Deisis (Novogorod)

The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria

Meeting at Aleppo
15-17 November 2010


The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria met at Aleppo under the presidency of Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, to discuss matters arising from the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.

The Assembly was first concerned with the problems of Caritas trying to deal with the difficulties of Iraqi refugees in Syria.

It went on to consider the matter of the personal statute in legislation.

The Assembly also discussed the Syrian President's initiative to hold an international Christian-Muslim Congress in December 2010 to examine the impact of the Synod's recommendations on Middle Eastern countries.

The Assembly also discussed the date of Pascha, when next year (as this year) once again Eastern and Western calendars coincide. There was a desire among the participants to continue to work, in order to have in future unified Christian witness in the Middle East's predominantly Muslim countries.

On the final day, the Synod was attended by representatives of other Churches, including the Greek Orthodox, the Syriac Orthodox, and the Armenian Orthodox Churches and Protestant Churches. They also support the unification of the date for celebrating Pascha.

V. C.


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 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

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of an eye. Besides, even without our sincere and firm faith, miracles are accomplished, such as the miracles of the sacraments; for God's Mystery is always accomplished, even though we were incredulous or unbelieving at the time of its celebration. "Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?" (Rom. 3:3). Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence.

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ