Says They Are Causes of Joy

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI reviewed key ecumenical meetings that he participated in during 2006, saying they were significant moments in the move toward Christian unity.

The Pope said this today at the general audience held in Paul VI Hall.

He began the review by recalling the official visit of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches last January: "The international Catholic-Reformed Commission presented a document, for the consideration of the respective authorities, which concluded with a process of dialogue initiated in 1970, which has lasted, therefore, 36 years."

Last Jan. 25, the first stage of preparation for the third European Ecumenical Assembly was launched in Rome. The assembly was then held in September in Sibiu, Romania.

During Wednesday audiences, the Pontiff received the delegations of the World Baptist Alliance and of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the United States.

"I had the opportunity, moreover, to meet with the leaders of the Orthodox Church of Georgia, which I follow with affection, continuing the bond of friendship that united His Holiness Ilia II with my venerated predecessor, the Servant of God Pope John Paul II," said Benedict XVI on the eve of the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The German Pope also recalled that the Holy See attended the summit of religious leaders, held in Moscow in July, at the initiative of Alexy II, Orthodox patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

"Useful afterward was the visit of Metropolitan Kirill of the Patriarchate of Moscow, who expressed the intention to reach a more explicit normalization of our bilateral relations," the Pontiff added.

Milestones

In November, the Holy Father was visited by Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Communion.

"I shared with him and his entourage a significant moment of prayer in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the Apostolic Palace," the Pope said.

Benedict XVI then mentioned "the unforgettable apostolic journey to Turkey" from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 and, in particular, the meeting with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

In December, the Holy Father was visited for the first time by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece.

"Are these not perhaps instances of lofty spiritual values, moments of joy, of great significance in this slow ascent to unity of which I have spoken?" the Pontiff continued. "These moments illuminate the commitment, often silent, but intense, that unites us in the quest for unity. They encourage us to make every possible effort to continue on this slow but important ascent."

Code: ZE07012406

Date: 2007-01-24

 


Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 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

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Monasticism itself is a perpetual labor of conquering passions and uprooting them in order that, being in a pure and immaculate state, one may preserve oneself before the face of God. This, then, is your task! Give your attention to it, and direct all your powers towards it.

St. Theophan the Recluse