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


Friday, November 29, 2013

Fathers Sayings

"It is our part to seek, 
His to grant what we ask; 

ours to make a beginning, 
His to bring it to completion; 

ours to offer what we can, 
His to finish what we cannot."

St. Jerome


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

With one voice

We read: 'Praise the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.' To whom is the psalmist speaking? To every member of Christ's body.  And what kind of praise does he mean?  That which is not jealous of another's love.

The love of the flesh is pestilential. Let a man cast his eyes on a woman's beauty and he desires it for himself alone, and rages at the thought of sharing the sight with someone else.  Not so is the love of the wisdom of God. We shall look on him face to face, we shall all see him, and there will be no envying of one another.

 He will show himself to all and they shall all be changed but he will not change.  He is wisdom, he is God, by whom all things were made.  He has his lovers, but note what the lover says: 'Magnify the Lord with me.'  Not alone will I magnify him, love him, embrace him.  There is room for all men. 

In this world men love chariot racing, hunting and so on and want everyone to admire their favorites too.  They say, 'Share my love for this dancer, that actress, this obscenity' - that is what the mob clamours.

Does the Christian in the Church cry out that everyone should love the truth of God with him?

Be fervent, brethren; if you love God draw all who are near to you, all your household, to that love.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fathers Sayings

 Do not rush one prayer after another 
but say them with orderly deliberation, 
as one addressing a great person for a favor. 

Do not just pay attention to the words, 
but rather let the mind be in the heart, 
standing before the Lord in full awareness 
of His presence, in full consciousness 
of His greatness and grace and justice.

St. Theophan the Recluse


Monday, November 11, 2013

Verses and Fathers Sayings

This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard
him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalm 34: 6

Prayer is, then, to speak more boldly, 

converse with God. Though whispering,
consequently, and not opening the lips, 
we speak in silence, yet we cry inwardly. 
For God hears continually 
all the inward converse.

 St Clement of Alexandria 


Thursday, November 7, 2013



From the inspiration of Ezekiel  (11)

In the old days, Your glory departed from the Temple, then from Jerusalem. Likewise, as sin infiltrates into my life, My soul and my flesh lose Your glory!
Have compassion on me…. I wish Your glory does not depart from me!

After Your glory departed from the Temple and the city,
You were waiting for just one soul to come back to You. As you yearn to sanctify all by You! Your love fills me with hope,
I sinned and caused Your Holy Spirit to grieve; Your glory departed from my inner Jerusalem. Yet there remains Your true promise: 'I shall be a sanctuary for you!'

Your promise is amazing: 'I shall make in them a new spirit!'
Let Your Spirit work in me; Let Him renew my spirit and all my being! Take the stony heart away from me, And give me a holy heart of flesh! You promised to set from stones, children for Abraham. Here I am in Your hands; set from me a holy child!

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


Wednesday, October 30, 2013



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


Sunday, October 27, 2013

What have I on earth but thee?

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?  

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


By St. John Chrysostom

'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 


Sunday, October 13, 2013

St Cyprian - On The Lord's Prayer

Our Father Who art in heaven; 
hallowed be Thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. 
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil, 
in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
For Thine is the kingdom, 
the power and the glory, 
forever. Amen.

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?"


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Verses And Fathers Sayings

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; 
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, 
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.

Isaiah 55: 1 - 2 ESV

The richer they spiritually become,
the poorer they consider themselves,
as they burn up interiorly with an insatiable,
spiritual yearning for the
Heavenly Bridegroom.

St. Macarius The Great


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Challenge Fear

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. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Treasure hunting

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.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Verses And Fathers Sayings - The Cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness
to those who are perishing, but to us who
are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Cor. 1: 18)

Glory to you, You who set Your cross a bridge
over death, for souls to cross from the dwelling
of death to that of life.

(Mar. Ephrem the Syrian)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Verses And Fathers Sayings

You are my hiding place; You
shall preserve me from trouble.
Psalm 32: 7

Prayer rising in a man’s heart
will open up the doors of heaven.

(St. Ephrem the Syrian)


Monday, September 23, 2013

Prayer - By St. Basil the Great

By St. Basil the Great  

O Lord Almighty, God of hosts and of all flesh, Who dwellest on high and lookest down on things that are lowly, Who searchest the heart and innermost being, and clearly foreknowest the secrets of men.

O unoriginate and everlasting Light, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Do Thou, O Immortal King, receive our supplications which we, daring because of the multitude of Thy compassions, offer Thee at the present time from defiled lips; and forgive us our sins, in deed, word, and thought, whether committed by us knowingly or in ignorance, and cleanse us from every defilement of flesh and spirit.

Grant us to pass through the night of the whole present life with watchful heart and sober thought, ever expecting the coming of the bright and appointed day of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, whereon the judge of all shall come with glory to reward each according to his deeds.

May we not be found fallen and idle, but watching, and upright in activity, ready to accompany Him into the joy and divine palace of His glory, where there is the ceaseless sound of those that keep festival, and the unspeakable delight of those that behold the ineffable beauty of Thy countenance.

For Thou art the true Light that enlightenest and sanctifiest all, and all creation doth hymn Thee unto the ages of ages.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Lean on God's People

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, 
I am there in the midst of them.”
Matthew 18:20

Whatever it is that’s troubling you, you’ll get through this! Cancel your escape to the Himalayas. Forget the deserted island.  This is no time to be a hermit. 

Pray!  Lean on God’s people.  Be a barnacle on the boat of God’s church. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Don’t quit.  And don’t hide! Would the sick avoid the hospital?  The hungry avoid the food pantry?  Would the discouraged abandon God’s Hope Distribution Center?  Only at great risk. 

God is waiting on you, my friend. He is with you. Your family may have left. Your supporters may be gone. Your counselor may be silent. But God has not budged. His promise in Genesis 28:15 still stands,“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go!”
You will get through this!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Prayer - By St. Macarius the Great

St. Macarius the Great  

What shall I offer Thee, or what shall I give Thee, O greatly-gifted, immortal King, O compassionate Lord Who lovest mankind? For though I have been slothful in pleasing Thee, and have done nothing good, Thou hast led me to the close of this day that is past, establishing the conversion and salvation of my soul.

Be merciful to me a sinner, bereft of every good deed, raise up my fallen soul which hath become defiled by countless sins, and take away from me every evil thought of this visible life. Forgive my sins, O Only Sinless One, in which I have sinned against Thee this day, known or unknown, in word, and deed, and thought, and in all my senses.

Do Thou Thyself protect and guard me from every opposing circumstance, by Thy Divine authority and power and inexpressible love for mankind. Blot out, O God, blot out the multitude of my sins.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me from the net of the evil one, and save my passionate soul, and overshadow me with the light of Thy countenance when Thou shalt come in glory; and cause me, uncondemned now, to sleep a dreamless sleep, and keep Thy servant untroubled by thoughts, and drive away from me all satanic deeds; and enlighten for me the eyes of my heart with understanding, lest I sleep unto death. And send me an angel of peace, a guardian and guide of my soul and body, that he may deliver me from mine enemies; that, rising from my bed, I may offer Thee prayers of thanksgiving.

Yea, O Lord, hearken unto me, Thy sinful and wretched servant, in confession and conscience; grant me, when I arise, to be instructed by Thy sayings; and through Thine angels cause demonic despondency to be driven far from me: that I may bless Thy holy name, and glorify and extol the most pure Theotokos Mary, whom Thou hast given to us sinners as a protectress, and accept her who prayeth for us. For I know that she exemplifieth Thy love for mankind and prayeth for us without ceasing.

Through her protection, and the sign of the precious Cross, and for the sake of all Thy saints, preserve my wretched soul, O Jesus Christ our God; for holy art Thou, and most glorious forever. 



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