“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”

Rabweh 20 September 2012

The day after the Holy Father’s visit to Lebanon, which was a constantly reiterated call for peace – “‘My peace I give unto you’” was Benedict XVI’s constant theme – His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem tenaciously pursued his efforts and appeals for a cessation of hostilities in Syria, so opening the path to reconciliation.

Following his 27 August letter For Syria, reconciliation is the only lifeline, addressed to the Pope, cardinals, episcopal conferences, rulers and heads of state and all persons of good will, on Thursday 20 September Gregorios III received representatives of Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece and Poland, as well as a representative of Canada, in the patriarchal residence of Rabweh (Lebanon). The conversation and discussions focused on assessing the situation on the ground and means of clearing the path to reconciliation “… that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11: 52).

The Patriarch recalled the very terms of his For Syria, reconciliation is the only lifeline, saying: “We believe the role of the Church in Syria to be the sacred ministry of working for reconciliation.  ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!’ We believe that this ministry will be the warranty for Christians facing the gloomy future that dawns over Syria … because the Church’s role is to be the herald and architect of reconciliation at every level.”

Gregorios III went on to thank the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman for all his efforts to ensure the genuine success of the Holy Father’s visit in both a spiritual and material sense. The Melkite Patriarch finally expressed a wish for all relevant texts, speeches and sermons that represent a genuine, historic pact for civilizational and interfaith dialogue, to be gathered into a single document and circulated in Arab countries via embassies and delegations.


Teachings of Christ

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Nativity of the Mother of God

Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, * heralded joy to all the world; * for from you has dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * and, having annulled the curse, He gave the blessing * and by destroying Death He granted us eternal life. (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.

Through your holy nativity, O Immaculate One, * Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness, * and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. * Delivered from the guilt of sin, your people celebrate this as they cry out to you: * "The barren woman gives birth to the Mother of God, the Nourisher of our Life." (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 8th.

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 hour of death will come upon us, it will come, and we shall not escape it. May the prince of this world and of the air (cf. John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) find our misdeeds few and petty when he comes, so that he will not have good grounds for convicting us. Otherwise we shall weep in vain. 'For that servant who knew his lord's will and did not do it as a servant, shall be beaten with many stripes' (cf. Luke 12:47).

St. Hesychius the Priest