Damascus 09/09/13
    
Peace for Maalula

That the residents of Maalula be able to return to their town before September 14, Feast of the Elevation of the Cross, is a demand Christians make of their Muslim brothers: I appeal to world opinion and all parties.

It will be a symbol that Syria is capable of love, reconciliation, dialogue and walking together and building together.

It will renew my faith in Syria’s spiritual heritage to the world: if every effort is made in solidarity in order to return the people to Maalula before the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross. And I'll be leading them in prayers and devotional hymns as they return home. First we’ll visit the churches, and then go to our homes.

I will be fasting all this week for this intention.

I hope to join many in a day of fasting and prayer in churches and homes. Indeed, I call on everyone to work for the return of all categories of people to Maalula, people of every shade of opinion whatsoever.

If we are all working for the people of Maalula to return, it means that we are all, despite blood, victims and tragedies, able to love and encourage hope in people's hearts and foster reconciliation, forgiveness and dialogue among all citizens. We will set a wonderful example for the whole world....

That would be a victory for the sacred values of faith, for Christians and Muslims.

Long live love!

Long live faith!

Long live hope!

Long live Maalula!

Long live love in Syria!

+ Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
of Alexandria and of Jerusalem


Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 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)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina