CWN - The Christian refugees who have fled from violence in Syria and Iraq are not likely to return under current conditions, according to the apostolic administrator of the Jerusalem patriarchate.

“No one knows what the future holds,” said Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa. “They left and it is unlikely they will return.”

“The situation is tragic” in Syria, the Franciscan prelate said. “It is a country that has ceased to exist; it is destroyed.”

The apostolic administrator—who previously headed the Franciscan custody of the Holy Land, said that the radicalization of Muslim youth has caused enormous problems for the region. He said that the conflict sweeping the Middle East should be understood primarily as a “war between Muslims,” but Christians are experiencing the brutal consequences. The problem is also spreading, he reported; the radical Islamic ideologies are now reaching into Jordan as well as Syria and Iraq.

Regarding the prospects for a peace agreement that might curb the tensions between Israel and Palestine, Archbishop Pizzabella answered simply: “I have to be honest; there’s nothing at the moment.”

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Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The perfection of the Christian life -- and I mean that life which is the only one the name of Christ is used to designate -- is that in which we participate not only by our mind and soul but in all the actions of our lives, so that our holiness may be complete, in accordance with the blessing pronounced by Paul, in our 'whole body and soul and spirit' (I Thess. 5:23), constantly guarded from all admixture with evil.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, From Glory to Glory