Hospital of the Soul

The Church is the hospital where we can find healing

Our Orthodox Faith defines sin as an illness that is in need of healing, not as a crime that requires punishment. The Church is a hospital for the soul whose therapists (priests) first sought therapy and then became the therapists. As a healing institution the Church is the place for broken souls.

We come before Christ as tarnished images, far from that which God intended. Yet this very Creator God is patient and loving, quick to forgive. Our God invites us to holiness, to be made whole. His grace is sufficient to lift us up out of our mire and into the heights of a joy and gladness that is meant to be eternal. We need only to humble ourselves and ask for help and the Kingdom is ours.

Heaven and hell are not about location, but about relationship. All that is needed is our responsive word, followed by action. We say yes to God’s invitation while seeking out the therapy that is ours within the life of the Church.

Wholeness (holiness) is ours through this relationship with Christ, Who’s redemptive act upon the Cross, together with His having conquered death by death, delivers us from the depths of estrangement. We are lifted up to God, having been made whole, and eternal communion with God is our destiny.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday December 30, 2019 / December 17, 2019
29th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Fish Allowed
Holy Prophet Daniel (600 B.C.) and the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael.
New Hieromartyrs Alexander, Nicholas and Sergius priests (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Peter and John priests (1937).
Venerable Daniel the Confessor (in schema Stephen) of Spain and Egypt (10th c.).
St. Dionysius of Zakynthos, archbishop of Aegina (1622).
New Hieromartyr Paisius, abbot of Turnovo, and Martyr Abbacum the Deacon at Belgrade (1814).
Martyrs Patermuthius, Coprius and Alexander the Soldier of Egypt (361).
St. Sturm, abbot and founder of Fulda monastery (779) (Germany).
Sts. Athanasius, Nicholas, and Anthony, founders of Vatopedi Monastery (10th c.).
New Martyr Nicetas of Nyssa (1300).
St. Misael of Abalatsk, hieromonk (1797).

The Scripture Readings

Hebrews 3:5-11

5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Be Faithful

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

Mark 9:42-10:1

Jesus Warns of Offenses

42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— 48 where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

Tasteless Salt Is Worthless

49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

Marriage and Divorce

10 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.

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. While reading the offering this morning I hear Paul in the background:

    “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – St. Paul

    Blest day Father.

  2. What a beautiful holy picture! I wish I was there sitting in prayer and quiet…..

    Yes, it is true we are always missing at least 1 thing – an injured body, heart, memory or relationship. With the Lord will come complete wholeness – holiness. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy…..

  3. Abbot Tryphon,

    Into my conversion to Orthodoxy, and ongoing now in regular meditation on the things that separate us from other confessions – due mainly to my desire for them to be under the care of the Church – and to stop myself from operating with past theological constraints – Father Romanides has been an anchor for me, may his memory be eternal…

    I struggle to find someone who will lead me in the methodology needed to, “stop doing the things I hate and start doing the things I love.” He recommended/required finding someone, a Spiritual Father, to oversee someone in this endeavor. Should I look outside of my Priest? I love my Priest but I think that he may not be the person for this. I’m not looking for another confessor, but someone trained in leading others to purification etc. What do you suggest, and, in the case that this is not very feasible – like, it’s not available anywhere near me, is there something to get started alone or with other Christian men in my case? I have been interested in reading Orthodoxy Psychotherapy and other related books.. I have read the Way of the Pilgrim and while it is beautiful in many ways, it does not feel like instructions – or maybe I’m missing something. And, I don’t have the advantage of being alone, I have a family.. Any input is appreciated..

    God bless you,

  4. What is the dark form hiding the icons on the Holy Door? Is it the obstacle hindering entrance into the Holy of holies? Into the Mystery within the Way, theTruth, the Life of Christ Jesus? my own shadow, the unknown, . . .?
    the darkest unanswered question?

    1. I am assuming you are referring to the veil or curtain just behind the Royal Doors (or Holy Gates). The veil is directly related to the veil in the Old Testament temple, wherein the Holy of Holies lay. In the New Testament churches, the veil is opened, and not just the High Priest is allowed in, but all those who are serving. The High Priest had bells on his vestments in order to assure temple priests that he’d not been struck down in the presence of God. Our Orthodox tradition of putting bells on the vestments of our bishops comes from this tradition, as well.

      1. Thank you for responding, Father Tryphon,
        I was not referring to the “veil” behind the Holy Doors. As perception goes, and I look again at the photo, I see now that the monk standing before the holy doors and the veil behind the holy doors, merged as one “dark” image for me; and I was perplexed by this “byzzar” dark thing that was perceived. SHOCKING! “things are not always what they seem.” Appearances can be deceiving, indeed, illusiory and deceiving! Peace!

          1. Father Tryphon and Father Paul, hope you all had a laugh at my mistaken perception mentioned above, having nothing to do with Father Paul standing there at the Holy Doors. When I realized this error on my part, I had to laugh, too. We do take things too seriously at times, don’t we?
            Last night as I was reading on p. 120, chapter 34 of Hiermonk Damascene’s Book … “If it were not laughed at, said the Ancient Sage, it would not be the Way.” Peace

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