The Wonderful Truth

It is God Who sought me out

I’m facing another three day hospitalization on the 2nd of November. My cardiologist has decided they need to do another procedure for my heart, so, once again, I am facing my mortality. I turn 75 on the 9th of November, so I am nearing the age when my own father died of heart related issues.

I am not afraid, for I know in my heart that I am loved by the Lord, and I try each and every day to live in repentance, knowing that I have failed to live according to the gospels. Even as a monk of over forty years, I am so far from the holiness and purity of my late spiritual father, Blessed Dimitry of Santa Rosa, that I often feel as though I should hide my face in shame. Yet I live in the hope that the Lord will be merciful to me, the miserable child that I am.

I live with the knowledge that just as a child who has been adopted by loving parents knows from the outset that he is loved because he knows they chose him, God chose me. The adopted child was not simply received because he was conceived and born into their midst, but was rather sought out to become their child. I therefore rest in the knowledge that God has adopted me as His child.

“Although it may appear outwardly that we make our way toward God, the joyful and wonderful truth is that it is God who comes to us (Matthew the Poor).”  It is with this knowledge that I face my own mortality with a peaceful heart, for just as a good parent loves his child even when he’s been naughty, the Lord loves me, even though I’ve fallen short of His expectations.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: The icon corner in our monastery’s common room.

Saturday October 24, 2020 / October 11, 2020
20th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the seven deacons (1st c.).
Venerable Theophanes the Confessor and Hymnographer, bishop of Nicaea (850).
Venerable Leonid of Optina (1841).
Synaxis of the Saints of Optina: St. Leonid (repose) (1841), St. Macarius (1860), St. Moses (1862), St. Anthony (1865), St. Hilarion (1873), St. Ambrose (1891), St. Anatole (the “Elder”) (1894), St. Isaac I (1894), St. Joseph (1911), St. Barsanuphius (1913), St. Anatole (the “Younger”) (1922), St. Nektary (1928), St. Nikon the Confessor (1931), New Hieromartyr Archimandrite Isaac II (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Philaret and Alexander priests (1918).
New Hieromartyr Juvenalius (Maslovsky) bishop of Riazan (1937).
Venerable Theophanes, faster of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).
Martyrs Zenaida (Zenais) and Philonilla of Tarsus in Cilicia (1st c.).
Sts. Nectarius (397), Arcadius (405), and Sinisius (427), patriarchs of Constantinople.
St. Gommar, patron of Lier (775) (Neth.).
Venerable Ethelburga, abbess of the monastery of Barking (England) (676) (Celtic & British.).
Venerable Cainnech (Kenneth), abbot of Aghaboe (Ireland) (600) (Celtic & British).
St. Philotheus (Kokkinos) of Mt. Athos, patriarch of Constantinople (1379).
Commemoration of the miracle from the Icon of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Beirut of Phonecia.

The Scripture Readings

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Delivered from Suffering

8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on [c]our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.

Luke 5:27-32

Matthew the Tax Collector

27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.

29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees [b]complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Acts 8:26-39

Christ Is Preached to an Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”

34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”

37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

Luke 10:1-21

The Seventy Sent Out

10 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; andgreet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ 12 But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.

Woe to the Impenitent Cities

13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. 16 He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

The Seventy Return with Joy

17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Jesus Rejoices in the Spirit

21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

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.

29 comments:

  1. We need you for your guidance. I read the Morning Offering every day and it helps me get through the day.

    I will keep you in my prayers and I know that God is in charge and knows best.

  2. We will keep you in our prayers as you are in the hospital. Take time to heal and rest and to be thankful for all things, as we are thankful for you and your life.

  3. Dear Abbot Tryphon–
    You are in my daily prayers. I will pray even more fervently for God’s healing Grace on your ailing and tender heart…and for all the hope, encouragement, joy and peace of mind our Lord can shower upon His child.
    You are a beautiful soul who helps strengthen and edify us on a daily basis. We praise God for bringing you into our daily lives. May his blessings and healing touch be upon you, His faithful servant!
    With love in Christ Jesus,
    Ken Stevens

  4. Dear Father,
    Your post reminds me of the time, some years ago, when you visited our church, St. Demetrius in Jackson, MI.
    You came just shortly after having a Cardiac procedure and you weren’t sure you were going to be able to make the trip at all. We were all so happy to have you with us and we still talk about your stories and words of wisdom. Speaking to our Church School children was a special treat.
    You will be on our prayer list for a successful procedure and speedy recovery!
    With love in Christ,
    Monica

  5. Dear Abbot – Please know we are praying for you — in thanksgiving for your teachings and devotion — and for successful surgery and for the wisdom, skill and compassion in your physicians. With love, Bunny Harrison

  6. May the Lord grant you His peace and His Presence as you undergo surgery. Thank you for your daily blog. It is a blessing.

  7. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:4-6 (NKJV)

    Your birth date is four days after mine Father, though a few years before.My prayer for the procedure successful, the hands of those involved be guided!

    I’ve found through life we never seem to “measure up” to those we look up to , a case of “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master”(St. Matthew 10:24). Rest assured though ,you are the teacher to many. And thank you.

    Blest day, Father.

  8. I am praying for a very successful procedure and renewed strength. God grant you many years. Please pray for my sons, Jason and Dane and their families. Pray for their salvation, protection from the evil one and their health. Thank you. If this is not the right place to leave a prayer request please let me know.
    Sh. Debbie

  9. I am praying that all goes well with you dear Abbot Tryphon. Your words of today are so true. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  10. Father bless!

    By the Grace of God, may the healing saints Panteleimon and the surgeon Luke be there at your side comforting you and guiding the hands of the doctor on the day of your procedure. We pray that all goes well and that we may yet hear and read your words of guidance for a while longer. Good shepherds are hard to find.

  11. As always, my prayers go with you, and I am asking my friends to pray for you as well. People all over the world will be praying for your well being. You are greatly loved.

  12. You are always in my prayers and will especially be as you go through this hospitalization and procedure. We honor, love and appreciate you, dear Abbot.

  13. The Lewis family and I will certainly keep you in our prayers. Your daily words are helpful to so many. Hod willing, they will go on for a long time coming. Lord have mercy.

    Blessings and prayers,
    Candace Elizabeth

  14. This message is comforting for all of us! God’s will be done in your life. But, for our sake, as you would be greatly missed, please God, grant to Abbot Tryphon Many Years.

    In Christ’s Love, Mother Maria and Susannah.

    PS – We’ve enjoyed watching your videos very much and sending them on to others. Thank you for sharing God’s many gifts to you with us. You are a Gift!

  15. Bless Father
    I pray that you will be protected and treated with the kindness that I know you deserve.
    You are always in my Prayers even though you don’t know me and your book and your blog are important to me and help keep me afloat.
    Kissing your right hand in Christ
    Mark

  16. May Our Lord bless, protect, and heal you, Abbot Tryphon. Your posts have helped me greatly over the years. I’ll be praying for you.

  17. Dear Father Tryphon! You post today is both very poignant and sad. God’s will be done. However, in His great mercy, we hope that He will grant you a smooth surgery, a rapid recovery, and many good years ahead! Father, you are always in my prayers, and in those of many, many people throughout the world, as evidenced by the numerous comments from your readers. You are a great light and your words are filled with true Orthodoxy, wisdom, and love of God and neighbor. For me personally, they are a powerful help in reevaluating and realigning my spiritual compass. Thank you! We need you! May St. Luke of Crimea, the surgeon, guide the hands of your surgeon. And, please, don’t drive those doctors and nurses crazy, telling them that you need to return to the monastery before you’ve fully recovered, and they say you’re ready.

  18. Dear Abbot, My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your morning offering and Blog have helped me re-calibrate my thinking for the day and focus on what is really important. I pray for speedy recovery and that God is always close by.

  19. We will be praying for you and your sweet heart and praying for God to guide the doctors hands! We read your blog every day and look so forward to them!

  20. Please know dear Abbot Tryphon, that reading the Morning Offering daily has pulled me out several times from a spiritual abyss, being Roman Catholic and feeling many times like a lost sheep in need of a shepherd, which you are to me.
    I wish you the best for your upcoming surgery and will certainly pray for you. You are very much loved by many. May God bless you, reward you and keep you safe. Thank you for being there for us.

  21. Abbot Tryphon – My prayers are with you for a successful surgery. My wife Lisa is undergoing surgery for her cancer (with a long hospitalization)just 4 days prior to your own procedure, so I understand something of the need for peace in the midst of a difficult medical situation.

    Our home parish is Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Pacific in Honolulu. We are new catechumens as of about a year ago, and couldn’t imagine going through this without the prayers and support of our new Orthodox family. Many years more to you, in God’s mercy.

  22. Many prayers for, Father! I’m several years ahead of you as I was born November 10, 1935. God has given me this time for repentence, I think. I value your words and thoughts although I rarely write on any websites, I take them all to heart. Incidentally, I am very thankful that my son Jim, age 50, had a heart procedure to correct mitral valve stenosis the other day. He feels much better now, he says.

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