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, January 17, 2019


These words on "doubt" from Catherine Doherty: 

Feeling on the Verge of Catastrophe 
“You fence me in, behind and in front, you have laid your hand upon me... 
Where shall I go to escape your spirit? Where shall I flee from your presence?
 ...If I speed away on the wings of the dawn, if I dwell beyond the ocean, even there your hand will be guiding me, your right hand holding me fast...
 You created my inmost self, knit me together in my mother’s womb... 
Your eyes could see my embryo.
 In your book all my days were inscribed, every one that was fixed is there... God, examine me and know my heart, test me and know my concerns.
 Make sure that I am not on my way to ruin, and guide me on the road of eternity.” Psalm 139:5,7,9–10,13,16,23–24 

Doubts Assail Us Because We Love God 
News of war and rumors of new wars are cast about by the media like birds of ill omen. We are in the midst of doubt. There is no getting away from it. The radio blares; the TV blares. There is the massing of the troops on borders. The arms race accelerates. How is it possible not to doubt? Are there any around us who do not doubt? I know that I doubt, and yet I love God beyond all loves. Doubts assail you, too, because you are in love with God. 
Doubts Come From the Hell We Create 
Doubts come from fear, but they also come from the depths of human hell, the hell that man creates within his own heart. Doubts gnaw at me like quiet little mice eating up the cheese of my soul, of my mind, of my heart. I turn around, and I don’t know any more where I am. Doubts have almost conquered me. To contemplate the troubles of our nation, to worry about them, is not easy for anyone, but that is where our imagination takes us. Doubts and fears assail us: many manufacturers have put their lights out; businesses and factories are closing. There is a fault in the earth that might, even tomorrow, bring about one of the most terrible earthquakes that we have ever seen or heard of, bigger than the earthquake in San Francisco in the early 1900s, in cities that have grown larger in population. I am afraid to go in a plane. I am afraid to go on a train. I am afraid to go in a bus. There are so many that collide, so many accidents with planes and trains and cars. And the water isn’t safe. There is pollution all over the place. As I sit here, doubts seem to have become a part of me. Truly, I look at the world and I think, is it worth living in this world? Doubts shake me, doubts about the existence of God, his benevolence, his tenderness, his love, his goodness. All seem to have disappeared suddenly in some kind of a green ocean, and I am moving into it.
You Belong to God 
I enter the water without the proper diving suit. Waves hit me in the face. Am I drowning because I ceased to believe? Is that why I am in this green depth? But when it seems to me that all is finished, I am suddenly lifted up. I am lifted up and a voice out of the green depths, out of the blue-green of the sea, tells me:  “This day I have begotten you. I have thought about you before you entered your mother’s womb. You belong to me. I am your God. I am your Father. I am your Lover. I am your Spirit. You have been in my mind for all eternity. I have begotten you. Into your mother’s womb I have placed you, from her I have received you into my arms. I have loved you, and I have prepared a place for you in which you will be with me and my Son and the Holy Spirit, and where Our Lady will teach you the immense joy of being a Christian.” At the words of our Lord, the green depths vanish. Everything vanishes. Only the tenderness of God remains, and the doubts vanish as if they had never been.