Bad Thoughts

Holding bad thoughts negates everything good

The Fathers, such as Saint Paisius of Mount Athos, teach us that when we hold bad thoughts about anyone, or nurture a grudge against another, we negate everything good that can come from keeping vigil, or fasting. Ascetic discipline is useless if we do not expel bad thoughts against another.

One good thought is more powerful than a long vigil service, for it dispels the power of the devil. Whereas, a bad thought empowers the forces of the underworld against us. When we allow bad thoughts to take up abode in us, we dispel God’s grace, and open the door to further attacks of the evil one.

When we encounter ill-will, or hatred from others, we must not allow bad thoughts to further separate us from them, but rather, think only good about them. When we do so, it will leave us open to the grace of God, and we will find it impossible to think ill of them.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: This photo was taken by my brother, Dwayne Parsons, as he crossed the long bridge over Lake Pend Oreille in the northern Idaho. We both have the same eye for scenic photography, and look forward to fly fishing together every spring or summer, when I’m able to get up to Sandpoint.

Friday February 15, 2019 / February 2, 2019
38th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Fast. Fish Allowed
The Meeting of Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
New Hieromartyr Basil priest, Martyr Michael (1938).
St. Anthimus of Chios (1960).
New Martyr Jordan of Trebizond (1650) (Greek).
New Martyr Gabriel at Constantinople (1676) (Greek).
Martyr Agathodorus of Cappadocia (Greek).

The Scripture Readings

Luke 2:25-32

Simeon Sees God’s Salvation

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Hebrews 7:7-17

7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. 8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. 9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

Need for a New Priesthood

11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was therethat another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.

14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies:

“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Luke 2:22-40

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Simeon Sees God’s Salvation

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Anna Bears Witness to the Redeemer

36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

The Family Returns to Nazareth

39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

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.

11 comments:

  1. Dear Abbot Tryphon
    Thank you once again for such a timely reminder.
    May the Lord always inspire you to guide us through the pitfalls of life.
    God bless.

  2. Dear Abbot Tryphon, with a little delay, happy and blessed name, St. Tryphon! By his prayers, may you always have the love of God in your heart. Also many years the Presentation of the Lord! Mention in your prayers Slavica and Nektarios. Thank you for your daily encouraging posts…

  3. Thank you Abbot Tryphon for your always encouraging words! The wisdom you share from the Fathers and Elders is an blessing too. I also, very much, look forward to the photographs you choose to put with your blog. The images point us to the beauty of God and how he has blessed us in an abundance of ways. Thank you for sharing your brother’s photograph.

  4. Father Bless, Any advice for me? I had someone who hurt me; and sometimes when I pray for her, I think of her name and start thinking bad thoughts that then disrupts my rest of my prayers. I try and stop and say the Jesus prayer to block the bad thoughts out, sometimes it allows me to continue and other times, not. My forgiveness of her must not be fully.

      1. Sometimes we have to “want to want” in our prayers, especially when we are blocked. “Dear God, I want to want to truly forgive this person.” It often is a helpful baby step on the path of forgiveness.
        Something else that has really helped me is to light a candle in church for this person. The physical act can often push away the bad thoughts.

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