CWN - On a single day last week, 250 rockets rained down on the largely Christian quarter of west Aleppo, which is controlled by the Assad regime.

In west Aleppo, Christians “at least have the right to live and the right to believe in our faith,” Father Ibrahim Alsabagh, a Franciscan friar, told Aid to the Church in Need—with the situation far different in rebel-held areas.

With Aleppo now experiencing “the worst moments in its history,” and prayers and cries of despair filling the air in his neighborhood, the priest appealed to the West to close the border from Turkey to Syria, “through which the weapons, food, and fighters” pass to support the rebels.

“Anyone who shoots rockets at residential houses, churches, schools, and hospitals is not a ‘moderate rebel,’” he added.

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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)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

As long as the flesh is in full health, let us observe abstinence at all times and in every place. When it has been tamed (which I do not suppose is possible this side of the grave), then let us hide our accomplishment.

St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent,
STEP 14: On That Clamorous Mistress, the Stomach