CWN - Christians are an “endangered species” in the Middle East today, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius III Younan said in an August 2 address to the Knights of Columbus convention in Toronto.

“The very existence of Eastern Churches, those churches that come from the apostles’ time, is at stake, in danger,” the Syrian prelate said. He said that Islamic aggression endangered the existence of the faith in the region, and denounced the apathy of Western leaders.

The Syriac Patriarch went on to criticize nations that have formed alliances with Islamic states despite the failure of the latter to respect fundamental human rights, particularly the right to religious freedom. “It’s not honest or sincere to be allied to such a regime, and to say we have an annual report about religious freedom,” he said, in what appeared to be a clear reference to the US.

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Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

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

If God is slow in answering your request, and you ask but do not promptly receive anything, do not be upset, for you are not wiser than God. When you remain as you were before, without anything happening, it is either because your behaviour is not worthy of your request, or because the paths in which your heart was travelling were far removed from the aim of your prayer, or because your interior condition is far too childish, when compared with the magnitude of the thing for which you have asked.

St. Isaac of Nineveh [Syria], The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life.