CWN - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volkolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met on February 21 with representative from 11 Arab states.

“The great evil of extremism acting under religious slogans has raised its head,” Metropolitan Hilarion said. “Terrorists exterminate Christianity by fire and sword at the places where Christians have been living for nearly two thousand years. I am convinced that the situation of a Christian community in this or that country of the Middle East is an indicator of security and stability.”

The prelate also criticized two ideas he termed “erroneous”: first, “the idea that Christians are a part of the sinful Western world, that they are accomplices of Islam’s enemies”; and second, that there exists “religious terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism.”

He explained:"There cannot be any terrorism on religious grounds or terrorism based on religious beliefs. Not one of the traditional religions teaches to kill people. All religions call for peace. And the history of coexistence of Christians and Muslims in the Middle East, in other regions, in Russia proves that the two religions can co-exist in peace and mutual respect."

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 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

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 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