VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Africa has become the fount for the numerical growth of Catholics in the world, recalled bishops meeting in the Vatican in preparation for the second synod of African bishops.

The Vatican press office issued a communiqué today with the conclusions of the meeting of the Special Council for Africa of the Synod of Bishops' General Secretariat, held in Rome on Feb. 15-16.

According to the communiqué, the council's members highlighted the Church's great dynamism in Africa where, in 2005, the increase in the number of Catholics (3.1%) was greater than the growth of the population (2.5%).

The prelates hope the upcoming synod will encourage lay people "to commit themselves to an integral improvement of the living conditions of all Africans: economically, culturally, from the point of view of health care and, above all, spiritually."

The communiqué continues: "Consideration was also given to the idea of involving representatives from other religions in the pre-synodal preparations, in order to respond, if possible together, to the current challenges facing the continent, which is seeking a more just and peaceful society ... and ever greater reconciliation."

Code: ZE07022724

Date: 2007-02-27

 


Teachings of Christ

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 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

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder