The Story Of This Book (Preface)
The story of this book goes back thirty years. This was in 1960, when I was in my cave in the 'Bahr el Faregh' in the wilderness of Scetis. I had time to answer spiritual questions which my spiritual sons used to send to me. Once I received a letter that contained many questions, I answered more than ten of them, and this topic remained. So I said to the person who send the letter, 'I have answered all your questions except the question on tears. I will soon answer this question for you... '
I prepared the points specific to tears and I kept them with me. I was then ordained a bishop and I gave a lecture about tears in 1964. Finally, I have found all the notes on this subject and wished to publish them before they are lost amongst my many papers.
Pope Shenouda III
The Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt
Friday, August 13 2010
The Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt
By: Alfred J. Butler+ Oxford, At The Clarendon Press, 1884
Alfred Butler wrote this 1884 two-volume book as the result of a seven-month field work in Egypt during which he was a private tutor to Prince Tawfik from 1880 to 1881. Karel Innemie of Leiden University wrote “Butler visited most of the old churches and monasteries in and around Cairo and traveled to the Wadi al-Natrun, the monasteries of the Red Sea and a number of churches in Upper Egypt. His descriptions are invaluable and sometimes are the only record of what we know about a certain object or church. It is an important document for its time and an early and influential example of unprejudiced scholarly interest for the culture of the Coptic Church.” Although the author expressed a lot of admiration to our Coptic church and tried his best “to write in unsectarian spirit”, reader has to be aware that he made some wrong comments about the monophysite controversy and the Coptic Church and used some words like “legend” of saints instead of “story” or “life” of saints, among other things. Also, in some instances, he seemed to look down at the knowledge of the Copts and their theologians of their history and doctrine at that time. I like to end this book review by couple of wonderful quotes from the book preface. He writes,
This book was written to explain to you the meaning of faith, its
stages and types and its importance in our lives and its greatness. St. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are inthe faith.
Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves” (2 Cor.13:5).
Excerpts from the booklet…
Faith is not merely adopting a set of beliefs that you may say inthe “Creed”, but a way of life or adherence to that which leadsto life. To what benefit is believing in God without having arelationship with him, obeying and loving Him? In addition, what is the benefit of believing in eternity and in lifeafter death if one does not prepare for it by repentance, spiritualvigil, and loving God? And to what benefit is believing in virtues if one does not livethem? Therefore there is a big difference between theoretical faith which does not save the soul, and practical faith, the fruitsof which are evident in one's life.
Purity: Topics, Questions, and Answers By: Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
This book documents two youth conferences that took place in Australia in 1993 about purity. These conferences were led by Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty who later published it in this book.
As kids of God, we go through daily struggle against lusts and temptations to keep ourselves pure and holy as we are the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16). This book defines what is purity, how to achieve it, and answers many youth questions about this subject. I pray that this book be useful to you and help you to be in our Lord Jesus Christ likeness and image!
Have you seen the One I love? Book review and recommendation by: His Grace Bishop Youssef
On 1st day of the blessed month of Thoout 1726 - The Coptic New Year (El- Nayrouz Feast)
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.
The reading recommended for the Coptic New Year is "Have you seen the One I love?" a book consisting of contemplations on the Holy Book of Song of Songs---lecture series given by H.H. Pope Shenouda in the 1970s. This book was printed and published in the US and is available for purchase from www.orthodoxbookstore.com and/or www.amazon.com
H.H. Pope Shenouda writes "at the beginning of the a new year I would like to talk to you about an important subject in a relationship with God so that everyone of us may have an appropriate start…the relationship between the human soul and God is one of love."
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary Against Helvidius
By Saint Jerome
(Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. VI (NPNF2-06))
Saint Jerome was born at Stridon, near Aquileia in 345 A.D. He was apologist best known for translating the Vulgate. He sailed to Antioch passing through Palestine and Jerusalem, on to Egypt, where he visited the abode of the Coptic monks of Nitria and became a disciple of Saint Didymus, “the blind seer” of Alexandria for sometime. He returned to Palestine in the autumn of 386, and settled at Bethlehem for the remainder of his live. He wrote books about many Coptic Saints, such as Saint Paul the Hermit. In this work (The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary), Saint Jerome is replying the heresy of Helvidius and maintains three propositions:
1st. That Joseph was only putatively, not really, the husband of Mary.
2rd. That the “brethren” of the Lord were his cousins, not his own brethren.
3rd. That virginity is better than the married state.
The Life of Apa Onnophirios the Anachorite Al Amir Tadros Monastery
The Ascetic Father, Abba Nofer the Anchorite (St. Onuphrius /St. Onnophirios/St. Abu Nofr) is a great Coptic Saint1. St. Paphnoute (Paphnotius) the Ascetic2 was inspired by God to travel to the inner wilderness where he saw many hermits and anchorites and he wrote about them. Among those were St. Timothy and St. Abba Nofer the Anchorite. In his travels, he suffered much hunger and thirst, but the angel of the Lord appeared to him often to strengthen him. This amazing book has translation of a rare Coptic text (British Museum MS. Oriental No. 7027) that documenting Saint Paphnoute trip to and the biography of St. Abba Nofer the Anchorite both in Arabic and English. Lastly, it is worth noting that Saint Abba Nofer is not newly know Saint in our church. In the book of “Women of Jeme: Lives in a Coptic Town in Late Antique Egypt” by T.G. Wilfong, Bishop Pisentius, bishop of Coptos (now Qena, 43 km north of Luxor) from 559 to 632, in his only surviving literature work, wrote a beautiful homily on the life of St. Abba Nofer. He wrote “because of this, then, my beloved children, may everyone emulate the life of the just man and saint Onnophris, the anchorite blessed by God and man [……] For his life is instructional for all races of people and all ages, whether male or female”. The book could be downloaded from here: The Life of Apa Onnophirios the Anachorite
THE STORY OF THE CHURCH OF EGYPT An Outline Of The History Of The Egyptians
Under Their Successive Masters
From The Roman Conquest Until Now
This book was written by E. L. Butcher (Edith Louisa Butcher) and published in London in 1897. Edith lived more than 30 years in Egypt and wrote several books about it, such as “Things seen in Egypt” and “Egypt as we knew it”. She loved and highly respected our church and its history. In around 1000-page, she presented account for nineteen centuries in the history of our church. This book is considered one of the most important references for our church history. You could download the book from our church website: http://www.saint-mary.net/books/The_Story_of_the_Church_of_Egypt-2Vols-English.pdf
Designed by God
Wednesday, March 18 2009
Designed by God: Honest Talk about Beauty, Modesty, and Self-Image By
Whether she's online chatting with friends, reading a magazine, or watching her favorite television show, today's young woman faces a constant barrage of guarantees that she can become prettier, skinnier, and sexier. Find the perfect look. Lose ten pounds. Buy designer clothes like the stars. Attract your favorite guy. Is it any wonder that young women always seem unhappy with who they are? Is it any wonder that when it comes to modesty and demeanor, many young Christian women look much like everyone else in the culture? Regina Franklin speaks honestly but sensitively to young women about who God created them to be.
A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer By John Piper
This book is a must read for every Christian as it challenges one
to go deeper in their walk with God through fasting and prayer; this
book should specifically be read during seasons of fasting. Often
times in the Coptic Orthodox faith, it is easy to get caught up in the
legalism of fasting, but this book explores the purpose, utility, and
fruit of fasting. Obviously, this book should be applied within the
structure of fasting of the Coptic Orthodox Church and certain chapters
should be avoided. A Hunger for God is best summarized by the
following exerpt, "The true mortification of our carnal nature is not a
simple matter of denial and discipline. It is an internal, spiritual
matter of finding more contentment in Christ than in food."
90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life By Don Piper, Cecil Murphey
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper with Cecil Murphy is an
inspiring book that speaks to one man's experience of dieing, briefly
visiting heaven, and returning to this world to share his experience.
He describes his experience in heaven as "a first class buffet for the
senses." He had died in a car accident before his visit to heaven and
when he returned he endured a long and difficult recovery. The
majority of the book speaks to not only his physical recovery but his
spiriutal one as well. He learned how to accept love from his family
and friends and how to battle his depression, a depression that is
often associated with chronic disease. I found this book encouraging
me to focus on the heavenly as St Paul writes to the Colossians, "Set
your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."