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158 Posts

January 15, 2017

Why all the Acronyms (WATA)?

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Meditations

Are you going to SMSP or SASC tomorrow? This question likely makes no sense to you, dear reader, but to a fictional youth deciding between two fictional parishes, St. Mark and St. Peter Church (SMSP) and St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Church (SASC), the question makes perfect sense, because each parish, of course, has an acronym. Wait… acronyms? For parish names? Why? Let me suggest with all love, respect, and sincerity, that this notion of …

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Tagged: Speech, Spirituality
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November 30, 2016

Fun vs. Joy

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Meditations

When the Founding Fathers of this country, after having been oppressed in England throughout much of their lives, sought to define the inalienable rights to which every human is entitled, they came up with this phrase found in the Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We see that the pursuit of happiness was considered to be as important as life itself. Who among us doesn’t want this happiness and joy? It …

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Tagged: Fun, Happiness, Joy, Spirituality
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November 29, 2016

This was from Me

  ·   Meditations, Quotes

In the Gospel reading for the Third Sunday of Hatour, our Savior declared, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:27). From these divine words, we learn that suffering and tribulations in this world are part of the cost of discipleship and requirements for those who wish to bear the name “Christian.” The letter reproduced below is said to have been written by a modern Russian …

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November 28, 2016

Are You a Fly or a Bee?

  ·   Meditations, Quotes

Any period of fasting is a time for reflection and sincere self-examination. What kind of person have I become? What motivates me? Who am I? Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos, who was recently canonized as a saint in the Greek Orthodox Church, offers a thought-provoking meditation on the two categories of people in this world: I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories. A third category does not exist; …

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November 27, 2016

Learning to Say No

  ·   Meditations

Fasting, coupled with prayer, is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons we have in our struggle against the devil, sin, and the passions. This is undoubtedly why the Holy Church, as a loving Mother, consecrates several periods of fasting throughout the year, including the 43-day Fast of the Nativity, which we just began. The power of fasting comes from its connection to self-denial, the practice of saying “no” or “not now” to our impulses. …

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November 26, 2016

Thank God for Enemies!

  ·   Meditations, Quotes

As we continue our fast for the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity, we consider the following wisdom from St. John Chrysostomos whose feast we joyfully celebrated today. The Golden-Mouth counsels us to thank God for our enemies who actually help us in our journey to the eternal Kingdom. Enemies, he tells us, provide us with the opportunity to be Christlike by practicing love, mercy, and forgiveness. As our Savior teaches us in His Sermon on …

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Tagged: Enemies, Forgiveness, St. John Chrysostomos
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November 25, 2016

Beginning the Nativity Fast: More than a Diet

Fr. Moses Samaan   ·   Meditations

For those of us following the Old (Julian) calendar, as we do in the Coptic Orthodox Church, we have just begun the Nativity Fast, which culminates in the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity in the flesh on January 7, 2017. Throughout this Fast, we commemorate the events that preceded the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and ultimately transformed human history. We are called to be attentive and faithful, awaiting the Feast of our Lord’s …

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Tagged: Fasting, Nativity, Nativity of Christ
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October 21, 2016

The Third Day Memorial: No More Clichés

  ·   Meditations

As Orthodox Christians, our departed loved ones are never far from our minds and the consciousness of the Holy Church. From the very beginning, the Church established special prayers and memorials for the repose of their souls, a practice which stems from our faith that those who have departed continue to live in Christ and that the connection between the living and dead does not cease to exist after their departure. Rather, this bond of …

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August 30, 2016

The Monk who Paid for a Harlot

  ·   Meditations

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 …

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Tagged: Abba Bessarion, St. Thaïs, repentance
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July 21, 2016

Women, the Church is not Your Enemy

  ·   Meditations

Recently, I came across an anonymous blog post written by a Coptic Orthodox woman expressing her frustration over several supposed inequalities and injustices in the Church. At the outset, let it be clear that I don’t doubt this woman’s sincerity. I might even agree with some of what she wrote. It was beneficial to see different viewpoints and understand how some people feel. At the same time, it left me wondering why some people see …

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Tagged: Menstruation, Women, Women's Rights
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