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.

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

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Praying for each other...

 On St. Antipas Day, those of us at the skete, equipped with our brass icon of St. Antipas jumped into the car and set out for a day of prayerful pilgrimage of our own repentance/renewal and to pray the Name upon all we meet.  

The Name of Jesus contains all things, a Reservoir of our needs, wants, sufferings, joy, hope - its all within His Holy Name.  

Praying for our friends, family, strangers, co-workers by placing them into His Holy Name relieves us of “to do lists” and/or removes our expectations for them and gives them entirely to God’s will, not ours.  

Revelation 2:12-17 states:
  12- To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of the One who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13- I know where you live, where the throne of satan sits. Yet you have held on to My Name and have not denied your faith in Me, even in the day My faithful witness Antipas was killed among you, where satan dwells.
14- But I have a few things against you, because some of you hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block before the Israelites so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 15- In the same way, some of you also hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16- Therefore repent! Otherwise I will come to you shortly and wage war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone inscribed with a new name, known only to the one who receives it.”

Praying the Name over the city, with all its activity, makes it one of many areas in our world to practice The Shema. 

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, (Hear O Israel; The Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these”) - Mark 12:29-31 

“The Shema”
“So then Lord, it is this? It is truly this? It is only this? This is the whole law and all the prophets? To love with one’s whole heart... To love Him who first loved us, to love everything that He loves, all men, all women, all creatures... Yes, my child, that is it, and that is all. Everything ‘else’ has value only inasmuch as it is the expression, the carrying out - under so many various forms - of that initial impulse which is My limitless Love... The heart transplants, which in our day have become possible, are a wonderful sign of a spiritual reality. To give one’s heart to another, to accept the heart of another... It is the parable of limitless Love’s triumph.” - (pgs 71-72 of “In Thy Presence” by Lev Gillet). 
And as Thomas Merton realized in Louisville, Kentucky - while on the busy streets - we are all connected!  When one hurts we are all affected in some way - when we hurt, God hurts, when our brothers and sisters hurt (or joy) we are affected - most have become numb to this under the illusion that the world is all about the self - self wants, self needs, self happiness.  But we are connected. 

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . . 

This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. . . . I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . . But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.” -Thomas Merton


praying at the Water Co. (Living Waters) many opportunities for pray...