- A Coptic Orthodox bishop faces criticism for traveling to Jerusalem, despite a ban by Coptic Pope Shenouda III on all travel to Israel.

A spokesman for Bishop Theodosius of Giza, Egypt, said that the Coptic prelate was in Jerusalem for medical attention—a purpose that would justify the trip. Pope Shenouda’s ban on travel is intended to halt all pilgrimages by Copts until the Israel and Palestine reach a peace agreement.

The ban on pilgrimages creates an odd situation, since the site in Jerusalem most frequently visited by Christian pilgrims, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is admininstered partially by the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Coptic prelates who work there—maintaining a constant presence in the Holy Sepulchre itself—remain permanently in Jerusalem rather than traveling to and from Egypt.

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 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

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by boredom, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?'

A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him: 'Do this and you will be saved.' At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.

The Desert Fathers