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:

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Living Fully in Christ

 As a people, we collectively think our society is moral.

As an individual, we singularly believe we live life "by the rules".

Whose "rules"?  And how do we intellectually "justify" our own particular deviations FROM those rules?

In society, we have laws.  Years ago, our legal codes were primarily based on Judeo-Christian morality - laws paralleled the content of the Ten Commandments and other teachings on morality from the Patriarchs, the Prophets, and Christ.

But that was then.  This is now.  "Townhall.com" suggests that there are at least 5000 Federal criminal laws, with an additional 10,000 to 300,000 regulations that can be enforced criminally.  That's at the Federal level.  When you get down to "locals", it gets even more absurd.  Did you know that you can be jailed in Gainesville, LA for eating fried chicken with a fork?

Do you know all the rules the world is trying to enforce upon you?  It's a foolish question, isn't it.

But when we look at our Christian faith, we don't find this level of complexity.  When the young lawyer came to Jesus he asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus answered that he must "keep the commandments," and the Lord echoed the Ten to the young man, adding at the end, "Love your neighbor as yourself."  (Mat 19:16-22)

You might say, "But Father, there certainly are others.  Jesus also said, "Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)  He said, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." (John 6:53)

So, there ARE more "rules".  Confess your sins.  Give alms.  Be 'the servant'.

Yes, they're there, but you KNOW them, you remember them. They are few.  Jesus said, "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."  (Mat 11:30)  St. Paul says we are to "show the work of the Law written on their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or excusing them." (Rom 2:15)

God's Law IS law!  All of the man-made statutes and regulations help us not at all in what must be our singular focus related to 'rules' - and that focus must be finding our way to eternal life.  Worldly laws will not help us get there!

I've observed the following in my own life.  I have lived in such a way so as to harm no others.  But I have NOT lived to help them.

I have lived to be at peace with my neighbor, but I have NOT loved him as our Lord has instructed me.

And so, I am guilty.

May our Lord find within me a truly repentant heart, one that desires with all its ability to conform it (and me) to His expectations for me.

Guide us all, Lord, to walk YOUR path, to seek YOUR will, to live as YOUR servants in all faith and love.  Help us to live fully within Your love for us.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Do You Believe?

It’s really the single-most salient question that we have to answer with respect to our whole life.  Do I believe?

Until faith is tested, it is only a concept.  I think I have faith sufficient to say that I believe.  But how can I know with certainty?

Holy Scripture is full of wisdom related to belief.

Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (Jam 1:6)

Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. (Mat 21:21)

Immediately the father of the child cried out, ‘I believe—help my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:24)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Prov 3:5)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)


Our ‘belief’ is a reflection of the content of our hearts.  See the article on Page 2 from Abbot Tryphon.

When doubt comes to us, the Lord has shown us the way to reject it.

As Jesus walked to the Apostles on the turbulent sea, and Peter asked to come to Him on the water, it was doubt that caused Peter to begin to sink.  This is how doubt presents itself to us in our regular daily affairs.  God is there.  He has not moved.  He has not changed.  He is waiting for us, His children, to seek Him with our whole heart.

But when we doubt, we lose our focus on Him.  We cease to see Him directly and become distracted by the “things of this world,” noise, turmoil, troubles, illness, and any manner of that which attacks the physical.

As Peter sank into the waves of the sea, he did not lose faith—he lost focus.  He still believed.  The only ‘belief’ that he lost was in the Lord’s provision of grace to him to do the impossible.  We can find evidence of his continued (perhaps diminished) faith as St. Peter recognizes his failure and calls out to Jesus, Lord, save me!  The end of this encounter in scripture is our Lord saying to Peter, Why did you doubt?  By God’s grace, the impossible is possible. 

St. Paul writes, Will unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?  Certainly not! (Rom 3:3-4)  God knows our frailty and our tendency to be swayed by the world around us.  It does not cause Him to abandon us.  In many instances those things which come upon us that test our belief are a gift FROM Him, to bring us to that point of turning back to Him, to focus on Him and NOT on the world, or the things that bring that turmoil to our lives.

So in all instances respond to the question, “Do you believe?” with a resounding, “YES, I DO believe!”  If your resolve in so doing wavers, remember the father of the young girl in Mark Chapter 9, and respond as did he: “I believe, Lord—help my unbelief!”  It’s a great prayer, confessing our weakness while simultaneously showing our dependence on the Lord for our needs.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

5th Friday After Pentecost

From St. Theophan the Recluse, "Thoughts for Each Day of the Year."
Reference Rom 16:1-16/Mat 13:4-9

The parable about the sower depicts the various relationships of souls toward the word of God.  

In the first group stand those who do not heed the word at all.  They hear, but what is heard does not enter into their soul;  it lies on its surface, like the seed by the wayside.  The word does not fit within them because they have another way of thinking, other principles, other tastes.  That is why it soon disappears from memory and is forgotten, as though it had not been heard at all.

In the second group are those who hear the word willingly and receive it quickly, but do not want to bear any labor to fulfill it.  Therefore, they delight in the word - especially its promises - until a sacrifice is required.  As soon as the necessity arises to sacrifice something for faithfulness to the word, they betray it, renouncing both the word and its promises, in order to cater to their attachments.

In the third group are those who receive the word and begin to live according to it, but then give themselves over too much to the cares and the sorrows of the world, to earthly concerns which suppress all the good undertakings which had just formed under the influence of the word of God.

In the fourth group are those who receive the word with full faith and resolve to live according to its requirements, with a readiness for all sacrifices and labor, and who do not allow their heart to be tied to anything earthly.

Each of you, sit and decide which of these groups you belong to.