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The Spiritual Man, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

57- Love and firmness

 

It may be said about a monk that he is a kind person, suitable to be a priest, but not suitable to be a bishop because he lacks management. His conscience would trouble him if he took a firm stand!!

As if management and firmness are against spirituality.

St-Takla.org Image: Jesus throwing away the sellers in the temple (driving the buyers and sellers out of the temple), Ethiopian icon from St. TeklaHimanot Church, Piassa, Gonder - from St-Takla.org's Ethiopia visit - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org, April-June 2008 صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: يسوع المسيح يطرد الذين يبيعون في الهيكل خارجًا - طرد الباعة من الهيكل، أيقونة حبشة من كنيسة القديس تكلاهيمانوت في بياسا، جوندر، من صور رحلة موقع الأنبا تكلا للحبشة - تصوير مايكل غالي لـ: موقع الأنبا تكلا، إبريل - يونيو 2008

St-Takla.org Image: Jesus throwing away the sellers in the temple (driving the buyers and sellers out of the temple), Ethiopian icon from St. TeklaHimanot Church, Piassa, Gonder - from St-Takla.org's Ethiopia visit - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org, April-June 2008

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: يسوع المسيح يطرد الذين يبيعون في الهيكل خارجًا - طرد الباعة من الهيكل، أيقونة حبشة من كنيسة القديس تكلاهيمانوت في بياسا، جوندر، من صور رحلة موقع الأنبا تكلا للحبشة - تصوير مايكل غالي لـ: موقع الأنبا تكلا، إبريل - يونيو 2008

The spiritual man can combine between the two qualities: sympathy and firmness, kindness and management, fatherhood and leadership...

Joseph the Upright was very firm to the extent that his brothers feared him and were terrified from him when he said to them: I am Joseph; does my father still live? (Gen 45:3 ) .And in spite of that, he could not restrain himself when he revealed himself to his brothers, and he wept aloud (Gen 45:1,2).

The quality of kindness with strength and love with firmness shows in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. It was said about Him when He cleansed the Temple:

O Strong, who holds a whip in His hand... while love makes Your eyes bleed.

This is the integrity of personality, which is necessary to advance in the virtues.

The Lord Jesus Christ loved His Disciples, but sometimes He used to rebuke them.

It was said about Him that He: Loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end (Jn 13:1). And in spite of that, when Peter wanted to stop Him from accepting death on the Cross, the Lord said to him: Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offence to Me (Mt 16:23). We find firmness clear here. And with the same firmness, the Lord rebuked His two Disciples when they said to Him: Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them? (Lk 9:55).

One of the strange things within the family is when parents sometimes divide love and firmness among themselves. So the mother would have love while the father would have firmness!! That is while love and firmness should be for each of them...

If the son did something wrong or tried to do something wrong, the mother would say to him: ...Lest your father gets angry and punishes you, without telling him that she ,too, does not agree with this matter!! The son gets confused and would not know where the truth is. All he will do is avoid his fathers anger.

Sometimes a priest would try to gain the love of his congregation ; or an employer, the love of his employees. For the sake of that love, he would neglect the rights of the job and the commandment of God, so he loses firmness. And that may have very serious results..


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