CWN - Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, traveled to Moscow on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Patriarch Kirill and met with him on November 22.

Patriarch Kirill, who leads the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, expressed his gratitude for recent developments in relations with the Holy See, particularly his meeting in February with Pope Francis in Havana, the signing of the joint declaration there, and recent actions to assist persecuted Christians.

Turning to the geopolitical sphere, the patriarch said that “the actions of the existing coalitions still lack proper coordination, necessary for combating terrorism successfully.”

“I am convinced that only joint coordinated actions aimed at achieving specific goals can really help defeat terrorism,” he added.

For his part, Cardinal Koch said:

I wish to convey to Your Holiness, my beloved brother in Christ, the assurance of my personal best wishes and fervent prayers on the occasion of your seventieth birthday. I thank the Lord for the abundant blessings that he has bestowed upon you in your life and in your ministry as Pastor of the Russian Orthodox Church. I am especially grateful for your personal contribution to the rapprochement between our Churches and I recall with great emotion our historic meeting in Havana.

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Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head." 

St. Seraphim of Sarov