No one who tries to live the Fast in earnest can say that they don't get "drained" during its course. It's natural for it to happen, in fact - it's our "purpose" in the fast, to drain the body. But the "drain" we endure must not at the same time drain the spirit. That is counter to our purpose.
Today, by the Grace of God, the chance to charge the spirit comes to me, as I leave to participate in our annual Diocesan Clergy Retreat. It is an event that occurs each year during the last half of the Fast, and is attended by many (sad to say, not all) of our Diocesan clergy, led by His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph.
During the time we spend together, there are discussions, teaching sessions, and time for all of us to share the challenges we encounter in our own ministries, and to be strengthened by the love and brotherhood of all. Additionally, we share the opportunity to start, to live through, and to end each day in prayer with one another.
Several years ago, this event was held at a beautiful farm in upstate New York. The farm's owner had taken from his own resources and built a small log chapel on the property, and he and his wife (of blessed memory) opened their home to us. I mention this because of the ending to a particular day there. Each night there is a service, and on Friday evenings after the service, the chapel fills every available space with a priest or His Eminence standing to hear the confessions of brother clergy. The room is filled with the pouring out of hearts, with tears, and with great rejoicing over the repentance offered by us and accepted by our Lord. After offering my own confession, I exited the small chapel and stood outside on the small porch. The night was crisp - almost frigid, breath hanging in the air, and there was not a cloud in the sky. In this place, the stars are phenomenal, for you can see them all. And on that night, it was as if after that confession, looking up you could sense the presence of the Lord looking down upon us. There was a palpable sense of communion without Eucharist.
The six hour drive home seemed to fly by. The car was filled with sacred music, accompanied by a single voice in the driver's seat.
May all of our confessions, yours and mine, be so uplifting this year! And may our Lord grant that same "recharge" to all who gather for this year's retreat in Chicago! Pray for us who, in our unworthiness, the Lord has set in place to minister to you.
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: