“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”

Rabweh 20 September 2012

The day after the Holy Father’s visit to Lebanon, which was a constantly reiterated call for peace – “‘My peace I give unto you’” was Benedict XVI’s constant theme – His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem tenaciously pursued his efforts and appeals for a cessation of hostilities in Syria, so opening the path to reconciliation.

Following his 27 August letter For Syria, reconciliation is the only lifeline, addressed to the Pope, cardinals, episcopal conferences, rulers and heads of state and all persons of good will, on Thursday 20 September Gregorios III received representatives of Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece and Poland, as well as a representative of Canada, in the patriarchal residence of Rabweh (Lebanon). The conversation and discussions focused on assessing the situation on the ground and means of clearing the path to reconciliation “… that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11: 52).

The Patriarch recalled the very terms of his For Syria, reconciliation is the only lifeline, saying: “We believe the role of the Church in Syria to be the sacred ministry of working for reconciliation.  ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!’ We believe that this ministry will be the warranty for Christians facing the gloomy future that dawns over Syria … because the Church’s role is to be the herald and architect of reconciliation at every level.”

Gregorios III went on to thank the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman for all his efforts to ensure the genuine success of the Holy Father’s visit in both a spiritual and material sense. The Melkite Patriarch finally expressed a wish for all relevant texts, speeches and sermons that represent a genuine, historic pact for civilizational and interfaith dialogue, to be gathered into a single document and circulated in Arab countries via embassies and delegations.


Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 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

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina