Monday, April 25, 2016

How to live Holy Pascha week, learning from Church reading in the Holy Pascha Week

“The person who cannot benefit from the Holy Pascha Week, will have a hard time to get that benefit other times in the year” HH Pope Shenouda III
In the Coptic rite the Pascha hour is composed of the following:
1-      Prophecies
2-      Homilies
3-      Doxology of “Thine is the Power …”
4-      Psalm prayed in a sad tone
5-      Gospel
6-      Exposition
7-      Litanies
Prophecies: When you read the prophecies, try to relate to this prophecy, e.g. reading a prophecy from Exodus 32:7-15 the story of the deviation of the Israelites from God’s way after He brought them out of Egypt. “they have made for themselves a calf, and worshipped it” relating to this prophecy is obvious , how God brought us out of the darkness to the light in our Baptism and how we went astray. The Church used to pray the prophecy in a tone so you could “park” the words in your mind and contemplate them.

Homilies: Every day we have two homilies in the first and the eleventh hour, it is the lesson the church wants to teach us in our day, so take the lesson and apply it. On Monday the first homily is from St. Shenouda the Archimandrite, saying every Christian is accompanied by a guardian angel, who gives account of what you have done in your day before God, so he urges us to examine ourselves before we sleep.

Doxology: The doxology of “Thine is the power, the glory, the blessings, and the majesty forever.” Taken from Isaiah 12:2, Matt. 6:13, Rev. 5:12. We are boldly pray this hymn with the heavenly hosts as by His Cross he reconciled us with the heavenly hosts.

We pray the above doxology 12 times, after each we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Try to pray it slowly and let the words go deep, when you say “Our Father” is He really our Father? Or did we exchange him, because of our desires and lusts?

Psalm: In the same way you relate yourself to the prophecy, the psalm could be your “arrow prayer”-- short prayers during the day, “Look on me, hearken to me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep in death; lest at any time mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him.”

The Gospel reading: Whenever you read scribes and Pharisees or a rebuke, ask yourself am I doing that? When the Lord says “Woe to you,” am I the one who deserve this Woe?

Exposition: Explaining what the gospel said, always end with a lesson learned. When he talks about the temple the Lord left for them desolate, the exposition says “The place of forgiveness became a place to sin. The house of prayer and supplication became a den of thieves and a market place for cattle.”

The Litanies, we can expand each litany, when we are talking about the captives we remember the two metropolitan and the Coptic monk Fr. Gabriel El Antony who was kidnapped last week in Sudan. When we talk about those who are sick remember those whom you know and those whom you do not know. When we pray for Church Hierarchs, pray that God give them wisdom, power, and fruits of the spirit.

When you pray “Lord have mercy” and do metanoia give thanks to everything God gave you, put your weakness before Him, and so.

Last, please use every second in this week, make it as a rehearsal to how you are going to spend the Holy 50 days after the feast of Resurrection. Start the way of piety from now. Read books related to this season, listen to the hymns of the Holy Pascha week, listen to sermons, visit the sick etc.
HH Pope Shenouda used to have a piece of paper in his pocket and pencil to write any beautiful meditation, or prayer comes in his head. Try it, it is a good practice.

Pascha Book online

http://stgeorgejc.org/
 under Coptic presentation


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Clement of Alexandria sees the Church as the mother who feeds milk to her children

Clement is firmly convinced that there is only one universal Church as there is only one God the Father, one divine Word and one Holy Spirit. He calls this church the virgin mother who feeds her children with the milk of the divine Word:

O wondrous mystery! One is the father of all, one also the Logos of all, and the Holy spirit is one and the same everywhere and there is only one Virgin Mother; I love to call her the Church. This mother alone had no milk, because she alone did not become woman, but she is both virgin and mother, being undefiled as a virgin and loving as a mother; and calling her children to her she nurses them with holy milk, the Logos for the children (Paed.1,6,42,1).

"O graduates of His blessed tutorship! Let us [by our presence] make complete the fair countenance of the Church, and let us as children run to our good Mother. and when we have become hearers of the Word, let us extol the blessed dispensation by which man is brought up and sanctified as a child of God, and being trained on earth attains to citizenship in heaven and there receives his Father, whom he learns to know on earth" (Paed. 3,12, 99, 1). 
 
 
This reminds me of the story of His Grace Bishop Macarius the General Bishop in El Minia  (a Governorate in Upper Egypt) in August14, 2013 when the churches were burned after the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood regime, one child came to the church and kissed one burned stone from the church, so His Grace was amazed by the child's action, but then he continued by saying, no surprise this child was baptized in this church, so the church is his mother, so the child was weeping to see his mother was burned. 

Every time we go to the Liturgy we are eating from the spiritual milk of our church that is the Word of God, we take it by hearing then we eat His Body and drink His Blood. Thank you my true mother the Church.

Friday, February 19, 2016

I Am He: The Coptic Martyrs of Libya: The Sayings of the Ma...

I Am He: The Coptic Martyrs of Libya: The Sayings of the Martyrs of Libya  Translated from the Arabic https://www.facebook.com/elkalamda7a2i2i/videos/1106228439428035/ Mother of Malak Ibrahim Samir “...

The Coptic Martyrs of Libya: The Sayings of the Martyrs’ Families




Translated from the Arabic https://www.facebook.com/elkalamda7a2i2i/videos/1106228439428035/

Mother of Malak Ibrahim Samir

“We were asking God to strengthen their faith.”
“I am happy that He was martyred for the Name of Christ.”
“We did not dream that would have a martyr in heaven.”
“Do you think that if God did not send His peace, or calmness in our heart, or comforted us by His words in the Bible would we have lived live till now?”
“Christ was lighting for them heaven.”

The wife of Malak Ibrahim Samir:

“First of all I thank God that while they were martyred they were pronouncing the Name of Jesus Christ. This is the first thing that comforted us. The second thing comforted us is that they went to the place they deserve to go. Our Lord Christ promised us that He will prepare a place for us in heaven, He prepared a place for them in the paradise, because they died in His name, they did not deny His name. There is a beautiful verse in the Bible that says, He who denies me before men, I will deny him before [my Father in Heaven], they did not deny Him of course, thank God, so He prepared for them a place in Heaven. This comforted me. I saw the video from its beginning to till its end, and I was not shaken. Because God is supporting them, comforting them when they were afraid, but they outweighed the people who are holding them, no one is was shaking, or afraid, or trembling unless God is with them, unless they see God. Is it possible that someone is standing firm and he sees someone is holding a knife for him and he know that he is going to be slain is not shaking unless he sees God in front of him?”
“I was afraid that my husband was not one of the 21 martyrs, if he denied the name of Christ to come back to me and my son, I do not want him.”
“There was a beautiful story of Love between us, he saw my son twice, or three times, his son is two years old now. He left me a beautiful fruit, Filopater.”

Father of Malak Ibrahim Samir

“I am very proud of my son, I thank Da3esh for doing that, may God enlighten for them the true way, but we are not cursing them, or upset with them, or asking for curses on them, instead we are thanking them.”

“We are just upset as we are going to miss him.”

Mother of Kirollos Boshra: “I am saying may God forgive you, may God touch your heart, and enlighten your hearts, to not allow that Da3esh will go to bad place, so they do not go to bad place, in the bosom of God it is a beautiful place. Thank God.”


Interview with the family of

 With English subtitles
Eassam Baddar Samir
Luka Nagaty Anis
Abanub Ayad Atiya
Kirollos Boshra Fawzy
Bishoy and Samuel Astafanous Kamel
Samuel Alham Wilson
Ezzat Boshra Naseef
Gaber Mounir Adly
Gerges Milad Sinyout and Malak Ibrahim Sinyout
Milad Makeen Zaky
Sameh Salah Farouk
Maged Soliman Shehata
Youssef Shukry Younan
Hany Abdel Mesih Salib
Mina Fayez Aziz
Gerges Samir Megally
Malak Farag Abrahim
Tawadros (Tadros) Youssef Tawadros



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...: Montanism ( [1] Phrygian heresy) Mentioned in Eusebius, Church History 5.3.4;5.14-18 Historical information Dating primarily to the ...

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...: Montanism ( [1] Phrygian heresy) Mentioned in Eusebius, Church History 5.3.4;5.14-18 Historical information Dating primarily to the ...

Heresy of the special revelation,extended fasting, asceticism and eschatology "The Montanist"

Montanism ([1]Phrygian heresy)
Mentioned in Eusebius, Church History 5.3.4;5.14-18

Historical information

Dating primarily to the late second and early third centuries.
[2]The controversy spread by 177 to Rome.

Leading Teachers

[3]Montanus (170 AD). He was joined shortly thereafter by two prophetesses, Maximilla (2nd century) and Priscilla 92nd century). Tertullian (160-220))

Who contributed in the answering of the heresy

[4]Epiphanius, Panarion 48; Jerome, Letter 41.
[5]Hippolytus Syntagma (lost in its original form; but in substance in later writers),

Characteristic teachings

[6]Montanist prophets claimed direct ecstatic revelations from God to support their teachings on disciplinary questions, especially extended hours of fasting and asceticism, and on eschatology.
[7]It lived in expectation of the speedy outpouring of the holy Spirit (the Paraclete) on the Church, of which it saw the first manifestation in its own prophets and prophetesses.
[8]It was peculiar form of these utterances to which other Christians objected: this kind of ecstatic prophecy was not, like that of the biblical prophets, delivered in the third person, but was direct speech by the Spirit himself using the prophet’s mouth as his instrument. The content of the ‘New Prophecy’ was hostile to the Gnostic elimination of eschatological expectation and insisted on the literal resurrection of the flesh and the nearness of the Lord.     
[9]He (Montanus) began to proclaim to his fellow believers (the New Prophecy) that he was a prophet-that, indeed, he was the mouthpiece of that Spirit which the Lord had promised to the church as the one who would “teach…all things” and  “guide you into all truth.[10]     
[11]The problem was not that Montanus was a prophet, for prophecy had existed in the church since its beginnings, and there is no reason to think that it had died out in the last third of the second century. The problem was that this was a new prophecy. It was unfamiliar in its form(Montanus uttered the words, “Behold a man is as a lyre, and I fly over it like a plectrum,”[12]where the “I” can only refer to the spirit).                              
[13]The Montanist prophets also seem to have practiced “charismatic exegesis,” in which the text of the scripture was actually cited in their oracles in such a way as to include their eschatological key to the scriptures within the text.
One authentic late Montanist inscription substantiates Epiphanius’s charge (Haer.49) that the Montanists allowed female clergy.
In order to survive, Montanists may have developed their own peculiar form of regional bishops to ensure the institutional continuity of the sect.
Became famous after 208 by the joining of Tertullian of Carthage, when he included in Book 4 against Marcion , Montanist passages.
[14]Tertullian also condemned the current penitential disciple for its leniency.
In North Africa , Montanism has long fasts, prohibited second marriages and flight to avoid martyrdom, and specified the exact length of veils to be worn by women.
Montanist prophets also announced an eschatological vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, seen suspended over geographical Jerusalem.
[15]Montanus himself, who began prophesy wither in 172, or 156-7, proclaimed that the heavenly Jerusalem would soon descend near Pepuza in Phrygia.
Spiritual psalms, visions, and prayers also played a part in community life.

Decisions

Were excommunicated in a series of synods of churches in Asia Minor, the first such regional synods in Christian history as (Eusebius, H.E. 5.16.10.
[16]In Rome were excommunicated by bishop Eleutherus
[17]Also condemned by pope Zephyrinus (199-217).

Abbreviation

Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 2nd edition   (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities)
EEC
Dictionary of the Christian Church edited by F.L. Cross & E.A. livingstone by Hendrickson Publishers. 1997 Oxford university Press.
DCC
A History of the Christian Church, 4th edition Williston Walker and Richard A. Norris, David W. lotz, Robert T. Handy
HCC





[1] After its place of origin and greatest support.
[2] EEC, P.779
[3] EEC, P.778
[4] EEC, p.779
[5] DCC, p.1108
[6] EEC, p.778
[7] DCC, p.1107
[8] EC, P.52
[9] HCC, p.69
[10] John 14:26, 16:13.
[11] HCC, p.69
[12] Stevenson, A New Eusebius, P.113
[13] EEC, P.778
[14] DCC, P.1108
[15] DCC, P.1107
[16] EEC, P. 779
[17] DCC, p.1108