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Divine Calendar

You may think that the Divine Calendar (also known as the Liturgical Year) is a legacy of the early Church – in fact, it is a divine idea. Already for the people of Israel, God established a yearly cycle of feasts to continually restore His people to Him and His commandments. In the same way, the early Church – based on the Old Testament calendar and guided by the Holy Spirit – ordered Christ’s acts of salvation, like His birth, His baptism, His crucifixion, His resurrection etc., into a rhythm of annually recurring fasts and feasts. Not just to remember, but to help the believers experience these acts united with Christ and thus continually acquire new dimensions of the fullness of their salvation in Christ. In this way, believers grew steadily from year to year. In this section you will find resources that help you understand and tap into the riches of the Divine Calendar which could be regarded as a master tool of the Holy Spirit for our spiritual growth.

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The infilling of the spirit

If we understand the meaning of these names or titles of the Holy Spirit, we would perceive their great importance. This is because without the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot acquire any Christian virtue; and hence, our spiritual growth would stop and our transformation into the image of Christ would stop as well.

Jesus in His Passion Week

What was the main purpose that Jesus had when He entered Jerusalem? It was the Cross. What made Jesus want to fulfil this purpose? It is because this is the will of the Father. Jesus is the Son of the Father; and He wanted to please the Father: ‘for I always do those things that please Him’ (John 8: 29). If the Cross was a purpose in itself, it could have been difficult. Yet, what made the Cross become easy for Christ is that He was doing it for the sake of the Father and He did it with pleasure

Great Lent – The fast of Jesus and our fast

As we approach the middle of the great Lent, it is suitable to reflect and ponder on the mystery of this holy Lent and what is poured for us in it from one year to the other and think of our past this year. First we shall talk about the fast of Jesus during His time of incarnation and then we shall talk about our fast and its association with our time.

The Great Lent & Holy 50

The great Lent in the eyes of the church was really an important event because they considered it as time where we can receive a real fresh blessing that can lead us throughout the year, from Lent to Lent. And this blessing is not like we think just a blessing that can make us cleared up or being more anointed, it is a real blessing that can open for them a full revelation of Gods plan for them for a year.

She Who is Full of Grace

She did not depend on feasts and temple prayers alone to receive grace. But rather, she collected grace whenever and however she could. She desired to be filled with grace and she understood that she has the opportunity to gather its fragments throughout the moments of everyday. She found these fragments in all kinds of forms such as in a small prayer, in a pleasing thought springing up from her heart or as she rejected negative thoughts.

The Holy Lent is a Treasure of Mysteries

The Holy Lent, as the early fathers describe it, is the spring of the divine calendar; the season of spiritual storage for the whole year; and a special opportunity to encounter Christ who has fasted the forty-day fast for the sake of our salvation. The message of the Lent this year includes the following points: Freedom from fleshly habits and soulish or emotional attachments Examining the conscience and the purity of heart Going out of the self Holy and sweet suffering Infliction or Contrition and Transfiguration

The Nativity Fast : our need for faith

The redemptive work of Christ includes five main acts; namely, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the pouring of the Holy Spirit. Before each of the seasons of salvation that transfers to us the work of Christ’s redemption, the Church arranged a fast. This is because the fast is the best and most suitable atmosphere of receiving the divine grace, as fasting energises and revives our spirit. Our spirit can become weak due to the effect of the flesh and the mind. On the one hand, the human fallen soul has various fleshly desires and is often full of unrest and tension. On the other hand, the mind is full of its own ideas and is dominated by intellectualism. These two elements weaken the spirit; and as we know, any grace is deposited in our spirit by the Holy Spirit who transfers it to us from the work of Christ’s redemption. Therefore, we need our spirit to be active and fervent, and not weak. During this season of Nativity, we are meant to receive a grace that comes from the divine incarnation. In order to benefit from this season of incarnation, the church arranged the Nativity fast; so that, during this time of fasting our spirit may become awakened and active. Hence, we become ready and prepared to receive the specific divine grace related to this season. There are manifold graces that well from Christ’s incarnation. We previously spoke about some of these graces; this year, I want to speak about ‘faith’.

The Great Lent: the Mystery of the Cross

I will focus on a verse which highlights the main point we want to focus on this year in relation to the Cross and that is: ‘And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself’. We all know that the Cross is death; it is freedom; it is forgiveness; and many other things. Yet, we may have never realised that the Cross has the power of drawing us upwards. Why was Jesus crucified on a Cross? Why did He choose this particular way of dying? Couldn’t He have died like the martyrs and His blood would still be shed? Isn’t He a sacrifice? The sacrifice could have been offered through various means. He could have been tortured, whipped, and then finally slain by the sword. He could have been treated like criminals and is beheaded in a public place. In this case He would have been in a position of reproach and shame (to bear our reproach); His blood would have been shed; and He would have suffered and endured many pains and passions. Yet, He chose to be lifted up on the Cross and even the Cross itself was put on a high place, in Golgotha. Why is that?

Stephen’s Crown (Acts 7)

When I am crowned this means that I was pleasing the Lord all the time and I lived my life according to His will to please Him. So that the Father can look at me and say „Oh, this is my beloved Son with whom I am pleased“ as He said it to Jesus because we are also His sons through Jesus Christ and He wants to be pleased by our lives as He was pleased by the life of His own Son.

The Feast of Annunciation

He searches for specific people who can actualize His important matters for this generation. When a well-prepared person whose heart is in accordance with God’s own heart is then found, he or she is sent an angel in one form or another. It does not have to be in a tangible or visible manner, although this too can occur. It can come in a form of a conversation within the heart, which the soul is aware of. If this soul is well prepared, it has the ability to also become aware of a type of heart connection with the angels of God.

Follow me: feast of St. Anthony

The Lord has put in my heart two pictures that I was so preoccupied with and which caused a lot of pain and agony in my heart. The first picture of ministers of the Lord: the Lord gives them His impressions, which can all be summed up in one word that Jesus repeated: „follow me“. And in many stories of the New Testament we hear Jesus repeating these words, whether to His disciples or to many of the people whom He healed or worked miracles and he always said these words: "follow me“.

Glory of Resurrection – Easter Message 2017

In God’s economy of salvation we are supposed to partake in His glory and authority; so that we no longer remain in the rock bottom of our daily reality which the enemy desires to imprison us in. He reproaches us by making use of the sin and the weakness of our daily reality. Unfortunately we believe him and hence we get more and more imprisoned and constrained by our weak state instead of quickly turning our eyes unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who will lift us up unto Him and restore us to the things that He has prepared and accomplished for our sake.

Accompanying Jesus in the different stages of Incarnation – Christmas Message 2015

How can I benefit from His childhood? From a contemplative point of view? Or rather in partaking in His childhood mystically. I want to draw near the manger, bow down there and worship there. And I receive a grace that heals my marred childhood where the needs were not fully satisfied. Or maybe this marred childhood was afflicted with hurts or early suffering. Whether this or that: all these things leave hidden influences and effects in my life and influence my life. I want a restored childhood in His innocence.

Resurrection and our New Being, Existence, Identity in Christ

The importance of continuing to deliver a resurrection message is primarily to keep the mystical well of resurrection open and that we receive from it. And we receive the new grace of resurrection after being prepared for it during the special season of the great Lent and we receive this grace mystically through the different church prayers. Yet this mystical grace needs to be released in us to perform its good work inside us which in turn will progressively transform us into Christlikeness.

The Recommendations of the Risen Christ – Easter Message 2015

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and spoke with them several times over 40 days –until the time of His ascension to heaven. Below we shall look at some of these conversations between Jesus and His disciples: ‘And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures’ (Luke 24: 45).

The One Sent to the World – Christmas Message 2014

Let us go out to think of a world dominated by the evil one and drowning in evil. It is our responsibility to proclaim Christ’s love and salvation. Let it be our delight to offer this sacrifice to Him in this feast so that He may reveal himself to us. Let us be zealous with the same zeal He had. If we prepare our hearts in this feast, we shall receive anew of the mystery of His incarnation; the mystery of His love to the world; and the mystery of His holy zeal for His house!

The Cross

Usually when we read books or hear sermons about the cross, the main approach is theological. But I thought why do we not go to that story from the narrative of the gospels to see how the gospels put it. So this is the first approach: the cross in the story of the gospel. And I think you know that the first gospel that was written, was the gospel of Mark. Now we are not going to reach this theme from any theological approach. Remember, I am is just commenting on the story as it is written in the chapters of the gospel of Mark. So we will read paragraph after paragraph and you will hear some comments on these paragraphs.

An abundant spring of Resurrection is calling upon us – Easter Message 2014

According to the biblical revelation and the teaching of the fathers of the Church, the gifts and works of resurrection granted to God’s people through grace are numerous; they are the unsearchable riches of Christ! To be able to understand, let us specify some aspects of this divine gift of resurrection: - Inner divine enlightenment - A stream of eternal life - True and steadfast victory This is just a background to help us enter into the manifold divine mysteries. The ‘divine light’ works in man’s darkness; it is a darkness which man does not really know or perceive its extent. There is much inner darkness which makes God as if absent. Hence, at times man finds himself without rest, hope, or a goal; at other times, he can be confused, staggering, or spiritually fluctuating upwards and downwards.

The Tender Mercies of God – Christmas Message 2013

God’s message for us today is: “the tender mercies of God”. Before unfolding the dimensions of this message, I dare to say that this is not merely a message or talk related to a spiritual celebration, occasion or a specific day, but it is a message for the generation! This difference between a message given for a certain situation or occasion and a message given to a generation certainly requires some clarification. To explain this, we need to go back to the biblical foundations. Let us look at Moses, the man of God, as an example. Moses was one of the greatest men of God who learned to speak with God that it was written about him: ‘whom the Lord knew face to face’ (Deuteronomy 34: 10). Therefore, he was called ‘converser with God’.

The Sun is Setting, will We Shine? – Easter Message 2013

It is not difficult for the children of God, who are watchful on their spiritual life and who are preoccupied with the matters of the Kingdom of God, to discern and realise that the current phase is a difficult and very crucial one. This is not only due to the current circumstances of our country, Egypt. It is also because of the spiritual battles that we all experience during this phase. The battles are different from what we have experienced before; they are more severe and intense to the extent that it sometimes seems difficult to overcome them.

Preparing for the Great Lent 4 & 5

Usually we highlight the theme of the Sunday and the theme of this Sunday is called the „Last Judgement Sunday“. But before we are going to speak about this Sunday I would like to speak about the Saturday. The theme of this Saturday is the prayer for the dead. A very delicate issue. Is there any real benefit from the prayer for the dead? What does it mean to pray for the dead and what is its’ link with the great Lent?

Preparing for the Great Lent 3

This Sunday is called the Sunday of the „Prodigal Son“. The main theme is the story of the Prodigal Son. To understand the main point of the story we need to remind ourselves that Great Lent is a spiritual journey aiming at transferring our spiritual level from one level to another level. This means that this time is a big turning point. Everyone of us needs to expect that this season will change everything in his life. But how can this happen?

Preparing for the Great Lent 2

The theme of this Sunday is taken from the story of the Publican and the Pharisee. We need to finde the lessons that we can receive from this story, that can help us to be prepared for the great Lent which is ahead of us. What is the picture of the Pharisee? He is pleased with Himself and satisfied with self-assurance and self-righteousness. This is pride. This is what happens if we reduce religion to some external observations and rituals, the piety of self-righteousness. The false piety.

Preparing for the Great Lent 1

Here are many important points in the story of Zacchaeus. The first one is that he sought to see the Lord. The Lord was passing that way and Zacchaeus was short and there was a big crowd. And the point is that the Bible says: „he sought to see“. This means that he was seeking fervently with all his being. Yes, there is something deep in his heart that moved him to be like „I must see Him, I am ready to do whatever to see Him!“. Remember the hymn „Open the gates of repentance“. As if it says „send your Holy Spirit to my heart! I need to come in encounter with you in this fast!“

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