WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 18, 2007 (Zenit.org).- U.S. bishops have sent a letter of solidarity to their counterparts in Zimbabwe, as the growing humanitarian and governmental crisis continues in that African country.

Bishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the U.S. episcopal conference's international policy committee, wrote: "We acknowledge and accept the bishops' invitation to join with you in prayer for Zimbabwe."

In the letter, directed to Archbishop Robert Ndlovu of Harare, president of the Zimbabwe episcopal conference, the U.S. prelate added: "We offer profound respect to you and our brother bishops in Zimbabwe for your brave and faithful pastoral ministry in these difficult days."

The Zimbabwean bishops issued a pastoral letter posted as an Easter message in churches throughout the country.

Further bloodshed and mass uprisings, they said, would only be prevented through democratic elections.

Bishop Wenski called their letter "a powerful testimony to the prophetic leadership of the bishops of Zimbabwe and to the tragic situation of the people in your country."

He added: "Your Pastoral Letter describes the deep crisis facing your people -- a crisis that is at once a crisis of governance, a crisis of moral leadership and a spiritual and moral crisis."

Code: ZE07041820

Date: 2007-04-18


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The "principal characteristics" of the zealot according to knowledge are the following: "fervent love for God and neighbor, gentleness, religious tolerance, forbearance, graciousness of manner."