24 September 1918 - 22 September 2018

Patriarch Emeritus Gregorios III was happy to participate in the abbey’s celebrations. In the morning, a solemn mass had been celebrated by Bishop Stefan Oster in the basilica, after which followed a concert in the upper church, with speeches from the abbot, Marianus Bieber, the state-minister Bernd Sibler and the district councillor, Christian Bernreiter. In the afternoon, His Beatitude presided at Byzantine Vespers in the St Nicholas Church. The whole occasion offered a good opportunity for him to visit the abbey and join in the festivities.

He brought the monks greetings from the Holy Land, and from the countries suffering from war, from Palestine with its seventy-year long conflict, from Iraq, and from Syria, now in its eighth year of crisis.

He writes, “My presence was a reminder of my predecessor, Maximos IV’s visiting Niederaltaich during the International Eucharistic Conference in Munich (1960), and later, on the occasion of the Second Vatican Council, together with some bishops of the Melkite Church.

“My work is also related to that of the monastery, because my Arabic quarterly, Unity in Faith, was exchanged with the German quarterly, Una Sancta edited by the monastery, and that of the Christkönigsinstitut in Meitingen.

“This also demonstrates the common core of ecumenism at the heart of this Benedictine monastery’s work and that of the Meitingen sisters, and of my work, which is why the Mother Superior of the Institute, Anna Maria Bäumler, and two sisters accompanied me there.”

His Beatitude profited from the occasion to remind everyone that through his participation in this feast, he was able to exchange ideas on ecumenism, the war in Syria and the Church’s efforts to help and work for peace.

His Beatitude concludes, “May all the world’s Church leaders work more closely together for unity and peace in our world.”

In 1918 after a period of secularisation, the Niederaltaich Monastery was reorganized as a Priory of Metten Benedictine Abbey. For its ecumenical work, see its English language website: http://www.abtei-niederaltaich.de/ecumenism/?L=3

 


Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 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 praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa