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Author Topic: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers  (Read 63486 times) Average Rating: 5
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EkhristosAnesti
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« on: June 28, 2007, 02:36:04 AM »

Dear all,

I thought I'd start a thread for compiling patristic quotes/sayings--similar to that which exists in the Faith section, except peculiar to the Oriental Orthodox Fathers.

Pope Kyrillos VI (20th century):

"He who is quick to condemn others demonstrates that he has never truly stood in the presence of the Living God."
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 06:47:37 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 04:17:59 AM »

St. Jacob of Serug (+451-521):

"Come to prayer, and bring with thee thy whole self. Let not thy mind remain in the market about thy business. If thou art here, let also thine inner man be here within the doors of the crowned bride. Why is thy thought gone forth and distracted after affairs, so that when thou art here thou art not here, but there? Without amid the markets thy mind is wandering, (taken up) with reckonings and profits; fetch it, that it may come in and ask for its Life. Stand not with one half of thee within and one half without, lest when thou art divided thy prayer lose itself betwixt the two parts. Stand at prayer a united and complete and true man, and all whatsoever thou askest thou canst obtain from God. Why art thou impatient to be off when He has not given to thee? Stay long and knock at the Physician, and beseech Him, and bring the tears of repentance and besprinkle His doorstep; entreat much; and if for love He give not to thee, yet to importunity He will not be able to deny all her requests. Be insistent at the Physician's door, and give not over; for if thou be backward He will not bind thee up. Why standest thou still? Importunity knows how to obtain mercy of Him; and unless He give to her she will not suffer Him to depart."

- A Homily on the Reception of the Holy Mysteries
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2007, 12:29:47 AM »

St. Evagrius Ponticus:

There are eight general and basic categories of thoughts in which are included every thought.  First is that of gluttony, then impurity, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and last of all, pride.  It is not in our power to determine whether we are disturbed by these thoughts, but it is up to us to decide if they are to linger within us or not and whether or not they are to stir up our passions.

The Praktikos, chapter 6
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 02:58:26 AM »

Fr. Pishoy Kamel (+1931-1979):

Liberty is not the mere freedom of choice or license, but the freedom to act with great love--the love of Christ. There is no freedom outside of the sphere of the Cross, which is the summit of Love.

Fr. Guirgus Samy, Pishoy Kamel, the Stavrophoros (Maryut, Alexandria: St. Mena's Monastery Press, 2004)
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2007, 07:15:25 PM »

St. Gregory of Nareg (10th century):

Just as without the Father, there is no Christ,
so without the womb of the mother Church, the soul cannot be fulfilled.


Book of Laments, prayer 75
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2007, 09:57:10 PM »

Pope Abba Kyrillos VI (+1971):

"If you happen to fall into temptation, do not let the guilt of sin be an obstacle to prayer. If you cease praying till you repent, you will never repent, for prayer is the door to genuine repentance."
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 09:10:09 AM »

St Bar Hebraeus (+1286):

"When, by the labours of asceticism, the body has been cleansed, the mind purified, the windows of the senses shut, and the room of the heart enlightened, then the dove* will manifest herself to the mind; not in a lasting manner, however, but as a flash of lightening that appears and then vanishes, she shows her beauty, making sweet her fruit to the palate."

*St Bar Hebraeus is using the imagery of a dove, in the wider context of this particular paragraph, to symbolise the state of true contemplation.
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2007, 02:27:38 PM »

St. Nerses Shnorhali (12th century):

When you see the cross, know and believe that you are seeing Christ enthroned on it; when you pray before the cross, believe that you are doing so, concerning Christ Our God and not with inanimate matter.  For it is Christ who receives your proskynesis offered before the cross; and it is He who hears the supplications of your mouth and fulfills the desires of your heart, which you ask with faith.  Whoever does not honor the cross, or insults it, insults Christ Himself.

From his Encyclical Letters, quoted in Art in the Armenian Church, St. Vartan Press, p. 33

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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2007, 10:17:05 AM »

As today, in the COC, is the feast day of Abba Isaiah of Scetis--a friend and teacher of St Peter the Iberian and undoubtedly one of the greatest OO desert Fathers--I felt compelled to post a teaching of his:

Abba Isaiah of Scetis (+late 5th century):

"Just as animals die if they are plunged into water, since they are of the substance of earth. And again, just as fish die if they are brought up onto the earth, because they are of the nature of water. So also birds, which find their rest in the sky, fear being hunted on the land of the earth. Thus is the perfect soul, which remains in its own nature. If it renounces its own nature, it dies immediately."

-Ascetic Discourses
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2007, 12:32:28 AM »

This is a good thread.

I have learned a lot.

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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2007, 02:07:39 PM »

St Philoxenus of Mabug (+523):

As for the man who is constant in reading [of the word of God] and remote from deeds, his reading is his own condemnation, and he is the more deserving of judgment, in that while he listeneth every day, he mocketh and is contemptuous every day, and he is thenceforth like a dead man and a corpse which hath no feeling, for if ten thousand trumpets and horns were to blow in the ear of a dead man he would not hear [them]; even thus is the soul which is dead in sins. And the understanding, from which the remembrance of God hath perished in the death-dealing error of the thoughts [of evil things], will not hear the sound of the cries of the divine voices, nor will the trumpet of the word of the Spirit move it, but it is sunk into the sleep of death which is pleasant to it; and although dying, it perceiveth not its death that it might turn and seek life for itself. And as the man who hath died according to nature is not sensible of his death, even so the dead man who dieth by his own will to the knowledge of God feeleth not his death, nor perceiveth his destruction, that he might find a way and seek out an invention of life for himself.

-Ascetic Discourses, Discourse 1: Prologue
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2007, 07:44:46 PM »

Dear all,

I thought I'd start a thread for compiling patristic quotes/sayings--similar to that which exists in the Faith section, except peculiar to the Oriental Orthodox Fathers.

Pope Kyrillos VI (20th century):

"He who is quick to condemn others demonstrates that he has never truly stood in the presence of the Living God."

Thank you for starting this; it's an excellent idea.  What I notice about quotes from the Holy Ones of God, is that they come from the center, from the depth, from union with Father-Jesus-Spirit, our God and all have a common spirit--regardless of place or time or race or nation or branch of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  They are the models for our unity, which is in HIM, the ONLY Head of His Church, the ONLY Rock of Foundation of His Church, the ONLY Head of the universe.  He Who loves us enough to become one of us and allow us to hate, reject, condemn, torture and murder Him, all so that He could atone for our sins, our hatred of Him and each other, to make it possible for us to share His Divine Joy, Love and Life forever, if we choose to.

O Love Incomprehensible, O Love unspeakable, O Love we do not know, reveal Yourself to us.
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2007, 09:43:36 PM »

...branch of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ...

(heavy sigh)   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2007, 10:53:15 PM »

O Love Incomprehensible, O Love unspeakable, O Love we do not know, reveal Yourself to us.

Is this from a particular prayer?
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 09:48:59 PM »

Pope Dioscorus the Great (+451—454):

And I motioned to them with my hand (saying): ‘Be silent and listen, Israel’. And when they were silent, I continued and said to them: ‘Do you accept the four Gospels?’ They said: ‘Yes. Certainly. He who does not accept the four Gospels is not a Christian’. I said: ‘You have spoken well. When the Christ was summoned to the wedding, was he summoned as man or as God’? They said: ‘As man’. I said to them: ‘Correct’. I said to them: ‘When he caused the miracle to happen, did he perform it as man or rather as God’? They said: ‘The matter is obvious. He caused the miracle to happen as God’. I said to them: ‘So then, understand for yourselves that the divinity was not separated from the humanity for a single moment nor for a twinkling of an eye. Behold then, I have taken you at your (very) own word’.
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~ Dioscorus
EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 06:07:14 AM »

Quote
(+451—454)

Pope Dioscoros was in fact Patriarch from the year A.D. 444, not 451.

P.S. 'Pinishti' is spelt with the Coptic shai not the Greek sigma; you may want to get that fixed.
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2007, 06:07:25 AM »

Vigen Guroian (21st century):

Gardening is not only making the world around us beautiful once more but letting beauty transform us. Gardening grows from our deep longing for salvation, so that beauty fills our lives.
 
In my garden, I take hope from Jesus' promise to the repentant thief on the cross that he will be with his Lord in Paradise. I know that the sweat of my brow and tears of penance bring Paradise near in my backyard. For a garden is a profound sign and deep symbol of salvation, like none other, precisely because a garden was our first habitation, and God has deemed it to be our final home. Beauty is the aim of life. God imagined it so. God spoke the Word, and his invisible Image of Beauty became a visible garden. Beauty will transfigure the chaos and deformity of our wounded world into the peace and harmony of a cosmos that God, from the beginning, proclaims to be good and beautiful.


-The Fragrance of God
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2007, 04:33:58 PM »

Vigen Guroian (21st century):

Gardening is not only making the world around us beautiful once more but letting beauty transform us. Gardening grows from our deep longing for salvation, so that beauty fills our lives.
 
In my garden, I take hope from Jesus' promise to the repentant thief on the cross that he will be with his Lord in Paradise. I know that the sweat of my brow and tears of penance bring Paradise near in my backyard. For a garden is a profound sign and deep symbol of salvation, like none other, precisely because a garden was our first habitation, and God has deemed it to be our final home. Beauty is the aim of life. God imagined it so. God spoke the Word, and his invisible Image of Beauty became a visible garden. Beauty will transfigure the chaos and deformity of our wounded world into the peace and harmony of a cosmos that God, from the beginning, proclaims to be good and beautiful.


-The Fragrance of God


My spirtual eyes have opened just a bit more from this reading.

I have a newly paved patio in my yard which is surrounded by huge oak and cyprus trees. My nieghbor has a very very tall tree that has these small wild berries which are falling on and staining my new pavers. I am in the yard every evening cleaning the berries up and washing the pavers. I was getting very concerned about the stains and the headache of having to clean these berries daily. Having read this I have a feeling that the stains and the berries are neccesary since they support nature and not man and his appitite for excellence and beauty....but for natures endeavor to sustain and care for all Gods creatures.

I think that the berries will continue to annoy me but I have a better perspective about it especially since I really do not want to cut the tree down.

God is beautiful...

Thanks

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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2007, 03:54:41 PM »

Ah yes...

I meant that Pope Dioscorus said that somewhere in between 451 and 454. I'll change it anyway.

As for "Pinishti", I had noticed that it was a typo on my part — don't worry, I'll fix that! Wink

Regards,
~ Dioscorus
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2007, 04:39:49 AM »

H.E. Paulos Mar Gregorios (+1996):

The very nature of humanity is to be like God, for that is what it means to be created in the image of God. The more humanity becomes like God, the more it becomes itself. Theosis is anthropesis.

-Cosmic Man
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2007, 11:23:59 PM »

Vigen Guroian (21st century):

Gardening is not only making the world around us beautiful once more but letting beauty transform us. Gardening grows from our deep longing for salvation, so that beauty fills our lives.
 
In my garden, I take hope from Jesus' promise to the repentant thief on the cross that he will be with his Lord in Paradise. I know that the sweat of my brow and tears of penance bring Paradise near in my backyard. For a garden is a profound sign and deep symbol of salvation, like none other, precisely because a garden was our first habitation, and God has deemed it to be our final home. Beauty is the aim of life. God imagined it so. God spoke the Word, and his invisible Image of Beauty became a visible garden. Beauty will transfigure the chaos and deformity of our wounded world into the peace and harmony of a cosmos that God, from the beginning, proclaims to be good and beautiful.


-The Fragrance of God

I found and just listened to an hour long interview with Vigen Guroian on audible.com after reading your quote (with my iPod while I was gardening actually).  The whole discussion in this interview centers around the theme of gardening and pascha.  I've been gardening a lot this season raising mainly vegetables, its delightful to hear Guroian's perspective.  I know this is Wisdom of the OO Fathers, but if you love this theme check out Vol1 of "St Symeon the New Theologian: The Church and that Last Things". I wish to buy some land to homestead somewhere in the middle of nowhere someday.
Thanks

Link to audio mentioned above: Restoring the Senses: Life, Gardening and an Orthodox Easter
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2007, 07:46:32 AM »

Quote
know this is Wisdom of the OO Fathers, but if you love this theme check out Vol1 of "St Symeon the New Theologian: The Church and that Last Things".


Thanks for the reference. I'm no gardener myself (i've never gardened in my life in fact) but I was certainly intrigued by Guroian's perspective which, particulary in light of my recent research into the concept of the "sacredness of creation," has sparked and kindled in me a real desire and interest to at least inquire into the "art." We have a rather large and overly neglected backyard which happens to grow some rather unique and exotic Australian flora, and which attracts a beautiful range of birds (particularly cockatoos, cockatiels, kookaburras, rosellas and lorikeets); I could think of no better place to turn into my own little paradise.

Quote
Link to audio mentioned above: Restoring the Senses: Life, Gardening and an Orthodox Easter
Definitely worth 67 cents

One can actually download it for free from here: http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/restoringthesenses/index.shtml
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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2007, 05:52:25 AM »

St Bar Ebrayo (+13th century):

By the prayers for the departed, unpolluted souls of believers experience a certain delight. On the other hand, these prayers also help cleanse dirt off the mirrors of the polluted souls.

-Zalgae
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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2007, 12:53:04 AM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III (21st Century):

There is wise love that profits its owner although it causes pain, for it is edifying to his soul and to his eternal fate. There is also foolish love that destroys its owner although it exhibits features of kindness and tenderness...
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« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2007, 03:56:31 AM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III (21st Century):

Perhaps the most distinguished quality in love…is sacrifice.  This is the big difference between love and lust: love always seek to give and lust always seek to take.
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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2007, 08:13:12 PM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III (21st Century):

-Repentance needs a humble heart.  The one who persists in his pride and dignity would not be able to repent.


-The spiritual person is an upright person, gives everyone his right without injustice or partiality.
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« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2007, 11:18:59 AM »

This is a long one, but well worth the read:

St. Philoxenus of Mabbugh (late 5th-early 6th Century):

We are therefore bound by the word of our Teacher not to be constant listeners only to the Word of God but also constant doers. For the man who, though listening not, doeth, is better than the man who is constant in listening and empty of works…

The hearing of the law is good, for it bringeth to the works thereof, and reading and meditation in the Scriptures, which purify our secret understanding from thoughts of evil things, are good, but if a man is constant in reading, and in hearing, and in the meditation of the word of God, and yet perfecteth not by his reading the labour of works, against this man hath the Spirit of God spoken by the hand of the blessed David, rebuking and reproving his wickedness, and restraining him from taking even the Holy Book into his polluted hands…

Now as for the man who is constant in reading and remote from deeds, his reading is his own condemnation, and he is the more deserving of judgment, in that while he listeneth every day, he mocketh and is contemptuous every day, and he is thenceforth like a dead man and a corpse which hath no feeling, for if ten thousand trumpets and horns were to blow in the ear of a dead man he would not hear [them]; even thus is the soul which is dead in sins. And the understanding, from which the remembrance of God hath perished in the death-dealing error of the thoughts [of evil things], will not hear the sound of the cries of the divine voices, nor will the trumpet of the word of the Spirit move it, but it is sunk into the sleep of death which is pleasant to it; and although dying, it perceiveth not its death that it might turn and seek life for itself. …

The soul dieth without the remembrance of God, and when it dieth all its discretion dieth therewith, and all its emotions of thought of heavenly things are annihilated therefrom. While the soul liveth in its natural state it is dying by its own desire; and while it is found in uprightness it is lost in respect of its freedom.
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« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2007, 11:21:24 AM »

That one has already been quoted  Wink It's no less significant or pertinent a second time round though.
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« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2007, 11:44:12 AM »

That one has already been quoted  Wink It's no less significant or pertinent a second time round though.

Woops  Embarrassed  lol...just realized that.  Just started reading it, and was just amazed at the depth of his introduction.
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2007, 10:40:34 PM »

This is not so much a patristic saying; more of a popular (or at least it used to be back in the day) Coptic proverb:

"Paradise is opened at the command of mothers."

I can't help but think of the story regarding St Monica and St Augustine as prime testimony to this truth.
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« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2007, 12:27:48 PM »

St Shenoute the Archimandrite (mid-fifth century):

For like a righteous king who has cast down his enemy in battle and made him weak, and who has said that all those who are on his side should lay their hands upon him [the enemy] because he wants them all to be glorified together, and who later will return and cut off the enemy's head--just so, and even more, when the Lord Christ came, he destroyed the devil like a tyrant whose legs were cut off up to his thighs and his arms up to his shoulders; and as for the other members of his body, his heart and his spine, he [Christ] struck them all. He [the devil] is unable to move [any of his members] so as to get up or pursue a person, except for his breath alone, which comes and goes, that is, his thoughts, which Christ left in him because he wants his children, his soldiers, his servants, and all who are on his side to lay their hands upon him [the devil], that is, to fight against his goldess thoughts [logismoi], so that they might be glorified with him and reign with him.



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« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2007, 07:28:23 PM »

I loved that last quote from St Shenoute the Archimandrite and I don't want this to be taken as an attempt at comedy but the first thing I thought of that quote as how Christ has cut the devil down is almost like the black knight in the holy grail how just won't stop fighting no matter how obvious it is that he has lost.
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השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2007, 01:42:59 AM »

St. Evagrius Ponticus:

If you are a theologian you truly pray.  If you truly pray you are a theologian.

Chapters on Prayer, chapter 60
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« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2007, 01:58:49 AM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III:

If you find something good in you, do not be puffed up and do not boast.  Do not fight yourself with self-righteousness but attribute every glory to God...You may shine like the moon and your light increases till you become a full moon, but, in all this remember that the moon is a dark satellite which derives its light from the sun and has no light in itself.  If the sun disappears, the moon will not appear because it is dark by its nature.  Now, would the moon dare speak of its light before the sun!  It is the same with you, my beloved, in the presence of God.

From The Release of The Spirit, chapter 7 ("Know Yourself")
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« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2007, 04:09:14 PM »

Thank you very much for posting these!
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2007, 10:06:43 PM »

HH Pope Shenouda (1973):

We cannot know by ourselves.. but we want-through Your grace- to prepare ourselves to know You.. This knowledge comes from You.. through what You reveal to us, not through any mental or even spiritual effort on our behalf.  Any striving of our minds and souls, though necessary, is just a kind of prayer or supplication.  Such striving is a means through which the cloud may fill the House, and the fire burn in the bush and so God may reveal Himself and every heart would give worship in awe and sing thankfully saying ‘You gave me the gift of knowing You'

This divine knowledge is the precious pearl which made the merchant sell all that he had to buy it.

Such things which the merchant sold represent the various human branches of knowledge which take up all our time and give us no chance to know You.  They hinder us from sitting at Your feet with Mary (the sister of Martha and Lazarus) to receive the living water which You pour in our hearts and which whoever drinks of, will never thirst.

I wish that we would seek such knowledge, with all our hearts.  Then we shall find it within us, deep in our hearts, where You dwell and where Your holy temple lies that which You consecrated with the Holy Chrism.
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« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2007, 03:43:56 AM »

Sorry, I haven't been able to update this thread in a while due to my hectic schedule; I'm hoping to resume regular participation by the middle of next month. I will give a few quotations to make up for my past and near future absence:

Pope St Kyrillos VI (20th Century):

Nothing in this world can distress or perturb me, for I take refuge in the impregnable fortress of the Church. I am reassured in the bosom of God's mercies. Comfort and blessing continuously flows from Him. The Lord's grace flutters its wings and casts away all sadness, and heals the heart with its indescribable balm. Oh, how sweet it is! No one can withstand the trials of this world without His care or power. Our Fathers compare this Grace with a mother teaching her child to walk. She stands at a distance and when she sees that he is about to fall she hurries to him and wipes every tear from his eyes. Such is the way that God's Grace deals with man. Amid his struggles, God's Grace distances itself just a little in order to train him to walk in the path of virtue. But when he is found to be saddened or discouraged, this Grace hurries to comfort and encourage him.
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« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2007, 03:45:01 AM »

The Father of Blessings, Ibn Kabar (14th Century):

The reason for our existence is [God's] existence, and the reason the Creator united with us was to complete, in its fullness, the bestowing of His Grace upon us for He is the most gracious in giving. The most gracious in giving is he who gives the best of gifts. The best of gifts that God could give to us was His own self and it is because of this gift that we are in turn able to unite with Him.
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« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2007, 03:45:40 AM »

St Philoxenus of Mabbug (6th Century):

Because the Word, who is God, wished to make humans into children of God, we confess that he was emptied, became flesh, and was completely inhominated, in order to recreate the entire human being in himself. Because he became human in us, we have been deified and have become children of the Father.
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« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2007, 03:46:10 AM »

St Shenoute the Archimandrite (+465):

What does a person do when bitten by a snake? Does he not sit down beneath the one who cuts him with the knife [i.e. the physician], while others hold him, putting salt and vinegar on [the wounds] until all the venom has washed out and he lives?...So too with the person whom the serpent, the snake, the pervert, Satan has bitten and into whose heart he has poured his wickedness: it is proper in his case for the fear of the Lord to hold him, just like the one who is held by his friends, under the true physician, who is trustworthy for the healing of our souls, God the merciful, Jesus, who cuts us with reproofs in all his words, which have come forth from the mouths of his saints, and who turns us to repentance with grieving and groans.
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« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2007, 12:44:28 PM »

Apa Longinus (5th-6th Century):

Abba Longinus experienced great compunction in his prayer and psalmody, and his disciple said to him one day: "Abba, is it a canon of the spiritual life for the monk to weep while saying his Office?" And the old man said to him: "Yes, my son, It is the law required by God. God did not in fact make man for tears but for joy and happiness, just like the angels. But since he fell into sin, man needs tears. Where there is no sin there is no need to weep".
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« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2007, 12:44:51 PM »

St Sargis Shnorhali (11th-12th Century):
 
Disease came forth as a result of sin. Thus, when a disease is healed through the prayers of worthy men, the sins which caused the disease are annihilated also.
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« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2007, 12:45:04 PM »

The late Patriarch of Antioch, Mar Ignatios Ephrem Barsaum (19th-20th Century):

Let your prayer be based on seeking God’s good pleasure, His glory, the extension of His Kingdom and all other graces that are in harmony with the Divine Will. However, if the object of your prayer is to realize worldly expectations or empty pleasures, it will only bring disappointment.
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« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2007, 03:03:31 AM »

St Severus of Antioch (6th century):

What logic is it, tell me, that rational man who sinned of his own accord should…be raised to incorruption, while creation which is inanimate and without perception, which for his sake was made subject to vanity, should be delivered to final destruction, and not partake of the incorruptibility and the glory of those for whose sake it was made subject to corruption in the first place?
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« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2007, 05:05:19 AM »

St Apa Besa the Archimandrite (late 5th century):

If we despise our brother, we despise God who made us, since man was made in the image of God.
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« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2007, 05:20:03 PM »

Bitsue Abuna Abrham Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in New York and North, East and west United States (October 28, 2007 21st Century at Holy Trinity EOTC Diocesan Headquarters Bronx, NY):

 The Ethiopian Orthodox Church can teach in all three languages English, Geez and Amharic. The differences in the languages do not separate us but binds us. This is not a distraction for us but a purpose.
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« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2007, 02:06:55 PM »

    "It is not spiritual wisdom to try to conquer the enemy with evil than with virtue.  If you depend on the God of Truth and go out with a truthful heart, God will accomplish things for you ".

 "Avoid arrogance, quarrel and pride while dealing in Church matters; instead, let your humility shine before others.  Those who place their trust in God, and satisfy the people are blessed ".


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« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2007, 12:37:41 PM »

Mar Gregorios Bar Hebraeus (+13th century):

And by experience diligent people know that the intellect [at times of prayer], though in the beginning it attains concentration with difficulty, can easily be brought to concentration and be collected in the store-house of the heart after a long period of time, after it has received solid training. This is especially so when it receives a small part of the sweetness of prayer, for then it climbs higher than anything on earth and in heaven and hurries simply to wonder at its Lord and to converse with Him.
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« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2007, 02:06:48 AM »

Abouna Athanasius Iskander (21st century):

Sometimes the devil, in order to confirm one in their delusion, will inspire a false sense of warmth in the heart...He simply instructs his demons not to disturb or tempt the wrongdoer in order that they may be deceived into thinking that they are doing the right thing. Here is an actual example of how he does so: a long time ago I met two young people who were living together in sin. They would tell me, "Abouna, we both pray the hourly prayers together, and we read the Scriptures together; how can our living together be wrong?!"

There is an old song with the lyric: "It can't be wrong, when it feels so right." Everytime I hear this song I think to myself, "the devil himself must have written this song!"
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« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2007, 04:34:34 AM »

St Severus Ibn Al-Muqaffa, Bishop of Al-Ashmunein (9th century):

The reason for [the] existence [of sorrow] is that although the human being who has been made to dwell in the world of generation and decay for the most part inclines towards that which conforms with the sensual part of his being, always preferring the total attainment of his desires and the fulfilment of all his wishes, Wisdom decrees that he should not have his own way in regard to what he prefers and chooses since that would not be to his advantage or profit and would cause him harm and injury. Wisdom always brings about what is required by providence and dispensation and engenders what is more salutary and beneficial. But the wretched man is grieved, sad, dejected, and sorrowful if he fails to attain everything for which he has a predilection, desire or preference. Thus he is the one who brings this pain upon his own soul, and infects it with this disease.
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« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2007, 10:44:40 PM »

St Stephen, Bishop of Heracleopolis Magna (6th century):

As the birds that fly aloft, when they look down on the earth and see on a green patch their fellows of the same species as themselves, slacken their flight and come down and alight by them, so do the angels, when they see those who have chosen for themselves purity in temptation, come quickly and help their fellows.
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« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2007, 06:21:12 PM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda II (21st century):

There are matters which cannot be judged today, but can only be judged tomorrow. For today, such matters may be bound up with various feelings, emotions and considerations, which tomorrow they will be quite free of so as to enable one to be better able to remember the Truth as it was...

That is why history is not usually written in its own lifetime. Historians usually write after a time, when scholars attempt to strip it of all influence of time and place, and investigate its facts from different sources according to their different standpoints. All that is the work of tomorrow...

Happy is the person whom Tomorrow bears witness for him and not against him, and whom Tomorrow holds in good regard upon which all who are uninfluenced by place, time and circumstances agree.

Happy is he who works for his tomorrow from now onwards, not just for the sake of having a good reputation in the eyes of the people, but principally for the sake of the judgement of his conscience and the judgement of God.
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« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2007, 06:58:54 AM »

St Yusab, Bishop of Fuah (18th century):

Do no fast with bread and salt whilst you eat the flesh of your brethren through judgment and slander.
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« Reply #53 on: December 15, 2007, 11:32:55 PM »

Although this reads like a typical entry from the AP, it is in fact a modern day (though I couldn't pinpoint when exactly the incident occured, but certainly within the last century) anecdote orally transmitted from within the Coptic Church (just as the entries from the AP once were!) and which concerns the monastic tradition of Scetis (again, just as with the entries from the AP!)--although I am not sure which of the three monasteries in Scetis it relates to:

During the Nativity Fast, it was the custom of the monks of the desert of Shiheet to leave the bread exposed for fifteen days before eating it, by which time the bread would be almost rock hard. A certain Abba had a sore tooth and decided to pour water on his portion of bread before eating. When an Old Man saw this he rang the bell of the monastery and cried out saying, "Brethren, the desert of Scetis is in danger of being corrupt for the monks are having soup with their bread now!"
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« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2007, 12:59:10 PM »

Today I had someone I know offline ask me about the moral of the above spiritual anecdote, so I thought i'd share my response here for those who are wondering the same thing. The anecdote was related to us by a priest within the context of a discussion on those who go out of their way to try and compensate, in a sense, for the strictness of the fast diet. For example, there are many who regularly use available substitutes for non-fast foods which taste very much alike, and at times, even better, than the original non-fast foods. Others simply go out of their way to cook up meals which deliver roughly the same, and possibly even better, taste and energy than non-fast meals. In a nutshell, the anecdote is just a lightly humorous reminder that the restrictions of the fast are there for a reason--a reason we undermine when we practically try to bypass those restrictions.

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« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2007, 01:09:10 PM »

Archdeacon Habib Guirgus (early 20th century):

Beware of vainglory, O beloved, for it is the evidence of boasting, and the imprint of pride! Beware, lest you be leading the right path in your virtues only to have vainglory come as a thief to rob you of all the fruits of your efforts. Beware lest it cause you to sink, just like a man who fills his ship with precious goods, only to find a small hole in the hull, threatening the ship's safety and dooming it to sink and vanish with all the precious goods onboard!
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« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2007, 02:48:18 AM »

Abba Abd El-Messih the Ethiopian (20th century):

Simplicity without wisdom is stupidity; wisdom without simplicity is satanic.
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« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2007, 12:22:45 AM »

St Sophronius the Hermit (10th century):

God is Love because He is Trinity; or is He Trinity because He is Love? Love and Trinity are one and the same. In the Godhead there is the spring of love, the Father; the revelation of love, the Son; the giving and the communion of love, the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #58 on: December 22, 2007, 08:56:24 PM »

St. Gregory of Nareg (10th century,) from prayer 72 of his book of Lamentations:



A

Now to you, monastic brothers,
communities of disciples,
you who, bared-handed, have enlisted
as the Lord’s soldiers, in expectation
and hope of infinite good gifts,
for you I set this table with
my burnt sacrifice of words.

Accept this testament of confession
for the edification and salvation of your souls.
Know through it the frailty of the body.
Remember the warning words of the prophet
and the apostle: “No flesh should exult
before God.” And, “No one,
not a single person, is just.”1
Do not forget the word of the Lord:
“Even when you have done the things commanded,
admit, we are useless servants.”2
Do not permit yourselves to become the prey
of the Deceiver. Take heed from the scriptures.
“The chosen are also Devil’s food.”3
For even I, who nourish you with these meager fruits,
willingly blaming myself
with myriad accounts of all the incurable sins,
from our first forefather through the end
of his generations in all eternity,
I charge myself with all these, voluntarily,
taking the debt of all your wrongdoing upon me.4

B

I heard an innocent person once speak
in a most unfitting manner to the One
before whom no earthly being can be justified,5
and it was not pleasing as he boasted,
“I have never committed adultery
or fornication or tasted any other mortal pleasures
of this world.” Saying this is no less impious
than those deeds. May God forgive him,
for even if what he said were true
by bragging he shows he has not progressed
as far as he has fallen.
Repeating Zechariah’s words to the people of Israel:
“Praise the Lord that we are great,”6
echoing the voice of the Pharisee who exalted himself.7

C

But since I am condemned before the all-knowing God,8
who has placed the unseen passions of the mind
onto the scale of justice, and seeks to judge me
by these in the most just way, I shall not
pretend before the all-seeing,
deceive the one who scrutinizes everything,
lie to the one who counts faults when conceived, not
       when committed,
use trickery to favorably impress the Great One,
mask my unruly debauchery with the appearance of
       a good person,
take on airs of self-discipline while being
       forever weak,
dress in other’s costumes,
bask in other’s splendor,
put on finery to cover the ugliness of my body.
No one is so sinful as I,
so unruly, so impious,
so unjust, so evil,
so feeble, so misguided,
so foolish, so crafty,
so mired, so embarrassed, so blameworthy.
I alone, and no one else,
I in all, and all in me,
not the pagans, for they did not know,
not the Jews, for they were blind,
not the ignorant, for they were confused and
lacking wisdom.

D

I was dubbed, “Master,” which testifies against me.9
I was called, “Teacher, teacher,”
detracting from the praise of God.
I was said to be good because of my miserable plight.10
I was considered a saint by men,
though I am unclean before God.
I was proclaimed just, though by all accounts
I am ungodly.
I reveled in the praise of men,
thus becoming a mockery before the tribunal of Christ.
I was called, “Awake” at the baptismal font,11
but I slumber in the sleep of mortality.
On the day of salvation I was named “Vigilant,”
but I closed my eyes to vigilance.
So here are judgment and blame,
new reprimands and old sentences,
shame to my face and turmoil to my soul,
pleas about seemingly small things and very
grave matters.



Translated by Thomas Samuelian

http://www.stgregoryofnarek.am/book.php?id=73&parent_id=73

St. Gregory of Nareg was probably the greatest ascetic in the history of the Armenian Church, and yet he was so humble.  He was one of the holiest men, and yet he really thought he was the greatest sinner.  May God have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2007, 12:48:40 AM »

The Late Bishop Gregorius (+1919-2001):

For mankind to get in touch with the power of God that elevates him spiritually, he has to prepare a channel that allows him to freely receive, without obstacles, from the ultimate Source, God Himself. Silence, stillness, meditation and contemplation define the beginning stage of such a connection, yet these "skills" are not exclusive to Christianity, but are accessible to non-christians as well. It is the "enlightenment" spoken of by pagans, Sufis (muslims) or Hindus, and it is merely human in the sense that it stretches the limits of the human soul to its higher end.   

Yet the goal of Christian monasticism, and Christian ascesis in general, is not to achieve the natural, but to go beyond the natural, although it incorporates the natural means listed above as the first step towards the super-natural. This is done through partaking of the Holy Sacraments, the work of the Holy Spirit and the Grace of God  by which The Transcendent (God) bestows Divine gifts upon man that are ineffable to the recipient. Even the deeds and works of the mortification of the flesh acquire a new dimension and are transformed beyond human abilities. 

Therefore, the true Christian ascetic is elevated far beyond the pagan or Hindu monk, to a state in which such comparison even seems unnecessary. This is not possible through mere human struggle, although it cannot be set aside, but through the atonement of the blood of Christ and the talents of the Spirit. 


(The last two quotes and their translations have been made accessible thanks to the efforts of forum member Stavro)
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« Reply #60 on: January 02, 2008, 02:04:06 AM »

Another from St. Gregory of Nareg:


For a small teardrop from the eye
can cause an entire evil platoon of the Tempter’s
army to shrink away,
like the squirming of centipedes or earthworms,
drowning in a puddle of oil or a drop of
some lethal potion.
And the faint groan of a sighing heart,
rising from the soul,
is like a warm southerly breeze, mixed with sun,
that melts the fiercest blizzard,
for like storms, they are easily born and when
opposed, quickly die.


http://www.stgregoryofnarek.am/book.php?parent_id=8&type=2&type_1=none

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« Reply #61 on: January 02, 2008, 04:25:24 AM »

I was wondering if there are any books in the Oriental Church like the Patericon, Everghetinos or Limonarion in the Eastern Church.
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« Reply #62 on: January 02, 2008, 10:26:16 PM »

The big question is what exists in English.  For the Armenian Church, I am just aware of a couple of books in English collecting the lives of saints.  I'm not aware of anything specifically collecting sayings, like we are doing in this thread.  Another thing for the wish list...
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« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2008, 12:58:30 AM »

I am not aware of any within the Coptic Church since the Paradise of the Holy Fathers, which, unbeknowest to many, in fact originated as an OO collection and which in fact contains the sayings of many post-Chalcedon OO Fathers.

Quote
Another thing for the wish list...


Of the number of major projects--that are far beyond my league--that I have been struggling to do something about, one has been based on a similar, if not better, idea than the one in question. Forget the wish list, and put it on your prayer list. One earnest prayer can do miracles. I urge anyone who has benefited from this thread to spare just a moment to offer a heartfelt supplication to God on behalf of His Saints for the success of the projects I have had in mind. As I have just suggested, they require skills, knowledge and expertise that are far beyond what I can offer, and possibly can ever offer.
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« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2008, 11:12:49 AM »

Pope Kyrillos VI (20th Century):

The virtues are analogous to separate individual pearls in need of being bound together with string; love is the string that binds all virtues. Without love there is no cohesiveness or consistency amongst the various virtues.
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« Reply #65 on: January 15, 2008, 12:07:14 PM »

Since the Coptic Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany in a few days, I will share one patristic quote pertinent to the Orthodox understanding of the great mystery of Christ's Baptism each day till the day of the Feast:

Pope St Theodosius I of Alexandria (535-567):

[Abba Theodosius paraphrasing a segment of the dialogue between the Lord Christ and St John the Baptist:]

"O John, arise and baptize me in order that I may purify all creation; it is for this reason I came unto mankind." The blessed attendant answered and said: "I am thy servant, my Lord, what is this that thou sayest unto me? Dost not thou purify all creation, and shalt thou be baptized with your creation?" "Yea," said Jesus, "I will be baptized with water that my baptism shall be for all a well of water giving eternal life."
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« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2008, 04:45:38 AM »

Next patristic quote on the Orthodox understanding of Christ's baptism:

St Philoxenus of Mabug (6th century):

The return of all to God--the gathering up and the making anew, that everything might become in him and he in all: these mysteries commenced at Christ's baptism.
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« Reply #67 on: January 23, 2008, 07:59:06 AM »

H.H. Aram I (21st century):

It is by reaching out to the people that the Church acquires its real identity and fulfils its God-given vocation. The church is not a fortress to be protected, but a mission to be taken to the world.
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« Reply #68 on: January 23, 2008, 08:42:12 AM »

When evening comes, collect your thoughts and ponder over the entire course of the day: observe God's providential care for you; consider the grace He has wrought in you throughout the whole span of the day; consider the rising of the moon, the joy of daylight, all the hours and moments, the divisions of time, the sight of different colours, the beautiful adornment of creation, the course of the sun, the growth of your own stature, how your own person has been protected; consider the blowing of the winds, the ripe and varied fruits, how the elements minister to your comfort, how you have been preserverd from accidents, and all the other activities of grace. When you have pondered on all this, wonder of God's love towards you will well up within you, and gratitude for His acts of grace will bubble up inside you.
(John the Solitary, Letter to Hesychius in The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life, p. 94-95)
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« Reply #69 on: January 26, 2008, 08:51:08 PM »

St Stephen of Heracleopolis (7th century) speaking of St Apa Apollo (6th century) the Archimandrite of the Coptic Monastery of St Isaac:

"Many times," said Apa Apollo..."when I was about to offer up the holy, spiritual sacrifice, after I had broken that heavenly bread, I would see each portion with the face of the Saviour perfect in them all. And when someone holy would come forward to commune, I would see them [i.e. the portions] urging me to give to him. But when someone unworthy would come forward to partake of the holy mysteries, I would see them withdrawing, not wishing to be given to him. Therefore when one of this sort came forward once to receive, I was at a loss about this one. All the same I inclined towards charity. And when I had given to him the holy mystery, I saw at once one of the angels in attendance who took it from the man's hands and put it once more upon the table." You have seen with what sort of reverence and purity we shall be able to come forward to the setting forth of the holy mysteries....Since I have recalled [Apa Apollo's] vision, I shall not leave out on this matter. For the story is full of profit. It is grief yet full of joy. It is encouragment for new plants; it is assurance for those who stand firm.
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« Reply #70 on: January 28, 2008, 01:37:07 AM »

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian (21st century):

The Earth is before us as the creation of God's Hand in which humanity is given the burden of stewardship. In other words, it is mankind's responsibility to guard and maintain the rest of God's creation. In a way, this is a mission to which we are all called, failure of which would be considered sin.
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« Reply #71 on: February 16, 2008, 03:24:25 AM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III (21st century):

We can see all things as beautiful with the vision of faith, love and simplicity. Do you think that the mother ape sees its child as being less beautiful than that of a gazelle? Not at all; but if it were transformed into a gazelle she would mourn over him.
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« Reply #72 on: February 19, 2008, 01:17:45 AM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III (21st century):

I will remain silent, so that the Lord may speak. The Lord hears our silence.
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« Reply #73 on: March 03, 2008, 02:54:53 PM »

To all who reads this blessed thread:

Please help to continue it as our good brother EkhristosAnesti who started this wonderfully beneficial thread will be away for a short while attending to a personal matter. I have benefited immensly from this thread and hope that it may continue.

God Bless.

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Humble yourself before the Lord to help you in your struggle against sin and He will answer. When we ask things of the Lord and strive for Holiness we can have assured faith in answered prayers.
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #74 on: March 03, 2008, 03:12:36 PM »

Saint John Chrysostom

The Catholic Church is one body, and we are commanded in the holy Scriptures to maintain ‘the bond of unity and peace'.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The above written 600 years before the Roman Catholic Church was seperated form the Holy Orthodox Church. At time the world had only 'one' church. We refer to this church today as the Orthodox Church
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« Reply #75 on: March 03, 2008, 03:19:34 PM »

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

"If the first man formed out of the earth brought in universal death, shall not He who formed him out of the earth bring in eternal life, being Himself the Life?"
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« Reply #76 on: March 12, 2008, 12:06:41 AM »

St. Gregorios of Parumala (19th-20th centuries):

Prayer brings forth truth, religious faith, honesty and respect among the people.

http://jtsoftware.tripod.com/fparumala.htm
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« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2008, 09:31:53 AM »

Abouna Mikhail Ibrahim (+1975):

Sometimes the most profound and sublime of lessons can be learned from the simplest of acts and gestures:

Abouna Mikhail Ibrahim was a man of very little words. As far as words/sayings of wisdom are concerned, he, as with quite a few other contemporary Saints (e.g. Abouna Youstos El-Antony) was known for the persistence and consistency with which he resorted to a very simple one-liner. In Abouna Mikhail's case, that simple one-liner was, "let us pray." He seldom gave any advice whatsoever when confronted by others in regard to their problems. Having absolute trust that in the silence of prayer God would resolve any difficulty, he would deliver the almost automated response, "let us pray."

The Lord's positive response to Abouna's simple faith was clearly evident to all who dealt with him. H.H. Pope Shenouda III, being one personal witness amongst many of Abouna's holiness, thus had no hesitation in appointing him to the Clerical Council to assist with family difficulties, even though one would presume that only a clergy member with effective communication skills would be suitable for such a delicate position. 

On one occasion he sat in the presence of a Bishop, the head of the Council, and some priests to discuss a flaring dispute between a married couple which threatened to separate them.  Those who were present tiresomely discussed the issue with the couple, seeking by any and all means to find a suitable solution, but to no avail.  The presiding Bishop then asked Abouna Mikhail what his opinion on the matter was since he had remained silent throughout the entire ordeal. Abouna Mikhail delivered his stock response: "let us pray."  The Bishop responded, "we already prayed prior to this meeting as we always do", to which Abouna Mikhail "yes, but we did not pray for this specific problem." They all therefore accepted Abouna's suggestion and stood up to pray; the Bishop asked Abouna Mikhail to lead the prayer. Once they had completed prayer, the spirit of peace immediately filled the couple and all of the sudden, after what seemed to be a failed desparate last-minute attempt to solve their issues, they were found embracing eachother and without hesitation dropped their complaints. Amazed at what he saw before his eyes, one of those present looked to Abouna Mikhail and light-heartedly commented: "Abouna, why did you remain silent until now? Why didn't you just save all of us the headache and offer your suggestion before anyone opened their mouth?!"

I'm sure many of us pray in regard to the difficulties we face, and for the difficulties faced by others, but how many times do we postpone prayer until after we have sought to resolve it ourselves either through discussion, action, or even mere thought? How many times has our immediate response been, "let us pray"? I know I myself am a miserable failure in this regard; I sometimes tend to overthink things at first, and only think of praying once I begin to feel the burden such thoughts have on my mind. May the Grace of God give us the faith and wisdom of Abouna Mikhail, so that our immediate impulse may always be to pray before we even have a chance to think of a solution to a problem or advice to give to others. May Abouna's prayers and blessings be with us all, and glory be to God forever, Amen.
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« Reply #78 on: March 28, 2008, 09:04:59 AM »

Abouna Elia of St. Bishoy's Monastery, (Scetis) Wadi El-Natrun (21st century):

In Mary, Christ Jesus began his descent into our humanity, into our suffering, so it is also in her that we begin our ascent to his love. Our sufferings have become the place of his visitation ever since she accepted his coming into her troubled heart, into her womb. Our desert becomes a watered garden by his visit. There is, in the desert of our suffering, a secret fountain, the hidden spring of her prayer, just as in the desert of the Wadi Natroun, the ancient subterranean rivers of the Nile are still providing
water these thousands of years later.

A moral point to all of this is that we must accept the pattern of the great commute in our life. We must enjoy the feast of divine affirmation when it is presented, most especially in the Eucharist. On every occasion of grace and mercy, we must enjoy the blessing. But at the same time, we must be willing to be driven by the Spirit into the desert, into the work that we must do for others in compassion. We must go out into the desert of our own purification and sanctification. We must accept the eventualities
of Divine Providence which come to us with the same Spirit of affirmation who came over Jesus in the waters of the Jordan, the Spirit who likewise drove him into the desert where he was alone and abandoned, the Spirit who drove him even to the Cross. We do these things in union with Christ Jesus in the prayer of Mary, for it was by her prayer, her Fiat, that this process was initiated. God came to visit us to make this fountain of life flow into our desert.
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« Reply #79 on: March 28, 2008, 12:57:14 PM »

Abouna Elia of St. Bishoy's Monastery, (Scetis) Wadi El-Natrun (21st century):

In Mary, Christ Jesus began his descent into our humanity, into our suffering, so it is also in her that we begin our ascent to his love. Our sufferings have become the place of his visitation ever since she accepted his coming into her troubled heart, into her womb. Our desert becomes a watered garden by his visit. There is, in the desert of our suffering, a secret fountain, the hidden spring of her prayer, just as in the desert of the Wadi Natroun, the ancient subterranean rivers of the Nile are still providing
water these thousands of years later.

A moral point to all of this is that we must accept the pattern of the great commute in our life. We must enjoy the feast of divine affirmation when it is presented, most especially in the Eucharist. On every occasion of grace and mercy, we must enjoy the blessing. But at the same time, we must be willing to be driven by the Spirit into the desert, into the work that we must do for others in compassion. We must go out into the desert of our own purification and sanctification. We must accept the eventualities
of Divine Providence which come to us with the same Spirit of affirmation who came over Jesus in the waters of the Jordan, the Spirit who likewise drove him into the desert where he was alone and abandoned, the Spirit who drove him even to the Cross. We do these things in union with Christ Jesus in the prayer of Mary, for it was by her prayer, her Fiat, that this process was initiated. God came to visit us to make this fountain of life flow into our desert.


Dear EA,

I had the great blessing of meeting and spending some time with Fr. Elia during my 40 days at St. Bishoy's monastery...I cannot describe to you his humility and simplicity, and yet his deep interior life which easily manifests itself in his words. He aslo gave me some very good advice on priesthood.

God bless.

Kyrillos
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« Reply #80 on: March 28, 2008, 02:13:37 PM »

Abouna Athanasius Iskander (21st century):

Sometimes the devil, in order to confirm one in their delusion, will inspire a false sense of warmth in the heart...He simply instructs his demons not to disturb or tempt the wrongdoer in order that they may be deceived into thinking that they are doing the right thing. Here is an actual example of how he does so: a long time ago I met two young people who were living together in sin. They would tell me, "Abouna, we both pray the hourly prayers together, and we read the Scriptures together; how can our living together be wrong?!"

There is an old song with the lyric: "It can't be wrong, when it feels so right." Everytime I hear this song I think to myself, "the devil himself must have written this song!"


What a joy to see my own parish priest quoted here.  Have you ever met him?
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« Reply #81 on: March 29, 2008, 02:31:37 AM »

I had the great blessing of meeting and spending some time with Fr. Elia during my 40 days at St. Bishoy's monastery...I cannot describe to you his humility and simplicity, and yet his deep interior life which easily manifests itself in his words. He aslo gave me some very good advice on priesthood.

Dear Abouna,

I have never met this holy man before, but he sure sounds like someone I would like to meet so i'll be sure to look out for him during my next trip to Egypt. The sayings I have of him (which I'll continue to post) were recorded after he had spent 11 years as a hermit in the wilderness. He was forced back to the monastery by his fellow monks who feared for his health.

The only Abouna Elia I have met, and who is definitely a must visit, is Abouna Elia from Deir El-Baramous. He is a very strange and unique personality that one. My family and I had just parked the car at the monastery and we hardly got the chance to stretch our legs before some monk with a smirk on his face confronted us individually, one after the other, telling us, openly before all present, some of our deepest secrets about ourselves, and then just walked away. The experience left all of us looking at eachother shocked and speechless, and my dad's best friend (who came with us and who knows Abouna Elia very well, and who was hence apparently used to seeing this kind of thing) laughing his head off. He's also an excellent iconographer.
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« Reply #82 on: April 06, 2008, 07:51:56 AM »

Abouna Elia of St. Bishoy's Monastery, (Scetis) Wadi El-Natrun (21st century):

When God asks us to make heroic sacrifices, it is not because he is heedless of what we are giving up; he is profoundly aware of it. When we are offering gifts to God, we are not really offering much, unless, at the same time, we are also submitting all those things that are valuable to us. We must submit to God’s will everything which is dearest to us, that which is our only one of something, that which we love, that which is even beyond our ordinary capacity to imagine losing. Otherwise, all of our prayers and protestations of fidelity are somewhat strategic and not genuine or sincere.

This one deeply hit home for me...
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« Reply #83 on: April 13, 2008, 10:20:12 AM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III (21st century):

Resist the devil at the first available opportunity…As long as you extend the time entertaining the devil’s temptation, your resistance will fail as happened to Samson with Delilah when she pressed him daily; his soul was vexed unto death and he told her all that was in his heart (Judg. 16:15-17). Do not say, "I shall bear this thought to know its end!" Believe me, you know its end very well, so do not deceive yourself. The mere opening of the gates of your mind to the devil is dishonesty toward God…Do not indulge in his intrigues and do not delay, but resent him firmly saying "Away with you, Satan!" (Mt. 4:10)…If you firmly refuse all the thoughts of the devil, he will be in awe of you. The devil is intelligent enough to discern serious resistance…he knows who refuses him with a pure heart and who refuses him by his lips alone whilst submitting to him in his heart. The devil is able to know he who has the will to resist him unto death and he who will submit if pressed a little further. So resist zealously, with all your might and with all your heart. Do not give the devil the chance to say, “ah, but he is soft-hearted! Though he appears to object much and strongly at first, he will consent in the end as this has been the case on each occasion thus far!”
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« Reply #84 on: April 14, 2008, 12:20:09 AM »

H.G. Bishop Moussa (21st century):

At times people have this idea that the Lord must give miraculous or explicit signs to reveal His will to us, such as a dream, a significant event, specific words from a specific person etc. Such an idea is not sound because:

1. God has endowed us with His Holy Spirit to guide us in the right way. It is thus not proper to deal with Him through superstition, fables, visions, dreams etc. for He is personally present amongst us, working within us, and guiding the soul.

2. It is easy for Satan to interfere in such matters, knowing how keen we are for signs. He can create such signs for us so as to lure us into an ambush.

3. Possibilities of self-deceit are predominant. Dreams often reflect one's personal concerns and lusts. If a particular person is hankering after something, even passively, such may dominate his/her dreams. The result is disorder and deviation.

How many times have dreams and visions entrapped even saints and ascetics who had no humility or lacked the ability to discern the spirits? We should not wait for or pursue strange signs to reveal God's will. It is sufficient that we have the Holy Spirit, spiritual advisers, our own God-given intellect, family and friends.
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« Reply #85 on: April 14, 2008, 05:52:42 AM »

are you have PDF books
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« Reply #86 on: April 14, 2008, 11:26:07 PM »

Welcome to the forum!

I'm not sure what you are asking for.  Are you asking if there are any PDF books with the sayings of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers?  If that is what you are asking, I think the answer would be "no."  Unfortunately, as noted in replies 61, 62 and 63 above, there aren't really any formal compilations of any kind like we are trying to do here.

I hope you enjoy the forum.  I'm looking forward to your participation here.   Smiley
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« Reply #87 on: April 15, 2008, 02:26:54 PM »

HH Pope Shenouda III (20th Century):

We, also, note that He addressed the Father in two ways:  "Father" and "My God". By the word "Father" He contested those who challenged Him, saying: "If You are the Son of God, come down from the Cross."(Matt. 27:40) He offered evidence that He is the Son of God. However, He did not descend from the Cross, but made the Cross ascend to Heaven!
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« Reply #88 on: April 15, 2008, 02:33:21 PM »

Reverend Fr. Abraham Wassef (21st Century):

"Many people consider loving your enemies weak. But which is easier, to hate your enemies or to love them?

...

It is without a doubt harder to love them, which shows that loving your enemies is a sign of great strength."


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« Reply #89 on: April 18, 2008, 09:51:38 PM »

Last quote before Pascha week:

Abouna Elia of St. Bishoy's Monastery, (Scetis) Wadi El-Natrun (21st century):

By the celebration of Easter, the Church does not so much return in history to the third day after the burial of Jesus, to the glorious moment when he arose. It doesn’t just return to the empty tomb with the apostles or the disciples or Mary of Magdala. It does, indeed, do these things, but it does these things in memory. On Easter Sunday, the Church is somehow transported to the future, when Christ will come again. Easter, for the Church, is a promissory feast of one day fully sharing union with Christ in a risen body. It’s a celebration of the future when the Church will be gathered around the Lamb in the new Jerusalem with the heavenly assembly all around us, singing and praising God.
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« Reply #90 on: April 22, 2008, 04:00:55 PM »

Welcome to the forum!

I'm not sure what you are asking for.  Are you asking if there are any PDF books with the sayings of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers?  If that is what you are asking, I think the answer would be "no."  Unfortunately, as noted in replies 61, 62 and 63 above, there aren't really any formal compilations of any kind like we are trying to do here.

I hope you enjoy the forum.  I'm looking forward to your participation here.   Smiley

There are some pdf books though of many modern authors like H.H. Pope Shenouda.  Just do a google search.
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« Reply #91 on: May 03, 2008, 05:55:25 PM »

From St. Gregory of Nareg, prayer 10 of his Book of Lamentations (10th Century):

Prayer 10

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A

Both unruly sin and deep regret
plunge us into damnation, being
essentially similar even though from different sources.
But when compared they share the same character flaws:
one doubts the strength of the Almighty’s
hand like a cowardly skeptic,1
while the other, like a wild beast,
brutally cuts the thread of hope.2
Satan, flattered by the first,
constantly rejoices; while the second
provides fresh blood for the hounds of hell to lap up.

B

I catch my breath like one bludgeoned with a thick club,
until he reaches death’s shores. I catch
my breath, mustering whatever life remains
hoping that my soul will be rehabilitated, protected,
restored, and resurrected from mortal perdition
with the help of Christ’s hand,
Christ who is merciful in all things.
And with help from our heavenly Father,
who has granted salvation and healing
to a failing sinner near death,
I begin this book of prayers with supplications.
I will build an edifice of faith,
as one of our faith-filled forefathers did
when he was instantly transported to heaven
through the balm of repentance,3
thus bequeathing us the promise of immortality on earth,
perhaps more so than the Apostle writing about those
who, enduring their trials on earth,
put their faith in heaven and the hope of things to come,
and were filled with the abundance of the unseen.4

C

For even he who has committed mortal sin,
even he, recaptured in the evil spirit’s prison
and cast down into the abyss of evil,
even he still can grasp the slender hope of salvation.
Even he has hope of escape through redemption,
like the remorseful sinner miraculously reclaimed
through the raindrops of his eyes
caused by the compassion of the Almighty,
the Almighty who again made the earth flourish,
as a gift from the Spirit of God.
Let us remember also the healing and encouraging words of our Lord,
“With faith, anything is possible.” 5
First and foremost let us consider this the measure
of what is good and favored in the eyes of God;
for the way to the holy of holies is through faith.
Without faith, the Lord of glory did not, will not
show his miraculous power to us, asking first
that his good work be met by our faith.
For this reason he who is with God
is, of his own, capable of receiving life,
for the blessed mouth of God has promised,
“Your faith shall save you.” 6

D

Faith, that happy and favored word,
which lasts forever untarnished and unbounded,
honored together with charity and hope 7
brings the rewards of truly clear vision, perfect wisdom,
acquaintance with God and familiarity with the Exalted.

For if the faith of a mustard seed 8
can cast a great mountain
into the depths of the sea, then truly
we should accept it as the first step
toward eternal life.
Faith, this simple and clear form of worship,
means setting aside doubt to see the future and hidden
with the eye of the soul.

Faith is honored in a glorious trinity
with charity and hope. For if you view
these three as distinct aspects
of one and the same mystery,
you shall forever be magnified in God.
And if you believe, you shall love
and through love have hope in his unseen rewards.
Glory to him forever.
Amen.


http://www.stgregoryofnarek.am/book.php?parent_id=11&type=2&type_1=none
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« Reply #92 on: June 04, 2008, 06:00:52 AM »


"Never permit your tongue utter a word unless you are convinced that what you say is beneficial either for yourself or for whom you are saying it."

Saint Zena-markos (13th c. Ethiopian saint)
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« Reply #93 on: June 04, 2008, 06:22:13 AM »

It is said that lions and tigers and other wild beasts were so amiable to St. Geber-menfes-kidus of Ethiopia. One day while a certain monk was taking counsel from this saint a lion showed up from the forest and looked furiously at the monk. The monk was alarmed and began looking for a place to hide. But the saint calmly instructed the lion to go back. Then the lion bowed to the saint and disapeared into the forest. Astonoshed by what he saw the monk asked how the lion obeyed him. The saint answered "wild beasts were created to serve us humans. But when we disobeyed God they became our enemies. If you remain as pure as you were created then the wild beasts will not harm you. Now go monk and strive for purity of your soul!!"
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« Reply #94 on: June 06, 2008, 06:19:41 AM »

"Long-suffering, humility, and reverence to God - these three will lead you to eternal life. Envy, presumption, vaunt - these three will pull you down to the depth of eternal fire"

St. Takla-haymanot of Ethiopia
(From the life of Takla-haymanot, Chapter 43)
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« Reply #95 on: June 09, 2008, 05:03:00 AM »

One day, the disciples of St. Takla-haymanot, being offended by the wild animals in the vicinity of the monastery, reported to the saint that monkeys, baboons, civets, and hyraxes destroyed all the vegetables they raised in the monastery garden. Saint Takla-haymanot then calmed his disciples and said to them "my children! it is not these creatures that interfered in our life. It is we ourselves that interfered in their life by occupying their dwelling place. Therefore, leave them alone, they are flesh and blood just as we are, we should by no means offend them."

(From the life of Takla-haymanot, Chapter 52)
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« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2008, 10:22:22 AM »

When your nieghnor affends you; kneel down and pray for them.

If your father fails to care for you; reach out and hold his hand.

If your mother scorns you unjustly; say "thank you for caring".

If you are persecuted for your faith in Christ; prepare for more.

If you seek unity and are harshy occused for your efforts; cry the tears of joy since without unity no house will stand and so you are blessed to seek that which God commanded.

[bgcolor=#4e00ff]DAT DEc. 2007[/bgcolor]

To dwell among disorder while seeking the way of Christ is a trap. Christ will never have the truely humble and contrite search for His way while wearing the blinders of disorder and chaos.

[bgcolor=#4e00ff]DAT June 2008[/bgcolor]

There is no division in Gods house.....only fools

[bgcolor=#4e00ff]DAT Dec. 2007[/bgcolor]

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"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #97 on: July 12, 2008, 02:04:38 PM »

St. Evagrius Ponticus

I have observed the demon of vainglory being chased by nearly all the other demons, and when his pursuers fell, shamelessly he drew near and unfolded a long list of his virtues.

Praktikos, Chapter 31
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« Reply #98 on: July 12, 2008, 02:06:42 PM »

St. Evagrius Ponticus

Prayer is the fair flower of meekness and mildness.

Chapters on Prayer, Chapter 14
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« Reply #99 on: July 12, 2008, 09:44:48 PM »

From St. Jacob of Serug (5th-6th centuries):

It was beautiful for Mary that she should speak peace,
for she sowed peace for those far and near.

She was as a treasure full of peace for all mankind;
great peace was hidden in her for those who were at enmity.

She offered peace as also she had received peace,
from on high, which was for the whole world.

Peace was spoken profusely from her mouth;
it was fitting for the blessed one to proclaim it.


(From the Homily Concerning the Holy Mother of God, Mary, When She Went to Elizabeth To See the Truth Which Was Told to Her by Gabriel, taken from On the Mother of God, (1998) St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, page 73:

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« Reply #100 on: July 13, 2008, 12:22:19 AM »

Pope Shenouda III:

All you need, dear brother, is to meet with Christ, and speak to Him, to listen to Him and form a relationship with Him, and you will find in Him all that you will ever need.  With Christ you will lack nothing.  Give Him your heart, and then you will feel all the triviality of the world, and you will be happy with God's love.


Being With God, page 71
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« Reply #101 on: October 04, 2008, 04:44:02 PM »

Pope Shenouda III:

Through the resurrection, the cross became a glorious crown, instead of a symbol of suffering. That is why St. Paul says, "I rejoice 'in weaknesses and insults and persecutions for Christ's sake" (2 Cor. 12: 10). He also says, "we suffer with Him, so we can be glorified with Him also" (Rom. 8:17).

The resurrection of Christ gave believers hope for an afterlife and for an eternal fellowship with Christ. This hope enabled them to put all their treasures in heaven and live as strangers in this world. St. Paul described life in heaven as "what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor entered the mind of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him" (I Cor. 2:9). The resurrection, then, is not an end in itself, but a means to the end which is everlasting life with God.

The disciples rejoiced for the heavenly body that comes with the resurrection. Christ will raise our bodies also as He Himself rose. Human nature will be glorified in the resurrection from death. St. Paul says that "the body which is sown in corruption will rise in incorruption, and that which is sown in weakness will be raised in power" (I Cor. 15:42-44). He also said that the Lord will change the body of humility into the image of His glorious body (Philippians 3 :21).



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« Reply #102 on: October 21, 2008, 12:03:49 AM »

St. Jacob of Serug:

The Word and the Voice were there in the two wombs;
in Elizabeth there was the Voice and in Mary, the Word.


(From the Homily Concerning the Holy Mother of God, Mary, When She Went to Elizabeth To See the Truth Which Was Told to Her by Gabriel, taken from On the Mother of God, (1998) St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, page 84:

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« Reply #103 on: October 28, 2008, 01:05:17 AM »

Abouna Elia of St. Bishoy's Monastery, (Scetis) Wadi El-Natrun (21st century):

In Mary, Christ Jesus began his descent into our humanity, into our suffering, so it is also in her that we begin our ascent to his love. Our sufferings have become the place of his visitation ever since she accepted his coming into her troubled heart, into her womb. Our desert becomes a watered garden by his visit. There is, in the desert of our suffering, a secret fountain, the hidden spring of her prayer, just as in the desert of the Wadi Natroun, the ancient subterranean rivers of the Nile are still providing
water these thousands of years later.

A moral point to all of this is that we must accept the pattern of the great commute in our life. We must enjoy the feast of divine affirmation when it is presented, most especially in the Eucharist. On every occasion of grace and mercy, we must enjoy the blessing. But at the same time, we must be willing to be driven by the Spirit into the desert, into the work that we must do for others in compassion. We must go out into the desert of our own purification and sanctification. We must accept the eventualities
of Divine Providence which come to us with the same Spirit of affirmation who came over Jesus in the waters of the Jordan, the Spirit who likewise drove him into the desert where he was alone and abandoned, the Spirit who drove him even to the Cross. We do these things in union with Christ Jesus in the prayer of Mary, for it was by her prayer, her Fiat, that this process was initiated. God came to visit us to make this fountain of life flow into our desert.



In a time of uncertainty, we can conjecture around the mythical adventures of the past once lived, but how many paths fall upon us, when there are so many gateways and offering , all with no answer 

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« Reply #104 on: November 28, 2008, 06:16:58 PM »

St. Evagrius Ponticus:


Apatheia is the quiet state of the reasoning soul composed of gentleness and prudence.


Skemmata, Chapter 3

http://www.ldysinger.com/Evagrius/05_Skemm/00a_start.htm
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« Reply #105 on: December 27, 2008, 03:24:00 PM »

Holy Mar Jacob of Serugh (6th Century, from the Homily Concerning the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, Mary):

Prayer which is limpid conspires with God;
          it speaks to Him, listens to Him and confides in Him.
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« Reply #106 on: March 11, 2009, 06:43:55 AM »

Sorry, I haven't been able to update this thread in a while due to my hectic schedule; I'm hoping to resume regular participation by the middle of next month. I will give a few quotations to make up for my past and near future absence:

Pope St Kyrillos VI (20th Century):

Nothing in this world can distress or perturb me, for I take refuge in the impregnable fortress of the Church. I am reassured in the bosom of God's mercies. Comfort and blessing continuously flows from Him. The Lord's grace flutters its wings and casts away all sadness, and heals the heart with its indescribable balm. Oh, how sweet it is! No one can withstand the trials of this world without His care or power. Our Fathers compare this Grace with a mother teaching her child to walk. She stands at a distance and when she sees that he is about to fall she hurries to him and wipes every tear from his eyes. Such is the way that God's Grace deals with man. Amid his struggles, God's Grace distances itself just a little in order to train him to walk in the path of virtue. But when he is found to be saddened or discouraged, this Grace hurries to comfort and encourage him.

I was blessed by that quote! Thank you for posting this.

Selam
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« Reply #107 on: March 14, 2009, 10:32:16 PM »

Abouna Mikhail Ibrahim (+1975):
I'm sure many of us pray in regard to the difficulties we face, and for the difficulties faced by others, but how many times do we postpone prayer until after we have sought to resolve it ourselves either through discussion, action, or even mere thought? How many times has our immediate response been, "let us pray"? I know I myself am a miserable failure in this regard; I sometimes tend to overthink things at first, and only think of praying once I begin to feel the burden such thoughts have on my mind. May the Grace of God give us the faith and wisdom of Abouna Mikhail, so that our immediate impulse may always be to pray before we even have a chance to think of a solution to a problem or advice to give to others. May Abouna's prayers and blessings be with us all, and glory be to God forever, Amen.

AMEN. I am challenged and encouraged by this. How often I rely on my own pitiful understanding and am quick with my own words and opinions. What a lack of faith this demonstrates! May God in His grace teach me to be quick to pray and slow to opine.

"Lord Eyesus Kristos, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Selam
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« Reply #108 on: March 16, 2009, 11:34:33 PM »

From The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, Vol. II:

The old men used to say, "There is nothing worse than a man passing judgement upon his neighbor."

("Questions and Answers on the Ascetic Rule," saying 199)

http://www.amazon.com/Paradise-Holy-Fathers-2/dp/0980517125







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« Reply #109 on: March 21, 2009, 11:42:58 PM »

H.H. Pope St Kyrillos VI:

The Eyes of the Lord traverse the earth searching for souls ripe for repentance so that He can draw near to them. Many have sought, and continue to seek Jesus, each with their own reason. There is one who comes to the Lord asking, "tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me" (Lk 12:13). There is one who seeks Jesus, as Herod did, to witness one of His Signs and Wonders (Lk. 23:8). Then there is the multitude who, having been filled, wait for the Lord at the foot of the mountain; but these the Lord passed by (Lk. 7:36-50). There are those who, like Simon the pharisee, seek the Lord that He may enter in their houses to dine (Lk. 7:36-50). Then there are those such as the Samaritan woman whom the Lord approaches even when they do not consciously seek Him (Jn. 4). Amongst all these different types of people, the Lord responds only to those who sought repentance or were ready to receive it.

- From 'The Haven of Salvation', Issue 1, Volume 2, 1930.
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« Reply #110 on: March 28, 2009, 08:40:30 AM »

Tamav Irini (+2008):

Tamav Irini is a well-known contemporary Saint of the Church. Amongst the many things for which she is famous is her pivotal role in the reform of the ascetic and monastic discipline of Coptic nuns in the 20th century to date. Tamav Irini was inspired to enact such reform after receiving direct spiritual counsel from the Holy Virgin and Abba Pachomios in response to a three day fast. Abba Pachomios instructed her to adopt his monastic ideal of communal discipline to encourage unity amongst the nuns who had suffered greatly at that time from bickering, discrimination and discord. As part of the overall communal programme, Tamav Irini mandated common prayer at regular set times during the day and instructed her nuns to greet one another before prayer in humility by prostrating before each other whilst saying "I have sinned, forgive me."

Once, of the older pious nuns under the care of Tamav Irini was walking to the church to attend a common vigil service when she saw a demon crippled and tied to a lotus tree. Her immediate instinct was to do the sign of the Cross so as to vanquish him, but he interrupted her, saying, "Wait, I have been sent to deliver a message to you." The old nun asked, "Who did this to you, O Shame-faced one?" To which the demon replied: "The words 'I have sinned, forgive me' have done this to me. I persisted in my attempt to frame and invent stories about each nun so as to create enmity between you all, but as you each continue to gather together daily, prostrating before one another and pleading, 'I have sinned, forgive me', you cripple me the way I am presented before you now."
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« Reply #111 on: April 04, 2009, 06:50:40 AM »

I haven't been so edified on this forum as i have reading this and other threads on Oriental Orthodoxy. Thanks for the treasures.
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« Reply #112 on: April 06, 2009, 04:48:34 AM »

An anonymous inquirer once asked H.H. Pope Shenouda during his regular QnA sessions with the congregation:

Your Holiness, please give me a word. Every time I begin to repent, I fall again...I get up, then I fall, I get up, I fall, I get up, I fall....I feel so discouraged.

His Holiness replied to the effect of:

Brother, you need to shift your perspective. Instead of viewing the situation as one of a cycle of positives followed by negatives, view it as a cycle of negatives followed by positives. Every time you fall, you get up, you fall, you get up, you fall, you get up...and know that in your perserverance to get up each time you fall--a perserverance which is supported in the first place by the Grace of God--God will grant you final victory.
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« Reply #113 on: April 11, 2009, 05:23:38 AM »

H.H. Pope Shenouda III

After recalling the incident where Christ exclaims, "I thirst" on the Cross only to be offered a sponge of vinegar, H.H. continues:

I wonder, brethren, if perhaps we continue to respond to the Lord similarly? The Lord thirsts for our salvation; he thirsts for the sap of the vine that flows within us, and yet we offer Him instead the vinegar of our trespasses, inadvertence and negligence.

Would you please, brethren, withdraw the spear that you  point at Christ's mouth and spare His lips from that sponge of vinegar? Would you please feel some remorse for the pain you inflict on the One who loves you dearly, and repent? And then, when you hear the Lord saying, "I thirst," you may answer him penitently saying: ‘I am the one who makes your tongue cleave to your jaws on account of my sins and trespasses. How I wish O Lord to quench your thirst by my tears. How I wish that you would strike my fervent soul and drink from its gushing waters...’
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« Reply #114 on: April 21, 2009, 04:40:28 PM »

Khristos Anesti!

The Late and Saintly Abouna Pishoy Kamel (+1979):

The following account is based on the witness of Abouna Pishoy's wife, Angel:

Abouna Pishoy once asked his wife, "Do you think we are serving the poor as we should?"

Tasoni responded with surprise, "You always visit them and personally attend to all their needs at their homes; what more can you do?"

Not content with her response, Abouna Pishoy replied, "No. That is not enough. We must dwell amongst them as one of them. How about we sell all that we have and move into a small room of corrugated iron just like the rooms they inhabit? All we need is a bed, a table and a few chairs. After all, did our Lord serve us from His heavenly heights? No. Rather, he descended into our midst and lived as one of us. Therefore, we must live amidst the poor."

Tasoni humbly apologised to her husband, however, being unable to fulfill Abouna's noble desire in this regard, and he, with great love, respected her limitations.
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« Reply #115 on: May 07, 2009, 04:35:13 PM »

Famous Quotes of Patron Saint of Malankara St. Mor Gregorios Geevarghese

[1]       "Avoid arrogance, quarrel and pride while dealing in Church matters; instead, let your humility shine before others.  Those who place their trust in God, and satisfy the people are blessed ".
[2]      "As far as possible never do evil to anyone: or it will ruin you, your children and your house.  Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity.  Do them with faith and devotion ".
[3]      "You must regularly read the Holy Bible.  You must obey your spiritual fathers and increase their good name and honor before God and men by your exemplary life ".
[4]      "Those who disobey their parents and join their enemies, are liable to be cursed by them.  They will not inherit the legacy of their parents and will be disqualified from this world as well as the other ".
[5]      "If there is quarrel in family, keep away from it.  A quarrelsome house is the haven of the devil; and God is nowhere near it ".
[6]      "Be rich in love of man and love of God.  Brothers should never cheat each other.  When you move away from unity you are sure to move away from God ".
[7]        "It is not spiritual wisdom to try to conquer the enemy with evil than with virtue.  If you depend on the God of Truth and go out with a truthful heart, God will accomplish things for you ".
[8]     "Loss and difficulties come when God moves away.  On such occasions, never look for one reason or other.  Instead, know that God has kept away because of your sins: then cling to God, he will show mercy upon you ".
[9]       "Prayer is the inspiration of childhood, the refuge of youth and peace during old age ".
[10]    "Forgiveness is strength.  It gives a person a good name.  It is the distinguishing feature of righteous people ".
[11]    "When we pray with a heart full of devotion, God accepts it and we receive blessings in return ".
[12]      "Whatever is due to the Church must be given forthwith.  If your mind is pure in that matter, your house will also be pure.  If in such things you think of any gain or revenue, then you will lose that ten-fold ".
[13]      "He who prays to God everyday would never be without truth, morality, faith and devotion, and would never turn against his master or society ".
[14]     "Remember God in everything.  Let no one grieve because of you.  Never let go an opportunity to do something good.  Only those things will remain with you till the end".
[15]      "If man does not raise his hands in prayer for himself and for the sake of his people, even after knowing God, how can we say man is better than animals who are not wise and cannot think about their future".

Biography of the saint http://www.saintgregorios.org/
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« Reply #116 on: May 16, 2009, 12:56:03 AM »

Abba Philemon of Scetis: 20th century contemporary of Pope Kyrillos VI and Abbot of St Macarius Monastery in Scetis

The Liturgy reminds us of what is stored in the heart of God and His eternally good pleasure and will.

We have two potential states of being; the real, which has its origin in the eternal will of God, and the false, which we create for ourselves, and by our sins.
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« Reply #117 on: May 21, 2009, 11:35:35 AM »

Abba Paul Al-Bushi (12th century Coptic Father):

A Proof of the Incarnation:

[One way] of demonstrating the Incarnation...that is not theoretical in nature [is]...the certainty that results from ascetic exercise and inner purification. Our fathers, following this path and arriving at the utmost end, have testified that the Christian faith alone is true. The proof of this is their attainment of union with God to the extent that marks of Him became expressed through them...
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« Reply #118 on: June 23, 2009, 10:04:46 PM »

As we are still in the time of the Apostles' Fast, I thought it fitting to paste the following quote which is displayed as 'Quote of the Week' on erkohet.com:

St Pope Kyrillos VI (20th Century):

"When fasting, you should fast both in body and heart; abstaining from meat, gossip and slander...The fasting tongue is better than the fasting stomach, and when the heart abstains from wrath, that is better than both."
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« Reply #119 on: July 25, 2009, 03:36:41 AM »

St Philoxenus of Mabug (+6th century):

Faith is the tongue of God.
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« Reply #120 on: July 29, 2009, 03:22:03 PM »

From The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, Vol. II:

The old men said, "Let no monk do anything whatever without first of all trying his heart to see that what he is about to do will be done for God's sake."

("On Scrupulous Watchfulness in our Thoughts, Words and Deeds," saying 339)

http://www.amazon.com/Paradise-Holy-Fathers-2/dp/0980517125
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« Reply #121 on: July 30, 2009, 10:07:23 AM »

“A person with a hardened heart will never see God’s mercy.”

St. Abune Samuel of Debre Wegeg, Ethiopia. 13th C.
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« Reply #122 on: July 30, 2009, 10:11:20 AM »

When, once, the king ordered St. Filipos of Ethiopia to join a government celebration during a fasting season, the saint responded “Monks have no festival. Their only festival is when their souls depart from their flesh.”

St. Abune Filipos, successor of the see of St. Teklehaimanot 13th C.
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« Reply #123 on: July 30, 2009, 10:13:54 AM »

When his parents urged him to marry, St. Samuel of Waldeba said: “I don’t need this world’s wedding. I have chosen the heavenly wedding where children of light will glory with their Lord Jesus in the heavenly Jerusalem.”

St.  Abune Samuel of Waldeba, Ethiopia. 14th C.
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« Reply #124 on: July 30, 2009, 10:16:10 AM »

After his ordination as a monk, St. Samuel of Wadeba said: “Behold my soul! You are now engaged to Christ. Think of the bridal wealth that you will receive from the clean bridegroom.”

St.  Abune Samuel of Waldeba, Ethiopia. 14th C.
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« Reply #125 on: July 30, 2009, 10:20:39 AM »

One day, Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to St. Samuel of Waldeba and asked him “My beloved Samuel, what do you like me to do for you?” The saint answered “My Lord I ask you one thing only! That, throughout my life, I see my own sins only and never the sin of others.”

St. Abune Samuel of Waldeba, Ethiopia. 14th C.
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« Reply #126 on: July 30, 2009, 10:23:08 AM »

Saint Filipos of Ethiopia once said: “The Lord’s saying to his disciples ‘Whosoever wants to be chief amongst you let him be your servant’ is so sharp as a blade and is able to cut out the pride in our heart.”

St. Abune Filipos. 13th C.
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« Reply #127 on: July 30, 2009, 10:26:22 AM »

“Oh father! I am a new seedling that has not yet experienced the sun and that does not know the drought of the summer;
Oh father! I am a newly growing olive tree whose leaves did not yet bloom well and whose roots are not yet firm;
Oh father! I am a new captain that has not experienced the waves of the sea and that does not know how to swim in deep turbulent waters.
Yet, I am planted in the middle of your holy stars….
Oh father! Let your prayer assist me; let you prayer lead me.”


St. Abune Filipos. 13th C. [praying to his predecessor father St. Tekle-haymanot during his ordination as an Episcopos by Bishop Yaqob of Egypt.]
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« Reply #128 on: July 30, 2009, 11:47:29 AM »

Thank you for posting these awesome sayings, Hiywot!

Is there a book in English available which has these, and other, sayings?  Or are you translating these from Ge'ez or Amharic?  If there is something available in English out there, I would love to get a copy for myself.
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« Reply #129 on: August 03, 2009, 02:47:41 AM »

Salpy,

These are my own translation.

Hiywot

 
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« Reply #130 on: August 03, 2009, 02:05:31 PM »

The translations are beautiful.  Thank you for going to the trouble to do them.  We really are enriched by the sayings!
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« Reply #131 on: August 05, 2009, 03:03:20 AM »

Salpy,

Thanks!

Hiywot
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« Reply #132 on: August 30, 2009, 05:07:39 AM »

St Apa Shenoute the Archimandrite and Prophet (+461 A.D.):

"Our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sake not only so rthat we might be raised in a bodily manner on the final day, but also so that we might be raised at the present time from the death of sin."
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« Reply #133 on: September 07, 2009, 11:45:27 PM »

From The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, Vol. II:

An old man once said, "When a man said to his companion, 'Forgive me,' and at the same time humbles himself, the devils are perplexed."

("On Humility," saying 522)

http://www.amazon.com/Paradise-Holy-Fathers-2/dp/0980517125
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« Reply #134 on: September 14, 2009, 03:37:28 PM »

A very powerful statement by the great St Philoxenus of Mabug (sixth century)--well worth being read at least seven times:

Now many have, for sundry and diverse reasons, forsaken the life of the world, and have drawn nigh to the discipleship of Christ, but not by reason of the one true cause, and in consequence their discipleship hath not prospered.

And they have become like sick members in the healthy body of the discipleship of Christ, and they also prevent healthy members from the performance of the service of the spirit and from the doing of all the commands of our Lord; it would have been better had they remained in the world and not made an exhibition of slackness in the land of spiritual beings.

The whole life and conduct of the world is sick and infirm in respect of spiritual things, but the body of the discipleship of Christ is sound and healthy. And whosoever would cut off his own members from that sick body, and come to be absorbed in this living body, it is the love of the Christian life and rule alone which can bring him into union with [this] body. And it is not meet that there should be [any] other cause for his drawing nigh thereto, as it is in the case of many men, for by compulsion, and from obligation, and from the forcing of parents, and by the irritation of a woman, and from many other unsound reasons, many men are driven perforce to come and be disciples to Christ.

And when they have come they are only [His disciples] in name, while in truth they belong to the world; to the Christian life [they belong] falsely and according to the sight of the eye only, and to the world in thought and deed; to the Christian life for custom's sake only, and to the world for their will's sake; to the Christian life by forcible consent, and to the world by the intelligence of their own freewill. And to speak briefly, in the Christian life is their shadow, and in the world is their body; in the Christian life they exist in form and appearance only, and in the world in [their] true person, being made the cause of stumbling to themselves and also to their brethren.

And they eat the bread of Christ by theft, and not by right; and although they are hired by Him they labour for another, and are not ashamed. When He calleth them, they obey another who is His opponent, and when any man taketh and bringeth them as his own property, they abuse His goodness, and despise His commandments. And they are made a stumbling-block in the place of the building, and a vision of detriment in the region of excellent things, and an occasion of falling in the land of truth, and a form of iniquity among helpful appearances.

And for those who are thus, it would have been better, according to the word of Christ if they had never been born, or if they were born that they had remained in the infirm country of the life of [this] world in which they were, and had not come to make others sick with themselves, or to make living limbs die, being themselves dead before God.

Do thou then, O disciple of God, flee from such things as these, and let faith itself alone be the cause of thy going forth from the world, that as thou hast laid the foundation, so also the whole building of thy works may ascend. For when thy works have received strength from thy faith which is [laid down] first, and which hath brought thee forth from the world, all things will be completed and preserved by faith in sound condition, and they will abide in integrity, and they will advance towards the secret eye of God, and will be completed and perfected by the exhortation of faith itself.
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« Reply #135 on: November 01, 2009, 10:12:45 PM »

Tamav Irini (+2006):

Whosoever toils with joy and gratitude, and without grumbling, receives great consolation from God in their work, and is blessed to a degree beyond that requested or hoped of Him.
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« Reply #136 on: November 15, 2009, 11:07:35 PM »

Pope St Kyrillos VI of Alexandria:

"When I was young I prayed for wisdom and love; but growing up, I learned to pray for the Wisdom of Jesus our Lord and the Love of the Crucified Jesus, our King and Saviour".
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« Reply #137 on: February 03, 2010, 11:11:53 AM »

Christ is my God and my hope.
His cross is the rod of my faith.
His pierced side is the flood of my baptism.
The blood of His flagellation is the oil of my anointment.
His apostles are the guide of my way.
My lady Mariam is the door of my salvation.


Aba Giorgis of Gasicha, Ethiopia (14th C.) in his “Book of mystery”
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« Reply #138 on: February 03, 2010, 11:14:02 AM »

The devil brought death through Eve; God brought life through Virgin Mariam.
Because of a woman we were far from God; Because of a woman we are nearer to God.
Satan gave Adam and Hewan (Eve) hope of becoming Gods; St. Gabriel gave Mariam Hope of giving birth to God.
Seed from a wood brought us quarrel with God; Cross from a wood brought us forgiveness.


Aba Giorgis of Gasicha, Ethiopia (14th C.) in his “Book of mystery”
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« Reply #139 on: February 04, 2010, 11:23:26 AM »

Hiywot,

Glory to God! Beautiful quotes above!  Is this book available in English?


Selam
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« Reply #140 on: February 05, 2010, 08:46:09 AM »

Hiywot,

Glory to God! Beautiful quotes above!  Is this book available in English?

Selam

No it is not. I just translated them as I read the Amharic version.
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« Reply #141 on: February 05, 2010, 04:11:40 PM »

The devil brought death through Eve; God brought life through Virgin Mariam.
Because of a woman we were far from God; Because of a woman we are nearer to God.
Satan gave Adam and Hewan (Eve) hope of becoming Gods; St. Gabriel gave Mariam Hope of giving birth to God.
Seed from a wood brought us quarrel with God; Cross from a wood brought us forgiveness.


Aba Giorgis of Gasicha, Ethiopia (14th C.) in his “Book of mystery”
I love this. One of the earliest Patristic teachings on Mary actually. Smiley
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« Reply #142 on: March 02, 2010, 02:13:26 PM »

St Philoxenus of Mabbug (6th Century):

"[The disciple of Christ] should know that, although he is human according to the flesh, he is chosen to work spiritual things, and that, by the grace of God, he has been held worthy of the life of heavenly things; and that, although he exists in the flesh in [this] world, he should walk in the path which is superior to his nature".
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« Reply #143 on: March 18, 2010, 06:19:18 AM »


Hishestsook :

Let us recall your name in the night, O Lord. [Ps 119:55]. •The good word will flow forth from our hearts, and our tongues will recount the works of you, the heavenly King. •Having arisen in the middle of the night, let us confess you Lord. •Let us offer our prayers to you, Lord, in your court, in th new Jerusalem. •In the night, let us lift up our hands in holiness to you, O Lord. [Lam 2:19] ʼWith a voice of thanksgiving let everyone bless the Lord!

Zarteek :

Arise, O my glory, arise! And I shall arise in the morning. Alleluia! •Arise with the vigilant angels, O children of the supernal Sion. Alleluia! •Arise, sons of light, in praise of the Father of light. Alleluia! [1Th 5:5] •Arise, all of you saved by the blood, and give glory to the Savior. Alleluia! •Arise, new people; sing a new song to Him who makes all things new. Alleluia! [Ps 96:1,] •Arise, brides in the Spirit, awaiting the coming of the holy Bridegroom. Alleluia! •Arise, you, who burn with light, like the wise holy virgins. Alleluia! •Arise and prepare oil for your lamps with warm tears. Alleluia! •Arise and sleep not, slumbering like the foolish virgins. Alleluia! •Arise, let us fall down and worship with tears, saying: Alleluia! •Arise, why do you sleep? Lord, do not forsake us. •Arise, Lord, and help us, and we shall give glory to your holy name. •Now and forever to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen. •Having arisen from the occupation of nocturnal repose, may the loving Lord also grant us consolation in the solace of the Church. •In awe and reverence let us stand in prayer. •Let us confess our transgressions. •And we shall find expiation and great mercy from Christ. •Forever and ever. Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

St.  Nesess

The two sequential hymns, Hishestsook and Zartik, were both composed by St. Nersess Shnorhali (d. 1173) as a fitting inspiration for the monks to wake up in the middle of the night for worship.

http://www.stnersess.edu/classroom/sml/daily/nightservice/index.php?setid=9
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« Reply #144 on: March 18, 2010, 08:26:26 AM »


Hishestsook :

Let us recall your name in the night, O Lord. [Ps 119:55]. •The good word will flow forth from our hearts, and our tongues will recount the works of you, the heavenly King. •Having arisen in the middle of the night, let us confess you Lord. •Let us offer our prayers to you, Lord, in your court, in th new Jerusalem. •In the night, let us lift up our hands in holiness to you, O Lord. [Lam 2:19] ʼWith a voice of thanksgiving let everyone bless the Lord!

Zarteek :

Arise, O my glory, arise! And I shall arise in the morning. Alleluia! •Arise with the vigilant angels, O children of the supernal Sion. Alleluia! •Arise, sons of light, in praise of the Father of light. Alleluia! [1Th 5:5] •Arise, all of you saved by the blood, and give glory to the Savior. Alleluia! •Arise, new people; sing a new song to Him who makes all things new. Alleluia! [Ps 96:1,] •Arise, brides in the Spirit, awaiting the coming of the holy Bridegroom. Alleluia! •Arise, you, who burn with light, like the wise holy virgins. Alleluia! •Arise and prepare oil for your lamps with warm tears. Alleluia! •Arise and sleep not, slumbering like the foolish virgins. Alleluia! •Arise, let us fall down and worship with tears, saying: Alleluia! •Arise, why do you sleep? Lord, do not forsake us. •Arise, Lord, and help us, and we shall give glory to your holy name. •Now and forever to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen. •Having arisen from the occupation of nocturnal repose, may the loving Lord also grant us consolation in the solace of the Church. •In awe and reverence let us stand in prayer. •Let us confess our transgressions. •And we shall find expiation and great mercy from Christ. •Forever and ever. Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

St.  Nesess

The two sequential hymns, Hishestsook and Zartik, were both composed by St. Nersess Shnorhali (d. 1173) as a fitting inspiration for the monks to wake up in the middle of the night for worship.

http://www.stnersess.edu/classroom/sml/daily/nightservice/index.php?setid=9

Nice waking-up psalms!  Cheesy

Hey, is the Orthodox Church of India canonically recognized by the See of Constantinople?
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« Reply #145 on: March 19, 2010, 11:30:21 AM »

Hey, is the Orthodox Church of India canonically recognized by the See of Constantinople?

We are talking about the Oriental (Non-Calcedonian) Orthodox Church of India; hence the question of being recognized by the Chalcedonian Byzantine Orthodox See of Constantinople does not arise.

If you are asking about the existence of Byzantine Orthodox Churches in India. It is almost nonexistent. There are three or four churches altogether in and around the city of Calcutta. They are all relatively recent missions, with recent converts, which I believe is under the Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Church in India with 1950 year history from the time of St. Thomas the Apostle is not in communion with Constantinople.  At various stages that Church has split and as it stands the Church established by St. Thomas exists in four different faith systems:
 
- Oriental Orthodox (2 jurisdictions: one that is autocephalous, another that is a autonomous jurisdiction under the Patriarch of Antioch) ,
- Church of the East (what some would refer to as Nestorian)
- Eastern Rites Roman Catholic ( 2 rites:  Syro Malabar that is a parallel to the Church of the East and  Syro Malankara  parallel to the Oriental Orthodox church)
- Anglican Communion (they call themselves Marthoma Church or the reformed Syriac Orthodox)
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« Reply #146 on: June 04, 2010, 11:38:36 AM »

More quotes from Aba Giorgis of Gasicha

Being named as Christian without faith in Christ is the same as naming a plant without seed, tree without leaf, river without water, cloud without rain, government without military, wall without roof, bride without ring, and altar without quorban.

* * *

A locked metal rod can be unlocked by a locksmith. Strong iron could melt in a furnace. But nobody can open the heart of the wicked with the words of scriptures and wisdom.

* * *

The father of Eve dwelt in the daughter of Eve. The father of Adam strived to be the second Adam. Behold, the grace of God was seen spreading from generation to generation.

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« Reply #147 on: June 07, 2010, 08:23:18 AM »

“You are a King and not an Evangelist. You need religious guidance from us as we need a righteous rule from you.”

Our holy mother St. Fikerte-kristos and her company to King Susenios (16th C.), when he tried to force them convert into Roman Catholicism.

“Do not intimidate us. Behold fire and sword are in your hands. You can do whatever you will on us. We will never renounce our Tewahido religion.”

St. Fikerte-kristos (16th C.), as the same King threatened to kill them.
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« Reply #148 on: June 08, 2010, 12:09:58 AM »

“You are a King and not an Evangelist. You need religious guidance from us as we need a righteous rule from you.”

Our holy mother St. Fikerte-kristos and her company to King Susenios (16th C.), when he tried to force them convert into Roman Catholicism.

“Do not intimidate us. Behold fire and sword are in your hands. You can do whatever you will on us. We will never renounce our Tewahido religion.”

St. Fikerte-kristos (16th C.), as the same King threatened to kill them.



AMEN!!!


Selam
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« Reply #149 on: June 12, 2010, 12:03:31 PM »

Whenever the Divine Light shines within the heart of one man, Its radiation is inevitably reflected through him on to others. And just as a prism reflects the light in various hues, so does the human being reflect the Divine Light in many ways. Some see in him God's Grace; others His mercy; still others His Wondrous love. Fortunately, the reflection of the Divine Light through a sanctified person is not only shed on his contemporaries, but shines on successive generations long after the physical death of the man himself. That is why the people of this present age can still bask in the Light reflected through the saints of bygone days. And by this reflection, the whole of humanity is raised to higher levels.

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(An OO Church mother)
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« Reply #150 on: August 26, 2010, 09:37:36 PM »

The body was just as important as the mind in these observances, and not merely only what the eyes saw and what the ears heard. Seeing and hearing were in some sense fundamental, even when there was no conscious comprehension. Equally important, however, were the other senses: the scent of incense in the church services, the taste of the Eucharistic bread and wine, the smearing of the oil from the church lamp on your forehead, the kissing of the cross and making the sign of the cross, the myriad genuflections and prostrations, the tasting of the bitter vinegar on Good Friday, the holding of the palm leaf on Palm Sunday, the kiss of peace given and received during the liturgy by all in the special Indian Christian way (offering both your hands to your neighbor to interleaf with the two hands of the other, who does the same to his or her neighbor in turn), the gorgeous vestments of the bishops and priests, the peals of church bells and systrums, exercising one’s own vocal chords loudly and spirit-fully, if not quite harmonious singing of the hymns and chants, the white-clad deacons, the colorful decorations of the altar. All five senses of the body were to be involved in worship: sight and hearing, smell and touch and taste. The body must pray just as much as the soul and the spirit, with the hands and the feet, the tongue and the lips, the voice and the breathing, posture and movement.

That was the system in which we had been brought up. And I must affirm the basic validity of the system, though much in it could readily be improved upon. I have dwelt upon this point in my Joy of Freedom. Many of the attitudes and tastes that I have carried over from childhood to adulthood came from this system.


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« Reply #151 on: August 27, 2010, 12:43:37 PM »

Quote
Mary is also our model in that she was the first person to receive Jesus Christ. As Mary bore Christ in her womb physically, all Christians now have the privilege of bearing God within them spiritually. By God's grace and mercy we are purified and empowered to become like Him.

Source: The orthodox study Bible
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« Reply #152 on: September 06, 2010, 08:00:04 AM »

Quotes from Mar-Isaac (Mar-Yishaq)

A soul that loves God gets rest and happiness by God only. Make haste to untie all bindings that are external to you. When you do this you can tie your heart by the string of love of God. Renunciation of carnal deeds brings unity with God. [/color]
[Mar-Yishaq, Geez version, Art.1, Ch.1]

*   *   *

Mercy is not in charity only. It is in the burning of the heart for and in pitying the sorrow of a brother. It is in giving oneself the sake of a brother.
[Mar-Yishaq, Geez version, Art.1, Ch.2]

*   *   *

Read books always… so that you find comfort in your soul;
Love the virtue of poverty… so that your heart remains far from conceit;
Denunciate pleasure… so that your conscience is free from turbulence;
Flee from a multitude of people… so that you save your
soul from loosing internal peace;Love purity… so that you will not feel ashamed when you stand in front of Jesus Christ for prayer.
[Mar-Yishaq, Geez version, Art.1, Ch.3]


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« Reply #153 on: October 18, 2010, 05:39:22 AM »

More quotes from the Ge’ez version of Mar-Yishaq

Gossip begets gossip and blessing begets blessing, therefore, bless others. Always bless with your tongue so that nobody will gossip about you. [1:7]

*  *  *

Refrain from minor sins so that you will not fall into the major ones. [1:4]

*  *  *

Who can possess meek thoughts… while in love of shining raiment?
Who can remain pure in thought… while in love of too much talking? [1:4]

*  *  *

Gossip begets gossip and blessing begets blessing, therefore, bless others. Always bless with your tongue so that nobody will gossip about you. [1:7]

*  *  *

If you achieve the state of appreciating and enjoying the sight of nature, know that this is the first step in the spiritual act of the mind. [1:8]

*  *  *

Refrain from reading the book of the heretics and never open its pages. You will lose your spiritual grace and glory. [1:9]

*  *  *

When you are liable to see mysteries and revelations you will be given the gift of tears and internal temptations will be quietened. [1:10]

*  *  *

Do not look for the gift that is not given to you so that you will not loose the one you already have. [1:11]

*  *  *

Fire can not burn a wet leaf.  Likewise, Godly mysteries can not dwell in pleasure loving heart. [1:11]

*  *  *

They are many who worked miracles and who saved others through their teachings but they themselves became sick in soul, fell into temptation, killed their souls and became stumble blocks for others. It is good to teach others… but it is much better that a person makes himself pure for God than teaching others. [1:5]

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« Reply #154 on: November 27, 2010, 09:44:57 PM »

Then He said the greatest thing when He made the statement, "Just as the living Father sent me, and I have life on account of the Father, so too whoever eats Me lives on account of Me." (John 6:57).  He did not need to say here, "whoever eats my body," because He already established that in the preceding statement.  He said first, "the living bread" (John 6:51), and informed us that that bread was truly His body.  Then, He said third, "whoever eats me" (John 6:57).  He means (here) that He is God incarnate, and His divinity is not differentiated from His humanity.  Whoever partakes (of the Eucharist) in a worthy manner and with faith, (God) resides in him and gives him the life that He gave to the body united to Him.

Bishop Bulus el Bushi (13th Century Coptic bishop)

quoted from Michael Christensen's Partaker of the Divine Nature, in the essay "The Copto-Arabic Tradition of Theosis" by Stephen Davis

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« Reply #155 on: November 30, 2010, 04:31:27 PM »

What the Christian tradition has taught me is not to ask for the cause of individual suffering, or to resolve philosophically the problem of unmerited suffering. My task is to use suffering that comes my way, for the exercise of self-discipline and compassion.  I do not know why we have to suffer, but I know that where there has been no suffering there is no development of character. I know that compassion is learned and taught by entering into the suffering of others and by letting others share one’s own suffering, to a certain extent. Suffering seems to be Love’s way, at least in this world.

Suffering does not open the door by itself. The key has to be turned; suffering has to be transmuted by love. Hate and despair can turn it into poison. I am grateful to God that however close I came to despair in my suffering -filled adolescence, I did not give up. My little faith helped me to cling on in hope.

Suffering is the key to the mystery of existence in this world. That is why God himself, supposedly free from all suffering, decided to come and partake of it Himself. Thereby lies the Grand Mystery. God suffers, in Christ, in us, even today.


His Eminence the Late Metropolitan Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios
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« Reply #156 on: December 24, 2010, 06:53:44 AM »

Can I post this as a word of wisdom?

http://www.diretube.com/haile-selassie/speaking-in-his-garden-david-will-still-beat-goliath-video_9cd589a73.html

“David will still beat Goliath”

Hiywot
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« Reply #157 on: December 24, 2010, 01:28:13 PM »

Can I post this as a word of wisdom?

http://www.diretube.com/haile-selassie/speaking-in-his-garden-david-will-still-beat-goliath-video_9cd589a73.html

“David will still beat Goliath”

Hiywot


Just in case this link never works in the future:

It is good that you are here to record this picture of me in my palace garden at Addis Ababa.  People who see this throughout the world will realize that even in the 20th century, with faith, courage, and a just cause, David will still beat Goliath.

His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie, 20th Century
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« Reply #158 on: March 10, 2011, 11:30:27 PM »

Dionysius Bar Salibi, Bishop of Syriac Orthodox Church in 12th century, clearly expounds Miaphysite Christology of Oriental Orthodox Churches in his Prayer during Fraction of Holy Mysteries in Divine Liturgy:

Thus truly the Word of God did suffer in flesh, and was sacrificed and broken on the Cross, and His soul separated from His Body, while His Godhead never separated neither from His Soul nor from His Body. And He was pieced in His side with a spear, and there flowed out of Him blood and water, the atonement of the whole world. And his Body was stained with them. And for the sin of the whole world, the Son died on the Cross, and His Soul came and united with His Body. And He turned us from the work of the left to that of the right. And by the Blood of His Person, He reconciled, united and combined the heavenly with the earthly, the people with the gentiles and the Soul with the Body. And on the third day, He rose from the tomb. One is Emmanuel, and cannot be divided into two natures after the indivisible unity. Thus we believe and thus we confess and thus we confirm that this Flesh is of this Blood and that this Blood is of this Flesh.
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« Reply #159 on: June 10, 2011, 10:48:42 PM »

"It is more worthwhile to focus on furthering the depth of our spirituality rather than expanding its breadth. Progressing spiritually is not necessarily about doing more. In some circumstances, spritual progress is better achieved simply by striving to do greater in the little you already do."

- Anonymous Coptic priest
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« Reply #160 on: August 03, 2011, 08:13:38 PM »

Christ is Risen!
selam everyone  Smiley
I am very thankful for this thread. Such a Jewell! Please my brothers and sisters continue sharing.

Evagrius Pnticius wrote “Apathy (acedia) seriously damages the soul. Indifference attacks us most strenuously during the middle of the day. A sense of dreariness makes us think that time is creeping by. Bored, we think a day lasts fifty hours. In torpor, we step outside and try to observe some movement of the sun. We begin to hate where we are, hate life itself, and hate manual labor. We think no one cares and no one care encourage us. The slightest offense becomes unbearable.
Indifference to your present circumstances leads you to look for other places where you can live more comfortably and be successful in business. Rationalizing, you believe that pleasing the Lord has nothing to do with this place. You are convinced God can be loved everywhere. This cruel demon leads you to think how this present dreariness will stretch into the distant future. It will stop at nothing in its effort to prompt you to forsake your cell and drop out the fight.
None of the other demons will press you as hard as this one, never giving up. The struggle against it will fill you with unfathomable peace and indescribable joy.’’


Blessed day Smiley
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« Reply #161 on: August 03, 2011, 09:51:05 PM »

The following passage is from Iris Habib Almisry's book "Story of the Copts" (pgs. 312-313). This passage recounts the life of St Dioscorus while in exile on the island of Gangra*:

One of [the visitors of Dioscorus while he was in exile] was a merchant from Egypt
who stopped by the island shores one day, and wept
bitterly at the sight of his exiled Patriarch. The man-of-
God comforted him by saying: “My son, as long as we
conserve intact the faith legated to us, we are safe despite
all physical woes”. The merchant offered him some
money saying: “Holy Father, accept this gift because you
are in a strange land”. Abba Dioscorus replied: “My son,
we are not in a strange land – God Who created the whole
world and Who has given us the courage to fight for the
true faith is able to make us feel that we are not str[a]ngers
in any land, for – as the Psalmist says – the earth is the
Lord’s and the fullness thereof”. The merchant’s heart
was comforted, but he so earnestly begged Abba
Dioscorus to accept his donation that he finally prevailed
on him. This money, the Man-of-God distributed among
the poor.63 Abba Dioscorus assented, adding that it also
symbolized the blessed Virgin Who bore Christ within her
womb, but was not scorched thereby.
324. Five years after this sentence of exile had been
pronounced, the maligned Head of the Church of
Alexandria joined the ranks of the Church Triumphant.
During his exile, he had succeeded in winning many pagan
residents of the island to the Christian faith, and a number
of heretics to Orthodoxy – thus serving his Lord even
unto the end.


Source: http://popekirillos.net/EN/books/Story_of_copts.pdf

*Ignore the numbers, they are citations.
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« Reply #162 on: August 28, 2011, 01:44:52 AM »

The bread of the angels is Christ, He that has united himself with Love will always be fed Christ and he shall not die.For Glory be to Him Our Lord Jesus Christ has said he that eats from the bread he gives will live forever. John testifies that Christ the bread of life  that we eat is Love, saying God is Love. thus he that acquires and  remains in the Love of Christ The Life, will receive Life from God. because of this Love he shall receive glory  even before the Resurrection. The glory all the saints will have on the day of the Resurrection.
 Mar Yehisak the Syrian chapter 26 , page 216-17 ( translated from the Ge'ez )
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Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
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« Reply #163 on: August 31, 2011, 01:58:29 PM »


I would often think of this saying whenever I see the horror of what one man does unto another including himself or what man becomes as a result of man's rejection of God.
During the communist's rule, the late Archbishop of Asela Abuna Salama used to say,’ when man embraces darkness he has the capacity to surpass even the darkness of the demons, how is that possible you might say, well the demons they do not deny the existence of God and they tremble at the mention of His Name, but man denies him in his heart and alas would dare to enter the holy sanctuary holding and kissing the cross. Such darkness would make even the demons shudder in its horror.’
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To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
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« Reply #164 on: September 07, 2011, 11:17:28 AM »

What is humility?
It’s a conscience that is not self-glorifying.
How is it consummated?
It is consummated when man entertains no thought that he is wise.
What is its crown?
When man thinks that no one is more sinful than him and when he
realizes that he is the lowest of all!
- St John el-Tababisi

God befriends the naive and reveals Himself to the humble. - Saint Toma el-Kambisi

The armor of humility honors its bearer. - St John el-Tabasi
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« Reply #165 on: September 14, 2011, 07:34:02 PM »

For the bread that is consecrated on the holy tables and mystically transmuted is itself truly the body, the body of him in whose name it was in fact transmuted, that is of him who voluntarily died and rose for our sakes. - St Severus of Antioch

By the faith therefore by which we understand and believe it to be the body of God who became incarnate without variation for our sakes, and voluntarily suffered and rose, by the same faith we understand and confess that it is also immortal and impassible, and bestows impassibility and immortality on us. - St Severus of Antioch

And for a confirmation of the transmutation that is accomplished this has been seen by many even with the eyes of their senses themselves, and they have seen bloodstained flesh being broken, not the bread that is laid upon the altar. - St Severus of Antioch

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severus_coll_2_letters.htm
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« Reply #166 on: October 14, 2011, 10:23:30 AM »

“God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before.” - St Dioscorus of Alexandria
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« Reply #167 on: November 15, 2011, 12:00:03 PM »

We confess that He is Son of God and God according to the Spirit, Son of Man according to the flesh, not Two Natures to that One Son, One [Nature] worshipped the other unworshipped, but One Nature of God the Word Incarnate, worshipped with His flesh with One worship: nor Two Sons, One, Very Son of God and worshipped, the other the man out of Mary not worshipped, made by grace son of God just as men too are. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Against Theodore of Mopsuestia, ch 11

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_theodore_01_text.htm
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« Reply #168 on: March 09, 2012, 09:57:08 AM »

"If you happen to fall into temptation, do not let the guilt of sin be an obstacle to prayer. If you cease praying till you repent, you will never repent, for prayer is the door to genuine repentance."

H.H. Pope Abba Kyrillos VI.
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« Reply #169 on: April 12, 2012, 09:07:26 PM »

As for everyone who came from [Adam's] descendants—from the prophets and the righteous ones—none of them was able to convey to us eternal life, for it was not in their essential nature; instead they remain under this singular affliction, just like all of humanity, for the life that has no end belongs only to the one with no beginning, because he exists outside the two ways—I mean to say, the beginning and the end. There have been none like that except God the Word.

God has not provided us with (eternal life) by means of his divinity, because we are not from that eternal, creative substance, and we do not correspond to him in anything. In his compassion he willed to become incarnate, and became united with the body in his divinity. He conferred eternal life upon that body through his union with it. Then he conferred it upon us—that is, on all of those who believe in him, in relationship to that body that he took from us.


Bishop Bulus el Bushi (13th Century Coptic Bishop)

quoted from Stephen Davis' Coptic Christology in Practice
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« Reply #170 on: April 15, 2012, 12:39:27 PM »

God is glorified in His Godhead attributes.

God is glorified in His eternity, in His omnipotence, in His limitlessness as He is not limited by time or place. He is glorified in His greatness, in His indescribable beauty, in His holiness, in His wisdom, in His unlimited knowledge, and in His power to create. In short, God's Glory lies in His Godhead.

...

...If we glorify God on the earth, God will glorify us in heaven and here as well. “ For whom He foreknew, He also predestined… these He also glorified” (Rom. 8:29,30); “ If indeed we suffer with Him… we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:17) God even called us to His eternal glory (1 Pet.5: 10), so that we may be partakers of the glory that will be revealed, and receive the crown of glory that does not fade away (1 Pet. 5: 1,4), “bringing many sons to glory” (Heb. 2: 10). Yea, indeed, much glory has been, and is still, given us by God.


HH the late Pope Shenouda III
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« Reply #171 on: May 25, 2012, 04:13:57 PM »

"I asked for strength to endure, so He gave me weakness to learn to rely on Him."
- The Thrice Blessed HH Pope Shenouda III
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« Reply #172 on: June 30, 2012, 10:39:56 AM »

The sixth century Syriac poet and Father, St Jacob of Sarug (quoted by Paul Evdokimov--one of the greatest modern Eastern Orthodox writers, in my opinion):

"What man has ever died for his spouse, and what woman has ever chosen as her spouse one crucified? The Lord has espoused the Church, bestowed upon her a dowry by his blood, and forged for her a ring from the nails of his crucifixion."
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« Reply #173 on: August 10, 2012, 04:36:18 PM »

Modern Oriental Orthodox Fathers and protectors of the faith:

http://canon15.nicaea.ca/
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« Reply #174 on: August 10, 2012, 08:28:20 PM »

"This is the Apostolic faith, the Orthodox faith, & the faith of the Fathers. Having this wonderful treasure, let us preserve it, let us keep it, & let us also use it in such a way that this treasure becomes the victory of Christ in us & in His Church."

-Saint Severus of Antioch
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« Reply #175 on: August 12, 2012, 09:04:42 PM »

There is yet another way (of demonstrating the Incarnation), which is not theoretical in nature: namely, the certainty that results from (spiritual) exercise and inner purification.  The fathers, who along this path have arrived at the utmost end, have testified that the Christian faith alone is true. The proof of this is their attainment of contact with God to the extent that traces of Him became manifest in them, as well as their constancy in that faith and their devotion to it until they offered themselves up (in martyrdom) without separation from it and in obedience to it.


al-Safi ibn al-Assal, 13th Century Coptic intellect

quoted from Stephen Davis' Coptic Christology in Practice

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« Reply #176 on: August 12, 2012, 09:18:19 PM »

It should be noted that Copto-Arabic terminology here might be misunderstood when not understood in its context.  Here "essence" is used as "nature."  Therefore, two reasons for the Incarnation (as he says here, "union") is to attain "contact" with Him as He bestows His nature upon us.  The second is to attain human perfection as humanity was in a state of imperfection and impiety before the Incarnation.

The learned scholars have mentioned many reasons for the union, and they fall into two categories.

The First category concerns the Creator. The property on account of which he brought us into existence (namely, his generosity) was also that property on account of which he established contact with our nature, in order to perfect us—that is to say, (to bring us to) the perfection of his generosity. The (First) proof regarding the necessity of the union is the fact that the Creator (may he be exalted!) is the most excellent of benefactors. Now the most excellent of benefactors is the benefactor who bestows the most excellent of essences, and the most excellent of essences is the essence of the Creator. It necessarily follows then that the Creator has generously bestowed his essence upon us, and this took place in his contact with us. A second proof is the fact that his contact with us is possible, for the main objection to that contact is (the supposed) incompatibility (of the two uniting elements). But the Creator is not in fact opposed to his creature, since one opposing party would destroy its opposite, not bring it into existence. In the Torah, God said that he created humankind in his likeness, and this likeness is close to the (idea of) contact. If his contact with us is possible, and if we have the goal of honour(ing him), and if he possesses the perfection of generosity, then there can be no objection to it, apart from (claims that God is guilty of) impotence or greed. These two things are attributes of imperfection, and God is exalted above both of them. Therefore, his contact with us is necessary.

The second category pertains to us. That is, when we fell short of attaining our human perfection, and when the prophets fell short in helping even the smallest number of people attain the First principles of the aforementioned perfection, God became incarnate so that he might cause the greatest number of people to attain the goal of human perfection and (true) existence. The Scriptures give witness to the condition of Christians as compared to the condition of those who came before them, as well to their movement away from the worship of false deities to the worship of God, and away from great licence to the goal of ascetic piety.


al-Safi ibn al-Assal, 13th Century Coptic intellect

quoted from Stephen Davis' Coptic Christology in Practice
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« Reply #177 on: August 12, 2012, 10:06:13 PM »

For the one who created the world with a word is able to do this wondrous thing. He enacts his body by his Word when he says through the mouth of the priest, ‘This is my body,’ and he gave his body to his disciples in Emmaus, while being no-where. And just as his divinity was hidden in the womb of the Virgin Mary, in the same way it is hidden under the accidents of the bread and wine.

Pope Matthew IV of Alexandria, 17th Century


quoted from Stephen Davis' Coptic Christology in Practice

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« Reply #178 on: August 16, 2012, 03:38:41 AM »

Homily X of St. Severus of Antioch concerning the Epiphany-

http://www.lsocs.co.uk/severus_homily010.php
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« Reply #179 on: August 16, 2012, 09:24:26 AM »

The Spirit also descends upon him because of us. Now this Spirit is not one of the ministering spirits, but it is the Spirit of God, the consubstantial Spirit who reigns at the same time with him and with the Father. It is why, indeed, the evangelist himself said in a demonstrative manner: the Spirit of God, this Spirit who had abandoned the human race, on the subject of which the Lord God said: My Spirit will not remain eternally among men, because they are flesh. But this charitable being, who, by the generosity of his grace, as he himself willed to modify his own decree, abolishing for us this sentence, after also being made flesh without change himself, draws the Spirit upon the flesh, at the moment when he united his divinity with the creature who had been condemned and thus sends grace to all our race.

St. Severus of Antioch, 4th-5th Century
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« Reply #180 on: August 16, 2012, 09:28:06 AM »

The Spirit also descends upon him because of us. Now this Spirit is not one of the ministering spirits, but it is the Spirit of God, the consubstantial Spirit who reigns at the same time with him and with the Father. It is why, indeed, the evangelist himself said in a demonstrative manner: the Spirit of God, this Spirit who had abandoned the human race, on the subject of which the Lord God said: My Spirit will not remain eternally among men, because they are flesh. But this charitable being, who, by the generosity of his grace, as he himself willed to modify his own decree, abolishing for us this sentence, after also being made flesh without change himself, draws the Spirit upon the flesh, at the moment when he united his divinity with the creature who had been condemned and thus sends grace to all our race.

St. Severus of Antioch, 4th-5th Century
What's the reference? Thank you!
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« Reply #181 on: August 16, 2012, 09:28:59 AM »

The Spirit also descends upon him because of us. Now this Spirit is not one of the ministering spirits, but it is the Spirit of God, the consubstantial Spirit who reigns at the same time with him and with the Father. It is why, indeed, the evangelist himself said in a demonstrative manner: the Spirit of God, this Spirit who had abandoned the human race, on the subject of which the Lord God said: My Spirit will not remain eternally among men, because they are flesh. But this charitable being, who, by the generosity of his grace, as he himself willed to modify his own decree, abolishing for us this sentence, after also being made flesh without change himself, draws the Spirit upon the flesh, at the moment when he united his divinity with the creature who had been condemned and thus sends grace to all our race.

St. Severus of Antioch, 4th-5th Century
What's the reference? Thank you!
What you just posted before  Wink
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« Reply #182 on: August 16, 2012, 09:30:12 AM »

The Spirit also descends upon him because of us. Now this Spirit is not one of the ministering spirits, but it is the Spirit of God, the consubstantial Spirit who reigns at the same time with him and with the Father. It is why, indeed, the evangelist himself said in a demonstrative manner: the Spirit of God, this Spirit who had abandoned the human race, on the subject of which the Lord God said: My Spirit will not remain eternally among men, because they are flesh. But this charitable being, who, by the generosity of his grace, as he himself willed to modify his own decree, abolishing for us this sentence, after also being made flesh without change himself, draws the Spirit upon the flesh, at the moment when he united his divinity with the creature who had been condemned and thus sends grace to all our race.

St. Severus of Antioch, 4th-5th Century
What's the reference? Thank you!
What you just posted before  Wink
Lol. Silly me! Slow day today... Wink
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« Reply #183 on: September 16, 2012, 02:39:12 PM »

If You want, You have the means;
as much as You want, You can do,
You, Who are more enriched by giving than receiving.
Your treasure increases more by sharing than gathering.
Your estate grows more by disbursing than collecting.
Your stores pile up more by distributing than hoarding.
All this gives me faith that through you
I might find the path to salvation.


St. Gregory of Narek, or St. Grigor Narekatsi (10th-11th Century)
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« Reply #184 on: September 21, 2012, 05:04:04 AM »

Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon Dolabani (+1969), possibly my relative on my father's side...

The week before he died, when he saw his last article in the Patriarchal Magazine, he said: "I don’t like death to break my pen, because the Church and our youth still needs my pen, but may God’s will be done".
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« Reply #185 on: October 26, 2012, 12:33:26 PM »

We do not take the saying by intellectual power only.  We need also the spiritual power of faith.  That is why the Lord says His ways are spirit and life.  Also this means that we are not going to take the Body of the Lord without the Divinity of the Lord, because we never believe that the two natures are separated in the Lord.  Therefore we take both the human and the divine together in one nature, that is Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, it is a complete fact and a definite doctrine we no more deal with bread and wine, but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and we are taking the Lord Himself into our hearts and lives.

His Grace Bishop Moussa, late 20th Century
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« Reply #186 on: October 26, 2012, 02:44:27 PM »

We do not take the saying by intellectual power only.  We need also the spiritual power of faith.  That is why the Lord says His ways are spirit and life.  Also this means that we are not going to take the Body of the Lord without the Divinity of the Lord, because we never believe that the two natures are separated in the Lord.  Therefore we take both the human and the divine together in one nature, that is Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, it is a complete fact and a definite doctrine we no more deal with bread and wine, but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and we are taking the Lord Himself into our hearts and lives.

His Grace Bishop Moussa, late 20th Century
Source please? Thank you.

Great quote, though.
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« Reply #187 on: November 20, 2012, 02:59:42 PM »

His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, who has passed from among us, has not left us orphans.

...

For our church, my beloved, is a mother. She is not barren. She gives birth to generation after generation. And that which we have received from our ancestors and our saints, we pass on to the coming generations with complete honesty.

...

And we look ahead with the eyes of hope, that in the manner the Lord used [HH Pope Tawadros II] in past years, He shall use him again unto the end of the ages, O our beloved master.

We, on this joyous day, hand the church to His Holiness. And inasmuch as the Lord worked through us in the recent past to take the responsibility of the work, through your prayers and fasts, the Lord has done many great things with us until He brought us unto this blessed day.

My beloved, having taken on the responsibility of the church, we return to our diocese reduced in stature under the feet of His Holiness, our beloved father.

I say this from my heart: I shall be a son to him and a servant under his feet. And all of us in the Holy Synod, we believe in spiritual paternity. There is no conflict over authority in our church!

We are the sons of Saint Mark and the many patriarchs until Pope Shenouda. We have learned humility from them. We learned penitence from them. We learned the service of the washing of feet from them. So our goal is only the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and His service.


His Eminence Metropolitan Bakhomious of el Beheira, 21st Century, a speech given on the enthronement of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, who was a disciple of His Eminence Metropolitan Bakhomious for many decades before his papacy.
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« Reply #188 on: November 20, 2012, 08:38:33 PM »

Truth was crucified by love and love was crucified to show us that there is no truth without love.  Seek truth and love in everything and you will remain the true disciple of Jesus Christ who came to institute truth and love as the two feet of His grace.  If truth is lacking and there is no love be aware that the cross has two arms--love and truth--which must embrace us to bring us to fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ.


Abbot Sophronius of Upper Egypt, 10th Century
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« Reply #189 on: December 07, 2012, 05:33:14 PM »

The Church imitates Christ. All that Christ has done the Church also does; He becomes its life. Christ's call to Matthew ("Follow me") was intended by Him to mean "Take my life for you." The Church has adopted this call as a scheme of its own.

Fasting, in the life and works of Christ, ranks as the first response to the act of unction and of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It represents the first battle in which Christ did away with His adversary, the prince of this world. In His forty days' experience of absolute fasting, Christ laid down for us the basis of our dealings with our enemy—along with all his allurements and vain illusions. "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting" (Mk. 9:29). For when a person enters into prayerful fasting, Satan departs from the flesh.

As the Son of God, Christ did not need fasting, nor did He need an open confrontation with Satan or baptism or filling with the Holy Spirit. Yet He fulfilled everything for our sake so His life and deeds would become ours.


Abouna Matta El Meskin (+2006)

I'm actually translating something by Abouna to swedish, but I could need some help and it's pretty much just a few sentences. So if anyone has the skills needed to help, please pm me.
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« Reply #190 on: February 03, 2013, 05:22:27 PM »

From one of the posts on Facebook from Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim of the Coptic Diocese of Southern California:

There is a woman who dreamt consecutive dreams about the departure of HG Bishop Makarios (of Qena).  One day, she dreamt that HG was sitting on a throne and he had a crown on his head:  it was as if he was at a feast.

She asked him, "Are you going to pray a Divine Liturgy now, Your Grace?"

He answered and said, "Prayers here are continuous without ceasing," and then he added, "I want you to deliver a message to Father.  Tell Father:  sermons became too many, in cassette tapes and books, but the most important thing that all of you are coming here soon.  Stress in the sermons the importance of repentance, confession, and communion, because those who confess and partake of the Holy Eucharist have a great position with the saints in Heaven."

The same message and vision were repeated with a different person, in a different city, around the same time, and he is currently a monk in one of our monasteries.


From the witnesses of the miracles of HG Bishop St. Makarios of Qena, departed February 3, 1991
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« Reply #191 on: February 03, 2013, 09:34:29 PM »

I like how the Oriental Fathers are so allegorical and metaphoric in everything they say. It's just so deep and profound.
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« Reply #192 on: February 14, 2013, 08:01:52 PM »

Abouna Mikhail was a man of sorrows, he lost two sons, Philemon and Paul as infants. He also lost his eldest son Ibrahim, when Ibrahim was a promising young Doctor. This was followed shortly by the departure of his dear wife, Mary. To the people who came to comfort him, he gave the words of comfort: "I thank God because I have three sons and their mother praying for me."

From the new Synexarium entry of Fr. St. Mikhail Ibrahim, departed 1975
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #193 on: February 15, 2013, 10:26:53 PM »

Whenever physical hunger turned cruel against me, I found my gratification in prayer. Whenever the biting cold of winter was unkind to me, I found my warmth in prayer. Whenever people were harsh to me (and their harshness was severe indeed) I found my comfort in prayer. In short, prayer became my food and my drink, my outfit and my armor, whether by night or by day.


+Abouna Matta el Maskeen (1919-2006)
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« Reply #194 on: April 30, 2013, 02:01:03 PM »

Consider, O man, the extent of your wretchedness that when your God wished to weep for you, He shed tears not only from His eyes but from every pore in His body in such abundance that they appeared as great drops of blood, as proof of His great love to you. What manner of thanks is due to you O Son of God!

+Abouna Mannaseh Youhanna (1899-1930)
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« Reply #195 on: April 30, 2013, 02:45:39 PM »

Socrates saw a woman who had hanged herself on a tree, and he said, "Would that all trees bore such fruit as this!"
- Bar Hebraeus, Laughable Stories (Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, 1264-1286)

 Couldn't resist it Grin
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« Reply #196 on: April 30, 2013, 03:39:13 PM »

Bar Hebraeus, Laughable Stories (Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, 1264-1286)
Actually Bar Habraeus was not a Patriarch of Antioch. He was the Maphrian (aka Catholicose) of the East within the Syriac Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #197 on: April 30, 2013, 04:11:28 PM »

Bar Hebraeus, Laughable Stories (Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, 1264-1286)
Actually Bar Habraeus was not a Patriarch of Antioch. He was the Maphrian (aka Catholicose) of the East within the Syriac Orthodox Church.

Then I incorrectly assumed that catholicos and Patriarch are synonyms.
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« Reply #198 on: April 30, 2013, 04:36:56 PM »

Bar Hebraeus, Laughable Stories (Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, 1264-1286)
Actually Bar Habraeus was not a Patriarch of Antioch. He was the Maphrian (aka Catholicose) of the East within the Syriac Orthodox Church.

Then I incorrectly assumed that catholicos and Patriarch are synonyms.


They pretty much are, it is his See that you mixed up.
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« Reply #199 on: May 28, 2013, 04:13:35 PM »

But he said that all the fulness of the Godhead dwells, that is, not one operation, nor yet a partial grace of the Word himself, as took place in the inspiration of the prophets, but the whole hypostasis of the Only one, although he is raised above all limitation, he who imparts tens of thousands of operations to others, and distributes graces by way of gifts as from a fountain.


St. Severus of Antioch (6th Century)
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« Reply #200 on: September 28, 2013, 05:03:09 PM »



The ancient Church of Mor Dimet (Saint Demetrius) in the village of Zaz in Tur Abdin, where there are no Syriac Orthodox families left, is guarded by the old monk in the photo, Ya'qub (Jacob), and a nun.
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« Reply #201 on: September 28, 2013, 05:05:16 PM »



Children playing in the courtyard of the ancient Church of the Mother of God in the village of Hah in Tur Abdin.
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« Reply #202 on: September 28, 2013, 05:07:06 PM »



Raban Yokin Unval looking out over the Mesopotamian plains from the ancient Monastery of Mor Augin in Tur Abdin.
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« Reply #203 on: September 28, 2013, 05:08:11 PM »



Inside the ancient Monastery of Mor Gabriel in Tur Abdin.
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« Reply #204 on: September 28, 2013, 05:08:47 PM »

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« Reply #205 on: September 28, 2013, 05:12:22 PM »



Qashisho Gabriel Aktas in the Church of Mor Eliyo (St Elijah the Prophet) in the village of Beth Qustan, Tur Abdin.
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« Reply #206 on: September 28, 2013, 05:13:55 PM »



The ancient Church of the Mother of God in the village of Hah in Tur Abdin.
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« Reply #207 on: September 28, 2013, 05:15:25 PM »



Inside St Mary's at the village of Kafro Tahtayto in Tur Abdin.
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« Reply #208 on: September 28, 2013, 05:19:18 PM »



Vespers (Ramsho/Evening Prayer) in the Church of Mor Dodo in the village of Beth Sbirino, Tur Abdin.
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« Reply #209 on: November 04, 2013, 07:53:47 PM »

We human beings were created to be clothed in the Glory of Light...and to share in His Life. But because of sin, we lost this. But through the life-giving work of Christ, it has also become our future. Therefore, it is the past that we lost and the future that we hope to gain.

Fr. Moses Samaan, Homily on the Transfiguration of Christ, 2013

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« Reply #210 on: November 04, 2013, 07:54:21 PM »

I remember reading the list of the names of the saints these churches that were burnt in Egypt were dedicated to. Names like St. Mina, St. George, the Prince St. Tadros. They were foolish enough to even burn the churches named after the warrior saints of the Church. But we should never pray for the sword of St. Mina or the spear of St. George to cut them down. NO, that's not what we should pray. Rather we should pray that the spear of St. George or the sword of St. Mina will cut the bonds of evil from their hearts to be allowed to see Christ and be transfigured with Him ... just as the Centurion Longinus who wounded Christ knew Christ and was transformed by Him.

Fr. Moses Samaan, Homily on the Transfiguration of Christ, 2013
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« Reply #211 on: November 24, 2013, 01:59:02 AM »

Suryoyutho,

The pictures you posted are beautiful.  Did you take them yourself?  Together with the sayings printed on them, they are gorgeous.
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« Reply #212 on: November 28, 2013, 02:19:23 AM »

Thank you Salpy! Smiley

No, I didn't take the photos but I agree that they are beautiful.
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The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
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« Reply #213 on: November 28, 2013, 02:31:07 AM »

Thank you Salpy! Smiley

No, I didn't take the photos but I agree that they are beautiful.

Where did you find these?
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Sincerely your brother in Christ,
Tim

"I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ."
- St. Basil the Great
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« Reply #214 on: November 28, 2013, 05:16:55 AM »

Thank you Salpy! Smiley

No, I didn't take the photos but I agree that they are beautiful.

Where did you find these?

I made the photos with quotes for a youth organization of the SOC in Sweden and then decided to share them here.
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The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
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« Reply #215 on: December 16, 2013, 03:37:26 PM »

One time there was a priest who visited a monastery in the Sa'eed (Upper Egypt), and upon inspiration of an ancient Church he got a blessing from, he wanted to give a gift to each of the monks in the monastery.  He went to the abbott and asked him, "how many monks do you have in your monastery."  The abbott, who was a typical simple-minded Sa'eedic man, replied, "we are one!"  The priest reiterated, "Father, I'm only asking because I desire to give gifts to each of the monks."  The abbott insisted, "we are one!"  The priest pleaded, "Father, please just tell me!"  The abbott did not relent, "we are one!"

Fr. Mousa al Gohary, December 2013, story given at the enthronement service of HG Bishop David on the newly established diocese of NY/NE
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #216 on: December 16, 2013, 04:46:43 PM »

Maybe he was holding out for a really big gift.  Wink
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Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

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And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
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O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


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« Reply #217 on: December 21, 2013, 12:21:36 AM »

Prayer can do all things, for it moves the Hand that manages the whole universe.


HH Pope St. Kyrillos VI, 20th Century
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #218 on: December 27, 2013, 06:45:42 PM »

The Holy Bible presents God to us as the "Lover" of mankind; for He crowned man with free will as the greatest gift offered to His most beautiful and dearest creature on earth. He granted him authority (Gen. 1:26) over everything; thus man invaded space and other planets. God offered man complete freedom so as to accept God as his Beloved, to ignore Him, or even to resist Him. In all this, God tolerates man with love, not to condemn him but rather to attract him as a friend, raising him up to heavens to partake in His glories without forcing or pressing him.

Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty, 1992
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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Job 19:25-27


« Reply #219 on: December 29, 2013, 03:16:14 PM »


" Omitting many urgent matters, this I declare, that no
man shall say that the holy flesh, which our Lord took from
the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, in a
manner which He Himself knows, was different to and foreign
from our body. And, indeed, since this is so, they who affirm
that Christ did not become incarnate for us, give the lie^ to
Paul. For he has said, ' Not from angels did He take (the
nature), but from the seed of the House of Abraham ' ; to
which seed Mary was no stranger, as the Scriptures teach us.
And again, ' It was right that in everything He should be made
like unto His brethren,' and that word ' in everything ' does
not suffer the subtraction of any part of our nature : since in
nerves, and hair, and bones, and veins,^ and belly, and heart,
and kidneys, and liver, and lungs, and, in short, in all those
things that belong to our nature, the flesh which was born
from Mary was compacted with the soul of our Redeemer,
that reasonable and intelligent soul, without the seed of man,
and the gratification and cohabitation of sleep.

" For if, as the heretics think, this was not so, how is He
named ' our brother,' supposing that He used a body different
from ours ? And how, again, is that true which He said to
His Father, ' I will declare Thy name to My brethren ? ' ^
Let us not reject, neither let us despise, those who think
in this way. For He was like us, for us, and with us, not in
phantasy, nor in mere semblance, according to the heresy
of the Manichseans, but rather in actual reality from Mary, the
Theotokos. To comfort the desolate ^ and to repair the vessel
that had been broken, He came to us new. And as Immanuel,
indeed, He is confessed ; for He became poor for us, according
to the saying of Paul, ' that we, by His humiliation, might be
made rich.'^ He became, by the dispensation, like us ; that we,
by His tender mercy, might be like Him. He became man,
and yet He did not destroy that which is His nature, that He
is Son of God ; that we, by grace, might become the sons of
God. This I think and believe ; and, if any man does not
think thus, he is a stranger to the faith of the apostles."


Our Great Holy Father Pope St. Dioscorus the Confessor Pillar of the Orthodox Faith (444-454)  in his letter to Secundinus from Gangra:the place of his exile for the sake of the Orthodox Faith. Through the prayer of our Holy Father St.Dioscorus Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us. amen.

https://archive.org/details/cu31924027994726  The Syriac Chronicle book III  chapter 1 page 45-46
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Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
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« Reply #220 on: January 03, 2014, 11:48:10 PM »

The Holy Bible presents God to us as the "Lover" of mankind; for He crowned man with free will as the greatest gift offered to His most beautiful and dearest creature on earth. He granted him authority (Gen. 1:26) over everything; thus man invaded space and other planets. God offered man complete freedom so as to accept God as his Beloved, to ignore Him, or even to resist Him. In all this, God tolerates man with love, not to condemn him but rather to attract him as a friend, raising him up to heavens to partake in His glories without forcing or pressing him.

Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty, 1992

I have to expand upon this, as I was hoping to do so with paragraph by paragraph, but I figured, the whole context is beautifully constructed as it is, as a summary of our faith and salvation in the Orthodox concept of grace, summarized by the great theologian and spiritual leader himself:

The Holy Bible presents God to us as the "Lover" of mankind; for He crowned man with free will as the greatest gift offered to His most beautiful and dearest creature on earth. He granted him authority (Gen. 1:26) over everything; thus man invaded space and other planets. God offered man complete freedom so as to accept God as his Beloved, to ignore Him, or even to resist Him. In all this, God tolerates man with love, not to condemn him but rather to attract him as a friend, raising him up to heavens to partake in His glories without forcing or pressing him.

When the first man fell into transgression and separated himself (by his own will) from God, the "Source of Life", his nature was corrupted and his will was weakened. Thus he could not tolerate the presence of God or accept His Fatherhood (Gen. 3:10). Although he has natural yearning towards Him, He feels completely helpless towards fulfilling this desire, saying with the Apostle Paul: "For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate that I do... O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?!" (Rom. 7:15, 24).

God offered man the Law or the divine commandments, but it was no good for him. It exposed the weakness of man and revealed his sins (Rom. 7:13). Therefore man became in need of the intervention of the Creator Himself to renew his nature and sanctify his will. That man may return to God to find in Him an unique compassionate Fatherhood which encompasses and supports him, granting him hope in eternal life and enjoyment in sharing the everlasting inheritance in the company of the heavenly hosts. This is the divine grace which in its essence is the enjoyment of sharing the nature of God Himself. The Holy Trinity, acts in us to attain the Fatherhood of the Father, the membership in the Body of Jesus Christ, the dwelling of the Holy Spirit the Giver of sanctification and the partaking in the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

Through this abundant grace our will is strengthened in Christ, sanctified by His Holy Spirit and grows active and effective by the living faith.

Through this concept we believe in the grace of God not just as a dogma that suffices our mind, but as the presence of God in all aspects of our life, even when we are eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising or traveling about. It touches our worship and our daily life.


Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty, 1992
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #221 on: January 03, 2014, 11:52:01 PM »

Indeed, the personality of the Virgin, the Mother of God, has above the greatest importance concerning the mystery of the incarnation. We cannot taste or touch it and feel or live it and take its blessings except after comprehending the divine connection between the divine and human natures in the divine factory (the womb of the Virgin Mary). Since the mystery of incarnation is the foundation of all mysteries of Christianity, the prophets became expert in the Old Testament with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in casting the large light on this mystery–that is in their description for the Virgin as the Second Heaven. Thus the Virgin is not a box which has a jewel from which we took the jewel and discarded the box. NO! These words are dangerous for two reasons: First: Because God the Word became flesh. He took from the flesh and blood of the Virgin and was weaned with her milk (Heb 2:14).

Thus, the Virgin is not just a box for the divine body. Second: If she was just a box, those who say this destroy the mystery of the incarnation from the view of its benefits to mankind. So the intention of the mystery of the incarnation is what the church says in the Theotokia of Friday: “He took from what is ours and gave us what is His.” He took our flesh — He was born with it; He acted and worked with it; then with it He died; and with it He rose; and He raised us with Him; He ascended with it; thus He lifted us up with it to the heavens, and He sat at the right of His Father, and He prepared a place for us (Eph 2:5,6)… Thus He became the firstborn among many brethren, and He is bringing them to glory (Heb 2:10). Consequently, the expression of the box and the jewel is an expression that separates the body of the Virgin from the body of Christ. Subsequently, it is a separation of the body of Christ from my body. Indeed, this separation leads us to the person isolated from God. The truth is that Christianity is built on an important foundation: “It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me,” (Gal 2:20) our believing in the inability of the person to comprehend God without God.


Fr. Pishoy Kamel, 20th Century
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #222 on: January 04, 2014, 12:24:33 PM »

From our very own Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim's facebook page:

"I prayed for a pure heart, it took me a long time and a hard struggle to discover that prayer itself is the only road to a pure heart." - St. Pope Kyrillos VI
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“I returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church with affection, finding in her our tormented and broken history“. -Salama Moussa
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« Reply #223 on: January 18, 2014, 09:12:43 PM »

God takes care of us by realizing mutual love between Himself and man, for He grants Himself to us that we may also present ourselves or our hearts to Him; and God's Fatherhood to men. Now, I want to clarify that God's grace in its essence is the power of God freely placed at man's disposal, or more accurately it is God's Self-Giving to man.

It is not strange that Dr. James Dobson in his broad-spread cassette messages and books concerning adolescence, starts by dealing with the following problem: Why do American young people feel inferior?

He gives three elements that many of the te