Great (9th c.) (Celtic & British).
New Martyrs Lydia, and with her, soldiers Alexei and Cyril (1928).
Venerables Leontius (14 c.) and Sabbas (1392) of Stromyn.
Martyr Salome of Jerusalem and Kartli, who suffered under the Persians (13th c.) (Georgia).

The Scripture Readings

Luke 4:22-30

22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum,do also here in Your country.’ ” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.

James 5:10-20

10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your“No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.

Meeting Specific Needs

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Bring Back the Erring One

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save [d]a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Luke 4:22-30

22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.

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.

2 comments:

  1. Even now, after being Orthodox for 6 years, there are times when I weep for joy after confession because of what God does for me that I cannot do for myself.

  2. Amidst the chaotic load of daily responsibilities, we struggle to find holiness and purity of heart.
    But when we finally clutch them, we don’t want to let them go.

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