The Critic

The critic, fearing he will fail, does nothing

It is easy to be critical of another person, finding fault with what we perceive they are doing, have done, or have not done. Yet the man who points out how another man has stumbled, finding fault in something he himself has not done, and in what he himself thinks he could have done better, is in reality the one at fault. It is the one who has done the work whom he criticizes.

The doer of the work may have stumbled, or perhaps could have done a better job, but he must receive credit for having tried. This man still deserves credit, for he is the one who put forth the effort, whereas the critic has done nothing, and, knowing he has done nothing, wishes to take the spotlight off himself, pointing, instead, to the doer.

The credit belongs to the man who has erred, and who perhaps comes up short again and again. He knows that  without chancing some error or failure, no deed will ever be done. This man takes up a worthy deed with great enthusiasm, even in spite of the fact he may fail. The critic, fearing he will fail, does nothing.  The critic will never know either defeat or victory.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday June 10, 2019 / May 28, 2019
Afterfeast of the Ascension. Tone six.
Venerable Nicetas, bishop of Chalcedon (9th c.).
St. Ignatius, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov (1288).
Venerable Helen of Diveyevo (1832).
New Hieromartyr Macarius, Dyonisius, Hieromartyr Nicholas deacon, Martyrs Ignatius and Peter (1931).
New Hieromartyr Heraclius confessor (1936).
Virgin-Martyr Hermogenas (1942).
St. Gerontius, metropolitan of Moscow (1489).
St. Eutychius, bishop of Melitene (1st c.).
Martyrs Heliconis and Dapni of Thessalonica (244).
St. Germanus, bishop of Paris (576) (Gaul).
Hieromartyr Helladius, bishop in the East (6th-7th c.).
“Nikeysky” (304), “Chukhlomsky” (Galich) (1350), “Orlovsky”, “Antiochsky” and “Tenderness” Icons of the Mother of God.
New Martyr Mitros (Demetrius) of Tripolitsa (1794) (Greek).
New Hieromartyr Zachariah of Prusa (1802) (Greek).
Venerable Sophronius, monk, of Bulgaria (1510) (Bulgaria).
Martyrs Crescens, Paul, and Dioscorides of Rome (326) (Greek).
St. William of Languedoc (812) (Gaul).
St. Andrew the fool-for-Christ of Constantinople (911).

The Scripture Readings

Acts 21:8-14

8 On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his ownhands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”

12 Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

14 So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”

John 14:27-15:7

27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you,for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

The True Vine

15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

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.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Father, for your words! They remind me of the famous quotation from President Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

  2. Blessings, Father Tryphon. Thank you for expressing this subject so well. I teach my students, young and old, that when we point an accusatory or critical finger towards others, three are pointing back at us. Furthermore, what we think we see in others is usually a reflection of our own flaws and errors. So we ought to immediately turn our judgement inwards and correct ourselves. (I have tried to apply this to myself over the years – sadly, not always successfully.) May God have mercy on this wretched sinner.
    With Love in Christ
    Marguerite Paizis

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