CWN - Representatives of 56 nations and 11 international organizations gathered in Paris to discuss how best to assist the victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East.

The meeting was hosted by the foreign ministers of France and Jordan.

Participants adopted an action plan that included “supporting affected populations and facilitating durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons, fighting impunity and ensuring justice,” and “preserving the diversity and plurality of the Middle East.

Addressing the participants, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, lamented the “unprecedented atrocities” of the past year and called for a change in the legal culture of the Middle East that would allow for freedom to convert as well as to worship.

The prelate also asked the international community to “guarantee the right of refugees to return to their homeland and live in dignity and security” and called upon nations to ensure that their schools foster understanding rather than extremism.


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (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.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

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

Abbot Macarius was asked: "How should I pray?" The staretz answered: "There is no need to waste time with words; it is enough to hold out your hands and say: 'Lord, have mercy.'  If you are hard pressed in the struggle, say: 'Lord, save me!' He knows what is best for you, and he will have mercy on you."

Abbot Macarius, quoted in St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality, Meyendorff, 1974, SVS Press