Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Prepared

You also must be ready.  Luke 12:40.

 Be Prepared!

How to be prepared?
- Strong spiritual relationship with God.

- Church life and means of grace.

- Good deeds are treasure in heaven. 
- Detachment from worldly dwellings, but longing for eternal life. 

Do not miss the opportunity.  Being ready for heaven makes the soul gives up worldly matters and longs for eternal life.  Just as our Fathers the Saints, lived with death before their eyes, to control the lust of the flesh.

Abba Macarius the Great used a dead person's skull as a pillow to sleep on.
Even Philosophers were eating and drinking in skulls of the dead.  Also many great Kings have said death to be a panacea for their glory, and the cure for their pride.

Luke 12:32-44

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,

36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.

37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.

39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.

40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?

43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.

44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Saint Anthony The Great - Father of the Monks

Saint Anthony The Great
Father of the Monks

St. Anthony was the first Christian to live a life of consecrated solitude. As a hermit in the desert, he lived a long and saintly life that influenced countless people both in his time and for generations thereafter, even to this day.

His life had a tremendous impact on the history of early Christianity, which is the basic history of all Christian churches all over the world.

The story of his life was written by one of Christianity's most renowned leaders, St. Athanasius the Apostolic who was his disciple and had a very close relationship with him.

St. Anthony is generally considered the father of the monastic family. He was born about 251 A.D. of well-to do parents in Coma (Kemn-el-Arouse) in the middle of Egypt .

When he was eighteen years of age his parents died, leaving him guardian of his younger and only sister, Dious. Six months later Anthony entered the church to hear the Gospel, in which our Lord speaks to the rich young man,

"If you would be perfect, go sell all you have, give to the poor and come follow me." (Mat. 19:21)

He took this advice as a personal invitation addressed to him by God. He sold about 300 acres of fertile land, gave most of the money to the poor keeping only a little for his sister. Then he placed his sister in the charge of a community of virgins. He was now free to devote his life to asceticism under the guidance of a holy man living near Coma. This was the custom of young ascetics to study under a master in order to learn the principals of spirituality, prayer and fasting.

After a while, St. Anthony left on his own for the western desert. He took shelter in an abandoned tomb caved in the side of a mountain. A good friend used to bring him bread and water from time to time. In his solitude he was fighting off the temptations of the flesh and attacks of demons.

He was about thirty-five years old when he left his retreat to move to the east bank of the Nile to the " Outer Mountain " at Pispir ( Vista ) where he lived in complete solitude. After twenty years, his reputation attracted many followers who settled near him, and wished to copy his holy life. St. Anthony became their spiritual leader, teaching them constantly by word and example the ascetic life. Five years later, he again retired into solitude in the Inner Mountain ( Mount Qolozum ).

As St. Anthony lived in solitude, he was tempted by boredom and discouragement. His soul fell into such weariness and confusion of thought that he began saying, "Lord, I want to be saved but these bad thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do? How can I be saved?"

After a little while, he began to walk in the open and he saw someone as if it was himself, sitting and working - making mats of palm leaves - and then rising to pray. This was an angel sent by the Lord to teach Anthony how to live in the desert. The angel repeated what he was doing several times until Anthony understood that he had to combine manual work and prayer in order to overcome boredom.

Living in solitude (anchoritism) made St. Anthony a spiritual father beyond all others. He escaped from the cares of the world but not from the love for his brothers. Thus, he was obliged to visit Alexandria during the persecution against the Christians, engineered by Maximin Daja in 316. He spent his time ministering to the oppressed and afflicted in prisons. When the persecution ended, he returned to his cell to be a daily martyr to his conscience, fighting always the battles of his faith.

Once again, he visited Alexandria to support Pope Athanasius against the heresy of Arius in 352. Pagans and Christians alike rushed tout to greet the holy old man, but he soon returned to the desert, for he felt like a fish out of the water.

St. Anthony founded no monastery. His rule consisted simply of prayers and manual work. He told his disciples that just as Christ was a carpenter and Paul was a tent maker, they also had to keep their hands busy to escape temptations. He also assigned a uniform to the monks. This was a garb of white linen reaching below the knees. A wide thick belt of leather helped the monk to keep erect. This pattern is seen today in many monastic orders all over the world.

From every part of the world, people came to him, even to the innermost part of the desert, seeking cures of the body, mind, and soul; and as they did at Pispir, monks came to him for his sympathy and practical advice.

Once St. Athanasius had invited Anthony to Alexandria and they were joined by Didymus, a man of great learning who had lost his eyesight. The conversation turned to the Holy Scriptures, and Anthony could not help admiring the blind man's ability and praised his insight. Then he said, "You don't regret the loss of your eyes, do you?" At first, Didymus was reluctant to answer, but when the question was repeated, he frankly admitted that his blindness was a great grief to him. Whereupon, Anthony said, "I am surprised that a wise man like you should grief at the loss of a physical organ which he shares with everyone, and not rejoice rather in having the gift which only saints and apostles have been thought worthy."

In 356 A.D., St. Anthony died at the age of one hundred and five, but his place of burial was near revealed by the two monks, Marcarius and Amatas, who buried him.

His monastery produced many great saints including SS. Hilarion of Gaza , Macarius of Scete, Amoun of Nitria and Paul the Simple Intimacy with God made St. Anthony as tenderhearted as the Master he served. Consequently, his influence extended beyond his lifetime, and the Universal Church still reveres him as one of the great saints.

His life was written by St. Athanasius while he was in Rome , and it was very influential in spreading the ideas of monasticism throughout the Christian world. According to St. Athanasius, St. Anthony was a man of "divine wisdom" and of grace, although he never learned to read or write.

Today, a monastery bearing the name of St. Anthony stands in the eastern desert. The cave, in which the saint spent most of his life, is located beside it. Many monks live there, and many people from all walks of life visit it every day.

May the prayers and supplications of this great Saint Anthony, the Father of the Monks, be with us. Amen.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Verses and Fathers Sayings

Verses and Fathers Sayings

“Come now, and let us reason together,” 
Says the Lord, 
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

The Power of repentance is so immense, to turn us into the whiteness of snow, 
and the purity of wool, even if the sin reigned over us and tinted us.
St. John Chrysostom


Jesus Restores - Reflection on Job 42: 9-12

Jesus Restores

Reflection on Job 42:9-12

God hears us;  Job 42:9
So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.

God restores us;  Job 42:10
After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.

God delivers us;  Job 42:11
All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

God blesses us;  Job 42:12
The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.

May the Lord bless all.


Friday, January 27, 2012

May You Make Me Enter Into My House!

From the Inspiration of Daniel (2)

May You Make Me Enter Into My House!

The king and his advisers were worried about the forgotten dream.
But Daniel did not shake because he was unjustly exposed to death!
Grant me to enter with Daniel to my house,
to enter into my inner Jerusalem,
to meet You, O King of heavens with Your angels and Saints.

May You carry me to Your eternal chambers,
reveal to me Your surpassing mysteries,
grant me Your knowledge,
and transform my life into a joyful praise!

Instead of worrying, all my inner being is shaken of joy.
I see that all the kingdoms of the world are like a metal image,
which is crushed.

You are the Cornerstone who crushed evil and brings all the holy 
ones to You!
You declare Your abundant love to all the earth!       
May You crush any strange image in me
and create Your joyful kingdom inside me! 

Fr. Tadros Malaty
From the Inspiration of the Book of Daniel     


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The New Commandment

The new commandment

 The Lord said, 'I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you'. By keeping this commandment sin is destroyed; not to love is not only deadly sin but the root of all other sin.

Let no one who does not love his brother think that he is a son of God; and when we look at our sins let us remember that 'love covers a multitude of sins'.

The perfection of love is to be willing to lay down one's life for one's brother, following the Lord's example who died for all men. But does love reach that height all at once? No - when it is born it needs to be nourished, nourished it becomes strong, and strengthened it becomes perfect.

No matter what you have, without love it is worthless; and if you love, nothing is lacking. 'The man who loves his brother has fulfilled the law.'

Don't imagine that you will be forgiven if you don't wholeheartedly forgive.

It is only human to be angry, but the feeble shoot of your anger must not be watered by suspicion and become a bough of hatred. The man who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that a murderer's heart is empty of eternal life.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


It's Me LORD! - Contemplation With the Lord from the inspiration of psalm 119

It's Me LORD!
        Contemplation With the Lord from the inspiration of psalm 119
Help me!
        All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
        (Ps 119:86)  

Save me!
        Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts.
        (Ps 119:94)  
Revive me!
        I have suffered much; preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.
        (Ps 119:107)
Uphold me!
        Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.
        (Ps 119:116)
Look upon me!
        Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.
        (Ps 119:132)

Hear me!
        I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD, and I will obey your decrees.
        (Ps 119:145)
Deliver me!
        Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law.       
        (Ps 119:153)


Monday, January 23, 2012

In The Babylonian Palace

From the Inspiration of Daniel (1)

In The Babylonian Palace

May the enemy carry me to the Babylonian Palace,
But he cannot cast my soul from heaven!
May he offer me all the delicacies and luxuries,
but he cannot snatch me from the heavenly table!
Because I enjoy the food of the angels!

Grant me to abstain from the love of the world,
Then bless my body, soul, and mind.
Help me with Your heavenly wisdom
and reveal to me your surpassing mysteries!

As you  were with Daniel in his sojourn in the palace,
Let Your grace accompany me wherever I go!
Grant me success in every task I undertake! 

Fr. Tadros Malaty
From the Inspiration of the Book of Daniel 




  Although the Lord warned us of loving the world (such as sins, trends, and streams) but "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3: 16
        That means: He loved people of this world.
Christianity is essentially religion of love. And this is the Lord's call to us, to love everyone deeply with pure heart including our enemies.
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone". Romans 12: 18
Love governs our relationship with people, but it does not interfere between God's love, and our love to people.
John 16: 20-33
20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.        
25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father.
26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.
27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech.
30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied.
32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Time Of Grace

Time Of Grace

 Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6: 2

And now what are you waiting for? Acts 22: 16

History tells of Alexander the Great that whenever he besieges a hostile city, he puts a huge fiery torch in front of it.

This meant that every person goes out to him day or night, his life is safe as long as the torch is fiery. But after the torch extinguished, all those who remain in the city get killed.

The world is not currently in a state of siege, and yet many people are going through depression.

The Bible describes this situation by saying:
The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again. Isaiah 24: 20

But the torch is still lit. Today is still the Time of Grace, which God will save all those who speak about Him.

Come without delay ...'... Hesitate not your entry
Soon you will regret ...'... Your mourning not accepted

For the road to salvation  ...'... Only by Jesus
Repent and believe in Him ...'... To win salvation


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Verses and Fathers Sayings

Verses and Fathers Sayings

 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; 
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil.
Isaiah 1:16

Therefore, if, through being washed in that mystery Baptismal font, as said by the prophet, we get our will purified; and evil uprooted from our souls, we would turn by that into better men.
St. Gregory of Nyssa


A Ship In Danger

A Ship in Danger

 There is, as it were, a double aspect: man and sinner. To be a man is God's work, to be a sinner is our doing. Blot out what you have done, so that God may restore what he has done; hate your own work in yourself and love what he has done in you.

Run, my brethren, lest the darkness lay hold of you: wake up while it is daylight, for Christ is the day. He is ready to forgive your sins if you acknowledge them: even if you are free from grave sins, acknowledge those that seem to be small and come to the light.

Bilge water neglected in the hold does the same as a rushing wave: gradually it seeps in and if it is not pumped out sinks the ship. What is this pumping out? To sorrow, to give, to forgive, so that sin may not overwhelm us. But when you see how imperfect you are, don't be afraid - only don't cherish your imperfections and so stick at the point where God found you.

Hold on as much as you can, every day draw nearer to God, and do not hold back from the body of the Lord nor shrink from being friends with Christ. He wants to be a guest in your house; make a place for him. What does that mean? Love him, not yourself. Self-love shuts the door against Christ, to love him opens it; and if you open the door he comes in and you will find yourself with him who loves you.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Friday, January 20, 2012

Epiphany - St. Ephrem the Syrian

 Whom have we, Lord, like you? - The Great One who became small, the Wakeful who slept, The Pure One who was baptized, the Living One who died, The King who abased himself to ensure honor for all. Blessed is your honor!
 It is right that man should acknowledge your divinity, It is right for heavenly beings to worship your humanity. The heavenly beings were amazed to see how small you became, And earthly ones to see how exalted.

     St. Ephrem  the Syrian

      Happy feast of the epiphany!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012



 Some of the things our Lord Jesus Christ foretold have come to pass, others we still wait for; they will all happen, whether we believe in them or not; and so dearly beloved, nourish in your hearts the faith that is yours.

In our fathers' times the blood of the righteous was shed, and from that seed the church grew up.

The devil then, like a lion, raged openly; now he is like a wily serpent. We must defeat him as the martyrs did; suffering was their weapon, watchfulness must be ours.

The Church will always be persecuted, whether by the lion or the serpent, and the enemy is more to be feared when he deceives than when he rages. The Christians were pressed to deny Christ - now the are taught to: violence then, snares now.

What shall we do? With his help let us persevere to the end.

Do not be misled by unbelievers, or, who are more dangerous, bad Christians. The Church is like a net cast into the sea, which gathers up all kinds of fish and is being pulled towards that shore which is the end of this world.

Separate yourselves from the evil fish; not in body but in heart; not by breaking out of the net, but by changing your way of life; so that when the fish are separated on the shore, yours may be not eternal punishment but eternal life. 

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Enlighten My Eyes So I May See You, The Almighty One!

From the Inspiration of the Book of Daniel

Enlighten My Eyes So I May See You,
The Almighty One!

During this temporary captivity, let me see You, O the Almighty!
I see You holding all history in the in the palm of Your hand,
so I may trust You, O my Refuge!

May great kingdoms arise, and may giants appear,
but You alone are the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Your kingdom is eternal,
which challenges all the evil powers,
and destroys the antichrist and his followers!
You come to me on the clouds to carry me with You,
O the secret of my glory!

May You draw all my depths amidst all the events,
so I may see You controlling the whole world.
I see You preparing a place for me in Your Fatherly bosom.

May You raise me from the captivity to the freedom of glory of
the children of God!
Yours is the thanksgiving, the praise,
O the source of my joy! 

Fr. Tadros Malaty
From the Inspiration of the Book of Daniel 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Devil

The Devil

 Before the coming of Christ the devil roamed about: then the Lord came and bound him. Someone may say, 'If he is bound, why does he so often prevail?' It is perfectly true, brethren, he does often prevail; but it is the tepid and careless, and those who do not really fear God, that he overcomes.

He is tied up like a dog on a chain, and can only bite someone who, deathly sure of himself, goes near him. Wouldn't you think a man a fool who let himself be bitten by a chained up dog?

He can only bite those who willingly let him. It is not by force, but by persuasion, that he harms: he asks for our consent, he does not drag it from us.

Fools think that while we need God for eternal life, the powers of this world must be worshipped for its goods. Brethren, God does not share his worship with evil spirits. 'What', you say, 'surely we must take them into account? They might do us harm.'

No, they can do nothing unless he permits it; and if you want to know how futile it is to pay them homage, ask yourselves whether those who pray to Neptune are never shipwrecked.

God is the giver of everything the world can offer and will succour you here and make you happy for ever in Heaven.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Serpent's Head

The Serpent's Head

 What is the serpent's head? The first suggestion of sin. Some unlawful deed comes into your mind - throw it out, don't consent to it, stamp on the serpent's head.

But he suggests wealth: a little fraud and you'll be a rich man - tread the suggestion underfoot. But you'll make a great deal of money. Brethren, reflect - 'what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul'. Hold on to this and you will bruise the serpent's head.

Only remember, the devil is looking for your heel to strike at. How? If you move away from the path of God by cherishing the evil suggestion he wounds your heel; if you slide right away you will fall, and if you fall he's got you.

There is only one way not to fall, and that is to keep to the strait path to God; anything else is slippery. Christ is your light and your path, the true light which enlightens everyone coming into the world; and he has said, 'I am the Way, by me your journey, to me you come'. If you go away from him you are off the right road and in the dark. It is said of the wicked 'their paths are slippery and dark'.

People say ' Why is the devil so powerful in the world?' Beloved, he can do nothing he is not permitted to do. If he is allowed to tempt you, make him retire in defeat instead of making you his prisoner.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Donvale Coptic college wins world-first recognition

IN a world first, the Coptic Orthodox Church’s theological college in Donvale has been accredited as an educational institution.

St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College in Park Rd is now a registered teaching institution of Melbourne’s MCD University of Divinity.

The first Coptic college in the modern world to be officially accredited, it will offer a diploma in theology this year and already has attracted 30 enrolments for the first semester.

Among the topics covered by the degree will be Coptic history, New Testament and Old Testament studies, Coptic iconography, religious education and youth ministry.

Four years in the making, the achievement has largely been driven by Bishop Anba Suriel.

Student Silvana Rizk is excited about undertaking the degree, which she hoped would lead to a master’s degree in theology.

“It’s great to get that deeper way of thinking,” Ms Rizk, 25, said.

“Our church is famous for holding its traditions and this is a great way to hold on to Coptic heritage and know more about it.”


First Coptic Orthodox Theological College to be accredited in the modern world!

First Coptic Orthodox Theological College to be 
accredited in the modern world!

It is with great delight that we announce St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological college has been accredited as a recognised teaching institution (RTI) of the MCD University of Divinity! The MCD is an established and very well respected academic teaching body having celebrated its centenary in 2010, and from the 1st January 2012 will become the first ‘Specialist University’ in Australia! 

This is a wonderful achievement for our theological college which was established by Papal Decree number 21/29 just under 11 years ago and is the culmination of several years of hard work by many dedicated individuals. Through His Grace Bishop Suriel’s leadership and vision, and the tireless work of the SACOTC Academic Board and Council, SACOTC embarked on a journey of nearly four years to achieve this endorsement, and realise the aspirations of the College community. This recognition means that SACOTC is officially the first Coptic Orthodox Theological College to be accredited in the modern world!

To be recognised as one of the member teaching institution of the MCD University of Divinity will add significant credibility to SACOTC, giving our awards wide recognition and allowing our students to go on and do further theological studies to obtain Masters and PhD’s if they wish.

St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College



Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Alternatives

The alternatives

There are two cities: the earthly city which consists in the love of self even to the contempt of God, and the heavenly city which is the love of God even to the contempt of self.

Consider these two cities, Jerusalem, a vision of peace, and Babylon, called confusion: they are made by two loves, love of God and love of the world. Let each of you ask himself which is his love, and he will know of which city he is a citizen.

There are two births: one of earth and the other of Heaven, one of mortality and the other of eternity, one of human parents, the other of God and the Church.

Who are born of the flesh? Lovers of this world, of this life. For the root of all sin is to turn away from the unchangeable things of God to what is mutable and unsure. Who are born of the Spirit? Lovers of the Kingdom of Heaven, those who long for eternal life.

In this life there are two loves fighting each other in every temptation: love of God and love of the world, and whichever wins draws its lover in its train as by a weight. 

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Monday, January 2, 2012

The Fool

The Fool

The fool says in his heart there is no God. 'Few men actually say this, but consider the crowd of evil-doers, people lost to shame, and the Christians living among them who are afraid to reprehend them lest the voice of the virtuous be drowned by the cries of the wicked.

If you say in your heart, 'Oh well, God takes wickedness for granted', it is tantamount to saying, 'There is no God', for wickedness offends him, since if he exists he is righteous.

Scripture (which cannot err) says Christ will come to judge the world - but evil-doers say,  'He will come to forgive us all, it's not true that he will say to us: "Go into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" '.

Brethren, how could this be? It is a lie. It is saying, 'There is no God'. Take care to hold on to the truth, for he is a righteous God.

You may say, 'I am no thief', 'I am not an adulterer', but if you count such among your friends, if you take pleasure in their life style even if you don't share in it, you are taking part in their deeds.

When you know of evil, and far from blaming it you compound it by saying nothing, so as not to give offence, 'wickedness and deceit are on your lips'.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


A Sacrifice

A Sacrifice

 What sacrifice can I offer to God that is worthy of his mercy? Shall I look for a victim from among my herds? No, I will freely offer a sacrifice of praise. Freely: for his sake alone, not for any other reason.

If you praise him for anything else you do not praise him freely. Understand what i mean: suppose you praise God so that he may make you rich. If your riches could be acquired any other way, you would not praise him.

By all means ask him for what will profit you for all eternity, but love and praise him for himself alone. 'Praise his name for he is good' - not for any other reason.

Remember God does not ask of us anything  he has not already given us. He does not say, 'Look at your fields and herds an see what you can offer me as a holocaust'.

A holocaust is an offering wholly consumed by fire, and love itself is a blazing fire. When the soul is on fire with the love of God it draws the whole man to its purpose, leaving no room for lesser loves.

If you want to offer him the holocaust of which he has said, 'It is ever before my eyes', be ablaze with divine love, thanking him for giving you whatever is good in you and for forgiving you whatever is evil.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


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