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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||


Heaven and Heavenly Beings


The Arabic word of Heaven comes from

elevation or highness. And it has levels: The first

heaven is the birds’ sky… and it is where birds and

planes fly. The second heaven is the astronomy

heaven n which he Sun and its surrounding objects

exist. And the third heaven is Paradise to which

St. Paul the apostle was taken (2 Co 12:2, 4),

whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of

the body he does not know, heard inexpressible

words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter…

Above all those there is the heaven of heavens,

which has God’s Throne, surrounded by the seven

Chief Angels, the Cherubim and Seraphim and the

Four Incorporeal Beasts. And no man has been

elevated to it. And the Lord Christ, may He be

glorified said about it “No one has ascended to

heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is,

the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (Jn 3:13).

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And we better, while in these holy days, have our

meditations on heaven, our relation to it and our

destiny in it.

_In Prayer_

When we pray we raise our eyes to above, to

heaven. Why? And we say “Our Father who art in

Heaven”… Although God is everywhere, in Heaven

and in Earth and in what is between them…

But we do so because God, may His name be

blessed, as He has the passion of the fatherhood, He

also has glory greatness and highness. So His

solemnity may always be before our eyes in spite of

our closeness to it in love as children.

And the statement the heavenly Father or your

Father who art in heaven, is repeated many times in

the holy Bible, and we take from it the same

meditation and meaning…

And we find the same sign in the heavenly host

praise on the time the Lord was incarnated when they

said “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace,

goodwill toward men” (Lk 2:14). As if they are

emphasizing that He who “made Himself of no

reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and

coming in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7), and was

born in a manager… But He has glory in the highest…

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_In Giving_

Giving is also associated with Heaven. The Lord

says on that:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…

but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Mt

6:19,20). And here giving is not only offered on Earth

but mostly it is saved in Heaven. It is offered to the

Lord Christ Himself in Heaven. That on which He said:

“for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty

and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you

took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me”…And

also said: "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you

did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did

it to Me.” (Mt 25:34-40).

And He says about giving in secret: “do not do

your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by

them. Otherwise you have no reward from your

Father in heaven.” (Mt 6:1, 2). But the charitable

deed should be in secret, and your Father who sees in

secret will Himself reward you openly…

And what is the charity deed payback? The Lord

says in Prophet’s Malachi’s Book “If I will not open for

you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such

blessing That there will not be room enough to

receive it” (Ml 3:10).

So the charitable deed is offered to heaven, and

the heavenly Father sees it and rewards on it by

opening for you the windows of heaven and pouring

out for you the heaven’s blessings.

As we should not forget God’s giving to us which

He brought from heaven: Manna and Quails.

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_In Hardship _

In hardships we have no place to turn to but

heaven, we resort to it. And regardless of how many

doors are seen shut before us, we remember from the

bible the saying of St. John the divine “I looked, and

behold, a door standing open in heaven” (Rv


This door is that which the Lord said about that it

“opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one

opens” (Rv 3:7): “I have set before you an open

door, and no one can shut it” (Rv 3:8).

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_The Sin _

The sin is also directed to heaven. And so in the

repentance of the lost son he said to his father “I

have sinned against heaven and before you” (Lk

15: 18, 21).

And here we see that sin is too wrongful, because

it is first of all directed to the Heavenly Father: as a

disobedience to Him, free from love and a rejection to

the work of His Holy Spirit. And thus we see that

Prophet David did not say I sinned against Uriah the

Hittite, or against his wife Bathsheba, but he said in

the psalm: “Against You, You only, have I sinned, And

done this evil in Your sight” (Ps 51:4).

Also when the sin was offered to Joseph the

virtuous and he refrained from it he said: “How then

can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

(Gn 39:9).

So long as the sin is against God and His Heaven,

then its forgiveness comes from there. And so the

Lord says: “your Father in heaven may also forgive

you your trespasses” (Mk 11:25) and says “there is

joy in the presence of the angels of God over one

sinner who repents.” (Lk 15:10). The heaven that

awaits the repentance of the sinner and helps him do

it of course rejoices his repentance.

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_Obedience and Good Deeds_

God wants of us obedience like that which is in

heaven: and so He taught us in the Lord’s prayer to

say “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”.

That is because God’s will in heaven is done precisely,

quickly and without discussion and it was said about

God’s angels in heaven “Who excel in strength, who

do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.” (Ps


And about good deeds, the Lord said “Let your

light so shine before men, that they may see your

good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt

5:16). So the aim of our good deeds is to glorify our

Father who is in heaven.

But all good deed in its whole is doing the

heavenly Father’s will. And on that the Lord said “For

whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My

brother and sister and mother” (Mt 12:50) meaning

that he who does it becomes a member of the

heavenly family.

And what about the reward of doing good deeds?

The Lord says “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for

great is your reward in heaven” (Mt 5:12). And

says on another occasion: “but rather rejoice because

your names are written in heaven.” (Lk 10:20).

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_The Keys of Heavenly Kingdom_

It is excessively joyful that God gave the keys to

the Heavenly Kingdom to His Disciples, the saints,

and to whom He trusted on the pasturing His people.

So He did this with His disciple St. Peter (Mt 16:15)

and with the twelve when He told them: “whatever

you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and

whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in

heaven.” (Mt 18:18).

And He repeated that to them after His

Resurrection as He “He breathed on them, and said to

them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins

of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins

of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:22, 23).

But He rebuked the Jews Chiefs who put on

people heavy loads from commandments and told

them “But woe to you… For you shut up the kingdom

of heaven against men; for you neither go in

yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering

to go in.” (Mt 23:13).

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_The Second Coming_

When the Lord Christ Rose to Heaven and while

His disciples were looking at Him, two angels stood by

them in white apparel and told them: “Men of Galilee,

why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same

Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will

so come in like manner as you saw Him go into

heaven.” (Ac 1:11).

Therefore, we look to the heaven that the Lord

Christ will come from and takes us to Him. The bible

says: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every

eye will see Him” (Rv 1:7) and “we who are alive and

remain shall be caught up together with them in the

clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall

always be with the Lord” (1 Th 4:17).

Truly, how beautiful is His coming with all the

holy angels with Him (Mt 15:31).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

_Where Our Eternal Destiny is_

We care for heaven because it is going to be our

eternal destiny, and that’s why the Lord has talked

many times about the Heavenly Kingdom and gave

many parables in which He said: “The kingdom of

heaven is like…” and many are in (Mt 13, Mt 25).

And St. Paul the Apostle said “For we know that if

our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a

building from God, a house not made with hands,

eternal in the heavens.” (2 Co 5:1). Here and we say

may Jehovah’s Witnesses and Adventists be ashamed

for asking for an Earthly Kingdom, and that the

redeemed will build in the new earth houses and live

in them.

While the bible teaches us that we will live in

Heavenly Jerusalem “the tabernacle of God is with

men” (Rv 21:3).

And this New Heaven “There shall be no night

there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the

Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign

forever and ever.” (Rv 22:5) and “They shall see His

face, and His name shall be on their foreheads” (Rv


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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

||    Prayer of the First Hour    ||    Third Hour    ||    Sixth Hour    ||    Ninth Hour    ||    Vespers (Eleventh Hour)    ||    Compline (Twelfth Hour)    ||    The First Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Second Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Third Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Prayer of the Veil    ||    Various Prayers from the Agbia    ||    Synaxarium