MURCIA, Spain, FEB. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Paul Cordes says the primary objective of Catholic charities is to show the love of God.

The president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which helps the Pope to promote and coordinate the Church's charitable work, said this on Tuesday when opening an international conference at the Catholic University of St. Anthony in Murcia.

"Catholic charitable associations must work to reduce poverty, but their primary objective is to show the love of God in the world," Archbishop Cordes said.

The 72-year-old prelate exhorted ecclesial groups "to firmly maintain their roots and objectives so as not to lose their ecclesial nature, giving priority to evangelization in the charitable activities in which they engage."

His conference was entitled "Socio-Charitable Activity in the Encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est.'"

The prelate said that "Christian associations as well as believers must not seek supports in the field of socio-charitable action that are not in accord with the Gospel."

"Church and state need each other in the quest for man's good; hence, the need for cooperation between both institutions is inevitable," Archbishop Cordes added.

The prelate praised the work of civil associations, particularly those nongovernmental organizations that "engage in charitable activity philanthropically."
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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven