I WISH YOUR GLORY WOULD NEVER DEPART FROM ME From the inspiration of Ezekiel (10) You are not in need for my little heart. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory! I wish Your glory would not depart from me. You, whom all the heavenliness glorify!
I confess to You with my tears and the sighs of my heart! By my sins and transgressions, I drive Your glory away from myself. I grieve Your Holy Spirit that dwells in me. Yet You do not wish Your glory to depart from my heart!
You are in no need for proclaiming Your glory in me; Yet Your amazing love wishes to proclaim it in me! To be glorified in me! And to make me worthy of the fellowship of Your eternal glory!
Fr. Tadros Malaty From the Inspiration of The Book of Ezekiel
No Christian can say he has no tribulations - why?
Because as long as we are in the body, we are only journeying to God. However well off we may be we are not yet in that homeland to which we are hastening. A man cannot love the journey and his own country too. If he loves his country, the journey will seem wearisome and full of tribulations. Here we labour and sorrow: there endless rest and unwearied love.
But, you will say, I have everything I want. Have you? Are you sure that everything won't disappear? But I'm richer than I was, I've made a lot of money: Possibly you are more afraid than you were, you might have felt more secure when you were poorer. But suppose you have everything, are rich in this world's goods and feel sure of them too, and moreover God says to you: 'All this will go on for ever, you shall possess these things for ever - but you will never see my face.'
Brethren, ask the spirit, not the flesh. Let faith, hope and charity which are beginning to grow in your hearts give your reply. Think: would all those possessions make us happy if we were never to see His face? God forbid that anyone rest his joy in them and seek for nothing more. Such a man has not begun to love God, to live as a pilgrim. Nothing that we have except God can really be sweet to us. He is the giver of all things; without Him Himself what are they to us?
'For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.' He meant that is: 'Do not wonder that I am going to be lifted up that you may be saved.
This seems best to the Father and He Himself has so loved you as to give His Son in behalf of slaves, even ungrateful slaves.' And He does this though a man would not even do it for his friend, nor would one readily do it for the sake of a just man; as Paul made clear when he said: 'For scarcely in behalf of just man does one die.' But he spoke at greater length since he was addressing the faithful, while in our context Christ spoke more briefly-since His words were addressed to Nicodemus-yet more emphatically.
Indeed, each section of His statement has great force. By the words 'so loved' and 'God [loved] the world' He indicated the extent of His love. The distance between was great-infinite, rather-since He who is immortal, infinite, immense, limitless has loved those made of earth and ashes, weighted down with countless sins, always offending, ungrateful.
Again, His next words are likewise full of meaning as He continued: 'So that he gave his only-begotten Son.' That is, it was not a slave, not a messenger, not an archangel that He gave, He declared. Indeed, who would show such solicitude for his child as God showed for ungrateful slaves?
Daily readings from the writings of St. John Chrysostom
Before all things, the Teacher of Peace and the Master of Unity would not have prayer to be made single and individually, as for one who prays for him or herself alone. For we do not say 'My Father, who art in heaven,' nor 'Give me this day my daily bread'; nor does each one ask that only his or her own debt should be forgiven…. Our prayer is public and common; and when we pray we pray not for one but for the whole people, because we the whole people are one. The God of peace and the teacher of concord, who taught unity, willed that one should thus pray for all, even as He himself bore us all in one….
'Hallowed be thy name': not that we wish God to be sanctified by our prayers, but that we ask to keep His name holy in us. Besides, who could sanctify God who is the source of holiness? But he has said, "Be holy as I am holy," and so we pray for perseverance in the holiness which we received at baptism. We ask for this every day because we who offend every day need a daily sanctification, a continual hallowing purification….
'Thy Kingdom come': we beg that God's Kingdom be revealed to us. For when did God not reign? When did He not possess His Kingdom which always was and ever shall be? God has promised a Kingdom to us, Christ has gained it by His passion and blood. We pray for its coming…in us.
'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven': God may do what He wishes, who can hinder Him in that? But we pray that we may be able to fulfil His will in us…. What is the will of God? It is what Christ did and taught: humility in conduct, steadiness in faith, modesty in words, justice in deeds, mercy in works, discipline in habits. It is to be innocent of wrongdoing and to be patient when wrong is done to us and to remain at peace with our brethren. It is to love God with all our heart….
'Give us this day our daily bread': This may be understood both spiritually and literally….
1. Christ is the bread of life…. We are in Christ and receive the Eucharist daily as the food of salvation….
2. "The one who does not renounce the world cannot be my disciple," Jesus said.
We who have renounced the world and its riches and pomps should seek only our food and keep. The new followers of Christ, forsaking all in obedience to Him, should be moderate in their requirements: they ought to ask only for their daily bread. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself." Disciple should not worry about tomorrow, but they are entitled to pray for today.
'Forgive us our trespasses…': We have asked for food. Now we ask for forgiveness, so that we who are fed by God may live in Him…remember, our entreaties for forgiveness will not be heard unless we deal forgivingly with those who sin against us. God does not accept the sacrifice of the man who is at variance with his brother. He orders him to leave the altar and first to be reconciled.
'Lead us not into temptation': The enemy can do nothing against us without God's permission…. Praying that we may not come into temptation reminds us of our inconstancy and weakness.
'Deliver us from evil': Having said that, there is nothing left to ask for. With God's protection we stand safe and secure against all the devices of the devil and the world. Who can fear this life, if God is His life-guardian?"
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
We are too easily buffaloed by our emotions. By immediately giving in to the whims of our feelings. We can quickly lose peace. And though we long for sweet peace, there must be something in human nature that enjoys unleashing the dark spirit of fear within us.
Millions of people like to be frightened by horror movies of scary tales. They relish reading anything with the element of suspense.
Fictional suspense can be entertaining and healthy. However, we must not listen to the fictional fears our emotions so often create for us. We have a real stronghold in this life.
Thank God, when we're too weak to hang on tight, he never lets go.
Let the Lord your God be your hope - seek for nothing else from him, but let him himself be your hope. There are people who hope from him riches or perishable and transitory honors, in short they hope to get from God things which are not God himself. Seek for him alone, and despising everything else, make your way to him. Forget other things, remember him; leave other things behind, stretch out to him. Let him be your hope, who is guiding you to your destination.
Where in the end does coveting this world's goods lead you? You want a farm, then an estate, then you shut your neighbours out and covet their possessions. You extend your desires till you reach the shore. Having made the earth your own, perhaps you want heaven, too?
Leave all your desires. He who made heaven and earth is more beautiful than all; he who made all things is better than all; he will be to you everything you love. Learn to love the creator in the creature, in the work him who made it. Don't let what was made take such a hold of you that you lose him by whom you yourself were made.