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Author Topic: Wisdom of the Oriental Orthodox Fathers  (Read 57952 times) Average Rating: 5
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Severian
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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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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.
Severian
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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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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.
Severian
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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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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 #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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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 #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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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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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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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 #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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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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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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« 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,
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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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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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« 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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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« 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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« 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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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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« 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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« 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 teenagers think they lack: physical attractiveness, intelligence and money. He clarifies that in many cases they do lack these elements or some of them, but it is just that feeling which destroys the teenager's life.

In fact it is not the problem of the American young people alone, or young people of other countries, but rather it is the problem of mankind as a whole through all ages. They feel inferior, for they are involved in matters outside their inner life. God, Who alone is able to fill our hearts eternally, declares His desire in dwelling within us, so that we may attain Him as ours, destroying the spoiling feeling of inferiority. This is the grace of God as God's Self-Giving to man.


Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty, 1992
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #224 on: January 18, 2014, 09:14:43 PM »

Before the incarnation of the Son of God, men were not yet prepared spiritually and mentally to acknowledge the divine grace as God's Self-Giving in its deep meaning. It was enough that God had revealed His friendship to man, and attributed Himself to His people especially to those who were close to Him, who accepted Him as the "Source of life."

...

In the New Testament the grace of God is revealed more clearly together with the Trinitarian faith, for these two facts are correlated to each other.

The Father who is love (1 John 4:8 ), practices His infinite love eternally as He begot His Word, His wisdom, or His Only- Begotten Son, not outside His essence, but as One with Him in the same essence (John 17:21-26). Through this practical eternal love God the Father created man through His Love (John 1:3), and when man fell and his nature was spoiled, God sent His Word to him to give His life up for him and to restore his nature. The Word of God was incarnated and dwelt among men (John 1:14) as their heavenly Friend to redeem them. He united them to Himself as members of His Body, and thus they were prepared to receive the adoption to the Father in Him. The Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Father and the Son at the same time dwelt in man, uniting him with the Father in Jesus Christ, preparing him as a bride to the heavenly wedding-feast, and as a son to enjoy his Father's glories.

Thus the redeeming grace of the Holy Trinity is in fact one integral and inseparable action, I mean God's Self-Giving to man. The Father loved us as His own children, granted us Himself as the true Father; the Son granted us His crucified and risen life to enjoy the adoption; and the Holy Spirit granted us His descent into our souls to practice our adoption to God. The message of the Holy Trinity's redeeming action is our attainment of God within our hearts, uniting Himself with us, declaring that He is ours and we are His own.


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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