Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pentecost - By St. Cyril of Alexandria

“Jesus tells us that His holy Disciples will be more courageous and more understanding when they would be, as the Scripture says, Endowed with power from on high (Luke 24:49), and that when their minds would be illuminated by the torch of the Spirit they would be able to see into all things, even though no longer able to question Him bodily present among them. 

The Savior does not say that they would no longer as before need the light of His guidance, but that when they received His Spirit, when He was dwelling in their hearts, they would not be wanting in any good thing, and their minds would be filled with most perfect knowledge.”

St. Cyril of Alexandria


Friday, June 21, 2013

St Cyprian - On the Lord's Prayer

After the support of bread, we ask for the forgiveness of sins

As the prayer continues, we ask Give us this day our daily bread. This can be understood both spiritually and literally, because either way of understanding is rich in divine usefulness to our salvation. For Christ is the bread of life, and this bread does not belong to anyone at all, but to us. And so, just as we say Our Father, because he is the father of those who understand and believe, so also we call it our bread, because Christ is the bread of us who come into contact with his body. 

We ask that this bread should be given to us daily, that we who are in Christ and daily receive the Eucharist as the food of salvation may not be prevented, by the interposition of some heinous sin, from partaking of the heavenly bread and be separated from Christ’s body, for as he says: I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of my bread, he will live for ever; and the bread I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.

So when he says that whoever eats of his bread will live for ever; and as it is clear that those are indeed living who partake of his body and, having the right of communion, receive the Eucharist, so, on the other hand, we must fear and pray lest anyone should be kept at a distance from salvation who, being withheld from communion, remains separate from Christ’s body. For he has given us this warning: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will have no life in you. And therefore we ask that our bread – that is, Christ – may be given to us daily, so that we who live in Christ may not depart from his sanctification and his body.


After this we entreat for our sins, saying Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. After the supply of food, pardon of sin is also asked for. 

How necessary, how provident, how salutary are we reminded that we are sinners, since we have to beg for forgiveness, and while we ask for God’s pardon, we are reminded of our own consciousness of guilt! Just in case anyone should think himself innocent and, by thus exalting himself, should more utterly perish, he is taught and instructed that he sins every day, since he is commanded to pray daily for forgiveness.


This is what John warns us in his epistle: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and just and will forgive us. In his epistle he combines two things, both that we ought to beg for mercy because of our sins and that we will receive forgiveness when we ask for it. This is why he says that the Lord is faithful to forgive sins, keeping faith with what he promised; because he who taught us to pray for our debts and sins has promised that his fatherly mercy and pardon will follow.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


From the inspiration of Ezekiel (8)

When I behold what Your people did, I get terrified.
They presumed that You do not see them, care for them, nor for the whole land.
So they resorted to worshiping creeping creatures and unclean beasts.
How lowly are our thoughts!

How great is our denial!

The elders have forsaken You and worshiped animals.
The women wept for the image of the god Tammuz inside Your temple,
Instead of weeping for themselves!

The priests gave you the back instead of the face.
They became worshipers of the sun;
disregarding that You are its Creator!
Instead of praying for the people, they became the cause of curse!

My soul is embittered!

Who are the elders, but my mind and my depths….
I became utterly corrupted!
Who are the women, but the emotions of my body, and its feelings that became defiled!
Who are the priests, but the spirit of leadership that deviated within me!

Sanctify Your sanctuary, O the Holy One!
Sanctify my mind, my thoughts, my emotions, and my feelings!
Sanctify the gifts You granted me, O my Savior!
Sanctify my whole being; I am your temple!

Fr. Tadros Malaty
From the Inspiration of The Book of Ezekiel


Saturday, June 8, 2013

In Him we live and move and have our being

You were walking in your own ways, a vagabond; straying in the rough places, wooded places, tearing your limbs. You were looking for a home some rest for your spirit, somewhere where you could say, 'I am all right here,' and safely say it, free from anxiety and trials - in other words, be altogether free - but you did not find it.

What then? Did someone come and show you how to get there? The way itself came to you and you were set on it through no merit of your own. You had clearly lost the path.  Tell me then, has He who showed you the path deserted you, must you now find your own way home?

Beloved, the end of all our paths is Christ: in Him we are made perfect, for our perfection is to come home to Him. Don't seek for anything else. He is your end, to Him you are journeying, and when you have arrived there you will not seek further, for you can desire nothing better than to come home to Him.

He has led us on, He himself being our way, and He brings us to Himself as to our home.  We come through Christ to Christ, through the Word made flesh to the Word which in the beginning was God with God, for He says to us: I am the way and to Me you come.  

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Guardian Angel

There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad. Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by.

She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed but no one would stop. The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see if the little girl would still be there. Yes, she was there, right in the very spot as she was yesterday, and still with the sad look in her eyes.

Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone. As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl’s dress was obscenely shaped. I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no effort to help.

Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if you make a step toward assisting someone who is different. As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare. As I approached her, I could see the obscene shape of her back more clearly. She was grotesquely shaped in a humped-over form. I smiled to let her know it was OK, I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and said with a simple Hello.

The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a “hi,” after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me and with a sad face said, “Because I’m different.”

I immediately said, “That you are!” and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder and said, “I know.”

“Little girl,” I said, “you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent. She looked at me and smiled. Slowly she got to her feet and said, “Really?”

“Yes, you’re like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all those people walking by.”

She nodded her head yes, and smiled. With that she spread her wings and said, “I am. I’m your Guardian Angel,” with a twinkle in her eye. I was speechless, sure I was seeing things. She said, “For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done.

” I got to my feet and said, “Wait. So why did no one stop to help an angel?” She looked at me and smiled, “You’re the only one that could see me,” and then she was gone. And with that, my life was changed dramatically.

So, when you think you’re all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you.


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