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Life of Virtue & Righteousness (9): The Fruit

Pope Shenouda III | 12 September 2010
In the Life of Virtue and Righteousness The importance of yielding fruit:Spiritual life must yield fruit in our lives and the lives of the others, for the Lord stresses on this, saying, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit … I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit." (Jn 15: 1- 5).. More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (8)

Pope Shenouda III | 5 September 2010
Definition, aim, and means What is virtue? Is it mere name or title, such as prayer, fasting, ministry, or charity, or there are measures for it? The three measures by which any virtue is proved as true or false are definition, aim, and means. Prayer: What is it? Is it a talk with God, or mere reciting, and how is it done? How feelings, understanding, and attachment to God are measured?.. More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (7)

Pope Shenouda III | 29 August 2010
The Royal daughter is all glorious within (Ps 45) The interior and the exterior: The kingdom of God is within you (Lk 17: 21), i.e., within your mind, heart, feelings, emotions, and intentions. When God reigns within, naturally the fruit will appear in one's actions. Mere external righteousness is hypocrisy. The scribes and Pharisees appeared righteous, but the Lord refused them as hypocrites, and rebuked them, saying, "You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence." "You are like whitewashed tombs .. More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (6)

Pope Shenouda III | 22 August 2010
The three levels governing man's behavior The individual level, the social level, and the spiritual level are three levels governing man's behavior as regards virtue and ambitions. A few benefit from the three, while some choose one or two only, and either benefit from them wisely or deviate. The individual level:+ On this level, a person attempts to lift himself up by acquiring certain virtues or ambitions, developing his mentality, his understanding, and his talents, or acquiring new talents through exercises of memory and reaching conclusions. Some exercises may develop intellectual ability and perception through training on solving problems or quizzes, all of which may give a person a keen and discerning eye... More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (5)

Pope Shenouda III | 15 August 2010
Spirituality is walking in the Spirit. St. Paul put it clearly, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit." (Rom 8: 1) "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, the things of the spirit … for to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God … So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8: 5- 8) Spirituality then is going beyond the carnal level... More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (5)

Pope Shenouda III | 8 August 2010
Almost everybody agrees concerning the good aim, but we may differ concerning the means leading to it. This may be due to the difference in thoughts, in views and degrees of intelligence, and in nature and surroundings, all of which result in different conclusions and judgments... More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (4)

Pope Shenouda III | 1 August 2010
The danger of focusing on one virtue (B) The Virtue of Obedience In continuation of the same topic, we shall speak here about: The Virtue of Obedience: God commanded us to obey our spiritual guides who watch out for our souls as those who must give account (Heb 13: 17). Moreover, we have in the Paradise of Monks various wonderful examples of obedience to the fathers in holiness. However, we should not obey blindly whatever the case may be; for .. More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (3)

Pope Shenouda III | 25 July 2010
The danger of focusing on one virtue A fault in which many, or the majority, fall, is focusing on one virtue only, contradicting or neglecting other virtues. Spiritual life is not merely one sole virtue, but it extends to everything, the same as the Holy Scripture, which is not merely one verse or one commandment, but rather an integral Book speaking about good .. More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (2)

Pope Shenouda III | 18 July 2010
What is it? What are its types and levels? In continuation of the definition of virtue, we add: Communion of the Holy Spirit: The Spirit of God dwells in us (1 Cor 3: 16); He works within us and through us, therefore, we should take part in work instead of taking a passive stand. Virtue is therefore communion with the Holy Spirit... More

Life of Righteousness or Virtue

Pope Shenouda III | 11 July 2010
What is it? How to be attained? What are its sources? What is virtue, and who is "a virtuous person"? He may be one who likes and does good and righteousness, whereas virtue may mean purity or walking in the way of God. It also may mean power within oneself enabling a person to overcome all inclinations and temptations of evil, and to practice a righteous life. It may mean going beyond the self to the care for others, beyond self-love to love for God and people. This is important, because sin often makes one focus on oneself trying to lift oneself up and satisfy one's own desires. .. More

The Ministry (26)

Pope Shenouda III | 4 July 2010
The fields and characteristics of growth in ministry can be briefed in the following points: Fields of growth in ministry: 1. Growth in number: We have covered this point in the preceding Article. 2. Growth in visitation extending to everybody: It starts with visiting the absentees, and develops into searching into the financial and spiritual needs of those ministered to, visiting students of Sunday Schools, and referring their families to the father priests to take care of them. 3. Growth in organizing the ministry: This can be realized by using computer. 4. Growth in spreading the ministry: It should extend to villages, .. More

Growth in ministry

Pope Shenouda III | 27 June 2010
Growth is a principal condition for successful spiritual ministry, and it may take various forms: increase in the number of ministers or those ministered to, growth in the type or character of ministry, or spiritual growth. Increase in number:A prominent example is the ministry of the Lord Christ and His holy apostles, for He started with twelve disciples (Mt 10), then seventy others (Lk 10). When choosing Matthias there were about a hundred and twenty (Acts 1: 15), then over five hundred brethren to whom the Lord .. More

The minister amidst his family

Pope Shenouda III | 21 June 2010
Strange indeed to see ministers with a double personality; behaving in the ministry in a completely different way than at home! In Sunday Schools, for instance, they appear like holy angels, uttering humble and gentle words, seeking the prayer of everybody as sinners, weak and undeserving. At home, .. More

The Ministry (23)

Pope Shenouda III | 13 June 2010
In continuation of the preceding Article about individual work done by the Lord Christ and the Father Apostles:Individual work is clear in the ministry of the Father Apostles as well as in their Epistles, as in St. Paul's Epistle to Philemon, where we read about his work with Philemon and with Onesimus the slave. St. Paul could turn him from a slave to a beloved brother profitable to him in the ministry. He even promised to repay his debts to Philemon (Philem 16- 18). .. More

The Ministry (22)

Pope Shenouda III | 6 June 2010
God cares for the whole world, but His care also extends to individuals, thus giving us a wonderful example of how important is individual work! In the Old Testament: God sent His angel to shut the lions' mouths, so that they might not hurt Daniel in the den, and was with the three young man in the furnace, so fire had no power on their bodies (Da 6: 22; 3: 25- 31). He was with Elijah while fleeing from Queen Jezebel and spoke to him with a still small .. More

The Ministry (21)

Pope Shenouda III | 30 May 2010
By "labor" is not meant the vain labor of the world, but labor for the Kingdom. Vain labor of the world resembles that of Solomon for luxury and wealth, for having attained all that he said, "Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind." (Eccl 2: 11) On the other hand your labor for God's sake is for your own salvation and for the edification of the Kingdom. Now let us focus on labor in the field of ministry:.. More

The Ministry (20)

Pope Shenouda III | 23 May 2010
The Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor (Isa 61: 1) The prophecy says regarding the Lord Christ, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound." (Isa 61: 1) Who then are those poor for whom the Lord came to preach good tidings?.. More

The Ministry (19)

Pope Shenouda III | 16 May 2010
"You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1: 8) These words mean that a believer should not only know God, but should also be a witness to Him before all people.The Samaritan woman is an example. As soon as she knew the Lord, she could not keep silent but ran to tell her people about Him, saying, "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did." (Jn 4: 29).. More

The Ministry (18)

Pope Shenouda III | 9 May 2010
"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (1 Tim 4: 16)? Who said this? It is the Great Preacher St. Paul, who experienced the depths of ministry and spiritual life, who in the ministry labored more abundantly than all the other apostles (1 Cor 15: 10), and in spirituality was caught up into the third heaven, into Paradise (2 Cor 12: 3, 4)... More

The Ministry (18)

Pope Shenouda III | 2 May 2010
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine" "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (1 Tim 4: 16)? Who said this? It is the Great Preacher St. Paul, who experienced the depths of ministry and spiritual life, who in the ministry labored more abundantly than all the other apostles (1 Cor 15: 10), and in spirituality .. More

The Ministry (17)

Pope Shenouda III | 25 April 2010
We spoke much about the triumphant who overcome in their spiritual wars and in their relationship with the others, but now we shall speak about the weak and the fallen and see what encouragement we can offer them. Encouraging others is a great virtue, for the Scripture says, "Comfort the fainthearted; uphold the weak; be patient with all." (1 Thess 5: 14).. More