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August 31, 2016 + The Way of a Christian

by St. Herman of Alaska

Without exalting myself to the rank of teacher, nonetheless, fulfilling my duty and obligation as an obedient servant for the benefit of my neighbor, I will speak my mind, founded on the commandments of Holy Scripture, to those who thirst and seek for their eternal heavenly homeland.

A true Christian is made by faith and love toward Christ. Our sins do not in the least hinder our Christianity, according to the word of the Saviour Himself. He deigned to say: not the rigteous have I come to call, but sinners to salvation; there is more joy in heaven over one who repents then over ninety righteous ones. Likewise concerning the sinful woman who touched His feet, He deigned to say to the the Pharisee Simon: to one who has love, a great debt is forgiven, but from one who has no love, even a small debt will be demanded. From these judgements a Christian should bring himself to hope and joy, and not in the least accept an inflicted despair. Here one needs the shield of faith.

Sin, to one who loves God, is nothing other than an arrow from the enemy in battle. The true Christian is a warrior fighting his way through the regiments of the unseen enemy to his heavenly homeland. According to the word of the Apostles, our homeland is in heaven; and about the warrior he says: "our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of wickedness under heaven" (Ephesians 6:12).

The vain desires of this world separate us from our homeland; love of them and habit clothe our soul as if in a hideous garment. We, traveling on the journey of this life and calling on God to help us, ought to be divesting ourselves of this hideous garment and clothing ourselves in new desires, in a new love of the age to come, and thereby to receive knowledge of how near or how far we are from our heavenly homeland. But it is not possible to do this quickly; rahter one must follow the example of sick people, who, wishing the desired (health), do not leave off seeking means to cure themselves. (From a letter of June 20, 1820)

The above text was from: "Little Russian Philokalia", St. Herman of Alaska Monastery Press, Platina California., 1989., pp.47-48. Highly recommended for futher spiritual reading. Available from St. Herman of Alaska Monastery Press, Platina, California 96076. Accessed from


Placing of the Cincture (Sash) of the Most Holy Theotokos

Troparion, Tone 8

Ever-Virgin Theotokos, protectress of mankind, you have given your people a powerful legacy: the robe and sash of your most honored body which remained incorrupt throughout your seedless childbearing; for through you time and nature are renewed! Therefore we implore you: "Grant peace to your people and to our souls great mercy!"

Kontakion, Tone 4

Today your flock celebrates the enshrinement of your precious sash, and it earnestly cries out to you: "Rejoice, O Virgin, boast of all Christians!"

Readings and Inspiration from the Diocese of Charleston Homepage

Spiritual Notes of the Diocese of Charleston 08-31-16 (PDF) 181.79 KB