CWN - The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has sent his best wishes to Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the patrons of Rome.

Thanking Pope Francis for joining him on the Greek island of Lesbos to draw attention to the plight of refugees, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said that “the contemporary crisis of refugees and migrants has demonstrated the need for European nations to address this problem on the basis of the ancient Christian principles of fraternity and social justice.”

“We recognize that the European civilization cannot be understood without reference to its Christian roots and that its future cannot be as a society entirely secularized or subjected to economism and various forms of fundamentalism,” he continued. “The ‘culture of solidarity’ nurtured by Christianity is not preserved through the progress of standards of living, the Internet and globalization.”

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also thanked Pope Francis for his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ and added:

"No one honors mankind created in the image and likeness of God as much as the Church of Christ, who was revealed as God 'with us' (Matt. 1.23) and as God 'for us' (Rom. 8.32). This is why the word of the Church is and shall remain to the ages an intervention for the sake of humanity and its divinely-granted freedom. Life in the Church incorporates, along with the Holy Eucharist, the splendid worship and life of prayer, the ascetic and internal struggle against the passions, as well as the resistance against social evil and the struggle for the prevailing of justice and peace."

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 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

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"And when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. And for three days he could not see." (Acts 9:9)

By no means would he [Saul] have been able to see well again unless he had first been fully blinded. Also, when he had rejected his own wisdom, which was confusing him, he could commit himself totally to faith. Since he had not believed that the Lord had conquered death by rising on the third day, he was now taught by his own experience of the replacement of three days of darkness by the return of the light.

Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles from the Venerable Bede