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

In the Beginning

-The Sentence "in the Beginning"--:


The Genesis Book starts with the statement "In

the beginning God created the heavens and the

earth…" for he talks about the beginning of creation…

Also talks about the beginning of humans life, the

beginning of sin, the beginning of punishment, then

the beginning of life on Earth, and the beginning of

prophecies about the coming of Jesus Christ, then the

beginning of the story of Abraham and the story of

David… etc.


The sentence "in the beginning" in Genesis

means the timely beginning.

But the sentence "in the beginning" in St.

John bible means (in eternity). Meaning before

the timing, where he talks about the eternity of the

Master Christ and his Godhood so he says:

"In the beginning (eternity) was the Word (the

Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word

was God." Then he talks about the incarnation and

says "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among

us, and we beheld His glory…" that is because

incarnation is the beginning of the salvation story.

Therefore, when Samaan the Elder saw the Master

Christ in flesh said "Lord, now You are letting Your

servant depart in peace… For my eyes have seen Your

salvation" (Lk 2:29, 30). And St. John continues in

following the incarnation story and says that in spite

of the fact that world was made through Him, He was

in the world through incarnation and the world did not

know Him. And He came to His own, and His own did

not receive Him (Jn 1:10, 11). And he continues in

telling the incarnation story until he ends with telling

the salvation through blood on the cross.

And since I was so touched by the statement, (in

the beginning), I decided to take it as a title for my


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

-God in the beginning of your life with Him-

God executed the sentence (in the beginning) in

your relationship with Him. Your life with God started

with baptism. And this is God's grace that you get

born a new birth of water and Spirit that you are not

the cause of. Then your relationship started with the

Holy Spirit through the Holy Myron (Chrism) when the

Holy Spirit started dwelling in you and this is a very

important point that you have to remember. Then the

beginning of your relationship with the Eucharist

Sacrament… All this happened since your childhood

and all these are God's graces bestowed on you.

What about your spiritual life too. No doubt

that God started with it and lead you to

repentance and lead you also to the church and

attending its meetings.

And as an example for God's beginning the

spiritual work with us: the example of Saul of Tarsus

who had God in his life since the beginning for He

called him from his mother's womb (Gal 1:15) then

He called him on his way to Damascus and rebuked

him for persecuting the church (Ac 9), so he

repented. And God at the beginning called him and

separated him for the service (Ac 13:2). And God

made him an apostle. All these are matters that God

started and made. And all Saul's work was that he

responded to God's work from the beginning. So from

the beginning God was in his life…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Same with you too, God was in the

beginning of your spiritual life.

He is the One who awakened you with His Spirit,

convicted you of sin, and lead you to repentance and

to confession and taking communion. And you,

without Him, would have been able to do nothing (Jn

15:5). So do not forget all this. Do not forget that

God was on the beginning of your spiritual life and He

called you to go on His ways.

Therefore, in all what is related to your life,

remember God's work in you from the beginning and

say: "It is not me, but God who works in me" and

"not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1

Co 15:10). Because if it was not for God's grace, you

would have never been able to take one step on the

way of repentance, neither on your whole spiritual


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Therefore, make God's statement "in the

beginning" apply to everything you do:

Let God be in the beginning of your day, so that

He becomes the first person you talk to in your day.

And let God be in the beginning of your eating and

drinking. So do not eat anything before you make the

sign of the cross on it first and ask God to bless your

food and drink.

Also let God be in the beginning of your

going out from your home, and in the beginning

of your return to it.

So when you leave your home, pray that God

may be with you in the beginning of this day, and

save you in it. And pray that he save you all that day

without sin… And in your return to your home pray to

God before you go in and tell Him: bless, O God, my

coming back. And make me assure on all my relatives


filling up and to take help from God with which he

serves and ask God to guide him on how his service

should be. After that he goes to serve…

In the same way, we see that the Lord Christ, in

spite of the fact that Godhood was constant in Him,

He did not start His service until He spent a retreat

period with the Father in the wilderness, and after

that He went down from the mountain to serve. And

so did John the Baptist, before he start his service, he

spent long years in the wilderness, until he was filled

with God's Spirit, although he was filled with the Holy

Spirit from his mother's belly (Lk 1:17).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

-God in the beginning of the Church Ritual-

When you enter the church: in the beginning you

go and worship in front of the altar and pray, and

then you sit down and listen… And so does the priest

as well, when he enters the church, he goes first and

meets the altar before he meets the congregation…

We also notice that in the Lord's prayer God

comes in the beginning: we first ask that His name be

hallowed; His Kingdom come and His will be done.

Then we ask for our own requests… And so the Lord

said to us: "seek first the kingdom of God and His

righteousness, and all these things shall be added to


There are people who when they pray, start with

listing their requests without giving Glory to God and

praising Him! And unfortunately do not put God in the


and hear about them or from them no news that

would make me sad. Then go into your home with a

prayer and thank God for your safe return… And do

not be like those who go out and come in without God

being in their memory or talking, neither in their

minds nor their hearts too!!

Make God in the beginning concerning your

work, so do not start it without a prayer but say to

the Lord once you enter your work place: "Be with

me, O Lord, in all what I do, and grant me honesty

and accuracy in my work, and make me trustworthy

in the eyes of everyone. And grant me success in all

what I do…" I say this because it happens a lot that

we enter our workplace without taking God with us in

it! And we think that the matter is just a mere

relationship between us and our work owners or

between us and the country! Without us thinking that

God is the work owner of all the work and He is the

Supervisor on it!

Let God be also in the beginning of your

readings: so before you read any spiritual reading,

make the sign of the cross on yourself and pray

saying: O Lord, give me understanding from You,

make me get affected with what I read and act upon

what I read. But also say to Him: Help me God to

select the type of reading that is useful for me, and

give me grace from you in this reading so that it is for

my spiritual usefulness…

Also let God be in the beginning of every

entertainment you enjoy. And say to the Lord in

the beginning: Does that type of entertainment

conform to Your will? Or is it against Your will so I

should not do it…

And the conclusion is, make God participate with

you in every action you take so that it conforms to

His will.

Also let God be in the beginning for you from

the side of importance.

And here God comes in the place of the self. As

St. Paul the apostle said: "it is no longer I who live,

but Christ lives in me" and "not I, but the grace of

God which was with me…" And so the self ends from

you and God becomes everything for you.

So, in everything you do, let God be in the

beginning. And ask first: God does this work

consents You or is it against Your will? Make sure to

get God's consent on all what you do. And ask for

God's help before you do anything. And say: with

Your grace God, not I but the grace of God which

works with me.

And in your service let God be in the beginning

with you before you meet the served ones. Our main

flaw in the service is that we go to it without taking

God with us!

Before you go to the service, you are supposed to

pray with humility before God and say: O Lord, I am

going to serve, grant me the grace with which I

serve, and grant the served ones understanding,

acceptance and responding. For it is not with the

fluency of speech, neither with the abundance of

information people can be served but with Your Holy

Spirit that works in them… So God comes in the

beginning of the service and before meeting the

served ones.

And this is what happens to the new priest.

He does not start his service immediately after his

ordination. But for God to be in the beginning before

the service, this new priest goes to spend a retreat

period with God before this. It becomes a period for

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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