Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Meeting a Monk

I met Fr Filimon, a Coptic Orthodox hieromonk (i.e. "priest-monk") from Australia, on Sunday afternoon for tea at the Grand Plaza Parkroyal. Also present was Ernest, who initiated the meeting, and Amira from the local Coptic church.

Fr Filimon was here to serve the liturgy at St Mark's Coptic Church. The local Coptic Orthodox community, being of modest size, does not have a permanent priest stationed here. They rely on the Coptic Orthodox diocese of Sydney to send a priest up north to celebrate the Eucharist every first Sunday of the month.
(Photo courtesy of Ernest; your blogger was at his parish)

We asked about prayer. Fr Filimon said one could pray any where, any time - but contemplative prayer was another thing altogether. He suggested that one read the lives of the saints, or the Bible before prayer. If one's eyes were tired, then perhaps one could listen to a few hymns before that. In any case, one had to get one's mind prepared for listening. One may think that one is not making any progress when one does not hear Him, but one is. Do not imagine that He'll shout in your ear - remember that God met Elijah in a small whisper of a voice instead of earth-shaking phenomena.

Fr Filimon was only in Singapore for two days; he had to travel to Bangkok to celebrate the liturgy for the Coptic community there - he may be back again soon as he has to transit through Singapore. I for one look forward to seeing Abouna again =)


Blogger Mimi said...

It sounds like a lovely visit! Thank you for the photos and information, I especially like his advice before prayer.

Wed Sep 06, 05:11:00 am 2006  
Blogger Ian said...

Very good advice.

And you've reminded me I meant to visit a Coptic parish here: I may even see Fr Filimon if I'm lucky.

Fri Sep 08, 04:52:00 pm 2006  

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