Father Damascene, abbot of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, talks to Pemptousia about the history of the brotherhood of the monastery and how the brotherhood turned from missionary to monastic. He mentions some important spiritual words of Father Seraphim Rose and describes the situation of Orthodoxy in the USA today.
In this video, Abbot Damascene recounts how he met Fr. Seraphim Rose and the spiritual advice he received from him until Fr. Seraphim's untimely death, as well as the veneration of Fr. Seraphim by pilgrims from around the world, and he recounts a miraculous appearance of Fr. Seraphim that led to a Pentecostal man converting to Orthodoxy and eventually becoming a priest.
Fr. Seraphim’s writings came out of his life. His authentic presentation of Patristic teaching to modern man was borne out of his own ascetic struggle against the passions. He was uncompromising with himself in his own spiritual life and he was uncompromising at the same time in his adherence to the Orthodox Patristic teaching, never watering it down to make it palatable to the modern mentality. Fr. Seraphim never published anything about his own personal spiritual struggle, but his printed words covering a multitude of topics, which touch the lives of people every day, breathe that struggle. Souls searching for the unadulterated truth of Christ in our Church sense in Fr. Seraphim one who did fight the good fight and who finished victorious by Christ’s grace.
The topic of today’s talk—what Christ accomplished on the Cross—is of course a prime subject of contemplation during the Lenten season, as we prepare to prayerfully commemorate Christ’s passion, death, and the inevitable consequence of His death: His holy Resurrection.
In order to begin to understand the importance of the Lives of the Saints for our spiritual lives, I believe we can turn to no better or more thorough source than St. Justin Popovich's Introduction to his own compilation of the Lives of the Saints. A theologian, St. Justin saw no dichotomy between the Lives of the Saints and the theological writings of the Church. For him, as for the Church, theology and the Lives of the Saints form one whole.
Born to Serbian immigrants in San Francisco in 1863, Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich has the distinction of being the first person born in the United States of America to be ordained as an Orthodox priest, and also the first native-born American to be tonsured as an Orthodox monk.