VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Africa has become the fount for the numerical growth of Catholics in the world, recalled bishops meeting in the Vatican in preparation for the second synod of African bishops.

The Vatican press office issued a communiqué today with the conclusions of the meeting of the Special Council for Africa of the Synod of Bishops' General Secretariat, held in Rome on Feb. 15-16.

According to the communiqué, the council's members highlighted the Church's great dynamism in Africa where, in 2005, the increase in the number of Catholics (3.1%) was greater than the growth of the population (2.5%).

The prelates hope the upcoming synod will encourage lay people "to commit themselves to an integral improvement of the living conditions of all Africans: economically, culturally, from the point of view of health care and, above all, spiritually."

The communiqué continues: "Consideration was also given to the idea of involving representatives from other religions in the pre-synodal preparations, in order to respond, if possible together, to the current challenges facing the continent, which is seeking a more just and peaceful society ... and ever greater reconciliation."

Code: ZE07022724

Date: 2007-02-27

 


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Lamb and Redeemer

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)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The enemy of our salvation especially strives to draw our heart and mind away from God when we are about to serve Him, and endeavours to adulterously attach our heart to something irrelevant. Be always, every moment, with God, especially when you pray to Him. If you are inconstant, you will fall away from life, and will cast yourself into sorrow and straitness. 

St. John of Kronstadt