St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

See our website at www.nazarethhouseap.org

Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The First Saturday in Lent


This is a special day!  The Feast of the Servite Fathers and Lenten Companions Day fall on the same day, very unique!  

Inline image 1

At the skete on this day (First Saturday in Lent) we pick our Lenten Companions from the Saints.  We study with these saints throughout Lent.  Reading about them and learning from their lives.  For example Seraphim picks St. Joseph and St. John because St. Joseph was at the first three sorrows with Mary and St. John was at the Last Four Sorrows.  We will specifically say the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, "The Savior's Last Appeal" today! 

It makes it even better knowing this is the Feast Day of the Servite Fathers. The Servite Order is one of the five original Catholic mendicant orders. Its objectives are the sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are as follows:
1. The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke2: 22-35 /vv34-35/)
2. The massacre of the Innocents and flight into Egypt. 
(Mt.2:13-21)

3. The loss of the Child Jesus for three days. (Luke 2:41-52)
4. Mary meets Jesus carrying His Cross. (John 19:17; Lk. 23:27; Isa 53:6)
5. The Crucifixion. (John 19:18-30)
6. Mary receives the Body of Jesus from the Cross. (John 
19:38; Lam. 1:12)

7. The Body of Jesus is placed in the tomb. (John 19:3842; 2Tim. 2:11)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Reparation Resistance

We hear about resistance from people against the government, against religion, against all kinds of things. However, there is a different and necessary resistance, ... these words from one of the NHA Reparation Rosary Retreats two years ago: 

The Resistance is strikingly described in Numbers 23:9 “From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations.”  The world’s response to the Resistance is found in the words of Haman to King Xerxes: “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate.  Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.” -Esther 3:8.  Hence may we heed the words of Mordecai to Esther: “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” - Esther 4:14

The necessity for the Resistance is urgent and evident as we consider the present plight of the world “seated in wickedness” - Jn. 5:9.  May we be pressed with the imperative to take up the Program of Reparation: Repentance, Resolution and Reparation confronting the four evils of our day making 2 Chron. 7:14 our “Oratio Imperata”.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”


Reparation - The Holy Face

As we continue on with the Novena to the Holy Face, these words from the NHA Reparation Rosary Booklet:

"The Prayer of Reparation seeks to make whole what is fragmented by putting love where there is none, by gazing with reverence upon Him who men disdain, i.e. “The one from whom men hide their faces” -Isa. 53:3. 




Abortion is an outrageous blasphemy against the Holy Face of Jesus because it prevents a child’s face from seeing another human face (Ex.20:13; 1Cor. 8:12; Mk. 9:42; Mt. 25:40). It also is an offense against the Most Holy Name of Jesus because abortion prevents putting a face to a name. Putting a face to a name has great effect. When the soldiers came to the olive grove in search of Jesus, he met them asking: “Who are you looking for?” and they replied “Jesus of Nazareth” and Jesus responded “Iam he”. When Jesus said, “Iam he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. (John 18:3-6). satan and his co-operatives want to keep separated the Most Holy Name of Jesus from His Holy Face. But when Jesus was named satan was disarmed! Note well, the Face of Jesus is intended to change the face of the earth (Lk.1:31: 2:21; Phil.2:9-11).





To be one who makes repairs is to give our Lord what others deny him. Just recently I was told of a television show that featured various people urinating on the Crucifix of our Lord. Upon hearing this I immediately went to the prayer chapel and placed eleven crucifixes on the altar, lit a candle that I intend to keep burning for 40 days and then offered incense in a deep spirit of reparation. Our Lord said “I thirst” (Jn.19:28). This thirst continues unquenched because it is a thirst for souls, faith, hope, love, thanksgiving, petition and adoration. Our Lord’s thirst will continue until the end of time but so will the call to reparation continue among and in his people.




“Let the priest, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar” - Joel 2:17; Ezek. 22:30
The Face of Jesus, the Name of Jesus and now the Heart of Jesus seen in his Name and of his Face: It wasn’t until the seventeenth century that the organ of the Heart with its crown of thorns and flame of love began to appear. The more ancient images of the Sacred Heart was that of the wound itself in the side of our Lord’s body. The open Wound was in itself an invitation to press beyond it, to cross its threshold, to make one’s dwelling in the inner sanctuary of the Sacred Heart but the Heart remained hidden. We must be careful - in taking the Heart of Jesus and enthroning it by itself, we run the risk of taking the Heart without the Wound. One must be wounded to embrace His woundedness to get to His Heart. The Prophet Joel says “wound your hearts” - Joel 2:13. As you make reparations before image of the Sacred Heart keep in mind the wound in His side (John 19:34; 20:20; 1John 5:6,8). Hence the putting of “a” Face to “a” Name leads to the Wound which leads to the Heart.
“My heart says to you, ‘Seek His Face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek! -Ps. 27:8
Finally, reparation is the unceasing effort to bear witness before endless crosses on which our Lord continues to be crucified.
Experiential Reparation makes present in the history of humanity the force of redemption. -Seraphim

Reparation Returning



Christianity is a middle eastern religion, in intimate familial relationship with Judaism.  Reparation is needed for returning.  The sights and sounds of this returning should be mystical, Semitic and ancient, hovering in an incense shrouded air. The climate of this Reparation Returning is one of changelessness (Heb.13:8; Ex. 3:14; 2Cor.1:19-20; Jude 25).  Western rites are sanitized versions of this mysterious drama.  In this Returning, time vanishes and with bare feet* we approach the eerie secrets of an antiquity of which we are repaired. Here we have the impression of being sourced from Christian civiilzation.  This is an interior state externalized in observable rite of reparative prayer.  At this point the Theologian takes over from the anthropologist and the Remnant Reparator from the theologian. 

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise (16) Redeeming (Repairing) the time, because the days are evil. (17) Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” -Eph. 5:15-17 

“The Rosary is, for me, making the past better so the present and future are better than they would have been.” -Seraphim 

*Ex. 3:5

Reparation Reform

OFFENSES
  1. Invoking the Name while other than He is in your heart. - James 1:8; Mt. 6:24; Lk. 9:62; Ecc. 7:29
  2. Un-Christian behavior. - Rom 2:24
  3. Not reverencing the Name. - Mt. 6:9
  4. Taking the Name without giving up material attachments.  Those who still want material pleasures won’t enjoy invoking the Name.  Bottom line, if you are not invoking with dependence on the Name, you are clinging to material attachments. - Phil. 2:9; Lk. 12:33-34; 1Jn.2:16; Mt. 6:33.
  5. Giving the Name to unqualified people. Mt. 7:6; 13:11; Ps.25:14; 1Cor. 2:9-14
  6. Professing God’s Name but not living answerable to it -Mt. 12:36; Rom 1:21-22; 14:12
  7. In invoking avoid the three lines of distraction: 1) daily concerns; 2) memories; 3) the “what ifs” of the future. -Mt. 6:33;Phil 2:5; 2Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-18
  8. The action of an offense is that gradually attraction to the Holy Name is destroyed and one begins to regard the spiritual as material. - 1John 2:15-17.
REFORM
  1. If you make offense to the Holy Name, then it’s to the Holy Name you must go for relief and restoration.  You can’t receive forgiveness for offenses to the Holy Name except from the Holy Name. - Heb 4:16.  When I say “Jesus” there is mercy for my sins. -Mt. 11:28; Mk. 10:46 -52; Jn. 1:29
  2. We can get out of the offenses of the vast intermediate zone by being sorry for being there. -Rev.3:16
  3. Arrange your life so that you can invoke with attentiveness. Give up all bad associations and data exposure. 2 Cor. 6:14-18.
  4. Invocation is especially weakened by material desires. - Josh. 24:15; Mt. 6:24; 1Kings 18:21
  5. What is the use of controlling the mind? Simply invoke the Name and hear. - Lk. 1:31; Rev. 3:22
  6. When others show up simply say: “I love you, invoke! I have to finish my strands.” -Rev. 2:5; 1Cor. 7:20; Eph. 4:1-7; Acts 26:19.
  7. To achieve success in devotion to the Name one must practice three forms: invoking, hearing, and remembering.- 1Cor. 14:40
  8. Embrace the “Essential Teaching” and then taste. Ps. 34:8; Zeph. 3:12. Invoking the Name frees one from any desire other than the named. 
CONCLUSION
When will that day be when with a steady mind, sitting in a secluded place, I will invoke the Holy Name of Jesus.  The lamentable bondage of worldly existence will no longer echo in my ears and the deterring body will not disturb me.  If a non-prayer sees me invoke, I feel world’s apart - how much I value the Prayer Rope and invocation.  With this wealth I have the very real hope to improve and not worsen. 



One of the saddest verses in the Bible: “to whom He said, ‘This (Invocation/Prayer Rope) is the resting place, let the weary rest,” and ‘this is the place of repose’ but they would not listen.” -Isa. 28:12 -Seraphim


So God said: “I shall leave but a humble and lowly people among you whose refuge will be the Name of the Lord.” -Zeph. 3:12

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Holy Name Pilgrimage

REMNANT ROSARY 6TH Decade
The Name

“Jesus your Life…is living in me”
January 3, 2018
Feast of the Name Pilgrimage 

Today on this Feast of the Holy Name we took a pilgrimage to various Shrines to pray a Clause from the Remnant Rosary 6th Decade of The Holy Name.  

We said the Opening Prayers and First Clause at St. Rose Priory in Springfield.  At the Window of the Annunciation which embodies Jesus living inside of Mary  - the Incarnation and the naming of Jesus...  "And you shall His Name Jesus" we said the First Clause:

Jesus your Life, Your Name is living in me 
(Lk. 1:31, 38;  Mt. 1:21)


The Second Clause we said at the Holy Spirit Statue, 
also at St. Rose Priory:

Jesus your Life, Your Name by the Holy Spirit
is living in me
(1Cor. 12:3; Acts 2:3; Lk. 3:22; S.of S. 2:12)



We said the Third Clause from high up, overlooking the land from the grounds of the Priory:

Jesus your Life, Your Name above every Name 
is living in me. (Phil. 2:9-11)


For the Fourth Clause we traveled to the Valley Hill Shrine and prayed inside the Chapel that waits to be completed.  Just like we wait to be completed in His Holy Name. 
In Isaiah it says "we we will wait for you, 
your Name is the desire of our soul" 

 Jesus your Life, Your Name, the desire of my soul 
is living in me. (Isa. 26:8) 


We stood "outside the camp" to pray the Fifth Clause. This little Shrine is not a part of any church, or denomination its outside the camp, a place to offer through 
Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God

Jesus your Life, Your Name, my offering 
is living in me. (Heb. 13:12-15)


For the Sixth Clause we said it as we walked up the long stairs to the Shrine of the Sorrowful Mother: 

Jesus your Life, Your Name by which I rise up and walk 
is living in me.  (Acts 3:6; 4:10)


We reached the top of the Hill to the Shrine, many come from all over to pray here, unified in their prayers and petitions. They leave little bits of themselves at the foot of the shrine. Here we prayed the Seventh Clause:

Jesus your Life, Your Name uniting 
is living in me (Mt. 18:20; Eph. 1:10;  Ps. 86:11)



Descending the long stairs we reached the bridge 
that took us from one side of the stream to the other.  
We prayed the Eighth Clause:

Jesus your Life, Your Name taking me to the other shore 
is living in me.  (Mk. 4:35)


We returned to St. Simeon Skete for the Ninth Clause:

Jesus your Life, Your Name saving 
is living in me (Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:13)


Finally we completed the Tenth Clause 
in the Chapel at the Skete. 

Jesus your Life is living in me that I may be a vessel to bear forth Your Name. Acts (9:15, Lk. 8:22).


Monday, December 11, 2017

We have a prayer path at St. Simeon Skete.  


We also had one when we were in Louisville and it was very much a part of our prayer life. 


There were a lot of struggles and battles waged at that former path in Louisville, yet it was the biggest source of comfort to a lot of us.   Walking onto that Sacred Space felt secure, like climbing up onto the lap of Jesus and taking a big sigh of relief.  You could breathe easy there.  It has been the one thing we have missed since we moved to the skete. 

Later we were excited to find out that John Bradburne the Franciscan, martyred during the war in Zimbabwe,  also had a prayer walk he called the Prayer Track up on top of Chigona Mount.  

Saying the rosary while walking engages all the senses, the movement, the sights and sounds around you, verbalizing the clauses out loud, breathing the air - it all helps to deepen your prayer, and in the case of the Rosary it deepens the Life of Jesus within you. 


But whereas in Louisville the sounds of the city were a palatable hum, here in the rural area they are different - and much to our surprise - much more distracting.  Each sound is sharp amplification, like a cracking whip amongst the stillness. We are walking the prayer path amongst the loud trucks that zing past the skete, we are walking amidst the sporadic gunfire of the hunters and/or the constant string of gunfire from the neighbors' several personal firing ranges.  Sometimes it sounds like a war zone.  And then during the week, while their owners are at work - its the dogs.  One set of dogs begins to bark which entices another set and the barking rolls on and on.  At times, this place is the loudest place we've ever been.  


But - the prayer continues as we dig deeper into it, and continue to walk the path.   The statue of Mary is situated in such a way here at the Skete Prayer Path so that her gaze is not on us, it tenderly looks steadily and intently at the path - the only way you can be in her gaze is if you kneel.  In this way,  she is reminding us to continue in the path of her Son's life (The Rosary) all the while she is with us, in union with us in that prayer. "Stay on the path that the LORD your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy." -NLT Deut. 5:33


I don't know what kind of "gunfire", "yapping dogs", or "road noises" are out there trying to distract you from your focus on God today. But I do know that they are out there and they want to distract you.  I also know that Jesus is bigger than any of our struggles, any of our pain and that his Mother is with us, gently nodding for us to stay on the path.  "But as for you, be strong and don't get discouraged, for your work will be rewarded." -2nd Chronicles 15:7    And while you are out there deflecting distractions, know that we are here doing the same all the while keeping each other in prayer.  You us and we you.  God bless you. 

And besides.... "the dogs bark, but the caravan moves on".