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!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Choose Wisely

There's a scene in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in which the movie's characters enter a chamber guarded by a knight (the Knights Templar, who else?) where there are myriads of "grails" (for us, "chalices"), only one of which is the true cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.  The true cup (in the movie) was to bring eternal life to the one who selected it and drank from it.  As the movie's villain enters the room, he's confronted with a choice, and he asks the knight, "Which one is it?"  The knight replies, "You must choose, but choose wisely, for the true cup brings life, but any false one brings death."

We're confronted with a choice in a short month (roughly) from now.  And there are many tempting alternatives.  Here in Ohio, our ballot will include five names of candidates.  And we will have the freedom to choose from any of the five.

But we all recognize that there are only one of two who can be or will be elected.  And so, we must hear the words of the knight echo in our heads - "Choose wisely."

We write this not to influence anyone's personal decisions per se.  Rather, we write to encourage all to ponder carefully their votes.

This is important!  This can and will determine your lives for the next four years minimally, and with ramifications on the judicial fronts, it will determine much about the lives of our children and even grandchildren.

Using a vote on one of the non-mainstream candidates may make us feel really good that we've not simply acquiesced to the poor choices that the two political parties have offered us.  And yet, in feeling good about such a choice, we will have abdicated our weightier moral responsibility of voting for a candidate to whom we've been led not by peer pressure, not by what we're told by any media (right or left), but by PRAYERFUL consideration of the histories, the moralities, and the evidences we can find that lead us to our selection, however unpalatable that choice may be for us.

This isn't easy!  But it's a choice that we MUST make - PRAYERFULLY - if we are to be able to look back at this year and say, "I tried, Lord."  Let's not find ourselves in the position of the movie's villain, who after picking the shiniest cup and drinking from it, dies in a pile of dust in a corner, only to hear the knight say wistfully, "He chose poorly...."

Monday, October 3, 2016

Practical Tips for Orthodox Living

I was going through "old archive files" from my PC from decades ago (literally), and came upon the article below.  The "original" was attributed to Mother Pelagia of Lesna Convent, who allegedly prefaced them with the remark:

"Orthodox families train their children from a very early age to acquire religious habits, in some of which I was myself, as a Protestant, brought up."

The following is her list, augmented periodically with references to her suggestions (in RED Italics):

1) Prayers are said morning and evening, either together as a family or individually.
2) A blessing is said by the head of the family before a meal, and a prayer of thanks afterwards.
3) On entering a room where there is an icon, cross yourself before it and say a brief prayer.
Every room should have an icon!
4) When leaving one's home, make the sign of the cross over the door and pray for its protection.
5) On seeing a priest, abbot or abbess, or even when phoning them or writing to them, always ask their blessing.
6) Before going to bed, make the sign of the cross over your bed and pray for protection during sleep.
7) When you hear of anyone's death, immediately say a prayer for their eternal memory.
8) If discussing or planning the future, say, "As God wills."
9) If you offend or hurt anyone, say as soon as possible, "Forgive me!", always trying to take the blame yourself.
10) If something turns out well, say, "Thanks be to God!"
11) If something turns out badly, if there is pain, sickness or any kind of trouble, say, "Glory to God in all things," since God is all good and, though we might not understand the purpose of these things, undoubtedly they have been permitted by God for good.
12) If you begin a task, say, "God help me,"  If someone else is working, say, "May God help you!"
13) Cross yourself and say a brief prayer before even the shortest journey.
14) For longer and more difficult journeys, ask a priest to say a special prayer.  If this is not possible, before departing say a prayer for your trip.
Example:  Lord Jesus Christ our God, the True and Living Way, be my Companion, my Guide, and my Guardian during my journey.  Deliver and protect me from danger, misfortune, and temptation, that being so defended by Your divine power I may have a peaceful and successful journey and arrive safely to my destination.  For in You I put my trust and hope, and to You, together with Your Eternal Father and Your all-Holy and Life Creating Spirit, I ascribe all praise, honor and glory, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen!
15) If there is a possibility of future trouble of any kind, either for yourself or for someone you care for, say an Akathist to the Theotokos, or to a Saint.
http://www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/Akathist_Softener_of_Evil_Hearts.pdf
16) When you receive a blessing after a prayer, always remember to thank God.  If it is a small thing, add a prayer of thanksgiving to your daily prayers or make an offering.  For greater matters, as a priest to serve a Moleben.  But NEVER neglect to give thanks.