Bishop as Servant

The Church is to be led by servants, not by lords The biblical image of the bishop is that of the good shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for his flock. He is one who serves his priests and his people as a loving father, guiding his flock by example and gentle prodding, not by fear or…

Memory

When I was a young man I regularly went to the gym for weight lifting. A few years ago after having had a hip replaced, I decided I needed to strengthen my body in order to give support to the other hip, and fight off the arthritis that was starting to weaken my knee joints. Since I had access to…

The Snares of the Enemy

As we struggle with our passions, the only way we can overcome our sin is through humility. The snares of the enemy are all around us, and if we think we can win the battle with the enemy without humility, we are wrong. Love in Christ, Abbot Tryphon Monday December 24, 2012 30th Week after Pentecost. Tone four. Nativity (St.…

Taste the Presence of Christ

Taste the Presence of Christ Beside You We all need a good dose of silent prayer each and every day. Finding that perfect place in your home that can become your cave, or prayer closet, will afford you that sacred space wherein you can go deep into the heart and connect with God. That place wherein you can close off…

The Problem of Evil

Darkness Does not Exist in its Own Right Our Orthodox Christian theology views evil not as a primeval essence that is coeternal and equal to God, but rather a falling away from good. Evil does not exist in and of itself, and was not created by God. Our Orthodox Church rejects the Gnostic teaching that the entirety of being is…

Judging Others

Archimandrite Irenei, Bishop Theodosius, and Abbot Tryphon Thoughts That Arouse you to Judge Your Neighbor At the very first sign we are tempted to judge our neighbor, we must condemn ourselves. Self-condemnation is the only weapon that assures us of escaping the sin of judging another, for when we make ourselves confront our own sin, the sin of another becomes…

Why Ask the Saints?

Jesus is the Sole Mediator between God and Man Most Protestant churches strongly reject all saintly intercession, citing passages such as 1 Timothy 2:1-5, which says that Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man, as well as Deuteronomy 18:10-11 which seems to forbid invoking departed souls. They also point to the fact that there are no examples in…

Stability of Place and Personal Growth

An Elder said: Just as a tree cannot bear fruit if it is often transplanted, so neither can a monk bear fruit if he frequently changes his abode. In an age when people change addresses as often as those in past generations changed their socks, stability of place is almost unheard of. When I was a young man I moved…

Acquire Peace

Given all the new information that is coming in, including a new book on the Columbine Massacre, the cause behind the recent massacre is likely multiple. All we can ultimately do is pray, try to make a difference in the lives of people around us, and be vigilant to the pain and loneliness of our young people. None of us…

The Massacre of Innocence

Like all Americans, I am struggling to make sense out of the massacre of twenty beautiful children, and the six adults who sacrificed their own lives protecting countless other children from a twenty year old psychotic, who’d shot one child as many as seven times. In the depths of my heart I am convinced the shootings that continue to plague…

NEW YORK: December 15, 2012

Statement from the Office of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, in connection with the Attack on the Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut Dear brethren, sisters and children!  With horror I followed the tragedy that unfolded yesterday in a school in the state of Connecticut, during which a murderer spared neither children nor even his own mother; and…

As the Nation Mourns

Our Violent Culture and the Despair of Nihilism As my readers know, I have been attending the Orthodox Frontline, (Emergency Response Network of the International Orthodox Christian Charities), conference in Washington, D.C. Together with one hundred Orthodox clergy and lay volunteers from across the nation, trained and experienced chaplains, counselors, therapists, emergency response managers, social workers, medical doctors, registered nurses,…