July 3, 2015

Among the Copts

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An informative and interesting overview about the Coptic Orthodox Church from the perspective of an outsider. James Gaffney, professor of religious studies at Loyola University in New Orleans, wrote this article after studying and travelling Egypt in the summer of 1992 under a fellowship from the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. A long walk or short ride from the center of modern Cairo lies that city’s old Coptic Quarter, strangely combining monumental grandeur and contemporary …

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July 3, 2015

“Do This in Remembrance of Me”

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Christ’s suffering and death separated His existence in the flesh from His existence in the Spirit. It was not a separation of time or from His presence, but between the visible witnessing and the spiritual witnessing of the glory of His Divine Being. The Mystical Supper was a farewell illustration of the fact that Christ would be physically absent but at the same time would remain with His disicples forever: “And lo, I am with you …

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July 3, 2015

Overcoming Your Ego

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The First Counsel Never rely on your own wisdom or might or on human strength in any of your works. Otherwise, your mind will become dim and your insight blurred, thus blocking the way for grace to enter you and show you the way of God. You will thus be led astray from truth and fall into the enemy’s trap. At the end, you will be enslaved to your own ego and to the desires …

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July 3, 2015

The Divine Foundation upon which Coptic Monasticism was Built

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Monasticism began with Saint Antony in response to the commandment of the Gospel, which says, “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Mark 10:21.) When Saint Antony personally carried out this mandate and set out for the wilderness, being so sincere in his obedience, he embodied in the desert a live, human, personal entity of obedience to the commandment. This live …

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Tagged: Abba Makarios, Asceticism, Hermit, Monasticism
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July 3, 2015

Sheheet, the Weighing of Hearts

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A beautiful letter to monks and contemplation on the name and place of the Desert of Sheheet, where the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Macarius resides, by the Spiritual Father of the monastery, Father Matta El Maskeen (also known in as Father Matthew the Poor.) God offered us the grace of calling and accepting us in the sacred wilderness, i.e., the wilderness of Sheheet, the wilderness of “the weighing scale of hearts.” With its name …

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July 3, 2015

Feminism and the Role of Women

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Feminism is one of the aspects and factors which works to distance many of us from God. As science makes us doubt the Bible, as humanism makes us doubt the existence of God, as modernism makes us doubt the power of God, as postmodernism makes us doubt the existent morality and ethics, feminism makes us doubt both the Bible and the Church and its structures. We have to understand what feminism is. There is a …

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Tagged: Feminism, St. Mary, Women
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July 3, 2015

The Body and its Parts

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As the “body of Christ”, the Church is strength to each of its members, and as sons and daughters of the Lord, we all belong to this One “Body”. People often ask why God does not bless them, or why they do not feel His grace in their lives. The answer is always the same, because there is no communication. God is perfect and remains constant, and thus the difference must be in us. When …

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Tagged: Ecclesiology, agape, community, fellowship
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July 2, 2015

Jonah, Nineveh, and Us

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You know that we are approaching the Holy Forty Days Fast (i.e., Lent). Here the words are intensely resolute and directive. The words “forty days” have a special importance because we are approaching a death that Christ went through for the sake of all humanity. It is in other words Christ’s death in exchange for the destruction of humanity. All of humanity was under threat of destruction and annihilation in no lesser way in Christ’s …

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July 2, 2015

Our Relationship with Christ

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He who was able to reveal this relationship with Christ is St. Paul who says: “For surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:2-4). What is the mystery of …

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Tagged: Spiritual Counsels, Spirituality, St. Paul, sin
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July 2, 2015

Pentecost: Being Filled With The Holy Spirit

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“And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” The Holy Spirit openly announces itself as coming from ‘heaven’. This is the first sign shme‹on with the proclamation expressing the special nature of the Spirit according to the Lord’s words: “the wind (pneàma = the Spirit) blows where it wills” (Jn 3:8). Thus the Spirit and the wind carry the …

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Tagged: Book of Acts, Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Wind
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