General Questions About Life

What happens when we reach a certain level of spirituality, but every so often we all?

Bishop Moussa Answer: 
Even though we may see our spiritual life as progressing in a zigzag, this zigzag is on an upward trend. But each time we realize. We are falling, we must call out to the Lord to deliver us, and we must repent. We may look at our spiritual life as being up and down, but God sees that we are improving. Each time I fall, I experience three things: * the realization that I am weak so I must be humble, * The fact that Satan is always attacking, so I must be careful, * How much God is always loving and caring and forgiving. Therefore never feel despair or frustration because of weaknesses. If your spiritual life is up all the time, it will lead to much pride. For this reason, we do not want people to exaggerate in their spiritual lives by increasing the fasting and prostration's and so on without the guidance of their spiritual father, for if this happens they will be exaggerating out of ego centrism to prove to themselves and to others that they are a hero, and not out of love and sincerity to God. In the Paradise of the Fathers it is written, "If you see a young man moving rapidly towards spiritual levels, pull him down lest he suffer from the danger of pride." So in this sense, weaknesses are helpful because they keep one humble, even St Paul the Apostle said that he had a thorn in his flesh in order to keep him humble. 

"St. Anthony the Great once said, 'This is the great work of man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath, for whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, for without temptation no one can be saved" (Sayings of the Desert Fathers)

Why are the icons in the church anointed with the Myron oil?

Bishop Moussa Answer: 
The Myron gives the icon a spirit; it is a declaration that this saint is living and is among us. The icon of Jesus Christ is also
anointed with the holy Myron oil. It keeps the mystery of the presence of the saint inside the church with us. We even
consecrate the curtains and the walls and the vessels of the church in order to spiritualise them, because SPIRIT means life.
When we ask this saint to intercede on our behalf, they can surely hear us, and they can pray on our behalf. 

Is all the turmoil and violence and sin in the world today a sign of the Second Coming? 

Bishop Moussa Answer:: You may consider it a sign, for there are many signs; but the coming of the Lord will be a total
surprise. We do not have the capacity to determine an exact date. There is one sign that has not occurred yet, and this is the conversion of the Jews to Christianity (Romans 11). We are not sure how this will happen. Another sign is the coming of the Antichrist; whether this be a religion, a person, or otherwise is not clear. What is required of me is that I be ready and alert and repentant. 

What is your opinion if the Incident which happened here recently of the woman whose hand was dripping oil and claimed she had conversations with St. Mary?

Bishop Moussa Answer HG: 
Our church is not fond of these types of conversations with the saints. In our Coptic Orthodox concept and spirit, whenever we experience a miracle we hide it, or keep it restricted to only a few people, because we are always cautious of the intervention of Satan in these types of situations. He can deceive us and even appear as an angel of light. Once we begin to advertise the miracle, Satan comes inside and tries to pull us outside the goal of the miracle. Situations like this may start out correct, but end up Satanic because Satan comes to spoil everything. We tell, for example, of the miracles of the late Pope Kyrillos in order to strengthen the people, but there is a big difference between this and advertising a miracle for no clear benefit except self pride. 

Are we to socialize only with Christian people?

Bishop Moussa Answer : Your spiritual love must be given to all people, and not be isolated to just Christians. There is a big difference between
friends and colleagues (acquaintances). Your friends should be Christian, to help you build your spiritual life, but you can have many colleagues in society at school, at university, at work, etc. When I say 'socialize with them', I mean be on good terms with them, have pure Christian love for them, caring and sharing with them. If they are sick you must visit them, if a family member or friend has passed away, you must go and give your condolences, if they are celebrating a feast, such as Ramadan, you must give them your best wishes. Therefore you must have pure Christian love towards them, but do not have an intimate relationship with them because they differ in their thoughts, their principles, their ideas, their philosophies and their practices. Have friends from within the church, and have as many colleagues as you like in society. Express your Christian love to them; go with them when it is right, and withdraw from them when they do wrong.

If you have a dream about killing someone you really hate, is that the same as committing murder?

Bishop Moussa Answer : Dreams make inner feelings more explicit, and what you cannot fulfill during the day in actions, is fulfilled in dreams at
night. Therefore this dream about killing someone shows that there is something incorrect in your heart towards that person. So instead of 'killing' him in your heart, serve him and win him as a friend by asking the Lord to help in the situation, and try to come into contact with them; speak to them, and communicate with them so that the two of you may be reconciled.