Friday, February 04, 2011

Egypt and the turning point of history.

Over the last couple of weeks we've been following the growing turmoil in Egypt. There are many questions: What is happening? Where is it all going? What does it all mean?

There is also a question about what led to its eruption.

For live coverage, Al Jazeera has an English language web cast available here.

Israel's Haaritz News service has produced a thought provoking deliberation about the place of the Egyptian revolution in the context of the broader Middle Eastern history and the decay of Western hegemony. It is available here under the title "The Arab revolution and Western decline". It is well worth a slow and careful reading.

Of great concern is the fate of Egypt's Christian community, particularly the Coptic Christian community, as events continue to unfold.

The Copts, after all, are the original indigenous population of Egypt, still remembering the old Egyptian language, and having the only other Pope historically recognized by title other than the Patriarch of Rome.

Prayers should be offered for the Egyptians and other Middle Eastern nations currently experiencing the tidal wave of change and uncertainty as events transpire.

Prayers for the non-Moslem population of the region should also be offered as the Copts and other Christians and religious minorities have much to hope for and much to fear as today drifts into a tomorrow that no human hand has yet written. For too many centuries these populations have lived the second-class citizen status that is little more than slavery by another name.

St Mark, St Cyril, St Antony and all Desert Fathers pray for us.


Catherine Alexander said...

Thanks for the reading recommendations! I join my humble prayers to your own.

Anonymous said...

This is unrelated to the post, but I am trying to start praying the Byzantine Divine Hours. I dont think the book you recomended is available as I talked to the store and the Eparchy and they dont know when more will be in stock or produced. So my question is, do you have a recommendation for an alternative for a newbie to that particular office? (Currently I am using the monastic diurnal by the Benedictians from St. Michaels in England.)
Thanks Father,

The Byzantine Rambler said...

The Byzantine Rambler said...
Sorry for the delay in replying - I used to receive an email notification, but no longer....

I am assuming you are referring to the Horologion recently revised by the Melkite Eparchy of Newton. If so, it is still available. If you mean the edition published by the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy, I have no clue as to its current publication status.

A somewhat expensive alternative would be to order the Great Horologion and Psalter According to the Seventy, both published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. It would take some getting used to, and it would not be 'handy', but these two volumes would provide you with most of the basics - excluding the Octoechos and Menaia hymns. You would have the basic Troparia, common prayers and hymns, and - of course - the Psalms.

That all said, I might suggest you contact a good Eastern Priest, enter into a good conversation and see what he suggests.

May God bless your searching!