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Heaven Together

ST. GEORGE YOUTH

NOVEMBER EDITION 1

E-MAGAZINE

2012


HEAVENTOGETHER

BACK TO BASICS

THE 118TH POPE ANNOUNCED By Sandra Abdelmalek Recently  something  tremendous   happened  in  our  life5me.  The   118th  Pope  was  announced!   Pope  Tawadros,  the  successor   of  Pope  Shenouda.  I  had  mixed   emo5ons,  missing  the  smile,   humour  and  wisdom  of  Pope   Shenouda.  But  I  was  also  super   excited;  having  witnessed  a   moment  in  history  live;  courtesy   of  Aghapy.  AEer  all  the  fas5ng   and  the  suspense  surrounding   who  will  lead  the  Cop5c  Church,   God  has  selected  the  one  He   feels  is  most  suitable.

for  two  years.  He  was  ordained   a  priest  in  1989.

"We  will  pray  that  God  will   choose  the  good  shepherd."   Following  a  moment  of  silence,   a  blindfolded  boy  then  picked   Anba  Tawadros'  name  from  the   chalice.  The  en5re  congrega5on     then  erupted  in  ova5on,  tears  or   prayer.  In  reac5on  Bishop   Tawadros  II    the  newly  elected   pope  said,  from  the  monastery   at  Wadi  Natrun:  "We  will  start   by  organising  the  house  from   within.  It  is  a  responsibility.   Most  important  is...that  the   church,  as  an  ins5tu5on,  serves   the  community."

Papal  elec5ons  aren’t  like   presiden5al  elec5ons  like  the   one  between  Barrack  Obama   and  MiT  Romney.  They  don’t   campaign,  adver5se  themselves   or  make  promises  to  secure   your  vote.  It  is  God’s  decision   not  the  peoples,  and  rightly  so.   It’s  a  huge  responsibility  leading   a  whole  church  worldwide  and   being  held  accountable  for  their   salva5on;  a  responsibility  I  can’t   even  imagine  and  we  don’t   I  haven’t  heard  much  about   want  to  get  something  like  this   Pope  Tawadros  before.  So  here   wrong.  So  we  don’t  vote,  we  let   2012  is  definitely  a  year  I  will   are  a  couple  of  things  from  his   God  work.  They  selected  the   not  forget.  A  year  where  our   life  I  found  par5cularly   pope  with  an  altar  ballot.   Beloved  Pope  Shenouda  was   interes5ng.  His  birthday  falls  on   united  with  Christ.  A  year  where   The   c eremony   t o   c hoose   t he   th the  4  November.  He  graduated   the  Cop5c  Church  rejoices  for   with  a  degree  in  Pharmacy  from   pope  from  the  three  candidates   their  prayers  for  a  shepherd   the  University  of  Alexandria.He   was  held  at  Cairo's  St  Mark’s   have  been  answered. Cathedral.   B efore   t he   m ass,   managed  a  state-­‐owned   Metropolitan  Pachomios,  sealed   pharmaceu5cal  factory,  when   the  chalice  with  the  names  with   he  entered  the  monastery  in   Wadi  Natrun  to  study  theology     red  wax  and  put  it  on  the  altar.     He  then  told  the  congrega5on:  

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HEAVENTOGETHER

YOUTH UPDATE NEWS

Papal election The Coptic community worldwide rejoices as the 118th Pope is selected. In an intricate ceremony where people attended St Mark’s Cathedral in Egypt and many more were watching the ceremony live; a mass was held. Our very own Bishop Suriel too was in attendance.

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HEAVENTOGETHER

A young child was blindfolded. He then selected the name of the next pope. Metropolitan Pachomios then opened the sealed name to reveal it to be Anba Tawadros. Now he is Pope Tawadros, the 118th Pope of the See of St Mark.

We congratulate Pope Tawadros- our shepherd and the head of our Church.

-Putting a face to the name. Pictured left is His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.


HEAVENTOGETHER

a little imagination

War-what is it good for? By Jenny Awad By definition, war is a state of armed conflict between nations or states or different groups within a nation or state. Often when we ask why do we have wars, the most popular answers include defence, power, population control, peace, rights, religion and resources. However, ‘war’ also means death, bloodshed, and immense grief to those outside and around the front line. So then, is the war a legitimate means to achieving what, so called nations, set out to do? War - what is it good for? Edwin Starr (the guy who sang that song), says ‘absolutely nothing.’ In today’s political world, it seems war has become a means for power, and the largest nations in the world will let nothing get in their way. They are resilient, and determined. They will negotiate, yes, but only with their best interests at heart. However, when a nation goes to war, it keeps in mind its men and women who go to fight, their families, and the rest of the nation who may never again have the same luxuries if their country loses. Still, despite the conventional definition, a war can also be a personal battle, one between

ourselves, our friends or family, or even broader, human kind. As humans we have constant wars with ourselves. Whether we wish to lose 5kg, or maybe 10kg. Whether we want to get that job with that nice fat salary, or study hard enough to get into that course we’ve had our eyes set on for years. We strive and push ourselves to achieve our goals, because if we didn’t our lives would be pointless. We are born to be resilient! Sometimes we even have spiritual wars with ourselves. A war to beat that sin that we just keep falling into. A war against distractions; to read two chapters of the Bible a day, instead of one, or even instead of none. Possibly even a war to sacrifice that late Saturday night movie, or that extra half an hour of sleep, so that we could attend the Sunday liturgy. Some would even say, we constantly fight the world and all of its impurities, lest we give up to conformation.


HEAVENTOGETHER

However, just as when nations go to war, there is destruction alongside peace, which some would say cannot be coupled in the same sentence, let alone the same thought; sometimes our own personal wars leave behind their own paths of destruction. At times, we create wars with our friends, siblings or colleagues, as an outlet for our angst. Although it is good to talk about our stresses and fears when embarking on our personal battles, they are not reason enough to fight with others. Though we despise the idea of war between the largest nations of the modern world, fighting with others can, at times, come so easily to us at times, come so easily to us. But really, do we need to trample on our colleagues to get that promotion? Do we need to delay giving our classmate the notes they missed out on, just because we think it’ll give us an edge come exam time? Do we need to shout at our siblings to be quite, just so we could peacefully read the Bible? Maybe we just have to pick our battles. Simple enough? But how cliché is it – easier said then done. But then again, practice makes perfect (yes another cliché)! Let us be armed with Christ on whatever wars we decide to embark on, only the ones that would be according to His will of course. If we set out on our battles with love of all that God has created, at least our conscience will battle with us, that we may pick battles of benefit, to either ourselves, or those around us, rather than those of detriment. ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ (2 Timothy 1:7)


HEAVENTOGETHER

WORDS OF WISDOM Trust in God Putting your trust in God is the most wonderful experience someone can have. By doing this we experience His love, His compassion, and His marvelous mystery in our lives. Brothers and sisters, it is hard to give your trust to someone we cannot see as the rational mind is weak; to comprehend the incomprehendable has lead us to doubt Christ our God. We feel scared to want to put our trust in Him because we don't know Him the way He wants us to know Him. He speaks to us every moment in our life and we don't realise it. It is scary because we don't want to take the risk. For example, giving your first pay check to God when you have financial problems. We are scared not knowing that it is the greatest benefit we will take in our life. To put our trust in God means we risk our worldly desires to be with him. The 12 disciples left their jobs, there money, their nets and boats, their wives to spend their life with Christ; the one whom we love. We must learn to trust in God like Job trusted in God. We must learn to trust in God like Abraham and Isaac trusted in God, and like Jeremiah trusted in God. When we pray, we ask Him to help us to trust Him, because brothers and sisters, trust in Christ prevented the lions from attacking Daniel and gave St. Paul comfort to his suffering for Christ. The reason to why we are scared is because we don't know who we worship, we lack confidence in Christ and when it comes to the end of days, what will God say; imagine, Christ telling us, I do not know you because you did not know me, and you say to yourself but I served the church, I'm a Sunday school servant, I've done discipleship, I know all this information and knowledge of the church. No, where is our relationship with God, that we may put our trust in Him. Without this, all this service means nothing. This service becomes service to the people for a self-uplift rather than service in God’s name. I urge us to let the voice of God dwell within us so that we may put our Trust in him.


HEAVENTOGETHER

Spiritual Monologue Fear of God A  person  who  claims  that  he  has  acquired   love  and  abides  in  intimacy  with  God,  may   become  heedless  and  loses  the  spirit  of  a   contrite  heart.   -­‐ His  Holiness  Pope  Shenouda  III The  secret  of  the  Lord  is  with  those  you  fear   Him.  Psalm  25:14 Why  is  fear  of  God  important? The  answer  is  that  there  are  three  kinds  of   people:  those  you  are  greatly  affected  by  love,   those  who  take  advantage  of  love  and  thus   become  negligent  and  inconsiderate  and   there  are  also  those  who  do  love  God  but  lack   the  will  and  implementation.  If  you  are  any  of   the  latter  two,  then  your  remedy  is  the  fear   God.  It  is  deKinitely  true  that  not  all  people  are   the  same  which  is  why  Saint  Jude  says  “on   some  have  compassion,  making  a  distinction;   but  others  save  with  fear,  pulling  them  out  of   the  Kire,  hating  even  the  garment  deKiled  by   the  Klesh”  (Jude  1:22,  23).  Thus,  the  fear  of   God  can  be  used  to  save  our  souls.  

               The  advantages  of  the  fear  of  God 1) The  fear  of  God  leads  to  repentance   and  abiding  by  the  commandments. 2) The  fear  of  God  is  the  beginning  of  the   spiritual  road  and  a  fortress  for   spiritual  life,  so  one  may  not  deviate   from  God’s  way.   3) If  you  fear  God  you  will  obey  his   commandments. 4) The  fear  of  God  teaches  one  to  be   cautious  and  circumspect,  lest  he  fall   into  sin  and  hurt  God’s  feelings.  St.   Peter  warns  us  saying,  “Do  not  be   haughty  but  fear”  (Romans  11:20).   5) Many  of  those  who  abandoned  the  fear   of  God  became  vain  and  profane.   1) One  who  practices  the  fear  of  God   becomes  polite  when  communicating   with  God. 2) The  fear  of  God  leads  to  us  to  be   serious  and  committed  in  our  spiritual   life.     3) God’s  fear  leads  us  to  humility  and  a   contrite  heart.  Let  us  all  say  as   Abraham  said,  “Indeed  now,  I  who  am   but  dust  and  ashes  have  taken  it  upon   myself  to  speak  to  the  Lord”  (Genesis   18:27).  


HEAVENTOGETHER

1) One  who  dears  God  is  always  submissive   in  his  prayers  and  in  all  his  worship  and   in  the  fear  of  God  he  is  always  inKlamed   and  may  pray  with  tears  and  a  contrite   heart.   2)  One  who  lives  in  the  fear  of  God  always   examines  himself  for  every  deed   whether  big  or  small,  since  whatever  is   recorded  about  us  here  will  be   proclaimed  on  the  Day  of  Judgment   before  the  angels  and  all  the  human   beings.   3)  Thus,  the  fear  of  God  not  only  leads  a   person  to  self-­‐judgment,  but  also  to  self-­‐ rebuke,  to  regret  and  repentance.  Listen   to  St.Makarious’s  saying,  “My  brother,   judge  yourself  before  they  judge  you”  so   that  “the  fear  of  God  burns  all  evil   thoughts  and  casts  away  all  vice  in  man”   as  stated  by  St.Bakhomios.   4)  God’s  fear  leads  to  purity  of  hear  as  it   drives  one  to  strive  and  labor  for  the   sake  of  God  in  order  to  please  him. 5) The  fear  of  God  leads  to  spiritual  growth.   6) One  who  has  the  fear  of  God  in  their   heart  is  concerned  not  only  about   themselves,  but  also  about  others,  thus   he  tried  to  proclaim  the  kingdom  of  God. 7) The  fear  of  God  leads  to  prayer  as  one   Kinds  that  his  efforts  are  not  enough  thus   he  continuously  prays,  asking  for  God’s   grace  to  help  himself  and  others.   8) The  fear  of  God  is  the  beginning  of   knowledge  (Proverbs  1:7).  So  you  don’t   fall  into  ignorance,  a  person  reads  and   seeks  guidance.  Remember,  “lean  not  on   your  own  understand”.   9) The  fear  of  God  leads  to  good   interactions  with  others  as  one  does  not   want  to  hurt  others  feelings  so  that  he   does  not  upset  God  himself  also.  

How  to  attain  the  fear  of  the  Lord 1) By  knowing  that  the  abomination  of  sin   and  its  consequences.  Sin  is  separation   from  God,  the  angels,  saints  and   practically  all  aspects  of  spiritual  life.   2) We  have  to  keep  in  mind  His  punishment   and  the  Fearful  Judgment.  We  are  told  in   Romans  6:23  that  “the  wages  of  sin  is   death”. 3) Read  the  prayers  of  the  Agpeya,  the   psalms  and  the  rites  of  the  church  as   they  teach  us  how  to  pray  and  puts   before  us  always  that  we  “know  neither   the  day  nor  the  hour  in  which  the  Son  of   Man  is  coming”  (Luke  12:40).     4) Be  circumspect  in  examining  yourself   and  remember  the  words  of  the  Lord,  “I   know  your  works”  (Revelation  2:3).  We   also  attain  God’s  fear  through   repentance  and  humility.   5) Through  respecting  our  elders,  for  is   someone  does  not  fear  his  father  whom   he  sees,  how  can  he  fear  God  whom  he   does  not  see? 6) Be  submissive  and  revering  the  holy   places.  When  you  stand  to  pray,   remember  before  whom  are  you   standing?  You  are  standing  before  the   King  of  Kinds  and  Lords  of  Lords.   7) Train  yourself  to  fear  God  in  your  closed   room  so  that  you  will  deKinitely  fear  God   in  public  when  people  can  see  you.   8) Have  fellowship  with  those  who  fear   God,  and  get  away  from  evil  society   where  there  is  no  fear  of  God.   A  wise  person  starts  the  road  from  its   beginning,  that  is  from  the  fear  of  God,  then   this  fear  will  lead  him  to  the  love  of  God.   -­‐ His  Holiness  Pope  Shenouda  III            Whenever  we  are  tempted  by  sin,  let  us  say                  as  Joseph  said,  “How  then  can  I  do  this  great                  wickedness  and  sin  against  God?”  (Genesis                39:9)  


HEAVEN TOGETHER ST. GEORGE YOUTH E-MAGAZINE

NOV 2012

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