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

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, before the fall ... participated in ... divine illumination and resplendence, and because he was truly clothed in a garment of glory he was not naked, nor was he unseemly by reason of his nakedness. He was far more richly adorned than those who now deck themselves out with diadems of gold and brightly sparkling jewels. St. Paul calls this divine illumination and grace our celestial dwelling when he says, 'For this we sigh, yearning to be clothed in our heavenly habitation, since clothed we will not be found naked' (2 Cor. 5:2).

St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 67, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 377)