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

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

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

God is nearer to us than any man at every time. He is nearer to me than my raiment, nearer than the air or light, nearer than my wife, father, mother, daughter, son or friend. I live in Him, soul and body. I breathe in Him, think in Him, feel, consider, intend, speak, undertake, work in Him. `For in Him we live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28).

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ