- Catégorie : Writings of Father Matta El-Maskeen
Abuna Matta of Egypt: teachings to read online
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matta El-Meskin or Matta El-Meskine, Maskin) was the spiritual director of the Monastery of St. Macarius. He experimented the life of hermit in the desert, and had the thorough knowledge of Holy Scriptures, ecclesiastical tradition and teachings of the orthodoxy. Having also acquired a concrete experience of the Christian orthodox prayer life , he transmitted it through his teachings. You can read his biography and the presentation of his work on this page: Biography and Writings of Fr Matta El-Meskeen in English
These translations already exist on other official websides presented in the section: Teachings of Matta El Meskeen to read on other websites or PDF However we did few corrections on some of them according to the corrections made on the French tranlations by the monastery of St Macarius. This presentation of a few articles is aimed to give practical instructions for an orthodox life of prayer.
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I call you today to this struggle against sin. It is identical to the practice of the living communion with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Do not go astray, for without Christ no man is able to conquer the evil enemy that has a power from God over mind, heart, and flesh. You will not find Christ outside your closed room, nightly vigils, and commended fasting.
The Father's love, which had been confined and forbidden to us, overflowed upon us freely in Christ through the cross. Previously impossible due to our unworthiness, through the opening Christ made for us through the cross, our easily ascended to God the Father.
Faith in Christ is completed by love for one another; if we do not love one another, our faith is incomplete. Such is the Christian faith!
If Christ has become the head and consummation of our faith, then through Him every one of us now lives and moves and has our being! The instant we accept Him as God and Savior and are ready to testify to that before all, even though it costs us our live, the true Christian life begins, with Christ as its head and guarantor.
When you read the Bible as a personal message to you from God, the words find their way to the depths of your conscience and spiritual sensitivity. You read with a spiritual awareness, your heart being open, receptive and ready for obedience and joy.
In times of spiritual aridity, prayer does not stop. There is nothing to demand that it stop, since the entire soul is still inclined toward God and righteousness. It is not as if it has lost its power or will to strive or to pray, for spiritual aridity has no effect except the absence of the solace, pleasure, and loving encouragements that are the companions and fruits of prayer.
Spiritual languor, on the other hand, affects the will. Here, the attack is aimed even at our attempt to pray and to persevere in prayer. A man may stand to pray, but he finds neither words to say nor power to carry on.
The soul that has been awakened to the reality of divine things for the first time always makes a deep, unreserved response to the truth, prompted by a boundless love for the Savior and a great delight in the world of the spirit and spiritual things.
We should not see austerity, or asceticism, as an end in itself. Neither should we delight in practicing it to the exclusion of everything else. By doing so we are only allowing it to distract us from progressing toward God and completing our union with him in mature love.
Seven steps to crucifying the human self and allowing the Truth to set you free.
Monastery of St Macarius the Great
Subjugation of the self comes when you undertake some activity which is neither agreeable or desirable. Its attainment is a side-effect of fasting (not the prime motive, which is love).
Let us consider this: If a sinful man suffers and is oppressed by a certain amount of pain, it is because this is the law of sin. And if a good man suffers more than an evil man, it is because the law of sin holds sway over them both; in the rule of sin there is no just distribution.
Not from fear of death did terror enter Your heart. Your heartbeat was reviving the heavens, raising the earth, establishing the principle of life for every living thing. Nor did terror enter Your heart out of fear of the pain and suffering to come, for You are the Comforter of those who suffer, the one who wipes away every tear, and strengthens the heart of the distressed. You bear the pain of every soul that takes refuge in Your bosom.
Though it is the day of mankind's judgment, the Day of the Cross is makred with joy and wonder, in spite of the sadness with which the Church is enrobed on that day, and in spite of the gloomy hymns we sing that confound the inner being. The day holds a sense of doom and inevitablity, because it is the great Day of judgment. It is the day the prophets referred to as the Day of the Lord. Who can stand on this day? It is truly a fearful day of judgment.
The shepherds received a sign from Heaven and left to go and see the wonder in the cave: a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, declared to be the One who would save His people from their sins. The Magi came too, travelling a great distance, guided by a heavenly star that was moved by power from on high, so that the testimony to the Savior of the world should come from outside Israel, at a time when the leaders and Jewish teachers failed to discern and proclaim their Savior.
He loved the creation of His hands and planned its happy ending, so that man woudl have the fortune of partaking in the life of heaven. Having lived on earth to complete his perfection through being cleansed from sin and being sactified, he emerged from the world of dust to be received, with those who are spiritual, in heaven as a heavenly spiritual citizen.
Monastery of St Macarius the Great
If man ever comes back out of the desert, he comes out with a rich experience. He has experienced life with God, delved deeply into prayer, discovered the secrets of the gospel as he lived them in full spiritual awareness and tasted what it means to cling to God. The wilderness is the school of the spirit. Its pruning of the soul is tremendous, and the riches of its fruit are infinite.