Reading Recommended by His Grace
The Coptic New Year
The 1st day of the blessed month of Thoout
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.
In commemoration of the Coptic New Year, the lives of the martyrs and saints before us, and the Shepherd and Protector of us all, the recommended reading for this occasion is, "God and Nothing Else" written by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III.
The book begins with an introspective question, "Do you know God?" It summarizes with a provocative closed ended question, "Can you tell God that besides You, I desire nothing from this world?"
"God and Nothing Else" specifically addresses the lives of the martyrs with its text. His Holiness writes,
"...they suffered death for His sake, trusting that this life has a continuation with Him in eternity. Hence, they forsook the world with all that is in it and did not desire anything from it, not even to live in it. Whoever loves God and is satisfied with Him is ready to forsake anything and everything for Him."
The Psalmist David, as did the martyrs, compassionately felt..."The Lord is my strength and my song and He has become my salvation" (Psalm 118:14). David the Prophet knew the Lords' strength was not in worldly weapons, nor in human defense or help, but in God Himself. The saints loved God above all the pleasures of this earth. The saints and martyrs loved God more than life itself.
As we look toward the unfolding Coptic New Year, let us pray that the love of God will rule our hearts; and we too will be counted among those who desire the Lord more than anyone and anything else upon this earth.
Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States