Deisis (Novogorod)

Third Reunion of the Presynodal Council for the Middle East

Rome 23-24 April 2010

Report by Patriarch Gregorios III

of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church

The work of preparation for the Synod for the Middle East has made progress in this third reunion of the members of the Presynodal Council, who are the seven Patriarchs of the Middle East, the President of the Episcopal Conference in Iran and the President of the Episcopal Conference in Turkey. The work was led by Archbishop Nikola Eterović, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Rome.

The members studied in a plenary session and in three groups the vast amount of material made up of answers from eparchies, institutions and religious to the questions of the Lineamenta, sent to all Churches in January 2010.

The next step will be for the Office of the Synod of Bishops to produce a document about this recent meeting of the Presynodal Council to be sent in a few days' time to Council members, who are asked to reply with comments as soon as possible to the Synodal Office. Then it will be the work of the Synodal Office to produce the final version of the document for the Synod for the Middle East, which will be proposed to Pope Benedict XVI, for his approval. This final document is called the Instrumentum Laboris and will be translated into Arabic and other languages and presented by His Holiness to the members of the Presynodal Council during the papal visit to Cyprus from 4 to 6 June.

The General Secretariat of the Synod will send further information about their eventual participation to all members of the coming Synod for the Middle East to be held in Rome between 10 and 24 of October. The General Secretariat of the Synod will send invitations to observe to Orthodox Churches, to Muslims and to Jews.

The Synod was prepared by the Presynodal Council in September 2009 and in November of the same year. This was the third and final meeting of the Presynodal Council.

All members of our Church are asked to pray for the success of this unique and very important event in the life of the Catholic Churches of the Middle East.

Ed.  V. C.


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Annunciation

Today is the fountainhead of our salvation, * and the revelation of an eternal mystery: * The Son of God becomes the Son of a Virgin, * and Gabriel announces the good news of grace. * Therefore, let us also cry with him to the Mother of God: * "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

To you, O Mother of God, our leader and defender, * we, your servants, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. * So you, who have invincible might, * set us free from every peril * that we may cry to you: * "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!" (Kontakion, Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We truly love God and keep His commandments if we restrain ourselves from our pleasures. For he who still abandons himself to unlawful desires certainly does not love God, since he contradicts Him in his own intentions. . . Therefore, he loves God truly, whose mind is not conquered by consent to evil delight. For the more one takes pleasure in lower things, the more he is separated from heavenly love.

St. Gregory the Great