Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

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Reading Recommended by His Grace

During the Holy Great Fast

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.

The reading recommended for the Holy Great Fast is, "Contemplations on Nehemiah" by Fr. Daoud Lamie.

This book contains thirteen chapters, similar to the Holy Book of Nehemiah, which Fr. Daoud explains the theme for each chapter in detail. It begins with historical accounts of the era prior to and up to Nehemiah.

Each chapter includes verses from the Holy Book of Nehemiah along with commentary. The explanations provide a personal understanding of Nehemiah himself. Then each chapter concludes with contemplations and practical applications for us as the reader to incorporate.

For example, the first chapter says:

"No matter how difficult the problems and trials are, always raise your heart to God in prayer and humble yourself in front of Him as Nehemiah did."

Fr. Daoud allows the reader to not only learn about the Holy Book of Nehemiah but sets Nehemiah as an example for us to strive in our own spiritual life. He speaks about his life of prayer, dedication, wisdom, humbleness, and leadership just to name a few of his virtues.

I pray that every reader during this Holy Great Fast will have instilled the spirit of hope as Nehemiah instilled, through God, in the people. It is through hope that we fast and pray for God to help us overcome any sin or obstacle preventing us to unite with Him. Just as Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the temple, may we too learn from his example how to renew and rebuild our internal temple during Holy Great Fast; glory be to God forever, Amen.

Bishop Youssef
Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States