CWN - Pope Francis met on March 16 with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, and reportedly promised to visit Lebanon.

An official Vatican statement indicated that the Pope had expressed his satisfaction at the end of a long political deadlock that had left the Lebanese presidency vacant for months, and voiced his hope that cooperation among the country’s different ethnic and religious groups would continue to improve.

The Pope also expressed his gratitude to Lebanon for providing shelter for hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syrian. He spoke with Aoun about the prospects for ending that conflict.

After the meeting, Aoun reported that the Pope had told him: “I will visit Lebanon.” (The official Vatican statement did not mention a papal visit.) The Lebanese leader underlined the importance of a papal trip to his country, saying:

The Eastern Christians today live difficult circumstances, in a region that is the cradle of Christianity and Islam, we see in this visit a glimmer of hope that confirms that Lebanon will always remain as the strongest hope for the future of the East and the world

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Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 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

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"'And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: `Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'"

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (190 AD), Fragment 34