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! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors who follow state COVID guidelines.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Patriarch Pavle on St. Basil's Teaching - 3 Stages of Spiritual Growth

The following is from an interview with Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory which can be found here in its entirety:  https://orthochristian.com/57464.html

St. Basil the Great says that there are three stages of spiritual growth.

The first stage is that of slave. A slave knows that his fate depends on the master to whom he belongs, who has the right to beat, kill, or sell him and his wife and children. Therefore, he will carry out his master’s will. Spiritually speaking, this is the Christian who does the will of God out of fear of hellfire. He understands that even a thousand years of living in sin will never pay off, while there he might be in torment for all of eternity.

The second stage is that of hireling. This is a free man who receives pay for his labor. He works to the extent that he gets paid. Spiritually speaking, this is the Christian whose wants to reach the highest possible level in Paradise. Not all levels there are the same. He who is worthy and good forever advances closer and closer to God, without ever attaining to Him, since God is infinite – but, still, he moves closer and closer. God, of course, is our life and our blessedness – He is our everything.

The third stage is that of son or daughter. A son carries out his father’s will not because he is afraid that his father will punish him, for he is not a slave; nor because he wants to get paid by his father, for he is not a hireling. He does so willingly, so that his father might be pleased. Spiritually speaking, this is the Christian who carries out God’s will because He loves God, so that God might be pleased.

While the first two are thinking about themselves – one does not want to be punished, while the other wants to get paid – the son or daughter is thinking about God. This is the true Christian. But no one can reach this level until he has passed through the first two. How long one will linger at each stage depends on each person individually.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Prayer of Elder Paisios

The blessed Elder encouraged us to "say this prayer every day, and God will always be at your side."

Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Do not abandon Your servants who live far away from the Church. May Your love work to bring everyone near You.

Remember, O Lord, Your servants who are suffering from cancer,

Your servants who are suffering from small or great afflictions,

Your servants who are suffering from bodily disabilities,

Your servants who are suffering from spiritual disabilities.

Remember our rulers, and help them to govern in a Christian manner.

Remember, O Lord, the children who come from troubled families and divorced couples.

Remember, O Lord, the orphans of the whole world, all those who are pained and unjustly treated in this life, and all those who have lost their spouses.

Remember, O Lord, all those in prison, anarchists, drug addicts, murders, evil-doers, thieves, and enlighten them and help them to be corrected.

Remember all immigrants,

All those who travel by sea, land, and air, and protect them.

Remember our Church, the Fathers of the Church and the Faithful.

Remember, O Lord, all Monastic communities, men and women, Elders and Eldresses, all brotherhoods and Fathers.

Remember, O Lord, Your servants who are in time of war,

All those who flee to the mountains and to the plains,

All those who are like endangered little birds.

Remember Your servants who have left their homes and their work and are suffering.

Remember, O Lord, the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, and all refugees.

Remember, O Lord, all nations, and have them in Your arms, protecting them with Your Holy Protection, and keeping them from every evil and from war. And our beloved homeland, keep in Your arms day and night, and protect it with Your Divine Protection, keeping it from every evil and from war.

Remember, O Lord, the suffering, abandoned, wronged, and tested families, and richly give them Your mercy.

Remember Your servants who are suffering from spiritual and bodily problems of all nature.

Remember all those who are in despair, and help and give peace to them.

Remember, O Lord, Your servants who have asked of our prayers.

Remember, O Lord, all those who have reposed from all ages, and grant them eternal rest.


Friday, August 7, 2020

Transfiguration - The Uncreated Light

 All of us are familiar with light.  The sun’s light awakens us in the morning.  It warms our skin when we are outdoors.  It causes plants to grow, and indeed, they tend to grow TOWARD the light of the sun, seeking it’s nourishment.

We know about light that comes from other sources.  We light candles in the Church as symbols of our faith, filled with warmth and light.  We know about the light that comes from electricity.  We know of light that comes from other things in nature, animals and insects which emit light, some under the sea, some that fly through the night air.  We even know about light that comes from chemical reactions (the “light sticks” that are all the rage).

But inside every one of these sources of light that we’ve mentioned, each produces light that is a product explainable through the creation.  The sun’s light comes from nuclear fusion which in turn emits photons.  Candles burn the fuel of wax, and in the conversion of stored energy in the wax, again photons are emitted which we can see.  This process is true in every instance of light we’ve mentioned.

But on Mount Tabor, something different happened.  Our Lord takes Peter, James and John up the mountain, and there He meets with Moses and Elijah.  And what do the Evangelists say about what happens there?

St. Matthew:  His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light….  (And) behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them.” (Mat 17:2, 5)

St. Mark:  His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. (Mark 9:3)

St. Luke:  As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. (Luke 9:29)

What is the source of this light that the three Evangelists document?  Note that their words do not define it, but rather allude to it, point to it.  They have no words to use which can comprehend the reality of this light.  It is “like” things, but it is not those things.  St. John Chrysostom explains this inability to fully express what the Apostles witness, but cannot in human terms comprehend.

When the Lord wishes to say something about Himself, He uses human images.  As for instance, He went up to the mountain, and was transfigured before them, and His face shone as the light, and His garments became white as snow.  He revealed, he says, a little of His divinity, He showed them the indwelling of God… The Evangelist then wanted to show His brilliance, and so he says, He shone.  How did He shine?  Tell me.  Exceedingly.  And how do you say?  As the sun… Why do you say so?  Because I have no other star brighter.  And He was white as snow.  Why as snow?  Because I have no other matter whiter.  That He did not shine (in an earthly) way is indicated by the following: ‘And the disciples fell to the ground.’  If He had shone as the sun, the disciples would not have fallen (for they saw the sun every day, and did not fall); but because He shone more than the sun and more than the snow, that is why, unable to bear the brilliance, they fell down. (Homily 56 on Matthew)

St. John goes on to indicate that this light, different from light inside of creation, is the very Light of God Himself, not light from His creation, but the Light that IS His being.

It is THIS light that the saints of the church speak of as uncreated light.  It is THIS light that we will encounter on that last day when we come before the Lord for Judgment.  It is THIS light that reveals all things (for how did Peter, James and John know that those who spoke with the Lord were Moses and Elijah?).

May we be illumined by the Light that is Christ our Lord!