Words for Our Lives

The Spiritual Words of Matthew the Poor
Narrated by: Kristina Wenger
Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The 20th-century elder Abba Matta of Egypt, known in the West as Matthew the Poor, is widely regarded as the greatest Egyptian elder since St. Antony the Great. This series constitutes the first appearance in English of a selection of the informal talks Abba Matta gave to his fellow monks and to visitors. In simple, accessible language, he addresses subjects ranging from scripture to the church year to everyday life in the world. To hear these talks is to sit at the feet of one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our age.

©2016 James Helmy (P)2019 Ancient Faith Publishing

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The Performance is unfortunately pretty bad.

I really love the book and the message of the book. But the Performer makes the monastic Fr. Matthew sound like a 21st century protestant giving a testimonial. The words don't have the weight or the wisdom that they seem to have when reading the written text. I know this sounds very subjective, but performance is by definition subjective.

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A must have on your Christian bookshelf!

I was asked to do an honest review of this book which recounts the sayings of Abba Matta (Matthew) the Poor, who was an Egyptian elder who reposed in the Lord in 2006. Abba Matta was an elder at St Macarius Monastery. I was given the Audible version which I have enjoyed because it is a clear recording and well read. You can sense Abba Matta's meek and humble nature through his words, which burst with spiritual joy and goodness. One of his sentences felt to me like a paragraph of explanation, so deep and simple at the same time. I understand Abba Matta's prayer for God to give him either a long life or to open the eyes of his understanding to the Scriptures. Starting later in my spiritual life, I feel the same way and throughout this book, Abba Matta touches the essence of what man desires from God. Similarly, what God wants from man.
I often felt like Abba Matta was speaking directly to me, with suggestions for practical application of God's Word. Little by little, as in our own spiritual journey, Abba Matta explains how the Bible started to open up to him and he felt Christ speaking to him through those words. Christ showed him his faults and sins, and he sensed that these words were speaking directly to him. He points to the need to pray before reading the Bible, as he did, and that he also prayed that the Bible was written for him, in his time. What wonderful words dear brothers and sisters to remember! The Bible is written for us, in our time and this is but one example of how Abba Matta's words are so poignant and direct, and so easy to understand that we can, with God's help, apply them to our lives. Abba Matta properly reminds us that we were aliens without God and without a hope in the world. We need to remember this, where we came from so that we are not lured by the world which promises us endless wealth and pleasures if we abandon God's plan for us. the only thing, says Abba Matta, which satisfies is God's Word. This not to say that he looked down on wealth, since many of Abba Matta's spiritual children were extremely wealthy. But their relationship to God and His word was important. Once we draw near to God, to Christ, our lives will start to correct themselves with His help, says Abba Matta - how we need to remember this in these modern, complicated times! It's so simple, it's something we all know as Christians yet Abba Matta has a way to communicate God's truth so that even an atheist, who came to see Abba Matta with a wealthy friend, came to understand.

Another part of the book (and there are so many to mention here!) which had a great impression on me was about the fluctuations we have in our spiritual lives. This is a reality for many Christians, and it's something that we grapple with as we walk with God. It makes us feel less than a Christian but we need not despair! Abba Matta encourages us in saying that our lives will shift between darkness and light, a rising and falling, a holiness and foulness , honesty and deceit, courage and cowardice - we receive the Word as a double edged sword but when we allow it to infiltrate our soul, it is sharper than any double edged sword and will help us to discern the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. A soul that goes after the flesh, says Abba Matta, is more vile than the flesh itself. And this is it - we are often caught between the flesh and the spirit. This is the battlefield in which we walk each day. Abba Matta will give a simple example to illustrate - tell a worldly man to eat more, and he will eat to the point of gluttony. He will, like so many today, invest his energy into the flesh, food, drink and entertainment. But compare a spiritual man who will say "I have eaten, thank God! I'm content" This man will echo the words of our Lord and say "Man does not live on bread alone. Health and strength comes ultimately from God. The spirit is stronger than the flesh". What an amazing example of the kind of treasures you will find in Abba Matta's words!

I could keep going but then you will need to get this book or audiobook to see for yourselves. This book is a treasure chest and I would highly recommend reading it over and over.

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Spiritually uplifting

Does this sound ok? Wanted to get your opinion before I posted.

Words for Our Lives
The spiritual Words of Matthew The Poor
Volume two
This book was given to me to listen to on audible in exchange for a review. Matthew the poor comes from a time very near to ours and while a monk, he gives practical advice anyone can take away. Some of his teachings was dry for me but I must admit my spiritual life is not like those of a monk or that of a pious layperson. Alas, I am working to grow and this book helped show me some of the plank in my eye, if you will.
Matthew the Poor speaks of how important the reading of the psalms and the bible in its entirety, are to your spiritual life. This has really encouraged me to work on picking up my bible and finding more time for God. Definitely more than I had been giving to him, shame on me.
I think this book is perfect for the person looking to go deeper into their faith and relationship with God. He pushes the monks, as that is who he is speaking to mostly, to live their life the very best by following God closely. Achieving this mostly by loving the scriptures and reading them constantly.
So, in conclusion, if you are looking to grow closer to God and are looking for wisdom from someone much wiser than I, than this is your book!