In the hope of resurrection, we let go the old wise man and the Blessed Bishop, the Triangle of Mercy, His Grace Bishop Isaac, the general bishop, spiritual father and administrator of the Monastery of St. Macarius of Alexandria in Jabal al-Qalali in Beheira. We bid him farewell as an old man and a loving father, who had lived his service in virtue in monasticism for nearly 60 years, and he passed away at the age of 85, of which he spent nearly sixty years in the wilderness and monastic life, dedicating himself faithfully, with great presence and great love.
When we gather, my brothers, and bid farewell to our loved ones, our souls wake up and extend to heaven, and each of us has a date with this day. He was a person who lived calm, servant, honest and devoted his life for the sake of others. That’s why we are very consoled persons like him are still among us. He dedicated his life early, and spends years or most of his life on earth in contact with heaven, and in a life of complete devotion, not deviating from this devotion no matter what happens.
When we look at the life of this blessed bishop, we see many illuminating signs in it, as our beloved Bishop Pachomius mentioned about him as his friend, and they have known each other for decades. We see in him several very important qualities.
The first characteristic feature is that he was patient and tolerant, he faced many troubles and hardships, but at the same time he was controlling himself “a self-controller is better than a city officer”, and lived in patience despite hardships, and lived in comfort despite the troubles he was exposed to over many years, and even he tolerated his sickness patiently, and two days before his departure I was talking to him on the phone because he wanted to leave the hospital and return to the monastery, and this is a sacred desire, meaning his feeling that he is ending his life in the monastery, but the doctors had another opinion, I was talking to him with the utmost love: “Oh, our master, there is more care and follow up in the hospital.” For immediately, he responded to the command, obeyed, and stayed. He was patient and tolerant, which is a necessary quality of human life. The Bible says: “With your patience you will gain your souls,” even though this virtue, beloved, is being cut off from human life. Patience is the means by which man acquires himself.
In addition, he also lived as a pious monk. Throughout his life, he was a pious monk loving monasticism, loving the wilderness, loving rituals and monastic traditions, whether in the Syriac monastery where he lived and became a monk, or in the monastery of St. Macarius of Alexandria when he became an overseer and spiritual father, a pious monk. How beautiful it is for a person not to deviate from his principles. The word principles, beloved, is a word that carries a positive meaning. We say: “So-and-so has principles and morals” without asking what these principles are, and we mean that this person is right. Anba Isaac lived in the wilderness and in monasticism, and he adhered to it even after he became the priest of Episcopos and then a bishop. For the last time he was a devoted monk who recites the rosary, offers prostrations, lives by the Bible, loves his sons and brothers. He lived by piety, and how beautiful it is for a person to be not just a spiritual person or a monk in the garb of monasticism, or a consecrated person or a bishop... but also lives by piety. Piety, beloved, means fear. It means that the presence of God before His eyes day and night, “I have set the Lord before me at all times, because He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.”
The third thing is that he was not only a patient, devout monk, but a wise administratorwho are very few. He was a mastermind with the experiences of the elders, and the experiences of long life. He has spiritual tests. And when he left the Sorian monastery in order to become a bishop and serve with HG Bishop Pachomius in this emerging and establishing monastery, he began to live in the midst of the monastic fathers, and became wisely managed, not from books but from life. He learned these experiences from his extended life in one of our great monasteries, the Syriac monastery. He grew and extended in this deep spiritual knowledge, and therefore he became a successful ruler, and he became a successful father. And when His Eminence Bishop Pachomius chose him to serve with him in the establishment and care of this monastery, not only the architectural care, but the monastic and pastoral care of this monastery.
My beloved, we bid him farewell, knowing that he heard these words: “Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life.” He was faithful until death, so God gave him the wreath of life, and heaven would be open to him, and his place would be with the righteous and the righteous.
In the name of the Holy Synod and the Coptic Orthodox Church, and in the name of the Metropolitan Fathers, the Bishops, the Fathers in the Synod and the members, we offer our condolences to all of our souls and the whole Church, and to His Eminence Bishop Pachomius in a blessed brother who served with him for years and years. We also offer our condolences to the monks in the monastery of St. Macarius of Alexandria. We also attribute to the Sorian monastery, in which he was firstly ordinated as a monk, and all the fathers of the monastery, and His Eminence Anba Matous, who accompanied him for a long time. We console his loved ones, and those who were disciples upon his hands, his books, his culture and his vast knowledge. Our condolences to all who knew him and all those who came into contact with him, fathers and brothers. May God comfort us all and open our hearts to heaven.
As I said at the beginning, that in the hours of farewell our hearts open towards heaven, and our consciences awake towards heaven. There will come a day when man will leave our world and stand before God, and therefore when we live on earth we live this preparation. Man prepares for this day, and prepares for a new life.
Christ gives us all the good ending. He always gives us to glorify Him in our lives, to bless Him, to be faithful and to listen to this voice: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” To our God be all glory and honor from now and forever, Amen.