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

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 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.