CWN - During a recent talk at a Cincinnati parish,

During a recent talk at a Cincinnati parish, Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi reflected on the present situation and future prospects of Christians in the Middle East.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the origin of the Middle Eastern problems,” said Patriarch al-Rahi, 76, who has led the Lebanon-based Eastern Catholic church since 2011. “The separation between religion and state for both Judaism and Islam is one of the basic conditions for a permanent political solution in the region. ”

Stating that Lebanon, a nation of four million, now hosts 1.5 million Syrian and 500,000 Palestinian refugees, the cardinal patriarch called upon Muslim nations and religious leaders to denounce the Islamic State and the international community to end arms sales to terrorist groups.

“Instead of encouraging Christians to leave the Middle East, they should be helped to remain in their countries,” he said at the conclusion of his July 1 talk.

References:

Boutros al-Rahi reflected on the present situation and future prospects of Christians in the Middle East.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the origin of the Middle Eastern problems,” said Patriarch al-Rahi, 76, who has led the Lebanon-based Eastern Catholic church since 2011. “The separation between religion and state for both Judaism and Islam is one of the basic conditions for a permanent political solution in the region. ”

Stating that Lebanon, a nation of four million, now hosts 1.5 million Syrian and 500,000 Palestinian refugees, the cardinal patriarch called upon Muslim nations and religious leaders to denounce the Islamic State and the international community to end arms sales to terrorist groups.

“Instead of encouraging Christians to leave the Middle East, they should be helped to remain in their countries,” he said at the conclusion of his July 1 talk.

References:


Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky