The Dead Mouse (1) Self in Dealing with God (24)
Pride, Ego and Conviction are the great war in the spiritual life, and they will remain fighting us as long as we are alive. Only God alone can protect us from these. The dead mouse is the nick name for this hard war.
The war of the dead mouse has a many and various forms, but reading it apart (from the rest of the series) may cause frustration and desperation or it may cause justification so that the man may get out of reproach. That’s why please read this series step by step; there is no meaning in fighting the dead mouse before knowing single (single piece), experimenting the exposed face, full trust in forgiveness and issuing power of attorney, and continuing nurture from the book, and accepting unconditional God’s love. Without all these matters all our fight against ego and pride is just an illusion as if we are beating the air.
Please don’t read the parts concerning the dead mouse only after gradual growth in the previous parts, so that wars of the spiritual life wouldn’t be a burden that can’t be stood and a problem without a solution.
Lord Jesus enlightens our life with his Holy Spirit and imprints in us a portrayal of his humility, with the intercession of our mother Virgin Mary and the prayers of our father His Holiness Pope Tawadros II. Glory to our God forever. Amen.
I walked in the pathway to meet my father to finish what we had started, and from our chat about the dead mouse, and all what occupied my mind is how I come through the most dangerous war of the spiritual life. On my way I said to myself definitely after undertaking all these trainings and treatment, I will be free of this concern and I will be treated of this sickness, and there I met my father. He told me that today we’ll be starting in explaining details of the dead mouse war; we’ll start with;
(i.e. I exist)
And the first image of the self-images is the self in dealing with God and the first form to the self in dealing with God is:
- “rejecting God’s existence or refusing to testify to God”.
I said: it sounds the matter would take long?!
He said: indeed it is the longest war in the spiritual life and the hardest?!
I said: and what does it mean rejecting God’s existence or refusing to testify to God?
He said: so the atheists say “Our Father in the heavens stay in Your heavens and leave us on earth, they deny God’s existence to live, they think God’s existence is against their existence, and they don’t know that God is the one who created, loved and gave them everything to enjoy (1Timothy 6:17). Their existence is linked to His existence. It is like the branch, it must stay in the vine tree to live and if it gets separated it will dry and die. In their refusal to God, they are judging themselves with perdition and choose death by their will; they say that their origin is a monkey – or something resembling it (forgive me), and their fate is soil!! Instead of saying that God is their Father1 and they were created on his image, and they would come back to Him after the alienation of this life. Look! Pride breaks the human and makes him/her descend himself/herself to a monkey and dust?! And it eliminates hope and meaning. Since it is soil, it would be better if it is the soil from now, better than the fatigue of life, study and children and worry (a bullet and free yourself), that is why you find the highest level of suicide among atheists.
I said: Oh my God! Indeed pride is hard. Instead of boosting the human, it humiliates him. Father, I thank God that we are not atheists, but father what is the secret in atheism that makes the human being to accept for himself to be his origin a monkey and its fate is soil, and be happy for this, and his life meaningless and no hope just years of fatigue followed by perishing (from their point of view)?!
He said: we’ll discuss the first part which is rejecting God’s existence. When we talk about the actual reasons behind atheism. The matter has a secret and not just apparent reasons and we’ll discuss it in detail in a next time.
For now, we talk about refusing testimony to Christ, and that could be through my words or my behavior and acts. Someone would say when I take a taxi and the driver asks me about my name? I tell him, I am Mr., and he would reply Mr. who? I say Mr. Hani,(Hani is name of Christian and Non-Chritian and my real name is Mina or Kerilos (these are Christian Names), so that he does not cause me headache with questions. As if Jesus Christ is a shame!!! We feels worried of testifying for him and we forget that He said “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 NIV)
Or if I am with a group of friends, and they swear words, and I also swear so that they won’t say “you became religious, you arrreee like an angel” or when they want to go to a place that doesn’t glorify God, I go with them so they won’t say “he is boring”. But I also fear that someone sees me praying or reading the holy scripture weither from my family or a friend, as if praying and reading the Holy Bible is something that we feel ashamed of.
I said: what is the link between this and the Ego, my father?
He said: linked to Ego, I feel worried about my self that they may persecute me because I am christian, or they may make fun of me and say “ I became religious or Darwish”.
Darwish: is a very regligious peron who talks about God usually and advise people.
I said (with shyness remembering a situation that I had during my childhood and I didn’t tell to anyone before, but because my father is kind and kind hearted I got the courage and I said to myself that I should tell him instead feeling tiredness and worriness that I have been living with for years).
Don’t make a good deed for people’s sake and don’t abolish a good deed for people’s sake.
Pope Kerilos the 6th
Father, you remind me with a great sin that I have never told anyone before about it yet, and it was a cause of fatigue and pain for years. It was an opportunity for the devil to complain about me and shout in my ears “you are sinner, you renounced Jesus Christ”. Father, the story happened when I was grade 3 I was returning from school on the last day of my exams and the school was in our village was in the part that is inhabited mostly by non-Christians. Many children gathered around me and they beat any Christian they encounter, one of them shouted and said “this boy is Christian let’s beat him”, I was scared and ran and I said “I am not Christian. I am not Christian” and ran. Is this considered a sin that doesn’t have a repentance, my father, and is it a renouncement of Jesus Christ?!
He said (with calm and instense love that made me feel confortable even before he speaks):
First: any sin that has a repentance and forgiveness my son, whatever your sin was, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses of any sin and there is no sin that is hard for His blood to cleanse. Repent and trust in full forgiveness (as we mentioned previously when we talked about Jude’s repentance that God would forgive even if was David’s sin or Peter’ sin. (Jesus Christ forgives even murder, adultery, atheism, or queer behavior) just the man has to return and repent.
Second: you were weak (a little child), Peter the apostle was a man and a leader of the disciples and in front of a maid and a group of slaves he denied Jesus not once, twice but three times, and when Jesus came back, He accepted him and forgave him, even told him that whenever you are back your brothers are reinforced (i.e., any weak point turns to a strong point) trust not only in forgiveness but that the Lord will turn every weak point to a strong one and makes you a living witness to Jeuss Christ all the days of your life.
As for what I meant when a human being excuses his denial and lives with it as if it was a normal thing and offering no repentance and does not want to say that I sinned and weakened.
I said (interrupting him): wouldn’t this make me be negligent then I say I would repent later; anyway the Lord would accept me?!
He said: and this is the Third: that is to put in your heart that you will not to sin again (1John2:1). If the prodigal son said to himself I go to my father’s home and I take some money and go back to the pigs again this would be called a repentance!! Do you have the intention to deny knowing Jesus another time!!
I said: definitely no my father. Since my childhood and I am suffering because of this sin and it makes me feel guilty and I was looking for a place like Libya1 to go and be a martyr there to be witness of Jesus.
I said: like that, you are a martyr before God.
I said (smiling): martyr!! You would encourage me, father!!
He said: frankly there is an important point that is not in our minds and that is when we fight the devil every day and perservere against the sin every minute, we are considered martyrs.
Whenever we reject the old Ego and resist evilness we are considered before God martyrs and we have wreaths.
I said (astonished): is there a proof from the Holy bible or sayings from the fathers?!
He said: there is from both. Everytime we refuse body’s desires and self desires (we slaughter the Ego for the sake of Jesus). By doing so we offer a sacrifice to God. The Scripture says “for your sake we face death all day long” (Romans 8:36 NIV). And also “in your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point for shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4 NIV). And also “therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of god’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1 NIV). That means whenever you rejected the sin that you want to your old self to live for Jesus, by doing so you are like a martyr before Jesus Christ.
Libya: where the christian where slaughtered in 2015, for the sake of Jesus.
I said: I am a martyr before God whenver I reject the sin!! I might be a martyr everyday without a need to go to Libya to be a martyr?!
He said: indeed a martyr everday and you have a wreath that is what Peter the apostle said “for your sake (sake of Jesus) we die every day”. Saint Isaac of Niniveh said same thing.
I said: what did he say?!
He said: Saint Isaac said:
“Die in your struggle better than living falling down, those who die in their struggle against the sin are considered martyrs before God similar to those who die for the sake of their faith in Christ”
I said: what a nice word, my father, the words that encourage one to struggle against the Ego and persevere seriously for the sake of Jesus since he/she would become a martyr. It is not the talk that depresses the soul. “true repentance is not going back to sin”. Someone might say this is impossible thing, let’s be lost and live our lives and that’s it!!. But would really someone receive the crown like the one of martyrs when he/she refuses the sin and resists his/her own ego and desires?
He said: the Lord Jesus said words that assure that.
I said (interested): What did the Lord Jesus say?!
He said: Lord Jesus said “Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward”. (Matthew 10:41 NIV)
I said: what does that mean?!
He said: whoever accepts the words of the disciples about Jesus Christ would get an exact equal sum to a disciple that preached to him about Jesus. Because the disciple recceived a sum, a regular person did not received. The disciple is honest when preaching by the name of of Jesus and the regulr person is honest when he/he accepts the words and believe in them. The Lord said firsts lasts and lasts firsts. And as we have seen before (in the secret of response of prayer) that a taylor is better than Anba Antonios(Saint Antonios) in the heaven and two married wives are equal to Abu Makar (Saint Makarios).
We go back to the talk on martyrdom; everyone who struggle against the sin and slay himself (evil desires) for the sake of Jesus is a martyr before God and has the same level of a martyr and a crown of martyrdom and it is this when the time to cut the neck is due can die, but who lives for his desires when he/she see the sword becomes afraid and deny.
I said: martyrdom is not only by sword, and the crown is not only for the one whose blood is shed but to all who struggle against the sin. If the youth knew this we would have found churches filled with repentants, and the service has flourished with preachers,.
He said: indeed my son. Tighten yourself and struggle against the sin and if you fell stand up quickly and be like martyrs and live for Jesus and not for you the old self and the desires of the body.
I said: another question my dad. Many timees the devil comes and fight me and tells me you made a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, you don’t have a repentance, you are lost!! For that it is written thhaty who curse the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven. What I shall I do, have I indeed made a blasphemy and I have no repentance?!
He said (quietly): what a great question my son and many people are in a fight with it. The devil use it to make the human in despair. Someone told me this story, he said,” when I was at elementary school, we were given a small size gospel and we were tought to read it and when I read the second part that says who made a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit wont be forgiven, I got the thought that tells me “You made a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, You made a blasphemy, no repentance” and I was closing my ears as if the voice is from outside and when I remove my hands from ears the voice comes again “make a blasphemy make a blasphemy say bad word bad word” then tell me “you made a blasphemy made a blasphemy”.
I said: indeed I encounter this sometimes, but what is the solution?
He said: the solution is that we understand the verse correctly. Cursing the Holy Spirit means complete and continuous refusal to the work of the Holy Spirit inside us. The Holy Spirit has two tasks.
Pride with sin is a major disaster. If the one who does virtues loses his good deed, if he exalts himself in pride, then how much iniquity would the one who adds the sin of pride because this one cannot practice repentance.
.. Saint John Chrysostom
First of them is in the non-believers so that they belive that Jesus is the Lord, It is written“Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (1Corinthians 12:3 NIV). The Holy Spirit works inside the heart and says “believe in Jesus believe in Jesus”, if a man refuses the voice of the Holy Spirit and stays on continuous refusal he/she won’t be able to get salvation and won’t come to Jesus the source of life and so death stays. That is why Lord Jesus said this verse “ but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31 NIV) when he forced the devils out and the pharisees refused to believe in him and they said that Beelzebub is with him. The Spirit works in them and tells them this is a miracle, this is God’s finger, but they were making blasphemy and refusing and saying no this is Beelzebub, who insists on non-believing in Jesus (rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit) won’t get salvation.
The second work in believers so that they repent when they make sins. The Holy Spirit cries on sins and tells the man “repent come back to Jesus”. If the man refused the work of the Holy spirit and insisted on refusing and didn’t repen and passed away with his/her sin while refusing the voice of the Spirit inside him/her won’t be salvated but perish. It is not just a voice or just an obessession that make you tired and confused.
I said: you relieved me my father from these obessessions that were worrying me, but when I make a sin, isn’t it that I refuse the work of the Holy Spirit and I make a blasphemy?
He said: the definition of blasphemy in language, is someone who remains for the whole of his life refusing repentance or insisting on for the whole life refusing to have faith, but if repented or believed that won’t be a blasphemy.
Who refuses Jesus, refuses Him because he/she is afraid for himself/herself. When we care for the self on the expense of witnessing for God, it is as we would be able to protect oursleves, or we have fear for ourselves more than that to God, as if someone can hurt us without permission from our heavenly father. And we forget Lord Jesus’ saying “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 NIV). And by this way we refused witnessing to God in our country till we got lost my father.
He said (surprisingly): how my father?!
He said: since the time of Saint Mark’s arrival and preaching christianity 20 century ago, what we have don?! Many African and Asian countries remain the same not knowing God?! Where is the preach (just festivals and activities but it has nothing to do with preaching at all; preaching became just a word, or preaching is acts and preaching information and competitions but where is the preach of forgiveness and preach of eternal life. Gospel’s true preaching!! Where is the witnessing for Jesus!! We feard for ourselves and our bodies from death!!
(and father talked to me a lot about important matters about preaching an our neglect, that made me cry on our state and about our unawareness with the message of Jesys and His heart that bleeds on His deprived from the word of salvation and on our love to oursleves and not being witnesses for His name. My father did not let me write but he said let us now move to the next point and we will talk about all of this in detail in th second level of the curriculum after the Association.)
I said: father, what is the second point of the forms of the self in dealing with God?
He said the second point is:
Refusing God’s doctrines by non-repenting
I said: and what does that mean? Is non-repentance also another form of ego?
He said: yes my son, I may know that God does exist and I say with my own words that I am Christian, but I refuse his teachings by my own acts and behavior. I may go to church and pray and receive Communion but I insist on making specific sins and I give excuses for doing them, and it might sound like a simple sin like swearword, evil lookings, not forgiving for someone, condemnation, but with my insistance on doing it, it may lead me to hell.
I said: hell!! But what if I were weak before the sin and I don’t want to do it, is that a type of the Self my father?
Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways.
He said: as long you are refusing the sin and resisting it and offering repentance, you are weak and God loves the weak and He will give the force and victorym persist in your struggle and your call fopr his grace and power, be sure that the day the Lord will relieve you and give you victory and even if you fell down and died in your struggle before the sin, you will be considered a martyr and you will get a crown.
But I here I talk about the sin that I don’t want to repent about. Abou the people who say “ let’s live, we are young, better than others, we’ll repent later, this is half half sin, ……” those are the ones who refuse the commandment, to live. As if God does not want them to live, and the commandment is their death and tiredness, but the right thing is the opposite my son, who abandon the commandment of Jesus is the one who dies and get lost my son “ here and there”.
Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me
I said: how my father?
He said: for example, who belives that drugs do happiness, when he gets the first dose of the drug, the room turns into a palace and he forgets all his tiredness and he believes he is in the kingdom of happiness and then quickly this happiness disappers, and he with harshness goes back to the reality and to the pain and fatigue, and with time he increase the dose to feel happy but he won’t find it and he continues running after mirage until he loses his health and lives in misery until his live ends.
Also, who believes that porn or bad habits have happiness, he sees the bad scenes and feels joyful or feels the illusion that he is, and remains every day searching for what is more exciting to find the first ecstasy, but he won’t find, and deep in his inside feels guilt and pain, and stays like that running after mirage and loses his health and his pscyhe and stays like that till he loses his life if doesn’t repent and come back. If he comes back he gets liberated and God feel happy with him more than the righteous and compensates him on the years of tiredness and misery. But who looks himself big (or feels despair- and this a hidden image of pride) he lives a slaves of himself and his desires and inclines form bad to worse and his life gets lost and his body perishes and his soul will be destoyed.
Thus my son, everyone who refuses repentance, everyone who doesn’t follow the teachings of God and His commandments is in death; as the proverb says “dead in life”.
God’s will is for life and who follows it finds his/her life, here in the zenith of joy an true happiness, and if he/she finds soe of the difficulties that faces all the humankind and all the people because we are in the world of tiredness, but he/she gets comfort from God, and at the end joy that no one can talk about and eternal happiness is waiting for him/her.
While the one who refuses God, lives here in misery and bitterness as a result of the sin and its temporarily enjoymet ends up quickly, not after hours but after moments. Do you how much the time does the joy of the sin last?!
I said: no my father. Could it be measured?!
He said: Yes, the amount of time of enjoying the sin equals exaclty the time of man’s enjoying delicious meal, it just equals the seconds that pass on the tongue and then he forgets, and the one who ate chiken or meat is equal to the one who ate beans and falafel, after the moments of enjoying the sin (whether drugs, sex, habits, bad scenes …) the the person finds himself/herself in the zenith of frustration, desperation, misery, sadness, and body weakness, and at the end, the eternal misery is waiting for him.
The sins has its own fare, the sin is similar to the honey that has a poison that poisons the human being and kills him/her. The human commits the sin by his/her own willing to enjoy himslef/herself and refuse repentance, as if someone is eating poisoned honey, feels how delicious it is for few moments then this honey destroys his health and finishes him. The worse thing is the one who knows about this and the treatment is before him but he doesn’t want it, the repentance and return to God our doctor.
Forgive me my son if I took lots of your time.
I said: no my father I am very happy. Today, you explained to me many concepts, and you let know the true reasons behind sin.
He said: once upon a time three young men ffrom upper Egypt, went to Cairo to study at the university , and they stayed together in a flat, and at the end of December one their friends met them at the university and told them, “ would you attend with us to the church at Zeitun, it would be a nice night, prayer and mass” and he said that they burst into laugh as if he said a joke, and one of the said “ at the New Year we go for a prayer, why my brother why is this old fashion thing, it is the New Year we go dance and enjoy on that day”, and here they burst into laugh and their friend felt emabarrassed and left them, then after two days friend from their own village saw them and welcomed them to come accompaning him the New Year celebration, they asked where? He said we are going to the Monastery of Saint Beshoy to attend a prayer then a mass at the Paramous Monastery, and here again they laughed and one of them said “live all your days my friend, it is just a countable years and you are back to Upper Egypt, and how come to go to a monastery on “the day of the Dance of the year”! what a gloom is that, asceticism and prayer on the first days of the year. The young man replied: “where are you going then?”, the said, “of course we will live our life and will go to El-Haram street” hahaha.
And indeed at New Year’s Eve, they went to El-Haram street and enjoyed their life as they thought, (but actually they lived their death), at 4 a.m., they left on their way returning to the flat and they got in the car, one of them said “what do you think guys, let’s go to the desert road breathing some air”. They said “that’s a nice idea, breathe fresh air. Indeed we need to feel fresh haha”. And they left on the desert road to breahe some air, a driver with heavy carriage was also refreshing himself, and a collision occurred, two of the students died and a third severely bodily injured.
I said: what a tragedy my father!!
He said: indeed it is a tragedy. When we think we can live away from God, and we think that his commandments are heavy, and we refuse repentance by our own will to live for oursleves, here we are at the top peak of misery and unhappiness, it is just a momentary period of joy that ends quickly and at the end there eternal death and separation from God forever.
The man is the one who perish himself by his own decision. God says in the book of Deuteronomy, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
The man who chooses the sin to enjoy his self, to satisfy his self, to live for his self, is infact living his death, as they say, “he is dead in life” and as the Holy Bible says “you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” (Revelation 3:1 NIV). God does not reject a man, but what a shame the man is the one who refuses God, as the Holy Book says “Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways.” (Job 21:14 NIV). God does want salvation to all but it is the human being’s decision to be away from God (life) by his own will that is the end the hell.
Another story. A young man went to one of the monasteries and there he asked to see one of the elderly fathers, and he was excited. When he entered to meet the father, the Fr. Greeted him and told him “thanks God for your safety”. He got agitated and looked up and started cursing. Do you know whom he was cursing?!
I said: the Fr. Monk!
He said: no. he was cursing our Lord, cursing God, because the Fr. Is humble with long lasting patience. He said to him quietly “what’s with you my son?!”. The young man continued cursing more. The Fr. didn’t lose his love and quietness for even a moment but he said with kindness “you look tired?!”. The young man replied “he brought me AIDS. He brought me AIDS!!. The Fr. said “who brought you AIDS?”. He said “Lord brought me AIDS”. The Fr. told him “Lord or the sin?”. He said “he could have protected him”. The Fr. said “definitely he did many times and times but you didn’t repent”. The young man said” indeed, I am a sinner I brought that to myself I brought that to myself”.
I said: indeed the sin is deadly and who believes in his self and desire is living an illusion till get shocked.
He said: our life is in Jesus, our happiness is with our Father who loves us, who gave himself for our sake, and he doesn’t hold back anything we need. But when we refuse his commandments and when we want to live for our desires, and refuse his love, and kick out his commandments by our feet, and stand against his grace, to live on the way of our heart bad desires and the dirt of the world and we believe we are Gods and understand what is good to our selves more than Him, we are putting ourselves to a rank below animals (2Peter2:12) (forgive me my son) and we choose the death for ourselves and perish to our spirits and bodies (deuteronomy 30:19).
I said: forgive me my father, and does God does not want joy and happiness for us?!
He said (with a smile): definitely, He wants joy and happiness for us. He created everything so that we enjoy and feel happy; it is written “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1Timothy 6:17). He gave us to eat and drink, He created fruits and vegetables to eat and also He created for us a digestive system to digest and the tongue to taste, all of that to enjoy, but the devil, as we said, when he does not know how to stop the car he presses on the gas.
I said: what does that mean my father?
He said: for example, in the matter of food he will either tells you not to eat and food is forbidden and it is a style of luxury living and he puts the human being in a type of over ascenticism till he harm and makes the body ill, or he makes the man over eat till he gets glut and diabetes and high blood pressure and harm his body too, on the same level all the matter.
And also the matter of sex. God is the creater of the reproductive organs to the human and He is the one who created Eva for Adam (and not the devil who created her).
And He said “It is not good for the man to be alone”, and he said “Be fruitful and increase in number”, and He said: ” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (genesis 2:24). But the devil may try to make you to look down at the woman, marriage, and look at it as if it is dirt or low thing, and this man lives in oppression and sadness because in his inside many natural desires and he looks at it as impurity.
And here I interrupted my father and said: and does monastic life devotion is oppression and sadness, my father?!
He said: monasticism or devotion does not look to marriage as an impurity my son but marriage is a holy secret one of the seven church secrets. Marriage is the one that brought monks and devoted to the world, and we did not come to the world with a thing that has impurity or less value. Monasticism and devotion is a true strong love to God that made the person has time for this love, to the continuous prayer in monasticism or to the service and preach. The strong love makes the person sacrifice with some necessary matters for a deeper and more elevated love for him (it is called sublimation in pschychiatry). Like a scientist who devotes all of his for science and does not want to get married to do research, or a widow that refuses to marry another time to raise up her children, or a brother who refuses to get marry so he can have time to look after his younger siblings and raise them up after the death of his father, or a doctor who devotes himself to find out a cure for a deadly disease.
And if we do respect all those who sacrificed and devoted their lives for the sake of science or humanitarian work and we don’t blame them, so we also don’t blame the monks who loved God intensely and gave their time to love him and left everything for his sake, and we don’t blame the preachers and devotees who sold everything for the sake of Jesus’ glory and the salvation of their brothers in humanity.
And if the monk or the devotee looks to marriage with contempt or impurity, for those people the bible says: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1) and by this he puts himself in a heresy and the monk or devotee may think he is better than others and this is a type of ego.
I said: and isn’t it true that the monk is better than a married man or who lives in the world?!
He said: definitely no. this is what reached to us. But the truth is that the best God’s know, and every time the man humbles himself God lifts him up (1 Peter 5:6). And who wanted to be first let him be the very last. (Mark9:35) and it is not by monasticism or marriage but these are weights. There are married people with children better than many monks. The father and founder of monasticism Anba Antonios when he had a thought about who is like him in the heavenly kingdom, God told him that there a doctor in his same position and a tailor better than both of them, and when Anba Makarios got the same thought, God told him there are two married women that have children and they will have same rank in the kingdom of heaven. The matter is not about monasticism or marriage my son.
I said: what about the subject of talents, my father?!
He said: we’ll talk about that in details when we talk about monasticism. However, let us get back to Ego so that we do not get lost.
I said: forgive me my father I interrupt you a lot; we stopped at those who look at sex with contempt.
He said: take your time my son, till you get the picture clear, as we said the devil makes the human:
Either to look to sex with contempt.
Or making all his/her thinking about sex, live for sex, and becomes sex addict, and believes it is all the enjoyment, but everyone who drinks from that well feel thirsty and remains thirsty, and enters a vicious circle, event the disease hit him and he gets early aging and depression and won’t feel satiety, and the nations that have moral degeneracy its fate is fall and disintegration, sin condemn any people (Proverb 14:34). You will find after generations, children with no parents, street children, and aggressive children. In addition, the humankind who is pornography addicts whether habits or movies destroys himself, his work and family.
A 12 year old child woke up at midnight and found his father in front of the computer watching porn, he remained suffering and couldn’t tell his father, but he even started watching that type of movies and started addicting it till it affected his studies and failed times and times, and he started blaming his father as the reason behind that. In one day, while he was not conscious he stood up against his father and tried to kill him while shouting and telling: “because of you because of you”.
So, what do you wait from a person who went into this dark sewer (to full his self) and he does not want to get out of it?! He won’t feel full but he will destroy himself and also, he won’t survive because of the damage around him, so how would a father raise up his children on the virtues and moral and he himself doesn’t have neither virtue nor moral?!
I said: I won’t say enough my father to the show of all of these painful facts, how intense do we need to get these matters to the light, but it is not enough to discuss it as you have taught me if there is no practical solution then what would be the reason from the beginning to talk, are there any solutions to those who fall into these matters?
He said: yes my son by repentance and hope in Jesus and in accepting Him and His forgiveness is the solution (go back to part 4and part5), and we will talk in details about how do we get liberated from porn and youth habits with practical steps when we talk about the secret of youth. There is a big difference between the one who fell into it and the one who refuses and resists it and acknowledges that it is a sin and struggle against it with continuous call to Jesus Christ and his non-desperation, and those who give excuses to have joy for himself/herself and he thinks he is living his life (but in fact he is living his death) and this who we mean here. And as we demonstrated in the eating, in sex, and so in all the matters that God created for us to enjoy and be happy but the devil tries to distort them by any means.
I said: since I refuse and repent and shout that is not a type of Ego.
He said: exactly my son. We go back to the Ego topic. We are talking about the Ego in dealing with God:
First: by denying God’s existence, and not witnessing for Him.
Second: by refusing God’s teachings by not repenting.
Third: refusing dealing with God by nagging and not acceptance.
As we have said my son Ego is “I exist” that is I want to be separate from God so that I live my own life independent away from Him, by denying His existence or by not being a witness for His existence, or by refusing His teachings (practically) by not repenting.
And now, we talk about refusing dealing with Him. I do know that God exists but I refuse to submit myself to His will, and I like to live my life as I plan and as I want, and I refuse God’s dealing with me and I nag on him continuously.
I said: and does that mean not to ask and not to argue and to obey even if I have questions?!
He said: of course no my son. You have to ask as we said at the beginning in the first meeting, to talk with God with an exposed face, i.e. that every thing inside me I tell it to god as it is. But what is important is how do I say it? Do I say it as a son asking and admonishing his father, or do I say it as a slave nagging on his master despises him.
I said: and how do I differentiate between both?
Admonition expresses love. One stays on the gregariousness, but nagging has bitterness. Admonition is between me and my God the Father and my love, while nagging is before people and is prone to defamation.
The Holy Bible taught us to have admonition with God, actually it is God Himself is asking us to have a dialogue with Him. It is written in the book Isaiah “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18 NIV); and the prophets were doing so. In book of Psalms “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1 NIV). And the of Job, “let me alone even for an instant?”; and the book of Habakkuk
How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”. The Lord Jesus Himself said in His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane ““My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”. And “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”. All the feelings inside me I reveal to God, as a son in pain due to sickness. And here we are in a world sick with sin and pain, and we are in a weak body that longs for sin and evil.
God does not want injustice for us and He does not want illness for us, and does not want failure for us, but we are in a falling world under the sin, in a world his present is evil, in a world of injustice and sick.
All what is in the world of fatigue is due to the sin and not because of God. We are a part of the human system suffering as all the humanity suffers due to sickness, injustice and fatigue.
When we complain, we should not complain about God but complain to God.
We know that what God wants for us is goodness, and as we called Him and live as submissive children, all the things work together for goodness. We trust that Jesus overcame the world. It is Jesus who gave us salvation from the sin and the trust in forgiveness, and also, He gave us the power to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19); and to crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20).
I said: indeed, my father, the world is evil, unjust and causes fatigue.
He said: yes, my son but who entered the circle of God has to trust in the power of God and His plans for him/her.
Who trusts in God’s love, submits to God even if he/she could not understand for now but he/she trusts that he/she will understand later because God loves us more than our love to ourselves?
In the fourth century there was a man with only one daughter who he got after 12 years of his marriage, and when she was 4 years old she had a bad fever that doctors could not do anything and they said that if God does not intervene she will die. The man ran to the market and he begged one of the monks that is known for his holiness and he was selling monks handmade goods- he begged him to come with him to his house to pray for his daughter, and after insisting and begging, the monk went with the man, and he prayed the psalms and said “Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life. …”
Then he left and just after 20 walking steps the girl passed away, the man ran after the monk shouting “father, father, the girl died my father”. The monks replied “the Lord comforts you my son, God chose the better for her”. The man shouted “I don’t want the better, I want her with me, I brought you here to pray for her, not to pray on her, either to cure her or bring her back as she was, or I will treat you badly and he started holding the Father aggressively and pulling him and told him “bring her back as she was”. The Father returned and prayed for the daughter and said “Lord Jesus we know that your will is for the goodness and righteousness but your son does not want your will and I am your poor slave, for my sake Lord bring her back” and here the daughter woke up, and the monk returned to his monastery.
And the days go on and the daughter grew up, and she turned 18 she took the route of evil and sin, and her father got confused with what to do? He can’t walk on the streets because of her bad reputation, should he kill her or kill himself?! Finally, he went to the monastery and asked for the Father who raised her and they told him that he is living alone, the he went to the cave and greeted him, and told he if you remember my father? The monk told please forgive me I don’t remember, the man said “I am the one whom you brought back his daughter from death”. And here the monk remembered him (it is situation that can’t be forgotten). How are you my son and how is your daughter? The man cried with tears, pray for her my father, pray for her so that she dies or pray for me so I die. I wish if died I wish if she died. The monk asked him why? The man said that his daughter chose the route of sin and evil and I don’t know what to do? Kill her or kill myself and rest. The monk asked him to pray and offer repentance, and to pray for her so that she repents and know that the bitterness that God chooses for us is better than the honey that we choose for ourselves.
I said: indeed, my father the bitterness that God chooses for us is better than the honey that we choose for ourselves, but at the time of difficulties the matter is different!! The man may know that but cannot feel it.
He said: indeed, my son that is why don’t say what you don’t feel, express your feelings as they are, express your pains, God won’t get annoyed due to that, tell Him anything you feel as our saint fathers expressed in the Holy Book, say
“I am upset, I am tired, why you are late? Did you forget me or what?”
but at the end say
“Let your will be Lord, not mine”
You are my Father and you love me more than how I love myself and you know everything while I know nothing”.
Expressing feelings is not a sin at all, my son. Express your feelings as they are, as a son talking to his beloved father who gave his self for his son’s sake. However, always at the end submit yourself to God and give him your way. It is written: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 NIV).
The one who died for me, bore the sufferings for me, gave his blood for me; would he be mean to me for part of this world’s simple matter. He is definitely what is best for me!!
And here my father told me: remember that the first thing in the dead mouse is the Self, i.e., (I exist separated from God) and the first image is the Self by refusing God in three forms which are:
- Refusing God existence, or refusing being His witnesses.
- Refusing the teachings of God by non-repentance.
- Refusing dealing with God by nagging and not being submissive.
And here my father was ready to leave and he told me let’s continue next time the remaining images about Self, by God’s will.
 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8 NIV)
 Godly Love by chorepiscopus Tadros Yakoub, page 130