CWN - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volkolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met on February 21 with representative from 11 Arab states.

“The great evil of extremism acting under religious slogans has raised its head,” Metropolitan Hilarion said. “Terrorists exterminate Christianity by fire and sword at the places where Christians have been living for nearly two thousand years. I am convinced that the situation of a Christian community in this or that country of the Middle East is an indicator of security and stability.”

The prelate also criticized two ideas he termed “erroneous”: first, “the idea that Christians are a part of the sinful Western world, that they are accomplices of Islam’s enemies”; and second, that there exists “religious terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism.”

He explained:"There cannot be any terrorism on religious grounds or terrorism based on religious beliefs. Not one of the traditional religions teaches to kill people. All religions call for peace. And the history of coexistence of Christians and Muslims in the Middle East, in other regions, in Russia proves that the two religions can co-exist in peace and mutual respect."

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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Your creature perish, for You care for me in my misery.

St. Peter of Damascus