When God seems absent
By Abbot Tryphon, January 26, 2020
We all have those moments in our lives when we feel as though God is absent, even perhaps nonexistent. Those times leave us feeling alone and abandoned, as though we are lost in an empty stadium. We feel as though we are on a boat that has been set adrift without an engine, floating further from shore, and heading to an uncertain future.
Such occasions in our life journey are not unlike those early days, while we were still toddlers, when mom would be holding our hands, while dad would be reaching out to us, but feet away, urging us to take our first step. We were not in any danger, but we certainly didn’t feel that way as we felt mom’s hands separate from ours. We felt fearful, vulnerable. We felt as though we were going to fall, yet our dad’s outstretched arms were reaching out, offering the security that we always had, yet encouraging us to stand on our own, taking the first steps into Independence.
God is like that with us. Those periods of time when He seems distant, even perhaps a fictional being, are moments when He is actually closer to us than our own breath. These are the moments God is drawing us out of ourselves, and into communion with Him. His outstretched arms are there, even though we don’t see them. These moments strengthen us, and enable us to have a mature relationship with God, not unlike the mature relationship the child develops with his parents, after taking those first steps, alone.
With love in Christ,
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2020/01/alone/.
One Person at a Time
Changing the world begins with me
By Abbot Tryphon, January 4, 2020
The Elder Sophroni of Essex said he believed in changing the world, one person at a time. These words are in agreement with those of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who said acquiring inner peace causes a thousand around us to be saved. As long as we concentrate on the failings of others, inner transformation will elude us, and the world will remain in darkness. If we remain stuck in the quagmire of sin, and focused on the failings of others, we will fail in the work of conforming ourselves to the will of God.
It is, of course, much more personally comfortable to notice the failings and the sins of others, but if we do not take stock of ourselves, we will do great harm to our soul. Judging others opens wide the gates for evil spirits to enter, whereby laying waste and destroying the grace of baptism that resides within our hearts. We are in a battle against evil forces, and we had better be on guard. Our eternal life depends on it.
With love in Christ,
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2020/01/one-person-at-a-time/.