Thursday, December 26, 2013


From the inspiration of Ezekiel  (12)

O Lord, make me a sign!
You, who became a sign for my sake;
a sign in Your amazing virginal birth. 
And a sign in Your resurrection from a sealed tomb!
Make me a sign, to testify to Your wonders in my new life!
Bring out of my barrenness, spiritual fruits!
To turn the corrupt tomb of my heart,
Into a heavenly sanctuary!
Grant me Your risen life,
To fill me with joy and praise!

You have made Your prophet Ezekiel a sign;
He came out by night, carrying his belongings,
After digging through the wall;
As though going into captivity.
And You My Lord, because a sign;
From God the Father You came;
You came down to our land,
As though to the shadows of death,
Carrying Your cross!
You dug the wall separating us from the Father;
And so set us free of captivity!
Grant me to become a sign;
So that my heart would set forth, as though from the darkness of sin;
Crossing the broken down wall, and the open gate of heaven.
Carrying You, my only and precious belonging!
Instead of escaping as though to captivity,
Your Holy Spirit would lift me up to the bosom of the Father.

You commanded Your prophet Ezekiel to eat his bread with quaking,
And to drink his water with dread and anxiety!
You counted him as though in prison,
Eating the bread of affliction.
I confess to You, O Lord, that I am a prisoner of my sins;
My bread has turned into bitterness.
Grant me Your heavenly Bread:
Your sacrifices body and blood.
To free me of my captivity;
And to grant me freedom, joy, and rejoice.
Let me abide in You, and You in me,
O the desire of my heart.
To become truly an amazing sign,
The work of Your hands!

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


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Freely, freely you have received

To hope that the eternal God will give you this world's goods or the devil everlasting life is equally monstrous.  Keep your eye on the ball, keep to the right road.

If your legs are strong so much the better - run - the faster you move, the sooner you will get home.  But perhaps you limp a bit?  All right, only don't leave the way, you will get there even if a little late.  Don't stick on the way or turn back, don't wander off. 

What are we to make of this?  Are only those who have not sinned blessed?  No, those are blessed whose sins are forgiven.  That grace is given to us freely: We have no good works to show and yet he forgives us our sins.

If you look at your deeds you see wickedness, and if God rewards them you would be damned, for 'the wages of sin is death'.  But see, God does not exact the payment for sin, but gives you freely grace which is not owed to you.

Punishment is your due, forgiveness is what you receive, and with this forgiveness your faith begins, and with his love, you will begin to do right.  Only don't glory in yourself, or be puffed up.  Remember what you were when he found you.  Reflect that you are a sinner, and then realize that through faith by love you have begun to do well, and this not of your own strength but by the grace of God.  

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


Friday, December 20, 2013

Practice Resting

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him 
Psalm 37:7

We don't get enough rest - spiritual rest, that is. The routine panic in which many of us live daily is indicative of the inner merry-go-round that spins even faster. Whenever pressure points come (like surgery, new career moves, test scores, emergencies, and tragedies) we churn away on the inside like an electric ice-cream maker.

It's hard work to learn how to rest properly. We believe we are remiss to just sit quietly at the feet of Jesus. Like Martha we think we should be busy, busy, busy.  And we can't relate to the Marys of the world who are able to sit still when there are so many things to be done (or worried about).

Resting spiritually is not laziness, it does not mean shirking responsibility.  It is calm assurance that God is working right on schedule.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Verses and Fathers Sayings

I will make darkness light before them,
and crooked places straight

Isaiah  42: 16

You have printed Your features on us! You created us
in your image and according to Your likeness! You made
us Your Coins; yet Your coins should not remain in darkness

 St. Augustine 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fathers Sayings - St. Maximos the Confessor

"Let us be satisfied simply with what sustains our present life, not with what pampers it. Let us pray to God for this, as we have been taught, so that we may keep our souls un-enslaved and absolutely free from domination by any of the visible things loved for the sake of the body.

Let us show that we eat for the sake of living, and not be guilty of living for the sake of eating. The first is a sign of intelligence, the second proof of its absence."

~ St. Maximos the Confessor


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fear of God


By St. Symeon the New Theologian

"When a man walks in the fear of God he knows no fear, even if he were to be surrounded by wicked men. He has the fear of God within him and wears the invincible armor of faith. This makes him strong and able to take on anything, even things which seem difficult or impossible to most people.

Such a man is like a giant surrounded by monkeys, or a roaring lion among dogs and foxes. He goes forward trusting in the Lord and the constancy of his will to strike and paralyze his foes. He wields the blazing club of the Word in wisdom." 


Monday, December 2, 2013

Verses and Fathers Sayings

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He Who keeps you will not slumber.

Psalm 121: 3

That there is no one stronger than him who
enjoys the heavenly help; and no one weaker
than him who is deprived of it.

 St. John Chrysostom


Sunday, December 1, 2013

God - By Origen

One, Immaterial, Incomprehensible; Revealed in Creation - and especially in Mind

Therefore, having refuted, to the best of our ability, every interpretation of Scripture which suggests that anything material is to be understood in God, we say that the true nature of God cannot be comprehended by our thought. 

For if there is anything that we are able to conceive or understand about God, we are bound to believe him far superior to anything which we conceive.  If we saw a man scarcely able to look at a spark of light … and we wished to teach him about the brightness and the splendour of the sun; should we not have to tell him 'The sun's splendour is better and grander all this light which you see, to a degree which cannot be described or imagined'? 

So, while our mind is shut up within the confines of flesh and blood, and is rendered duller and blunter by its connexion with such material substances; though it be considered far superior to material nature, nevertheless, when it strives towards the immaterial, then it scarcely attains the standing of a spark …

Our eyes cannot behold the very nature of light, that is, the sun's own self: but beholding it's brightness, or its rays … we can consider how great is the source and origin of material light.  Now the works of the divine providence and the design of the whole universe are as it were rays of God's nature, in comparison with his very being. 

Our mind cannot behold God as he is in himself, therefore it forms its conception of the Creator of the universe from the beauty of his works and the loveliness of his creatures…. God is to be thought of as an uncompounded, intellectual being … a monad and, so to say, a unit, a mind, and the source from whom is the beginning of all intellectual being or mind … ..

…. There is a kinship between the human mind and God; for the mind is itself an image of God, and therefore can have some conception of the divine nature, especially the more it is purified and removed from matter.   
The Early Christian Fathers


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