I find that each Great Fast brings yet another encounter with someone whom I think knows me, but clearly they don't. Our Lord teaches us "When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father Who is in the secret place; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly." (Mat 6:17-18) And so we, as Orthodox Christians, don't go around promoting our fasts - especially the Great Fast. And yet, there are those who, in their own attempts to justify themselves seek to compare and contrast themselves with us.
Case in point for this week.... I have a dear person whom I love and with whom I speak occasionally. This person grew up Orthodox, but converted to Catholicism while a young person. I was asked, "So, do you fast from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays?"
How does one answer such a question? I could have said, "Yes," and left it at that. But I chose to remind this person of that Orthodox background. And so I said, "No, we fast every day."
There was shock at this recognition, and denial of what clearly should have been the recollection of the faith held before. And it caused me to consider how we begin to look at the world around us once we take a step away from the "straight and narrow" path our Lord sets out for us.
Saint Macarius lived in the 4th century. Even then, he taught with these words. "The inhabitants of this world, the children of this age, are like wheat in a sieve. They are being sifted by restless thoughts of this world. They are constantly tossed to and fro by earthly care, desire and absorption in a variety of material concerns. Satan tosses such souls as a sifter sifts wheat. By these concerns he disturbs men, keeps them anxious and in a state of nervous motion."
Nervous motion - doesn't that describe all that we see around us in the world today? We are called to be "the salt of the earth" (Mat 5:13), that which preserves what is good and pure and holy. How will we 'preserve' anything if we allow ourselves to be drawn by Satan into such "nervous motion"?
The world around us does not understand us. That does not make us "wrong" - it makes us followers of our Lord, Who Himself was not understood by those around Him, even among His own apostles at times.
For us, we must try with all our strength to follow the example of our Lord, praying to Him for His help in conforming ourselves to 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 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. See our Parish web page: