From El Keraza Magazine, April 20, 2007, pp. 9-10
Congratulations my beloved brothers and sons on the occasion of Glorious Resurrection Feast, and for the grace of resurrection which God granted us to live another life in the happy eternity. I also congratulate our beloved President Mohamed Hosni Mobarak, on the great results achieved from his last tours for the best interest of Egypt and the whole Arab world, wishing him and you all the blessings and good, and may God keep the world in peace and security.
I would like to speak to you on this blessed year about the core of enjoyment in the eternal life of resurrection and as the Bible says "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of
man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9). Thus the Bible has advised us in the saying "while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18). So, what are these that are not seen? And what is it that no eyes have seen that we are promised to enjoy on eternal life?
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Among things that are not seen: Eternity.
We hear about eternity, and we read about it in God’s promises, but we did not see it, for everything in front of us has and end, and our life on Earth has an end. Therefore, he who continually looks at eternity and to life after death, works for the interest of this life, and always keeps getting ready for it with repentance, good deeds and spreading goodness everywhere and to everyone. And he who thinks of eternity continually does not look into the present world, and does not care about it, being sure that the whole world will eventually end and its desire with it…
He also does not concentrate all his wishes on materials and does not desire them… He lives in the world, but the world doesn’t live in him. And he might possess objectives but objectives do not possess him, but he only uses them in good… World and objectives are among the things that can be seen, for his reason they are temporary se he should not make them a reason for loosing his spiritual life. For the Lord Jesus said: "what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Mt. 16:26). And for this reason we should not grieve over anything we lose from the world and objectives, as it will not accompany us in eternity.
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Also among things that are not seen: Angles and Spirits of the virtuous ones.
Angles are spirits, and they are around us seeing us and rescuing us from many dangers. And although they are all around us, we do not see them with our material eyes. But we will surely see them in the happy eternity. We also will see the spirits of the virtuous ones who preceded us went to heaven. And now, in spirit we believe in angles’ existence and we see them through faith. And we feel ashamed to commit sins in their presence in spite of the fact that they are invisible…
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Also among things that are not seen: The Spirit.
The spirit is not seen but the body is seen. Therefore, the spiritual person lives working for the interest of his spirit its spiritual nutrition. And as the body has its own material nutrition, the spirit feeds on the life of virtue and righteousness, God’s love and making good deeds, with prayers and praising, and with Gods words in their depth and spirituality. And the one who cares for his eternity, is keen on his spiritual growth and spiritual practices that are beneficial for him. For his care for his soul and its eternal destiny, makes him exert all his efforts to do whatever that bonds his soul to God and his commandments so that his soul becomes consecrated for Him. And at the same time he lets his soul lead his body, and never convey to its instincts, but with all care and preciseness get ride of lust of the flesh, straying of senses and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. So that all these tangibles have no authority upon him…
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+ All the earthly life enjoyments are of tangible things, but the enjoyments of eternal life are of what no eye has seen and not has entered the heart of a man.
+ And so ascetic fathers have looked into all the joys of this life and found out that they are passing away and perishing and do not worth their interest, so they rose over their level and desire of them and died from the world and became ascetic over every earthly enjoyment looking after what they will enjoy after resurrection.
+ And in that meaning, St. Augustine says: "I sat on top of the world when I felt inside myself that I do not desire anything and do not fear anything".
+ And the greatest example in elevating over tangibles, and earthly life itself is that example of martyrs who proceeded to death in joy not looking to the world and all it has and rejecting all the temptation that they were offered. This is because they had their eyes and hearts focused on what is not seen in life after death.
Among the things that are not seen too: Morality.
With that I mean the examples, values and bases, right, good and virtue… And faith because it is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" so he who lives in faith, lives seeing the unseen. And when he looks to heaven, he does not look to that air cover surrounding us in which planes fly. And he does not look to the universe in which exists the sun and the far constellations but to what is far above that… To heaven in which here are the angels and God’s Throne and in which everything goes according God’s will so no sin and no disobedience. And to the heaven in which the spirits of virtuous ones are waiting for the Resurrection Day and the start of eternal life…
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+ And those who look at what is not seen, they go with their hearts and thoughts towards God, may His power be glorified; God who no one has seen in His Divinity…
We did not see God because our eyes are unable to see Him. But we have seen His power and wonders and His grace work on us and on others. We saw His hand that is unseen as it interferes in our problems and solve them. And we see His generosity that opens the windows of heaven and pour out for us and fills up every living from His satisfaction… And we see how God applies right and crushes wrong and how He applies justice for the oppressed…
As for the real enjoyment in living with God in eternity is what we have not seen yet but we are waiting for it in faith… The faith in what no eye has seen and what has not entered the heart of a man. As for how we will enjoy living with God in eternity and what is the nature of this living. Concerning this matter it is better that I be silent. Eternity will announce this for us which probably the
language fails to describe…!
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So long that eternity is so beautiful that it is indescribable, we should get prepared for it… We should prepare for it before we reach it. We prepare for it by not getting attached with tangibles and get busy with them. Truly, the heart that elevates above the tangibles is fortified and is not breakable. It is above the level of the world, material and the body…
So he whose heart is fully attached to the love of tangibles and lust of worldly matters, when he leaves his body and ascends to heaven, would he find it strange for him?! Or would he feel frustrated for he will not find what he desires of worldly enjoyments? Or would he be bored of heaven, that if he reaches it, and sees that this world is the best?! Therefore, my brothers and sons, we should start practicing now loving the heavenly matters and loving the unseen matters. And we should lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, so that when we reach there we find them… We should do what we can and ask for God’s grace to complete for us what we are unable to finish. And we should stick to this superior target. And we should pray for love and peace in the whole world, especially in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, the whole Arab World and in Africa…
And Happy Resurrection Feast…