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:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Even Among the Disciples - Confusion, Division

Christ is Risen!

In the Gospel reading for the Monday of the week of the Samaritan Woman (John 6:56-69), we find the Lord's disciples (some of them) being scandalized by His teaching.  What is this teaching that is so divisive?

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

The Lord's words prefigure the Eucharist.  The Holy Church has fed on our Lord's Body and Blood for 2000 years, and It continues to nourish the faithful, and will continue to do so until the Lord's return.

His promise to those around Him (and through them, to us) is that if we are partakers of His Body and Blood, we become partakers of eternal life.

St. John records, "Many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, 'This is a hard saying; who can understand it?'  Our Lord, knowing all things, said to these same disciples,

Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.

Ponder our Lord's words!  The Spirit gives life!  The flesh profits nothing!!  The Lord's words are Spirit and life!!!


St. John Chrysostom teaches, "The Holy Spritures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts."  We are to clothe our hearts with the Word of God.  We are to carry with us the Words of life, for embracing those words, and living according to their instruction, is the path to eternal life.

St. John says about the unbelieving disciples above, "From that time many if His disciples went back and walked with Him no more."  Unbelief leads to separation from God!

Jesus then asks His twelve,  Do you also want to go away?

It is St. Peter who speaks for the group.  "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

A critical piece of the above - We BELIEVE and we KNOW.

Let us, like the Apostles, believe and know.  For like them, we have seen, we are witnesses of our Lord's compassion, His mercy, His suffering, death and resurrection, and we have received the Heavenly Spirit confirming and fulfilling our faith.

Indeed, He is Risen!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Sunday of the Paralytic

 John 5:1-15

Water is an important part of our journey to eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

From the moment of conception, water plays an important role in our growth and protection.  We are “viable” because we live within the water of a mother’s womb that feeds and sustains us.  We “are” water!  About 60% of an adult human body is water.  Organs are typically over 80%, but even your bones are more than 30% water!

In today’s Gospel, the Paralytic comes to the Sheep’s Pool of Bethesda as he had done now for many years, coming in faith and hope that he might receive his miracle—healing from the healing waters of the pool. 

Blessed Theophylact writes about this account, teaching that the waters are a “type” of the waters of baptism.  He says that the Lord uses these waters “to guide the Jews from the beginning towards faith in Christ” through this miracle.

The Lord had already given them water for cleansing of conditions in the Law of Moses, such as the stain of touching a corpse or a leper.  Here at Bethesda, the Lord amplifies His blessing, not by providing a permanent source of healing, but only one that came at the time when “the angel would come and trouble the water.”  Here, the word ‘trouble’ means to ‘stir’ or ‘agitate’ the otherwise calmer waters.  It was via this blessing that the healings were effected.

It is not the nature of  water by itself to heal, otherwise it would always heal.  It was through the acting of the angel that the miracle was accomplished.

And so it is with us in Baptism, where we begin with simple water, but which through fervent prayer to God it receives the grace of the Holy Spirit to effect a spiritual change in those who immerse themselves therein.  The waters of baptism heal spiritual blindness, enable the spiritually lame to walk in God’s path, and the spiritually dead to be raised up to the hope of eternal life.  Bethesda’s pool healed one.  In the waters of baptism, even if the whole world would approach at once, its grace and healing ability would not diminish.

As Jesus approaches the Paralytic, He asks a simple but somewhat incongruous question.  “Do you want to be made well?”  Who in a state of paralysis could answer such a question with, “No!”? 

And yet, this is a reflection of the world around us.  Our world is paralyzed with fear, anger, judgmentalism, hatred, oppression, self-centeredness.  The Church is here every day asking all, “Do you want to be made well?”  And you all know the response.  Most typically, it is a resounding, “NO!”  We judge those around us in ways that promote division.  But we judge ourselves in ways that elevate us above our neighbors.  We want to be masters, not servants.  And we're comfortable with that state of affairs.  Too often, we do not WANT to be healed of our divisivness.

Our Lord’s words to the Paralytic after finding him in the Temple are words we use at every confession here at St. Herman’s.  As the Lord healed the Paralytic and thereby forgave him his sins, we offer the Prayer of Absolution to the same end.  Jesus ends His encounter with the Paralytic saying, “Go and sin no more,” the same words we use to end the Absolution.

May each of us find within us His “living water”, promised to St. Photini at Jacob’s well (in next week’s Gospel….), so that we might change our hearts to truly become servants, not just of our Lord, but servants of those whom He instructed us are “the least of His brethren.”

 Christ is Risen!


Friday, May 21, 2021

The Target of Opinions

Christ is Risen!

Opinion:  noun    A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge;  the beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing;  and estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something.

When I was much younger, I had a plaque on my engineering office wall that showed the picture of a crotchety old man, fist waving in the air, and the caption said, "Everyone is entitled to my opinion!"

In the world around us today, we are bombarded I think more than ever with "opinion" - as opposed to fact or knowledge.  News (regardless of which political side presents it as news) is more opinion than fact.  Were it not so, there would not (and could not) be such polarization of the news reported.  

Unfortunately the "opinions" don't stop there.  Because we then, as "informed people," take the opinions broadcast to us, and we adopt them as our own, defending opinion as if it were in fact either knowledge or fact.

But what attitude toward opinion is proper today for this much older engineer-now-priest, who today appears in the mirror as that crotchety old man?  

If humility means anything in my own world, it must come to mean that no one should CARE about my opinion, and in fact, I should keep my opinions to myself.  For if I cannot speak from a basis of fact (meaning truth) or knowledge (meaning wisdom), then there is no purpose to my speaking.

Blessed Theophylact wrote "The Lord does not forbid us to desire to become His favorites, for He wants us to desire advancement in spiritual life.  But He does not want us to grasp for honors and privileges, but rather to acquire the heights by humility." (Commentary on Mark 9:33-41)

But even more importantly we learn from the words of our Lord directly.  "Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No' be 'No'." (Mat 5:37)  But the closing words from this passage are yet more important to this discussion - "For whatever is more than these is from the evil one."

One final thought before closing.  Looking back on a life spent too much in elevating self at the expense of the neighbor whom I'm called to love AS myself, I can now judge that crotchety old man, repent for his errors (as I have, and as I continue to do in my own repentance), and attempt finally to tame my own tongue and ego.  For "Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." (Prov 17:28)

Indeed, the only "proper" target for my own opinions is my own sinful nature, so that I might repent and confess in sincerity.

Indeed He is Risen!