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

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 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

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Wrath is a reminder of hidden hatred, that is to say, remembrance of wrongs. Wrath is a desire for the injury of the one who has provoked you. Irascibility is the untimely blazing up of the heart. Bitterness is a movement of displeasure seated in the soul. Anger is an easily changeable movement of one’s disposition and disfiguration of soul.

St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent"