Rabweh 10/09/2013
His Holiness Pope Francis
Vatican City

Most Holy Father

We wish to thank Your Holiness for your call to fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world. This day united in prayer people of good will of all faiths everywhere in the world.

Very many faithful responded to this appeal for prayer and gathered in our Cathedral of the Dormition in Damascus, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Mario Zenari, Catholic hierarchs and clergy of other Churches.

Your Holiness’ call for peace has allowed the world to discover and hear the peaceable voice of the Gospel. To those who need it, those who do not recognize it and those who refuse to believe it, this appeal showed another way to resolve the Syrian crisis than that of weapons and military intervention.

Most Holy Father

Deeply touched by this initiative, as Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, President of the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs in Syria (ACHS) and a member of the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon (ACPBL) and Egypt, we ask Your Holiness to continue to accompany us along the way of peace by writing to the Congress of the United States, as you did for the G20 summit, to enumerate all the consequences of this proposed intervention in Syria, which will entail the tragic decline of the Christian presence in the Middle East. The example of the tragic consequences of intervention in Iraq is still with us in the form of thousands of Christian refugees in Syria who have no other refuge left.

 Most Holy Father

We have great hope that such a message will succeed in convincing the undecided, give pause for thought to those in favour of war and a military solution and awaken the world’s conscience. Peace is the only condition that will allow the Eastern Churches to continue the way of the Synod for the Middle East and be Communion and Witness.
 
Please accept, Your Holiness, the assurance of my respectful, religious devotion

+ Gregorios III, Patriarch

MELKITE GREEK CATHOLIC
PATRIARCHATE
OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
OF ALEXANDRIA AND OF JERUSALEM


Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Seek, my child, the nobility of the soul, for it is truth; that of the body is false. Do not seek honor from men, for this injures one; but rather, seek heavenly glory . . . . You are to be sympathetic with all the brethren and help them as much as possible; and, you are to minister to them that are unable or weak. Do not desire to live by another's labors . . . . Never ridicule anyone, and especially when they are in misfortune. When you hear that a certain brother is disorderly, supplicate God to correct his life. Visit and help the sick, and serve the brethren as their servant; so you might be a friend of Christ Who, for your sake, became a servant and minister. Always heed, my child, not to fall into temptations. However, if it happens that you should fall, immediately rise up and amend yourself with repentance, and again hasten to prayer. In this manner, live your life, my child, and God shall always come to you and help you in soul and body.

St. Theodora of Alexandria, "The Lives of the Spiritual Mothers: An Orthodox Materikon of Women Monastics and Ascetics