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THE HOLY SPIRIT DWELLS IN US SUBSTANTIALLY (ESSENTIALLY)

Once again His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy uses Al-Keraza to disseminate his own views that are at variance with what we received from the fathers of the church. In a  recent Arabic article titled “الحلول الأقنومى” His Eminence pontificates:
 
 
أما عن حلول الروح القدس فى يوم الخمسين فأننا نفضل أن نقول عنه أنه "حلول مواھب" ألنه اليمنح جوھره للرسل والمؤمنين بل مواھبه وعطاياه
 
As for the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, we prefer to refer to this as “descent of gifts” because he (the Holy Spirit) does not grant his essence to the apostles and the believers but rather his gifts and his graces.
 
Here I would like to ask His Eminence, Which of the fathers of the church taught this?
 

THE LETTER OF ST. ATHANASIUS TO MARCELLINUS ON THE INTERPRETATION OF THE PSALMS

My dear Marcellinus,

Your steadfastness in Christ fills me with admiration. Not only are you bearing well your present trial, with its attendant suffering; you are even living under rule and, so the bearer of your letter tells me, using the leisure necessitated by your recent illness to study the whole body of the Holy Scriptures and especially the Psalms. Of every one of those, he says, you are trying to grasp the inner force and sense. Splendid! I myself am devoted to the Psalms, as indeed to the whole Bible; and I once talked with a certain studious old man, who had bestowed much labour on the Psalter, and discoursed to me about it with great persuasiveness and charm, expressing himself clearly too, and holding a copy of it in his hand the while he spoke. So I am going to write down for you the things he said. 

Read more: THE LETTER OF ST. ATHANASIUS TO MARCELLINUS ON THE INTERPRETATION OF THE PSALMS

THE BLESSING OF WATER ON EPIPHANY

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

Evidence from the fourth century suggests that the Epiphany blessing of waters was celebrated in Antioch and Egypt. John Chrysostom, in his homily On the Baptism of Christ preached in Antioch in AD 387, testifies to the practice of drawing sanctified water:

For this is the day on which he was baptized and sanctified the nature of the waters. Therefore also on this solemnity in the middle of the night all who are gathered, having drawn the water, set the liquid aside in their houses and preserve it throughout the year, for today the waters are sanctified.

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SAINT ATHANASIUS ON THE HOLY TRINITY

You who are without sense and in all things reckless, why do you not the rather cease your impertinent inquiries about the holy Trinity, and only believe that it exists ? You have the Apostle as your teacher for this, when he says: "It is necessary first to believe on God that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him." (Cf Heb 11) He did not say, "how he is," but only, "that he is".' But if they are not overwhelmed by this, let them say how the Father is, that so they may learn how his Word is. But it is absurd, they will say, to ask such questions about the Father. Let them hear, then, that it is also absurd to ask them concerning his Word.

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Did We Die with Christ on the Cross?

Fr. Athanasius has published a new article: Did We Die with Christ on the Cross?

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St. Athanasius On the Priesthood

Let those that minister aright be held worthy of double honour and especially those that labour in the word and teaching; (1 Tim: 17) because that they are not appointed of the bishops for (payment of) anything at all; wherefore they must needs be honoured with all godly honour, For when Moses served the altar worthily, God did grant unto his countenance a splendour greater than all. (Ex 33:9) And this did God make for a sign unto them that serve the altar aright in holiness, even as he. For he was the faithful presbyter, who laboured in the word and in doctrine and established the law for that obstinate people and bore their burden and their weeping and their irreverent murmuring wherewith they murmured against the Lord, and the curses that they uttered against Him. (Num 11:10) Yet was not all this a burden unto him because of the beauty of the altar whereof he was the minister and which was an image of the Word. Wherefore he was honoured more than any, in that he tasted of the sweetness of God ; he, the first that spake of the Church and gave unto her the form of the tabernacle, that by this fixed design the Church might be called to mind. For the tabernacle which followed him was an image of the Church. And not only did he make it, but he also set therein in order the ordinances of the sacred service, that he might teach us the fear of God that doth surround the altar, albeit we see it not. For he made bells round about the hem of the raiment of Aaron his brother, (Ex 28) that, when the chiefs at the holy place heard him enter the tabernacle, they might step aside, lest they should die. For every one that shall venture to approach the altar, without observing the law of God, shall die a wretched death, even as the sons of Eli, the priest of the Lord. For none that serveth the altar in impurity or with neglect shall die a good death. 
 

Read more: St. Athanasius On the Priesthood

The Struggle for English in the Church Services

Father Athanasius Iskander

I came to Canada in 1968 as an immigrant from Egypt. I was 30 years old and the church I came to was Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Toronto. The church was established by Father Marcos Marcos four years earlier in 1964. I graduated as a medical doctor from Ain Shams University in Egypt in 1962. I started working within two months after arriving as a resident in the Toronto Western Hospital.

At that time we were moving from one place of worship to another since we did not yet have a church of our own. The services at the church were totally in Arabic and Coptic. The deacons, afraid to lose the church tradition in a foreign land, made sure that every hymn in the book (and even some not in the book) was sung during the Liturgy. Accordingly the Liturgy ended at 1 pm!

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THE BIRTH OF MOSES AND THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST by St. Cyril

When at some point famine was afflicting (the children of Israel) ... they descended from the land of Canaan to Egypt; about seventy five souls, as it is written. And as the time crept, their race multiplied. For it has been written: “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” (Ex 1:7) And because the one who happened to be the ruler of the land of the Egyptians was not unaware of the growth of the Jews, he plotted against them and appointed for them overseers of the labours so that they maltreat them at work. And the way of being maltreated was the sweat over digging, a lengthy construction of bricks without compensation and building strong cities for the Pharaoh. ...

Read more: THE BIRTH OF MOSES AND THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST by St. Cyril

THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH

Saint Paul tells us in 1 Cor 11:11-12 “neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.” To God both are equal and indispensable but God assigned different roles for each. A woman was given a unique role that no man can match, that of being able to bring forth into the world men and women (with a little help from the man) Only a woman can bring forth as part of herself a priest, a bishop and even a pope. Not only that, but a woman was given the honour of being called the Mother of God, while no man was ever called the “father of God”

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St. John Chrysostom on Wedding Receptions

Marriage is a bond, a bond ordained by God. Why then do you celebrate weddings in a silly and immodest manner? Have you no idea what you are doing? ... What is the meaning of these drunken parties with their lewd and disgraceful behaviour? You can enjoy a banquet with your friends to celebrate your marriage; I do not forbid this, but why must you introduce all these excesses? Camels and mules behave more decently than some people at wedding receptions!