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:

Monday, October 25, 2021

"Accept This With Faith and Uphold It....."

[Luke 10:22-24]  All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”

About today's Gospel, St. Theophan the Recluse says this:

The Son was on earth and revealed everything necessary for us Himself and through the Holy Spirit, Who acted in the Apostles.  Consequently, what you find in the Gospels and the apostolic writings is all you will and can know about the Father and Divine things.  Do not seek more than this, and do not think to find the truth about God and God's plans anywhere else aside from this.  What a great treasure we possess!  Everything has already been said.  Do not rack your brains, just accept with faith what has been revealed.  

It has been revealed that God is One in Essence and Triune in Persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Accept this with faith and uphold it.  

It has been revealed that the Tri-hypostatic God created all through the Word and preserves all in His right hand, in His providence over all things.  Accept this with faith and uphold it.  

It has been revealed that we were in a blessed state and fell, and that for our restoration and redemption the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, was incarnate, suffered, died on the Cross, resurrected and ascended into heaven.  Accept this with faith and uphold it.  

It has been revealed that he who desires to be saved must believe in the Lord and, receiving Divine grace in the Holy Mysteries, must live, with its help, according to the Lord's commandments, struggling against the passions and lusts by means of spiritual endeavors that correspond to them.  Accept this with faith and do it.  

It has been revealed that whoever lives according to God's direction will enter after his death into radient dwelling places, the foretaste of eternal bliss.  But whoever does not live this way will, upon death, begin to experience the torments of hell.  Accept this with faith and thus teach yourself and inspire yourself to do good and to perform spiritual endeavors.  Accept all this with faith and keep it faithfully.  

There is no need to rack your brains over your own invented things.  Do not listen to those who show off their intelligence, for they do not know where they are going.

(Thoughts for Each Day of the Year, St. Theophan the Recluse, Pgs 236-237)

18th Sunday After Pentecost 2021


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Gaining the Whole World

The expression itself is abundantly apparent folly.  How can one "gain the whole world"?  And yet, isn't this the pursuit all too many of us set ourselves out upon?

In today's Gospel (Luke 9:23-27, Tuesday of the week of 4th Luke) Jesus says these words clearly, unmistakeably.  "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" (Luke 9:25)  

And so our Lord encourages us to take up our own crosses, and to the best of our ability carry them as He demonstrated to us His own willingness to carry the Cross.  Saving this life - what meaning does this have?  It is filled with as much folly as is that first expression of gaining the whole world.  Who can save their life?  And we mean by this, who can preserve this life so that it never ends?  It is impossible!  

Our only hope, then, is to pursue a life that cannot see an end.  And in all of history, only One Hope for this has ever appeared.  He is the One who gave us the above instruction.  He is the One who loves mankind to such an extent that He willed to give up His own life for the salvation (granting an eternal life) to every human who seeks with all their heart to do His will, to follow His commandments, to repent of their sins, and to care for the least of His brethren.

You won't find these concepts "in the world".  The world preaches gaining ever more, and more, and yet more - not for the sake of doing good with the gains, but simply for the sake of having more.

St. John Cassian teaches this:  "When the Apostle said, 'Make no provision to fulfill the desires of the flesh' (Rom 13:14), he was not forbidding us to provide for the needs of life; he was warning us against self-indulgence.  Moreover, by itself abstinence from food does not contribute to perfect purity of soul unless other virtues are active as well.  Humility, for example, practiced through obedience in our work and through bodily hardship, is a great help." (On the Eight Vices)

'Gaining the world' is taking more than one needs.  Gaining the Kingdom is receiving all of one's needs.  In serving oneself, we are bombarded with temptations - "Eat this," "Take that," "Look here," "Go there," "Get angry," "Be vengeful," "Seek pleasure," and how many others?  We are pulled is every different direction by the temptations that flow toward us.  But there is only one direction we should pursue, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..." (Mat 6:33)  Jesus taught, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Mat 7:13-14)  Many are the temptations leading to that broad gate.  

Let us become a people who seek that narrow gate, regardless of how difficult it may be to parse our world so that we may find it, and enter by it!

Thursday, October 14, 2021


In almost every day, circumstances arise which are puzzling to us.  They may be related to work, to family, to news, or even to understanding our sincere readings, trying to find God's will in our lives through Holy Scripture or the Holy Fathers.  The possibilities for confusion seem endless.  How are we, simple people, to come to an understanding of what to do, where to go, how to proceed so that our actions are in concert with God's will?

Herein lies one of the myriad of reasons for reading and re-reading Scripture, for in doing so we absorb God's word for exactly such purposes.

When confusion arises from whatever source, we can remember such words as, "Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you." (Ps 55:22)  Or, "My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." (Ps 121:2)  Or again, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." (1John 5:14)

Sustained by such words, we know with certainty the path we must pursue.  


Believe that God answers every prayer!

Know that He will never take us in directions counter to what will benefit our salvation!

Then go and do.  He will be near.  And take comfort in His presence, because you have prayed for it, and you do not believe only - you know with certainty that your prayer will be answered.  Perhaps His answer will not coincide with your hope or your original intent, but know with all certainty that where He leads is where we must go, or else we go counter to His divine will.

That is where the world is.  We do not belong to the world.

Follow Him!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tuesday, 17th Week 2021

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.  For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. (Eph 2:19-3:7)

See how the Apostle already groups his target readers (those in Ephesus) by tieing them firmly to the "saints and members of the household of God."  This is no accident.  St. Paul is preaching salvation already at work, and that those who choose to be followers of Christ are already living in the Kingdom while awaiting their translation from this life to the next.  In short, heaven is all around us, and it is ours for the taking if we are faithful to follow His commandments and live lives as He instructed us to do.

The imagery related to the temple is not limited to this passage from Ephesians.  He gives the same imagery to those in Corinth when he teaches:

You are God's building.  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. (1Cor 3:10)

But the Saint seals his teaching with the words that end this same portion of scripture:

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.  (1Cor 3:16-17)

We are temples made of flesh.  And He of Whom we partake in the Holy Eucharist "builds" within that flesh that which is His.  If we partake in faith, the temple grows and is beautified.  If we partake in vain, the temple is weakened and incurs loss.

So we dare not lose sight of St. Paul's words, that "the temple of God is holy", and that WE are that temple.  The 'behavior' we would have within a church, which we all see as "God's House" must be how we conduct ourselves when we recognize that His Temple, His "house" never departs from where we are.

His 'house' IS heaven.  And if we live as described, then truly heaven IS all around us!

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Don't Worry

[The following is from Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.  We pray that you find it spiritually edifying.  The emphasis is from this page's publisher. - FrB]

When we read the words of the Savior which speak of the simple and carefree way in which we could live, not considering about food and drink, not bothering about how to clothe our bodies — we are filled with two conflicting feelings. On the one hand we think: yes, how simple that would be, and why not live like that? Why not cast off responsibility, why not cast off worry which constantly torment us? On the other hand, the opposite view: but that is impossible! Then we are faced with the question: can something that Christ says really be impossible? Surely His commandments are a way of life?

It seems to me that we can reconcile the opposing reactions in our souls by taking account of the stringent conditions that this freedom imposes. If we want to live as Christ says, seeking only the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness in the hope that everything else will be added thereto, we must radically change our whole attitude to life, and stop living in the way we do. The righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven consists in loving God with our whole heart, with all our mind, with all our strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. That means that nothing, absolutely nothing, must remain in our lives that cannot be called love of God and love of our neighbor. It means that all our thoughts, all our powers, our whole heart must be devoted not to ourselves but to another — to God and to our neighbor. It means that everything that we possess, which gives us comfort and joy, belongs to God and our neighbor; it means that whatever we make use of over and above strict necessity, we are taking away from God and our neighbor.

Nothing that we have belongs to us; whatever we make use of, beyond bare necessity, we have stolen from someone else; whatever we do not part with of our free will, lovingly, we are seizing away from the miracle of God’s kingdom of love. If this were to become our attitude, it would be easy to live by faith in God and the mercifulness of one’s neighbor, for it would mean living in spiritual poverty and physically in such uncovetousness as we cannot conceive of.

Here we see what lies behind the easy words of Christ: forget everything, the Father will look after you. They mean: have only the cares which are God’s, the crucified care of the living God on Golgotha, and then you will enter that Kingdom, where you need nothing, and God will indeed provide everything.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Being Diligent

Diligence: n, 'constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken.'

It's a character trait that we value in people.  And it is one that is easily recognized, because they are always active, pursuing a goal.  They don't waste time in idle pursuits.

We look for these traits in people within the physical realm.  Those who are diligent manage to acquire, achieve, attain things which are tangible.

But do we ever look for this trait in the spiritual realm?  Do we see it in others?  And what would "seeing it" look like, since it is NOT tangible?  More to the point, do we pursue spiritual diligence in ourselves?

St. Peter of Damascus writes this:

Without attentiveness and watchfulness of the intellect we cannot be saved and rescued from the devil, who walks about ‘like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Pet. 5:8). For this reason the Lord often said to His disciples, ‘Watch and pray; for you do not know at what hour your Lord is coming’ (Matt. 26:41, 24:42). Through them He was giving a warning to us all about the remembrance of death, so that we should be prepared to offer a defense, grounded in works and attentiveness, that will be acceptable to God. For the demons, as St Hilarion has said, are immaterial and sleepless, concerned only to fight against us and to destroy our souls through word, act and thought. We lack a similar persistence, and concern ourselves now with our comfort and with ephemeral opinion, now with worldly matters, now with a thousand and one other things. We are not in the least interested in examining our life, so that our intellect may develop the habit of so doing and may give attention to itself unremittingly.

St. Peter instructs us to see that we must develop the habit of seeking spiritual gain.  It won't happen by osmosis.  We are in fact "miners" of salvation, digging, seeking that vein of ore that brings spiritual reward.  Miners don't go to work unarmed.  They carry picks, shovels, gloves.  They don't expect to have the ore jump out and offer itself to them.  They know that they must exert themselves with the greatest of effort, expending their strength to make gains.

Spiritual gains are no different.  They come with great effort.  They come as we arm ourselves with the requisite tools - prayer, fasting, prostrations.  They require training by reading scripture and the Fathers.  

It requires diligence.

St. Theophan the Recluse teaches this:

While you will not achieve anything just by your own labor, God will not give you anything if you do not labor with all your might.

The path to salvation leads through one's spending oneself in the search for the Kingdom, and the Kingdom is NOT of this world!

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness... (Mat 6:33)