Reflection on St. Herman youth conference

Eastern American Diocese ROCOR

“I LOOKED AT A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE AND KNEW THAT THEY WILL BE IN MY LIFE FOREVER, AND GOD WILLING, IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, TOO” – REFLECTIONS ON ST. HERMAN YOUTH CONFERENCE

When people think of faith, they think of going to church every Sunday, saying the Our Father every day, and that’s about it. Before Syezd [St. Herman Youth Conference – ed.], that was the attitude I had toward my faith, too. I used to put it aside during the school year, only to really focus on it at Saturday night Vigil or Sunday Liturgy. I had spent so long trying to fit in and trying to be like everyone else, hiding this important part of my life, just for the sake of not being the outcast. As time went on, it became increasingly difficult to avoid talking about my religious experiences or growth in Orthodoxy, nor did they want to hear about it. So, I was in college getting sucked into so many bad things and felt like I was drowning in a sea of misery that contained so much sorrow. I was so worried and anxious about what the future holds that I was forgetting to focus on what I could do right now. When I went through a really hard time of my life in fall semester in college, I prayed every day for answers on why we face so many struggles and sorrows, and felt lost for a really long time because of it. After finals ended, I told my best friend that if I faced another semester similar to the one I just had, there is no way I could survive something like that again.

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