CWNews.com - Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, saluting him for “your wise efforts for the good of Orthodoxy and for the promotion of Christian values in many international contexts.”

The Pope’s message to the world’s leading Orthodox prelate was hand-delivered on November 30 by Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Cardinal Koch led a Vatican delegation joining the Orthodox Patriarch for the celebration of the feast of St. Andrew, the patron of Constantinople.

Each year on November 30 the Holy See sends representatives to attend the Divine Liturgy at the patriarchal church in Phanar, just as the Ecumenical Patriarch sends his own representatives to Rome for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. In 2006, Pope Benedict himself timed his visit to Turkey for the feast of St. Andrew.

In his message to Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Benedict said that “we must continue along the path toward full communion, showing that we have already united our strengths for a shared witness of the Gospel before the people of our time.”

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism 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 truth 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)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

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

It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his older brother: "I want to be free from care and not to work but to worship God without interruption." And he took his robe off, and went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked without opening it: "Who is it?" He replied: "It's John, your brother." The brother said: "John has become an angel and is not among people anymore." Then he begged and said: "It's me!" But his brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: "If you are a human being, you have to work again in order to live." Then John repented, saying: "Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong."

Sayings of the Desert Fathers