1 Shawwal 1437 AH / 6 July 2016 AD

Damascus

Eid ul-Fitr concludes the fasting month of Ramadan, during which we have been witnessing a tragic situation. Nevertheless we send our Muslim fellow-citizens and companions in history and destiny sincere congratulations on Eid al-Fitr, together with prayers for safety and security, reconciliation, love and peace in our Arab countries, especially in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.

Today, more than ever before, all we Christians and Muslims need a new spirituality to bring us from exclusion to inclusion, rejection to acceptance, stereotyping to understanding and from distortion to respect; from condemnation to compassion, hostility to friendship, competition to integration, and from hatred to love and the broad bosom of God, because God is love.

This spirituality will help us rebuild our homes that are currently threatened with physical and spiritual destruction, and enable us together to rebuild what has been broken down spiritually in our society, and reconstruct its material and human social fabric.

I invited everyone to this in my most recent letter entitled, "Message of an Arab Christian Patriarch to his Muslim brethren." I hope this letter has reached its designated readership.

I close my greetings with a passage from the above-mentioned letter:

“The task entrusted to us in the Middle East is to challenge the West and the whole Muslim world by our Eastern Christian-Muslim unity, based on a new type of civilization: the civilization of love.”

Happy Feast!

With love and prayer
+ Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
For the Melkite Greek Catholic Church


Teachings of Christ

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“It is necessary most of all for one who is fasting to curb anger, to accustom himself to meekness and condescension, to have a contrite heart, to repulse impure thoughts and desires, to examine his conscience, to put his mind to the test and to verify what good has been done by us in this or any other week, and which deficiency we have corrected in ourselves in the present week. This is true fasting.”

Saint John Chrysostom