CWN - In a message of Easter greetings to Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis said that “Christians are called to proclaim the Risen One together.”

The Pope’s message emphasized the hope that springs from Christian faith and “enables every man and every woman to look at their lives with new eyes and a new heart, even in circumstances marked by sadness and difficulties.” The Pope’s encouragement comes at a time when Egyptian Christians have been victims of violence, with Pope Tawadros himself apparently the target of a suicide bomber.

“May Easter—that we Christians celebrate the same day this year—instil into our churches a growing desire for an ever greater solidarity in proclaiming the Gospel and serving those who are in need,” the Pope wrote in the message, which was hand-delivered to the Coptic prelate by the apostolic nuncio in Egypt, Archbishop Bruno Musaro.

Pope Francis will meet Pope Tawadros in Cairo later this month, when both are scheduled to appear at a peace conference hosted by Al Azhar University.

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Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 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

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica