Receives Finnish Ecumenical Delegation

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 19, 2007 ( 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

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Guard thyself then, O man; thou hast the signs of Antichrist; and remember them not only thyself, but impart them also freely to all. If thou hast a child according to the flesh, admonish him of this now; if thou hast begotten one through catechizing, put him also on his guard, test he receive the false one as the True. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work. I fear these wars of the nations; I fear the schisms of the Churches; I fear the mutual hatred of the brethren. But enough on this subject; only God forbid that it should be fulfilled in our days; nevertheless, let us be on our guard. And thus much concerning Antichrist.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture XV