VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received an ecumenical delegation from Finland for the occasion of the Feast of St. Henry, patron saint of that country, which is celebrated today.

Addressing the delegates in English, the Pope noted how "in recent times relations between Christians in Finland have developed in a way that offers much hope for the future of ecumenism. Readily they pray and work together, bearing common public witness to the Word of God.

"It is precisely this convincing testimony to the guiding and saving truths of the Gospel that all men and women seek or need to hear," he added. "On the part of Christians this demands courage."

"In the Joint Declaration on Justification, Lutherans and Catholics have covered a considerable distance theologically. Further work remains and so it is encouraging that the Nordic Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in Finland and Sweden is examining the topic of 'Justification in the Life of the Church'."

The Holy Father concluded by expressing the hope "that these conversations will effectively contribute to the quest for full and visible unity of the Church, while at the same time offering an ever clearer response to the fundamental questions affecting life and society."

www.vatican.va 


Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 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.

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the evil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance."

St. Seraphim of Sarov