Receives Finnish Ecumenical Delegation

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 19, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI called for courage to overcome division among Christians, when receiving an ecumenical delegation from Finland during the week dedicated to praying for Christian unity.

"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," said the Pontiff to the Finnish delegation today, on the occasion of the feast of the country's patron, St. Henrik.

"On the part of Christians this demands courage," said the Pope to the group led by Catholic Bishop Józef Wróbel of Helsinki, and Bishop Simo Peura of Kapua of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.

Benedict XVI said that on the ecumenical path "our first task will perhaps be to rediscover in a new way the living God present in our lives, in our time, and in our society."

The Bishop of Rome applauded the signing of the Joint Declaration on Justification in 1999, with which "Lutherans and Catholics have covered a considerable distance theologically."

The Pope added: "Further work remains, and so it is encouraging that the Nordic Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in Finland and Sweden is examining the topic 'Justification in the Life of the Church.'

"In recent times relations between Christians in Finland have developed in a way that offers much hope for the future of ecumenism."

Today they work and pray "readily" together, "bearing common public witness to the word of God."

Code: ZE07011907

Date: 2007-01-19

 


Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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 gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus