Today's daily readings carry with them a wonderful happenstance in that the Epistle reading ties nicely to the Gospel reading.
Saint Paul (from 2Cor 11:1-6) teaches, "I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." This ties nicely with the comment from our Lord in today Gospel (Luke 10:19-21) to His Apostles, "Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy..." It is the same enemy in both cases, and it is the same enemy who attempts to deceive and corrupt us to this very day "by his craftiness."
If you've ever read "The Screwtape Letters" by CS Lewis, you've been exposed to a wonderful range of the depths to which the servants of the devil will go to tempt us and to force us to fall from grace, fall from communion with Christ.
In the novel, Screwtape sends letters of advice to his tempter, who is attempting at all turns to get the man to whom he is assigned to fall. One such piece of advice is, "How much better for us if all humans died in costly nursing homes amid doctors who lie, nurses who lie, friends who lie, as we have trained them, promising life to the dying, encouraging the belief that sickness excuses every indulgence, and even, if our workers know their job, withholding all suggestion of a priest lest it should betray to the sick man his true condition."
The tempter advised by Screwtape is the same "scorpion" spoken of by our Lord. It is the same serpent who beguiled Eve. Our failings are presented to us subtly, so that like the proverbial frog placed into ever warmer water, he does not know until it's too late that the water is beginning to boil, and that the end is near.
The world around us attacks us subtly. "Miss Church to go to the professional football game. It's just ONE Sunday...." "Come with us on a golf outing. You're at Church too much as it is....." Then there are the non-verbal pressures, like eating with 'friends' who tear into their meals so quickly that you feel self-conscious about bowing your head in prayer before you take a bite. Or as you're on the bus, and you see a homeless person on the side of the street, you feel awkward making the sign of the cross and offering a short prayer for the person because others around you in the bus will judge you.
Do you see how the serpent beguiles? Can we understand how the water is warming, and that Screwtape's advice is gaining favor in the world around us?
How do we reverse this? Start with the one. Start with ourselves. Start with not worrying about what others think of you when you pray, public or not. Start by making just one small movement to add to your spiritual arsenal. When you feel tempted, make the sign of the Cross, wherever you are. Approach the Chalice at every opportunity - after making a proper confession.
He has given us 'power', meaning the authority, to trample under foot all that are sent to cause us to fall. And "nothing shall by any means hurt 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: