CWN - Pope Francis visited the Pontifical Oriental Institute on October 12, for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding.

The Pope met with students, faculty, and staff of the Oriental Institute, then proceeded to the basilica of St. Mary Major (which is just across a piazza from the Institute), where he presided at a Mass of thanksiving. In his homily the Holy Father recalled that the Institute was established by Pope Benedict XV at a time when World War I was shaking Europe. He praised the achievements of the Institute in encouraging greater understanding of the traditions of Eastern Christianity.

In a message to Cardinal Leonardo Sandri—who is the chancellor of the Oriental Institute as well as the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches—the Pope urged all teachers to “remain open to the Oriental churches, considered not only in terms of their ancient configuration, but also in their current diffusion and at times troubled geographical spread.” He said that the Oriental Institute still has “an ecumencial mission to pursue,” seeking full communion with all of the Eastern churches.

“On the other hand,” the Pope continued, “the task of the Institute is also to make know the treasures of the rich traditions of the Oriental churches to the Western world.” He continued:

With the collapse of the totalitarian regimes and of various dictatorships, which in some countries has unfortunately created conditions favourable to the spread of international terrorism, the Christians of the Oriental churches are experiencing the tragedy of persecutions and an increasingly worrying diaspora. We cannot close our eyes to these situations.

The Pope said that Catholic bishops of the Latin-rite dioceses around the world should be aware of the pastoral needs of “the geographically dislocated oriental faithful without their own hierarchy.”

 
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Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion)

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

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

According to the text, `We are the body of Christ and each of us is one of its members' (cf. 1 Cor. 12:27), we are said to be the body of Christ. We do not become this body through the loss of our own bodies; nor again because Christ's Body passes into us hypostatically or is divided into members; but rather because we conform to the likeness of the Lord's flesh by shaking off the corruption of sin. For just as Christ in His manhood was sinless by nature both in flesh and in soul, so we too who believe in Him, and have clothed ourselves in Him through the Spirit, can be without sin to Him if we so choose.

St. Maximus the Confessor, Second Century on Theology, Philokalia, V. 2