CWN - Cardinal Pietro Parolin reviewed his visit to Moscow, and his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, in an interview with Vatican Radio.

The Vatican Secretary of State revealed that he had given a full briefing on the visit to Pope Francis immediately upon his return to Rome. The Pontiff “was pleased with the impressions and positive results” of the trip, he said.

Cardinal Parolin said that in his conversation with Patriarch Kirill, the focus was primarily on cooperation between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. “Slightly thorny issues were also touched,” he said. He mentioned the situation in Ukraine, where Catholic and Orthodox leaders have frequently clashed.

With President Putin, the cardinal said, the conversation centered on the Middle East, and especially the plight of Christians in that region. He said that he also spoke with the Russian leader about Ukraine and about the crisis in Venezuela. Cardinal Parolin discussed the same international issues earlier in talks with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Overall, the cardinal said, his meetings in Rome “were truly characterized by a cordial, listening, and respectful climate.”

 

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Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 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)

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.

Archimandrite Sophrony