september 2011 monthly letter
With the beginning of September we prepare to go back to school, regaining our practical and spiritual order, according to a regular daily program structured to help us make the best use of our time, which is a talent offered to us by God. A useful book that helps us to link daily practices to the spiritual life is the book: “A Day with the Lord Jesus”, and herewith we offer a few useful principles from it and which we hope to encourage us to read the whole book to take full advantage of it.
The book provides exercises to spend our day with Christ, so it links the daily activities with verses from the Bible, to be repeated the daily business, as was expressed by the Psalmist: “And in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1: 2):
1) When I wake up and before anything I thank God who has covered us and kept us through the night in peace: “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me” (Ps 3: 5).
2) Water is a means of purification and cleanliness of the body, and the symbol of the purity of the soul. And thus God gives us forgiveness for our sins and the purity of our souls, when I wash my face with water I repeat saying: “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin … Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51: 2 & 7).
3) When I wear my clothes I remember the first robe I wore in baptism and lost through sin, and how our Heavenly Father gives us a robe of greater glory than we could ask: “But the father said to his servants, `Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet” (Luke 15:22).
4) When I eat I remember that Christ is the source of life, and when I sit to eat food I take it from Christ’s hand after He blesses it: “And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
5) In our daily responsibilities, whether working or studying let’s remember our obligation towards Christ to witness for Him in front of everyone, through our holy life and behavior: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
As for the church news, the walls within the church have been renovated, which gave a sense of elegance and enlarged the church. Also three new chandeliers are being ordered, to be placed inside the sanctuary.
Asking you to remember this particular issue, and also the church, priest, servants and all services always in your prayers, may the blessing of St. Mary & St. Mercurius be with us all.
Fr. Youssef Halim & Fr. Luke Istafanous
Belleville, September 1, 2011