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

Reasons behind leaving the first love




One of the reasons behind Spiritual Weakness might be: the routine of the spiritual life, the fact that it is not growing and the conscience carelessness.


Routine and no growth:


The spiritual heat rules over the heart of the

repenting person because he feels the big

difference between his life in repentance and his

former life in sin.

He feels that he started getting to know the lord

and His way. Feeling that change, he gets filled up

with heat. Some sects even call this change


But if this new life got ruled by routine again

the heart heat will cool.

The one style might bring sleep sometimes…

You have to feel ongoing change in your life and

movement in it.

The change should not only be

accompanying repentance but should continue

for the whole life. It should be a change to the

best, a growth and a reaching forward to what’s


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Repentance is not a stage that you only pass by

but it is for the whole lifetime… And so is change in

your life… Everyday you evolve and your knowledge

of the Lord grows, and your knowledge about yourself

also grows. How can this be?

God, in His love, does not reveal all your sins

and imperfections at the beginning of your

repentance so that you do not fall in desperation

and feel that the road is hard to go through.

But he first reveals the horrible sins so that you

confess them… You might be tired of a big sin like

adultery, robbery, lying, cursing, oppressing… And

when you get rid of it, you think you have repented

and that your life has changed and you got to know

the Lord…

During that you forget about other sins that are

still inside of you without you feeling them…

Therefore the wise repenting person always searches

inside himself to reveal its weakness and

imperfections and repent for them.

And with that inspection for the small sins,

one lives the life of circumspectness. And with

continual repenting a person goes into the life

of contrition that brings him the passion.

And such person continually keeps on trying to

repair himself and keep growing and his life gets

better everyday…

If you do not go forward everyday then you

are prone to going backwards. Spiritual life is an

ongoing moving life that never stops.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

􀂙 An example of that is the repenting person’s

attitude towards prayer…

Before repenting, you did not use to pray, but if

you started to pray and stopped at that level, your

life will cool. But the spiritual person grows:

He trains on understanding, meditating, being deep in

prayer and praying submissively whether spiritually or

physically and trains also on submissive prayer

remembering his sins. He makes himself get used to

praying passionately and with longing to God and

with love… His conscience reproaches him if he loses

one of these elements.

His conscience used to rebuke him if he does

not reach where he wanted. But now his

conscience reproaches him in spite of his

prayers because it is not as spiritual as it should


After that comes the training on continuously

praying, during work, on the road, in every interview

or meeting and on the beginning of every action…

And prayer becomes more serious and with an aim

and not only a routine. And the person praying feels

that he is in the presence of God and feels the

connection he has with Him…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And if he was absorbed by prayer it leads

him to silence because talking delays him; and

silence leads him to solitude because being

among people embarrasses him…

He experiences continual speaking with prayer

words, and prayer meanings get revealed to him. This

makes new meditation every time and the prayer

words get sweeter to him until he cannot leave his


With all this growth he feels more his

imperfection in praying.

How far is he still from prophets’ prayers that

used to move out the place, the prayer of Elijah that

used to open the heaven, David’s prayer that

contained granting and the prayers of saints that did

miracles? How far is he from the high prayer levels

and from being wonder-struck by God?!


If you put in front of you a real program for

spiritualities in its depth and you measure

yourself to the high levels, you will always feel

that you did not reach them yet…

We lose the passion sometimes because our

spiritual measures are limited.

Only one or two psalms are sufficient to make us

ease our conscience and might even make us feel

that we are righteous, while in fact our prayers are

still shallow and weak!!

You can feel the prayer sweetness when you

love prayer more than anything else; and then

everything else become insignificant for you

when compared to it.

A person, who always aims to reach forward for

what is ahead, becomes full of passion because

movement generates heat. And the one who does not

move becomes cold and weak.



 Among the reasons that lead to weakness in

spiritual life is caring only for worshipping

and leaving purity of the heart… How can

that be?

In spite of his worship, there might be a little

pride in his heart, self righteousness, lack of love for

the neighbor, lack of faith or lack of trust… And he

does not care, thinking that worshipping deeds are


Back, when you were in the world, the big

sins fought you. But now you fight sins that you

think are small. That is why we find in the Song

of Solomon the saying: “Catch us the foxes, The

little foxes that spoil the vines…”.


But even some sins come to us in sheep’s



They take the form of virtues while they are sins!!

How does that happen?

Anger may take the form of sacred zeal. So that a

person gets angry and rages, might even curse,

rebuke, flare up, intensify and convict others and fill

the world with noise and thinks that he does that all

for God!!


He might even mention verses that justify

his attitude so that his conscience does not

rebuke him!

The bible says: “Convince, rebuke, exhort”. And

mentions that the Lord Jesus Christ held the whip and

cleared the temple. Also mentions his saying: “Woe to

you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites!”. And they

quote St Paul the Apostle when saying: “O foolish

Galatians!” and the Baptist says: “Serpents, brood of

vipers!”... And they do not remember from the bible

anything other than that…!!

He, in his own eyes, is a new Baptist and a

new Elijah who can say: “Let fire come down

from heaven and consume the fifty”. And in all

that he loses his humility.


In the past, when he was far from God, he was

hard-hearted, intense and violent to the extent that

people get annoyed from his hardness. And he thinks

that he repented and got changed by abandoning

some of his obvious sins… But till now he is still too

harsh… Judges people harshly inside the church… And

it seems as if people of the world are more sensitive,

gentler and politer than he is.

What is strange about that is that his

conscience does not rebuke him. The devil has

taken the form of an angel of light and the sin

has taken the name of a virtue!

Conviction has taken the name of reform and

strictness has taken the name of circumspectness and

angry attitude has carried the name of zeal… And

verses started giving a good cover for sins!!

The conscience has become so flexible that it can

swallow so many sins…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The most astonishing of all is that this

person might commit a sin and the vanishing

glory still fights him.

With all his cruelty, and judging others, and his

loud rebuking for everyone, he still sees himself as

the only one implementing the verse "And have no

fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but

rather expose them" (Eph 5:11).

There is a big difference between one person and

another: the first one is nominated by God to rebuke

people, the Holy Spirit is rebuking people on his

tongue, with divine words, examples of which are

Elijah and Simon, and another person rebuking

people with a cruel heart and a harsh tongue,

because he has bad habits and didn't repent yet…


This person as he justifies his sin, he

justifies his laziness in worship

Like he justifies his sin using examples and verses

from the bible that do not apply to him, he justifies

his laziness in: prayers, contemplations, spiritual

readings, by the excuse of being busy in the service!!

My advice to such people is as follows:

Refuse every new virtue that you acquire

that is a destroyer to another one which you

already posses, and say to yourself: I don't

want it, it is not from God.

The righteousness which God grants you doesn't

destroy another one that you already have, but builds

on it for God's deeds do not destroy one another…

Satan, the wise in evil, as was written about the

serpent "Now the serpent was more cunning than any

beast of the field" (Gn 3:1), destroys whatever

virtues he finds in you promising you with others… He

destroys your meekness under the cover of zeal,

and takes away your prayers under the cover of

the service… then in turn makes you lose the

blessings of both zeal and the service by judging

others and anger…

If Satan tells you: leave your humbleness aside,

so that you might reprove, rebuke, exhort, tell him I

do not want that reproving, I am leaving it to leaders.

If he tells you are now a leader and have

responsibilities, you are not young anymore, tell him:

I would like to stay young my whole life.


Satan fights everyone: he fights the sons of

the world by sin and lust. He fights sons of God

by virtues… a virtue that destroys another one!!

As for you may your life be built on the

foundation of humbleness on which all your

spiritual life should be built on as well… this

humbleness warms up your spiritual life, hence you

will grow in the knowledge of God, the knowledge

that gives depth to your love not that makes you lose

your way into dark misleading subways…

Climb up the ladder of virtues, slowly, wisely

and with counseling, don't climb up a step until you

make sure that your feet are well fixed in the

previous step. Every single step that is built on the

prior to it does not contradict or destroy it.

Let your spiritual work be done

consecutively, for that Satan's deeds are never

so, they are so disorganized.


There are reasons for leaving the first love:

Sometimes leaving the first love is due to

fear, like when Peter denied Jesus. When the

shepherd is stricken, the sheep of flock scatter, then

whoever escapes escape, and whoever denies deny.

It is also possible that a person might leave

his first love because of Satan's fights.

Although the heart that is full of love always wins

over Satan's wars, so even if Satan appears to him in

dreams or visions, he refuses to believe those

dreams, as not every vision or dream is from God!!

And likewise he refuses the thoughts, doubts and


It is possible that leaving the first love is

because one's heart is turned away to another.

Like when a father leaves the love of the children

of his first wife for the love of his second wife; his

heart has deviated, and love has deviated with it.

He might leave his first love because his false

explanation for some situations.

Or because the one he loved did not fulfill his

aims, and he deals with God the same way…


God considers leaving the first love as a fall,

and He gives a warning.

He says "or else I will come to you quickly and

remove your lampstand from its place - unless you

repent." (Rev 2:5)

May God give us to repent and go back to our

first love.

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