Damascus 29 September 2013

Patriarch Gregorios III presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition in Damascus on Sunday 29 September. The day marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Damascus.

Concelebrating with His Beatitude was Archbishop Joseph Absi, Patriarchal Vicar and other members of the clergy. Among other dignitaries present were the Minister for Social Affairs, Kinda al-Shamat  and other members of Parliament. The grandson of righteous layman George Bitar was present in the congregation which filled the church. Some Muslims were present to celebrate the occasion alongside Christian worshippers.

In his sermon, His Beatitude spoke of the need for more solidarity among all Syria’s citizens despite the crisis, as this would be the guarantee for reconciliation and a peaceful future for the country.

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)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica