Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart from a good conscience and from sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5)

He is my son... I am willing to kiss his feet

abouna_Bishoy_Kamel

Father Pishoy Kamel was characterized by practical love in all his actions. During the early sixties as I was entering the church I notice a gentleman standing in the courtyard. He was uttering bad words about Abouna Pishoy . Some of the bystanders wanted to confront him. This occurred before the Saturday Vespers prayers. I held his hand and took him to the telephone room adjacent to the church until he calmed down. I asked him to go home until things settle down. I expected someone would brief Abouna about the incidence.

    After the Vespers and at the end of the confession period I told Abouna that “(Name) was upset and was in a state of rage, but he was calmed down and I asked him to go home to prevent further incitement. I thought he may wish to apologize to you about what happened in your absence”.

   Rather than returning to our homes, Abouna asked that we go together to (Name’s) home and said: “He is my son. I (erred) and I am willing to kiss his feet”. I was glad at Abouna’s open heart and his love for his children. The gentleman was surprised by our unexpected visit and knelt to the ground to kiss Abouna’s feet but he pulled him up, embraced him and kissed him, saying: “Don’t be upset. I erred!” The gentleman could not stand this love and started to weep.

   This is a marvellous picture not only for the serving father but also for the true Christian. Such a person   does not defend his personal honor nor carry any hatred or grudge, but is filled with all love in the spirit of humility associated with wisdom!

   One of the expressions which the late Hugomen Pishoy Kamel did not like was the “honor of priesthood”. He considered the priest’s honor to lie in his haste to was the sinners’ feet in extreme love. He counted himself unworthy to serve the Lord Jesus Christ through His children.

Lord, grant me to see You in the life of every sinner,

I see You eager to wash his feet with joy,

You offer him Your precious blood for washing his innermost.

Grant me to offer my life a sacrifice for the sake of every soul!

Grant me the honor of Your service... The washing of the sinners’ feet.

                                                  Abouna Tadros Yacoub Malaty