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

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 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

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, before the fall ... participated in ... divine illumination and resplendence, and because he was truly clothed in a garment of glory he was not naked, nor was he unseemly by reason of his nakedness. He was far more richly adorned than those who now deck themselves out with diadems of gold and brightly sparkling jewels. St. Paul calls this divine illumination and grace our celestial dwelling when he says, 'For this we sigh, yearning to be clothed in our heavenly habitation, since clothed we will not be found naked' (2 Cor. 5:2).

St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 67, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 377)