Nazareth House Apostolate – St. Simeon Skete

 With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, with Grace Church, the skete seeks to practice  the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth.  In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of the inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

Grace Church

St. Simeon Skete consists of strugglers living in cells (small huts) clustered around a Chapel.  This skete form of life, called the royal path, avoids both the trials of the large coenobitic monastery and the dangers inherent in the solitary life of the hermit.  In praying the Jesus Prayer each resident (Nazarene) engages in their own intense inner struggle.

The Kellia, Grace Church & Anna House

As with the example of St. Simeon, through the ascetical discipline of the skete we find God to be enough.  Most religion is the result of not finding God, not finding Him to be enough or not wanting God to be enough.  The life of St Simeon Skete lived, declares God is enough.  Once one senses the releasing fragrance of “enough” with its exhilarating freedom one will never be satisfied with anything in this world, but will want only to cry out with John the Beloved and Holy Simeon: “Come Lord Jesus, its enough.” (Rev. 22:20; Lk 2:25-32).   At this point there is nothing else to do, no more reason for anything else – “You shall find rest” (Mt. 11:28-30) from having and doing.  Like a breath from another world (“The Name of the Lord comes from afar” – Isaiah 30:27) we have been given  this vocation of “enough”, of praying The Name, of taking everyone elses name up  into His and offering it to the Father.  Enough, enough!  At last “Christ IS all and in all” – (Col.3:11).   May St. Simeon Skete ever live to declare this truth.

Therefore our flight from the world, our entry into the Holy Skete, will have absolutely no meaning if we are not persons who pray.  Our coming to the skete will have been an act of deception to the world, and an illusion and fraud before God, unless we become intensely prayerful people.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”