The Place

Returning to where it all began

A number of years ago I joined my younger brother, Dwayne, for a travel back in time, to places that were important to our youthful formation. This visit turned out to be one of the best I’ve had with my brother, and the highlight was the day we drove to a remote portion of Priest Lake, where our grandfather had built a lake cabin. It was the first time I’d been there since my senior year in high school.

The place was just as I’d remembered it, with the cabin still the same color my grandfather had chosen, and Priest Lake, with the snow capped mountains off in the distance, and the little island just off shore,  just as tranquil as the first time I had walked on that beach, soon after my grandparents had purchased the property from the Idaho Department of Forestry. I remember camping in a tent, while my grandfather began clearing trees, and selecting the site where he’d build his lake home.

The photo of me standing next to the dock is especially meaningful for me, for it was this dock that served as my special place of solitude, as a sixteen year old. I would spend hours sitting in a deck chair, alone, praying, and reading the Bible and theological works. It was on this dock that I first experienced the contemplative life, and sensed God calling me to be a monk.

This beach overwhelmed me with memories of my youth, for it was here where I first felt the desire to wear a black robe, and live a life that would be focused on communing with God. It was this place where God first instilled in me a desire to spend my future in solitude, prayer, and community, as a monk. No longer a sixteen year old with dreams, but a seventy-three year old monk, wearing that black robe, and gazing out at the beauty that first instilled in me a desire to live a life in communion with God, as a monk.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: My grandfather’s dock and lakeside cabin, located on Priest Lake in Northern Idaho.

Friday April 12, 2019 / March 30, 2019
Fifth Week of the Great Lent. Tone four.
Great Lent. Food with Oil
The Meeting of the Mother of God and Saint Elizabeth (movable Feast on March 30. If March 30 should fall between Lazarus Saturday and Pascha, however, the Feast is transferred to Bright Friday).
Venerable John (Climacus) of Sinai, author of The Ladder (649).
St. Sophronius, bishop of Irkutsk (1771).
Prophet Joad (I Kings 13:11 -10th c. BC ) who dwelt in Bethel.
Holy Apostles Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Caesar, and Epaphroditus, of the Seventy (1st c.).
St. Eubula, mother of St. Panteleimon (304).
Venerable John the Silent of St. Sabbas monastery (558).
Venerable Zosimas, bishop of Syracuse (662).
St. John II, patriarch of Jerusalem (5th c.).
Hieromartyr Zacharias, bishop of Corinth (1684).
St. Osburga of Coventry, virgin (1015) (Celtic & British).
Translation of the relics of the Martyr-King Edmund of East Anglia (Celtic & British).
Venerable John the Hermit of Cilicia (4th c.).

The Scripture Readings

Isaiah 45:11-17

11 Thus says the Lord,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
12 I have made the earth,
And created man on it.
I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
And all their host I have commanded.
13 I have raised him up in righteousness,
And I will direct all his ways;
He shall build My city
And let My exiles go free,
Not for price nor reward,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14 Thus says the Lord:

“The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush
And of the Sabeans, men of stature,
Shall come over to you, and they shall be yours;
They shall walk behind you,
They shall come over in chains;
And they shall bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying, ‘Surely God is in you,
And there is no other;
There is no other God.’ ”

15 Truly You are God, who hide Yourself,
O God of Israel, the Savior!
16 They shall be ashamed
And also disgraced, all of them;
They shall go in confusion together,
Who are makers of idols.
17 But Israel shall be saved by the Lord
With an everlasting salvation;
You shall not be ashamed or disgraced
Forever and ever.

Isaiah 45:11-17

11 Thus says the Lord,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
12 I have made the earth,
And created man on it.
I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
And all their host I have commanded.
13 I have raised him up in righteousness,
And I will direct all his ways;
He shall build My city
And let My exiles go free,
Not for price nor reward,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14 Thus says the Lord:

“The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush
And of the Sabeans, men of stature,
Shall come over to you, and they shall be yours;
They shall walk behind you,
They shall come over in chains;
And they shall bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying, ‘Surely God is in you,
And there is no other;
There is no other God.’ ”

15 Truly You are God, who hide Yourself,
O God of Israel, the Savior!
16 They shall be ashamed
And also disgraced, all of them;
They shall go in confusion together,
Who are makers of idols.
17 But Israel shall be saved by the Lord
With an everlasting salvation;
You shall not be ashamed or disgraced
Forever and ever.

Proverbs 17:17-18:5

17 A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

18 A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes surety for his friend.

19 He who loves transgression loves strife,
And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

20 He who has a deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.

21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

23 A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back
To pervert the ways of justice.

24 Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding,
But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him.

26 Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.

27 He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

The Name of the Lord Is a Strong Tower

18 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.

2 A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.

3 When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.

4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

5 It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

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.

5 comments:

  1. Greetings in Christ!
    Hello Fr. Tryphon, greetings on this Friday of the fifth week of the Great Fast.
    Just a few lines for now, I am Floyd Frantz, the OCMC missionary that visited your monastery a few years ago. Fr. Iulian Negru from Romania was with me. It is possible that you will not remember us…..

    First of all, thank you for writing the meditations. I enjoy reading them very much. I am still in Romania, serving the Orthodox Church in setting up addictions programs, and doing education on the healing aspects of Orthodox spirituality. We treat addiction as a passion, and the Church has the right medicine, and you have some very nice writings on this subject, as an example, yesterdays.

    I will be transferring to two years to serve at the St. Herman of Alaska Seminary on Kodiak. The reason I am writing is to ask if you would ever consider coming to Alaska, at the invitation of Bishop David, to talk about the healing properties of Orthodoxy, especially as it relates to addictions being a passion that only relationship with God can heal. This would be not only for the seminarians, but for also for the clergy of the OCA in Alaska.

    Thank you for your consideration of this matter,
    In His Love,
    One day at a time,
    Floyd Frantz, OCMC Missionary in Romania,

    1. Of course I remember all of you!
      It would be a joy for me. As close as I live to Alaska, I’ve never been there, and to be asked to come to speak would be a great blessing for me.

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