Tuesday, February 25, 2014


    Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.
        For what good is it if we abstain from birds and
        fishes, but bite and devour our brothers? 

        St. John Chrysostom


Do You Fast? 
Give me proof of it by your works. 
If you see a poor man, lake pity on him. 
If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. 
Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eyes,
        and the ears, and the feet, and the hands, and
        all the members of our bodies.   

Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice. 
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. 
Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare
        at that which is sinful… 

Let the ear fast… by not listening to evil talk
        and gossip… 

Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust  criticism.
        For what good is it if we abstain from birds and
        fishes, but bite and devour our brothers? 

From the Writings of
St. John Chrysostom 



Friday, February 21, 2014

The Effect of The Bible on Spiritual Life

But one thing is necessary.
Mary has chosen the good portion,
which will not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:42 ESV

When we sit quietly, meditating on the word of God, we meet the Lord, and in time our souls unite with Him. Studying the Bible, if done in the spirit of prayer and love for God, is paralleled to Mary, the sister of Martha. Sitting at Christ's feet she had "chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her."  (Luke 10:42)

For what is the 'good part' except the Lord? The Lord will not be taken away from her because she was united with Him, loved Him, and was transformed into His holy likeness by constantly sitting at His feet.

Continual reading of the word of God in the spirit of prayer grants the soul union with, and steadfastness in the Lord Jesus Christ. In short the Holy Bible reveals to us our need for God, and tells us that God is waiting for us. It is the point where the poor sinner meets with the loving heart of God.


The Effect of the Bible on Spiritual Life
From El-Keraza Archive
1713 A.M. - 1997 A.D. Volume 5 / No. 2
Updated El-Keraza 1730 A.M. - 2014 A.D. 
Volume 5&6 - Year 42


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Our Lord’s Entry into the Temple

        Now when the days of her purification according
        to the law of Moses were completed, they brought
        Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.
        Luke 2: 22

        Our Lord, Jesus Christ, glory and praise be to
        Him, to His good Father, and to the Paraclete
        entered the holy temple, carried by his
        mother, forty days after His sacred birth
        Joseph, the righteous, came with Mary,
        the Mother of Christ, and completed the
        Law for Jesus, the Boy and the Savior.

        Doxology of Our Lord’s Entry into the Temple


Friday, February 14, 2014

Jonah Pity The Plant

Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. 

Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. 

But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. 

When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” 

But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” 

And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 

And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” 

Jonah 4: 5 - 11 ESV

But when Jonah made himself a booth and sat down opposite the city of Nineveh, waiting to see what would befall it, the prophet played a part of different significance. He was a type of the carnal people of Israel, for he was sad over the preservation of the Ninevites! He was frustrated over the redemption and salvation of the Gentiles! This is why Christ came to call "not the just but sinners to repentance."

But the shadow of the vine over his head was the promise of the Old Testament. Its law manifested, as the apostle says, "a shadow of things to come." God was offering shade from the heat of temporal evils in the land of promise.

But the worm came in the morning. It gnawed at the vine and withered it. For when the gospel had been published by Christ's mouth, all those things withered and faded away. The shade of the vine symbolized temporal prosperity for the Israelites. And now those people have lost the kingdom of Jerusalem and their priesthood and sacrifice.

All of this was a foreshadowing of the future. They were scattered abroad in captivity and afflicted with a great flood of suffering, just as Jonah-so it is written-suffered grievously from the heat of the sun. Yet the salvation of penitent nations is preferred to Jonah's suffering and the shade that he loved. 

St. Augustine 


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Abba Pawli - St. Paul - Hermit

YEKATIT 02 = Amsheer 02
February 09


And on this day also died Abba Pawli (Paul) who was the greatest of all the desert monks, and the equal of the angels who keep vigil. This saint was a native of the city of Alexandria, and his name was Pawli (Paul), and he had a brother whose name was Peter, and their father was a rich man. And the multitude of his possessions, of gold, and silver, and costly apparel, was countless.

And when their parents died, and the days of their mourning for them were ended, the two brothers began to divide their inheritance from their father; and Pawli’s (Paul’s) brother Peter took the larger share, and assigned to Pawli (Paul) the lesser share. And the heart of Pawli (Paul) was sad about this, and he said unto his brother, “Why dost thou not give me my share of the inheritance of my father?” And Peter answered and said unto him, “Thou art a young man, and will squander thy money, and I will take care of it for thee until thou art grown up.”

Thereupon Pawli (Paul) became wroth, and the two brothers quarrelled together, and they went to the governor, so that he might do justice to each. And as they were going along, they met a dead man, and he was ready for the tomb, and men were carrying him on a bier, and many men were following him and making lamentation for him. And straightway Saint Pawli (Paul) called to one of those who were following the dead man, and said unto him, “Who is this that hath died this day?” And the man said unto him, “He is a very well-known man, my son. He who died this day was a rich man, and he lived delicately, and possessed gold and silver, and behold, he hath left all this, and he goeth naked to the grave, in a sea of sins, by the road on which he shall never return. And now, O my son, it is meet for us to fight for the salvation of our souls, for we know not when we shall die. But, blessed is the man who hath dominion and money in this world! And let him abandon riches if he would received great honor in the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of all the saints.”

When Abba Pawli (Paul) heard these words he cried out in his heart, saying, “What have I to do with the possessions of this fleeting world, which after a few days I must leave, and depart naked?” Then he turned to his brother, and said unto him, “Let us go back together to our house, for from this time onward I will never speak again about money.” Then he fled from his brother, and went outside the city, and he went into a grave and sat down inside it, and for three days and three nights he prayed and entreated God to guide him into the [right] way.

And his brother passed many days in going round about through all the villages seeking for him, but he found him not; and he sorrowed for him with a very great sorrow. And whilst Saint Pawli (Paul) was sitting in that tomb for three days, he did not remember food and drink, and fear and terror did not assail him, for the might of God overshadowed him. And on the fourth day God sent His angel to him, and he caught him up from the grave, and carried him into the Inner Desert, towards the east, and he set him down in that place by the side of a well of water; and then the angel embraced him, and went up into [heaven].

And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) found a cave wherein wild beasts lived, and he entered therein. And he made himself garments of palm fiber, and put them on, and he prayed, saying, “O my Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, keep me, and deliver me from the hand of the Enemy, who is merciless. And let Thy mercy come upon me, and strengthen Thou me, so that I may finish my fight, through Thy good pleasure, O King of all the generations of men, for to Thee belong power and glory for ever.”

And he lived in that cave for eighty years, and he never saw a man. And his apparel was [made of] cloth made of palm fiber. And God used to send unto him daily at eventide, a raven, which had with him half a loaf of bread, and he would give it to Pawli (Paul). And when God wished to make manifest the holiness and righteousness of Pawli (Paul), He sent an angel to the great father Abba Anthony, who thought in his heart that he was the first who dwelt in the desert. And the angel came to Abba Anthony and said unto him, “In the Inner Desert, distant from thee two days’ journey, there is a man for whose feet the men of the world are not meet to be a footstool. Through his prayers the world is kept in a right course, and the earth giveth its fruit. Through him the dew falleth on the earth, and the sun riseth upon all the sinners of the earth, and because of his goodness God beareth all the creation of the children of men.”

And when Abba Anthony heard these words he rose up, and went into the Inner Desert, believing that God was with him, and that He would make straight his road. And he found the footprints of a man, and the footprints of many wild beasts, and sheep, and cattle, about the footprints of the man, [and he followed them] till he arrived at his cave; and he heard the holy man singing in his cave. And Abba Anthony took up a stone, and knocked at the door of the cave therewith. And when Saint Pawli (Paul) heard him knocking, he thought that it was some work of Satan, and he took up a large stone, and set it against the end of the bolt, which fastened the door of his cave. When Anthony heard [this] he cried out, and said, “I have sought and it was given unto me to find, I have asked and I have received, I have knocked and it hath been opened to me.”

And straightway Abba Pawli (Paul) opened the door to him, and brought him in, and each embraced the other with a spiritual embrace, and they prayed together and sat down. And Anthony said unto him, “What is thy name, O my father?” And the blessed elder Abba Pawli (Paul) answered, and said unto him, “If thou dost not know my name, why hast thou journeyed [to] this place?” And at that moment God opened the heart of Anthony, and he said unto him, “Blessed am I that I was held worthy to see the second Pawli (Paul).”

And whilst they were talking together about the greatness of God, behold a raven came at eventide, and dropped down to the saint a whole bread cake. And Abba Pawli (Paul) said unto Abba Anthony, “Now do I know that thou art a man of God. Behold, I have been living in this desert until to-day eighty years, and each day God hath sent unto me half a bread-cake, and behold to-day He hath sent thy food.” And after this they rose up together, and prayed until the star in the west appeared, when they sat down and ate. And after they had eaten they rose up and prayed and glorified God until the dawn broke.

And when they saw the light of the dawn and that the sun had risen, they embraced each other. And Anthony said unto Pawli (Paul), “O my father, where hast thou received the Holy Mysteries during all the days wherein thou hast been living in this desert?” And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) answered and said unto him, “God sent to me His angel, and he administered to me the Holy Mysteries each day preceding the Sabbath, and on the First Day of the week, and then he went up to heaven; and he worketh for me each day.” And Anthony said unto him, “I want thee to inform me about the garb of the monks--will it increase on earth, or not?” And the blessed man smiled, and uttered a cry of grief. And Anthony said unto him, “When I see thee smiling, I smile also, and rejoice thereat; but when thou utterest a cry of grief I feel sad.”

And Saint Pawli (Paul) answered and said unto him, “These mountains and deserts shall become like the habitation of doves, and God shall gather together into them His chosen ones from among all the monks; and this name of ‘chosen one’ shall change, and their name shall be ‘monks.’ And they shall rejoice many days, and God shall remove them before [the coming of] wrath. After them there shall rise up a generation of men who will neither hear nor submit to their teachers, and who will not keep vigil at night for their soul’s sake. Then shall God be wroth with the mountains and deserts, and He will despoil them of the wicked folk who have neither heart nor Law; and the mountains and the deserts shall be waste for many days. But the memorial of the saints shall not perish. And God shall pour compassion into the hearts of other men, and they shall go to the mountains and deserts, and dwell in them, [and they shall be inhabited] a second time. And Satan shall go into the mountains (or, monasteries), and cause war in their midst, and they shall cast aside the garb of the monk, and shall go down into the world, for they shall not find the strength of the love of God, and they shall not endure therein; for it is written, ‘By patience ye shall make yourselves to possess your souls’ (Isaiah xxx,15).”

And Anthony said unto him, “Blessed be the day, O my father, wherein I was held worthy to see thy face, O blessed Abba Pawli (Paul).” And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) said unto him, “Rise up now and depart to thy habitation, and bring with thee the garment which Constantine gave unto Athanasius, the Archbishop, and which Abba Athanasius put upon thee, so that thou mayest bury my body therein.” And Anthony marvelled at his words and his mention of the garment of the archbishop, and he believed all the prophecies, which he had prophesied to him. And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) said unto him, “Make haste, and stand not, for the time of my going forth is nigh, as unto all men.” When Anthony heard this he was greatly frightened, and he wept; and he went out from him, and journeyed for two days and two nights, until he came to his abode.

And he took the garment and went back, and as he was on the road he saw Abba Bula (Pawli) (Paul) and the company of the angels singing praises in the air, and they said, “Glory be to God.” And they said also, “Peace be unto thee, O thou chosen one of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, thou blessed father, Abba Pawli (Paul), thou man of God; the angels rejoice with thee, for thou shalt rejoice in the kingdom of the heavens. Darkness hath left thee and they shall take thee to the country of light; sorrow hath left thee, and they shall take thee to the joy, which is forever. Blessed art thou in thy generation, O thou Pawli (Paul), the desert monk, thou man of God, thou Pawli (Paul), the desert monk.” And when they had said these words of praise they disappeared.

And the blessed Anthony said, “This is the soul of my father Abba Pawli (Paul) kneeling on his knees with his face [to the ground], and his hands were spread out like a cross. And he took him up and he seemed to be alive, and he covered him over, and wept over him, saying, “Remember me, O my father, in the habitations of heaven wherein thou wilt dwell.” Then Saint Anthony took him, and wrapped his body up in that garment, and he took the Book and fulfilled over him the Canon of the Law of the Church, and he prayed over him three times, and read over him the Four Gospels. And he took up his garment made of the hair of a mule, and he wondered what he should do with it, for he had no digging tool with him.

And straightway there came unto him two lions, and they bowed low before the body of Saint Pawli (Paul), and they saluted him. And Abba Anthony was dismayed and was afraid when he saw the lions, and the lions bent their heads to Anthony, as if they were asking him a question, and they licked his feet as if they had known him before, and they made signs to him as if they would say unto him, “Where shall we dig a grave for him?” And Abba Anthony understood their signs, and he measured out for them a space as long as the body of Pawli (Paul), and he showed them how deep the pit was to be, and the two lions dug, one towards the head and the other towards the feet, for a space of four cubits. And Anthony made a sign to them and said unto them, “This is enough for you”; and the lions came up out of the grave, and they crouched before Abba Anthony as if they would say, “Forgive us, and remember us, and bless us.” And he blessed them, and they went away from him, and Saint Anthony wrapped up the body of Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) and buried him.

And after this he took the head-cloth, and the pallet, of Abba Pawli (Paul), and his garment made of mule’s hair, like a son who inheriteth the possessions of his father. And he set a mark on the place where his grave was, and he journeyed on foot and departed from the east until he arrived at the city of Alexandria, facing the west. And he went into the presence of Abba Athanasius the Archbishop, and he told him what had happened to Saint Abba Pawli (Paul). And when the archbishop heard the story of the saint he rejoiced and took the garment of the blessed Abba Pawli (Paul), and laid it up by him; and he wore it three times a year, namely on the festival of the Epiphany, on the festival of the Resurrection of the Redeemer, and on the festival of the Great Ascension.

And the archbishop sent priests, and deacons, and men, with Abba Anthony, and carts with them to fetch the body of Saint Abba Pawli (Paul). And they went round about in the mountains for many days without finding the grave of the saint, for it was hidden from them [by the sand]. And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) appeared unto the Archbishop Abba Athanasius, and said unto him, “Send a messenger to bring back the men, and let them not labor [in vain], for God doth not wish any man to see me until the appearance of the Lord Christ”; and the archbishop sent a messenger and brought back the men. And one day God willed to make manifest the glory of the Abba Pawli’s (Paul’s) cloak of mule’s hair.

And at that time a certain young man of the city of Alexandria, who was a Christian, died. “Now believe me, O Christian folk, I, your father Atanasius, took this garment of mule’s hair which belonged to the blessed Abba Pawli (Paul), and laid it upon the dead man, and he rose up straightway.

I, Athanasius, who have been appointed chief in the Church, saw this with my own eyes. And I, Isidore the bishop, was a witness of this thing. And I, Anthony, who was first appointed a priest by the hand of Abba Athanasius, am a witness of this thing, and I have subscribed this statement.” And two or three other men testified that this was true. And the story of this miracle was noised about throughout all the countries of Egypt, and in the city of Alexandria, and all men marveled, and glorified God, Who worketh miracles by His saints. Salutation to Abba Pawli (Paul).

You may View

Departure of Saint Anba Paul - the First Hermit


Thursday, February 6, 2014


 O Israel, your prophets are like 
foxes in the deserts.
Ezekiel 13:4

From the inspiration of Ezekiel  (13)

You, as a Priest, present Your commandment to me.
And You are also presenting it to the people!
My soul is very precious in Your sight,
Whether I am a master or a slave,
An elder, young or child,
A man or a woman!
Your love is amazing for every human soul, O Lord!

You warn me against false prophets and the deceptive prophetesses.
And at the same time, You ask them to repent and to return to You!
You hate deception;
Yet You seek the souls of those who deceive!
You hate heresies;
Yet You yearn for the repentance of the heretics!
You are amazing, O Savior of the world! 

Grant me not to fall into the deception of smooth words.
Not to lean on the pillows of the false teachers,
And not to trust in the sweetness of their tongues, full of poison!

Keep me, lest my thoughts, words, or works deceive me!
As I shall give account of every vain thought,
And of every barren word,
And of every useless work!

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


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our Thoughts

'Above all we ought at least to know that there are three origins of our thoughts, i.e., from God, from the devil, and from ourselves. . . 

We ought then carefully to notice this threefold order, and with a wise discretion to analyze the thoughts which arise in our hearts, tracking out their origin and cause and author in the first instance, that we may be able to consider how we ought to yield ourselves to them. . .'

St. Moses the Black 


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