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:

Friday, March 18, 2022


We’re not unfamiliar with the word.  We know what it means.  But like precious gems, wisdom is not a common thing found among people.  People may have tremendous knowledge.  But without wisdom, knowledge is useless.  How so?

Having knowledge means that one possesses the information required to do something.  Wisdom relates to the experience to know how to implement the knowledge.  In fact, wisdom can provide its own knowledge.

Take a simple example.  Buy a box of pierogies at the grocery (you’re probably neck deep in them by now at this point in the fast!).  The ingredients are listed carefully on the box.  From this “knowledge”, make your best pierogi.  Then compare it with the one that came from the box, or better yet, from a baba who has been pinching pierogies most of her adult life.  You’ll begin to understand wisdom.

This past Monday saw a passage from the Book of Proverbs.  In part, it gave us this gem:

Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding; For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law. When I was my father's son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, He also taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.   

Seems like the King Solomon valued wisdom!

It’s a good lesson for all of us at this point in the Fast.  The Church has been gifting to us the instruction of a father over the past weeks.  She has given us good doctrine in the teachings of Zacchaeus, of the Publican, of the Prodigal, and in the view provided by the Holy Fathers of the 7th Council related to Holy Icons.  Have we heeded the instruction?  Is our daily life somehow different because we have attempted to implement those lessons into how we live?  Or have the words fallen on ears that are not hearing well?  If the ears are not hearing, then our hearts will not retain the Church’s words.

There is life in the commandments we share with one another by the teaching of our Lord.  They are commandments that can preserve us in times of worldly trouble, which seems to grow greater with each passing day!  Wisdom is the gem we should be mining to prepare us for all that the world will throw at us.

And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you."  Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble.

Wisdom brings us to repentance, to forgiving others with ease, to recognition that the fast is a tool to enable us to take a closer walk to that led by the Saints.  It shows us the way to joyous almsgiving,  It elevates in our lives all the virtues, faith, hope, honesty, humility, obedience, patience, self-control, kindness, gratitude, and the rest.

May our Lord bless us all to increase in HIS wisdom, making each of us individually and all of us collectively better servants!

Tuesday, March 8, 2022


In the Gospel reading this past Sunday (Forgiveness Sunday, Mat 6:14-21), our Lord teaches, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven....For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  

Treasure.  What does it mean to YOU?

For many, we think of piles of money, stashed away in bank vaults, or large numbers on a spreadsheet showing assets in a 401k.  Maybe for some it's the car in the garage.  For others it may be the home in which one lives.  Officially, it is "accumulated or stored wealth; valuable or precious possessions of any kind."  It is clearly something that can be different for different people.

But let's dig deeper.  The word "precious" was used above, so let's go to the superlatives.  What is the MOST precious thing in your life?  One article I read recently suggested three things as being most precious.  In third place was time.  We never seem to have enough, and what we do have is constantly slipping away from us.  In second place was freedom.  It is a condition that is NOT guaranteed, and unless we are vigilant, it too can slip away from us.  In first place was integrity.  The writer's perspective was that even if we have no control over what happens to us in time, and our freedoms are taken from us, integrity is something that cannot be removed - it is part of the person's being.  Again, words have meanings, and so how does one define integrity?  It is the steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code - by definition.

I would define integrity with another word, or perhaps substitute this word for it.


As in the previous definition, faith cannot be taken from the one who possesses it.  Faith can be strictly adhered to regardless of external pressure or conditions.  And in fact faith grows stronger, it increases when tested.

But let's go back to our Lord's words with which we opened this piece.  That focus was on treasure.

Do we treasure our faith?  If yes, how do we show this in our lives?  If an innocent bystander sees you standing next to a person with NO faith in Christ, what will he or she see that differentiates you from the other?

You see, in this context "treasure" is not something that we put away from sight from others around us.  We don't want neighbors, or sometimes even family members, to know what is in a bank account or IRA.  But we SHOULD, we MUST want them to be able to be witnesses of what a life in Christ means to us.  It needs to be openly apparent to all.  Maybe it's a smile that doesn't fade.  Maybe it's being willing to listen more and speak less.  Maybe it's that unmistakeable tendancy of being giving.  However it manifests itself, it needs to be clear that something (and this means Some One) has made a change in us, and in following Him we truly ARE different from many others.

Treasure.  The Greek word used is θησαυρός, thesauros, the word from which our contemporary word thesaurus derives.  It comes from the root meaning repository or collection.  In our use it simply means a collection of words.  In our Lord's use, it points to that collection of experiences and/or deeds in our lives that make us more than what we were.  Almsgiving.  Prayer.  Study of scripture.  Kind words to those who need.  Feeding the hungry.  Clothing the naked.  Repenting of wrongs done.  Each of these is a very valuable thing, and can be 'banked' into the heavenly account our Lord points to in this Gospel lesson.

You can be penniless in this world, and the richest of those in the Kingdom.  It all depends on where your bank is located!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Forgiving - In Truth

We find ourselves in Forgiveness Week.  As we contemplate the fullness of how to forgive others, we find our thoughts mingling with the issue of prayer.  If we seek to forgive someone, we should pray for them.  Can I with all sincerity pray for the one I seek to forgive?  Yes?  Then we've made a good start!  But for what do I pray in such a prayer?  How do I pray for him/her?  Words have meaning.  What words do I offer? 

Do I ask the Lord to “guide them”?  If so, I am judging them to have strayed from the path, and I’m seeking that God change THEM.  In praying for one whom I seek to truly forgive, it is better to ask the Lord to change ME, to bless me with the ability to divest myself of pride and judgmentalism, to forgive my anger that I held BEFORE I chose to truly forgive! 

Do I ask the Lord to forgive them?  If so, my words show that I’ve not myself truly forgiven them.  For how can one contemplate a person (me) having granted true forgiveness, but God not having done so?  How could I possibly have a virtue not ascribed to God?  How can I have forgiven, but God has not?  Indeed, I have usurped the spiritual authority our Lord gave to His Apostles, for I am binding on earth while insincerely praying for God to unbind in heaven.  Let me first unbind my own heart from judgmentalism and from pride, then ask God for mercy on both me and the one I have truly and fully forgiven. 

My enemy will forever be my enemy until I love him!  And as the Holy Fathers teach, my having true love for one who was my enemy does not assure that he or she will in turn love me.  Can one love someone who does not love in return?  If we truly forgive and can honestly answer yes, we begin to see things as God does!  For how many of us (ALL of us!!!) have sinned against God, but know full well that He never stops loving us!

Saint Theophan the Recluse says it this way.  "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Mat 6:14-15)  What a simple and handy means of salvation!  Your trespasses are forgiven under the condition that you forgive your neighbor's trespasses against you.  This means that you are in your own hands.  Force yourself to pass from agitated feelings toward your brother to truly peaceful feelings - and that is all.  The day of forgiveness - what a great, heavenly day of God this is!  If all of us used it as we ought, this day would make Christian societies into heavenly societies, and the earth would merge with heaven.