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

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 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

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Seek, my child, the nobility of the soul, for it is truth; that of the body is false. Do not seek honor from men, for this injures one; but rather, seek heavenly glory . . . . You are to be sympathetic with all the brethren and help them as much as possible; and, you are to minister to them that are unable or weak. Do not desire to live by another's labors . . . . Never ridicule anyone, and especially when they are in misfortune. When you hear that a certain brother is disorderly, supplicate God to correct his life. Visit and help the sick, and serve the brethren as their servant; so you might be a friend of Christ Who, for your sake, became a servant and minister. Always heed, my child, not to fall into temptations. However, if it happens that you should fall, immediately rise up and amend yourself with repentance, and again hasten to prayer. In this manner, live your life, my child, and God shall always come to you and help you in soul and body.

St. Theodora of Alexandria, "The Lives of the Spiritual Mothers: An Orthodox Materikon of Women Monastics and Ascetics