CWN - Aleppo has become a divided city, like Berlin during the Cold War era, a Syrian archbishop told Vatican Radio.

Archbishop Joseph Tobji, the head of the Maronite Catholic archdiocese in Aleppo, said that the city has been divided and battered by rival armed forces. The constant bombardment is causing an enormous number of civilian casualties, he said, reporting that his archdiocese schedules at least ten funerals daily for innocent victims.

Archbishop Tobji told Vatican Radio that he recently met with Pope Francis, and presented the Pontiff with a photo album, put together by young Catholics in Aleppo, showing pictures of their friends who had been killed in the fighting. He said that as the Pope looked at the pictures, “his eyes filled with tears.”

The Syrian archbishop said that the current warfare in Syria serves the benefit of no one in Syria, but is prolonged by the support of foreign powers who “see the country as a pie” to be divided up as spoils.

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 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

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let not us who would be Christians expect anything else than to be crucified....for to be Christian is to be crucified in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example and warning to us all. We must be crucified personally,mystically; for trough crucifixion is the only path to resurrection, if we would rise with Christ, we must be humbled with him even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world.... We must be crucified outwardly in the eyes of the world, for Christ's kingdom is not of this world and world cannot bear it, even a single representative, even for the single moment.

Fr Seraphim Rose