Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On The Lord’s Prayer

by St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Our father among the saints Cyril of Jerusalem (315-3as a distinguished theologian and archbishop of Jerusalem in the early Church. His famous 23 catechetical lectures, which he delivered while still a presbyter in 347 or 348, contain instructions on the principal topics of Christian faith and practise, in a popular rather than scientific manner, full of a warm pastoral love and care for the catechumens to whom they were delivered. Each lecture is based upon a text of Scripture, and there is an abundance of Scriptural quotation throughout. After a general introduction, eeen lectures follow for the competentes, and the remaining five are addressed to the newly baptized, in preparation for the reception of Holy Communion.
Then, after these things, we say that Prayer which the Saviour delivered to His own disciples, with a pure conscience entitling God our Father, and saying, Our Father, which art in heaven. O most surpassing loving-kindness of God! On them who revolted from Him and were in the very extreme of misery has He bestowed such a complete forgiveness of evil deeds, and so great participation of grace, as that they

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Presentation
given at the 5th Biennial Parish Council Symposium by
His Grace Bishop Demetri
Antiochian Village, PA
Friday, October 13, 2000
On behalf of his eminence Metropolitan Phillip, Fr. Michael Massouh, the director of this Center, Mr. Ron Nicola, Chairman of the Department of Stewardship of the Antiochian Archdiocese and myself, I welcome you to this, 5th biannual Parish Council Symposium.
Our focus for this symposium is that of Church Growth and financial stewardship. Our speakers for this symposium will go into detail on our topics, and discuss ways in which we can begin to achieve specific goals. Today I will touch briefly upon these topics, and share with you some of my thoughts on these matters.
II.) INTRODUCTION: The Call to Godly Service:
Once a man entered a store where fine glass and chinaware were sold. Addressing the store-keeper he said, “I would like to purchase all the glasses that you have in your store which are pitched in the musical key of ‘A.’” The store-keeper looked amused, and said, “My friend, I don’t buy glasses here because of their musical qualities, so I am not able to select the ones which possess the proper key you desire!”
The man who had requested the glasses reached his hand into his pocket and took out a tuning fork. When he struck the tuning fork against the counter, every glass on the shelves that was pitched in the key of “A” immediately responded to the tuning fork with its own vibration in the key of “A.” So it is with the Christian heart -- the souls of all who are born of God -- who are tuned-in to the vibration of

Friday, September 24, 2010

Venerable Chariton the Confessor,
Abbot of Palestine
September 28th
Tortured relentlessly for his faith by the Romans, St. Chariton the Confessor refused to denounce Jesus Christ – and then went on to found the series of monasteries that made this monk a legendary figure among the early saints of the Holy Church. His dramatic story looms as a classic example of how trust in the Lord can help a true believer endure any hardship and prevail against any enemy, no matter how strong.
St. Chariton’s story begins near the middle of the 3rd Century after Christ, in the ancient Phoenician city of Iconium, where this ascetic and longsuffering figure was born to a life of extraordinary self-mortification. Converted to Christianity as a young man, the virtuous Chariton was inspired throughout his tumultuous life by the example of the first Christian martyress – St. Thekla, also a longtime resident of Iconium. During all the torments that pursued St. Chariton as his destiny unfolded in Palestine and elsewhere, it would be the sublime image of the martyred St. Thekla that sustained him, along with what he often described as the “life-bearing armor of the Cross.”
His own troubles began in Palestine under the reign of the Roman emperor Aurelian, according to most historians, when the provincial authorities arrested and tried him for being a Christian. Confronted with this charge, St. Chariton proudly confirmed the fact that he had been converted to the Gospel and then infuriated his accusers by loudly

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Praying to the Saints
We should seek the intercessions and the fervent prayers of the saints, because they have special 'boldness' (parresia), before God.  Saint John Chrysostom
The Orthodox Church is a living and vibrant community of faithful Christians made up of the members of the Church militant and the church triumphant. The Church militant are those of us who are still part of this world, diligently striving to live our lives according to God's teachings and commandments. The Church triumphant are those individuals who have been called by God to be with Him in paradise and continue to pray for us.
Holiness or sainthood is a gift given by God to mankind through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Kallistos Ware, a famous Orthodox Theologian, has stated that "in private, an Orthodox Christian is free to ask for the prayers of any member of the Church, whether canonized or not. It would be perfectly normal for an Orthodox child, if orphaned, to end his evening prayers by asking for the intercessions, not only of the Mother of God and the saints, but his own mother and father. In its public worship, however, the church usually prays only to those whom it has officially proclaimed as saints."
In the Orthodox Church there are six classifications of Saints:
1. The Apostles, who were the first ones to spread the message of the Incarnation of the Word of God and of salvation through Christ.
شرح الصلاة الربيّة " أبانا الذي في السماوات "
إعداد مطرانية جبل لبنـــــــــــــان
تعتبر "الصلاة الربّيّة" (أبانا الذي في السماوات ليتقدّس اسمُك...)، كما أسماها، لأوّل مرّة، القدّيس كبريانوس القرطاجيّ (+258)، من أكثر الصلوات التي يتلوها مسيحيّو العالم شهرةً، وذلك أنّها "الصلاة" التي علّمها يسوع للكنيسة، وأرادها نموذجًا لكلّ صلاة .
منذ البدء أبدى آباء الكنيسة اهتمامًا بالغًا بهذه الصلاة، فتركوا تفسيرات كثيرة عنها، وعملوا على إدراجها في الأسرار المقدّسة والصلوات الكنسيّة، وهي موجودة اليوم في جميع صلواتنا الجماعيّة والفرديّة .
أوّل مَنْ شَرَحَ الصلاة الربّيّة وأدخلها في ترتيب سرّ المعموديّة هو العلاّمة ترتليانوس (الذي اعتبرها "مختصر الإنجيل كلّه"). ثمّ تبعه، في مسعاه، القدّيس كبريانوس الذي كان يطلب من الموعوظين (وهم وثنيّون ويهود آمنوا بالربّ يسوع وكانوا يستعدّون لتقبّل سرّ المعموديّة) حفظها غيبًا وتلاوتها علنًا أمام الكنيسة أثناء قبولهم المعموديّة. حذا حذو

Friday, September 17, 2010

Passivity, Irresponsibility and Resulting Partner Anger
One of the hardest patterns of behavior for all of us to deal with is passive aggressive behavior. Passive aggressive behavior happens when the person avoids responsibility and attempts to control others to keep them away through his passivity and withdrawal. It is a dynamic born of fear of being controlled, fear of confrontation, hidden anger and an inability to deal straight with people.
Passive aggressive behavior is complex and takes many forms. We all have passive behavior that comes up when we don't want to deal with conflict directly or do a task. We all hedge, fudge and remain noncommittal on issues some of the time. That's normal. It's only when repeated passivity creates severe issues for others setting up continual tension and anger in the household that it becomes a serious problem that should be addressed. Common examples of this habitual, passive retreat style of dealing with confrontation and stress include:
The person who says one thing but means the opposite.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

حنانيا الدمشقي الرسول
هو حنانيا، التلميذ المذكور في الاصحاح التاسع من سفر أعمال الرسل. وقد جعله الرسل أول أسقف على دمشق وآمن كثير من الوثنيين بيسوع المسيح بواسطته . فسجنه والي المدينة الوثني وعذّبه ثم رماه خارج سور المدينة فمات هناك. تعيّد له الكنيسة في أول تشرين الأول. هناك كنيسة على اسمه في دمشق قائمة على آثار المنزل الذي التقى فيه شاول في آخر الشارع المستقيم.
كان حنانيا في دمشق عندما جاءها شاول (بولس الرسول) وكان شاول قد انطلق من اورشليم مزودا برسائل من رئيس الكهنة الى الجماعات اليهودية في دمشق حتى اذا ما وجد أناسا تبعوا يسوع المسيح، رجالا ونساء، ساقهم موثقين الى اورشليم، لأن اليهود هناك كانوا يعودون في شؤونهم الناموسية الى رئيس الكهنة في اورشليم.
في الطريق ظهر الرب يسوع لشاول في نور من السماء فسقط شاول على الأرض وسمع صوتا يقول له: "شاول، شاول لماذا تضطهدني؟". فارتعد وتحير جدا. ثم سأل: "يا رب
The Holy Apostle Ananias
October 1st
He was among the bravest – and also the most determined – of all the saints, and he played a key role in helping St. Paul to begin laying the foundations of the early Church.
His name was Ananias. He was destined to serve as the first Bishop of Damascus – and also to die beneath a volley of stones hurled at him by the enemies of Christianity. His martyrdom occurred in an obscure Palestine city named Eleutheropolis, when this holy apostle (one of The Seventy) refused to stop preaching the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was an agonizing death, of course – but before it took place, St. Ananias managed to fulfill his destiny as the valiant bishop who would baptize Saul (later to become the Apostle Paul) in the faith that had been brought to humanity by the Son of God. (Acts 9: 10-17)
Baptizing the great disciple and evangelist Paul (upon the latter’s arrival in Damascus) was a hugely important service to the Holy Gospel, but this was not the only time when Ananias stepped in to assist his great friend and fellow-Christian. On another occasion in Damascus, after St. Paul had been proclaiming in the synagogue that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and also the Redeemer of the world, a group of angry Jews decided that they had heard enough – and they quickly hatched a plot to kill the great teacher. TAKEN FROM
Led by Ananias, a resourceful group of Christians in Damascus foiled that perfidious plot, however . . . by lowering St. Paul from the top of the city wall in a basket with a rope attached! Once safely outside the city, Paul was able to resume his fiery preaching without fear of reprisal from the enraged denizens of the synagogue.
The story of this stouthearted martyr (his name means “God is gracious!”) ended tragically, under the rule of the pagan Roman governor Lucian, but the legacy he left behind was anything but sorrowful. By achieving the baptism of one of Christianity’s most insightful thinkers and writers (the christening occurred around 36 A.D.), St. Ananias helped fulfill God’s holy plan for mankind.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

في دراسة الفروق بين الأرثوذكسية والكثلكة يسهل الحديث عن نقاط الخلاف بينهما؛ أما في دراسة الفروق بين الأرثوذكسية والبروتستانتية، فالأسهل هو الحديث عن نقاط الاتفاق المعدودة بينهما. بادئ ذي بدء، لا بد من القول إن البروتستانتية تمثّل جملة من الفرق الكنسية المنشقة عن الكنائس الرسولية (الأرثوذكسية والكاثوليكية) والتي تجمع هجيناً مختلفاً غير متجانس من التعاليم العقائدية المتباينة بين فرقة وأخرى. لهذا سنركّز الحديث هنا وبإيجاز على الأمور الرئيسية. وهكذا يكون تعريف اللاهوت البروتستانتي والعقائد البروتستانتية أمراً صعباً وغير ممكن. لكن يمكن الحديث عن الملامح العامة التي تجمع بين الفرق البروتستانتية، مع العلم أن بعض البروتستانت لا يرحبون بمناداتهم بهذا الاسم ويفضّلون الآن لقب "الإنجيليين". لكن بما أن لقب "الإنجيليين" هو لقب الكنائس الأرثوذكسية والكاثوليكية على حد سواء، لهذا، فاسم بروتستانت "معارض" هو الأصح ويشمل كل الذين انشقوا عن الكنيسة الكاثوليكية وعارضوها، وكل الذين تفرّعوا وانشقوا عن الجماعات البروتستانتية الأولى واللاحقة إلى ما شاء الله.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


by St. John Chrysostom
The Cross destroyed the enmity
of God towards man,
brought about the reconciliation,
made the earth Heaven,
associated men with angels,
pulled down the citadel of death,
unstrung the force of the devil,
extinguished the power of sin,
delivered the world from error,
brought back the truth,
expelled the demons,
destroyed temples,
overturned altars,
the sacrificial offerings,
implanted virtue,
surrounded the Churches.
إشارة الصليب
في حديثنا عن صليب الرب لا نعني حدث الصلب وحسب بل خشبة الصليب الكريم أيضًا . ف " بملامسة جسد الرب الكريم تقدست خشبة الصليب أيضًا " . على حد تعبير القديس يوحنا الدمشقي . ولذا فإننا نكرمها ونسجد لها .
ويقول القديس غريغوريس بالاماس : " ليس الكلام عن الصليب والسر وحسب بل على الشكل أيضًا لأنه إلهي و مسجود له .
فهو ختم تقوى مقدس ومكمل لجميع الخيرات العجيبة غير الموصوفة الآتية من لدن الله " .
إننا نوضح هذه الأمور كلها لأن ثمة " أعداء للصليب " (فيليبي 3 : 18 ) . ما زالوا موجودين حتى يومنا هذا .
ولا بد أن يعرف كل مؤمن أن صليب الرب ليس " خزيًا " ( تث 21 : 23 ) . بل "مفخرة" ( غلا 6 : 14 ) . فإن فخرنا ليس بحدث الصلب وحسب بل بخشبة الصليب أيضًا .
الصليب في العهد القديم ومكانته في العهد الجديد
_الصليب هو سر خلاصنا وهو قوة الله وبه نلنا الفداء اذ ان كلمة الصليب عند الهالكين جهالة اما عندنا نحن المخلصين فهي كلمة الله(1كو1: 18) وعقوبة الصليب جعلت لكل من يذنب , لانه ملعون كل من علق علي خشبه وبلعنة المسيح صار خلاصنا ومغفرة الخطايا.
النبوات عن عقوبه الصليب والالام
_داود النبي تنبأ عن تأمر الرؤساء والملوك علي المسيح الرب في المزمور الثاني وقال"لماذا ارتجت الامم و تفكر الشعوب في الباطل, قام ملوك الارض و تامر الرؤساء معا على الرب و على مسيحه قائلين" لنقطع قيودهما و لنطرح عنا ربطهما" الساكن في السماوات يضحك الرب يستهزئ بهم. . . . الرب قال لي انت ابني انا اليوم ولدتك اسالني فاعطيك الامم ميراثا لك و أقاصي الارض ملكا لك . . . قبلوا الابن لئلا يغضب فتبيدوا من الطريق"
وفي هذا الشاهد نري كيف ان داود يري الرؤساء يضطهدون الرب ومسيحه ويحذر اليهود

Friday, September 10, 2010

القديس افروسينوس الطباخ
تعيّد له الكنيسة في 11 أيلول من كل عام
إنسان قروي بسيط . جاء إلى أحد الأديرة فاستخدموه مساعداً للطباخ . كانوا يكلفونه بأقبح الأشغال المطبخية، وكان، لبساطته، موضع استخفاف وتهكم فك ان يحتمل سخرية الآخرين منه ويقابلهم بتعفف ووداعة لا يتزعزعان . وحدث ان كاهناً في الدير اعتاد الصلاة إلى الله ليريه البركات التي يذخرها للذين يحبونه . وذات ليلة، فيما كان هذا الكاهن نائماً، بدا له كأنه حمل، في الحلم، إلى الفردوس، وأودع حديقة ممتلئة من أجمل الأ شجار وأشهى الثمار . وفي وسط هذه الحديقة كان مسرة ( أفروسينوس ) يأكل من هذه البركات ويفرح مع الملائكة . اقترب منه الكاهن وسأله : "أين نحن، هنا، يا أفروسينوس؟"، فأجاب : هذا هو موطن مختاري الله الذي طالما رغبت في معاينته . ؟ أما أنا فأقيم هنا بإحسان الله الذي شاء أن يغفر لي ذنوبي " . فقال له الكاهن : أبإمكاني أن آخذ معي بعض ثمار هذه
Saint Euphrosynos the Cook
September 11
Our holy monastic father Euphrosynus was born of simple parents although he surpassed even those of noble lineage in good works. For there are many who are devoid of good works, despite their noble birth, and so are cast down into Hades while the simple in their humility are lifted up to paradise by God as was the godly Euphrosynus. Because of his virtuous life he was translated to paradise, as we will see, and was shown to be an inhabitant there.
Euphrosynus lived in a monastery where he served the brethren, laboring in the kitchen and serving them with great humility and submissiveness as though they were not men but God Himself. He labored in obedience day and night, but he never left off praying and fasting. His patience was inexpressible. He bore much abuse and disparagement and suffered frequent vexations. Scorched by the material fire of the cookstove, he was warmed by the spiritual fire of the love of God, and his heart burned with longing for the Lord. While passing his days preparing food for the brethren, he at the same time prepared a table for himself in the kingdom of God by his virtuous life, where he would eat his fill with those of whom it is said, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. He served the Lord secretly so that he might be rewarded by Him openly, even as it came to pass.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

الصدّيقان يواكيم وحنّة أبوَي والدة الإله
في مدينة الناصرة كان يعيش زوجان هما يواكيم وحنة. يواكيم الصديق القديس نشأ من سبط يهوذا من نسل الملك والنبي داود، فأبوه هو فاربافير من سلالة ناثان بن داود، وأما حنة فهي ابنة الكاهن متان من قبيلة هارون وكان لها أختان هما مريم وصوفيا، وقد تزوجت مريم في بيت لحم وولدت صالومي، وتزوجت صوفيا في بيت لحم أيضاً وولدت أليصابات أم النبي يوحنا المعمدان، وتزوجت أختهما حنة وولدت مريم العذراء أم الإله في الناصرة، وبناء على نقاوة سيرة هذين الزوجين يواكيم وحنة وقداستهما وإحسانهما استحقا أن يكونا أبوي والدة الإله مريم العذراء التي هي أقدس من جميع القديسين وأطهر من الشاروبيم، فقد كانا بارين أمام الله نقيي القلب محافظين على وصاياه وقد اشتهرا عند الجميع بتواضعهما كثيراً وقد مضى على زواجهما خمسون سنة فطعنا كلاهما في شيخوخة مسنة ولم يرزقا نسلاً، فبرح بهما الحزن حتى استأصل منهما الرجاء بأن يكونا من أجداد المسيح الموعود به، ثم اشتدت وطأته عليهما بسبب احتقار مواطنيهما وإهاناتهم لهما حسب عادة ذلك الزمان، لأن العاقرين في نظرهم
The Holy and Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna
September 9th
They lived simple lives of austere devotion, and their humility must have pleased the Lord greatly – for in the end He chose them over all others to become the holy parents of the Blessed Theotokos, and thus also the grandparents of the Holy Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Sts. Joachim and Anna were two human beings of exemplary character. Because their lives were directed toward spiritual rather than material things, they chose to give one-third of their income to their Temple, and another third to the poor – leaving them with very little money on which to live. Yet they managed quite joyfully on these slender resources – and their frugality foretold the future birth of Our Savior, who would begin His own life in the humblest circumstances imaginable, surrounded by farm animals and shepherds in a manger.
St. Joachim was of the tribe of Judah, and descended from King David – while his faithful spouse Anna had been born to a well-known priest of the tribe of Levi named Nathan, as one of his three daughters (Mary, Zoia and Anna). Mary would be married in Bethlehem and would become the mother of Salome, while Zoia, also married in Bethlehem, would give birth to Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Forerunner.
Joachim and Anna were married in Nazareth and then lived pious, quiet lives of wedded contentment. But their happiness was marred by one burning disappointment: After 50 years of marriage, they were not able to conceive a child. Their plight was made especially painful by the fact that in that period of history, being childless was regarded as a moral defect.TAKEN FROM
At one point, the anguish felt by this barren couple became almost unbearable. It happened when the high priest at their temple – a heartless and harshly judgmental cleric named Reuben – sternly upbraided Joachim, while informing him that he was not worthy to offer sacrifice. From that point forward, he was not permitted to participate in the ritual sacrifices at the temple – a devastating outcome for a man of Joachim’s great piety.

Monday, September 6, 2010

شرح القداس الإلهي
يعتبر القداس الإلهي من أهم الخدم الطقسية على الإطلاق ، بل هو السر الأكثر قداسة بلا منازع، الذي أسسه ربنا يسوع المسيح عشية آلامه الخلاصية مساء الخميس العظيم . فبعد رفع الصلاة لأبيه الذي في السماء ، أخذ الرب الخبز فباركه وقسّمه وناول تلاميذه قائلاً " خذوا كُلوا هذا هو جسدي الذي يُكسر من أجلكم " ثم تناول الكأس وباركها وناول تلاميذه قائلاً " اشربوا منها جميعكم لأن هذا هو دمي الذي للعهد الجديد الذي يُراق عن كثيرين لمغفرة الخطايا " .
فلما تناولوا امرهم يسوع أن يقيموا هذا السر دائماً " اصنعوا هذا لذكري " ( مت26 : 26-28 ، لو22: 19 ، 1كور11: 24 ) .احتفل الرسل الأطهار بهذه المناولة حسب وصية الرب وعلموا تلاميذهم وخلفاءهم أن يقيموا هذا السر .في البدايات انتقلت الطريقة التي يُقام بها هذا السر شفهياً ، وكان يتم حفظ كافة الصلوات والتراتيل عقلياً ؛ حتى بدأت تظهر شروح مكتوبة للخدمة الرسولية . مع مرور الزمن أُضيفت ترانيم وصلوات وأعمال معينة في الكنائس ، وبدأت تتزايد الحاجة لتوحيد تلك الترتيبات المتعددة للخدمة لتحقيق الانسجام في الخدمة فيما بينها . عندما انتهى الاضطهاد الروماني للكنيسة في القرن الرابع أصبح من الممكن إعادة ترتيب الحياة الداخلية في الكنيسة من خلال المجامع المسكونية ، فقام القديس باسيليوس الكبير بإعداد صيغة من خدمة القداس الإلهي ، وبعده أعدّ القديس يوحنا الذهبي الفم منها صيغة أقصر . وكانت هاتين الخدمتين ترتكزان على الخدم السابقة القديمة وخاصة خدمة القديس يعقوب أخو الرب أول أساقفة أورشليم .

Friday, September 3, 2010

*القديس موسى النبي معاين الله*
تعيد له كنيستنا الأرثوذكسية في الرابع من شهر أيلول
من قبيلة لاوي. ولد في مصر أيام كان العبرانيون في خدمة فرعون . عندما ولد , كان هناك أمر فرعوني قد صدر بأنه لا يجوز لأولاد العبرانيين الذكور ان يعيشوا. ألقته أمه في سل في نهر النيل, فرأته ابنة فرعون وتبنته. اسم موس معناه " المنقذ من الماء".
نشأ موسى بين المصريين وأتقن حكمتهم. ولما بلغ الاربعين قتل مصريا كان يتعارك وعبراني, اضطر الى الفرار. لجأ الى بلاد مدين حيث تزوج سيفورا ابنة يثرو, كاهن مدين, فأنجبت له ابنا سماه جرشوم الذي معناه " أنا غريب في أرض غريبة". في مدين عاش موسى راعيا لأغنام عمه. هناك بين الجبال والبرية, في كنف الوحدة والسكون, أعد الله عبده موسى لعمل عظيم, ليكون راعيا لشعبه اسرائيل.
وحدث يوما انه ساق قطيعه الى جبل سيناء الذي هو حوريب , فظهر له الله وعاينه
The Holy Prophet Moses the God-Seer
September 4th
Like a new star suddenly blazing in the firmament, his name burst upon the ancient world in a flash of dazzling radiance: Moses.
The extraordinary life of this revered holy man – one of the greatest prophets to appear before the arrival of Christ – began somewhere around 1500 B.C., while his Hebrew people struggled in the anguish of slavery at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Moses was born to a man of the tribe of Levi, Amram, and his wife Jochebed, who had already been blessed with a son (Aaron) and a daughter (Miriam).
Like everything else in his life, the events surrounding Moses’ birth were nothing less than spectacular. He came upon the scene during a period in which the infant sons of the Hebrews were being systematically murdered by the Egyptians, and he would barely survive half a dozen close brushes with death, first as an infant and then as a youth growing up under the yoke of slavery in Egypt.
The dramatic story of Moses’ birth is well known but worth repeating. Soon after his arrival, his terrified mother realized that the Pharaoh’s brutal campaign of drowning every Israelite newborn in the Nile River would quickly end her baby’s life. Desperate for a way to save him, she hit upon an inventive plan. After hurrying down to the riverbank, she built a tiny boat by weaving bulrushes together and then daubing them with sticky pitch. Once the infant’s frail craft had been carefully assembled, she launched it upon the waters and prayed for the child’s safety. Meanwhile, the baby’s devoted sister Miriam watched from a hidden place, hoping to observe the outcome.TAKEN FROM
Why are Priests Called Father
in Your Church?

by Father Steven Tsichlis
Recently, in a conversation with someone who attends a "non-denominational" church, the question was asked: "Why are priests called 'Father' in your Church? This is not what the Bible teaches! Doesn't Jesus Himself say, 'Call no man on earth your father, for you have one Father who is in heaven.' (Matthew 23:9)."
This is simply another example of what can only be called the "fundamentalist gridlock" of some Christian groups in understanding and interpreting the Scriptures: the taking of this or that biblical passage out of context and applying it to whatever you want. St. Athanasios, the 4th century patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt, was the first person in Christian history to definitively list those 27 books that we today call the New Testament. A pivotal person in the formation of the New Testament canon, St. Athanasios says that when Christians read the Bible, they are not to take passages out of context but rather to keep the "skopos", the scope or "big picture" in mind. Let's examine this question keeping the full scope - or "big picture" - of the Scriptures in mind.
The Great Schism
The Estrangement of
Eastern and Western Christendom
Bishop Kallistos Ware
One summer afternoon in the year 1054, as a service was about to begin in the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) at Constantinople, Cardinal Humbert and two other legates of the Pope entered the building and made their way up to the sanctuary. They had not come to pray. They placed a Bull of Excommunication upon the altar and marched out once more. As he passed through the western door, the Cardinal shook the dust from his feet with the words: 'Let God look and judge.' A deacon ran out after him in great distress and begged him to take back the Bull. Humbert refused; and it was dropped in the street.
It is this incident which has conventionally been taken to mark the beginning of the great schism between the Orthodox east and the Latin west. But the schism, as historians now generally recognize, is not really an event whose beginning can be exactly dated. It was

Thursday, September 2, 2010

إنجيل برنابا" إنجيل زور
بمناسبة السجال الدائر في البلد بشأن مسلسل "السيد المسيح" الذي يعتمد مرجعية "إنجيل برنابا"، طلبنا من الأب جورج (مسّوح) أن يكتب عنه.
ثمّة صنفان من الأناجيل: الأناجيل القانونيّة الصحيحة التي اعتمدتها الكنيسة بناءً على التقليد الرسوليّ وهي الأناجيل الأربعة المعروفة لدينا مرجعًا أساسيًّا للإيمان المستقيم؛ أمّا الصنف الثاني فهو المسمّى بـ"الأناجيل المنحولة" وهي تلك الأناجيل التي ظهرت في المائتي عام الأولى من عمر المسيحيّة ورفضتها الكنيسة لأنّها تتضمّن تعاليم مشوّهة وشهادات خاطئة عن الربّ يسوع (انظر مقالة "الأناجيل المنحولة"، رعيّتي، العدد 39، 2009). "إنجيل برنابا" لا ينتمي إلى أيّ من الصنفين المذكورين، فهو كتاب مزوّر دوّن في أوروبا في القرن السادس عشر على الأرجح، على يد راهب إيطاليّ اعتنق الإسلام، ولذلك نجد فيه تأكيدًا لما يقوله الإسلام عن السيّد المسيح وتعاليمه، وبخاصّة ما يتعلّق بموضوع الصلب. 
How to Stay Christian in College
J. Budziszewski, Author
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is an excerpt from How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski (NavPress).
Chapter One
Why Is This Book Necessary?
One day a student approached me after class. She seemed to be close to tears. "In lecture today, you mentioned that you're a Christian," she said. "I've never heard that from any other professor, and every day I spend at this university, I feel my faith is under attack."
I knew just how she felt. Modern institutions of higher learning have changed dramatically in the last half-century, and from the moment students set foot on the contemporary campus, their Christian convictions and discipline are assaulted. "Faith is just a crutch," they hear from friends and teachers. "The Bible is just mythology." "Christianity is judgmental and intolerant." "Morality is different everywhere." "Everyone must

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Minor Words of the Liturgy
"Wisdom, Stand Aright"
"Holy Things are for the Holy"
"Let us Attend"
"Lord Have Mercy"
"Let us depart in Peace"
"WISDOM!" We hear this word repeated frequently during the services in our churches. In the first place it is intended to remind us and bear witness before us and before the world that everything that takes place in the church has as its foundation the Divine Wisdom. "In wisdom hast thou made [them] all', we hear these words at every vigil during the reading of the 103rd psalm, the so called beginning psalm. In our everyday life we frequently use the words "reason", "mind", "sense", "intellect" when we try to describe the obvious function of the human brain. In doing so we frequently separate this function of the brain from the full manifestation of the human spirit. We are living in the age of reason, the age of man's great scientific, technical, intellectual and artistic achievements. Not infrequently are these achievements deprived of the creative element and are directed towards destructive objectives.