Let me abide in You, who chastens compassionately! You allowed if for Your prophet Ezekiel to shave all the hair of his head. To proclaim his great grief for the corruption of his people - as dead. And to threaten Your people, That You would likewise, remove them away from You, To reject their priesthood that was defiled; To confirm them in that they are living as shaven-head captive slaves.
Chasten me O Lord; but do not deliver me to someone else! You who chastens compassionately!
You have chastened me in secret; And I did not forsake my abominations. And here you are exposing me among my people. And even among the nations….. Let it be; but do not deprive me of Your salvation! Because You are whom chastens compassionately!
Fr. Tadros Malaty From the Inspiration of The Book of Ezekiel
If the things of this world delight you, turn your love to their creator so that in what pleases you, you may not displease him.
If you love people, love them in God because they too are frail and only stand firm when they hold on to him. Love them in him, and draw as many to him as you can.
The world was made by him, and exists in him. Wherever we taste truth, there is God. He is in our very inmost hearts, but we have strayed from him. Cling to him who made you, and peace will be yours.
The good things we love are all from God, but they are good and sweet only when they are used to do his will; they will turn bitter if they are wrongly loved. In this land of death you try to make yourself a happy life. You won't find it there.
Our life himself came down into this world, and took away our death, calling us to return to him in Heaven. He went from our sight, so that we should find him in our hearts.
Your life has come down from Heaven, will you not now at last rise with him and live? But how can you rise if you sit in high places and your clamour reaches to Heaven? Come down from your heights and this time climb to God.
DAILY READING WITH St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest
Blessed Queen of the universe, thou knowest that we sinners have no intimacy with God whom thou hast borne. But, putting our trust in thee, through thy mediation we thy servants prostrate ourselves before the Lord: for thou canst freely approach Him since He is thy son and our God. Thus I, too, unworthy believer that I am, entreat thee, holy Queen, that I may be allowed to perceive the gifts of grace bestowed on thee and on the other saints, and to understand how thou dost display so many virtues. Simply thy giving birth to the Son of God shows that thou excellest all other beings. For He Who, as creator of all, knows all things before they come into existence, found thy womb worthy of His indwelling.
The Church celebrates the fast of our Lady the Virgin beginning with the first of Mesra, (the 7th of August). It is a fast for which people care very much, and they practice it with forceful ascetism Some add days to it, in regard of the great love of people for The Virgin.
The fast of The Virgin is an occasion for spiritual renaissance in the majority of churches. They prepare a spiritual program for daily sermons, and daily masses too in some churches, even the churches which are not named by the name of The Virgin.
There is a great feast for our Lady The Virgin, which is celebrated in her ancient church in Mostorod.
Feasts of other saints are also celebrated in these days:
The feast of saint Georges at the monastery in Mit Damsis, is celebrated in the second half of August, and also the feast of saint Abba Macarius the Great, and the feast of saint Georges in his monastery at Ruzeykat.
In the same fast of The Virgin, we celebrate the feasts of reknown she saints: like saint Baïssa (2 Misra, 8 August), saint Julita (6 Misra, 12 August), saint Marina (15 Misra, 21 August). In the fast of The Virgin, we also celebrate the feast of the glorious Transfiguration (13 Misra, 19 August). In the same month (7 Misra, 13 August), we celebrate the feast of the announcement, by the angel Gabriel to Joachim, of the birth of The Virgin Mary.
The feast of The Virgin is not the only occasion on which the Church celebrates the feasts of The Virgin, but more is celebrated in the month of Kiahk which is full of hymns, doxologies, and psalms for the saint Virgin Mary.
Copts in Egypt, and specially women, take care for the fast of The Virgin, in a manner that exceeds description. There are many who fast it (with water and salt), that is without oil........Many add a third week to it, as a kind of vow. There are also those who vow to fast this fast without eating or drinking till the appearance of the stars in heaven........
What then is the secret behind this care? First: The love of Copts for The Virgin who had visited and blessed their country, and left her traces in numerous places where churches have been built.
Second: The multiple miracles which happened in Egypt through the intercession of our Lady The Virgin, made many people optimistic to build churches dedicated to her name. The apparition of The Virgin in her church at Zeitoun, and the many miracles that accompanied this apparition, have certainly increased the affection of the Copts for The Virgin, and for the fast which bears her name.
Each saint has one feast in the Church, that is the day of his death or his martyrdom; and may be another one that is the finding of his remnants, or a miracle which happened relatively to his name, or the building of a church for him. But The Holy Virgin has a very great number of feasts.
Of them, there are: 1. The feast of the announcement of her nativity: It is on the 7th of Misra, when the angel of the Lord announced her father Joachim of her birth. He and her mother Anna were then joyful, and they vowed her for the Lord.
2. The feast of her nativity:
The Church celebrates it on the first of Bashans.
3. The feast of her entry to the Temple:
The Church celebrates it on the 3rd of Kiahk. It is the day when she entered the Temple to adore God in the special house for the virgins.
4. The feast of her coming to Egypt: She was with the Christ our Lord, and Joseph the carpentar. The Church celebrates it on the 24th of Bashans
5. The feast of the death of The Virgin: It is on the 21st of Tubah. The Church also commemorates in it the miracles which were accomplished in that day, when the fathers apostles were surrounding her, with the exception of saint Thomas who was then preaching in India.
6. The monthly feast of the Virgin:
It is on the 21st of every coptic month, in commemoration of her death on the 21st of Tubah.
7. The feast of the ascent of her body to heaven: The Church celebrates it on the 16th of Misra, the 22nd of August, which is preceded by the Fast of The Virgin (15 days).
8. The feast of her miracle: (the disssolution of iron):
It is on the 21st of Baouna. In it we commemorate her miracle in delivering the apostle saint Matthias and those who were with him from prison, by dissolving the iron which bounded them. In that day also we celebrate the feast of the building of the first church on her name in Philippi. All these feasts have special hymns and doxologies in the rites of the Church, which contain many prophecies and special symbols from the Old Testament, concerning her.
9. The feast of her apparition in Zeitoun
On the domes of the church of The Virgin. It was on the 2nd of April 1968, the 24th of Baramhat, and it remained during years. In addition to all that, we celebrate during all the month of Kiahk, (from December until the 7th of January), with hymns which are all about the honor of our Lady The Virgin.
May the blessings of The Virgin Mary be with us all, Amen.
The Virgin Mary “Theotokos” and the Coptic Orthodox Church
Among the saints, the Virgin Mary occupies the first place and stands higher than all.
Hymns, readings and praises ( the “Theodokia”s) for the Holy Virgin during liturgy, praises & naming a Church fasting to the LORD after her name.
Virgin Mary and The Church
The Copts feel so close to the Virgin, and invoke her help in all situations
Focus on the teaching of the church about the veneration of the Mother of God
✥ Relationship between Christology and Mariology
✥ The“Yes” of the Mother of God.
✥ Mary as the second “Eve”
✥ Mary as our faithful advocate and faithful intercessor.
✥ Christology And Mariology
+ In the Orthodox Church, Christology and Mariology are inseparable.
+ The insistence of the Orthodox Church on calling the Virgin “Theotokos” which means the Mother of God, or God-bearer underscores the fact that Christ is One of the Holy Trinity and not merely a man somehow joined to God.
+ Some suppose that the Virgin Mary was merely a passive “channel” through which God entered the world. Such a faulty assumption could threaten the reality of the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
+ The Church insists that the Virgin Mary was the Mother of the Incarnate God in every sense of the word.
✥ The "Yes" of The Virgin Mary
+ Man was created in the image of God. He was given the freedom either to realize his life as love and communion with God, or to deny his divine calling and enclose himself in the hell of self-love.
+ The Virgin Mary, alone among the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, said “Yes” to God with such purity“
Behold the Handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word” Luke: 1:38 KJV
+ The coming of Christ was the fruit of a long, historical process. The Virgin Mary is the culmination of all that God has done through Israel to prepare the world for His coming.
+ This is made very evident through many symbols of the Old Testament that points to the Virgin Mary as for e.g:
- The ladder of Jacob
- The burning bush
- The Ark of the Covenant
- The golden vessel of the “Manna”
✥ St. Mary as the second "Eve"
+ It is not accidental that we read in the Book of Genesis that Eve, not Adam, was the first to eat from the forbidden fruit.
+ The Virgin Mary's "Yes" is the answer to Eve's "No"
+ At the beginning and in the middle of history, there stand two women, Eve and Mary. Eve is the mother of fallen and sinning mankind. Mary is the mother of a new, reborn mankind which is being saved. In the first there was the cause of universal evil; in the second, the cause of universal good.
+ The Virgin is the historical foundation for our salvation, and fulfils the most basic purpose of humanity as a whole.
+ Our task is to strive to respond to God as the Virgin Mary did.
✥ The Faithful Advocate and Fervent Intercessor
+ At the wedding of Cana, we clearly see that role of our Mother, the Virgin Mary.
+ For the first time we hear of an appeal for the needs of man from the lips of the Mother of God to her Divine Son. The kind hearted heart of the All-holy Virgin Mary, herself the representative of the race of man, intercedes; it brings the needs of people before the Savoir and calls Him to the work of salvation.
✥ The Virgin Mary In Church History
+ The church of Atreeb
+ The Moving of “El-Mokatam” mountain
+ The Virgin Mary and the lives of some Popes.
May the Intercessions of our Holy Mother, our faithful advocate and fervent intercessor Be with us all. AMEN.
The Lord called us His noble vineyard "A certain man planted a vineyard" (Luke 20:9) "Yet I had planted you a noble vine" (Jeremiah 2:21) He surrounds us with His Love (Hedge) to protect us from the adversary "And set a hedge around it". (Mark 12:1)
God expects the noble vineyard (us) to bear much fruit " By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit." (John 15:8)
Now Are You A Rose in God's Garden or a Fruit in His Vineyard?
Sixty beautiful long stemmed roses - what a sight! The mixed bouquet of red, pink, white and yellow mingled together to make an exquisite arrangement. My sisters' children surprised her with these to celebrate a most special birthday, and she was thrilled with the gift.
She said, "I watched them all day, unfolding a little at a time." "When they die," she continued, "I plan to dry them so that I might still enjoy them." I looked at those roses and noticed something interesting.
Each day, as they unfolded, each colour did so at its own speed.
The pink and white were the first but the red never did. They just stayed in bud the entire week I was visiting. The yellow were the first to wilt and begin to die, their beautiful heads drooping toward the ground. Each colour in the bouquet was set on its path of blooming, so to speak. Each held great beauty, ready to unfold in its own time.
I believe God looks at us just as my sister looked at her bouquet. We are His vineyard; His bouquet of Love, and He watches us unfold and change. He sees the beauty in each of His children. No matter the speed; we blossom. He sees us as we are in tight bud at first, holding all the love He has bestowed upon us . Then we begin to open up to the power of the Holy Spirit, and as we unfold we share what He has given us, we become more beautiful.
In full bloom, we are what He has called us to be here on earth, and then we, like the rose, wither and die. But we will not be forgotten, for when God uses us to touch the lives of others, the memory of His Love will remain with them.
Are you a rose in God's Garden? It is a delight and privilege to be a rose in His Garden or a fruit in His vineyard. He invites you to be a part of it
Addis Ababa: His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch and Catholicos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Archbishop of Axum and Ichege of the See of Saint Teklehaimanot passed away last night in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was 76 years old.Official sources has confirmed the demise of the Patriarch .The Patriarch was seriously ill and was admitted to the Dejazmach Balcha Hospital in Addis Ababa.It has been reported that the Patriarch has been undergoing a medication for a long time.
The body of the deceased Patriarch is presently at the Balcha Hospital. The date of funeral has not been confirmed yet.
May Lord have mercy upon the soul of His Holiness Patriarch Abune Paulose of Ethiopia.
The Fast of Virgin Mary, began by the famous story of Thomas the Apostle. After his return from a missionary in india, he asked the Apostles about Virgin Mary. They told him that she had died.
He asked them to show him where they buried her. They went with him to the grave, but they found the tomb empty. Thomas the Apostle recounted that during his return, he saw the angels carrying the body of the Virgin Mary and that he took blessing of her holy body.
In order to see her blessed body and take her blessing, all the Apostles fasted 15 days. This was according to our Coptic calendar from the first day of Misra (Mesra) to 15 Misra. In Ethiopian calendar from the first day of Nehase (Nähase, Nehasie, Nehasse) to 15 Nehase.The early Church history did not mention anything else about St Mary's fast.
in the 13th century, the Church history states that Virgin's fast was confined to the nuns and sisters. In the 14th century it has became common among Orthodox Christians.
In the early 17th Century, Pope Gabriel VIII of Alexandria declared it a special fast for those who vow to fast it, but no blame on those who do not fast it. After that all people used to fast it, so it became a permanent decision by the Church for everyone to fast
May the blessings of Our Holy Mother Mary be with us all, and save the people of her Son, for whom He paid His precious blood on the cross.
Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the Journey they had an Argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us,we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE!!!
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.
“Happiness is not something you find, it’s something you create…”
‘Life Is Too Short To Waste Time Hating Anyone’
Jesus said: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34
He also said: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
Do not waste a MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE heating another person.
You counted me as Your beloved Jerusalem, and the holy Zion. But with my sins and the abominations of my heart, I became inscribed on a clay tablet. I became despised; sunk in mud. By my negligence, the enemy surrounded me, and destroyed my walls. You, who wishes to make Your fiery Spirit a wall for my life!
O Father, You have stretched Your divine arm; Having sent to me Your Son incarnated, To cleanse me of dust, to grant me Your fiery Spirit, And to carry me up to Your bosom.
My sin took away my vitality; I became as though paralyzed; Sometimes reclining on my left side, struck by evil; And sometimes reclining on my right side struck by self-righteousness.
My sin deprived me of fulfillment; Turning my inner Paradise into utter poverty. Who will rescue me from this famine, But You, O the fulfillment of my soul?!
Fr. Tadros Malaty From the Inspiration of The Book of Ezekiel