November 29, 2015

The Necessity of Self-Denial

On the Third Sunday of the Coptic month of Hatour, our Mother, the Holy Church, nourished us with a passage from the Gospel according to St. Luke 14:25-35 in which our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that the cost of being His disciple, the cost of being a Christian in this world, is a total and complete commitment to Him. This total commitment to Christ necessarily begins with self-denial, as our Savior teaches us, “And – …

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June 13, 2011

The Apostles' Fast

The Pentecost, descent of the Holy Spirit, is immediately followed by the Apostle’s fast which lasts from the Monday after Pentecost to July 12th (Abib 5th). The apostles started preaching after the reception of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts does not end with the word “Amen,” unlike most other books in the bible. This is significant because the preaching of the apostle did not stop at the end of the book. It is – …

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January 25, 2010

Pastoral Letter for the Fast of Jonah 2010

From Monday, January 25 through Wednesday January 27, the Coptic Orthodox Church observes the Fast of Jonah, a three-day fast commemorating the fast of Jonah the Prophet in the belly of the great fish and culminating in the Feast of Jonah the Prophet on Thursday, January 28, 2009. To commemorate this holy period of fasting, our beloved father, His Grace Bishop Serapion has issued an audio Pastoral Message concerning the observance of the Fast of – …

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April 9, 2009

The Meaning of the Great Lent

Great Lent is considered the holiest fast since our Lord Jesus Christ Himself had fasted it. Therefore, during Great Lent we follow the example set by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who fasted on our behalf forty days and forty nights (Matt. 4: 2). Also during Holy Week, which comes after the 40 days, we live the Passion of Christ day by day and hour by hour. Because of the significance and holiness of Great Lent, – …

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April 9, 2009

The Role of Fasting in the Spiritual Life

All strife against sin and its desires is to be preceded by ‎fasting, especially if one is combating inward sin…Fasting is the ‎strengthening of all virtues, the beginning of the struggle, the ‎beauty of virginity and sanctity, the preservation of chastity, the ‎beginning of the way of Christianity, the father of prayer…, for as ‎soon as man begins to fast his mind will be desirous of intercourse ‎with God. Fasting is a storehouse of all – …

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April 9, 2009

Why Did the Lord Fast for Forty Days?

The number forty is a sign of that laborious period in ‎which, under the discipline of Christ the King, we have to fight ‎against the devil. This is also indicated by the fact that both the law ‎and the prophets solemnized a fast of forty days– that is to say, a ‎humbling of the soul– in the person of Moses and Elijah, who ‎each fasted for a period of forty days. Through the fast of – …

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April 9, 2009

Anthology of the Fathers' Sayings on Fasting

Note: Many of the following sayings and quotations deal with forgiveness of others and reconciliation with them. This is because Lent is a sacrifice offered to our Lord, and since He ordered us before offering a sacrifice to: "Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." (Mt 5:24) This is also why the Church chose the reading of Mt – …

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February 17, 2009

The Holy Great Fast: A Joyful Journey

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this holy period is specified for correction, purification, an enlightenment of our entire being, both physically and spiritually. Great Lent is considered the spring of our spiritual life, and for every soul that yearns for her Heavenly Bridegroom, this is considered “a honeymoon,” in which the soul relinquishes worldly cares in order to be free for the Bridegroom and can say with the bride of the Song of – …

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