February 21, 2016

Love Leading to Repentance

I am a sinner. Quite easily, I fall into the sin of fornication and greatly enjoy it. I feel as though it is the most pleasurable feeling ever. I met a holy hieromonk who encouraged me to repent and confess my sins. Initially, I thought the meeting was a coincidence, but now, I realize it was by the grace of God. When he encouraged me to confess, I looked at him with derision and mockingly – …

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September 5, 2015

‘NSync, Losses, and Memory Eternal…

Kareem Elgawly: February 1, 1992 – September 5, 2014 Bye Bye Bye, baby, bye bye bye! blasted on the sound system as I entered Vons a few hours ago. Yeah, it was ‘NSync, a boy band that I never really got into, but they had a couple of big hits that stuck with me throughout the years. That one and “This I promise you”. A strange melancholy gripped me right away, but not the bad gloom, it was – …

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August 21, 2015

What a Woman

Every mother has a story. Every mother came from somewhere, and where she came from affects how she raises her children and interacts with her husband. One mother, however, the mother of all of us, has a story that I think is awe-inspiring. The volumes that are written and could be written about our blessed mother, the Theotokos, the God-bearer and the Christ-Bearer, are countless. She’s not just some lady that got lucky. No, we know that God – …

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August 4, 2015

It takes a whole village: a reflection.

+ In a room, at the outskirts of a city, a young woman, 21 years, is giving birth to her first child, her baby girl. Her sisters,  mother, and  female cousins and friends are all around her. They console her, they squeeze her hand, and they also laugh that “knowing laugh”, while she screams in pain. They are all familiar with the joy of motherhood, the joy that comes after the pain. Some of the girls have not yet – …

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July 16, 2015

Q&A: What do I do when I don’t feel like striving anymore?

Q&A: What do I do when I don’t feel like striving anymore? I know I’m supposed to, but it’s brutal. Response: What an honest question. You’re right, sometimes friends and counsellors or others sometimes emphasise the need for us to strive. Often we know that we need to strive, but the issue is not knowing it, the issue is sometimes simply getting through it. a) Where there’s purpose, find it. Think of the flight of – …

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May 27, 2015

Gabriel: announcing the good news.

+Christ is risen and ascended! This post may seem cliché, but it’s true in this present moment. My family welcomes to the world Gabriel Macarius. He comes just two years after the loss of his older brother, Anthony Paul. To express in words the happiness and joy at Gabriel’s arrival would trivialise the real meaningfulness within us. Sadness is more common than it ought to be. Stuff happens. Illness, disease, suffering, woundedness and yes, death – they all happen. – …

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November 4, 2013

Dogma and Love

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about dogma and its connection to love.  Those, who adhere to the correct dogma, are attacked by some on the basis that they did not learn love and tolerance for others.  They believe that holding fast to the correct doctrine is a form of fanaticism, which does not agree with the atmosphere of love, which should be present amongst the Christians, especially in our present days.  Some – …

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April 9, 2009

Communal Worship

There are two kinds of worship: Individual and Communal (a) In prayer, for example, there is individual prayer; you pray in your room to your Fr. who sees in secret. This does not cancel the existence of communal prayer for all the groups of believers to pray in one spirit, in one soul and in one voice. Examples of such prayers are numerous in the New Testament. One of these examples is the prayer of – …

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April 9, 2009

True Love

Saint John the Beloved identifies Christian love by two essential descriptions: love must be both active and genuine. He said, “My little children, let’s not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) Christian Love Must Be Genuine, Proceeding From a Heart Free of Hypocrisy and Not Hiding Ulterior Motives “Let love be without hypocrisy.” (Rom 12:9) Although excessive praise may seem to be proceeding from a loving – …

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April 9, 2009

He First Loved Us

Our relationship with God is a relationship of love. Saint John the Apostle says, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19). Our perception of God’s love for us leads to loving Him. God’s love for us is an unlimited subject, as it is related to God’s unlimited and incomprehensible love for mankind as a whole. We cannot perceive the depth of God’s love for us because our mind and perception are – …

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April 9, 2009

Patient Love

In the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, known as the "Chapter of Love," Saint Paul the Apostle presents to us the attributes of love or the virtues that a loving person should adorn himself with. Amongst these virtues is patience or longsuffering, "Love suffers long" (I Cor.13:4). What it the meaning of longsuffering? Longsuffering means having a spirit that is patient and slow to anger. A person who loves another should – …

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