August 5, 2015

The Holy Virgin Mary and the Ignorance of Evil

In the account of the Annunciation of the Birth of our Savior, we read the following response of the Holy Virgin Mary to the Holy Archangel Gabriel’s announcement that she would miraculously conceive and give birth to the Savior of the world: “How can this be, since I know not a man?” (Lk 1:34). From this response, we learn the important lesson that, sometimes, there is value in ignorance. The Holy Virgin Mary’s response to – …

Read more

August 4, 2015

“I’m Alive and Well”… Or Am I?

I once visited a Coptic Orthodox parish for a weekday meeting. Before the meeting began, a “praise and worship team” came into the church with their instruments and began singing a couple of Protestant songs. As odd and surreal as it was to hear these songs in a holy place in which mystical and spiritual hymns are chanted, this is not our present focus. 1 Rather, it is the song that was chosen, a song entitled – …

Read more

July 29, 2015

Young Women and St. Marina

Today, the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the martyrdom of St. Marina the Holy Martyr of Antioch, a wonderful role model especially for young women. She was raised as an unbeliever by her parents until her mother died. Afterwards, she believed in our Lord Jesus Christ and vowed to remain a virgin for Him, but her father disowned her because of her faith, which ultimately resulted in her martyrdom. She shunned marriage, pleasure, fame, wealth, family, – …

Read more

December 30, 2013

My Soul Magnifies the Lord

On Sunday, the Church began the third week of the blessed Coptic month of Kiahk with the account of the blessed visit of the Holy Virgin St. Mary to her relative, St. Elizabeth. We heard how the Holy Virgin St. Mary arose quickly in the days after the annunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ and went to one of the cities of Judah, to the house of St. Zacharias the priest and his wife, St. Elizabeth, – …

Read more

November 25, 2013

Placing our Weaknesses before Christ

In the Gospel reading of the Evening Raising of Incense for the Third Sunday of the blessed Coptic month of Hatour, we hear our Lord Jesus Christ speaking to us personally, saying, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My – …

Read more

October 16, 2013

Resources for an Orthodox Christian Understanding of Halloween

On October 31, millions of Americans will celebrate Halloween, many of them Orthodox Christians unaware of the incompatibility between Christianity and Halloween. This article offers a few resources from Orthodox Christian sources to educate our families and youth on this dark holiday and how we are to respond. [ba-quote]Abba Antony said, “Evil spirits, since they can do nothing, are but as actors in a play, changing their shapes and frightening children by their tumult and – …

Read more

October 13, 2013

The Paralytic and Being in the Presence of God

On the first Sunday of the blessed Coptic month of Babah, we heard in the Divine Liturgy the Gospel according to St. Mark 2:1-12, in which we were confronted by a man who is paralyzed, but nonetheless has friends that care and bring him to our Lord to be healed. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to a city called Capernaum, a city that was like His second home after Nazareth. At the time of our story, our – …

Read more

November 23, 2010

St. John Chrysostom and Carrying our Cross

This week, as millions of Americans around the world give thanks during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Coptic Orthodox Church commemorates the exemplary life and departure of one of the most influential figures in the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church: St. John Chrysostom (the “Golden-Mouthed”). St. John was one of the most eloquent preachers of Christ’s Gospel as well as an ascetic and great teacher. His love for our Lord Jesus Christ was great, as was – …

Read more

October 28, 2010

On the Celebration of Halloween

On October 31, millions of Americans will celebrate Halloween, many of them Orthodox Christians unaware of the incompatibility between Christianity and Halloween. This article endeavors to examine how the celebration of Halloween contradicts our Orthodox Christian identity so that we may choose Christ, the True Light, over the darkness of the world. It is generally accepted that the origin of Halloween is the pagan feast of Samhain (pronounced saw-on) of the Celts in Ireland and – …

Read more

Tagged: Halloween
November 17, 2009

Our Response to God's Love

The Church recently celebrated the 29th day of the Coptic month of Paopi. The 29th day of certain months in the Coptic calendar is very special, because the Church, in Her wisdom, commemorates the Feasts of the Annunciation, Nativity, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on these days. We have this commemoration on the 29th of every Coptic month with the exception of two months, Tuba and Meshir. When we think about these three – …

Read more