Coptic Orthodox

Saint Demiana

How many of us ever stand up and tell other people what we believe about Jesus Christ? How many of us are really convinced that our faith is so completely a part of what we are that is worth proclaiming happily to those who question us? Being one of Jesus' disciples can not be easy, for as Jesus once said:

"Beware of men, for they will deliver you

Read more: Saint Demiana

The young monk knocked gently on the door of the cell of the solitary monk saying, "Agapy 1. "But the solitary monk didn't answer. He repeated himself a second and third time, but there was still no response. The monk had no choice but to enter as he knew that the solitary was very sick. The monk was surprised when he found, sitting next to the solitary, a very distinguished man.

The solitary asked the monk, "Why did you enter without permission?" But the visitor interfered saying, "Let him in, for God wants him to take the blessing!"

The visitor then

Read more: A Friend From Heaven

He Alone Remained With Me.

As Fr. Pishoy sat beside the man he said to him, "I hope all your problems have been solved. You seem happy."

"No, " he responded, "everything is the same, but I realize that Jesus is dwelling in me when I go through some tribulation and struggle. I will tell you of a dream, or perhaps a vision, that filled me with joy.

"I went to sleep very broken hearted, so broken hearted that I was at the point of committing suicide. I decided that I was going to throw myself from a very high mountain. On my way to the mountain, I encountered many of my friends. They all gave me comforting words of consolation, but I didn't feel that I could share my agony with any of

By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

God's children should be strong because they were created in His image and likeness (Gn 1: 26); and God is powerful.  We say about Him "Holy is the Lord God Almighty"; therefore, they should be strong like Him.

In the book of Numbers, when God ordered Moses to take a census of the people, this was restricted to young men who can go to war (Nu 1: 3).  When the Song of Solomon talks about the men around King Solomon's throne, it describes them as valiant men; "They all hold swords, Being expert in war. Every man has his sword on his thigh, Because of fear in the night." (Sgs 3: 8)

lent

"However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:21). 

Great Lent is understood to be the holiest fast as our Lord Jesus Christ Himself fasted it for us. Therefore, during Great Lent we must strive to follow the example set by our Lord Jesus Christ, who had fasted on our behalf for forty days and forty nights, which we read in Matthew  chapter 4. During Great Lent, the Church in her wisdom teaches us how to receive Him by using the great means of repentance along with prayer and fasting. But many are fooled by what the true meaning of fasting is; fasting does not mean to just abstain from certain foods and drinks. Fasting without prayer is essentially nothing less than a bodily act. Fasting provides us with an opportunity for prayer because when a person fasts, their soul is occupied with internal work with God and so when the body is humbled by hunger, the soul also is humbled. We must train ourselves while fasting to not let a change of food be the only thing different we do in this fast, but rather let the fast be striving for change toward a better spiritual life. We must struggle to remove defects and weaknesses that we may feel exist not only within ourselves, but with our relationship with God, and our brothers and sisters through Christ. However, as we fast we must not try to make our fast visible to anyone except our Father in Heaven who sees everything in secret. And as we journey through this most sacred time of the year we must examine ourselves, our salvation, our repentance, and our spiritual life. Sit down not only with yourself but your spiritual father, seek the guidance that us all sinners are in desperate need of as we grow daily in the knowledge of God. 

+ May God help us all to see the importance of prayer and to lift up our hearts and thoughts to Him alone and may He grant us to have a blessed and holy fast as we seek for repentance +

“I will praise you, O Lord, for your mercies are forever. From generation to generation, my mouth shall declare Your truth.”
- First Doxology of the Sunday Readings during the Great and Holy Lent

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