Monday, 22 April 2013

My sister, be fully nourished by the teachings of your Church - Diary from the Wilderness

On the morning of the 6th of July, 1990 at eleven o’clock in the morning, I was in the courtyard with a family of three men with their wives and children that visits the monastery quite often. I sat with my dear guests and while they were drinking their tea one of the wives asked me a question, “Is it permissible for me to go to the non-Orthodox Churches?” I asked her, “And why would you?!” she replied, “So that I can listen to their sermons and to know the explanations of the Holy Bible.” I said, “I would like to give you an example from your personal life as the wife of your home. When your husband and children ask to go eat at your neighbors, how will you feel? Will you not feel abandoned and disheartened by your husband and children’s action?” She said, “Of course I will feel that I am lacking in my household and at the same time will be upset by my husband and children’s behavior.”

I told her, “We also feel abandoned and disheartened when our children go to the other Churches to listen to their interpretations of the Scriptures. As you are keen on preparing what is good and useful for your husband and children so that they are not compelled to go to other places to eat there, likewise we also are keen in our Church on preparing what is good and useful for her sons and daughters so that they are not compelled to go to other Churches with the excuse of gaining further knowledge. First my sister, be fully nourished by the teachings of your Church so that you are not in need of going to other Churches. Go to your Church, confess, take communion, listen to the sermons, attend the revivals the Church organizes during the Fast. If you do this you will not feel the same way you feel right now about going to other non-Orthodox Churches.”

And at around one o’clock in the afternoon I bid my dear guests farewell in the peace of the Lord.
Hegumen Augustinos El-Baramosy, Diary from the Wilderness

Translated by Michael Daoud


  1. What if it's out of curiosity?

  2. Good question Mr. Stizzle, and in that case, there is no distinction between attending a mosque, bhuddist temple, or satanist camp, since all fall under the band of non-orthodox places of worship :D Curiosity has no limits I suppose.

  3. I believe the logic here is faulty. You could replace "non-Orthodox churches" with "other Orthodox churches" or "other Coptic churches", and nothing in the argument would change. But you wouldn't suggest that it is also wrong to go to any other Coptic church other than your own church, would you?