Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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The Virginia Tech massacre has had its negative effect on me; robbing me of the sense of purpose in all that I am doing in the course of my life. Studying hard to get into a prestigious school, having aspirations and dreams in the future all seem too stressful for no obvious good reason at all. The thought of having a similar terrible ending like the Virginia Tech victims makes high education, job, money and marriage all seem too trivial; while at the same time raises the question whether it is wrong to be ambitious and to concentrate on my studies. At the moment, serving God in the church while getting a decent job that covers the basic life necessities seems reasonable. Attending Pascha week was very enjoyable; and being constantly with Christ was so stress relieving and satisfying that I did not want it to finish. I feel settling with the minimum education and income are signs of true humility and true Christianity. I appreciate Your Grace's feedback and also any readings on the web related to the matter that Your Grace recommend.

It is normal to experience a sense of loss and confusion at such times. The Virginia Tech Massacre was truly a heartbreaking catastrophe and a horrific reminder of human vulnerability. The innocent victims and the disturbed assailant will remain etched in the memories of many. Don't lose hope. Every event has a purpose. You choose for the adversities to make you better or make you bitter. You have an important purpose in life. Don't allow any incident to make you indifferent or impassive. Our loving God is working with you as you study and work to reach your full potential, not for your own glory, but His glory that will shine in your service through your profession. By doing so, you demonstrate the extension of your love and worship to God. God is not only worshiped in the sanctuary, but in every step and every breath we take, so that we may acknowledge His benevolence and gentle footsteps alongside us. 
Consider the Parable of the Talents. The servants that worked to their potential and invested their God-given talents were praised by God Himself: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord" (Matthew 25:23). However, the servant that did not make use of his talent because of fear was severely admonished.
You still have a lot to learn and more to offer. The more you have, the more you can give. All professions can be used as tools to serve our Lord. The only profession that cannot be used effectively is the one that one settles for; just to get by. If the profession you choose is truly your calling or the best that you can do, then you have given 100%. Maintain the spiritual energy you have received during the holy Pasha week as fuel for the rest of the year to grow in love and service to the Lord with all your heart.     

Some web related readings:
Sermons - "Christ Our Hope"
H. G. Bishop Angaelos 3/5/04
The Diocese
Read Articles ... Literature 
"Why Must People Suffer"
"Grieving and Gratitude"
Church Perspectives
"Eminence of Justice: El-Kosheh"
"Terrorism: TRUE Justice Will Win Out"
Conference Abstracts
2005 "Dealing with Stress"
2006 "Finding Purpose"
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