H.H. POPE SHENOUDA III
One of the useful practices during fasting is memorizing by which we mean memorizing psalms, prayers, chants and hymns and also memorizing verses and extracts from the Bible.
By memorizing, you keep yourself busy with something that is spiritually useful.
By memorizing, you plant in your subconscious and in your memory spiritual matters that could be of benefit when you remember later on.
By memorizing, you feel you are in a spiritual atmosphere, just like that of prayer and you get a chance to contemplate on what you learned.
By memorizing verses from the Bible, you'll be able to find an answer to any thought that comes to your mind, You'll also obtain an enlightened heart regarding divine matters and religious studies. The Bible becomes inside you.
By memorizing psalms and prayers, you'll be able to pray all the time, in any situation and at any place, even among people. There would not be any need to open a book or to reveal your prayers.
By memorizing, you'll be able to pray while walking in the street or while on public transport. You'll be able to pray while you are with people talking about matters that do not concern you. You sit quietly, repeating the prayers you learned. They would think you are listening while in fact you will be praying within your heart, without anyone noticing you!
By memorizing, you'll be able to pray in the dark and entertain yourself by contemplating while on a trip or a long walk.
As a suggested
programme for memorizing, one may start by the common parts in the Agpeya such
as the Thanksgiving prayer, Psalm 51 and the Trisagion, then move to some
psalms, passages, absolutions and Gospels from the seven prayers, whatever
pleases one's heart...
One may also memorize some known parts from the Bible such as (1 Cor. 13) about love, or (Rom. 12) or (1Thess. 5: 12-28), or (Phil. 3: 7-14).
As for the young, they may learn to memorize many verses according to the alphabetical order besides some chants, hymns and Agpeya prayers that suit their level of understanding.
Competitions could be held at Sunday Schools or attempting common reciting among friends.
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