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 – …

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December 23, 2009

Understanding the Process of Grief

Modern society is a “death denying and death-defying society”1. We speed along highways, eat fats and sugars to excess, overwork, smoke, pollute, and inject toxins into our faces all with the childish façade that death happens to other people. This is not to say that we ignore death – in fact it is constantly in our faces with up to the second media and technology reporting all the tragedies around the world. Yet, families seem – …

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December 18, 2009

The Nurse of Hope: Patience in Tribulations

The blessed prophet David shows that those who put their trust in God were most courageous when he says, “Act like men and let your hearts be strong, all you who hope in the Lord” (Ps. 31:24, LXX). For those plants which are in pleasure gardens both increase, bloom, and are raised to a great height by abundant streams of waters. And a man’s soul, by the comforts and encouragements of the Holy Spirit, becomes – …

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December 15, 2009

Grief and Healing within the Family

All humans are influenced by their interactions with significant others throughout their lives. One’s social context helps people understand, organize, and define themselves and their situations. Thus it is common and natural that the loss of a significant other brings a great loss of one’s own identity and reality. The loss of a person who has been so important in defining one’s self and environment leads a person to grief. The absence of this relationship – …

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December 7, 2009

Two Ways of Suffering

People react quite differently when confronting suffering. Some cry out in anger; others rebel in frustration. Another might seek scapegoat to vent his frustrations. A fourth might instead abandon the way of purity and righteousness, and decide to live a life of pleasure and lust, feeling almost justified to lust for his light affliction. St. Cyril of Alexandria explains that the entire purpose of the Incarnation was for our Beloved, Lord Christ was to save – …

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Tagged: Tribulation
April 9, 2009

"For me, to Live Is Christ, and to Die Is Gain" (Philippians 1:21)

In the past few months, we have been shocked by the news of disasters and tragedies, which resulted in sudden death of many people. We lived through the disastrous news of the crash of the Egypt Air plane off the shores of the Northeastern United States. This resulted in the death of 217 persons, of whom many of us may have had social, friendly, or family ties. In less than a minute they changed from – …

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April 9, 2009

God is Present

I would like to thank you all brothers and beloved. I am not only present with you now but you are always in my heart. I lived all my days in your hearts and I am still living there… And when I went to the monastery I took you all with me in my heart and mind. For you I am here, and for you I go there… I took you in my heart and – …

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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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April 9, 2009

Discipleship To Our Lord Jesus Christ: Following The Road Of The Cross

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Lk. 9:23) As we look at this biblical commandment said by our Lord Jesus Christ and mentioned in all the synoptic gospels (Matt. 16:24; Mk. 8:34; Lk. 9:23), we may find ourselves puzzled and at loss. As Orthodox Christians, we certainly want to follow our Lord Jesus Christ and fulfill His commandments in our lives, – …

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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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December 13, 2008

Why God Permits Temptations

By the love which the saints show for God on account of the things they suffer for His name’s sake (when they endure straitness and do not forsake that which God loves), their hearts acquire the boldness to gaze toward Him without a veil and to beseech Him with confidence. Great is the power of bold prayer. For this reason God allows His saints to be tried by every sorrow, then to experience anew and – …

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December 4, 2008

Do Not Worry About the Bad Economy

“He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying – …

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