Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio

This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small mission community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!

The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.

We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!

Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM

We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

How Many Times?

A prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:

How many times have I promised, yet every time I failed to keep my word.  But disregard this, according to Your grace.

Grant forgiveness, O Lord, and send strength.  Convert me, that I might live in sanctity, according to Your holy will.  Sanctify my heart that has become a den and dwelling place of demons.

I am unworthy to ask forgiveness for myself, O Lord, for many times have I promised to repent and proved myself a liar by not fulfilling my promise.  You have picked me up many times already, but every time I freely choose to fall again.

Therefore I condemn myself and admit that I deserve all manner of punishment and torture.  How many times have You enlightened my darkened mind?  Yet every time, I return again to base thoughts!  My whole body trembles when I contemplate this; yet every time sinful sensuality reconquers me.

How shall I recount all the gifts of Your grace, O Lord, that I, the pitiful one, have received?  Yet I have reduced them all to nothing by my apathy - and I continue in this manner.  You have bestowed on me thousands of gifts, yet miserable me, I offer in return things repulsive to You.

Yet You, O Lord, contain a sea of long suffering and an abyss of kindness.  Do not allow me to be felled like a fruitless fig tree, and do not let me be burned without having ripened on the field of life.  Do not snatch me away unprepared, do not seize me, who has not yet lit his lamp.  Do not take me away as I have no wedding garment.  But because You are good and You love us, have mercy on me.  Give me time to repent, and do not place my soul stripped naked before Your terrible and unwavering throne as a pitiful spectacle of infamy.

If a righteous man can barely be saved, then where will I end up, I who am lawless and sinful?  If the path that leads to life is straight and narrow, then how can I be granted such good things, I who have lived a life of luxury, indulging in my own pleasures and dissipation?  But You, O Lord, my Savior, Son of the true God, as You know and desire by Your grace alone, freely turn me away from the sin that abides in me and save me from ruin.