Traveling to Bethlehem (13 December 2010)

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights

Northern lights – the Aurora Borealis, this phenomenon has longed amazed us. As we look into the northern skies, we Orthodox should remember that we have our own northern luminaries.  Today is a great day to reflect  on our own stars from the North. Today, Orthodoxy commemorates the first North American to be canonised a Saint. St Herman (Germanos) of Alaska was one of the trailblazers of the faith, who came to these shore not to find treasure, but to bring a treasure, the Holy Orthodox faith.  Yesterday, the Church commemorated a spiritual descendant of St. Herman, a martyr for the faith, St. Peter the Aleut.  In these two days, we look at labour and its fruit. St. Herman was the labourer and St. Peter the fruit of the labour. How can we Orthodox faithful in America not rejoice today?  No matter what our own backgrounds, how can we not express admiration and ask for the blessing of St. Herman? As the Enlightener of the Aleuts, Herman worked to save souls and to bring Christ to the Native peoples of Russian Alaska. The light by which he enlightened is brighter today because of the seeds St. Herman planted.  Orthodoxy is no longer a strange faith from a foreign land, but part of the fabric of life on this continent.  As we see in the news, a raging blizzard is blowing across the Midwest.  We hear of travel delays, snow and ice paralysing the country, but think how it was in the early nineteenth century in the small hut of St. Herman. He had the warmth of God’s Holy Spirit and the brightness within his heart to warm his hut. He has become an adornment in the northern sky.  Even though the Aurora Borealis is a natural occurrence; perhaps, it is God’s way of focusing our spiritual eyes on the great northern lights of Orthodoxy.

The Lights of the North

The Lights of the North