A true friend is there for you when you need him. A true friend will sacrifice for you without wanting anything back. Out of his great love for you, he will want what is best for you and will want you to love him back as much as you can and will constantly think, “How can I show this person I love him and want him to love me too?” Such is the love God has for us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). He loves us to the point of offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins that we may turn back to Him and abide in Him and love Him back with all our hearts.
In the journey of Great Lent, we must always, our brothers and sisters, give thanks to the Lord for all blessings He has bestowed upon us,
Fr. Bishoy Kamel1 visited a sick person who was complaining from pain in his back. Abouna Pishoy started to give him words of solace, but the man answered, "I'm not asking God to take away my illness. I only ask Him to give me the strength to stand up for prayer and take from me the severe headache that hinders me from praying 'Our Father.' As long as the headache was there, I couldn't concentrate on one word."
Abouna Pishoy replied, "Don't be upset if you are not able to attend church or stand up for prayer, or even say 'Our Father,' because you participate in Jesus' suffering. Give thanks for this participation. For Jesus also suffered back pain under the heavy burden of the cross."
Some days later, when this sick man came to
I do not want to rely on myself; I know my weakness. I know I have many good intentions, "but to perform what is good I do not find" (Rom. 7:18).
The first thing I want, Lord, is to talk to You openly.
Imagine you are in a big garden, one with flowers of all beautiful bright colors imaginable, with bright blue skies and clear blue waters flowing smoothly like silk; the sun is shining a gentle warmth you’ve never felt before, and the grass is the perfect shade of green. Imagine being carefree, no responsibilities of the world to worry about, just as you were as a child. Imagine having all this and remember God’s promise to us: that He will give us “what no eye has seen nor ear heard”: a true Paradise indeed, one so good that we cannot even imagine it. Such is the promise that we are hoping and waiting for.