An Update from the Old Monk

An Update from the Old Monk

I should be filled with rage against a brute who could perpetrate such an unwarranted attack against me, especially since I’d smiled at him, just prior to the sucker punch. In my mind I assumed he was approaching me with a request for money, or wanting to know what I was. Since I try, with God’s help, to be kind to everyone, even trying to bring a smile on a strangers face by saying something self-effacing in an attempt to put them at ease, I was totally caught off guard by what he did to me.

Instead, I find myself filled with compassion and love for the poor tortured soul who was driven to commit such a heinous act. That a young man would sucker punch an obviously old man, and a stranger to him, is truly hard for me to comprehend. Even more, I am praying for my attacker. The reason is this: Although I am imperfect, and a terrible sinner, I am graced to live a fulfilling and fruitful life, assured of God’s love for me and surrounded by people who love me also. Not so the man who sucker punched me. His pointless act suggests someone filled with loathing for those around him and even more for himself. What inner torment could cause him to lash out at someone who has done him no harm? He is his own victim even more than I am his victim. I know I have forgiven him, but can he forgive himself ? My prayer for him is that he can find the courage to ask God to forgive him.

Meanwhile, I covet your prayers. I have been left with a certain amount of hearing loss, with a ringing in my left ear and reduced hearing in my right ear, along with an echoing sound. As a lover of classical music, I pray this will not be permanent. I’m also suffering from headaches, general body pain, and a bit unsteady in my walking. So, in your charity, please keep this old monk in your holy prayers.

To the countless people, including four metropolitans, three archbishops, five bishops, two abbots, two holy abbesses, and countless priests from many jurisdictions, who have reached out to me, I am humbled by your love and caring hearts. I thank all of you from the depths of my heart. And, as strange as it may sound to some, I am grateful that I was blessed to share in Christ’s suffering and abuse, during these final days of the Great Lenten Journey. I received one sucker punch, but our dear Saviour received countless more, before His crucifixion on the cross.

The King County Sheriffs Department got a perfect set of photos of the man from surveillance video in the convenience store of the gas station, and have aired the photos through the television media, with the hope someone will recognize the him. I want him caught, not only that he not injure another person, but that I can have a chance to visit him in jail, and let him know that I forgive him, and that God loves him.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday April 18, 2019 / April 5, 2019
Sixth Week of the Great Lent. Tone five.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil
Transation of the relics (1652) of St. Job, patriarch of Moscow (1607).
Martyrs Theodulus, reader, and Agathopodes, deacon, and those with them at Thessalonica (303).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1930).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1931).
Venerable Publius of Egypt, monk (4th c.).
Venerables Theonas, Symeon, and Phorbinus of Egypt (4th c.).
Venerable Mark the Anchorite of Athens (400).
Venerable Plato, abbot of the Studion (813).
Venerable Theodora, nun, of Thessalonica (892) (Greek).
New Martyr George of New Ephesus (1801).
Repose of St. Philip the First, metropolitan of Moscow (1473).
Five girls martyred at Neanidor of Lesbos (Greek).
Martyrs Theodora and Didymus of Alexandria (305).
The Martyr Fermus.
New Martyr Argyra at Constantinople (1725).
New Martyr Panaghiotis of Jerusalem (1820).
St. Derfel of Lianderfel.
Venerable Ethelburga, queen and Abbes of Lyminge, Kent.
Martyrs Claudius, Diodorus, Victor, Victorinus, Pappia, Serapion, and Nicephorus (Greek).

The Scripture Readings

Isaiah 65:8-16

8 Thus says the Lord:

“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
And one says, ‘Do not destroy it,
For a blessing is in it,’
So will I do for My servants’ sake,
That I may not destroy them all.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
And from Judah an heir of My mountains;
My elect shall inherit it,
And My servants shall dwell there.
10 Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
For My people who have sought Me.

11 “But you are those who forsake the Lord,
Who forget My holy mountain,
Who prepare a table for Gad,
And who furnish a drink offering for Meni.
12 Therefore I will number you for the sword,
And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
Because, when I called, you did not answer;
When I spoke, you did not hear,
But did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.”

13 Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, My servants shall eat,
But you shall be hungry;
Behold, My servants shall drink,
But you shall be thirsty;
Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
But you shall be ashamed;
14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,
But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
And wail for grief of spirit.
15 You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen;
For the Lord God will slay you,
And call His servants by another name;
16 So that he who blesses himself in the earth
Shall bless himself in the God of truth;
And he who swears in the earth
Shall swear by the God of truth;
Because the former troubles are forgotten,
And because they are hidden from My eyes.

Genesis 46:1-7

Jacob’s Journey to Egypt

46 So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

3 So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. 4 I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.”

5 Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the [b]carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 So they took their livestock and their goods, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him. 7 His sons and his sons’ sons, his daughters and his sons’ daughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

Proverbs 23:15-24:5

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.

19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.

26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.

29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”

Do Not Envy Evil Men

24 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2 For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.

3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

5 A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon is Igumen of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. 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. God bless you Abbott Tryphon.

    Your example in this testing time is an example to me, if not to all. Indeed your suffering and ability to forgive the assailant is what makes us truly Christian… I can only pray and hope that, God forbid, I were to go through the same experience that I would have the grace, courage, love, respect and humility to act as you have!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and blessed Holy Week and Pascha!

    Andrew Papas
    Sydney, Australia

  2. Dear Abbot Tryphon,
    It pains us to have learned of the attack you suffered and the physical effects it has caused you. You have always nourished us with the highest spirituality, and even now, your example of forgiveness and love is the highest teaching you could give. We are praying that you heal well, and that the young attacker’s soul can heal too.
    We send you our love and our prayers.
    In Christ,

  3. What Grace you show to your attacker!
    Such an example for all of us to follow. I continue to pray for your total, speedy recovery.
    My God Bless you and touch the heart of your attacker.

  4. Dear Father Abbott,
    I am so sorry to hear of the attack on you, but I love your response and desire to visit and offer forgiveness to your attacker! Thank you for sharing your trial with your friends on the internet. Observing your response, including your offering of the incident as part of your Lenten Journey is so valuable to me as one who looks to your wisdom to guide me on my journey. I have been praying for you and your companion who was with you, may God heal you both in every way and restore to you the joy of hearing beautiful music clearly.
    Your thankful Spiritual child,
    (Iris Houdyshel)
    Claremont, New Hampshire

  5. Amen, Fr. Tryphon. We are all, I am sure, praying for your continued healing. And we are all praying for the perpetrator in this horrific crime. God bless you.

  6. Bless Father:
    1. I am glad and grateful your wounds have not stopped your writings, because by them I an helped.
    2. The arrest, prosecution, punishment and imprisonment of your attacker is the want and the work of others; for shame and adversity against him is sought by authorities, especially given the stature of the innocent victim who is suffering.
    3. I hope and pray for your speedy recovery, and for his. Whoever and wherever your attacker is right now, the Lord is first to know him, first to see him, first to love him and He is first to forgive him and first to desire everlasting freedom for him, without partiality.

  7. Father Bless
    I am sure you are overwhelmed with messages of support, just know that you touch many lives every day and indeed rejoice in your suffering for our Lord!

  8. Dear Abbot Tryphon.
    I was so sad to hear what happened to you and I am praying that the Lord sends His comfort and healing to you . You are such a blessing to me every day.

  9. Hello Abbot Tryphon,
    I am so happy to hear that you are okay. What wonderful words of forgiveness you have written here. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for all that you do. I will pray for you and the attacker as well.
    God bless you and have mercy upon us all.
    In Christ,

  10. I’m praying that your hearing is restored, and that whatever evil resides in the perpetrator’s heart is driven out by the love of our Lord.

  11. I was so heartbroken to hear what happened to you. Every morning I look forward to your morning offering in my email. Your blog has blessed me over the years since I became orthodox. I thank you for that. I will continue to pray for you and your hearing to be healed.

  12. Thank God you are all right. You and he will continue in my prayers. You have set an excellent example for us, especially now at the conclusion of Lent. Thank you.

  13. Bless Fr. Tryphon,

    I’m so glad to hear from you this morning! My wife and I have been praying for you (even more than the usual amount, since you’re on our prayer list) and the monks at All-Merciful Savior Monastery.

    Kissing your hand,
    Justin Paul

  14. I am so sorry for what happened to you. I hope and pray that your hearing will be restored. Your forgiveness for the man that hurt you is wonderful. An example to us all of how we should also forgive.
    Thank you Father for the Morning Offering.

  15. Father bless!
    We’ve had a run in or two on Facebook, but I’m also praying for healing for you and time for repentance for the unknown assailant. And I might as well ask your forgiveness as well.

  16. Father Tryphon,
    Continued prayers as you struggle to regain your health! May our most gracious and loving Lord be merciful to you. May He grant you strength, perseverance, and restored health!

  17. Dear Abba Tryphon,
    What a beautiful post from you this morning! Such a fine example of how we should greet any difficulty and/or pain in our lives. Thank you for your writings. Every morning I read your “Offering” and am blessed by it. I especially love the photos you post. May God bring physical healing to you, and continue to bless you richly. You are in my prayers.

    With Love,

  18. You are in our prayers, Father Tryphon. It was comforting to hear from you again after such an unfortunate incident. Thank you for showing us a real life example of how to love our enemies…

  19. I admire you for what you want to do if the man is caught, as it’s the true Christian thing to do, but honestly, don’t know if I could go that far if it happened to me….
    yes, I am a sinner……..and always ask God to forgive my sins……..

  20. Father bless,
    I must admit, my first reaction to the news of the attack on you was not “prayers of forgiveness”. But you met me outside the Temple and comforted me and helped set me straight. Thank you, Father.

  21. Beloved Brother in Christ,
    Your unpleasant experience – and absolutely Christian reaction to it – reminded me of the reaction to her husband’s assassination by a terrorist of Grand Duchess Elizabeth in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Elizabeth visited the murderer in his cell, fell down on her knees before him, and asked him to forgive her and her husband for provoking him to murder. Today, she is Saint Elizabeth, one of the millions of our New Martyrs of Russia !

  22. My Dear Abbot,

    Your loving spirit inspires me to seek a Christlike mind like yours and love my enemies. God bless you and heal you quickly!🙏🏽

  23. Abbot Tryphon,
    l pray he will turn himself in very soon! I pray you will be completely healed of your pain , ear ringing , and hearing loss.
    I pray nothing else will hinder your physical and spiritual healing.
    May God protect you ,each one of the monastics , and the monastery. Thank you for your prayers , words of encouraging wisdom, and submission to Christ .
    In His Mercy,

  24. Continued blessings and prayers to you, Father Tryphon. Your personal messages re this unfortunate incident
    are truly inspiring.
    Love to you, Candace Elizabeth

  25. Que Dieu vous bénisse, cher Père. (May God bless your dear Father.)

    I hope your hearing will get better. I too have problems with mine. I have been stuck with ringing in both ears for many years now. It’s a problem that affects my maternal uncle and my grand-father too during his life down here. If you have to live with that for the rest of your life, here’s a ”trick” : When I started comparing those sounds to the voices of angels praying unceasingly before our Loving God, it helped!

    To you and all my Brothers and Sisters in XC, a Great and Holy Week.


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