The last week and a half has been particularly difficult – illness, financial strain, job problems, holiday overload – and there have been days when I just didn’t give a crap about anything. It’s not too hard to understand why the sin of anger is a big part of my confessions. But it was this evening when the fog of sickness had started to lift that I realized I had something to be happy and joyful about.
December 13th is the feastday of possibly the most beloved of American Orthodox Saints – Venerable Herman of Alaska. A monk whose simple life has had the most profound impact on American Orthodoxy. I count myself blessed that seventeen years ago on his feastday I was received into the Holy Orthodox Church through chrismation. It was and remains still, the most important day of my life. I was reborn into a new life in the Orthodox faith and Saint Herman has been one of those saints I have felt closest to.
Some people might say that one day of total spiritual devotion and happiness would be enough to satisfy them a lifetime. That’s how many Orthodox converts remember the date of their baptism or chrismation. It is that one special day that seems to be a fulfillment of long, difficult journeys and sacrifices to achieve truth and salvation. In His mercy, God has blessed me with 6205 days since my chrismation, but I never fail to remember how miserably I have squandered all that time. I have so often let the problems and stress of this world interfere with my spiritual life and left so many areas of sin untouched and unchanged. I can only hope that through the prayers of Saint Herman I can complete my life in the same spirit of peace that he had.
If you would like to learn more about the life and miracles of Saint Herman click here.
- O blessed Father Herman of Alaska,
- North star of Christ’s holy Church,
- The light of your holy life and great deeds
- Guides those who follow the Orthodox way.
- Together we lift high the Holy Cross
- You planted firmly in America.
- Let all behold and glorify Jesus Christ,
- Singing his holy Resurrection.