Friday, December 30, 2011



Depth in Spiritual Life: Care for your own salvation, live by the bible, strengthen your faith and do not neglect your prayer.

Depth in Church Life: In order to be closer to Christ your father, do not diverge from your mother Church. Connect by means of grace, turn your home into an Altar and Church.

Depth in Practical Life: Do not have an outwardly religion. In order to gain heaven, you have to turn your Christianity into works that glorify the Lord.

Luke 5: 1-11

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.

2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.

3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,

10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
   Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”

11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


The Journey

The journey

 But remember, if you follow the path Christ took, don't promise yourself the good things of this world; he walked by a rough road - follow him.

Reflect on the reward he has promised, and then what you suffer now cannot be compared with what is in store for you. This life is short even if it is passed in labours and trials, and when these are over comes unending happiness.

If you are truly a Christian don't despise the path Christ took: choose to follow him in his sufferings, looking for no other road than his.

It seems a hard way, but it is a safe one: there is another, easy one, but it is infested with terrorists.
When you are our strength we are strong, but when it is our own we are weak.

Let us come home at last to you O Lord, so that we shall not be lost. We are not afraid of there being no home to come back to, though we fell away from it; for our home is your eternity, and it does not fall because we are not there.

There we shall be still and see; seeing we shall love; and loving, we shall praise him. This will come to pass in the end, in that kingdom which will have no end.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Body of Christ

The Body of Christ

 Let us live in him since we are his members; let him dwell in us whose temple we are.

The love which is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit makes us one body: let us love this unity and fear separation. There is nothing a Christian should be so afraid of as be separated from the body of Christ: if that happens, he is no longer one of his members nor does he live by his Spirit.

There are many Christians, but only one Christ. Christians themselves, along with their head, from one Christ because he has ascended into Heaven. We are many and he is one, but the many are one in him. There is one man, Christ, consisting of head and body.

Understand what has been God's grace for us! Rejoice and give thanks that we are not only Christians but Christ himself; for if he is the head, we are his members: he and we are the whole man.

The fullness of Christ is head and members - Christ and the Church. He did not wish to separate himself from us, but deigned to attach himself to us, becoming 'God-with-us' that we might be with him.

He was far from us, very far indeed; what can be so far apart as creature and creator, God and man, justice and iniquity, eternal life and mortality? How then did he come near, that he might be in us and we in him?  'The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us.'

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Verses and Fathers Sayings

Therefore do not cast away
your confidence, which has great reward.
(Heb. 10: 35)

Temptations and afflictions,
even when numerous,
is your way to perfection,
and are not a cause for perishment.

(St. Augustine)


Monday, December 26, 2011

Who Can Save Us?

Who can save us?

There are those who rely on their important friends or their own abilities, and others on their wealth - a presumption common to man. But do you really suppose that another man can save you from the wrath to come? The psalmist says, 'his brother shall redeem him', but who is his brother? It is he who after his resurrection said, 'Go and tell my brothers'.

When we call God our Father we are calling Christ our brother, and so need not fear the evil day, since we are not relaying on ourselves or our powerful friends but on him who died for us so that we might not die an eternal death, who humbled himself that we might be raised up.

If Christ be not our redeemer who can save us?

For even if a man has led a holy life, it will go hard with him if you put aside your mercy when he stands before you. But you do not search out our sins in anger, and so we believe that one day our home will be with you. This is our hope, but let us know ourselves.

If we reckon up our deserts they are only a list of you gifts; and let us not say we have no debt to pay, in case the devil should prove us wrong, and take us to himself.

Let us answer that our debt has been paid by Christ, that holy victim we receive at your altar, in whom we have triumphed over the enemy.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Gold Wrapping Paper

Gold Wrapping Paper

 Some time ago a mother punished her five year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and then said,
'This is for you, Mummy.'
The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty. She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner
'Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?'
She had tears in her eyes and said, 'Oh, Mummy, it's not empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full.'
The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and she begged her forgiveness for her thoughtless anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later, and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life.
Whenever she was discouraged or faced a difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and GOD. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
Family and friends are like angels who lift us to our feet, when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Billy's Final Wish - True Story of Billy with Terminal Leukemia

 True Story of Billy
 with Terminal Leukemia

There are so many Billys out there for us to Remember during this Christmas. If you "tear up" go ahead, who's watching? Do you feel blessed during this Christmas Season? 
While being grateful for God's blessings in your lives, please pray for those unfortunate children of God.    Love Your Alexander Kurien Achen (James Achen, Kadackel, Pallipad, Kerala, India).
In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia.         
Although her heart was filled with sadness, She also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfill all his dreams. 
Now that was no longer possible.. the leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dream to come true.
She took her son's hand and asked, 'Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?
' Mommy,' I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.' Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can Make your wish come true.'
Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix. 
She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy - one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, and a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.' 'They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix , So we can get them fast.'
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, Dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. 
Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day And Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and even the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program. 
Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed In the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital. Then she remembered the day Billy had spent As a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and Asked if it would be possible to send a fireman In uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition.
The chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes.... Will you please do me a favour? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the Lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire?' 'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?'
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window-------- 16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room.  With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him.
 With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, 'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'
 'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief said. 
With those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and The angels have been singing..' He closed his eyes one last time.

    This is a true story


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Come And See

The Skit Performed at the 2011 COYA Conference 
Theme: Come & See 
CAST: Bishoy Ibrahim, Andrew Hanna, Dena Mikhail, Bishoy Kolta, Karim Habib, Ben Marcus Rouby Sida...


Christmas Goose

Christmas Goose
 There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays.
His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.
One snowy eve, his wife was taking their children to service in the farm community in which they lived. They were to talk about Jesus' birth. She asked him to come, but he refused: "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"
So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm.
He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.
When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window.
In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on.
They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly.
A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed. The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them.
The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on.
Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. 
Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.
"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.
Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.
He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn – and one by one, the other geese followed it to safety.
He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"
Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier.      
"Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!" Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese – blind, lost, perishing.
God had His Son become like us so that He could show us the way and save us.
As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm.
He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: 
"Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"


Sinning Against God

The Coptic Orthodox Church Cyc Christian youth TV 365 Spiritual Word on Sinning against God by Fr. Mauritius Anba Bishoy.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lord, That I May See

Lord, that I may see

We are like people with weak sight who come to a bright light and are beaten back by the glare. They say, 'I did see for a minute, but now I can't'.  The physician applies sharp eye salve to foster their hope of seeing.

Brethren, if something like this has happened to you, if somehow you have raised your hearts to look on the word and, beaten back by its light, you have fallen down to your usual ways, ask him to apply sharp salves.

What are they? The precepts of righteousness: do not lie, do not swear falsely, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not cheat. You are used to doing these things, and it hurts to give up old habits, but this is what will heal you.

If you give up the healing process, no longer caring to enjoy the light and loving the dark, you will remain in darkness; and by living in darkness now you will be cast into outer darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Let us love the light, long to understand it and thirst after it so that led by it we may come to it, and there live for ever.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Not Here, Not Here

Not here, not here

 There is only one thing you can be sure of: that you will die; everything else in this life, good or bad, is uncertain except death.

Wherever you turn there is uncertainty; only death is sure, but even the day of your death is uncertain.

We are wanders with no permanent home on earth; that is in Heaven, and we do not know when we shall hear, ' Come, set out for home'.

Only let us be ready. We shall be, if we long now for our true fatherland.

And yet only with difficulty, because of our weakness, can we unceasingly direct our hearts and works to God. We try to find something in this world to rest in, to pause and lie down.

I do not mean the resting places lovers of evil seek: foul amusements, cheating others, a life of luxury.

No - look at the good man: he seeks his whole refreshment in his family, in a humble life, in the house he has built for himself; these are the satisfactions of the innocent.

But our all embracing love must be for eternal life, and so God allows bitterness to be mixed with these things. Don't be upset when these innocent pleasures have their trials; the man journeying to his own country must not mistake the inn for his home.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Psalm 16

        You Will Not Abandon My Soul
        A Miktam of David.
        1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
        2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
        I have no good apart from you.”
        3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
        in whom is all my delight.
        4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
        their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
        or take their names on my lips.
        5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
        you hold my lot.
        6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
        indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
        7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
        in the night also my heart instructs me.
        8 I have set the Lord always before me;
        because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
        9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
        my flesh also dwells secure.
        10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
        or let your holy one see corruption.
        11 You make known to me the path of life;
        in your presence there is fullness of joy;
        at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Bell



I am God's child (John 1:12)

I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )

I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)

I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)

I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)

I am a personal witness of Christ..  (Acts 1:8)

I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)

I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)

I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)

I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3 :20)

I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)

I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)

I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)

I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)

I am established, anointed, sealed by God  (2 Cor 1:21-22 )

I am assured all things work together for good  (Rom. 8:28 )

I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )

I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13 )

I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)

I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16).   I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)

I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).. I have been justified (Romans 5:1)

I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)

I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)

I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5) 

I belong to God

Do you know

Who you are?

'The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make His face shine upon you

And be gracious to you;

The LORD turn His face toward you

And give you peace...

Numbers 6:24-26


Darkness and Light

Darkness and light

 God is light, and in him is no darkness', and our salvation lies in fellowship with him. Sin is darkness and our sins keep us from the light which is God. A sort of desperate sadness creeps into our hearts: what shall we do? I live in sin and wickedness, how shall I become light? 

Beloved, listen - 'The blood of Jesus Christ his Son will purify us from all sin'. All sin? In baptism our past sins were all wiped out, but living as we do amid the temptations of the world, have we not sinned again? How shall we come to the light? 

' If we confess our sins he will forgive us, and cleanse us from all iniquity'; not only our past sins, but the present ones which no one living in this world altogether avoids. 

But don't consider lesser sins unimportant: they may not weigh heavy, but tremble when you count them. 

Where then is our hope? In acknowledging our sins. Try hard not to sin, but if from weakness you fall, be sorry, realize what you have done, blame yourself: then you can with confidence come before your judge; he is also your advocate and the propitiation for our sins.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest




 Many Christians lead evil lives and insult a man who wishes to live a good life among them: to be sober among drunkards, chaste among fornicators worshipping God sincerely. They will sneer and say, 'You are a great man, you are an Elijah, you are a Peter, and have come down from Heaven'.

So they insult you, and if you get frightened and leave the way of Christ, you fall into the hunter's trap.

How can you hold on? Say to yourself, 'These words are said to me, a servant, a sinner. To my Lord the said, "Thou hast a devil" '.

Begin to live like a Christian, and see if your doing so is not brought up against you by those who are Christians in name but not in life.

Do you wish to follow in the footsteps of your Lord? Then hope in God, and do not blush for that hope even in the sight of men. He lives in your heart: let him then be on your lips.

His sign has been placed on your forehead so that as a Christian you should never blush to be reproached for the name of Christ.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


Verses and Fathers Sayings

Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!

“Turn us again, O Lord God of Hosts, cause
thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”
For wherever the soul of man turns itself,
unless toward thee, it is enmeshed in sorrows.

(ST. Augustine)


Friday, December 16, 2011

The Sower and Seeds

The Sower and Seeds

 Perhaps one might say, why throw seeds on road? It gives no fruit. Why seeds thrown on rocky 
ground, or also in the middle of thorns?

The answer is: In His love, God gives everyone opportunity. He does not wish death of  sinners, but pleased of their return.
He sows His kingdom's seeds in earth, even though He knows it will not fruit

If only we know that we should not only accept God's word, but also hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

Luke 8: 4 - 15

4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:

5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.

6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.

7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.

8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.  
“When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant.

10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
   “though seeing, they may not see;
   though hearing, they may not understand.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.

12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.


A Little Boy's Explanation of God

A Little Boy's Explanation of God
It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to 'explain God.' I wonder if any of us could have done as well? 
(and he had such an assignment, in California , and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen!)
'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'
'God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'
'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.'
'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come to our church.'
'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.'
'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.'
'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.'
'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!
Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.'
'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.'
' shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.
And...that's why I believe in God.'


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Conversion

 A Conversion

 The very toys of toys and vanities of vanities still held me; they plucked at the garment of my flesh and whispered softly, 'Will you cast us off for ever? and from that moment shall we no longer be with you - for ever?', and I hesitated, for a strong habit said to me, 'Do you think you can live without them?'

But continence said to me, 'Why do you re1y on yourself and so waver? Cast yourself upon him, fear not, he will not withdraw himself and let you fall; he will receive you and heal you'.

So I rose and, throwing myself down under a certain fig tree, wept bitterly in contrition of heart. Suddenly I heard from a neighbouring house the voice of a child, singing over and over again, 'Take up and read, take up and read'.

Checking my weeping I got up and went back to where I had been sitting, and had laid down the volume of the apostle, and read the first passage which met my eyes: 'Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in impurity and wantonness, not in strife and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.'

I needed to read no further, for suddenly, as it were by a light infused into my heart, all darkness vanished away.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


The Two Commandments

The Two Commandments

Keep this always before you: that you are to love God and your neighbour. The love of God is the first to be commanded, but the love of your neighbour is the first to be fulfilled.

You cannot yet see God, but you earn the right to see him by loving your neighbour; and looking at the source of that love, you will see God as much as you can now.

Remember that in Christ you have everything. Do you want to love God? You have him in Christ. Do you want to love your neighbour? You have him in Christ, for 'the Word was made flesh'.

You know that the perfection of love is to love your enemy, but at least take great care that you do not hate your brother - if you love only your brother you are not perfect, but if you hate him where are you? What are you? Search your hearts.

Do not bear a grudge because of a harsh word, don't sink down to the level of the earth because of a quarrel over earthly things.

Do not imagine that if you hate your brother you live in Christ and walk in the light. 'The man who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is still in the dark.'

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Imitation Of Christ

The Imitation Of Christ

Pride is the great sin, the head and cause of all sins, and its beginning lies in turning away from God. Beloved, do not make light of this vice, for the proud man who disdains the yoke of Christ is constrained by the harsher yoke of sin: he may not wish to serve, but he has to, because if he will not be love's servant, he will inevitably be sin's slave.

From pride arises apostasy: the soul goes into darkness, and misusing its free will falls into other sins, wasting its substance with harlots, and he who was created a fellow of the angels becomes a keeper of swine.

Because of this great sin of pride, God humbled himself, taking the nature of a servant, bearing insults and hanging on a cross. To heal us, he became humble; shall we not be ashamed to be proud?

You have heard the Lord say that if you forgive those who have injured you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But those who speak the world's language say, 'What! you won't revenge yourself, but let him boast of what he did to you? Surely you will let him see that he is not dealing with a weakling?' Did the Lord revenge himself on those who struck him? Dying of his own free will, he uttered no threats: and will you, who do not know when you will die, get in a rage and threaten?

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


The Grasp Of Faith

The Grasp Of Faith

The apostles saw the Lord himself and have told us the words they heard from his lips. We have heard those words too, but have not seen the Lord. Are we then less happy than they who both saw and heard him? How can we have fellowship with them? Is it possible? Yes, because we hold the same faith.

You remember that one of the disciples would not believe unless he touched the wounds: he did, and cried out, 'My Lord and my God'. Touching the man, he acknowledged the Godhead.

And to comfort us who reach by faith him who sits in the heavens, the Lord said, 'Because you saw, you believed: blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed'.

Beloved, he is speaking to us: let us attain to the bliss he promised by holding fast to what we cannot see, for though we can no longer see him with our eyes, he has not gone away from our hearts, and you believe in him, though you do not see him. You long for his coming again, and yet you know that in his hidden mercy he is still with you, because he said, 'Lo, I am with you always till the end of time'.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Be of Good Cheer

Be of Good Cheer

Do not despair of yourselves. You are men, made in the image of God, and he who made you men was himself made man; the blood of the only begotten Son was shed for you. If, thinking of your frailty, you hold yourselves cheap, value yourselves by the price that was paid for you.

I ask you what you believe in, not what you live up to: you will answer that you believe in Christ.
Your faith is your righteousness; because if you believe, you are on your guard, if you are on your guard, you try; and God knows your endeavour and sees your good will, and waits for your striving, and supports your faintness, and crowns your victory.

The Lord knows who are his own, like the farmer who sees the grain among the chaff. Don't be afraid that you will not be recognized, that storms will blow the grain under the chaff. The judge is not some countryman with a pitchfork, but the triune God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but he is your God too. You ask him for your reward and the giver is himself the gift. What more can you want?

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Works of Mercy

Works of Mercy
Two works of mercy set a man free: forgive and you will be forgiven, and give and you will receive.

When we pray we are all beggars before God: we stand before the great householder bowed down and weeping, hoping to be given something; and that something is God himself.

What does a poor man beg from you? Bread. What do you beg from God? - Christ, who said, 'I am the living bread which came down from heaven'.

Do you really want to be forgiven? Then forgive. Do you hope to receive something? Then give to another. And if you want your prayer to fly up to God, give it two wings, fasting and almsgiving.

But look carefully at what you do: don't think it is enough to fast if it is only penance for sin, and does not benefit someone else. You deprive yourself of something, but to whom do you give what you do without?

Fast in such a way that you rejoice to see that dinner eaten by another; not grumbling and looking gloomy, giving because the beggar wearies you rather than because you are feeding the hungry.

If you are sad when you give alms, you lose both bread and merit, because 'God loves a cheerful giver'.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


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