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22 Baounah 1736

Day 22 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Baounah, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.

Twenty-Second Day of the Blessed Month of Baounah

Consecration of the Church of Saints Cosmas, Damian, Their Mother, and Brothers

      On this day, the church celebrates the consecration of the church of St. Cosmas (Kozman), Damian, their brothers, Anthimus, Londius, and Abrabius and their mother Theodata. They were from one of the Arab countries. Their mother feared God and was compassionate and merciful towards strangers and the needy. She became a widow, while her children were young. She raised them and taught them the fear of God. Cosmas and Damian studied medicine, and they treated the sick freely. As for their brothers, they went to the desert and became monks. When Diocletian renegaded the faith and ordered the worship of idols, he was told that Cosmas and Damian were preaching in the Name of the Lord Christ in every city and urging others not to worship the idols. He commanded them brought and delivered to the governor of the city, who tortured them with different kinds of tortures. Then he asked them the whereabouts of their brothers. Upon finding out, he brought the brothers and their mother. He ordered them to raise incense for the idols, but they refused. Then he ordered the five to be squeezed through the wheel.

      When they experienced no harm, he took them out and cast them in red-hot fire for three days and three nights then cast them in a hot steaming room. Finally, he placed them on red-hot iron beds. Through all this, the Lord strengthened and healed them. When the governor became weary of torturing them, he sent them to the Emperor who also tortured them. Their mother constantly encouraged them and comforted them. The Emperor rebuked her, and she cursed him in his presence and also cursed his idols. He ordered her head cut off, and she received the crown of martyrdom. Her body remained on the ground, no one dared to bury it, because of their fear of the Emperor. St. Cosmas screamed at those present saying, "Men of the city, is there not one merciful person among you who will cover the body of this poor old widow and bury her?" Straightway, Victor, Ebn-Romanus, came forward and took the body, shrouded it, then buried it. When the Emperor heard what Victor had done, he ordered him to be exiled to Egypt where he received the crown of martyrdom. The next day, the Emperor ordered the beheading of Sts.Cosmas, Damian, and their brothers. They received the crown of life in the Kingdom of Heaven. After the time of persecution was over, many churches were built for them, where God manifested many signs and wonders.

May their intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.


Monday, 29th June 2020 --- 22 Baounah 1736


Vespers Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 4 : 3,6,7

Chapter 4

3 But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
6 There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?" LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
7 You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.

Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Matthew the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Matthew 10 : 24 - 33

Chapter 10

24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!
26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
27 "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

And Glory be to God forever.





Matins Psalm

From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 113 : 1 - 2

Chapter 113

1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.


Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Mark the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all.

Mark 8 : 34 - 9 : 1

Chapter 8

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.
36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

Chapter 9

1 And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."

And Glory be to God forever.




Liturgy Gospel

Paulines Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God.
A reading from the Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Romans .
May his blessings be upon us.

Romans 8 : 14 - 27

Chapter 8

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The grace of God the Father be with you all.



Catholic Epistle

A Reading from Epistle 1 of St. Peter .
May his blessing be upon us.

1 Peter 2 : 11 - 17

Chapter 2

11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme,
14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--
16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.
17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

Do not love the world or the things in the world.
The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever.




Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.

Acts 19 : 11 - 20

Chapter 19

11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches."
14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?"
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.
19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God.



Divine Psalm

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel.
A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint John the Evangelist.
May His Blessings be with us all. Amen.
From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet, and the Good King.
May his blessings be with us all.

Psalms 66 : 12 - 14

Chapter 66

12 You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
13 I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows,
14 Which my lips have uttered And my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble.



Divine Gospel

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever.

Luke 21 : 12 - 19

Chapter 21

12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake.
13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;
15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.
16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.
17 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake.
18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost.
19 By your patience possess your souls.

And Glory be to God forever.

Conscious Parenting: Weekly Summary

Relationships are the primary school for love. For many people, parenting or care-giving serves as a container in which the soul, heart, body, and mind can grow. (Sunday)

Maybe, as our hearts overflow, we find that love can, naturally of its own accord, extend wider, until it encompasses caring for all things, and connection to everything—until our love becomes Love itself, the very flow and force of the universe. —Danya Ruttenberg (Monday)

Experiences of great love and great suffering can lead anyone to union. Every time you let your kids pull love out of you or when you let a relationship pull suffering out of you, you are present and surrendering to the flow. (Tuesday)

Love loves us through the tectonic shift [of becoming parents] anyway, because to love generatively is to join the dance of how everything becomes in this universe: chaos, re-order, a resurrected life that is completely “after” the version of your “before.” —Brie Stoner (Wednesday)

Interruption is the presence of God that I was so desperately trying to access in moments of stillness and silence. —Brie Stoner (Thursday)

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself. —Brené Brown (Friday)


Practice: Making Coffee

Paul Swanson—one of the hosts for CAC’s Another Name for Every Thing podcast and a father of two young children—explores how contemplation intersects with day-to-day life. [1] Many Christian monasteries follow a rhythm of “Divine Office” or “Liturgy of the Hours.” Paul reinterprets “Lauds” (a morning service often chanted at daybreak) as a ritual of making coffee. Here is his open love letter to his wife, Laura. Listen to Paul read it aloud on his own podcast, Contemplify, or read an abbreviated version below:

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I make you coffee every morning. You know this and I know this. But you don’t know how I go about this divine ritual, do you? It begins each evening before bed as you brush your teeth. The sound of bristles in running water is my invocation. I putter over to the kitchen and pull the coffee beans from the cupboard, grab the scale and measure out exactly fifty grams of coffee. . . . It takes near sixty cycles with the hand-crank grinder to complete the transformation from whole beans to a granular collective. . . .

Our bed is calling. The rite remains unfinished, but the scent of ground coffee lingers over the sleepy evening into the hope-filled morning.

Awake, O Sleeper!

Awakened by our daughter’s calling to the breaking of the day . . . she is tickled by new sunlight. Another magical hour of possibility. I put on my vestments, a bathrobe and spectacles. I take her to the kitchen: time to get the coffee started. I pour the filtered water into that fancy kettle that you thought was so funny that I just had to have it. . . . The Kiddo chatters about monkeys, breakfast, and waking you up.

Let Mama sleep. We’ll wake her later.

I pour her some cereal which she may or may not eat. The kettle whistles at me—pay attention! I pour this now boiling tap water into our pour-over coffee vessel to heat up the glass, and if I’m honest, give it a slight cleaning. . . .

Num-num, our daughter says.

Though there is no etymological basis for num-num meaning banana, I scuffle over to the bananas. I pull one off the bunch, cut it in half, and offer it to her. . . . I check the fancy kettle, still heating up.

The Kiddo is getting frustrated with the banana peel but refuses my help. That stubborn independence she gets from you, or is it me . . . no matter, I relish it. . . . I return to the coffee rites while singing “Hit the Road, Jack” as requested. She chimes in with, “What you say?” right on cue.

I empty the water from the coffee vessel (now slightly cleaner) onto any lingering dirty dishes in the sink. . . . I grab a recycled filter and pour the coffee grounds evenly into it. They await the near-boiling baptism to transfigure them from granular potential into the nectar of the gods.

I grab the fancy kettle with its precise pour spout, partnered with my astute marksmanship, to aim the water in circular motions, making the coffee grounds flower. . . . I wait and watch as the water settles the grounds into a concave shape. Waiting for the transformation from beans to brew tries my patience.

Cow’s milk? She wants milk.

The water seeps its way through the grounds, the essence retained and the quality deepened. . . . The Kiddo waits at the fridge with hands gripped on the door trying to pull it open with all her might. At two, the magnet of the fridge door proves to be beyond her strength. I open the door, and she scurries into the cool air, grabs the milk, and puts it on the floor. She hustles to her stack of glasses and locates the perfect receptacle for cow’s milk. I pour into the pink plastic cup. She puts her hand underneath the milk jug to guide my apparent unsteady hand. When satisfied, she lets go and takes a big gulp.

So cold! she shouts, bringing her balled fists to her cheeks, and then takes another swig.

I pivot back to the coffee. Again, I pour water from the fancy kettle in a circular motion over the moist grounds. I’m not quite drowning them, but I am filling them up with more than they can bear. The steady drip continues into the glass vessel.

When was the first time I made you coffee? It must have been 2008. Do you remember all of those glorious breakfast spreads we used to concoct before we were married, before we were dating, before we were us? Those memories are movie sets I visit at times such as these. I can see us clearly on that old checkered floor in the kitchen. I wonder, don’t they know they are falling in love? Can I tell him to hurry up and marry you? The stubbornness of that stubbled man so unsure of commitment, his capacity for love, or how love might transform him. Maybe I knew more than I realized. The questions were worthwhile, but it took time for me to see that the answers could only be lived into. Embodied. Breathed. My anxiety arose around the risk of commitment, for what if I were called to test the edges of my capacity for love? And I was petrified of the sweet wounds of love. I preferred the cheap veneer of infatuation. A preference which blinded me from those hidden caverns of love that teach the subtleties of the heart to see in the dark. When I thought I had all that I could bear in love, I found that love compels me to bear more, serve more, surrender more, and run my finger over the wounds of love. Who was it that said, “Love without sacrifice is theft”?

It is not only the depths of my being but in the shallows of my personality that this surrender takes part; I have found myself free to see my foibles as the aloof goof that holds imaginary arguments with you, doesn’t refill the soap dispenser, sulks when he is upset, and is a bull about locking doors. And you love me still. So another layer is peeled. In your presence, my vulnerability grows and my exposure to my depths and shallows are laid bare. Can I continue this way? To expand in the shape of our love? I see this question revealed in you too, you know.

You have taught me the fidelity of love. (I wonder what I have taught you.) This act of making you coffee is one of my practices in service to that fidelity. This process takes longer than an electric coffeemaker or walking to the coffee shop just a block away. But I like the idea of you starting the day with a creation of my love for you, whether I feel like it or not. The image of you heading out to your classroom with a roomful of students filtering in and you holding a mug containing the hand-ground, precisely poured over, slow brewed coffee that was born out of abiding love, particularly for you. Keeping your hands warm and eyes open.

I am running out of time! The coffee is close to done, but not quite. I pour another round of hot water from the fancy kettle onto the grounds.

Wake Mama up? she asks.

One minute.


The coffee is slowly dripping to its natural fulfillment.

The drops stop. The coffee is done. I fill your thermos with the night black coffee made with you on my mind.

Let’s go wake up Mama.

The Kiddo jumps into my arms, bouncing up and down, and she anticipates waking you with a kiss. I plop her on the bed right next to you. She crawls up to your face. You are obviously awake, but to her you are in a deep sleep. She saddles up right on top of you and. . . .


Good morning, you whisper.

She giggles.

Morning, love, I say. Coffee is ready.

[1] Explore the first season of Another Name for Every Thing podcast:

Adapted by Paul Swanson from “Lauds (of Coffee),” Contemplify (May 30, 2018),

For Further Study:
Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Avery: 2012)

Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent: 2019)