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

The Spiritually Dead Person





Not only the body needs to be raised, but also the soul needs to be raised from death. St. Augustine says: “The death of the body is the separation of the soul from the body and the death of the soul is the separation of the soul from God”.

So if the soul gets separated from God, it will be

considered spiritually dead.

And so says the apostle: You “were dead in

trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). And he says also

“when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive

together with Christ” (Eph 2:5).

And the Lord says in the Revelation book to the

pastor of Sardis Church: “you have a name that you

are alive, but you are dead” (Rev 3:1). Meaning the

body is alive and the soul is dead.

The bible also says about the widow who lives in

pleasure that she “is dead while she lives” (1 Ti 5:6).

And the father said in the return of the lost son “my

son was dead and is alive again” (Lk 15:24). And the

apostle says in calling the sinner to repent “Awake,

you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will

give you light” (Eph 5:14). And so he has considered

the sinner among the dead and in need for rising from


A dead of that kind needs rising. The poet says

about such a person:

He is not dead who died and rested

The dead is the living dead\It shows that he is

alive but dead. Another poet said about those who

are not affected by words of wisdom and good


You would have been heard if you called a living

But there is no life for who you are calling

So, there is that kind of people who appear to be

alive in accordance to his body but from God’s point

of view, he is dead.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

This does not only apply to the sinner with a clear

sin… But it might be possible that a person is a

servant and at the same time too far from God! As

one of the spiritual writers says: “You have lost your

life in serving the Lord’s House. So, when will you

care about the Lord of the House?!”

He describes a person who is too busy with

many matters in service and his lost spiritual

life is lost!

He is like a machine that works but has no soul!

Such a person might be spiritually dead. But

unfortunately he does not feel that he is dead, nor

does he realize that he is need for cure!

“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead” that

what the apostle says to him. But he does not feel

that he is asleep nor does he realize that he is dead…

The dead loses his body heat. And so is the

spiritually dead, he loses his spiritual heat… He

loses what he had of zeal, enthusiasm and

spiritual motive…

He no more at all has a desire or internal

eagerness for spiritualities… He might pray, but he

does not feel that in his prayer he has a connection

between him and God. He is as the Lord Christ says:

“use vain repetitions as the heathen do” (Mt 6:7).

About such a person Mar Isaac the Syrian says: “If

you are in such a state, say: I have not stood in front

of God to prepare words!!”. Such a person may pray

one or two psalms or more without feels that he had

said anything!

He is like some Jews about whom the Lord

Christ said: “This people honors Me with their

lips, But their heart is far from Me.” (Mk 7:6).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And so are the sermons for such a person, they

come into his ears but never through his heart nor to

his will… He cars about their meanings, and does not

care about its soul or implementation! Where does he

stand from the Lord Christ’s saying: “The words that I

speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (Jn 6:63).

Meaning that you should realize its soul and convert it

to a lifestyle…

As for the Holy Sacraments: Such a person

practices them; he attends liturgies, takes

communion, and maybe does that persistently. Yet all

this becomes a routine in his life, he does not take a

neither a soul nor a life from that! And so are the

Hymns: He cares for memorizing them and singing

them properly, knowing the proper rhythm and beat,

but does not take from a hymn any spiritual effect…

And so are the spiritual readings for him: he

takes them as a teacher does. As a person who writes

a strong lecture about prayer, its types and levels,

while he does not pray and does not practice the

prayer spiritualities!... Spiritualities in general,

become for him one of the sciences that he can set its

elements and bases without being a spiritual life for

him! Spiritual meetings may have also lost its effect

on him. They are activities, or it may include

meanings that he became acquainted with, and in no

need for more of knowledge in them!

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Yet he is active and interested in the church. Such a

person reminds me of the Lord’s saying to Martha:

“you are worried and troubled about many

things. But one thing is needed” (Lk 10:41, 42)…

And so happens to anyone who goes into the churchly

work cycle… (I am sorry for the expression)… I mean

those who go into that cycle with no spirit… Meaning

that his spirit is not working, but his feet are running

from one place to another and his tongue does not

stop talking, but the sole is missing! And the person

thinks he is working!

This spiritually dead person needs who raises him


and needs a therapy or spiritual doctor. The strange

thing is that he is similar to psychologically ill people

who think that they are not ill. And if someone

suggests to any of them that he should see a

psychiatrist, he objects and gets angry saying: “who

is he who think I am psychologically ill?!”…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

There is a spiritually dead person from the

point that his conscience died or his internal

spiritual feeling or motive has died!!

There is no movement inside him pushing him to

spiritualities. No movement from the mind side, from

the conscience side, nor from the soul side… He has

no desire to pray. And if he prayed it is only out of

duty, so that his conscience does not repute him if he

does not pray… Or as a shame from the father of

confession when he goes to confess! He prays without

eagerness, passion, concentration or interest! And his

prayer does not go up, and has no effect in heaven,

and is not counted for him as a prayer…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

This state resembles the state of the people

in the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea.

They are neither under the Pharaoh slavery, and

the slavery pains make them call for God, nor are

they in Canaan enjoying God’s pleasures in a Land

flowing with milk and honey… But they are in state of

spiritual freezing or a spiritual lukewarmness…

Therefore, God said that none of them will enter the

Promised Land…

Therefore, the sinner finds in the humiliation of

sin what pushes him to tears and prayer heat so that

God forgives him and leads him to repentance. Also

he who reached the Godly Love and the pleasure of

God’s companionship, finds feelings that make him

help in his companionship with God in the life of the


But he who is in between, lives in lukewarmness,

he has no heat to aim for repentance and no spiritual

pleasure heat in getting attached to the Lord.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

How can a person then get the spiritual heat

after quenching his inside spirit flame?

That is what the apostle warned us from

saying: “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Th 5:19).

Meaning, do not quench the spiritual heat that is

inside you…

So, a person must go back to his eagerness to

God and to the spirit life… As a person who loves God

from all his heart, and his heart is burning with his

love to God longing to monastical life to live always

with God… Then after he is dressed with monastical

clothes, the love flame inside him starts going off…

The monastery life then does not affect him anymore,

as it was when he was living in the world…

This situation happened sometimes with

reverend fathers in their relation to God’s

altar… They feeling in the past, before ordination,

was deep solemnity towards God’s altar, so that one

worships in strong dignity before entering the altar.

And when he is inside, he stands in dignity and

reverence. Then after one becomes a priest, he

stands in the altar as he stands in any normal place.

Solemnity has gone and he talks to this and that.

What has happened? Has the first flame started to

quench?! Has the first solemnity changed and no

more became as it was before!

That’s why many people do not take communion

much, and do not go much to the altar, so that they

keep inside them the solemnity and the reverence of

the place and it does not become for them a usual

place! They do so to also keep the reverence of the

Holy Sacraments and the must of getting deeply

prepared for them. As St Rowais (Abba Tiji) said “A

person who is taking communion must have his inside

like the inside of Virgin Mary who carried the Lord

inside of her…”

The important thing for a person is to keep his

spiritual heat and the burning of the spirit inside him.

Keep his relationship with God from getting

lukewarm, and his spirit from dying.


The topic of (Sprit’s Death) was not said by

the Lord to normal or secular people only, but

was also said to great pastors who were called

by Him as church angels.

So he said to the angel of the church of Sardis

“you have a name that you are alive, but you are

dead” (Rev 3:1). And said to the angel of the church

of Ephesus “Remember therefore from where you

have fallen; repent” although he was a great saint

who labored a lot for God and never got weary (Rev

2:3-5)… The Lord also said to the angel of the

Laodiceans “because you are lukewarm… I will vomit

you out of My mouth” (Rev 3:14)… So he pointed out

the lukewarmness even with great church servants…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Look how when the bible talked about the

Lord’s raising of the dead, it pointed out three

specific miracles of which each has a special


􀂙 Jairus’ daughter: The Lord raised her from death

while she was still at her father’s house and not

yet out of it. She symbolizes those who die

spiritually while they are still in the church and

not separated from it. That’s why he said "she is

not dead, but sleeping." (Lk 8:52). And after He

raised her, He commanded that she be given

something to eat because this type needs spiritual


􀂙 The second type is the son of the widow of Nain:

The Lord raised him while he was dead in a coffin

on the way while his mother was weeping over

him. He symbolizes those people who went out of

the church and the church is weeping over them.

Even this type was raised from death by the Lord.

The bible says after that that the Lord “presented

him to his mother” (Lk 7:15). Meaning that He

returned him to the membership of the church

once again. Returned him to the believers’ body…

􀂙 The third type, and it is the most serious one, is

raising Lazarus after being buried for four days

(Jn 11). Days have passed by while he was in the

grave, until people lost hope that he will be

raised. Even to the extent that his sister, one of

his most loved ones, said about him that there

will be stench. He symbolizes the person who is

spiritually dead, has separated from the church

and people lost hope in him being saved after it

has been so long since the time he was lost. This

too was raised by the Lord Christ. And the Lord

said “Loose him”, as a symbol to those who need


loosing from the ties that tie them to total loss.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

This spiritually dead person, who is out of

his hyperactivity feels that he is not dead, and

does not need cure… He needs a push from


God may allow him a tough trial, that takes him

away from his activities to stay alone with himself for

a while and think of how much he is in need for God

and needs a treatment…

As a patient he gets into the recovery room so

that he gets an X-ray to know what is inside of him.

They might find into him some external body that

needs removal by a surgery so that he gets healed.

They might find that it is better for him to get blood

transfusion with a new pure blood, or maybe more

glucose, iron, oxygen, or maybe vitamins… This is

how it is with those in need for treatment.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

We notice that most people fight with all their

strength to have a role in the church service.

And when they start serving, we see that they

start caring for the service more than they care

for their spiritual life! And this is how they get

lukewarmness and they might even get lost!

Therefore, every servant has to care for his

spiritual childhood and preserve it as the Lord says:

“unless you are converted and become as little

children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of

heaven” (Mt 18:3). And so, in spite of his service, one

should continue inside the church like a student:

learning and training himself, feeling that he is in

need for repentance, humility and self control, and

caring for himself following the apostle’s words “let

him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Co


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Beautiful and deep is this statement by St Paul

the apostle to his disciple Bishop Timothy, that says:

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.

Continue in them, for in doing this you will save

both yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Ti


See how he told him “take heed to yourself”

before he brings his attention to his responsibility in

teaching the doctrine and taking heed of it… He also

says to him “continue in them”, meaning left that be

a spiritual system that he always lives by…

Not because you have become a bishop and a

pastor for others, you consider yourself that you have

become responsible for others and not for yourself!

Take heed of yourself first… And why do so? “for in

doing this you will save yourself…”. Maybe our

brothers, the Protestants, say: Has not St Timothy be

saved yet?!... No doubt he needed to take care of his

salvation and keep on doing that, no matter how

higher ranks he gets to…

And in doing so he saves those who hear him too.

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