Deisis (Novogorod)

Patriarch Gregorios III prays that God may anchor living faith in the hearts of Muslims, sends Ramadan greetings

“We Arab Christians will accompany your fast
by praying and fasting in solidarity,” says Gregorios III.


On the eve of the beginning of the month of Ramadan this year, “a month of forgiveness, compassion, and generous giving,” His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, addressed his good wishes to Muslim communities. “Good wishes from an Arab Christian patriarch,” which require them to accept his bitterness even though he cites verses from the venerable Qur’an and the Holy Gospel: “Come to a common word,” ('Āli `Imrān, 3: 64) ; “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” (Al-Hujurat, 49: 13); a verse to which Gregorios III adds the phrase “and love one another,” paraphrasing Saint John (13: 35): “By this shall all men know that ye are [Muslims], if ye have love one to another.”

The patriarch continues by emphasising his pain and deep sorrow when contemplating the split Muslim world, “calling for jihad – though it is not jihad – issuing fatwas that are not fatwas…” and says he is “praying that God may anchor living faith in the hearts of Muslims… We need this faith in our Arab world so that it can be our charter, a charter for Arab unity, inter-Muslim unity, Muslim-Christian unity in the face of the tragic challenges that are rearing their heads against us.”

“Our unity must be Arab; the resolution of our crises has to be an Arab; our peace ought to be an Arab peace. Our past and our present are one and one cannot be without the other and neither can prevail over the other. Our future and the future of our young people is one! ‘…Do [as you will], for Allah will see your deeds…’”
(At-Tawbah, 9: 105)

“We Arab Christians are going to accompany your fast through prayer, fasting and solidarity… so that ‘ almighty and most merciful God, who understands everything, forgives and answers our prayers may restore to the Arab world peace, security, stability and prosperity, quietness and forgiveness, reconciliation and love.’”

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

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

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

According to the text, `We are the body of Christ and each of us is one of its members' (cf. 1 Cor. 12:27), we are said to be the body of Christ. We do not become this body through the loss of our own bodies; nor again because Christ's Body passes into us hypostatically or is divided into members; but rather because we conform to the likeness of the Lord's flesh by shaking off the corruption of sin. For just as Christ in His manhood was sinless by nature both in flesh and in soul, so we too who believe in Him, and have clothed ourselves in Him through the Spirit, can be without sin to Him if we so choose.

St. Maximus the Confessor, Second Century on Theology, Philokalia, V. 2