Fellow Pilgrims of St. Herman

hermanalaska

June 18, 2016
Eve of Pentecost

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. (I Peter 2:11)

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here. (John 18:36)

This world and all its lusts make us who live here forget that our true home lies elsewhere. Pilgrimage is the God-given tool for overcoming our excessive attachment to this world.  On this Eve of the Feast, having arrived at the birthplace of Orthodox Christianity in North America, our small group of pilgrims assembles in the early morning around the relics of America’s first Orthodox saint, Herman of Alaska, to pray for the salvation of our souls. I am here in Kodiak, Alaska with my brother-in-law and a priest who has almost circumnavigated the globe from a city if Siberia just north of Mongolia. We are guests at St. Herman Seminary in an unfamiliar place, but the common love for St. Herman makes us feel right at home as we meet other pilgrims from places as far flung as ours. Continue reading

Saints Alive: Living Links to Ancient Truths

October 26/ November 8- Holy and Glorious Great-martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher of Thessalonica (306)

On this day when we remember the Great-martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki, I offer this re-post of a reflection I composed the summer of 2011 when I was fortunate enough to visit the city of the saint and venerate his relics along with the rest of the senior class of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. A full copy of all of my reflections from that summer can be found here. Continue reading