Today, 09 August, is a day on which we commemorate the "glorification" of our parish's patron saint, Saint Herman of Alaska. It is an auspicious day in that we remember this glorification, or "canonization" in some uses, on this date in 1970, now 47 years ago.
Over a year earlier (on 13 March 1969), the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America issued an address concerning Father Herman, speaking to his holy life, his labors for the Church, and of the intention to canonize him on the following year's 09 August.
For us, who call ourselves his spiritual children, we are familiar with his life. We know of his incredible journey from Valaam to Alaska. We know of his life spent defending the native Americans, of working to heal them during times of epidemic, of establishing schools and orphanages to care for the children, of working miraculous deeds in defending them from tsunami and fire. We know of his shortness of stature, and of his incredible physical strength. We know of his humility (for some sought to ordain him to the Holy Priesthood, which he rejected as being unworthy). And we know how he welcomed all who came in any need.
Today, as we celebrate this feast of his glorification, we offer prayers to God in praise of him, simultaneous with our prayers to St. Herman to intercede for us before God for our own needs.
As we offer these prayers, let us never forget the root of what it is that makes St. Herman, and indeed all of our Lord's Saints, "special", makes them "friends of God."
It is Love!
When one's life is guided by an unbridled love for all of God's children, and indeed for all of His Creation, this love cannot be contained. It overflows the vessel of our being, and those who are near to us benefit from the overflow for they receive, not from us, but from the Source of all Love, that Divine Love of which we can only offer a dim reflection. And yet, in reflecting that love, we follow where our Lord commands us to go. We love neighbors as ourselves. We love enemies. We love without restraint or reservation.
Our Lord demonstrates to me the unlimited nature of His love if I find myself accepting of the fact that He indeed loves me, even in my sinfulness and unworthiness. If God in His perfection can love me, how can I deny love toward any of my fellow beings, for we are all created in His image, are we not? And if we are, then we MUST find the way to see our Lord within every other human being we encounter.
Our country and our world are torn apart by division, distrust, hatred. These cannot be cured by resorting to human solutions. It is only love that can repair the torn fabric of humanity. You will say, "But Father, there are those who simply will not accept our love - what then?" The answer is simple. Love anyway! Will others have their hatred converted to love by showing them hatred in return? In how many instances in the Prologue do we find those persecuting the Church converted into Christians, not by cunning argument, not by well crafted sermons, not by intellectual engagement, but by showing love to them as they demonstrate their hatred and fury against us?
And so, on this day, we pray to our blessed Patron and ask him to intercede before our Lord so that we may engrave upon our hearts the words that he, Saint Herman, gave to us. "For our good, for our happiness at least let us make a vow that from this day, from this hour, from this minute we will strive to love God above all else, and to fulfill His Holy Will."
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!