CWN - Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has arrived in Crete to prepare for the June 19 opening of the Pan-Orthodox Council, and issued a plea for other Orthodox churches to participate in the meeting.

Prospects for the success of the meeting improved somewhat when the Serbian Orthodox Church, which had expressed misgivings about proceeding with the council, announced its intention to join in the meeting. However, the Russian, Georgian, and Bulgarian Orthodox churches have said that they will not participate, as has the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

Despite these defections-- and despite a plea from the Moscow Patriarchate for postponement of the event-- the Ecumenical Patriarchate has insisted that the Pan-Orthodox Council will proceed on schedule. The rules of the meeting had included a provision that all decisions by the council must be accepted by all the Orthodox churches. Nevertheless the Ecumenical Patriarchate has taken the stand that decisions of the council will be binding on all Orthodox bodies, whether or not they participate. 

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 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

"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

Every man baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in Baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through keeping the Commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression.

St. Gregory of Sinai