- "Every virtue has its beginning from God, but in terms of time, it is eternal as God is. St. Maximos has noted: `All good things and virtue itself are obviously works of God. All virtuous things have a beginning; there was a time when they were not. But virtue itself has no such beginning in time, for there was no time when it was not.' The mind rejoices and the heart is happy when we acquire the virtues. Besides this, every virtue and especially the fear of God produces knowledge, prudence, and wisdom, making those who have this fear of God virtuous, prudent, knowledgeable, and wise. Moreover, it makes those who have it praiseworthy, happy, and zealous."
St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain.
"And Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts." Psalms 145:10-12
If you have an update on a prayer request, please let me know.
Please remember the following in your prayers:
M.E. Extreme Hardship.
The Christian Minority in Noshara, Pakistan.
Nancy - Glass went into her right eye.
R. Morgan - Heart surgery. Mr. Morgan is recovering nicely.
K. Hood - Cancer. Kerri had a successful surgery.
D. Arteaga - Surgery
Fadia - Breast Cancer.
Merna - 9 yrs old girl with brain hemorrhage - multiple skull fractures. Merna is conscious and talking but apparently she had lost hearing in one ear. She is doing better overall.
Tara - Systematic Lupus and financial and family problems
J.David - Depression,School,Drug problems, needs God's Guidance.
George k - Cancer
Frances - Brain Tumor
Delaney - 8 mon. old baby, hospitalized with severe burns and possible limb amputation.
Peter, Bishoy and Neveen - healing from the loss of both their parents.
Alber - Cancer
K - Depression, anxiety, addiction, pride and spiritual estrangement
E. Tawadros - Guide her to the right path and grant her wish.
Andrew Eskander - car accident. Andrew is out of the hospital and is doing great
E. Sidhom - Cancer.
Adel Gendy - 10 years old with kidney failure, needs a kidney transplant.
Bernard - Various drug addiction problems
Joseph - Prostrate Cancer
Mary - Breast cancer
A.K Matthew - Colon Cancer
Enyat - severe diabetes.
Safwat - Kidney problems and Anxiety.
Samy - Bone cancer.
MS - Mercy, Comfort, Strength, Healing and Protection
AAM -- Love, Healing, Comfort, Strength, Support and Guidance
MM -- Love, Healing, Comfort, Strength, Support and Guidance
SE -- Love, Healing
GE -- Love, Comfort, Strength, Support, Guidance
Helen - severe epileptic seizures.
Stephan - 48 years old, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, stroke.
Scott - 4 months old baby desperately in need of a bone marrow donor.
Douglas McLead - Cancer and kidney failure.
Mrs. McLead - Parkinson disease.
Fr Benjamin, Photini, Marina, Miriam, Moses.
Nicholas - constant back pain.
Michael - 9 years old boy with a progressive brain tumor.
Sarah - Back problems and might need an operation soon.
Mayrvat and her 3 kids. She has been separated from her kids.
Elizabeth - bi-polar disease and other problems.
Fr. Constantine S. Palassis - suffers from symptoms of dementia.
Heidy - Depression and other problems.
Esther - Intestinal problems.
Nick - chemotherapy.
Sue S. - Advanced Cancer.
Helen P. - severe depression and diabetes.
Pamela P. - chronic depression and financial difficulties.
Shafika - kidney failure.
Mary Beth - Obesity & Diabetes.
Jean - Neurological back problems.
Therese - Emotional problems.
Reggie - Cancer.
Detra - Stress related health problems.
Walter Sr. - Depression.
Denise I. - Breast Cancer.
Cuba Plain - cancer that is high up in the breast.
Zouhair - stomach cancer.
Magdy - brain tumor.
John Rittel - cancer of the lymph node and voice box.
Eugene - completion of immigration procedures and securing a job.
H. Adel - finish the immigration papers and preparation successfully.
E.Tawadros - Strength, Support, Guidance, wisdom and success.
Shareen - Stays out of trouble, gets closer to God, and Leads a pure life.
Madlen - Lost her husband in an accident. She has 2 children.
Mark H - MS
Mamdooh, Nahed, Marina and Cyril - May the will of The Lord be done.
M. Michael, C. Michael, M. Michael, R. Michael and family and friends.
M. M. Fayez.
R. Farouk's Family
The families and friends of the 3 teenage Christian Girls beheaded in Indonesia.
The mission of the Coptic Church in Africa and throughout the world.
ERA: The mission of the EgyptiansRelief.org in Egypt may God prosper all the work done everywhere the service is.
The Christians in Egypt. "Blessed is Egypt My people." Isaiah 19:25
The Safety of our Beloved Patriarch, H.H. Pope Shenouda III.
Please remember me in your prayers.
Please pray for the peace of the world.
"casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
- Devotional thoughts for the Sunday of the circumcision of our Lord � Feast
of St. Basil and St. Gregory, the Great, New Year -2006
Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 15: 5-19
Dear and Respected Brethren,
Today is the remembrance day of two great Orthodox Church Fathers, St. Basil
the great and St. Gregory the great. More over it is the New Year day. All
must be in the thrill of the blessed Christmas celebrations and must be
waiting forward to welcome the New Year. The holy reading arranged for today
by the Holy Fathers is so significant and relevant. Our Lord and Redeemer is
explaining in very simple words, how a faithful could and must maintain his
or her relationship with Lord God. When we realize the inner meaning of the
given text, we will wonder how solemn is the tradition and faith of our
Church. Our relation with our Lord is not for a day or a few days, whereas
it is till eternity. Our Lord who introduces himself as the vine says that
we are the branches. Our Lord�s promise is that we could have more fruits,
if we would stay in Him. We all know very well that the branches which are
cut from the main stem lose the life immediately. It is true that we must
have a connection with the main stem to retain our lives. The life could be
provided by the main stem of the grape vine. We might wonder why our Lord
identified himself as the real vine. We all know that the wine is taken from
the grapes, the fruit produced on the branches of the vine. Our Lord took
the wine and converted it as the life giving blood of our Lord. He said
�this is my blood�. The blood of our Lord sanctifies the faithful and
retains the life eternal. Here our Lord is telling that the branches, which
produces the grapes, have been kept alive while abiding in our Lord. We the
faithful have to maintain real faith, true repentance, and loving obedience
to keep up our link with our Lord. If we keep these things in our personal
lives, we could have a solid life with our Lord God, who is the real vine.
King Solomon the wise advises, �The
fruit of the righteous is a tree of life�.(Proverbs 11: 30) So let us try to
obey the commandments of our Lord God and be righteous. In Hosea 14:8 we
read, I am like a green fig tree: From me is thy fruit found�. We read about
the tree which do not produce fruits in St. Luke 13: 6-9. Grace of God
enables the trees to bear fruits. The fruits of the Spirit are also
depending the Grace and will of God. It is because of our Lord�s own words
that we cannot do anything with him. Kindly see St. Matthew 5: 16 and
Philippians 1: 11.
In the 9th verse it is said that how much our Lord God loves us. How much
love was granted to the son by God the Father, the same amount of love is
granted to us by God the Son. Our Lord said �if you will obey my
commandments I will abide with you.� Our Lord has limited his commandments
to two. He wants us to love God and love our own brethren. It is His command
to love each other. St. Paul also stresses the need to love one another in I
Thessalonians 4:9. St. Peter also insists us to have mutual love. (I Peter
4:8) See the 16th verse of today�s reading. We all are entrusted to bear
fruits and to keep them for ever. Is it a hard job to love one another?
Kindly think. Our Lord wants us to love whom we don�t know and who doesn�t
love us. If our pride and stubbornness are not allowing us to love our
brethren, are we not breaking our link with our Lord God? Let us put an end
to our selfish thoughts and desires. Let us take a decision to obey our
Lord�s commands to love God and love our brethren. Let us take a decision on
this New Year day. May God strengthen us to do His will, rather than our own
wishes and desires. Let us try not to forget that we are not for this world.
Our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. Let the Holy Spirit guide us and
lead us through the virtuous paths which are pleasing to our Lord God. May
the intercessions of the Great Church Fathers, St. Basil the great and St.
Gregory the great be a fort of protection for us. Let us try to imitate the
life style of these two Patron Saints. May God bless us.
WISH YOU ALL A VERY BRIGHT AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. MAY GOD SHOWER HIS CHOICEST
BLESSINGS THROUGHOUT THE COMING NEW YEAR AS WELL AS THE REST OF OUR LIVES.
With prayers and regards,
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.