CWN - The Syrian Orthodox Church may convene a special synod session to address tensions that erupted after Patriarch Ignatius Ephem II raised a copy of the Qu’ran, in a gesture of reverence, during an inter-religious meeting.

Six metropolitan archbishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church condemned the gesture as a “betrayal of the faith,” and claimed that the Patriarch had forfeited his title as defender of the Orthodox faith. Their public criticism in turn prompted thirty other archbishops to come to the Patriarch’s defense and decry the critics for their “rebellion against the Church.” Although the six dissident archbishops have subsequently sent a letter of apology, the majority of prelates judged it inadequate.

Huddling this weekend at the headquarters of the patriarchate in Lebanon, prelates discussed a special synod meeting to “make the right decisions and take the suitable measures.”

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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 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

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our holy fathers have renounced all other spiritual work and concentrated wholly on this one doing, that is, on guarding the heart, convinced that, through this practice, they would easily attain every other virtue, whereas without it not a single virtue can be firmly established.

St. Symeon the New Theologian