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:

Saturday, July 31, 2021

31July Craft Show Reflections


Today, our parish held our first "Craft Show."  

Whether the vendors found a tremendous amount of business,

whether a lot of passers-by took notice of the church which they'd never noticed before by virtue of the three-barred crosses in front,

whether all of our own parishioners could manage to find the time to come out and help at the event or not,

regardless of all of these elements, we give thanks to our Lord for

  • the weeks of preparation to get to this day
  • the brotherhood and sisterhood fostered in the community because of those efforts
  • the blessing to call attention, not to ourselves, but to the presence of a Church of Christ here in this community
  • the blessing to be able to show Christ by our words and actions to a large number of people who prior to this day never knew about St. Herman's or its faithful
Giving thanks to the Lord for these blessings, we also give thanks to our people.  We had the blessing of seeing your interaction with others, and how you all showed the Love of Christ to them by your helpfulness, your kindness, your responding to their needs throughout the day.

Finally, your spiritual father gives thanks to be blessed to be called to serve such a group of faithful!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Thought for the Day

 Let us humble ourselves, and the Lord will grant us to know

the power of the Jesus Prayer!

Learn how to have Christ-like humility, and the Lord will

grant you to taste the sweetness of prayer.

And if you want to achieve pure prayer, become humble,

exercise temperance, confess sincerely,

and the prayer will love to swell in you.

Become obedient, submit yourself with a sincere conscience

to all authorities, and be content with all things;

then your mind will be cleansed from vain thoughts.

Remember that the Lord sees you, and be careful,

lest you sadden your brother with something - do not condemn him, 

and do not sadden him even with a single glance.

Then the Holy Spirit will love you,

and He will help you in all things.

St. Silouan the Athonite

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Warning - First to Russia, But Now to America

 From "Thoughts for Each Day of the Year," St. Theophan the Recluse, Wedensday of the 3rd Week After Pentecost.

The Lord showed many signs in Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Chorazin, yet the number of those who believed did not correspond to the power of the signs.  That is why He severly denounced those cities and sentenced them: in the Day of Judgment it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah, then for these cities.

We need to judge ourselves according to such a model.  How many signs has the Lord shown to Russia (let us ask, 'to America'), saving it from the most powerful enemies and subduing peoples under it!  How many treasures has He granted it, pouring out unceasing signs - in holy relics and miracle-working icons scattered throughout the land!  And yet in our days our countrymen are starting to turn aside from the Faith: one group is falling into total unbelief, another group is falling away into Protestantism, a third group is secretly weaving their own beliefs, thinking to combine Spiritism and theological ravings with Divine revelation.

Evil is growing; evil beliefs and unbelief are raising their head, while faith and Orthodoxy are weakening.  Will we not come to our senses?  We will end up like many others....

But if that happens, how do you think it will be for us on the Day of Judgment, after God has shown so many mercies to us?

O Lord!  Have mercy and save Orthodox Russia (let us pray 'America') from Your righteous threatening which stands before us!

Friday, July 9, 2021

"DEpendence Day"

Sermon for 2nd Sunday After Pentecost
All Saints of North America
Mat 4:18-23

Today we remember those who the Church recognizes as “holy”, as we discussed last week meaning they are “saints”, who came to reside and evangelize and to serve the Lord on this continent.  We describe the day as the Sunday of All Regional Saints.

But the day is also important to us on our nation’s level, being the day on which we commemorate this country declaring its independence, its political severing of ties with the King of England.  We’re not going to make this homily into an explanation of the Declaration itself, but if you haven’t read it in a while (or perhaps at all), it’s worth the time and effort to read exactly why our nation’s forefathers chose to take this bold step.

Independence.  It carries meanings that include self-governing, self-rule, self-determination, self-reliance, self-sufficiency.  Do you note the dominant theme of “self” in all of these?  In short, it indicates that we are choosing to establish a means of governing based on the needs and choices and desires of “self”.  It’s a very important distinction between the American way of thinking about life as compared with the thinking of others around the world about their own governance and their ways of life.

I’ve had the blessing of traveling to the Far East, and it has revealed to me the stark realization that this emphasis on self, while not uniquely American in today’s world, it is not found in many places throughout the world.  I’ll give two examples.

When in China, while speaking with an associate who lives near Shanghai, I asked, “What do you have to do if you want to have a large family here?”  I asked because I knew that the Chinese government had imposed limits, and instituted policies for contraception, abortion, and sterilization for those who would have more than one child in a household.  The person’s reaction was, “Well, it’s the rule.  We are told that we must, and so this is what we do.”  In short, there was little to no evidence of “self” in the response.  I do what I’m told – everyone does!

The second example happened in Japan, where again, an associate who lived in Tokyo traveled to another city to be with me to work in a car factory.  We worked one full week, Monday thru Saturday before he returned to Tokyo for the weekend.  Each day we got into a rental car and drove about 10 miles from the hotel to the factory, and so I became familiar with the way to get there.  For his part, my associate at the start of each day programmed the car’s GPS to direct us from hotel to factory.  When he returned the following Monday, we got into a different rental car and repeated the trip.  As we neared the factory, we sped past the lane we had turned down six times before.  I asked my associate why he didn’t take the road we had used so many times before.  In the most serious response possible, he said, “Well, this is a different car.”  The GPS in the different model told him that he must take a different road, and he simply obeyed without question.  There was little to no evidence of “self” in this example!

In today’s Gospel, we find two encounters in which our Lord calls disciples.  In both cases He calls men who are brothers.  He is establishing His core group of followers to have ties with family.  But the more important aspect to both accounts is the call itself.  To Peter and Andrew the Evangelist records our Lord’s words – “Follow Me!”  In the case of James and John, we only hear that “He called them.”  But in both instances the same word is used to describe the response of the brothers.  The Gospel of St. Luke records that James and John were “partners” with Simon and Andrew.  St. Luke further records this calling to be associated with the miraculous catch of fish, which causes Peter to fall at our Lord’s knees and say, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  St. Matthew records that both sets of brothers answered our Lord’s call “immediately.”  The Greek word is eu-the’-os, and it carries the meaning that they stopped what they were doing and at once conformed with the call!  They set self aside, and obeyed the voice of the Master.

It is just before the beginning of today’s Gospel that St. Matthew records our Lord beginning His ministry, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  The Study Bible states that these four had already heard the preaching of St. John the Forerunner, and so their acceptance of our Lord’s call with immediacy is conditioned by their already recognizing in Christ something beyond this world, something Messianic. 

Still, we must come to grips with the fact that these four men, when our Lord called them, and before they were witnesses to myriads of healings, miraculous displays of authority over nature, and even raising of the dead, before any of these components were in their observed understanding of Jesus, they walked away from their livelihoods.  Those boats, those nets were their connection to the world, to provide a living.  They just left them.  There was no asking for time to sell their goods.  Jesus called.  They went!

Why this focus on being called and the response?  Because today is “Independence Day.”  And earlier we suggested a reading of the Declaration so that we can better understand the rationale behind the beginning of this great country.

But in thinking about those issues, my own mind began to wrap around the concept of a need for a “Declaration of DEpendence,” a statement that we, as followers of our Lord, need to find ourselves giving up individualism and placing self at the fore in favor of being the servant He calls us to be.

There was a sermon given by a guy named Jonathan Edwards on 8Jul1731 that spoke to the issue of being dependent on the Lord.  He focused on 1Cor 1:27-31, which reads, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”  In short, the concept of self puts me above others, and applies the concept of glory to me.  This is counter to what St. Paul is teaching the people in Corinth!

In his sermon, Edwards says that the people of Corinth (to whom the Epistle was written) lived in a part of the world where there was praise for human wisdom.  St. Paul says in V22 of this same Epistle, “Greeks seek after wisdom.”  Corinth, not being far from Athens, was a world renowned seat of philosophy and learning.  St. Paul’s words were intended to impress upon the pridefulness of those elevating human wisdom that the Lord, by His incarnation, death and resurrection, has destroyed the world’s wisdom.  By all their wisdom, the Greeks did not come to a knowledge of God, nor could they find the truth in divine things.  God reveals Himself through the Gospel, and those who attempt to understand only by human ‘wisdom’ account God’s revelation as foolishness.

Edwards repeats the theme that God’s gift to us is HIS wisdom, HIS righteousness, HIS sanctification, and HIS redemption (1Cor 1:30)  In short, to achieve eternal life, we are dependent on His mercy, through our repentance, to receive these gifts freely given by Him to us so that we might come to eternal life in Christ.

When one ponders St. Paul’s words, one comes to recognize that all who seek to embrace His gift of salvation, the gift of redemption, depend on Him and only Him for this gift.  There is no other source.  There is no other entity whom we must approach to secure the gift.  All of mankind therefore is dependent upon each person of the Holy Trinity for all that we seek which is good.   We depend on God the Son, for He is our Source of wisdom, of righteousness, of sanctification, and of redemption.  We depend on the Father, for He has given us His Son as our Savior and Redeemer, so that He might be for us all of these things.  And we depend on the Holy Spirit, for it is of Him that we are members of Christ.  It is by the Spirit that we have faith in the Savior, that we know Him, it is through the Spirit that we receive Him and become one with Him.

So to a very great extent, 1Cor 1 is a Christian Declaration of Dependence!

It is not a stretch to say that mankind’s dependence on God is greater now than it was before the fall, for then there was no dependence on God to redeem, nor to accept the repentant soul.  Then mankind’s dependence on God was limited to perfect obedience.  Now, we depend on Him to grant us His grace, we depend on Him to fulfill the promise of eternal life and deliverance from hell and eternal punishment.  As we seek to achieve the goal of holiness, to become one among the saints, we must recognize our dependence on His blessing us to progress on that path to holiness.  Before the fall, He had created us (as He did all of creation) to be “holy”.  After the fall, we must seek Him and His mercy to return to a state of holiness.  “Putting Humpty Dumpty back together again” is only achievable by God and His grace!

There are many known to us as saints, even among those whose lives have touched this country and this continent.  There are many more – God knows how many! – who are known only to God as saints, and “holy ones”.  Mankind achieves the state of holiness as a free gift from God to those who seek to do His holy will with pure and repentant hearts.

St. Theophan says this about this day and this subject.  “Such is the law that we have in our soul, that once it has tasted and known what is better, it is repulsed by what is worse and abandons it.  Here is accomplished the same thing that the Lord described in His parables about the treasure hid in a field, and about the pearl of great price.  The treasure and the pearl are faith in the Lord and communion with Him, according to the strength of one’s faith.  We have already been named possessors of this in Baptism.  Why do we value this treasure so little and thus exchange it for barren ground?  Because we are not brought up to cultivate a taste for this treasure, and it becomes foreign to our heart.  Our heart does not know this better thing.  It only knows that there is the bad, the very bad, and the not so bad, and bases its outlook upon this assessment.  Here is the entire reason why the Lord calls some and they come, while others, who could be chosen ones, run from Him.” 

As Americans, we embrace our independence from the oppression originally imposed on us by a tyrannical earthly king.  As Americans, we must remain vigilant and never lose sight of the world’s desire to return us to a different and new tyranny imposed by contemporary world powers.

But as Orthodox Christians, we must embrace our DEPENDENCE upon a loving God, Who has worked salvation for us in the midst of a fallen world, and given this great gift to us “for the asking” to those who seek His will in faith, in love, and in repentance.  Let us never seek our own wills, let us never look to “self” as an element of our faith.  The branch does not give life to the vine.  The branch is known by the vine, and the branch bears the vine’s fruit because of the life it receives from the vine.  As the branch is dependent on the vine, and is known by the vine, let us depend for all good things on our Loving Lord!

Glory to Jesus Christ!


Of all approaches to God, prayer is the best and in the final analysis the only means.  In the act of prayer, the human mind finds its noblest expression.  The mental state of the scientist engaged in research, of the artist creating a work of art, of the thinker wrapped up in philosophy - even of professional theologians propounding their doctrines - cannot be compared to that of the man of prayer brought face to Face with the living God.  Each and every kind of mental activity presents less of a strain than prayer.  We may be capable of working for ten or twelve hours on end, but a few moments of prayer and we are exhausted.

Archimandrite Sophrony, 'His Life is Mine,' Ch 6, Pgs 55-56, SVS Press

Wednesday, July 7, 2021


 From "Thoughts for Each Day of the Year," St. Theophan the Recluse, 2nd Wednesday after Pentecost

He that endures to the end shall be saved. (Mat 10:22)

Do we have anything to endure?  In this no one is lacking.  Everyone's arena of endurance is vast, and therefore our salvation is at hand.  Endure everything to the end and you will be saved.

However, you must endure skillfully - otherwise, you may not gain anything by your endurance.

First of all, keep the Holy Faith and lead an irreproachable life according to the Faith.  Immediately cleanse with repentance every sin that occurs. 

Second, accept everything that you must endure as from the hands of God, remembering firmly that nothing happens without God's will.

Third, give sincere thanks to God for everything, believing that everything which proceeds from the Lord is sent by Him for the good of our souls.  Thank Him for sorrows and for consolations.

Fourth, love sorrow for the sake of its great salvific power and cultivate within yourself a thirst for it as for a drink which, although bitter, is healing.

Fifth, keep in your thoughts that when misfortune comes, you cannot throw it off like a tight-fitting garment; you must bear it.  Whether in a Christian way or in a non-Christian way, you cannot avoid bearing it; so it is better to bear it in a Christian way.  Complaining will not deliver you from misfortune, but only make it heavier; whereas humble submission to God's Providence and a good attitude relieve the burden of misfortunes.

Sixth, realize that you deserve even greater misfortune.  Recognize that if the Lord wanted to deal with you as you rightly deserve, would He have sent you such a small misfortune?

Seventh, above all, pray, and the merciful Lord will give you strength of spirit.  With such strength, when others marvel at your misfortunes, they will seem like nothing to you.