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Father Demetrios Serfes
   Fr. Demetrios Serfes

O Lord Jesus Christ,
Son Of GOD,
Have Mercy,
Upon Me,
A Sinner!

"The Jesus Prayer"
Also known as
"The Prayer of the Heart"

Spiritual Nourishment
Spiritual Nourishment For The Soul October 1998

Ss. Sophia, Faith, Hope & Love (Holy Transfiguration Monastery)
Ss. Sophia,
Faith, Hope & Love
(Holy Transfiguration Monastery)

"Christian Hope"

Compiled by
Father Demetrios Serfes

Hope and pray all are well. Rejoice always in the Lord our God!

Recently I was able to make a pilgrimage to Holy Cross Theological Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts, I went to the book store and to the Chapel for evening Vespers which was for me a great blessing.

I obtained the following book: "At the End of Time The Eschatological Expectations of the Church" written by His Grace Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos of blessed memory.  +Bishop Gerasimos was the diocesan bishop of Boston and New England, and I had met him on several occasions, a very pious and devoted man of God. Memory Eternal!

From this book he gives us a great explanation on "Christian Hope".  I would like to piously share this with you and also suggest that you obtain this very important and spiritually rewarding book which can be purchased at Holy Cross Seminary Bookstore, 50 Goddard Ave. Brookline, Ma. 02146 U.S.A. The cost of the book is $5.95.

"Hope is a basic virtue for man.  It is a divine gift that provides consolation and courage in the struggle of life.  In fact, Christian hope is numbered among the three cardinal virtues, the others being faith and love {I Cor. 13:13; Col. 1:4-5}.  Faith and hope are of course inseparable. "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Faith makes our hopes certain, and hope in turn always nourishes faith and keeps it alive {Heb. 11:1-10}.

Hope then is breath of the soul; without hope you cannot speak about faith or religion.  The faithful person lives with hope in the God of hope and love. He enjoys the good things in this life and runs the race of life with patience, seeking the "city which is to come {Heb. 13:14}. Hope for a future life in communion with our Lord and God is the most important element in our Christian faith. "If it is for this life only that Christ has given us hope, we of all men are most to be pitied" {I Cor. 15:19}.

Our Christian hope for the future is rooted in the mystery of divine economy, that is, God's plan for our salvation in Christ. To understand this mystery, one needs above all to have faith in God, a living God, the creator and sustainer of the world, a God who rules and guides history toward its final goal, toward the eternal life beyond death, beyond time as we know it, in the eternal and perfected kingdom of God.  And no rational person can readily deny that a mind governs the world purposefully, when he sees in himself, who is a microcosm, a universe in miniature, that our invisible mind directs our life. Nor can one deny the continuity of life, since we believe that even in matter itself "nothing is lost," but only a mere change takes place."

As Orthodox Christians let us all struggle with all these virtues of "hope", "faith", and with "love".  What we then behold spiritually is the "Glory of our God, and His Kingdom".

With blessings and the love of God,
Father Demetrios Serfes, Priest
Who Prays For You And With You!
October, 1998

Glory Be To God For All Things!