fr. malek lenten lecture

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  • 1.of 32 From Doubt to Sainthood A Lenten Journey Fr. Malek Rihani St. Mary Orthodox Church Alsip, IL

2. of 32 Prayer before a gospel reading or bible study Illumine our hearts, O Master who loves mankind, with the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Your Gospel teachings; implant in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing unto You; for You are the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto You we send up glory, together with Your Father who is from everlasting, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. 3. of 32 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. Psalm 30:4 When you sing, you pray twice. St. Augustine 4. of 32 From Doubt to Sainthood A Lenten Journey 5. of 32

  • The greatest of Saints have at one time doubted Christ and/or His mission.
  • Many doubters have become great preachers and advocates of Christianity
  • Even the most extreme doubters have some degree of faith.
  • Doubters are in our life to help us, and in turn for us to help them.

Doubting is not only normal, but its the driving force behind our faith 6. of 32

  • To be human is to go in search.
  • All human searching is in the end a search for God:
  • and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth - in a word, to know himself
  • so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may come to know the truth of themselves
  • Pope John Paul II, May 16, 1999

Doubting is what fuels our Search Engines.Constantly searching for the Truth 7. of 32

  • Since God created us in His own image and likeness(Genesis 1:27) , we can find God, once we discover Gods likeness in us.
  • God became man, so man might become God
  • St. Athanasios

Doubting is what fuels our Search Engines.Constantly searching for the Truth 8. of 32 How do you explain Christs Resurrection? Christianity being a Divine Faith defies human logic!!! 9. of 32 How about Christs miracles??? Christianity cannot submit to human Logic 10. of 32 How about Holy Communion. Bread and Wine becoming Body and Blood of Christ Christianity cannot submit to human Logic 11. of 32

  • FaithandReasonare like two wings upon which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth Pope John Paul II

We need both Faith and Reason to understand God and ourselves 12. of 32 The intuitive mind is a sacred gift. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. Albert Einstein "God does not play dice""Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind." The greatest of minds gave credit to God 13. of 32 "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being." For Isaac Newton, God was essential to the nature and absoluteness of space Isaac Newton (1642-1727) 14. of 32 Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.Aim at earth and you get neither. The best advocates of Christianity are former Atheists. C.S. Lewis 1898 - 1963 I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. 15. of 32 If youre still doubting Its Ok. Greatest Saints before you have doubted My Lord, and My God Thomas the disciple(John 20:28) Then Jesus saith unto him: Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.John 20:29 16. of 32

  • I call, I cling, I want ... and there is no One to answer ... Im alone ...
  • Where is my Faith ... even deep down there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness
  • I have no Faith!

Who do you think said the following:??? 17. of 32 My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?Mark 15:34 Even in His final prayer, Jesus felt the loneliness and the abandonment. 18. of 32

  • Jesus said. Everything is possible for the one who believes.
  • Immediately the boys father exclaimed:I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!Mark 9:24

In the story of the boypossessed by the demon . The father asked Jesus to heal his son whos been possessed since birth. What does our Bible tell us??? About believing 19. of 32

  • Jesus said. This kind can come out only byprayer and fasting Mark 9:29

When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not remove the demons. 20. And Much More!of 32 Charity Discipline Sacrifice Be merciful Forgiveness Celebrate others success Do not envy Kindness Our ability to be like God and to perform miracles, requiresPrayer and Fasting Simplicity Devotion Quietness Compassion Obedience Repentance Loyalty 21. of 32 What the Saints tell us about Fasting "Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also theeyeand theea r and thefeetand thehandsand all themembers of our bodies. St. John Chrysostom 22. of 32 What the Saints tell us about Fasting

  • Let the hands fast, by being free of lust and greed.
  • Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.
  • Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful
  • Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
  • Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.
  • For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers and sisters?

St. John Chrysostom 23. of 32

  • 'Read good and useful books, and abstain from reading those that only gratify curiosity.' St. Vincent de Paul
  • 'To abstain from sinful actions is not sufficient for the fulfillment of God's law. The very desire of what is forbidden is evil. St. John Baptiste de la Salle
  • 'We ought to abstain from all extravagance and excess .St. Francis of Assisi

What the Saints tell us about Fasting 24. of 32 Because Heaven is made possible only through the CrossEven with Prayer, Fasting and Sacrificing, God will still allow misfortune and suffering in our life. 25. of 32 Jesus would not ask us to do anything, unless hes done it himself "And he said to all:If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, andtake up his cross daily , and follow me " -Luke 9:23. 26. of 32 One thing Jesus did often is to pray.And to pray alone 27. of 32 But Lord, a few minutes from now, I'm getting out of bed...From then on I'm going to need a lot MORE of Your help..... Dear Heavenly Father, I think you'd be proud of me!So far todayI've done all right.I haven't gossiped, lusted, lost my temper, haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.Praise Your Name! I'm grateful for Your grace... Let us Pray 28. Viewing yourself in relation to others

  • Begin by understanding your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Ensure a purpose-driven life
  • Youre a Role Model to many.Act accordingly
  • Never measure your success by material possessions
  • Be loyal to those entrusted in your care
  • Love sacrificially.Forgive continuously.

of 32 29. of 32 We cannot travel the journey to Heaven alone! We need God, His Church, and Each Other To help us and to hold us accountable 30. of 32 Before you leave, please remember to take with you A one-page summary entitled: How Can I Know? By Fr. Thomas Hopko Priest for nearly 50 years Former Dean of St. Vladimirs Theological Seminary Our thanks to Fr. Fouad and the Parishioners ofSt. John the Baptist Melkite Church 31. of 32 For Next Week:Thursday March 1 st : Please see your churchs bulletin for the latest update Date / Time Church / Presenter Topic / Language Location Thursday, February 23 rd 6:30 8:00 PM Saint Mary Fr. Malek Rihani 708-239-0004 English From Doubt to Sainthood: A Lenten Journey. Saint John 200 East North Ave. Northlake, IL Thursday, March 1 st 6:30 8:00 PM Our Lady of Lebanon Fr. Charles Khachan 630-932-9640 English Toward the cross, the empty tomb, and beyond. Saint John 250 South Villa Ave. Villa Park, IL Thursday, March 8 th 6:30 8:00 PM Saint John, Northlake Fr. Fouad Sayegh 708-562-7050 English and Arabic Anger in the Holy Bible: How can we deal with it Saint Mary 12147 S. Cicero Ave. Alsip, IL Thursday, March 15 6:30 8:00 PM Saint John, Villa Park Fr. Yacoub Youhanoun 847-533-6003 Arabic "The Liturgical Year, Celebrating Christ and Journeying towards God." " " Our Lady of Lebanon 950 N. Grace Lombard, IL 32. of 32 Thank you for the privilege of speaking to you. May the Almighty God bless you:Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen. In Christs love, Fr. Malek