April 9, 2009

The Book of Exodus: Our Journey to Canaan

Crossing the sea is baptism, the second birth. When a child is born, it does not mean he will live. Indeed, he needs a care program, of feeding (Manna- the body of the Lord), water (the side of Christ- the rock), guidance and leadership (the Holy Spirit) and faith that God is always present. Such a spiritual atmosphere provides the newborn child with continual growth, till he reaches Canaan. The child also needs to be – …

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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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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

Treasures of the Fathers: Stewards of the Mysteries of God

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” After he had cast down their spirit, mark how again he refreshes it, saying, “as ministers of Christ.” Do not then, letting go the Master, receive a name from the servants and ministers. “Stewards;” he says, indicating that we ought not to give these things unto all, but unto whom it is due, and to whom it is – …

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April 9, 2009

Bringing Every Thought Into Captivity To The Obedience Of Christ (1 Cor. 10:5)

As we look at the Church in the Apostolic age, we find that She was characterized by the communal life; they had one accord with unity of heart, soul, and thought (Acts 2: 42-47; 4:32-37). Whenever a dispute arose, the apostles would discuss it, and then they resolved the problem by agreeing on one decision (Acts 6: 1-26; 15: 1-29). This was achieved through the Holy Spirit, Who preserved the one accord and the one – …

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April 9, 2009

God in Your Prayers and in Your Spiritual Life

Lots of people, in their spiritual life, fight on their own, without letting God in with them to ask Him strength and assistance, forgetting the Lord’s saying: ” for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). Those people, they don’t ask God to be with them in whatever they do. On the contrary each one of them depends only on his own thinking or on someone else’s, not putting in mind God’s work in – …

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April 9, 2009

Witnessing To Christ In Contemporary Society

As we stand at the door of the new millennium, adhering to the Scriptures, the Apostolic Tradition, the Church’s dogmas, and the patristic teachings, all may seem unreal and even “primitive” or archaic. The Orthodox Church has a reputation for incessantly clinging to Tradition, and that She has no message to bring to contemporary society. But as Orthodox Christians, how do we deal with such claims? How do we deal with a society, which can – …

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April 9, 2009

Carrying The Cross

Our Church celebrates two feasts for the Cross. One is on Parmhat 10th (March 19th), which always falls during Great Lent. The other is on Tout 17th (September 27th), which falls at the end of our celebrations of the The Coptic New Year (The Feast of Nairouz), and this latter Feast of the Cross is celebrated for three days. Our celebration of the Cross is actually a celebration of Christ’s victory over Satan and conquering – …

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April 9, 2009

Practicing Christianity: Passages from the Letters of Saint Paul

The Letter to the Romans “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good, acceptable and perfect.” (12:2). “Let your love be without hypocrisy.” (12:9). “Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse them” (12:14). Live in harmony with one another. Do not be arrogant, but associate with those who are – …

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April 9, 2009

To Be Truly Human

We often say, "I am just human." We usually use this phrase as an excuse for our shortcomings and weaknesses. But what does it really mean to be human? It is the scriptural teaching than man was created in the image and likeness of God and our Christian faith gives great dignity to man. Adam was not created by nature; he was created by God and was given the breath (the spirit) of life. "And – …

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April 9, 2009

The Journey of the Holy Fifty Days

Many regard the period of the Fifty Holy Days to be a time to lax spiritually, especially that it comes after the asceticism of Great Lent, with its daily Divine Liturgies, and Holy Pascha Week, with its long prayers and comforting hymns. What further strengthens this belief in the mind of many is the fact that the Fifty Holy Days is a period that is unique for being devoid of any fasting days, something that – …

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April 9, 2009

Overcome the World

The inward state of Christ’s disciples, when before His passion He talked with them as with children of great things, but in such a ‎way as befitted the great things to be spoken to children, because, having not yet received the Holy Spirit, as they did after His ‎resurrection, either by His own breathing upon them, or by descent from above, they had a mental capacity for the human rather than ‎the divine,—is everywhere declared – …

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