February 2007 letter
We are approaching the Holy lent season, in which we thrive to achieve optimal benefit in these holy days. The writings of H.H. Pope Shenouda III, give us some exercises that can guide us to achieve this benefit:
1) Exercise to leave a certain sin that binds you and is frequently repeated in your confession.
2) Exercise to memorize some psalms from the book of Agpya, choose one or two from each prayer hour, especially the psalms that help you pray.
3) Exercise to memorize the bible sections in the book of Agpya, the prayers that follow them, and absolution of each prayer hour.
4) Exercise to pray secretly anywhere: work, on the way, among people or anytime.
5) Contemplate these prayers so that you could pray them with your mind and heart
6) Exercise to increase your spiritual readings, read the Bible regularly for an extended time, and with contemplation. Read the saints’ lives and spiritual books. Plan ahead so that you cover several books during the lent.
7) Exercise to reach higher levels of fasting through the grace of God and under the supervision of your father of confession.
8) Exercise to improve in many spiritual virtues, for example kindness, gentleness, bearing the weaknesses of others, control anger, use encouraging words, help others, be kind and meek in treating others.
9) Other exercises to gain a pure heart: humbleness, inner peace, loving God, acceptance, quietness,
As for the church news, through the Lord’s grace and the blessing of our loving youth, the third container was sent on January 26 filled with clothes, medical equipment, and furniture to our needy brothers and sisters in Egypt. Despite the bitter cold weather that day (considered the coldest since two years), our youth were given the energy through their love to the needy.
Our church’s website is launched now. It is: www.philopateer-mercurius.com Please send us any suggestions.
Please keep the church, its priest, servants and all services, in your prayers. May the blessing of Saint Mary, Saint Philopateer Mercurius, and this Holy fast be with us all.
Fr. Youssef Halim
Belleville, February 1, 2007