Deisis (Novogorod)

Statement of the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Syria

Liqaa Center - Rabweh (Lebanon) 6/12/2013

The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Syria, presided over by Patriarch Gregorios III, met in special session with Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Vatican’s Cor Unum.

The members of the Synod wished to express their gratitude on this occasion to all those who, over the last two and a half years of the Syrian crisis, have helped the Church in Syria carry out its service of aiding all Syrian citizens and especially Christians, through Caritas Syria and all welfare associations.

Our gratitude goes above all to Pope Francis, the Holy See, Cor Unum and its President, Cardinal Sarah, who have been especially alert to the needs of our Churches and our country.

We thank the episcopal conferences and the various, especially Catholic, charitable organisations, which have helped us through the projects of Caritas Syria, (presided over by Bishop Antoine Audo SJ) which is working in the Assembly’s name.

Many of our eparchies and associations have received assistance from various organisations. Through this statement to the international press, we should like to thank them.

Through this ministry of Christian service, you are helping us fulfil the motto of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops: Communion and Witness. Indeed, we are giving exemplary witness to the evangelical values of love and service, especially to the poorest, after Pope Francis’ example and in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel and the Church.

As bishops and ministers of reconciliation, we are seeking to put an end to this disastrous, tragic war which has caused so much bloodshed! This war has created so many injured and disabled sufferers, refugees and victims and inhumane, tragic situations.

We are praying, and ask everyone to pray, for peace in Syria and throughout the Middle East, cradle of Christianity.
End the war! Stop the violence! Stop the noise of weapons! Let us hear the voice of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace!

We are getting ready for Christmas! Despite our sufferings, we are determined to sing with faith, hope and spiritual strength that hymn first chanted in our land of Palestine, and we invite our friends, partners and the whole world to sing with us,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace; goodwill towards men!”


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

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

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (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.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

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

Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

St. Seraphim of Sarov