September 20, 2016

Brothers who fought: On Orthodox [dis]unity – Part 1

There have been many fights lately about Christian unity. Oriental Orthodox vs. Eastern Orthodox. Catholic vs Orthodox. Protestant vs Catholic. You name it. We have acronyms to express every denomination and viewpoint on the planet. I cannot speak to most of those, but I want to reflect a little bit on the division between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox. This first blog will be an analogy of sorts from which to work from, and the – …

Read more

August 30, 2016

The Monk who Paid for a Harlot

As we celebrate the Feast of the Departure of Abba Bessarion tomorrow, it is good to meditate on his beautiful encounter with Thais, the harlot who received crowns in the Kingdom of Heaven, as recounted in the Paradise of the Holy Fathers. AND now I desire to narrate unto you the excellent history and the great repentance of the blessed woman Thais or Thaisis, for speech concerning her is most excellent, and it is full – …

Read more

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 – …

Read more

February 15, 2016

In the presence of holiness.

Abbâ Muthues used to say that there were three brethren who were in the habit of coming to Abbâ Antony, and that two of them used to ask him questions about the thoughts, and about life, and redemption, and the discretion (or intelligence) of the soul, whilst the third one held his peace continually. And after a long time Abbâ Antony said unto him, “Brother, thou comest here each year, and askest nothing!” And he – …

Read more

June 30, 2015

The Authentic Addict, Atheist and Saint: Moses

Today is the eve of the feast of one of the most inspiring Saints of the Church universal. He belongs to the whole church, irrespective of nationality, denomination, or biases. What makes so many people fall in love with him, I think, is the relatable nature of this man. St. Moses was real. Most people are familiar with his story, so I am going to go through just a few aspects of his with which – …

Read more

October 23, 2013

Five Ways of Repentance

Let me describe to you five ways of repentance; each is different, but all point toward heaven. (1) Acknowledgement of Sins The first road is the acknowledgment of sins.  If you acknowledge your sins to God, He will forgive you; and this act of acknowledgment will help you stop sinning.  Let your conscience be your accuser, so that you will not have to face a far different accuser at the Lord’s tribunal. (2) Forgetting the – …

Read more

October 20, 2013

The True Identity of Christ in our Lives

In the Divine Liturgy on the Second Sunday of the blessed Coptic month of Babah, we heard the reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke 5:1-11, which spoke to us about our Savior, His disciples, and a great catch of fish. Our Lord Jesus Christ stood by the lake of Gennesaret and saw two boats standing by the lake. The fishermen, however, were outside of their boat washing the nets. It was morning and – …

Read more

January 27, 2010

A Sign for Change

The month of Tubah is a month celebrating the salvation of our Lord which has come to all the earth. He was born for the specific purpose of saving all of humanity, both Jew and Gentile. During this month we celebrate the Nativity, the Circumcision, the Epiphany, and the Miracle at the Wedding of Cana of Galilee. It is a month of blessings. You would never know it if you opened the news. We know – …

Read more

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 – …

Read more

April 9, 2009

Repentance

As sin is separation from God, repentance then is returning to God. God says: "Return to me, and I will return to you" (Malachi 3:7). When the prodigal son repented, he returned to his father (Luke 15:18-20). True repentance is a human longing to return to the origin from which it was taken. It is the desire of a heart that stayed away from God, and felt that it stay away any longer. As sin – …

Read more

April 9, 2009

The Story of Abba Moses the Strong

Chapter Ten: The Triumph of the Disciple of an Old Man in the Desert Now there was a certain man whose name was Moses, who was by race an Indian (i.e., an Ethiopian), and his flesh was black, and he was the slave of a man in high authority, and because of his evil deeds and thefts his master drove him out of his house; now it is said that he even went so far – …

Read more