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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

1- Keep One Picture, Drop the Other


On the Sunday following the commemoration of the departure of Fr. Pishoy Kamel (March 26, 1995), a woman who wanted to make confession came to the church of St. Mark (Jersey City, N.J). She was extremely penitent. She said to me, I was in love with a person years ago and I desperately wanted to put an end to this sinful relationship, but I couldnt get over my feelings towards him, so I kept his picture in my pocketbook.

A few days ago, on the commemoration of the departure of Fr. Pishoy (Mar.21), his picture was given to me. So, as many people do to receive the blessing of his prayers, I put his picture in the same pocketbook with the other one. Image: Father Bishoy Kamel (1931-1979), Coptic pastor, Alexandria, Egypt. صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أبونا القمص بيشوي كامل (1931-1979)، كاهن قبطي، الإسكندرية، مصر. Image: Father Bishoy Kamel (1931-1979), Coptic pastor, Alexandria, Egypt.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أبونا القمص بيشوي كامل (1931-1979)، كاهن قبطي، الإسكندرية، مصر.

That night, in a dream, Fr. Pishoy appeared to me and began rebuking me saying, How could you put Fr. Pishoys picture with that other persons picture? You have to make a choice. Keep one and drop the other.

Immediately, I woke up in the middle of the night, took the picture of this person out and tore it to pieces, deciding to live in repentance. Three years after the sinful relationship, I had come for the first time to confess with sincere repentance. I decided to live as our Father Pishoy lived, in the spirit of purity, having no communion with sin.

 Truly, our beloved father was known for his great love for repentance. He longed to give his whole life to see every soul getting closer to our Holy Savior and experience the joy of communion with God. The World, with its events, joys, and sorrows could not affect his fiery spirit.

Even after his rest and departure from this world, the spirit of preaching did not leave him. He longs for the repentance of all people and prays for the purity of all, in the Holy Christ.

Often our father preached with the evangelistic principle:

For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness, and what communion has light with darkness (2 Cor. 6.14)?

He used to say, Christianity does not agree with half solutions.

→ English translation of the story here at احتفظي بصورة، وإلقي بالأخرى! Divider

O my Savior, grant me to keep Your picture within me,

This which You engraved with Your own Blood in my heart,

This which Your Holy Spirit formed inside me.

Let my soul be an icon of You, and become ready for the eternal wedding.

My soul, which will be Your bride, carries Your icon,

O my Heavenly Groom.

O God, please take from my heart every picture of corruption

And every earthly thought so that I may fly into Your Heaven.

You would not allow Your Sons image to be kept with corrupted pictures.

You did not allow communion between Your righteous light and abominable darkness.

Then, how would I have the audacity to carry both pictures together,

The picture of the Holy Heavenly with the picture of the mortal earthly?

Please break every earthly picture and statue inside me.

Let Your Holy Spirit carry my spirit to You to become a living icon of Your Holiness.