The Holy Fire from the Lord's Tomb in Jerusalem was brought to St Herman's and burns on our altar and on our "Golgotha" Table.
MEATFARE is today. That means today is the last day we eat meat until Pascha. This week now is Cheesefare. That means we begin our fast from meat this week and we use this week to consume all the dairy in our homes, and also to shrink our stomachs a bit to get ready for the beginning of Great Lent next Sunday, when we fast from meat and dairy until Pascha.
CONGRATULATIONS TO our St Herman’s “Champions of Chili” – a most prestigious title! Placing was Laurie; showing was Emily; and defending and walking home with the apron, again, was Madeline!
PARISH COUNCIL meets this Thursday, Feb 15, at 7 pm.
WE WELCOME Nick Kasemeotes, Development Officer for IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities), this morning. He will present to us on the work of IOCC in Mediterranean countries at Coffee Hour.
WOMEN OF ST HERMAN’S are invited to participate in the Women’s Psalter Reading Group during Great Lent. St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church in Norcross, GA, describes the Psalter Reading Group this way: “The Psalter is so integral in our personal prayers and saturates our liturgical worship. For millennia it has provided a voice for us as we talk with God. This is a wonderful opportunity to deliberately pray the Psalter and to pray for each other. The 150 Psalms are broken into 20 Kathisma. If you wish to be part of the Psalter Group, you will be asked to pray a Kathisma each day. So during the period of the Great Fast, you will read the complete Psalter twice. With each one of us starting on a different assigned Kathisma, our group will pray the complete Psalter each day. You will be assigned a Kathisma to start with, and each day you read the next one. So if you are assigned to start on Kathisma 14, the next day you would read 15, then 16 and so on for each day of the Great Fast. After praying your assigned Kathisma, you will have a list of all of us participating in the Psalter group to be remembered in prayer by name.” If you’re interested in participating please see her, and she will explain how it works.
READER’S WORKSHOP will continue with Part II by popular demand. Date for Part II will be determined.
St Mary’s Greek, Saturday morning, Feb 24, Archimandrite Maximos (Nicholas) Constas, “Behold the Beauty of the LORD. The Spiritual Nature of Icons,”
St George Greek, Mar 2-3, on Film and Orthodox Christianity by Mr. Bobby Maddex. Why Watch? How to Watch? and What to Watch? Bobby Maddex is a Senior Editor of Salvo Magazine and Station Manager of Ancient Faith Radio.
Pan-Orthodox Twin Cities Young Adult League (ages 18-35) will meet on February 25th, 2 pm to 6 PM at St. Mary’s OCA Cathedral Parish Center (1701 5th St. NE, Minneapolis) Join us for ice breakers, a discussion on Lent, social time, Pan-Orthodox Vespers, and a Lenten dinner. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
2:00-2:15 ice breakers
2:15-3:30 discussion on how we observe Lent.
4:00-5:15 pan Orthodox vespers for the Sunday of Orthodoxy
5:15—6:15 Lenten dinner at St. Mary’s OCA Cathedral
MEOCCA Lenten Vespers Schedule:
Feb 25 St Mary’s Cathedral
Mar 4 St George GOC
Mar 11 St Mary’s GOC
Mar 18 St George AOC
Mar 25 St Panteleimon
Apr 1 (PALM SUNDAY): MEOCCA Bridegroom Matins is served here at St Herman’s. We serve our guests a delicious fish dinner afterwards.
All these Lenten services are at 4 pm.
A class for Inquirers and Catechumens is held here at St Herman’s on Saturdays from 330 pm – 430 pm. Though it is billed for inquirers and catechumens, “faithful” are welcome to attend.
The spiritual struggle is a manifold struggle but the struggle with pride strikes deepest and is the most grievous. Pride is the supreme antagonist of divine law, deforming the divine order of being and bringing ruin and death in its train. Pride manifests itself partly on the physical plane but more essentially on the plane of thought and spirit. It arrogates priority for itself, battling for complete mastery, and its principal weapon is the reasoning mind.
In its arrogance, reason imagines itself ascending to the uppermost heights, descending, as it believes, to the lowest depths. Reason aspires to embrace the integrality of being, in order everywhere to impart its own definition. Failing to attain the confines of being, reason attributes to itself this infinity and ends by identifying itself with the divine principle [That art thou! – fpw].
There is no comfortable armchair in the study for the monk [the faithful Christian] in his struggle with the reason: in the silence of the night, far from the world, unheard and unseen of others, he falls down before God and weeps the prayer of the publican, or cries with St Peter: “LORD, save me!”
In spirit, the ascetic striver [the faithful Christian] beholds the abyss of ‘outer darkness’ opening wide before him [he beholds the Last Judgment – fpw], and so his prayer is ardent. The struggle may last for years, until the heart is purified of all passion – of pride, first and foremost. Then the Divine Light appears which reveals the falsity of our former judgments – the Light which leads the soul to the limitless expanses of true life.
Archimandrite Sophrony, The Monk of Mt Athos, pp. 103-104.