July 20, 2015

Slavery Leading to ‘Freedom’

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Some people by the word ‘freedom’ understand the ability to do whatever one wants… People who have allowed themselves to come into slavery to sins, passions, and defilements more often than others appear as zealots of external freedom, wanting to broaden the laws as much as possible. But such a man uses external freedom only to more severely burden himself with inner slavery. True freedom is the active ability of a man who is not …

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July 17, 2015

Communal and Individual Worship

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During these difficult days, we are increasingly called upon to worship as a community in unity of Spirit, in one voice. What is communal worship, and how does it differ from individual worship? What is the Biblical basis for communal worship in the body of the the Church? The Differences Between Communal and Individual Worship In prayer, for example, there is individual prayer; you pray in your room to your Father who sees in secret. …

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Tagged: Church, Ecclesiology, Fasting, Prayer
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July 8, 2015

The Sanctification of Time

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Beloved Orthodox Christian! Have you ever wondered why it is the Orthodox Church has an annual cycle of feasts and fasts? What about the monthly commemorations in the Coptic Calendar? Why do we commemorate the betrayal and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ by fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays? Why is Christ’s Resurrection commemorated every Sunday on what we call the Lord’s Day? Why are certain hours of the day set aside for prayer according …

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Tagged: Holiness, Liturgical Cycle, Prayer, Time
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July 8, 2015

On the Veneration and Intercession of the Saints

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Beloved reader, our ultimate goal in life is union with the Holy Trinity. This union has been made possible by the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. By His life-giving works, our Savior has revealed to us His Truth, brought us to the true knowledge of God and man, granted us through Himself victory over our passions, redeemed us from our sins, abolished death and raised us with Him to sit at …

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Tagged: Holiness, Saints, intercessions
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July 7, 2015

Panegyric on the Great and Holy Martyr Demiana

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There are two feast days in the Synaxarium for our beloved saint: 13th of Tubah (January 21) – The Martyrdom of St. Demiana 12th of Bashans (May 20) – The Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of St. Demiana May her prayers be with us all! First Contemplation – St. Demiana’s Childhood When she was one year old, her father took her to the church of the monastery of Al-Maymah. He offered alms, candles …

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Tagged: Martyrdom, Saints, St. Demiana
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July 7, 2015

Homily on the Events of Great and Holy Wednesday

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Today we read of the Lord’s anointing at Bethany and Judas plot to betray Him as mentioned in both the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark: And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, A woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were …

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July 7, 2015

Homily on the Feast of our Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem

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Today we celebrate the feast of Palm Sunday, or the Triumphant Entry of our Lord into Jerusalem. It is one of the seven major feasts of our Church and one that we celebrate with great joy and excitement. We take great pleasure in decorating the Church with palm branches, the tune of the festive hymns is joyful, and the processions around the Church are very uplifting. Truly it is one of the favorite times of …

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July 7, 2015

Homily on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

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Among the Church’s feasts, there are three in honor of God’s saint which in their significance stand out from the others devoted to the saints and are numbered among the great feasts of the Church of Christ. These feasts glorify the economy of God for our salvation. These three feasts are the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner, his Beheading, and the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The apparition of the holy …

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July 7, 2015

On the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

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Today we are celebrating the Nativity of St. John, dearest brethren, something which we read has never been granted to any of the other saints. Only the Nativity of our Lord and that of Blessed John [the Baptist] are celebrated and honored throughout the world. [1.The cycle of John the Baptist is an early Palestinian rite that serves as the model for the Mariological cycle. It includes the feasts of conception, nativity, and martyrdom. In the Coptic …

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July 6, 2015

The Catechetical School of Alexandria

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Long before the establishment of Christianity in Alexandria, this city was famous for its various schools. By far, the largest school of all was the “Museum”, which was founded by Ptolemy and became the most famous school in the East. Its huge library contained between two hundred thousands and half million of books and manuscripts in the days of Ptolemy I. That in addition to the “Serapeum” and the numerous Jewish schools which scattered everywhere. …

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