Who of us has not felt the sting of hurt? I imagine the question is rhetorical, because the only person who cannot be hurt, is someone who has given up all personal rights. I am not that person.
Continue reading Hurting people.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnez′zar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.[a] 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.
Continue reading Between joy and sadness: Hail New Martyrs!
He stood, watching and waiting for the moment his son would come home. He ran to him, burst into tears, embraced him in his filth. Hugged his child that smelled like swine and that had wished his own death.
Continue reading The Lost Kid
I am not a morning person. When someone says, “Good morning!” to me, I’m usually thinking, “What’s so good about it?” Usually, however, I don’t articulate that aloud. It’s not polite. I’m also stubborn and obstinate.
Continue reading Sorry, mom: On Lenten Warfare.
This is one of those things to read at night, when you’re mellow.
Continue reading Those lonely moments in the night.
There’s a segment in Les Misérables, where Marius, after his close friends die in the revolution, sings:
There’s a grief that can’t be spoken,
There’s a pain goes on an on,
Empty chairs at empty tables,
Now my friends, are dead, and gone…
Continue reading Maro: a grief that can’t be spoken.
“I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me.”
Continue reading They will kill you.
I remember an old grandfather, God repose his soul, at my church growing up. He used to say Our Father so slowly compared to the rest of the congregation, and it was not because he lacked English skills. He simply refused to rush prayer, and he had a hearing problem.
This is part two of a series to dialogue with parents AND kids, on issues that we see in the service. Please, let’s interact. What’s worked in your home? What didn’t work? What are the problems/causes of our issues.
Continue reading Dear Parents… Part Two: Prayer
I’m writing this to you because we, your servants, love your kids. This is not written to attack you or accuse you of anything “bad”. Again, I’m writing it because I, and other servants, love your kids. Because we love them, we also have some concerns. This blog got very long, so I will be dividing it into multiple parts. I am not saying any of this in an accusatory way – I am responding to real issues and things that are really said. I am not making up the issues. The Church cares about your children, as do you as parents, of course, and so it is important here and there to hear about those concerns, in the same way that many are more than happy to express their concerns to servants and clergy. This is not an exhaustive list of issues, but really just a sampling of categories in which there are issues going on in which I hope to engage you. Your comments and feedback are more than welcome.
Continue reading Dear Parents… Part One: Christian Education
500 metres away from the famous monastery of St. Pishoy (Deir el Anba Bishoy), is the less known, but still known, monastery of the Syrians, “Deir El Sourian”. The monastery itself has had its recent greats. Bishop Theophilus will go down in history as one of the most charismatic abbots of that monastery. He was the abbot who had all sorts of ways of testing new novices before coming, and it was he who admitted Nazir Gayid to the monastery, who would one day become the thrice-blessed Pope Shenouda III. This monastery also gave us two modern elder saints that have been making their way in the world: Elder Matthias (Mettaous) and Elder Philotheos (Faltaos). There are, of course others. Copts of course are not as keen, it seems, on preserving the written record of some of the teachings of these elders. I pray that we acquire that.
Continue reading Abouna Antonious El Souriani