St Herman's Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America (OCA)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sunday Bulletin

The Holy Fire from the Lord's Tomb in Jerusalem was brought to St Herman's and burns on our altar and on our
The Holy Fire from the Lord's Tomb in Jerusalem was brought to St Herman's and burns on our altar and on our "Golgotha" Table.
The Holy Fire from the Lord's Tomb in Jerusalem was brought to St Herman's and burns on our altar and on our "Golgotha" Table.
July 16, 2017

ENROLLED INTO THE CATECHUMENATE. Jessie Cooper was enrolled as a catechumen last evening before Great Vespers. Be sure to include her together with her husband, Matthew, and their children, Eleanor and Albert, in your prayers.

PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY DORMITION Monastery in Rives Junction, MI, takes place July 24-27. It will be a full house, 31 pilgrims! Fr Paul will conduct an orientation session for all pilgrims during the Coffee Hour next Sunday. If you think you may be away next Sunday, and especially if this is your first pilgrimage, please talk to Fr Paul this morning.

ORDERING ORTHODOX MATERIALS? Consider ordering from our St Herman’s bookstore and save on shipping costs!

OUR CHARITY for the months of May and June is HOLY DORMITION MONASTERY.

NEXT SESSION OF Readings in the Ambigua of St Maximos the Confessor (d. 662 A.D.) is this Friday, July 21, at 745 pm following Daily Vespers at 7 pm.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL meeting is on Thursday, August 10, at 7 pm.

ST GEORGE ANTIOCHIAN Orthodox Church concludes its Middle Eastern festival today. Great food and camel rides!

ST GEORGE GREEK Orthodox Church announces its annual summer Greek festival on Aug 19-20.

SUMMERTIME is vacation time. When visiting other parishes, please show courtesy to the priest by presenting yourself to him before the service begins, to ask if you may receive. (Some priests wish the faithful to give their confession before approaching the chalice. All priests want to be sure that those coming to the chalice are Orthodox Christians in “good standing”. That’s why faithful visiting other parishes first present themselves to the parish priest.)

OCMC ANNOUNCES opportunities on three OCMC medical mission teams that will travel to Guatemala and Indonesia, and also youth outreach teams that will travel to Ghana and Kenya in the fall. If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining these vital efforts of the Church, please contact Andy Lekos by phone at 904-829-5132 x140, or by e-mail at teams@ocmc.org. Teams serve in the mission field for approximately two weeks and are a great way to make an impact on the lives of people who are in great need around the world.

A Summer Thought: Having promised us a technological utopia, our ubiquitous and intrusive cyberculture has instead precipitated a spiritual crisis in which human experience has been systematically fragmented and the coherence of the self increasingly threatened. Living in a culture of organized distractions, our thoughts are isolated and disconnected, preventing us from seeing and experiencing the wholeness of life. Distraction and fragmentation have negative consequences for the organization of knowledge; they prevent us from engaging our spiritual depth, and render us incapable of engaging the spiritual depth of others, for having lost touch with our own personhood, we can receive neither the personhood of our neighbor nor of God.

Attentiveness (as taught in the Church) offers us a profound and effective response to our modern culture of organized distractions. The ethics and ascetics of attention are central to Orthodox anthropology and moral psychology. The disintegration of our inner life began precisely with the fall, when man separated himself from God. Distraction has rightly been called the “original sin of the mind”.  In Doxa, Summer Issue, 2017

 

Back of the Bulletin

Portaitissa Miracle-Working Icon, Iveron Monastery, Mt Athos
Portaitissa Miracle-Working Icon, Iveron Monastery, Mt Athos
Portaitissa Miracle-Working Icon, Iveron Monastery, Mt Athos

YOGA AND ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY

Since the topic of yoga seems to be one of interest and confusion, it will be helpful to examine the anthropology of yoga as it is informed by Hindu thought, and how this differs from Orthodox Christianity.

While in the West, people pull out their yoga mats to give more vigor and health to their bodies, followers of Hinduism and Vedic philosophy have a much different end in mind. In The Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, “As a man discards worn-out clothes to put on new and different ones, so the embodied self discards its worn-out bodies to take on other new ones,” and, “our bodies are known to end, but the embodied self is enduring.” (2:18,22) Accordingly, who we are is something other than our bodies. We are only soul (atman). The underlying presupposition of all Vedic thought is: “I am Brahman, ultimate Being, pure Spirit.”

Authentic yogis would never practice their postures and breathing exercises for good health and longevity. What they aim for is not health of the body but transcending it. In order to leave the world of materiality behind, they discipline the body by means of yoga. Thereby, the body is released from its desires, pains and needs, reaching a total detachment from matter. This allows for unhindered meditation on one’s true “self” (atman), free from the body.

Westerners typically practice yoga to invigorate the body, increasing its ability to experience pleasure. This is a sore perversion of the authentic yogi’s goal to overcome the “illusion of the body”.

So, why can’t I practice yoga for the health benefits and just ignore Hindu thought? What we do with our bodies has spiritual ramifications. Orthodox doctrine does not make the sharp distinction between body and soul that the Hindu pundit makes. For the Hindu, the soul is real, the body is unreal. Early Christian Fathers fought this notion strongly; e.g., St Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd Century), writes: “Spirits without bodies will never be spiritual men. It is our entire being, that is to say, the soul and flesh combined, which by receiving the Spirit of God, constitutes the spiritual man.” When we prostrate before God, our whole being prays. When we sign ourselves with the cross, our soul is moved. When we sin with our bodies, our spirit is darkened. St Paul the Apostle would have us know that we are temples of the Holy Spirit.

In Orthodoxy, the Transfiguration of Christ is of great importance. In His Flesh, Uncreated Light shone forth. In a similar manner, our flesh, too, can become holy, as St Gregory Palamas writes: “…in the case of those who have elevated their mind to God, and who through divine longing have attached their soul to Him, the flesh is also transformed, is exalted with the soul, and communes together with the soul in the Divine.” Knowing the dignity of the body, why would a Christian give it over to a practice which ultimately denies its existence? Why would we want to 8unite the body to the harlotry of yoga, which denies the reality of creation and its goodness, rather than to the Holy Spirit who sanctifies our whole being, soul and body?

We have been united to Christ. St Symeon the new Theologian is not afraid to say: “I move my hand and my hand is Christ entire…I put my foot in motion and behold, it flashes as Himself.” This being the case, would we want to put Christ in a position (or pose) that denies His very Existence? Take a deep breath and think on this.

 

Hiromonk Silouan, writing in Doxa, A Quarterly Review of the Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael, Cañones, NM, Pentecost 2017, Summer Issue.

 
Come and See!

St Herman's Orthodox Church
5355 38th Ave So; Minneapolis, MN 55417
Detailed Map

Upcoming Services

Saturday, July 29th
NO Service
Fr Paul & Presbytera are returning from Pilgrimage
Sunday, July 30th
845 am Summer in the Library (with Fr Paul)
945 am Hours
10 am Divine Liturgy
12 Noon Coffee Hour
Tuesday, August 1st
Procession of the Cross
630 pm Vigil
Wednesday, August 2nd
6 am Divine Liturgy St JhnChrys
Monthly Calendar >