Deisis (Novogorod)

Pope tells Egypt’s Catholics: ‘the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity’

On April 29, the second and final day of his apostolic journey to Egypt, Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass at the Egyptian Air Defense Stadium in Cairo.

During the homily, the Pope reflected on the encounter between the risen Lord and the disciples on the way to Emmaus.

“The experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus teaches us that it is of no use to fill our places of worship if our hearts are empty of the fear of God and of his presence,” he preached. “It is of no use to pray if our prayer to God does not turn into love for our brothers and sisters. All our religiosity means nothing unless it is inspired by deep faith and charity.”

CWN - The Pope continued: "God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity! Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him!

So now, like the disciples of Emmaus, filled with joy, courage and faith, return to your own Jerusalem, that is, to your daily lives, your families, your work and your beloved country. Do not be afraid to open your hearts to the light of the Risen Lord, and let him transform your uncertainty into a positive force for yourselves and for others. Do not be afraid to love everyone, friends and enemies alike, because the strength and treasure of the believer lies in a life of love!"

Following Mass, the Pope had lunch with the nation’s bishops.Before departing for Rome, Pope Francis met with Egyptian priests, religious, and seminarians at the seminary in Cairo.

The Pope encouraged them not to give in to seven temptations, including “the temptation to let ourselves be led, rather than to lead,” and “the temptation to complain constantly.”

“Do not be afraid of the burdens of your daily service and the difficult circumstances some of you must endure,” he said. “We venerate the Holy Cross, the instrument and sign of our salvation. When we flee the Cross, we flee the resurrection!”

The Pope added: "Egypt has enriched the Church through the inestimable value of monastic life. I urge you, therefore, to draw upon to the example of Saint Paul the Hermit, Saint Anthony, the holy Desert Fathers, and the countless monks and nuns who by their lives and example opened the gates of heaven to so many of our brothers and sisters.

You too can be salt and light, and thus an occasion of salvation for yourselves and for all others, believers and non-believers alike, and especially for those who are poor, those in need, the abandoned and discarded."

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Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * you ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, before the fall ... participated in ... divine illumination and resplendence, and because he was truly clothed in a garment of glory he was not naked, nor was he unseemly by reason of his nakedness. He was far more richly adorned than those who now deck themselves out with diadems of gold and brightly sparkling jewels. St. Paul calls this divine illumination and grace our celestial dwelling when he says, 'For this we sigh, yearning to be clothed in our heavenly habitation, since clothed we will not be found naked' (2 Cor. 5:2).

St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 67, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 377)