The Power of Good Deeds

Lengthy debates and fruitless discussions do nothing for truth

“For it is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (1 Peter 2:15).

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic tells us in The Prologue from Ochrid that we are better off if we do not engage others in lengthy debates and fruitless discussions, but that we can better change their hearts by our love and good deeds. Arguing with others, even over matters of faith, is usually a fruitless venture, rarely leading the other to ponder the truth of your words. Better to demonstrate truth by holiness of life, patience, and kindness in our response. Entering into heated words most often leads to a standoff, where only the demons win in the end.

“It is difficult, my brethren, to dispute with an atheist; it is difficult to converse with a stupid man; it is difficult to change an embittered man. It is only with the greatest difficulty that you will convince an atheist, a stupid man, or an embittered man, with words.”

“If you argue with an atheist on his own diabolical terms, you simply strengthen the demon of atheism. If you converse with a stupid man in a spirit of derision, the darkness of stupidity will be made the greater. If you think to change a bitter man by anger, you will merely add more fuel to the fire of bitterness.”

Responding to the embittered man, the angry man, or the stupid man, while hoping to win him over, does nothing for him, and eventually gives power to the demon who would devour the man’s soul, and consume your own. Thinking you have to prove the correctness of your point of view does nothing for truth, but only gives power to the demons of pride, anger, and stupidity. The power and influence of good deeds always wins out in the end.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday April 28, 2020 / April 15, 2020
Radonitsa, or Day of Rejoicing. Commemoration of the Dead. Tone one.
Apostles Aristarchus, Pudens, and Trophimus of the Seventy (67).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1930).
Martyrs Basilissa and Anastasia of Rome, disciples of Apostles Peter and Paul (1st c.).
Martyr Suchias and his companions: Andrew, Anastasius, Thalaleus, Theodoretus, Ivchirion, Jordan, Quadratus, Lucian, Mimnenos, Nerangius, Polyeuctus, James, Phocas, Domentianus, Victor, and Zosima (Chorimos), in Armenia (123).
Martyr Sabbas the Goth of Buzau in Wallachia (Romania) (372).
St. Mstislav Theodore, prince of Kiev (1132).
Venerable Ruadhan, founder and abbot of Lothra, Ireland (ca. 584) (Celtic & British).
St. Leonidas, bishop of Athens (Greek).
St. Basil of Poiana Marului (1767).
St. Daniel of Achinsk, Siberia (1843).
Martyr Pausilipus of Thrace (2nd c.).
Martyr Crescens of Myra (3rd c.).
St. Paternus, bishop of Llandbadarn Fawr.

The Scripture Readings

Acts 4:1-10

Peter and John Arrested

4 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

Addressing the Sanhedrin

5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

John 3:16-21

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

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.

3 comments:

  1. Amen to that!
    So true, Father Tryphon, so true!

    But sadly, very hard to do, I am working on it though. Sometimes I manage not to respond and sometimes I fall in to the trap, and then, very quickly, the demons of anger and pride turn against me, and I wish I had just kept quiet.

  2. Lord Jesus Christ, in union with that divine intention with which You offered to God Your praises on earth through Your most Sacred Heart, and now offer them in the Sacrament of the Eucharist everywhere even to the end of time, I most gladly offer You throughout this entire day, all my thoughts and intentions, all my affections and desires, all my words and deeds, in imitation of the most holy heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate. Amen.

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