Monthly Archives

December 1999

1999, Articles, Raiati

2000 / 26.12.1999

We continue mentioning Christmas and its blessings until the end of the year; and today, we focus on the Theotokos, the main companion of this event and the example of every virgin soul that initiates the Lord in this world as St. Maximus the Confessor says. “Christ the Lord”, is what the heaven declared for the shepherds that were moving from a place to another until they found Jesus.

Every one of us moves confused until he settles in the Lord. When he settles, he becomes able to walk wherever he wants and carry his Jesus with him and hope to deliver this Christ to people through witnessing. We continue in our Christmas joy; but what kind of joy is this? Is this a season of gifts, children, and greetings in order to go out from our routine life? Go to where? Go to whom? Is it a real joy when we believe that the new Christ always removes from our souls what has become old and rotten? Did Jesus really become the beautiful thing that’s more precious than our women, kids, properties and hearts? Do we give everything in order to gain him?

In six days, the third millennium will be coming, and humanity will welcome it with lights and games in all world capitals and countries. Millions of dollars were spent in France and consequently billions in Europe because people are hoping for something new for themselves. They might be able to get their money back through tourism, but poor people will stay hungry in the coming New Year.

No one knows what’s hidden in the millennium in order to be happy. There are certain things that we know will happen: Huge progress in informatics, opening of the markets in what is called globalization, easy news arrival for everyone that has a device that receives images (Television and other devices), progress in surgery and medicine, and surely a solution for leukemia and maybe all kinds of cancer.

These are some things that we know we’ll achieve. However, we do not know if hatred between ethnic groups, customs and people would decrease; we do not know anything about civil wars that had increased in the entire world after World War Two. What about the war of cultures? Will it explode? What about hatred between religions? A lot of unknown things await us.

Nevertheless, the known thing is our faith. This is stable if we wanted it to be so because God wants it to stay. The fort of our hearts and principles is our faith and not the third millennium. This millennium is like a container: It can stay empty or you can fill it with a scent. The New Year and century will start in a few days and they will be a gift from God if people would put their efforts in it.

You cannot receive the year or century or the years of the century that you live. You can only fill yourself with Christ and leave in the year or years that your Lord decide. You are the ambassador of Christ, and the ambassador represents his country. Are you really, through your words and behavior, a representative of Christ?

Times that pass have no meaning for the faithful because “A thousand years to you are like one day; they are like yesterday, already gone”. You might have more satisfaction and blessings in one day than in years. Time is nothing; you fill it with grace, kindness and tenderness.

Fill it with silence. “And on earth peace, good will toward men”, by “men” it is meant the people that God is pleased with. God shall be pleased when you do please him. How can you please him? Through faith. Why don’t people believe? Because they seek glory from each other. When you stay away from the lust for power, you shall accept the other, be calm, and encounter him today and tomorrow. You shall both be together in the coming years: This is happiness.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “2000” – 26.12.1999

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1999, Articles, Raiati

The Gossiper / 05.12.1999

Criticize the person in front of him if you were alone, because this is better for his development and his own good; criticize him politely with no over excitement. Do not criticize him in his absence and in the presence of people that would benefit from this criticism unless you were capable of pure analysis that carries no hatred or destruction. In all cases, don’t talk about his defects because you are not free from defects yourself. You often would fall into the guilt that you accused him with, or you have already fallen so you accuse him with it being afraid from repentance. Perhaps the worst thing that happens after that is that you would make people go away from the person that you gossiped about since you would lead these people into despair when they hear that this person has done an obscenity or a robbery …etc.

If evil was so general as you have pictured then who would be able to have hope or remain firm in goodness? I am not saying that you should imagine that everyone is righteous. The bible teaches us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3: 23). However, do not reveal sins in order to avoid making people that seek righteousness and kids that think most people are saints stumble.  Woe not only to those who cause stumbles, but also woe to those who say stumbles. God says: “He shall hide me in his pavilion” (Psalm 27: 5). Like God, we should hide the sins of others. Do not expose yourself too as this will bring no benefit to anyone. Only expose yourself to God through confession; and if anyone revealed to you a sin he did, do not tell him that you do it too because this shall be harmful.

Do not say anything that won’t benefit others and push them upwards towards seeing the divine goodness and love. When you ascend to the high mountains, you take others with you. In this ascension, you need nothing but your faith in that who is sitting up. Talk to people about the Lord so that their grief will go away and their despair about their selves would end. When this happens, they shall regain the faith in their capability of goodness.

Remember this: “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is able to keep their whole body in check (he means the human entity) … The tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell”. This is found in chapter 3 of Apostle James’ epistle. Read the whole passage and think about it and know that silence in a lot of occasions is better than speaking. Silence tames the soul in order to stay away from blabber. Blabber is an internal storm that takes the tongue with it.

Chastity of tongue leads you into all kinds of chastity. There is nothing called a tongue slip; the slip was in you internal anger or hatred or the lust for verbal desire through obscenities. In case of hatred, blabber becomes a mean for killing.

It is real killing when you make others have a bad reputation. You could cause them to get fired from their jobs; you could also cause a divorce or a murder. When you make someone’s reputation bad, it could take them years of effort to regain their good reputation.  When you kill a person, you do it once, while when you make his reputation bad you would kill him every day. After that, you might start believing the things that you say and get desperate through thinking that evil is general. When your tongue is completely purified, you shall walk on the road of hope.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “الثرثار” – 05.12.1999

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