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The Life of Repentance and Purity
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
Repentance, my brethren, is not only for those beginning their life with God, but is for everyone, even the saints. It is part of our daily prayers. Every person needs
repentance, no matter how great his position or his spiritual level. We are all in need of repentance, in need of it everyday, since we sin everyday. For there is no person without sin, even if his life was one day on earth. With repentance, we prepare our hearts for the dwelling of God, and with purity, we will see God (Matt 5:8). Repentance is the beginning of the path towards God, it is a friend along the path till the end.
As sin is separation from God, repentance then is returning to God.* God says: “Return to me, and I will return to you” (Mal 3:7). When the prodigal sorepented, he returned to his father (Luke 15:18-20). True repentance is a human longing to the origin from which it was taken. It is the desire of a heart that stayed away from God, and felt that it cannot go any further away
H H Pope Shenouda III
THE SPIRITUALITY OF FASTING
BY H.H. POPE SHENOUDA III
On the mount of transfiguration the three people, who stood in radiance and glorious light on the Mount of Transfiguration, were people who brought fasting to perfection. For every one of them fasted for forty days and forty nights: Our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 4:2), Moses (Ex 34:28), and Elijah (1 Kings 19:8). This magnificent scene, conceal behind it an important message that is, by conquering the body through fasting, the spirit becomes manifest and the body is transfigured
Fasting is the earliest commandment known to mankind, for God commanded our father Adam to refrain from eating a certain fruit from a certain tree (Gen 2:16,17) but allowed him to eat from the rest. Thus, man did not have absolute freedom to take whatever he laid eyes on and whatever he desired. He had to abstain from certain things and control his inclination towards them. Thus since the very beginning, man has had to control his body.
H.H. POPE SHENOUDA III