Friday, May 31, 2013

Criticizing Priests - By St. John Chrysostom

On one occasion David had Saul within his grasp within a double wall and was in a position to kill him, but he spared his life and this despite the fact those present were urging him to use his sword.  But neither the ease of the opportunity, nor the prompting of the others, nor his suffering many injustices, nor the likelihood of suffering worse ones allowed him to draw his sword, even though guilt for this murder would not be likely to be betrayed to the army; it was a cave, you see, and there was no one besides himself present. 

He did not say, as someone committing adultery said, "Darkness and walls surround me: what should I worry about?" Instead, he had the unsleeping eye before him, and he knew that the eyes of the Lord are infinitely brighter than the sun. Hence he did and said everything just as if he were present and making a judgement on his words; so he said, "I shall not lay a hand on the Lord's anointed."" I do not see his wickedness: I see his position instead.  Let no one tell me that he is a man of violence and blood: I am afraid of the Lord's verdict, even if he seems undeserving; his seeming unworthy of his office is not a charge for me to make.

Let all those listen who despise priests, let them learn the degree of respect he showed for a king.  The priest, in fact, deserves far greater honour and regard than a king to the extent of the greater responsibility to which he is called.

Let them learn not to judge him or call him to account, but be subject and give place to him.  After all, you do not know the life of the priest, be he lowly and insignificant, whereas this man had a precise knowledge of all that Saul had done; yet even in this way he respected the responsibility given by God.

Now, for proof that, even if you have a precise knowledge, you have no reason or excuse for despising those set over you or giving no heed to what they say, listen to how Christ also removed from us this pretext by what he says in the Gospels: " The scribes and the pharisees sit on the seat of Moses; so do everything they tell you to do, but as to their deeds, do not do them. "Do you see how he did not scorn the advice of those whose life was so corrupt as to be deserving of criticism by their disciples, nor did he reject their teaching?

Now, I say this, not out of a wish to criticize the priests - perish the thought: you are witnesses of their life and utter piety; rather, my wish is that we give them great respect and honour in abundance. After all, the benefit we bring is not so much for them as for ourselves: "The one who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet, then, will receive the reward of a prophet." I mean, if we are commanded not to pass judgement on the lives of one another, much more on the lives of the fathers.
Glory to God for all things! 

St. John Chrysostom


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Verses and Fathers Sayings

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other
name under heaven given among men
by which we must be saved.
Acts 4: 12

Let my heart and my tongue praise Thee, and let all
my bones say, “Lord, who is like unto Thee?” Let them
so say, and answer Thou me, and “say unto my soul,
I am Thy salvation.”

St. Augustine


Friday, May 17, 2013

Calm yourself and reflect

Calm yourself and reflect

You have heard, 'Be subject to God. and pray to him'.  How do you know whether you are? If you obey his commandments. You will say that you have not been rewarded for obeying him.  Work in the vineyard, and at the end of the day ask for your wages: he who sent you there will keep his word.

'All very well', you say, 'I obey God and I pray, but what is your answer to this: I have a neighbour who is an evil-doer yet lives in great prosperity.  I know him to be dishonest, immoral, and grasping; he is so proud and conceited that he does not even deign to acknowledge my existence. How long am I expected to put up with that situation?'

Here is the remedy for your sickness: 'Do not envy the man who prospers in his way.'  Oh yes, he prospers, but in his own way, you labour but in God's path.  He journeys gaily, but where will he arrive?

If Christ had promised you this world's goods, by all means be angry at an unbeliever doing well for himself.  What did he promise you?  Eternal happiness when the dead rise again, and in this life his own lot.  I repeat, the road he took; and do you, a servant, a disciple, despise what your master underwent?  You have heard that a servant is not greater than his Lord.  For you he suffered what he, the righteous one, did not deserve.  What do you, a sinner, deserve?  

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest


Yes, May The Times End!

Yes, May The Times End!

From the inspiration of Daniel (12) 

For our sake, You created time so we many glorify You.
And for our sake, time will end so we may be glorified eternally with You.

Yes, may times end and may You come to us, our Beloved Lord, or may Your Holy Spirit carry us to You.

We want to meet You very quickly!

May You lift our hearts so we may see You coming to our inner depths.
And may we see ourselves crossing to you to enjoy Your Company!

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



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Verses and Fathers Sayings

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22

Fathers Sayings 

Christ is Risen! 
"…..Enter then, all of you into the Joy of our Lord. First and last, receive alike your reward. Rich and poor, dance together, You who have fasted and you who have not fasted, rejoice today. The table is fully laden: let all enjoy it.  The calf is fatted: let none go away hungry.  Let none lament his poverty; for the universal kingdom is revealed. Let none bewail his transgressions; for the light of forgiveness has risen from the tomb. Let none fear death; for the death of the Savior has set us free.

He has destroyed death by undergoing death.  He has despoiled hell by descending into hell.  Hell was filed with bitterness when it met thee face to face below: Filled with bitterness, for it was overthrown; filled with bitterness, for it was put in chains.  It received a body, and encountered God.  It received earth, and confronted heaven. 

From a homily of St. John Chrysostom
Traditionally read at the Easter All-night Vigil in the Orthodox Church 



Friday, May 3, 2013

Verses and Fathers Saying

3 He is despised and rejected by men, 
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. 
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; 
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs 
And carried our sorrows; 
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, 
Smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities; 
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, 
And by His stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; 
We have turned, every one, to his own way; 
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, 
Yet He opened not His mouth; 
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, 
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, 
So He opened not His mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, 
And who will declare His generation? 
For He was cut off from the land of the living; 
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

9 And they made His grave with the wicked— 
But with the rich at His death, 
Because He had done no violence, 
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; 
He has put Him to grief. 
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, 
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. 
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, 
For He shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, 
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, 
Because He poured out His soul unto death, 
And He was numbered with the transgressors, 
And He bore the sin of many, 
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:3-12 

Fathers Sayings 

"For this, the Only-begotten Son of God took on the form of our weakness; for this, the Invisible not only appeared visible, but even despised; for this, He bore mockeries and insults, derisions and disgrace, suffering and torments, namely, that the humble God could teach man not to be proud.

Therefore, how great a virtue is humility, when Christ, Who was great beyond measure, was made small, even unto suffering in order to teach this virtue truly?"

St. Gregory the Great


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