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, December 30, 2022


Definition:  resolution n. 1) a firm decision to do or not to do something; 2) the quality of being determined or resolute.

It is this final definition that resonates with me, especially that word ‘resolute’, for it carries with it the added emphasis of being unwavering, unflinching, moving with a purpose.

By now you’re probably thinking that I’m advocating that we all make resolutions for the new year.

Your conclusion would be half-true.

What are the most pledged resolutions in the world around us each January 1st?  Top three are: 1) exercise more; 2) lose weight; 3) save more money.

What is the focus of these resolutions?  1) I want to feel better; 2) I want to look better; 3) I want to feel more secure.  In short, the focus is me.  The focus is selfish.  You have to venture outside the top 10 (number 11 on the Yahoo list for 2021) to find a resolution that relates to others: volunteering more.  And this one accounted for only 10% of all such resolutions.

The person writing the article said this:  These resolutions are not compulsive (ed: I’m sure he/she meant compulsory); they are more like a signal for a new start than an actual catalyst for change.”  In short, forget the initial focus on being resolute!  We’re making promises to ourselves knowingly to break them, just to make us feel good about ourselves.  Once again, SELF.

“But Father, why beat us up about resolutions?  I don’t believe in them anyhow.”

Please remember that we earlier said your conclusion was ‘half true’.  Here’s that other half.

As faithful Orthodox Christians, we approach the sacrament of repentance with contrition, with in-depth self-examination, with remorse, and with a sincere desire to change the person we’ve allowed ourselves to become, to change into a person who cannot of his own ability achieve perfection, but who through his or her struggles with stubborn self-will seeks to become more aligned with the perfection to which or Lord calls us—to become with each passing day more and more like the God we worship.  With every breath, to attempt to achieve Theosis.

If we approach the sacrament of Confession with an attitude that we’re in some fashion “taking of the garment and sending it in for cleaning,” we’re missing the point.  Rather, we’re attempting to cleanse the garment, and then not venture into those places or situations in which we dirtied the garment in the first place.

St. Mark the Ascetic said, If someone falls into any sin and is not sincerely grieved by it, it is easy for him to fall into the same thing again.  And again, from St. Isaac the Syrian, It is a spiritual gift from God for a man to perceive his sins. When God sees that we suffer grievously in multifarious trials, this gift penetrates into our thought, lest we should depart from life in the midst of all these calamities and afflictions, having reaped no profit from this world.

The Christian way, the Orthodox way, is not to make resolutions which we intend to renounce immediately upon uttering them.  The Orthodox way it to come in tears and in trembling before God, bringing our sins as an offering to Him, that He might bless us with the grace to resist repeating those sins from this time forward.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me...A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Ps 51:10,17)

The One Who waits to hear our ‘resolutions’ is One Who loves us, and Who wants us to succeed, and not to turn back from being resolute because that is easier.  He’s there to comfort, to strengthen, and to forgive all we bring before Him.

Zacchaeus Sunday is 4 weeks from today.  Spring cleaning time is at hand.  Let us pray for one another.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Sermon Sunday 12/11/22 - Holy Forefathers


The Way of the World

 There has never been a time when the world and its ways have not been at odds with the ways of the Lord, the ways of His Church, and the ways that move us toward salvation.

In today’s Gospel (Luke 14:16-24) our Lord relates this fact to us, yet again via parable.

The parable does not seem at first blush to point to the Lord’s Incarnation, but let’s together push into it just a bit more deeply.

Verses 16 and 17.  “A certain Man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent His servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’”

The “certain Man” is the Father.  He has, through the grace of the Holy Spirit and the sending of His Son into the world, come to the point of being ready to offer this “great supper”.  What is the supper?  It is our salvation in our born, crucified, and Risen Lord.  It is the Lord’s Supper, the offering of His very Body and Blood so that we, His servants, may eat and drink of it, and through doing so we may literally take God within us, we may be enlivened in both our physical and spiritual lives by His eternal Life, transmitted to us by His physical nature, which Jesus spoke of saying, “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.” (John 6:55)

There is no ‘supper’ without the ‘meat’.  That’s the definition of “incarnation”!  God coming into the world and putting on our flesh, so that He by His good will towards us and His limitless love for us might work for us salvation, the ability to follow His instructions and find our way to eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, where He is and ever shall be.

We could say that the world cares little about this great supper.  But the fact is that for most of the world, there is no care at all.  It is the reason again for our Lord’s saying, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mat 22:14)  It takes something ‘special’, not-worldly to hear the call and to answer the call.

St. Theophan says this.

All Christians are called: chosen are those Christians who believe and live in a Christian manner.  In the first Christian times, preaching called people to faith.  Now we are called by our birth from Christians and our upbringing among Christians.  And glory be to God!  We travel down half the road—that is, entrance into Christianity and the taking root of its principles in our heart—from our very childhood, without any labor.  It would seem that our faith should be all the stronger, and our life all the more correct throughout all the time that follows.  It used to be that way; but at a certain point in time it started to be different with us.  Unchristian principles, which ruin young people, are permitted in our schools, and unchristian customs, which corrupt them after they leave school, have entered into society.  If, in accordance with the word of God, there have always been only a few chosen, it is no surprise that in our time there are even fewer of them; such is the spirit of the age—antichristian!  What will be next?  If our manner of education and social customs are not changed, true Christianity will weaken more and more, and at last will entirely come to an end.  Only the name “Christian” will remain, but the spirit of Christianity will not be there.  The spirit of the world will fill everyone.  What is one to do?  Pray!”

Eleven years ago now we began to publish a blog titled, Will He Find Faith On Earth?, which are prophetic words spoken by our Lord in Luke 18:8.  They refer to His coming again, and the falling away referred to by St. Theophan.

Let us strive to be ones in whom such real faith can be found, and in whom today’s “certain Man” will find hearts yearning to attend His great supper!  And let us together witness His putting on our flesh!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Incarnation #2

 From St. Theophan the Recluse, "Thoughts for Each Day of the Year," Pg. 265-266.

On the Feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, "Christ is Born!" begins to be sung, preparing believers for a worthy meeting of the Feast of Christ's Nativity.  Having understood this inspiration, act according to it.  Delve deeply into the mystery of the Incarnation of the Only Begotten Son of God; ascend to its beginning in the pre-eternal counsel of God concerning the existence of the world and man within it; see its reflection in the creation of man; joyfully meet the first tidings of it immediately after the fall; rationally trace its gradual revelation in Old Testament prophecies and prefigurations.  Understand who prepared to receive God Incarnate and how they prepared, under the influence of Divine institutions and activities within Israel.  Pass, if you wish, beyond the borders of God's people and gather there rays of God's light, shining in the darkness, and ponder to what degree those chosen from among all nations reached the presentiment of the extraordinary manifestation of God's Providence for man.  This will be a mental preparation.  But now is the time of the Nativity Fast - prepare yourself, go to Confession, and receive Communion of Christ's Holy Mysteries: this will be an active and living preparation.  If, as a result of all this, the Lord grants you to sense the power of His coming in the flesh - then, when the Feast comes, you will celebrate it not out of a joy foreign to you, but out of an intimate joy.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Victory of the People

The article’s title is the translation of the meaning of the name Nicholas.  Isn’t it strange that his name has been twisted by the world to mean almost anything but victory?  Today his name means profit, it means covetousness (“I need…., I want…”), it means excess (in spending, in eating, in self-indulgence). 

As Christians, we see the world slipping away from traditional, but especially from moral, norms.  Is it not profoundly telling that the true person of St. Nicholas is a harbinger, a predecessor to the corruption that is affecting so much of what we hold as true and good and holy?

As was the case with Joachim and Anna, Theophanes and Nonna were childless, and they prayed to the Lord to give them a child, whom they too promised to dedicate to the service of God.  And so it was that Nicholas was conceived!

Tradition holds that his mother Nonna was ill as she carried the child, but her illness was immediately healed upon his birth.

Baptized as a child, tradition holds that he stood in the baptismal font for three hours in honor of the Holy Trinity.  It is told that as a baby he would not nurse from his mother on Wednesdays and Fridays.  From his youth, his spirit was victorious over his body.

As a young child he read and prayed—voraciously.  His uncle was bishop of Patara, and was so taken by the boy’s spiritual success and deep piety that he first ordained him to be a reader, and when the time was right, elevated him to the priesthood, where he was entrusted to teach the flock.

He was unparalleled in being proficient in answering questions of faith, earning the deepest respect of the faithful.  He was kind to all who came to him for aid, especially the afflicted and the poor, to whom he soon had distributed all of his inheritance.  In all instances, he strove to bestow charity in secrecy, not permitting his good deeds to be seen by the many.

But his spiritual influence was not limited to preaching and almsgiving.  He is known to us today as “Wonderworker,” a category of saints who showed the ability to intervene in miraculous ways for the good of the people who came to them.

Once St. Nicholas was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and he foretold that a storm would arise and threaten the ship on which he was to travel.  He saw the devil get onto the ship, seeking to kill all its passengers.  As the waves became perilous, the pilgrims besought St. Nicholas to intervene, and he calmed the waves by his prayers.  One of the ship’s sailors fell from a mast and was mortally wounded, but by St. Nicholas’ prayers he was restored to health.

These are only accounts of this blessed saint while he lived and walked among us.  Countless additional miraculous interventions are also told.  And if this is true, how many interventions were there that are not recorded?

The saint whose name means victory truly is (NOT ‘was’) a shining example of how we as God’s servants can choose to live lives pleasing to God such that HIS victory is manifest amongst His people.

Friday, December 2, 2022



The importance of the Lord's Incarnation cannot be overstated.  Without God's plan of salvation including His taking on our flesh and delivering it from the corruption which we chose by rejecting His love, there is no hope for eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

John 1:14 sums up the Incarnation in a very few eloquent words.  "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  

God the Son, the Word, chooses to conform Himself to our flesh.  Why?  So that in so doing He may establish the path for us to conform ourselves to Him!

St. Gregory Palamas teaches this:  “God emptied Himself in an indescribable way, came down from on high to the lowest state of man’s nature, and indissolubly linked it with Himself…He gathered both things into one, mingling humanity with divinity, and by so doing He taught everyone that humility is the road which leads upwards.”  ("On the Entry of the Theotokos to the Holy of Holies")  How infinitely did God humble Himself, taking on our flesh, to teach us the need to seek the path of humility ourselves, to deny ourselves, taking up the comparitively insignificant cross He has given to each of us so that we may choose to take up that cross and to follow Him!

St. Paul teaches, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." (Rom 8:29-30)  Do not misconstrue 'predestined' with having no choice.  God always gives us free will to choose to follow Him or to reject Him.  'Predestined' is a word used to indicate His foreknowledge of the choices we will freely make.  

In exercising our free will, we are to seek to redefine ourselves into that image of God the Son, the image of the One Who came to love, to heal, to redeem, to comfort, to serve.  With the exception of remaining sinless, He has equipped us with all tools required to seek to follow Him in all these things.  And through His grace, He blesses us to seek that perfection He shows in Himself.  "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."  (Mat 5:48)  The follow-on teaching is equally important.  "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."  (Eph 1:4-5)

As we together walk the path of these remaining 23 days before the birth of the Savior in the flesh, let us also together seek with every step we take to step toward the Kingdom, not straying from it.  The world has always been a dangerous place.  Some see it as even more dangerous today than ever.  For those who seek to do God's will, danger must not be a concern.  When we pray, "Thy will be done," we must pray it and mean it with all our heart.  If we pray that His will be done, it has deeper meaning.  Jesus teaches, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." (Mat 7:21)

I beg all of us, ignore "shopping days until Christmas," and focus rather on "days left to repent before encountering God in the flesh."  The Star is already shining in the east.  Wise men and women will choose to follow it to find our God laying humbly in a feeding trough present to feed His own dumb animals.  For even they share of what they have with God Who comes to save the world.  He comes to save you and me.  To save those we love.  To save those who do not love us.  To save those we know and those we don't.  In short, He comes to save all mankind, all who will use their God-given free will to choose to follow Him in humility, in faith, and in love.