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, October 28, 2023


 We (popadia and I) were driving down a local ‘in-town’ road a couple of weeks ago, and we drove up behind a car with a bumper sticker.  I don’t try to read everything on such vehicles.  Very often they contain messages that are less than edifying.  But in this case, I laughed out loud.

They say that for something to be truly funny, it needs to be founded in reality.  What did the sticker say?  It was three simple words:  I MISS TRUTH!  As I let the message get absorbed into my thoughts, the first reaction was, “Yes!  Me too!!!”

Look at the world around you.

We’ve labored for the past 20 years to keep political issues out of this forum because it’s not the place of your spiritual father to attempt to coerce you into thinking in any given “left or right” leaning direction—as relates to candidates, people.

However, when political issues inject themselves into the spiritual realm, we must react with spiritual insight, always praying that God will reveal to us the direction He chooses for us to take, and being open enough to seek HIS truth, and not the “truth” being offered to us by worldly entities - from either side!

Take for instance Issue 1 on the upcoming November ballot.  Those urging Ohio citizens to vote YES state that voting NO on the issue will prevent victims of rape from seeking abortions.  They further state that women whose lives are in danger from pregnancy will be prevented from seeking an abortion. 

What’s the truth?  Visit snopes.com/fact-check/ohio-abortion-law-no-rape-exception/.  They declare the rape claim to be FALSE.

And what are the “risks to the life of a mother” that would require abortion? 

Maternal mortality in the US is increasing, with an estimated 17.4 maternal deaths per every 100,000 live births. (That’s less than 0.02% - source: forbes.com/health/womens-health/pregnancy/pregnancy-statistics/)

For the record, EVERY child aborted loses its life! (That’s 100% - source: Fr. Basil)

“But Father, if these claims are false, how can they lie about it?”

Good question!  The answer lies in the second tier of falsehoods that surround us, that which USED to be called “news reporting.”  As evidenced above, we can’t believe everything we’re told.  We must do our own digging and research to find what is right, where is truth.

In days gone by, those who acquired degrees in journalism would dig into potential lies and expose them.  This is how the presidency of Richard Nixon and the excesses of Joseph McCarthy were brought down.  Good comes from a free press and from conscientious journalists.  For this to be the case, there should be reporting that presents fact, not opinion.

Today, those who ‘report the news’ seem quite openly to be only surrogates for those who have the financial wherewithal to own “news entities”, which report basically what they’re told to report.

Today, truth doesn’t matter.  Aligning the story with an edicted narrative seems to be what matters.

But there’s only ONE place to find the TRUTH.  You know Who He is and where to find Him.

For us, what becomes important is to attempt to follow His will in all such wranglings.  "Seek first the Kingdom."   Our Lord's words about His Apostles are true for us as well.  "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." (John 17:14)

After the world gives its answer in a divisive election such as this, we need to live in such a way as to have our lives speak the TRUTH so that others can find it (and Him) within us, regardless of what the voting results turn out to be.  This is NOT a call to deny or disobey.  It IS a call to continue to speak truth, to shine light where there is darkness.

Don’t anguish over what the world is doing and will do.  Each of us needs to do what the Holy Spirit reveals to us in prayer as that which is right. 

Remember the words of St. Seraphim of Sarov, “Save yourself, and thousands around you will be saved!” Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling (Phil 2:12).  Follow Christ!

Friday, October 20, 2023

Memory Eternal!

 [The TOPIC for this homily is taken from the text of the Gosepl for the 5th Week of Luke (16:19-31), the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.  It is somewhat fortuitous that on this Saturday we celebrate another 'Soul Saturday' Divine Liturgy, remembering the names of our loved ones departed this life.]

But now, thus says the Lord, Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.’ (Isa 43:1)

Names are important.  “Hey, you!” is not a very pleasing way to be encountered by another person!  In fact, sometimes we are offended if a person does not remember our name—it’s a hazard of the office of the priest!  It makes people feel unimportant if we forget their name, even if totally unintentional.

Which brings us to today’s Gospel reading—Lazarus (by name) and ‘the rich man’ (whose name our Lord has forgotten).

Within that last statement is a wealth of teaching, of which we’ll only scratch the surface here.  How did the rich man come to such a place as to alienate God so that his name would NOT be remembered by Him?  The answer is quite simple, actually.  He had a singular focus, and that focus was internal.  Mine!  All for one, and nothing for others.  There was no room for the least of God's brethren, the average (and needy) people.

The need of poor Lazarus was so profoundly obvious that even the most callous onlooker could not help but be moved by it.  And according to our Lord’s words in the parable, all Lazarus desired was the crumbs, the smallest of offerings to assuage his squalor would have meant worlds to him.  But the rich man averted his eyes, and thereby hardened his heart, such that he showed no concern for the need of another human being.  And in so doing, he alienated the Giver of Life, his Creator, depriving himself of a name that would be in God's eternal memory.

So, what words are left to use for us, and in this case, for our Lord, to call attention to such a man?  A name, by our opening comments, offers a certain dignity, a recognition of the ‘person-hood’ of the one being named.  Our Lord offers no such concession of dignity toward this—being.  The only thing he is worthy of being called is that which he chose to define himself as.  “The rich man.”  And so, for all eternity he will be known not by his heart, not by his great intellect, not by his caring, not by his love, not by his Lord.  He will only be remembered by his selfishness and ‘things’.  We know from the parable only a few short details, all of which are contained in only one verse of today’s Gospel.  He was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 

‘Purple’ defines his ability to afford only the best.  Creating cloth that was colored purple was incredibly difficult and very expensive.  Often in biblical use, purple is indicative of royalty.  The Jewish Tabernacle was covered in purple (Ex 26:1), indicative of God’s royalty.

Similarly, linen carries a connection to righteousness.  In ancient Jewish rituals, linen clothes were known as ‘the robe of light.’

And so this—person ‘put on’ things purchased so that he could appear royal and righteous.  Neither of which were true, but he could ‘afford to buy’ what would give this appearance!

Lesson:  You cannot buy righteousness!

There is more we could say about his dining sumptuously every day, especially from the Holy Fathers.  Let’s leave that as a homework assignment to the reader!

Lazarus’ name is known!  It is known to our Lord.  It is known to the Father.  It has come to be known to the Church—throughout all time.  His memory truly is eternal.  

Pray for the grace to have it so with us!


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Learning to Sow

 Not sew.  Sow!

In today’s Epistle [2Cor 9:6-11], St. Paul encourages us to be unselfish, to be “stewards” of the things that God has entrusted to us.

DEFINITION:  steward (n) - one who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs; one who is in charge of a household’s affairs for a large estate.

We are called by God to be stewards.  He has freely given to us that which is HIS.  As human beings, and especially as Americans, we too often ascribe to ourselves ‘ownership’ of things that have entered into our lives.  Yes, this includes money, but it’s so much more than just money.

It’s physical things.  That car in the garage.  It’s our resource to get to work, and to bring home groceries, to make healthcare appointments, etc.  But it’s also the means of bringing us to church.  And while we’re coming, bring someone who can’t otherwise get there.  Use it to take donations to clothing distribution centers for the needy, food to soup kitchens.  Use it to visit people we know who are in hospitals or nursing homes, or even shut-ins.

That house we live in.  If there’s a person who becomes known to us who needs a place to stay for a couple of nights, would we freely offer it?  That mower in our shed.  It keeps our own home looking neat and trimmed.  But we could use it (along with some sweat equity) to cut the grass of a neighbor who is elderly, or ill, or even just away for a few days.

You see, we should be stewards of the THINGS God has blessed us to have access to.  Not to own, but to use—to HIS glory.  We bring our Master (the One before whom we stand as stewards) no glory by caring for our own needs.  He expects increase.  In fact, the parable of the talents shows that He DEMANDS such increase, by taking that which He has entrusted to us and applying it so that it bears fruit.  He expects us to come before Him and to be able to say, You entrusted me with five talents. See here are five more!

It’s only by laboring as good stewards that we can HOPE to hear from His lips that which He pronounced to that faithful steward.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of you Lord!

Entering into His joy is what St. Paul teaches us today as reaping bountifully.

To do this, St. Paul reminds us that we must give as we purpose in our hearts.  Don’t let the word give re-focus us ONLY on money.  It CAN mean that IF the Holy Spirit moves us in that direction.  But it can (and should) also mean those things we’ve already discussed, and so many more.

What’s the bottom line?  A steward is a servant who proves himself or herself worthy of being trusted with managing the affairs of a Master who trusts them to do so.  Trust.  Think of it—God trusting ME!?

Do I feel blessed beyond what I could hope for?  Yes!  Then what am I doing with the blessings—material, physical, spiritual—that He has given me, as His steward, to bring increase, to bring glory to His name?

If nothing yet, then it’s time to make the start.  If I’ve already begun, then it’s time to redouble my efforts. 

My time is running low, not much left to have a hope for turning my life around, so that I might hope to hear His voice say, Well done, good and faithful servant!


Monday, October 2, 2023

The Golden Rule

 [Luke 6:31-36}

The title of this article and of this passage of Holy Scripture conjures images of that which is pure and blessed.

And it is true.  But often that which is pure and blessed is not easy.  Living according to the “Golden Rule” is fraught with difficulty—from the purely human (and NOT spiritual) perspective.

What is this ‘rule’?

Paraphrased from today’s Gospel reading, it says, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Well, THAT doesn’t sound so difficult.  I mean, the demands I would make on anyone else seem to me at least to be minimal.  This should be easy, right?

Let me urge all not to rush to such a judgment.  For the Lord continues with the more detailed instructions.

The first of these is to love those who are difficult to love.  Loving those who already love you carries no special effort, nor therefore a special blessing.  Jesus is telling us we need to love that guy (or gal) who throws trash in our yard, or the co-worker who says untruths about us behind our backs.  Yes—love THESE people, and others like them!

Jesus continues.

Be kind to those who are unkind to you.  I suppose it’s a corollary to the previous admonishment, but it calls to attention our need to not rush to judgment.  In fact, not to judge at all.  It teaches us that we are to show kindness and respect to the person who wants to shout us into submission.  And in so doing, not to engage in shouting in return, but show the divine kindness that Jesus is encouraging us to see in Him as He deals with those who are HIS enemies.  How many encounters with the Pharisees and Sadducees did Jesus have in which they sought to trick Him into saying something they could use to prove Him wrong at something, anything?  And how many times did Jesus respond to them in anger?  Did you say, “Never”?

Finally, Jesus encourages us to not view things placed into our hands by His loving care for us to be personal possessions.  Instead, He says, Lend, hoping for nothing in return. 

“You mean, just GIVE to someone?  What if what they want is important to me?”

Well then, try to find a reason to make it less important.  Instead of worrying about when they will return what we loan them, if it's that important to you, perhaps you could ask the Lord to restore what you’ve freely loaned—in His time and as He chooses.

And what are we to expect if we conform to the Lord’s instructions for us?

Jesus says, You will be children of the Most High. 

“I thought we were already God’s children.” 

We are His creation.  We become His children when we conform ourselves to the instructions He gives to us.  The Prodigal left the Father and lived a sin-filled life.  The Father never counted him outside His love.  But the Prodigal placed himself there, segregated himself from that Love until?  Until he repented and returned to the Father’s love.  It took effort, labor.

So it is with us.  We must strive to conform ourselves with the instructions the Lord has left for us.  Then we will truly be children of the Most High!