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Spiritual Words.

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  • Mark Sadek
    CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! It is impossible for the mind to remain undisturbed by thoughts, but anyone serious about the matter can certainly permit
    Message 1 of 17 , May 30, 2006
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      CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!

      "It is impossible for the mind to remain undisturbed by thoughts, but anyone
      serious about the matter can certainly permit them entry or drive them away,
      and although their origin does not lie entirely under our control we can
      choose to approve of them and so adopt them."

      St. John Cassian.

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      "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to
      those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10

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    • Mark Sadek
      ...many have endured great ascetic labors, much hardship and toil for God s sake; but because they relied on their own judgment, lacked discrimination, and
      Message 2 of 17 , May 31, 2006
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        "...many have endured great ascetic labors, much hardship and toil for God's
        sake; but because they relied on their own judgment, lacked discrimination,
        and failed to accept help from their neighbor, their many efforts proved
        useless and vain."

        St. Mark the Ascetic.

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        "Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the
        King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts,
        He is the King of glory." Psalms 24:9-10
      • SOCM News Bureau
        The Centre of Oriental Studies & Research of the Syriac Patrimony (Lebanon) in cooperation with the Council of Churches in Aleppo, held the XIth Syriac
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 1, 2006
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          The Centre of Oriental Studies & Research of the Syriac Patrimony (Lebanon)
          in cooperation with the Council of Churches in Aleppo, held the XIth Syriac
          Patrimony Conference in Aleppo, Syria, from May 11 to 14, 2006. The
          Conference theme was "St Ephrem the Syriac, a Poet of our Times� in
          remembrance of the 1700 year of the poet�s birth (306 � 2006). It was
          organized within the celebrations of Aleppo as a Capital of Islamic Culture
          2006.

          The opening session on Thursday 11th May was marked by the presence of high
          level church and government officials, including H. E. the Syrian Minister
          of Culture, H. H. Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syrian Orthodox
          Universal Church, a representative of the Lebanese Minister of Culture, the
          Mayor of Aleppo, MECC General Secretary, the President of the Centre of
          Oriental Study & Research from Lebanon.

          In his opening speech, H.H. Patriarch Zakka Iwas mentioned that: "St Ephrem
          the Syriac � the Syrian is not confined to one country nor to one nation,
          neither to one confession of faith; rather he is confined to all humanity".
          In turn, the Syrian Minister of Culture underlined that "Aleppo today is a
          unique example of cultural diversity, interaction and dialogue between
          cultures and civilizations". The Islamic culture, he said, is not a religion
          but rather a common awareness and adoption of all other cultures". An
          address sent by Lebanese President General Emile Lahoud, welcomed the idea
          of the conference stressing that "religions and cultures can interact and
          dialogue for the sake and happiness of humanity".

          Throughout the two and half working days, several eminent scholars from
          Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, UK, Germany and Belgium contributed to panels. They
          spoke about St Ephrem's poetry and his impact on the spiritual life of the
          different churches as well as on cultures all over the world.

          In the closing session, the Grand Mufti of Syria Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun
          praised the poetry of St Ephrem saying that, "after 1700 years, St Ephrem is
          still alive among us in a land which is blessed by heaven", emphasizing the
          universal nature of his poetry that touches all peoples� God, and its
          spirituality which will last forever. He ended saying, "today is the
          incarnation of heaven on all of us".

          The conference ended with follow up recommendations to be carried out by the
          Centre of Oriental Study & Research of the Syriac Patrimony.

          The MECC staff in Aleppo was asked to undertake the documentation and
          secretariat work of the conference, together with other members of the
          Aleppo Ecumenical Committee. For further information, kindly contact Mr.
          Razek Siriani at: rsiriani@... or visit the CERO Website at:
          www.moncero.org <http://www.moncero.org/>


          Middle East Council of Churches
          Office of International Ecumenical Relations P.O. Box 5376, Beirut, Lebanon

          Guirgis Ibrahim Saleh, General Secretary mecc@... or
          guirgissaleh@...

          +961-1-353-938
          http://www.mec-churches.org/
        • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
          Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 15:1-14 Dear and Respected Brethren, As far as the children of Abraham, the Father of all the faithful,
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 2, 2006
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            Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 15:1-14

            Dear and Respected Brethren,

            As far as the children of Abraham, the Father of all the faithful, Pentecost
            was a feast, on the fiftieth day after the feast of Pass over. On such a
            feast day of Pentecost only, the early Christians, including the Apostles as
            well as Mother of God and other few, were strengthened by God to continue
            the mission of the Savior of the mankind and the universe. The Apostles and
            others along with the blessed virgin Mother of God had waited for the Holy
            Spirit with one accord, as per the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ
            prior to His blessed Ascension to Heaven. This is what we are learning in
            the first and second chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. Though all
            Christians have accepted the Holy Spirit through the Baptism and Holy
            Mooron, our life in the world necessitates us to renew the Holy Spirit in us
            and to keep it strong and full. Until recent years our faithful were eager
            to renew the status of the Holy Spirit in them. But somehow or the other, we
            are not so serious about the growth of the Holy Spirit in us. It seems that
            our faith and observation of the traditions and rituals are not at all
            serious. We all deal with them in a very cold mood. We must have a
            self-revival and eagerness to follow the footsteps of our ancestors and
            forefathers.

            Kindly realize the uniqueness and very sweetness of the language used by our
            Lord and Savior, while He is explaining about the relation between Him and
            us. When we hear �I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener� we might
            feel it as so simple, but in fact how deep are they and their inner
            meanings? If we could see a healthy vine plant with lots of leaves and
            fruits in our minds, we could realize a lot. The gardener would desire
            plenty of fruits on all branches of the plant. In the 2nd verse it is
            mentioned that what would happen to the branch that might not bear fruits.
            We should not forget the truth that the faithful cannot do anything until
            and unless they might stay in our Lord and Savior, like a branch cannot bear
            fruits unless it�s connection with the main stem is strong and solid.

            Let us see what Lord Jesus, is offering us in verse 8, who only guaranteed
            that we could bear more fruits while staying in God the Father. �Herein is
            my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my
            disciples.� We all must bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then only God
            the Father�s name will be glorified and we all would be accepted as our
            Lord�s disciples. Kindly read a similar exhortation in St. Matthew 5:16. and
            Philippians 1:11. Now let us make sure about the number of fruits we have
            utilized for the glory of God. Remember that all these fruits and many
            others were granted to us free of cost. If our score is a big zero, we must
            pray with a mind of repentance �Merciful God, kindly make use of us for your
            glory�. We must humble ourselves and dedicate ourselves for His disposal.
            Let us try to understand the deep meaning of the 9th verse. Let us try to
            grasp the deep meaning of those words. Kindly separate a few seconds to
            determine the love we enjoy from our Lord God. Let us try to maintain a
            proper record of the love we enjoy from Lord God. Can we forget the
            searching, caring and sharing love of our Savior? He wants us to exchange
            the same style of love to our fellowmen. Our habitual nature is to say OK
            for all sorts of exhortations and to forget/ignore them totally later.
            Aren�t we? So let us take a decision slowly but wisely. Let us try to be
            grateful to God for all sorts of blessings and graces we do enjoy in every
            second. Let us take a decision to be good conductors of God�s love, as the
            electric wires do their assignments. Let us also receive more and more love
            from God and share them among the needy fellowmen.

            In the 10th verse our Lord teaches us the way to remain in His love. It is a
            very light and simple thing to obey our Lord�s commandments. What is our
            Lord�s commandment? It is to love God and our own fellowmen without
            reserves. Our Lord explains about it in the 11th and 12th verses.

            Our Lord says that this is the right means to enjoy the complete joy in our
            lives. Let us decide to which matter we are giving priority: to God Almighty
            or something else. Let the Holy Spirit of God guide us in everyday lives.
            God bless us all

            Jose Kurian Puliyeril
          • Rev. Fr. Mathews Poozhikolel
            Dear beloved in Jesus Christ, We celebrate the feast of the Pentecost this year on the 4th of June. I feel that it is opportune at this time to think about the
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 3, 2006
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              Dear beloved in Jesus Christ,

              We celebrate the feast of the Pentecost this year on the 4th of
              June. I feel that it is opportune at this time to think about the
              Holy Spirit.

              We read in the Bible about the day of the Pentecost; "And when the
              day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in
              one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a
              rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were
              sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of
              fire, and it sat upon each of them." (Acts 2:1-3)

              The Holy Spirit is a Dynamic power in Spiritual life. There are
              three personalities in God, Father, Son and the Holy Ghost (Spirit).
              These three personalities have one essence, one authority, one will,
              one nature, one thinking and one power. There is no difference
              amongst the three in terms of status, power, size etc. It is
              virtually impossible to understand this supernatural mystery of
              this "Unity in The Trinity" with our material logic and
              understanding. We know that the Light, Heat and Rays are integrated
              with the sun and are not separable nor divisible. In the same
              manner The Holy Trinity is one such spiritual mystery which needs
              divine revelation to comprehend. God cannot be compared to any
              other. To understand and know God, we need to experience Him.

              Before our Lord Jesus ascended to heaven he promised us the gift of
              the Holy Spirit. "And, being assembled together with them, commanded
              them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the
              promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For
              John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the
              Holy Ghost not many days hence." (Acts 1:4-5)

              The manifestations of the Holy Spirit are manifold:

              The Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter and Shield against sin. He is
              the champion of Righteousness and Judgment. "Nevertheless I tell you
              the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not
              away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will
              send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of
              sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" (John 16:7-8)

              The Holy Spirit is the driving force of the Gospel and makes
              wondrous things happen."But ye shall receive power, after that the
              Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both
              in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
              uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) "Through mighty signs and
              wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem,
              and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of
              Christ." (Romans 15:19)

              The Holy Spirit is the Source of all knowledge. "But God hath
              revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all
              things, yea, the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2:10) And there
              is no way one can escape the power of the Holy Spirit. "Whither
              shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy
              presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my
              bed in hell, behold, thou art there." (Psalm 139:7-8)

              And to speak against the Holy Spirit is unpardonable "Wherefore I
              say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto
              men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven
              unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it
              shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy
              Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither
              in the world to come." (Matthew 12:31-32) "And grieve not the holy
              Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
              (Ephesians 4:30)

              Therefore we should strive to know and receive the Holy Spirit. We
              should pray for the divine blessing in our lives. "And when he had
              said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the
              Holy Ghost." (John 20:22)

              The Holy Spirit should dwell in our hearts "Who hath also sealed us,
              and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." (2 Corinthians
              1:22). So that our mortal bodies are strengthened and we live a full
              life. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead
              dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also
              quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
              (Romans 8:11) And enjoy the fruits of the Spirit, "But the fruit of
              the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
              faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
              (Galatians 5:22-23)

              The days of waiting has come to an end. We wish you all receive the
              blessings of Holy Spirit abundantly and the Sprit is renewed in all
              of us

              May God Bless you all.

              Fr. Mathews Poozhikolel
              Vicar, St: George Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, Kuwait
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