By: GEORGE YOUSSEF
The Great Lent is undoubtedly the holiest fast observed by the Coptic Orthodox Church. During the Great Lent, we fast for a total of fifty five days; seven days from the preparation week, forty days to fast as Our Lord fasted in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2), one day for Lazarus Saturday, and the seven last days for Holy Week . It is important to constantly remember the value of fasting during this period. On the surface, we abstain from food, drink, delicacies, and other pleasures; however, this is done to express the love, commitment, and sacrifice we offer up to God who sent His Only-Begotten Son to die for us. In addition to fasting and sacrificing to express our devotion and commitment to God, we take this blessed opportunity to grow spiritually and avoid the sinful distractions that may pull us away from our holy state. This is done by increasing the times we pray and contemplate. To help us do this, the church provides an organized set of
The word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word ‘epiphaneia’, meaning ‘manifestation’ . This refers to the event in which the Holy Trinity as a whole had been revealed to Mankind. Another, more direct term often used in place of “Epiphany” is the word “Theophany” which means ‘the manifestation of God to humankind’ . Not to be mistaken for the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany was a result of His baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. This is clearly explained in the Gospel of Luke: “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22). We see here that the baptism of Our Lord resulted in the appearance of the Holy Trinity (Epiphany) :
1. The Son (Our Lord Jesus Christ being baptized and praying)
2. The Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove descending upon Him)
3. The Father (the voice from
As Fr. Pishoy sat beside the man he said to him, "I hope all your problems have been solved. You seem happy."
"No, " he responded, "everything is the same, but I realize that Jesus is dwelling in me when I go through some tribulation and struggle. I will tell you of a dream, or perhaps a vision, that filled me with joy."
"I went to sleep very broken hearted, so broken hearted that I was at the point of committing suicide. I decided that I was going to throw myself from a very high mountain. On my way to the mountain, I encountered many of my friends. They all gave me comforting words of consolation, but I didn't feel that I could share my agony with any of them.
As I continued on my way towards the mountain,
This is the story of a famous leader named Joshua who had 80 disciples. All of them became good leaders.
One day, Joshua lifted up his heart and asked God what He had prepared for him in eternity. In a dream, Joshua heard a voice telling him, "You and Neres will be with me in Paradise and both of you will receive the same reward."
Joshua woke up upset, wondering how he could dedicate his whole life to the ministry of God and still get the same reward as a