Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Greatness in Repentance

When God described Nineveh as being the great city, He was not considering its ignorance and sin, but looked with great joy at its profound repentance as Nineveh was quick in responding to God's word.

When Lot warned the people of Sodom of the Lord's displeasure, they scorned him, and "to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking" (Genesis 19:14) whereas the Ninevites listened with utter seriousness to Jonah and responded quickly to his word. The word of the Lord was fast, bearing life, efficacious and sharper than a double-edged sword.

The fruit of their repentance was their humility, fasting, wearing of sackcloth and crying out to God. Their repentance was sincere in every meaning of the word, serious and from the heart, resulting in everyone turning "from his evil way and from the violence that was in his hands." (Jonah 3:8)
From El-Keraza


Friday, January 29, 2016

The Diligent Pastor

"O you pastors, be made like that diligent pastor, the chief of the whole flock, who cared so greatly for his flock. He brought near those that were afar off. He brought back the wanderers. He visited the sick. He strengthened the weak. He bound up the broken. He guarded the fatlings. He gave himself up for the sake of the sheep. 

He chose and instructed excellent leaders, and committed the sheep into their hands, and gave them authority over all his flock. For He said to Simon Cephas:— Feed My sheep and My lambs and My ewes. So Simon fed His sheep; and he fulfilled his time and handed over the flock to you, and departed. 

Do ye also feed and guide them well. For the pastor who cares for his sheep engages in no other pursuit along with that. He does not make a vineyard, nor plant gardens, nor does he fall into the troubles of this world. Never have we seen a pastor who left his sheep in the wilderness and became a merchant, or one who left his flock to wander and became a husbandman. But if he deserts his flock and does these things he thereby hands over his flock to the wolves." 

St Aphrahat of Persia


Friday, January 15, 2016

Commemoration of Circumcision of The Lord Christ

On this day, the church celebrates the commemoration of the circumcision of the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory. God had ordained the law of circumcision as a sign that His people would become a particular people over all others. This was that every male of the seed of Abraham be circumcised on the eighth day of his birth. God put every soul that did not obey this law under judgment.

As our Lord Jesus was born from the posterity of Abraham, according to the flesh, He willed to be circumcised on the eighth day, to fulfill the law of and to relieve us from the heavy burden of this commandment, as St. Paul says, "Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers." (Romans 15:8)

He also gave us the sign of the new covenant through baptism, as St. Paul says, "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in Baptism in which you also were raised with Him, through faith in the working of God, Who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Colossians 2:11-13)

Therefore, He demands from us to keep the spiritual circumcision, that is to say the circumcision of the heart, so that we may live for Him in righteousness and in holiness, for He says, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." (John 3:5)

Glory be to our God forever. Amen. 


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


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cutting Off The Head Of John The Baptist

Give me here on a dish the head of John the Baptist, she said. The request was abominable, but she persuaded him, and he gave the order to curb John's holy tongue. But even up to now it speaks out, for each day, or rather in every church, you hear John crying aloud through the Gospels and saying: It is not lawful for thee to have the wife of thy brother Philip. He cut of the head but he did not cut off the voice; he curbed the tongue but he did not curb the accusation.

Hence, God has surrounded the tongue with a double wall - with the barrier of the teeth and the fence of the lips - in order that it may not easily and heedlessly utter words it should not speak. Keep it curbed within your mouth. Suppose it does not stand for this treatment. Punish it with the teeth just as if you were giving its body over to the public executioner to be bitten. For it is better that it be bitten now when it sins than that hereafter, when it is parched and seeking a drop of water, it be deprived of that consolation.

From the writings of St. John Chrysostom

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist - Synaxarium


Thursday, August 27, 2015

St. Mary The Model of Virgins

Mary was a pure virgin, with a harmonious disposition. She loved good works...

She did not want to be seen by men; but she asked God to examine her...

She remained continually at home, living a retired life and imitating a honey-bee...

She generously distributed to the poor what was left over from the work of her hands....

She prayed solitarily to God, for two things: not to let a bad thought take root in her heart, and to grow neither bold nor hard of heart.....

Her speech was calm and her voice was low...

She wanted to make progress everyday; and she did so.

When she rose in the morning, she endeavoured to make her works more new than those she had already done....

She was not afraid of death, but rather was sad, and sighted everyday that she had not yet crossed the threshold of heaven. 

St. Athanasius the Great


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Virgin Mother

God the Father arranged the nuptials for God, His Son, when, in the womb of the Virgin, He united Him to humanity, when He willed that He who is God before all the ages, become Man.

He united the Holy Church to Him, through the mystery of the incarnation.

Now, the bridal chamber of this Bridegroom was the womb of the Virgin Mother. That is why the Psalmist says, "He has set His tabernacle in the sun: and He is as a Bridegroom coming out of His bridal chamber" Ps. 18:6 (DRA). And it was as a Bridegroom is in fact that He came forth from His bridal chamber, because to unite the Church to Himself, the Incarnate God went forth from the inviolate womb of the Virgin.

Pope Gregory The Great


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Why Water?

But if any one wishes to know why the grace is given by water and not by a different element, let him take up the Divine Scriptures and he shall learn. For water is a grand thing, and the noblest of the four visible elements of the world. 

Heaven is the dwelling place of Angels, but the heavens are from the waters: the earth is the place of men, but the earth is from the waters: and before the whole six days' formation of the things that were made, the Spirit of God moves upon the face of the water.  

The water was the beginning of the world, and Jordan the beginning of the Gospel tidings: for Israel deliverance from Pharaoh was through the sea, and for the world deliverance from sins by the washing of water with the word of God. 

Where a covenant is made with any, there is water also. After the flood, a covenant was made with Noah: a covenant for Israel from Mount Sinai, but with water, and scarlet wool and hyssop. 

Elias is taken up, but not apart from water: for first he crosses the Jordan, then in a chariot mounts the heaven. The high-priest is first washed, then offers incense; for Aaron first washed, then was made high-priest: for how could one who had not yet been purified by water pray for the rest? Also as a symbol of Baptism there was a laver set apart within the Tabernacle.

St. Augustine


Facebook Comments

My Blog List