CWN - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has written a message to the Orthodox faithful on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his accession to the See of Constantinople.

The 76-year-old prelate, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, recalled the recent Orthodox synod in Crete and said that all of the Orthodox churches—even those that did not send representatives—were bound to accept its decisions.

Praying for the Middle East’s persecuted Christians as well as for refugees, the Ecumenical Patriarch also recalled his visit with Pope Francis at the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this year.

The Ecumenical Patriarch also lamented the widening gap between rich and poor and decried environmental damage, calling for a “radical change of mentality, the transition from a possessive and consumerist state to a Eucharistic and ascetic use of creation.”

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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Prayer is grace. God gives it when there exists zeal and humility…. Let Christ not be missing from your heart.