Hospital or Hospice?

Spiritual healing or spiritual pain control?

Since the Church is the hospital for the soul, it is important we take full advantage of all the resources for healing found within the Church. Confession is all important for this healing process to begin. The grace imparted during a good confession opens wide the gates of God’s grace, and we begin our inner journey towards reconciliation.

Becoming a frequent communicant of the Holy Mysteries of Christ’s Body and Blood, imparts to us the grace needed for the healing of the soul, and frees the soul from the the bondage that comes from the sin that has weighted us down.

Strictly keeping a Prayer Rule, as directed by our priest or spiritual father, also contributes to the healing process. Reading spiritually uplifting books, as well as the lives of the saints, greatly contributes towards the transformation that can be ours if we take our faith seriously. As well, the fasting rules of the Church are designed to help us become whole, and further the healing process that began when we first made a commitment to living a life in Christ.

If we fail to follow these time tested spiritual practices that are meant to bring about healing of body and soul, we will not find the healing that is available to us. Instead, we will find ourselves treating the Church as though she were simply a hospice, where we get a quick fix for the pain and sin that keeps us from becoming whole, and find ourselves with short term results that only mask the sin and sickness that rule our lives.

It is up to us to decide if we will allow the Church to be a hospital that brings about the cure, or simply a hospice that masks the pain and sin. The choice is ours, and it is a choice that should not be put off, lest the hour come when we are called to account before the Throne of God, and we stand before Him with an unhealed heart.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: Hieromonk Paul doing the Service of Preparation. Also called the Proskomedia, it is the name given in the Eastern Orthodox Church to the act of preparing the bread and wine for the Eucharist.

Monday January 14, 2019 / January 1, 2019
34th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Sviatki. Fast-free
The Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
St. Basil the Great, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (379).
New Hieromartyr Jeremiah (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Platon, bishop of Revel, Estonia and Priests Michael and Nicholas (1919).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander archbishop of Samara and with him John, Alexander, John, Alexander, Trophime, Viacheslav, Basil and James priests (1938).
St. Athanasius of Poltava, wonderworker (1801).
Martyr Basil of Ancyra (ca. 362).
St. Emelia, mother of Sts. Macrina, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa (375).
St. Gregory, bishop of Nazianzus (374) and father of St. Gregory the Theologian.
Martyr Theodotos.
Venerable Theodosius of Tryglia, abbot.
St. Fulgentius, bishop of Ruspe in North Africa (533) (North Africa).
New Martyr Peter of the Peloponnesus (1776) (Greek).
St. Eugendus, abbot of Condatin the Jura Mountains (510).
St. Clarus of Vienne (ca. 660) (Gaul).
St. Fanchea of Killeany (ca. 520) (Celtic & British).

The Scripture Readings

John 10:9-16

9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep,and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Colossians 2:8-12

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Not Legalism but Christ

11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Luke 2:40-52

40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

The Boy Jesus Amazes the Scholars

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And [b]Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

Jesus Advances in Wisdom and Favor

51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

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. Dear
    Very Reverend Abbot Tryphon
    Christ in our midst
    Your blessing
    After several times I received and read your wonderful spiritual thoughts, then I felt called to translate into Indonesian to be shared with my close friends as daily spiritual food.
    That’s why I ask for your blessing so I can do share it.
    Thank you Father
    in the love of Christ.
    Father Aleksander Kobesi
    ROCOR Bali

  2. I am a hospital-based physician and today’s post is meaningful to me on several levels. Spasibo/euxaristo/thank you, Father.

  3. Greetings – Your posts are enriching and marvelous, and I look forward to reading them each day. With respect to equating hospice to “where we get a quick fix for the pain and sin that keeps us from becoming whole, and find ourselves with short term results that only mask the sin and sickness that rule our lives”, I would like to offer that hospices are not quick fixes for anything, at least not the hospice where I serve as a volunteer chaplain. Hospices serve as a place of comfort from pain and anxiety and a place of preparation for falling asleep. Of course, the hope is patients prepare throughout their lives, but in many cases not, especially the non-Orthodox, so the time spent in hospice care can offer the opportunity for that preparation. To be clear, I serve at an Evangelical Christian hospice (I am the only Orthodox Christian chaplain there) so there is likely greater attention paid to spiritual care than at secular hospices. Again, thank you for sharing your wisdom and encouragement each day. Faithfully yours,

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