Catechism of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Discussion of the topics or questions, not necessarily answers yet, about what a newly baptized need to learn about the coptic orthodox church.

Anger Management. (By Father James Soliman)

Anger Management. (By Father James Soliman)
Thank you Fr. James for this great sermon. God Bless your service.

Most people think of anger as someone enraged and blowing steam, slamming doors or breaking glass; however, anger is not one-dimensional that way all the time but actually anger is multi-faceted.

Which temperament can have anger? Any temperament can feel anger. A shy, introvert, perfectionist, or laid back can get angry. Any temperament can show frustration, irritability, fretting such as being annoyed all the time.

Feeling angry is not a sin but the manifestation of anger can be a sin especially when you hurt others. “Be angry but do not sin.” Psalm 4:4 and Ephesians 4:26.

How anger may build up?

1. Anger can be defined as intent to preserve personal worth such as if we perceive rejection. If own dignity demeaned, then anger build up. If we feel invalidated then anger build up.

2. Trying to preserve essential needs. We need to be respected. We need love. If such needs are challenged, then anger build up.

3. Essential basic convictions are challenged such as beliefs, dogma, doctrine, and faith.

Seven 7 best ways to manage anger:

  1. Expect to be angry. Cannot just suppress the anger.
  2. Claim your anger. Hidden anger can manifest as sarcastic or passive

    aggressive such as becoming deliberately tardy and uncooperative. You need security or affection. If not met, then somatic complaints may grow. Unchecked anger can lead to addiction.

  3. Channel anger (sublimation) for the good of humanity, good of the country, for developing hobbies like painting, music, sports (posed athletes like Michael Jordan performed better when challenged)
  4. Name the wrong, diagnose, so you can treat it. Cannot release the anger until you name it. Do not put a lid on it unless it boils over.
  5. Choose to let go of revenge, which could lead to more violence.
  6. Remember your enemy is human too and got their own problems.
  7. Decide to forgive.

August 30, 2018 Posted by | Catechism, Prayers | Comments Off on Anger Management. (By Father James Soliman)

What is Christian Apologetics?

This is the title of chapter 21 in the book ” Timeless Truth in Truthless Times”

(St Paul uses the word apologia in Acts 24:10; 25:8, 26:2,24) Apologia denotes a defense against charges.

St Peter (1 Peter 3:15) says “always be ready to give a defense (apologia) to anyone who asks for a reason fÿor the reason that is in you, with meekness and fear”

So he was exhorting us to always be ready to articulate solid reasons for our Christian hope. This is whether to defend the faith or to educate the believers.

Apologetics help assure the believer that the Christian faith is true, amidst the many worldviews in today’s world.

Why should we defend our faith?

How do we defend our faith ? To answer you may resort to the book or follow the next post 🙂

August 14, 2018 Posted by | Catechism, Dogma, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on What is Christian Apologetics?

Timeless Truth in Truthless Times

Why God Allow People to suffer ?

I recommended the book “Timeless Truth in Truthless Times” by George Bassilios in my previous email.

35 questions were discussed in this great read. In chapter 13, the most common question “why God allow suffering?” was discussed.

Let me share a summary of chapter 13 “Why does God Allow People to suffer “.

The following line was an eye opener to me:

“Christ did not suffer to take away our sufferings but to take away our sins “

So being a christian does not mean confort. Many might think that as christians we should not suffer. How often I heard a person ask “ Why me ? “ In an attempt to analyse using the bible:

1 Suffering for Christ. It is a privilege.

By his suffering he transformed the meaning of suffering and made it fellowship. He comes to us and says take my hand and trust me. My hand has more nail marks in it than yours. Read Phil 1:29 and Acts 5:41.

2. Suffering for display of Glory of God. Read about the miracle of the blind man healed in John 9:2-3.

3. Suffering refines our faith and helps us sympathize with others 1 Pet 1:7, 2 Cor 1:3-

4. Suffering reveals our true character. How we react to pain and suffering reveals  our true self, character, and faith. See Job 36:15.

In conclusion of this chapter the author shares the situation of taking his own children to get vaccines. He observes their suffering but of course he knows it is temporary and it is for a better life.

Ragaa (Hope)

July 27, 2018 Posted by | Prayers | Comments Off on Timeless Truth in Truthless Times

Ascension – contemplation and video from Fr. James Soliman

Fr. James Soliman answers many questions in this recording.
You may listen (and enjoy) on youTube using the following link
https://youtu.be/88VYn0tu0Ls
Until then, see if you know the answers to the following questions :
1. “Christ Is Risen from the dead. By His death He trampled on death.”
When do we hear this ? During the Holy 50 ? In the fraction during the Holy 50 ?
2. Is Ascension always on a Thursday ? why ?

Read Luke chapter 24  verses 50 to 53

Read Acts chapter 1 verses 9 to 11
3. Does Bet-hany mean the House of Obediance ?
4. When is the Fast of the Apostles ?
5. When is the Feast of the Apostles ?
6. What are the 4 greatest miracles?
Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Second Coming (Paroosia ?)?
7. Why Christ appeared after the Resurrection ? check book of Acts chapter 1?
8. How did Christ Ascend ? like Elija or Enoch ? or by His own power ?
9. Does God have a right or a left ? what does it mean to say “He sat at the right hand of the father.”
“The Lord Said to My Lord..” The prophet and King David prophesied. Is this verse evidence that the Son is equal to the father ?
10. Why Christ sent us the Holy Spirit on the Pentacoste ? Is it to abide in us all in full ?
Did Christ Ascension allow the disciples to grow ? Now the disciples were ready to act on their own.
11. What lessons to learn from the Ascension ?
a. Confidence amidst tribulation. The cross was not the final thing.
b. There is hope and He will come back. He left in the sight of men and He will come back similar the Transfiguration.
c. We learn patience.
d. We are reminded we have an advocate in Heaven.
e. Ascension remind us that Christ is always with us.
12. Why we pray the third day memorial after a death in the Coptic church ? Why we pray after 40 day a memorial ?
Father James Soliman answers many more questions. Here’s the link again ..

May 15, 2018 Posted by | Catechism, Feasts major, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Ascension – contemplation and video from Fr. James Soliman

Why a difference in the date of Easter ? and then why call it Easter ?

As Christians, Easter is our most important Holy Day, all firmly agree.

With council of Nicea in 325 under Emperor Constantine it was agreed that Easter should fall on a Sunday. Before then it could fall any day of the week. The council additionally agreed that the Resurrection would be observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon or after the vernal equinox on March 21. According to the Gospel of John Passover or Pascha fell on Saturday and the Resurrection occured on Sunday. If the date of the Resurrection feast was to depend on the Jewish Passover date, then it would be a messy situation. The Jewish passover had multiple dates depending on where you lived. Then, the council decided the independence from the Jewish calendar.

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese published about the current situation of the difference in the date of Easter is that the old set dates are not yet updated from the old Julian calendar used in year 325 to the gregorian Calendar used after year 1582. In year 325 a 19-year cycle was set to calculate the Easter date independent from the Hebrew date of passover.

Why it is called Easter ?

Easter was a spring festival in honor of “Eostre” an Anglo-saxon goddess of fertility and sunrise. The term “Pascha” is used for the yearling lamb sacrificed at the Jews’ spring festival Passover (Exodus 12.5). Christ was sacrificed on the cross historically at the same time the Hebrews sacrificed the lamb for the Passover. Orthodox Christians should use the terms Pascha and Resurrection instead of Easter.

The following link discusses the date of Easter and relation to date of Jewish Passover.

https://www.thoughtco.com/easter-related-to-passover-3970737

 

April 1, 2018 Posted by | Catechism, Dogma, Event Historical, Feasts major, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Why a difference in the date of Easter ? and then why call it Easter ?

Fr. Anthony Messeh new book WHATEVER, GOD has answers to our questions

March 2, 2018 Posted by | Prayers | Comments Off on Fr. Anthony Messeh new book WHATEVER, GOD has answers to our questions

Catholic Pope Francis in Egypt April 2017

English report from Coptic Christian Channel

Report from Catholic Reporter

April 29, 2017 Posted by | Catechism, Event Historical, Prayers | Comments Off on Catholic Pope Francis in Egypt April 2017

Resurrection is my song Resurrection gave me life

Resurrection is my song

Very Early Sunday Morning(4)
Jesus Is Risen
Very early Sunday Morning
While the people were asleep
Very Early Sunday Morning
“Jesus is risen declaring
He is the LORD of heaven and earth”(2)

Resurrection is my song- Resurrection gave me life
Resurrection made me strong – Jesus, my Lord is alive (2)

Jesus’ Risen in glory – Heaven and earth sang and praised
The angel told the story – He Is Risen as He Said (2)

Mary Magdalene was looking in the garden for her Lord
While Jesus Himself was telling – Go and spread the word

All the disciples were praying, they were really in great fear
When Mary came to them saying – He is Risen He is not here

While they were in the room, Jesus Christ himself appeared
My peace I give to you and My peace with you I leave

Jesus my victorious Lord Conquered the powers of Hades
And the thorn of death He broke, my salvation He declared

The heavenly hosts were singing
And the joy is overwhelming -He opened the doors of Hope

April 18, 2017 Posted by | Feasts major, New testament, Prayers | Comments Off on Resurrection is my song Resurrection gave me life

Fasting and abstinence of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria – Wikipedia

When to fast ? and how to fast according to the Coptic church?

When Not to fast ?

When is fasting with abstinence ?

How many days of fasting in one year ?

Is fasting vegetarian or vegan ?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting_and_abstinence_of_the_Coptic_Orthodox_Church_of_Alexandria

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Dogma, Rites | Comments Off on Fasting and abstinence of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria – Wikipedia

February 14th – Saint Valentine ?

No Saint Valentine is not in the Coptic Synaxarium, but Saint Valentine war martyred for Christianity in the 3rd C.

Happy Valentine day !
Is it ok in our Coptic church to wish others “Happy Valentine day ” ?
We know our church is Not close minded. In addition, Valentine day which has become commercial was initially inspired by the life and martyrdom of Saint Valentine martyred in the 3rd C for preaching Christianity. He was a bishop of Rome and performed Christian marriages.
For more about the life of Saint Valentine from the Orthodox point of view, you may read the following link. Another question is why Saint Valentine is not in our Coptic Synaxarium (life of saints and history of Coptic church), given his life and martyrdom was before churches split into Oriental, Eastern, and Catholic. The following link has one answer.
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/02/orthodox-saint-valentine.html?m=1

Is Saint Valentine commemorated in the Catholic church ? To answer, do check the Wikipedia (not the most trusted source by just a start)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine

 

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Feasts saints & angels, New testament, Saints | Comments Off on February 14th – Saint Valentine ?