Monday, July 10, 2006

Article By H.H Pope Shenouda.




On the occasion of the safe return of H.H Pope Shenouda III to the land of Egypt, here is an article written by him in English. The Pope's articles, in Arabic, English, and French, can be found on his web site http://www.copticpope.org


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Do Not Despair

However weak your spiritual life may be, do not despair; for desperation is one of Satan's wars by which he wants to weaken your morals and stop your resistance, to fall in his hands. Even though you despair of yourself, never despair of the grace of God.

If your deeds do not lead you to repentance, God's work for you might do. Sometimes, in your spiritual life, the cause of despair may be setting before you ideals above your level, or taking steps which do not comply with the necessary gradual progress. And because you cannot achieve what you want, you despair. Therefore, it is better to put before you a gradual system within your power and abilities and within the gifts God gave you. Be aware that God wants only one step from you and if you take it He will lead you to the next and so on.

You might despair because you cannot stand before the Lord unless, first, you make yourself better. It is preferable to say to Him I cannot reform myself and then come to you, but I come to You so you can make me better.

Do not despair if you feel that you do not love God. Do not say what is the use of all my works since I do not love Him! Say rather if I do not love God, it is a comfort that He loves me and with His love He can make me love Him.
If you practise the spiritual means but do not feel a true attachment to God, do not despair. Keep on the spiritual readings, even without understanding. Keep on praying, even without warmth, confess always even though you feel no penitence. Perhaps because of your perseverance, the Grace of God may seek you and give you the understanding, warmth and penitence. Your mere perseverance in the spiritual means puts God in your mind even without repentance! But if you despair and break the commandments, you might go downwards and forget God completely. Even if you are in a weak state, do not despair. It is better for you to stay as you are than to be lead through despair to worse.

6 Comments:

At 5:59 PM , Blogger Theway2k said...

I have your blog on an rss feed because I like to keep track of Christians in which Muslims dominate the land. I know that cannot work well for my fellow Christians.

Now I have to admit I am not a Copt, however I consider all those who call on Christ's Name to be Believers. I believe even when those Believers do not accord me the same credit.

Anyway...

I get this news feed in my inbox from a Christian media online organization. I wish I could remember it, for I have deleted it. The feed was probably evangelical in its source. In fact I think it was Christian e-newsire. I am just not certain.

The news article was not favorable of Pope Shenouda. The article reported that there was a Coptic seperatist movement because Pope Shenouda and his clergy were puppets of the Egyptian Muslim authorities.

Did I read that correctly?

Until then I have nothing but good things about Pope Shenouda.

 
At 10:14 AM , Anonymous raif said...

Dear theway,

Pope Shenouda is a good man, and extremely loyal to his church and his fellow Copts.

As you are not a Copt, it will be hard for you to estimate the complexity of the situation of the Copts -and their leaders- in present day Egypt.

Copts are striving to obtain their basic rights, but this is not easy because of the political situation and the fanatic islamic epidemic that is sweeping Egypt.

For copts in Egypt, including the Coptic Church leaders, it is hard to speak up and protest as loudly as they like. This task is left mainly to the Diaspora Copts. Pope Shenouda is using wise diplomacy to walk the Copts along the fine line between demanding their rights and preserving the harmony between Egypt's Christians and Moslems. His responsibility is huge and very well appreciated by all.

 
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