Encourages Resuming Path of Dialogue and Negotiation

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 20, 2007 (ZENIT.org).- Benedict XVI asked the president of Sri Lanka to respect human rights and to resume dialogue to help end violence in that strife-torn Asian nation.

The Vatican Information Service reported: "Today the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

"In the course of the talks -- and in the light of the current situation in Sri Lanka -- the need was reiterated to respect human rights and resume the path of dialogue and negotiation as the only way to put an end to the violence that is bloodying the island."

The meeting lasted about 20 minutes. The president was accompanied by a 16-person delegation, as well as his wife and one of his sons.

The country has been struck by violence since 1983 when the rebel Tamil Tigers began fighting for an independent state.

The Vatican said in its report of the meeting: "The Catholic Church, which offers a significant contribution to the life of the country, will intensify her delicate task of forming consciences with the sole ambition of favoring the common good, reconciliation and peace."

Catholics comprise 7% of Sri Lanka's 21 million people. Buddhists comprise 70%.

After his audience with Benedict XVI, the president went on to meet Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state.

Code: ZE07042003

Date: 2007-04-20


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)

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

"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

The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary. How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility. 

St. Ambrose of Optina