Yesterday, March 18, was the anniversary of the repose of Fr. Thomas Hopko. I meant to post this in honor of him.
Fr. Thomas Hopko, of blessed memory, was a shining star in our modern Orthodox world. Yesterday, St. Vladimir Press sent out a lovely email to honor him. They posted this excerpt from his book the Lenten Spring.
People feel unhappy and they don’t know why. They feel that something is wrong, but they can’t put their finger on what it is. They feel uneasy in the world, confused and frustrated, alienated and estranged, and they can’t explain it. They have everything, and yet they want more. And when they get it, they are still left empty and dissatisfied. They want happiness and peace, and nothing seems to bring it. They want fulfillment, and it never seems to come. Everything is fine, and yet everything is wrong…. Why is this so? Because, the Church tells us, we are not really at home. We are in exile. We are alienated and estranged from our true country. We are not with God our Father in the land of the living. We are spiritually sick. And some of us are already dead. Our hearts are made for God, St Augustine has said, and we will be forever restless until we rest in Him….-Fr Thomas Hopko, The Lenten Spring (SVS Press, 1983)
The lenten season is the time for our conscious return to our true home. It is the time set aside for us to come to ourselves and to get up and go to the divine reality to which we truly belong.
Oh, how true this is! So evident in my own life. as I look back over the years. I am so incredibly grateful for my finding my home in the Orthodox Church. And so very grateful for the lenten season.
Fr. Thomas gifted us with a list of what he calls 55 Maxims for the Christian Life. He shared these on a podcast during Great Lent of 2008.
A couple of years back, early on in the beginning of this blog adventure, I did a series on Fr. Thomas Hopko’s 55 Maxims for the Christian Life. I titled it Maxim Mondays and tried to post each Monday on a new maxim until I went through each of the 55 maxims. I also, created printable pdf for each maxim.
If you are interested in checking out the series you can find it under the Maxim Mondays tag.
The 55 Maxims for the Christian Life is such a straight forward, encouraging list of things we can do to walk our path to salvation.
May Fr. Thomas’ memory be eternal.
If this list is slightly different from the one you have seen before, check out this post on what I discovered when I was writing for my series on the 55 Maxims. It is very interesting to learn why there are 2 variations of this list.
May you have a blessed ending to your first week of Great Lent.