CWN - Several Catholic Church leaders in Syria beg the US and other Western governments to stop supporting rebel groups, in a Catholic World Report article by Alessandra Nucci.

“Please help us to pull our country back from the abyss of the fundamentalist regime in which they are trying to immerse us,” says Archbishop Jean Clement, the Melike Catholic leader in Aleppo. Church leaders contend that support for rebel groups benefits the cause of Islamic jihadists.

“Just stop selling arms to the terrorists,” pleads Father Mtanios Haddad, a Melkite now serving in Rome. He elaborates: "Three things are needful: stopping the trade of arms from America (destined to the terrorists) closing Saudi Arabia’s wallet (which funds the terrorists) and closing the frontier with Turkey (through which come the terrorists)."

Eastern Catholics fear that Americans (and others in the Western world) have been given an inaccurate understanding of the fighting in Syria. “I think that those who control the information in the West have a political agenda,” complains Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo.

Speaking for his Melkite flock, Archbishop Clement says: “The idea that one day a fundamentalist Muslim state might be imposed on their children is an unbearable nightmare to them.” Speaking then to the West, he continues: “This is why we turn to our brethren in the West and pray that they may help us prevent this from happening.”

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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)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (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.

Today the Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

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.

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

First of all it must be understood that it is the duty of all Christians - especially of those whose calling dedicates them to the spiritual life - to strive always and in every way to be united with God, their creator, lover, benefactor, and their supreme good, by Whom and for Whom they were created. This is because the center and the final purpose of the soul, which God created, must be God Himself alone, and nothing else - God whom Whom the soul has received its life and its nature, and for Whom it must eternally live.

St. Dimitry of Rostov