Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Our first beginning and our last end

He is the truth, the absolute good, and the soul's goodness comes from that same source which has made it; the soul's perfecting in goodness comes from the conforming of its will to its nature, when it turns in love towards that good to which it owes its very existence - an existence which cannot be lost even if the will turns away from its creator. 

This good is not far from any of us, for 'in him we live and move and have our being'. But we must cleave in love to it so that we may enjoy the presence of him from whom we have our being. 

The apostle says we walk by faith as yet, and not by sight. But unless we already love him, we shall never see him. How can we love what we do not know?  To know God is to perceive him with the assured grasp of the mind, and to see and apprehend him is given to the pure in heart. Our hearts however cannot be made pure to see him unless we love him in faith. 

Faith, hope and charity are the virtues for whose building the whole scaffolding of Scripture is set up. The soul which believes what it does not yet see, hopes in and loves that which it believes - that is why we can love God if we believe, even before we know him.   

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


Friday, October 9, 2015

The Fruitful Zeal

Look at the giants in the Kingdom of God, and earnestly desire to follow their road. Ask yourself every day: "What have I done for the Kingdom of God? Am I faithful in my service and in developing all the talents which God has given me? And have I responded to all those souls whom God wanted me to serve? And on the last day, shall I hear his tender voice saying to me: "Well done, good and faithful servant! you were faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord!" (Matt. 25:21) 

I always marvel at that clever servant who said to his master: "Master, your mina has earned ten minas". (Luke 19:16). This is the zeal that is real and fruitful in the Kingdom of God. In taking this as a standard for comparison, we might perhaps ask ourselves what we have done for our generation.

For that is what has been entrusted to us, and for which we are responsible before God and before the next generations! What practical use has our zeal been to save it?! Has it contributed to the saving of the church? Or have we taken a look and found our lives barren, worthless and unproductive?!

What have we done for a generation of widely spread permissiveness, materialism and abandoning of the faith; in which it has become a duty for all the children of God to be shining lights on a dark mountain?

H.H Pope Shenouda III


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