Holy Hierarch John, Pray to God for us!

A few days ago I visited the Kopan Monastery a few miles outside of Kathmandu and up into the hills.  It is one of the well known Tibetan Buddhist monasteries here in the valley.

In the monastery garden.

In the monastery garden.

There are a number of similarities between Tibetan Buddhism and Orthodoxy; more than I will mention here (and of course, there are great differences!).  It’s interesting to note that their shrines are built on the relics of their saints, similar to how we consecrate our temple altars on the relics of our saints.

One of the shrines in the garden.

One of the shrines in the garden.

Kopan shrines 2Like the Orthodox, the Buddhists, both laity and monastic, use prayer ropes.  I was recently asked why I was using a Buddhist prayer rope.  Showing them the Cross on my prayer rope, I then had the opportunity to share something about our practice of the Jesus Prayer.

Like our Orthodox ascetical practice, Buddhist asceticism includes fasting and prostrations.  I often see Buddhists and Hindus touching their heads and then their chests when they pass by one of their temples.  It reminds me of our Orthodox practice of crossing ourselves when we pass by an Orthodox Church.

Young monks on the computer (not one of our monastic practices) under the watchful eye of the Dalai Lama's photo.

Young monks on the computer (not one of our monastic practices) under the watchful eye of the Dalai Lama’s photo.

I sent some pictures of the monastery to family members and also to our Bishop George.  Writing to him I commented that I really longed for an Orthodox Church.  The most difficult part of being a missionary here is being alone and without a parish.  Presbytera Marilyn spent 4 1/2 months here and we were able to serve liturgies together.  What a blessing.  However, she has departed for America for the remainder of the year and so there can be no more liturgies.  But even when we served together, I missed a vibrant parish.  In response to my email, His Grace was kind enough then to send me these pictures:

The Kursk Root icon of the Theotokos.

The Kursk Root icon of the Theotokos.

Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco.

Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco.

The reliquary of St. John Maximovitch

The reliquary of St. John Maximovitch

 

Glory to God.  Here in Nepal, today is the Feast Day of our Holy Hierarch John, who is also the Patron of the Mission to Nepal.  O Holy Hierarch, Father John, speedy helper amid misfortunes, pray to God for us! – Fr. S.

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3 Responses to Holy Hierarch John, Pray to God for us!

  1. pr. radu says:

    GO FORTH and dont luse your hope! the Lord will help you and soon Christ’s light will shine also in that part of the world.

    i read in the book oF don richardson, “Eternity in Their Hearts”, that a missionar sent in a country like nepal tried to rich the buddhis peoples from that region and in 7 years he had only 10 beliver from that nativ peoples, but soon after he rich tribes who were wainting for some one with white skin to tell them about God and liveration from the sin, profecies from thousens of years. maiby, maiby, this will be your task too, who knows, God knows.

    with love and praiers for you in Christ
    fr. radu from cluj, romania

  2. Father Bless!

    I am an iconographer from Serbia who has been following your blog probably from the day one.. Currently wife and I live here in Yakima WA, and we are decorating Holy Cross church with frescoes..

    Yesterday, while still on the scaffolding, I noticed that your son came to the church for vespers (We have met him before – he is truly great, young man).

    I missed the opportunity to catch up with him at that time, and ask about your hardships in Nepal – today I got this update at my email inbox..!

    I am writing this in an lousy attempt to share with you this feeling of connected-ness, which is not provided by this great technology that we are equipped with – but by the mysterious ways of Our Lord.

    You are always in our prayers.

    Ugljesa and Zvezdana Mileta.

  3. janie pyle (Magdalena) says:

    thinking of you on this Feast of St. John……celebrated at St. George the Great Martyr Russian Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, ohio. Wonderful Liturgy followed by Fr. Daniel’s family slava. Luncheon was a fabulous fasting feast. May you soon have a seeker knocking at your door. as ever, Magdalena

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