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,
Since birth, we were all taught to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” But in seeking the Kingdom of God we must challenge ourselves and give up our own desires. We often think that by striving for holiness, we will no longer be happy or by striving for righteousness, everything else in our lives will falter. Sadly, we put so much faith in our own abilities and forget the power of God. We forget how much He has given us, we forget how much He suffered for us, we forget that even our trusted abilities were given to us by Him, and the most unfortunate of all, we forget that ALL things are possible to Him.
When we put so much focus on our academic, career, social, or physical goals yet forget our spiritual goals, our hearts and minds begin to accumulate many impurities because of their lack of nourishment. However, we must be careful what we place into our hearts and where we place our hearts, “For where [our] treasure is, there [our] heart will be also.”(Matthew 6: 21). If our focus is on the Kingdom of God, only things leading to the Kingdom of God will be in our hearts and therefore leaving our lips; because, let us not forget that “out of the treasure of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34).
During Preparation week of Great Lent, we should set our eyes on heaven. We must prepare ourselves to place God first in our hearts and lives for He put us first before the creation of the world and set everything under our feet. He promises never to leave us in need of anything as we are more of value to Him than the birds of the air, which He also provides for, according to Matthew 6: 26-27. He promised to love us forever and fulfilled His promise by sending His Son to purchase us by His blood. He promised to always fill us; however, we have to open our hearts and allow Him entrance. So let us all open our hearts before God and allow Him to lead us to Him in purity and righteousness as King David in the Psalms said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24)
Author: Marina Abdelsayed
On the 15th of Mesra (21 August), the church celebrates the commemoration of the departure of the nun St. Marina, known as St. Marina the Monk, who was the daughter of a very rich Christian man called Euganius. Her name was Mariam, and her mother Sarah died when she was a little girl. Her father raised her and brought her up well in the Christian faith. When he wanted to give her in marriage and to go himself and become a monk in one of the monasteries, she told him, "O my Father, why would you save your own soul, and destroy mine?" He answered saying, "What shall I do with you? You are a woman." She told him, "I will take off my woman's dress and will put on the garb of a man." She rose up straightway, shaved off the hair on her head and put on the garb of a