No Looking Back

Don’t hold on to guilt and shame

There are many people who cling to memories of past sins, holding on to guilt and shame, reliving things long ago confessed, as though they happened yesterday. They struggle with regrets, often revisiting shame as though they were archeologists, digging for historical artifacts that must be preserved.

Such is not the case with God, for His interest is not in our past, but in our future. Confessed sins are counted as nothing, for God looks with interest on the transformed heart that has been made anew, with contrition. God looks to our future, for His loving mercy is upon the man who has confessed his sin, and that sin is counted as nothing. God is interested in what we are doing with our future, and as a loving Father takes pleasure in the steps we take in our journey towards Him.

For us to look back is to reject the very role of confession, for if we cling to past regrets, we are rejecting the very meaning of repentance, which means a change of heart and taking a direction that is all about the future.

Transformation is not something that happens in an instant, but is a journey towards holiness, and as long as we look to the future with hope, transformation of the heart continues, and our past becomes but a fading memory.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: Monk Nicodemus sitting on the porch of our Way Of A Pilgrim Bookstore.

Friday October 11, 2019 / September 28, 2019
17th Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Fast. Food with Oil
Venerable Chariton the Confessor, abbot of Palestine (350).
Venerables Cyril, schemamonk and Maria, schemanun (1337) (parents of St. Sergius of Radonezh).
Uncovering of the relics of St. Elizabeth Romanov (1918).
Martyress Anna (1925).
New Martyr Hilarion, Virgin-martyr Michaela (1937).
Virgin-martyr Tatiana (1942).
Synaxis of the Saints of the Kievan Caves Monastery, venerated in the near caves of Venerable Anthony: Anthony the Founder (1073) – Prochorus the Gardener and Wonderworker (1107) – John the Faster (12th c.) – Juliana the Virgin, Princess of Ol’shansk (c.1550) – Monkmartyrs Basil and Theodore (1098) – Polycarp, Archimandrite of the Kievan Caves (1182) – Varlaam, Abbot of the Kievan Caves (1065) – Damian the Presbyter and Healer (1071) – Nicodemus the Prosphora-baker (12th c.) – Lawrence the Hermit, Bishop of Turov (12th C) – Athanasius the Hermit (c.1176) – Gerasim the Black-Robed (12th c.) – Luke, Steward of the Kievan Caves (13th c.) – Agapit the Unmercenary Physician (c.1095) – Theophilus the Clear-sighted and John the God-pleasing (12th c.) – Nectarios (12th c.) – Gregory the Iconographer (12th c.) – Hieromartyr Kuksha, Enlightener of the Vyati (12th c.) – Alexis the Hermit (13th c.) – Sava the God-pleasing (13th c.) – Sergius the Obedient (13th c.) – Mercurius, Bishop of Smolensk (1239) – Pimen the Muchailing (1110) – Nestor the Chronicler (c.1114) – Monkmartyr Evstratius (1097) – Elladius the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Jeremiah the Clairvoyant (11th c.) – Monkmartyr Moses the Hungarian (c.1031-1043) – John the Much-ailing (1160) – Mark the Grave-Digger (12th c.) – Nikola Svyatosha, Prince of Chernigov (1143) – Martyr Gregory the Wonderworker (1093) – Onysimus the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Matthew the Clairvoyant (11th c.) – Isaiah the Wonderworker (1115) – Abraham the Lover of Labor (12th-13th c.) – Niphont, Bishop of Novgorod (1156) – Sylvester the Wonderworker (12th c.) – Pimen the Faster (12th c.) – Onuphrius the Silent (12th c.) – Anatolius the Hermit (12th c.) – Alipy the Iconographer (1114) – Sisois the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Theophilus the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Arethas the Hermit (c.1195) – Spiridon the Prosphora-baker (12th c.) – Onysiphorus the Confessor (1148) – Simon, Bishop of Suzdal (12th c.) – Nikon, Abbot of Kievan Caves (1088) – Theophan the Faster (12th c.) – Macarius (12th c.) – Monkmartyr Anastasius the Deacon (12th c.) – 12 Master Architects (11th c.) – Abraham the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Isaac the Hermit (c.1190) – Martyr John the Infant (11th-12th c.) – Elias of Murom (c.1188) – Nikon the Lean (12th c.) – Ephraim, Bishop of Pereyaslavl’ (c.1098) – Tito the Hieromonk (1190).
Venerable Chariton, monk, of Syanzhema Lake (Vologda) (1509).
Venerable Herodion, abbot, of Iloezersk (1541).
Prophet Baruch (6th c. B.C.).
Martyrs Alexander, Alphius, Zosimas, Mark, Nicon, Neon, Heliodorus, and 24 others in Pisidia and Phrygia (4th c.).
Martyrdom of St. Wenceslaus, prince of the Czechs (935).
St. Juliana, Princess of Olshansk.
Martyr Eustace of Rome (Greek).
St. Faustus, bishop of Riez (495).
St. Leoba, abbess of Bischofsheim, English missionary to Germany (779).
St. Alkison, bishop of Nicopolis (Preveza) in Epirus (561).
St. Auxentius the Alaman, Wonderworker of Cyprus (12th c.).
St. Neophytus the Recluse of Cyprus (1214) (Cypriote).
St. Machan, disciple of St. Cadoc.

The Scripture Readings

Matthew 4:25-5:13

25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

The Beatitudes

5 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Believers Are Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Ephesians 4:17-25

The New Man

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Do Not Grieve the Spirit

25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

Luke 6:17-23

Jesus Heals a Great Multitude

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes

20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

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. He is merciful , throwing our sins “into the depths of the sea”(Micah 7:19). And we must press on “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”(Phil.3:13,14). At times we stumble, Lord have mercy on us! – and lift us up again.

    Have a blessed day, Father.

    1. Thank you dear Father, for this succinct post. I find it very helpful to see ideas and facts expressed clearly, firmly and simply. Mulling over the past has been a pitfall in my spiritual life. Now I have an antidote.

      Blessings to you.

  2. Yes, I try while not always successful, to forge ahead on the path taking on what is good and dropping off what is not good. Not always easy – something to work on!

    Thankyou and God bless! (Happy Thanksgiving from Canada…..)

  3. Thank you …..your words remind me to always look forward. Thank you also for your daily blog. It means so much to me to start each day with it.

  4. I am trying to leave my old life of sin and the world behind but there are people who are trying to pull me back into to that old sinful life ! I need to keep turning to GOD! Who i want more than my old sins and of my old life !

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