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. 



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Celebration of The Coptic New Year

The Coptic New Year is the very first calendar ever known by man on planet earth! It goes back 4241 BC. 

The word "Nayrouz" is of Coptic origin. The stem is niiaro-oo meaning: "the rivers." The suffex "ouz" is Greek, thus, the word "Niiaroouz." Mid September is usually where the waters of the Nile river rises, so the prayers are lifted to God for the rising of the waters of the rivers for irrigation and ask for His blessings at the beginning (crown) of the Coptic Calendar year. 

When the Persian ruled Egypt from 525-405 BC, they adopted the word and incorporated it in their language and took it to mean "the beginning of their Persian year," and called it "Nayrouz." The word "Nayrouz" in Persian, means "the new year."

On celebrating this feast three things are stirred in our minds.
- Honoring the millions of martyrs who sacrificed their lives as sacrifices of love for our Lord who sacrificed Himself on our behalf.

- Joyfully celebrating the beginning of the Coptic New Year.

- Expressing of our flamed eager for the last advent of Christ. Through the last two weeks before the feast the readings of the liturgies of the Eucharist concentrate of the Parousia of Christ.

I asked myself; What is the relation between honoring the martyrs, the celebration of the new year and the Parousia of the Lord?

The Opened Gates of Paradise

As I started to speak to our kids in the Church about El-Nayrouz I asked: Is there a sun in the Paradise??

 Truly the Sun of Righteousness, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the ever shining Sun. There is no place for sunset in Paradise; there is no night, no days, no weeks, no months, no seasons, and no years. But we attain a unique day without night, an everlasting day. In it we receive the brightness of the Sun of Righteousness that reflects on our souls and our risen bodies. 

Through the celebration of the Feast of Nayrouz, we start a new Coptic year. At the same time we declare our eagerness to share with the martyrs, a new Day which they attain in Paradise. They have the experience of brightness, through which the brightness of the glory of Christ shines on them; they have no need of a sun nor a moon. There is no room for various seasons, nor of night and day. They are not in need of food. 

In the Feast of El-Nayrouz we are longing for the eternal life.

 In the feast of El-Nayrouz we behold the opened gates of Paradise. We see our Christ coming to carry us on the clouds, together with those who already entered the Paradise.  All of us will enjoy the divine throne in heaven.

 O Lord, grant us to celebrate El-Nayrouz,

So that we may ask for a blessed year for all mankind. 

And that every believer has the experience of Your marvelous Day.

Thus, all will enjoy the brightness of Your glory.

Yes, Come quickly O Lord Jesus.

Our hearts are inflamed with Your love.

Our hearts ask for none except You. 

Let me, O God, celebrate the Feast of El-Nayrouz unceasingly.

Let me experience this joyful gospel, the gospel of everlasting unity with You.

Wondrous is the Son who paid the price of my trip to Your divine bosoms,

And Your Holy Spirit who forms me to become a heavenly bride,

Carrying me as if with the wings of a dove that heaven may celebrate my wedding! 

I see You my beloved Christ, coming to me personally,

You have chosen me to share in Your glory,

You offered Yourself, a joyful sacrifice of love.

Grant me to become an icon of You,

With a big heart, full of love to all humans,

That, I may become a source of joy to everyone.

Your dwelling in me, O Holy Spirit renews my nature,

He transforms my dark tomb into a holy sanctuary,

He converts my darkness into exceeding brightness!

Grant me with all my brethren, to fly and be with You in heaven!

Let me celebrate the feast of the martyrs as fit, that I may practice witnessing for You.

Change my life to be full of joy with You, even at the moments of my daily repentance.

You see me my Lord rejoicing in You, and You become delighted in me.

The heavenly angels see me coming to You, and they welcome me.

They receive me with exceeding joy to join them in praising You.

The sinners see me full of joy, and they get filled with hope.

They see me rejoicing, and they join me in my continuous repentance.

The prophets and the apostles and all the martyrs see me.

And they praise You for letting me accompany them in Your kingdom!

What a wonderful thing, You delight in me,

And so do all Your creation, in heaven and on earth!

But the devil runs away in front of me

As he sees Your divine joy enlightens me and shines upon my face!

Glory is to You, the source of joy and victory.

Grant me O Lord that I may celebrate the feast of the martyrs all my life,

That, I may witness to Your joyful gospel,

That, I may always be in touch with Your tremendous fatherly love,

I see You anticipating with longing for me too.

Fr. Tadros Malaty


Monday, September 9, 2013

THE PERSON OF CHRIST - By St. John Chrysostom

By St. John Chrysostom

(A) Co-eternal with the Father

Someone may ask, 'How can Christ be a Son, without being younger than the Father: for anything which drives its being must be later than its source?'  We answer that such arguments suppose a human context … while we are discussing the nature of God …

Come now, does the sun's radiance proceed from the Sun's own substance, or from elsewhere?  Any sensible person is bound to acknowledge that it proceeds from the sun's own substance. But although the radiance proceeds from the sun, we cannot assert that it is later in time than the substance of that body, for the sun has never appeared without its rays …

Why then do you not believe this to be so in the case of the invisible and ineffable nature? … That is why Paul calls Him the Brightness; (Heb. 1:3.) thus showing his derived existence, and his co-eternity.  Moreover, were not all the ages, and every measure of time, created by him? … Therefore there is no interval of time between Son and Father.  If so, then the Son cannot be 'after' but co-eternal; since, 'before' and 'after' are ideas which imply time …
(John 1)

(B) The Union of Word and Flesh

By a union and conjunction God the Word and the flesh are a unity: there is no confusion or annihilation of substances, but an ineffable and incomprehensible union.

From the words 'He reduced himself to nothing' (Phil. 2:7.) you must not suppose a change or transfiguration, or any kind of annihilation.  While he remained what he was, he assumed what he was not: though he became flesh he remained God, in that he was the Word.  In his flesh he was like a man: hence 'in shape like a man.'  His nature did not alter: there was no confusion …

The Phrases, 'he became', 'he assumed', are never used to govern 'godhead'; …. but they are used to govern 'manhood'.  The latter he 'became', and he 'assumed': the former was always his.  We must make no confusion, nor admit separation. 

One God; one Christ, the Son of God.  But when I say 'one', I refer to a union, not a confusion: one nature is not transformed into the other, but is united with it. 
(Philippians 2:7)


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Verses And Fathers Sayings

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.
(Psalm 23: 4)

O Lord our God, under the shadow of thy wings let us
hope--defend us and support us. Thou wilt bear us up ..

(St. Augustine)


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