Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Reading Recommended by His Grace

The Holy Fifty Joyous Days

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

The reading recommended for the Holy Fifty Joyous Days is the complete Holy Bible.

St. Isaac the Syrian said, "Without reading the intellect has no means of drawing near to God: Scripture draws the mind up and sets it at every moment in the direction of God; it baptizes it from this corporeal world with its insights and causes it to be above the body continually. There no other toil by which someone can make better progress. Provided that person is reading Scripture for the sake of truth, these sorts of things he will discover from it" (The Spiritual World of St. Isaac the Syrian by Hilarion Alfeyev pg. 175).

Therefore let us rise with our risen Lord and raise our thoughts above the things of the earth to heavenly matters and experience these days in the depth of the Holy Scriptures. May God grant us the grace of understanding - "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27), that we may say with the disciples, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32).

If you feel that such a thing is difficult to incorporate with your daily schedule, I would like to share with you a final thing, from St. John Chrysostom:

"What are you saying, man? That attending to the Scriptures is not for you, since you are surrounded by a multitude of cares? Rather it is for you more than for them. They do not need the help of the divine Scriptures as much as those do who are involved in many occupations. The monks, who are released from the clamor of the marketplace and have fixed their huts in the wilderness, who own nothing in common with anyone, but practice wisdom without fear in the calm of the quiet life, as if resting in a harbor, enjoy great security; but we, as if tossing in the midst of the sea, driven by a multitude of sins, always need continuous and ceaseless aid of the Scriptures. They rest far from the battle, and so they do not receive many wounds; but you stand continuously in the front rank, and you receive continual blows. So you need more remedies."

God bless you.

Bishop Youssef
Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States