My Countries

I pray for America, and I pray for Russia

I am not a Russian, and I’ve sometimes felt like a stepchild in the Russian Church, not because I’ve not been welcomed, but because the ethnic identity, as well as the language, of many of my brothers and sisters is not something I share. As a man whose roots are in Norway and Scotland, I’ve found myself happily at home in a very ethnically Russian jurisdiction.

I love things Russian, and chose to enter Orthodoxy through the Russian Church because I felt an organic connection to a people who have a certain earthiness that was familiar to my Scandinavian roots. Loving my fellow Orthodox Christians who are Russian, has in turn led me to appreciate Russian culture, and Russian values. As one who is also a patriotic American, I have found myself well aware that there are problems on both sides of the Pacific, and, we who make up the human family are like all families, in that we don’t always get along.

Because I am at home among Russian Americans, and have grown to love and respect my Russian and Ukrainian bishops, I am hurt when the president of the country of my birth, disrespects the people and nation who have become, in a profound way, my family. This tug of loyalty between my allegiance to the country of my birth, and my love of the country whose roots are grounded in Orthodoxy, places me in the center of a firestorm of rhetoric and mistrust. Like the child of divorce, I love both my parents, and want them to get along. Knowing the good in both, I am pained that they are failing to see the same goodness. I am pained with the knowledge that two parents are struggling to dominate my world, when in all truth, they should be sharing that world in mutual love and respect.

So, I pray for America, and I pray for Russia. I pray the Lord will preserve both great countries in all honesty, peace, justice, and honor. I pray that God, in His loving kindness, will bring our two great countries together for the common good of all humanity. I pray for President Trump, and I pray for President Putin, two brothers of different mothers, both created in the image of the same loving Father.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: Mount Rainier as seen from Vashon Island.

Saturday November 10, 2018 / October 28, 2018
24th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
Great-martyr Parasceva of Iconium (3rd c.).
Martyrs Terence and Neonilla of Syria, and their children Sarbelus, Photus, Theodulus, Hierax, Nitus, Bele, and Eunice (249).
Venerable Stephen of St. Sabbas monastery, hymnographer (807).
St. Arsenius I of Srem, archbishop of Serbia (1266).
Repose of Venerable Job of Pochaev (1651).
St. Demetrius, metropolitan of Rostov (1709).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Michael Lektorsky of Kuban (1920).
St. Arsenius of Cappadocia (1924).
Venerable Nestor (not the Chronicler) of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
St. Theophilus, fool-for-Christ of Kiev (1852).
Martyrs Africanus, Terence, Maximus, Pompeius, and 36 others, at Carthage (250).
Hieromartyr Cyriacus, patriarch of Jerusalem (363), and his mother Martyr Anna.
Venerable John the Chozebite, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine (532).
Hieromartyr Neophytus, bishop of Urbnisi, Georgia (587) (Georgia).
St. Firmilian, bishop of Caesareain Cappadocia, and Venerable Malchion, presbyter (269).
St. Febronia, daughter of Emperor Heraclius (632).
Righteous Virgin Parasceva of Pirimin on the Pinega River (Archangelsk) (16th c.).
New Martyrs Angelis, Manuel, George, and Nicholas of Crete (1824) (Greek).
St. Athanasius I, patriarch of Constantinople (Mt. Athos) (1340) (Greek).
Protection of the Mother of God (Greek).

The Scripture Readings

John 10:1-9

Jesus the True Shepherd

10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

2 Corinthians 11:1-6

Concern for Their Faithfulness

11 Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

Paul and False Apostles

5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.

Luke 8:16-21

The Parable of the Revealed Light

16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Come to Him

19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some,who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.”

21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

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.


    1. Fr Abbot Please bless,
      Your words are so very eloquent and moving. Many of us within the Orthodox faith are praying for orthodox nations. In particular, Russia as well as for the current schism within our own faith. May the good Lord grant us his abundant and rich mercy.

  1. Bonjour Père (Father),

    Thank you for this. We should all pray for both countries and their respective head of State.

    This Sunday, in many countries, we will remember those who lost their lives during wars, especially the big world wars of the 20th century. Canadians, Brits, French, Americans, Russians and others have paid the highest price to defend their countries, their ”patries”.

    This year is a special one since we’ll celebrate WW1, the Great War, that ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day in 1918. Here in Canada, it is called ”Remembrance Day”. Many Canadians since the end of October have put on a red and black poppy for the occasion (we do that, like the British people, every year. After all, the official Head of State of our ”Dominion” is still Queen Elizabeth!). May we always pray God for the soul of all those courageous soldiers, doctors, nurses and others (also the innocent civilians) who died during those evil days.

  2. By the prayers of St. Andrew, St. Olga, St. Vladimir The Prince, and Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Lord God and Christ Jesus, bring healing and peace to the Ukrainian and Russian lands, their people, their borders, and preserve your Church there.

    By prayers of St. John of San Francisco and Sts. Herman and Innocent of Alaska, bring peace between the United States and Russia.

    By the prayers of St. Patrick , St. Augustine of Canterbury , and St. Olaf of Norway may those of us who are descendants of Ireland, Great Britain, and Norway avail ourselves fully to be and extension of your peace and healing in our present positions in life.

    Father Abbot Tryphon, I come from a several generations of Irish immigrants out of the Chicago area. I am growing to love my fellow Russian and Ukrainian (Orthodox) Americans very much too.

  3. It is a great sadness that the two patriarchs of Moscow and Constantinople are not in communion with each other as this affects both Greek and Russian orthodox people in the diaspora. I hope with God’s grace this will be rectified quickly

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