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Author Topic: Documentary on the Coptic Hermit Fr. Lazarus St. Antony  (Read 5854 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fr.Kyrillos
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« on: November 09, 2010, 05:03:49 PM »

He discusses his Christian upbringing, embracing of atheism and conversion to Orthodoxy.  Produced by CYC (Coptic Youth Channel) and in 7 parts on Youtube:

Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vFUT3xegIY

Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcf5MsTKXIU

Part 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA3w2BE65JE

Part 4:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd-cCOouv-0

Part 5:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYH9hxalKyE

Part 6:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPUE3_ZKWIw

Part 7:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpHM5Wd7ppA
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 05:05:48 PM by Fr.Kyrillos » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 10:22:01 AM »

Excellent find! Thank you, Abouna!
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 11:51:42 AM »

Yea thanks, it was very interesting and inspiring. I don't have time to check it now though but I could have sworn that they played a part of the interview twice (the part where he says something like you can't expect to be successful at taking a test if you never studied for it and instead indulged in the pleasures of life). Also he said he was going to talk about his switch from the Serbian monastery to the Coptic monastery but I never heard anything about it. I think it might have been a technical error or maybe I just missed something. Did anyone else experience this when watching it?

But overall I really enjoyed the videos.
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 02:06:31 PM »

Yea thanks, it was very interesting and inspiring. I don't have time to check it now though but I could have sworn that they played a part of the interview twice (the part where he says something like you can't expect to be successful at taking a test if you never studied for it and instead indulged in the pleasures of life). Also he said he was going to talk about his switch from the Serbian monastery to the Coptic monastery but I never heard anything about it. I think it might have been a technical error or maybe I just missed something. Did anyone else experience this when watching it?

But overall I really enjoyed the videos.

Yes, I noticed the exact same thing. I have an audio file that has him speaking for about two hours to a group of pilgrims about his whole story in much more detail than the videos. I listened to the section that describes his transition from the Serbian Church to the Coptic Church and made some notes...

    *  He resigned his job at the university to stay at the Serbian monastery

    * Stayed two months before receiving any catachesis, just participating in the services

    * Bishop at the monastery sent him to a monastery in Serbia during the war in the 1990s

    * He wasn't at peace being there during the war so he went to Mt. Athos in Greece (Philotheo) where he prayed in front of the Icon of the Theotokos to arrange for him to stay there.

    * Immediately he found a monk who took him to the Abbot who then told him to stay the night and the next day they would arrange his permanent stay at the monastery.

    * He stayed in Mt. Athos almost one year though he did not feel welcomed as a Non-Greek and became increasingly sad. He tells stories of one of the monks every day throwing his food at him!

    * During this time he still did not have much faith or understanding, though he was certain of his relationship with St. Mary who always answered him and guided him.

    * While walking one evening he had another miraculous vision of St. Mary who comforted him. His sadness went away and was even happy when the monk threw his food at him.

    * After another six months he felt the need to go back to visit his Serbian bishop in Australia though every time he tried to step on the boat at the dock, a force prevented him from getting on the boat. He went back to the monastery.

    * He tried again the next day taking with him his icon of the Mother of God (which he had left behind the previous day) and this time was able to get on the boat.

    * In Australia, the Serbian bishop tonsured him a monk and he stayed there but still felt he was not established in the faith apart from his relationship with St. Mary.

    * One day at the monastery three Egyptians came to visit (2 girls and 1 boy), an engaged couple and a friend of the couple. The couple went on a walk and the other girl invited Fr. Lazarus to read the Scriptures with her, which to this point he never did. The girl began to speak to Fr. Lazarus about all the covenants of God from the Old Testament to the New, the role of the prophets, etc...He said about two hours they  talked. She was only 16-17 years old.

    * She left the monastery and Fr. Lazarus was hungry for more...he called her and asked her to meet with him to talk more about the Scriptures. She began to teach him also how to pray. They met weekly or bi-weekly for about three months.

    * He began to believe in Christianity in its fullness. The girl suggested that Fr. Lazarus visit the desert monasteries of Egypt. She began to tell him about the desert fathers and their monasteries still extent in Egypt. He became overwhelmed by the stories of the desert fathers.

    * Pope Shenouda was coming on a visit to Australia and she arranged for Fr. Lazarus to meet with him to ask permission to visit St. Anthony's monastery in Egypt. The Pope granted his request.

    * He came to Egypt and eventually made his way to St. Anthony's and later became a hermit in the mountain....

The rest of the story is fascinating but I am only including the part of the story of how he made his way from the Serbian Church to the Coptic Church.

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 04:41:50 PM »



Yea thanks, it was very interesting and inspiring. I don't have time to check it now though but I could have sworn that they played a part of the interview twice (the part where he says something like you can't expect to be successful at taking a test if you never studied for it and instead indulged in the pleasures of life). Also he said he was going to talk about his switch from the Serbian monastery to the Coptic monastery but I never heard anything about it. I think it might have been a technical error or maybe I just missed something. Did anyone else experience this when watching it?

But overall I really enjoyed the videos.

Yes, I noticed the exact same thing. I have an audio file that has him speaking for about two hours to a group of pilgrims about his whole story in much more detail than the videos. I listened to the section that describes his transition from the Serbian Church to the Coptic Church and made some notes...

    *  He resigned his job at the university to stay at the Serbian monastery

    * Stayed two months before receiving any catachesis, just participating in the services

    * Bishop at the monastery sent him to a monastery in Serbia during the war in the 1990s

    * He wasn't at peace being there during the war so he went to Mt. Athos in Greece (Philotheo) where he prayed in front of the Icon of the Theotokos to arrange for him to stay there.

    * Immediately he found a monk who took him to the Abbot who then told him to stay the night and the next day they would arrange his permanent stay at the monastery.

    * He stayed in Mt. Athos almost one year though he did not feel welcomed as a Non-Greek and became increasingly sad. He tells stories of one of the monks every day throwing his food at him!

    * During this time he still did not have much faith or understanding, though he was certain of his relationship with
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St. Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York


« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 04:44:35 PM »

I'm having problems quoting what you wrote for some reason (I'm using my blackberry right now so that's probably the reason) but I just wanted to say thanks 4 taking the time to write down notes on his transition.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 02:41:13 PM »

Here is the complete audio file of Fr. Lazarus speaking to a group of pilgrims about his life...its about two hours long. It was recorded by one of the pilgrims sitting at a distance from Fr. Lazarus so the quality and volume are not the best in some places.

http://rapidshare.com/files/431056756/Fr._Lazarus__Autobiography.mp3

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 03:14:45 PM »

    * One day at the monastery three Egyptians came to visit (2 girls and 1 boy), an engaged couple and a friend of the couple. The couple went on a walk and the other girl invited Fr. Lazarus to read the Scriptures with her, which to this point he never did. The girl began to speak to Fr. Lazarus about all the covenants of God from the Old Testament to the New, the role of the prophets, etc...He said about two hours they  talked. She was only 16-17 years old.

    * She left the monastery and Fr. Lazarus was hungry for more...he called her and asked her to meet with him to talk more about the Scriptures. She began to teach him also how to pray. They met weekly or bi-weekly for about three months.

    * He began to suggested that Fr. Lazarus visit the desert monasteries of Egypt. She began to tell him about the desert fathers and their monasteries still extent in Egypt. He became overwhelmed by the stories of the desert fathers.

    * Pope Shenouda was coming on a visit to Australia and she arranged for Fr. Lazarus to meet with him to ask permission to visit St. Anthony's monastery in Egypt. The Pope granted his request.

I hope at some point to have time to listen to the whole story.  The details above are strange indeed!  He spent time in a Serbian monastery, lived for a year on Mt. Athos, was tonsured a monk in Australia, and yet he neither read the Scriptures, nor prayed, nor did he know anything about the Faith until he met a 16-17 year old girl from Egypt who then became his foremost enlightener and teacher?   
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 03:15:38 PM by jah777 » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 11:07:09 PM »

Here is the complete audio file of Fr. Lazarus speaking to a group of pilgrims about his life...its about two hours long. It was recorded by one of the pilgrims sitting at a distance from Fr. Lazarus so the quality and volume are not the best in some places.

http://rapidshare.com/files/431056756/Fr._Lazarus__Autobiography.mp3

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos

Thank you Father. I just finished listening to it, it was very good. Reminded me of Father Seraphim. I don't know if you know about him but his life story is very similar.
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2010, 09:21:09 AM »

Thanks abouna for the video and the audio links Smiley

Fr. Lazarus gives a profound example of modesty and humility. May the Lord bless his life.
Another interesting video about Fr. Lazarus can be found here:

http://copticmind.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/an-awesome-documentary/


Thanks Again abouna,
remember me in your prayers..
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 11:30:48 AM »

Father Lazarus told us that we can't live as christians in the world. Doesn't that go against the coptic teachings?
and can he really be called a hermit (he talks with people)?
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 05:55:59 PM »

...and was really allowed to become a monk without converting to orthodoxy?
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 06:45:15 PM »

Father Lazarus told us that we can't live as christians in the world. Doesn't that go against the coptic teachings?
and can he really be called a hermit (he talks with people)?

I haven't listened to all of it yet, but one of two things can come out of this message:

1.  As a personal message, he means don't partake of the world in the manner everyone else does.  You have the power and opportunity, for your own salvation and for the salvation of others to stand out as a real Christian in the midst of materialistic peoples.  For what you are called to do, whether it is to study a certain subject or to fight against certain desires, you need to live a certain ascetic lifestyle to reach that goal.
2.  To each his own.  As an opinion, Fr. Lazarus gave his own personality's need to leave the world in a literal sense for his own salvation, and not necessarily to be done in the exact manner as you should.  I don't think he's asking everyone to be monks and nuns, but at least, in monasticism we can learn a lot of what sacrifice really means, which is a serious issue and not to be taken lightly.

In my own opinion, it's good that you are skeptical of anyone.  At the same time, remain humble enough at least to maybe take something out of his message.  It would seem many people sought to listen to Fr. Lazarus, and Fr. Lazarus took some time off to give his story and then leave these people to continue his hermitage.
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 06:56:51 PM »

http://mycobwebs.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/father-lazarus-coptic-monk-in-egypt/
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 07:11:26 PM »

...and was really allowed to become a monk without converting to orthodoxy?

I'm sure he is a Coptic monk.  He is not however an Eastern Orthodox Monk.  There are differences between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox.  Neither are in communion with one another.
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2011, 07:12:16 PM »

Father Lazarus told us that we can't live as christians in the world. Doesn't that go against the coptic teachings?
and can he really be called a hermit (he talks with people)?

I haven't listened to all of it yet, but one of two things can come out of this message:

1.  As a personal message, he means don't partake of the world in the manner everyone else does.  You have the power and opportunity, for your own salvation and for the salvation of others to stand out as a real Christian in the midst of materialistic peoples.  For what you are called to do, whether it is to study a certain subject or to fight against certain desires, you need to live a certain ascetic lifestyle to reach that goal.
2.  To each his own.  As an opinion, Fr. Lazarus gave his own personality's need to leave the world in a literal sense for his own salvation, and not necessarily to be done in the exact manner as you should.  I don't think he's asking everyone to be monks and nuns, but at least, in monasticism we can learn a lot of what sacrifice really means, which is a serious issue and not to be taken lightly.

In my own opinion, it's good that you are skeptical of anyone.  At the same time, remain humble enough at least to maybe take something out of his message.  It would seem many people sought to listen to Fr. Lazarus, and Fr. Lazarus took some time off to give his story and then leave these people to continue his hermitage.
according to pope shenouda iii there are no anchorites today whom he knows about. http://www.coptichymns.net/module-library-viewpub-tid-1-pid-265.html    so can we really call Father Lazarus an anchorite?
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2011, 07:54:53 PM »

I think that I watched all of them. Did I miss the part where he talks about how he went from his first visit to a Serbian Orthodox monastery to eventually become Coptic? Which video was that in because I apparently missed it?
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2011, 10:31:26 PM »

Father Lazarus told us that we can't live as christians in the world. Doesn't that go against the coptic teachings?
and can he really be called a hermit (he talks with people)?

I haven't listened to all of it yet, but one of two things can come out of this message:

1.  As a personal message, he means don't partake of the world in the manner everyone else does.  You have the power and opportunity, for your own salvation and for the salvation of others to stand out as a real Christian in the midst of materialistic peoples.  For what you are called to do, whether it is to study a certain subject or to fight against certain desires, you need to live a certain ascetic lifestyle to reach that goal.
2.  To each his own.  As an opinion, Fr. Lazarus gave his own personality's need to leave the world in a literal sense for his own salvation, and not necessarily to be done in the exact manner as you should.  I don't think he's asking everyone to be monks and nuns, but at least, in monasticism we can learn a lot of what sacrifice really means, which is a serious issue and not to be taken lightly.

In my own opinion, it's good that you are skeptical of anyone.  At the same time, remain humble enough at least to maybe take something out of his message.  It would seem many people sought to listen to Fr. Lazarus, and Fr. Lazarus took some time off to give his story and then leave these people to continue his hermitage.
according to pope shenouda iii there are no anchorites today whom he knows about. http://www.coptichymns.net/module-library-viewpub-tid-1-pid-265.html    so can we really call Father Lazarus an anchorite?

His Holiness has a strict criteria for his definition of anchorite.  I suppose Fr. Lazarus is the closest to what we have as anchorite, but it's too early to judge him whether he is an anchorite or not.  If an anchorite is merely a recluse, then, surely there are many today that are anchorites.  However, if we are going by His Holiness' criteria of an anchorite (not seeing anyone for at least a decade, and not being associated with a monastery), that seems almost impossible, since I think either the government or His Holiness also makes it impossible to allow any form of monks unless they are associated with a monastery.
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 06:57:43 PM »

Yea thanks, it was very interesting and inspiring. I don't have time to check it now though but I could have sworn that they played a part of the interview twice (the part where he says something like you can't expect to be successful at taking a test if you never studied for it and instead indulged in the pleasures of life). Also he said he was going to talk about his switch from the Serbian monastery to the Coptic monastery but I never heard anything about it. I think it might have been a technical error or maybe I just missed something. Did anyone else experience this when watching it?

But overall I really enjoyed the videos.

It looks like CYC re-edited, added some new footage and is providing the whole series anew again.  I believe the parts that talk about his conversion and time at the Serbian monastery are included in the following two parts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP9vLxWM2AE&feature=channel_video_title

http://www.youtube.com/user/copticyouthchannel#p/u/8/7wRlCpf7KDU

They haven't released all the new episodes yet which I assume will fill some of the gaps noted above.

Fr. Kyrillos
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« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2011, 11:51:57 PM »

Part 6 is now up. In this part, Fr. Lazarus speaks about his introduction to the Coptic Church and the beginning of his journey to Coptic monasticism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iog5TStbs6U
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2011, 12:57:29 AM »

What is his opinion on Chalcedonian Churches?
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« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2011, 07:05:09 AM »

In this part 6 at last I can hear what he's saying without his voice being drowned by the loud & inappropriate music.
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2011, 10:16:39 AM »

Thanks for posting, Abouna.

Makes me long to visit the monastery.
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« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2011, 01:11:27 PM »

What is his opinion on Chalcedonian Churches?

I don't think I have every heard him discuss it. However, given that he converted and came to faith through the Serbian Orthodox Church, I would imagine that he has no issues with the Chalcedonian churches. He also lived on Athos for a while and I don't recall him indicating anything negative.  It seems from his story that he just found himself led to the desert tradition of Coptic monasticism and that is where he felt at home.
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2011, 11:01:30 AM »

The most intriguing bit for me is that he quotes favourably the ”Greek prohetess Vassula Ryden”.

In case you've never heard of her, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassula_Ryden
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2011, 11:42:30 AM »

The most intriguing bit for me is that he quotes favourably the ”Greek prohetess Vassula Ryden”.

Where does he do that?
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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2011, 06:10:51 PM »

The most intriguing bit for me is that he quotes favourably the ”Greek prohetess Vassula Ryden”.

Where does he do that?

In his audio "Autobiography" linked above - around 1:47:00. It's something about Vassula taking a bus ride and wanting to buy two tickets (one for her and one for Jesus, her imaginary pal), but he (the "Lord") gently scolds her for not knowing that they were "one". 
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« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2011, 05:09:57 PM »

The most intriguing bit for me is that he quotes favourably the ”Greek prohetess Vassula Ryden”.

Where does he do that?

In his audio "Autobiography" linked above - around 1:47:00. It's something about Vassula taking a bus ride and wanting to buy two tickets (one for her and one for Jesus, her imaginary pal), but he (the "Lord") gently scolds her for not knowing that they were "one". 

That's very interesting...thank you for that...I listened to this a while ago, and I think I completely didn't hear the person he was quoting.  I wonder though if he knows more about Vassula Ryden than what he quoted.
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« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2011, 05:30:39 PM »

The most intriguing bit for me is that he quotes favourably the ”Greek prohetess Vassula Ryden”.

In case you've never heard of her, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassula_Ryden



Excommunicated by the Church of Constantinople in March of this year

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Announcement On Vassula Ryden By The Ecumenical Patriarchate

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/03/announcement-on-vassula-ryden-by.html

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Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2011, 06:13:52 PM »

I can only imagine that Fr. Lazarus is not fully aware of who Vassula is and what she teaches.

By the way, I guess we have to be careful now.  Vassula is evidently starting to take her critics to court:

http://www.infovassula.ch/thenarrowdoor.htm

Quote
On November 9, 2011, I received an international document summoning me before a judge in Belgium, accused of having damaged Mrs Ryden's and her Foundation's honour and reputation, and requesting the reparation of the damage as well as the removal of some articles from the website.

Last July, I had already received a prior letter from Mrs Ryden's lawyers, then accusing me of offences of a criminal nature punishable by imprisonment. The letter strongly suggested in the letter that all this could be avoided if I accepted a list of Mrs Ryden's demands.

Briefly, the present civil cause summons charges me of having written in March 2011 that the Patriarchate of Constantinople's document was a "decree of excommunication" [1] and of having intended to damage Mrs. Ryden "by belittling her status of mystic among her faithful". The importance given to this action in court is evidenced by the fact that the Foundation asked Mrs Ryden's followers for donations in this sense [2].

Very Christlike of Vassula.  Think of all the prophets and saints who brought lawsuits against the people who didn't believe them.   Roll Eyes

Footnote 4 is especially illuminating:

Quote
[4] The letter sent to me by Mrs Ryden's lawyers begins as follows: "Mrs Vassula Ryden is the author of a work titled True Life in God: a divine dialogue which contains many messages designed to promote the reunification of the Christian Churches under the authority of the Pope and the Foundation's founder [= Vassula]".

I don't think the Pope they are talking about is Pope Shenouda.  Like I said, I doubt Fr. Lazarus is fully aware of what Vassula is all about.
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Romaios
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« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2011, 08:47:34 PM »

Like I said, I doubt Fr. Lazarus is fully aware of what Vassula is all about.

He may not be fully aware, but he says enough for one to figure out that he bought into her kind of stuff. Like many of my Orthodox friends, I took a liking to Father Lazarus when I saw the episode of Extreme Pilgrim featuring him. I didn't know anything about his personal journey up to the point where he became a Coptic monk.

The audio material that I found here has helped me clarify some issues for myself. I still have a lot of respect for Fr. Lazarus, but I believe he is a bit prone to believe "any spirit" without much discrimination. I say this also in view of the major steps he took in his religious life based on personal revelations (visions, voices, dreams and so on) and his readiness to speak about such issues to people who seek his spiritual guidance, not the other way around. He practically turned from one extreme (all-skeptical atheism) to the other.

So, I do not mean to judge Fr. Lazarus as deluded, but I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed. Maybe he's just taking to the extreme the Apostolic advice not to despise prophecies. Anyway, we should all "prove everything and hold fast that which is good".


Quote
Sirach 34:1 The senseless have vain and false hopes,
   and dreams give wings to fools.
2 As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind,
   so is anyone who believes in* dreams.
3 What is seen in dreams is but a reflection,
   the likeness of a face looking at itself.
4 From an unclean thing what can be clean?
   And from something false what can be true?
5 Divinations and omens and dreams are unreal,
   and like a woman in labour, the mind has fantasies.
6 Unless they are sent by intervention from the Most High,
   pay no attention to them.
7 For dreams have deceived many,
   and those who put their hope in them have perished.
8 Without such deceptions the law will be fulfilled,
   and wisdom is complete in the mouth of the faithful.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 09:16:20 PM by Romaios » Logged
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