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 “You are my friends if you do what I command.”
John 15:14



Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)






N THE PSALMS David said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”[1] My Lord, your word brings us light in the darkness of this age. Your word is a center of light that guides our steps, and without your word leading us we cannot walk through the darkness of this world.

How can we go on if your light ceases to guide us? Where can we go? Your light leads us to you, and how can we come to you if your light does not take us by the hand? Your word is living, effective and shines brightly. It goes before us, and if it came to an end, then we too would be finished.

Your love is the one power that can bring us to you, so how could we come to you if your love did not push us?

Of those who love, you are the axis that draws us to you, so how could we come to you if the rays of your love did not guide us? The sources of power in the world are many and varied in their function and effectiveness, but it is the secret of the power of your love that is the one thing in the universe that draws us to you. So if it ceased to draw us to you, how could we proceed and how could we come to you? The treasure of your love’s essence is stored up in your word, and we have hidden your word in our deepest depths so that the world cannot corrupt it and cause us to stray from your axis that draws those who love your word.

O my master, the true light that shines in our dark world, you are not the only one who loves those who obey your word, because we also, if we did not keep your word, would not be able to come to you from the darkened paths of the world. We are your beloved because of your word which we have stored up within our hearts, for you alone know that your word which gazed into the windows of our hearts is our only treasure in our dark world.

Satan covets this, our one treasure, and he lies in wait for us to snatch it from within our hearts. So we cry to you to firmly plant your word within our flesh and blood, far from the enemy’s desires and deception so he cannot take it from us.

O my master, your words are sweet, “sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.”[2] We chose it as an exclusive treasure, apart from all the delicacies of the world. If we keep your word it is not as a gift from us, but it is the result of an attraction, like the attraction of iron to a magnet. What gift is it of the iron if it clings to the magnet? Who can separate your word from us, because to the degree you love us, we love you, and your love is strong in our hearts, so by it we overcome the world. To the degree you attract us, my master, to that degree we are drawn to you, so the credit for our love for you goes to your love for us. It is well said in the Song of Solomon, “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine!”[3] We are your to the degree you are ours. Our love for you is a consequence, for you initiated and we followed.

My master, I plead with you to love us, for we love you, and we cannot live apart from your love, not for a single moment or the blink of an eye. Death and the enemy lie in wait for us, for the moment your love does not draw us! We love you, my master, two loves: we love you because you first loved us, and we love you because you are worthy of our love!

October 1, 2005


[1] Psalm 119:105.

[2] Psalm 19:10.

[3] Song of Songs 6:3.

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