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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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

St. Antipas

Today, April 11th is the Feast Day for one of the eleven patronal Saints of St. Simeon Skete: St. Antipas. 

On this frosty morning; we made our way down to Grace Church

There, we enthroned the Icon of St. Antipas

"I know where you live -- where satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to My Name.  You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city, -- where satan lives." -Rev. 2:13 (NIV).  (-"...yet you hold fast my Name.." (E.S.V.); "...Yet you have held on to My Name..." (B.S.V); "...yet you are holding on to my Name" -(C.S.B.) )

"... To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Revelation 2:17. 

God loves His creation.  Sin corrupted it, but He has a plan to return it to its original state of perfection, and He will reward those who help Him carry out His plan. 

"If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door: it desires to have you, but you must master it." Gen. 4:7 (NIV)

"But He said to them, 'I have food to eat that you know nothing about." -Jn. 4:32 (NIV), because "In your struggle against sin, you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood." Heb. 12:4 (NIV). 

The hidden manna is something you receive already in this life. It corresponds to your hidden life.  Our hidden life is the place inside us where no one knows what is happening except you and God. It's where you struggle with impure thoughts, pride, vanity, the untruth, etc. It's where you fight and overcome those temptations. 

The hidden manna is the assistance that you receive when you pray for it in those tempestuous times; the nourishment you receive, the power from on high. It is given to anyone that asks, all that ask with a heartfelt longing to be free from sin. 

At the time that the book of Revelation was written, a white stone was equivalent with innocence. If you were to be tried for a crime, a white stone signified acquittal. 

The white stone is a symbol of whom you have become through your faithfulness and your determination to conquer sin. It is rock-hard faith and purity.  Here on earth your faith is being tested - in eternity it will have been proven.  

Today at the skete, we were given white stones as a remembrance of St. Antipas and the Scriptures of the day. 

Withstand the test. Written on the this flint-hard stone will be your new name "by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped corruption that is in the world through lust." - 2- Pet. 1:4

This name will reflect the struggles that you have stood in, and the sufferings you have endured. It will show who you've become because of your faithfulness and God's grace.  You know the fight you've had to live through to reach the place you are now, and you will instantly recognize that name and identify with it - - it is the ultimate symbol of victory and transformation.  Finally the name and the named are non-different, as the Name of Jesus and Jesus are non-different. So it will be for us.  This new name that only God and you know, is the attestation of your spirit; it's what God sees when He looks at you.  He won't be looking at your human nature, He'll zero in on the new creation in you, the outcome of your faithfulness to Him and His commandments. (2 Cor. 5:17) And that is what you will be for eternity, an eternally pure new creation, free from sin.