vatican.va - The following is the Message sent by the Holy Father Francis on the occasion of the opening of the 25th International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality, organised by the Monastic Community of Bose in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches (6-9 September 2017, Monastery of Bose):

Message of the Holy Father

To Brother Enzo Bianchi
Monastery of Bose

On the occasion of the opening of the 25th International Ecumenical Conference of Orthodox Spirituality, I wish to address to you, organisers and participants, my cordial greeting. In particular, I would like to convey a warm embrace of peace to His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, dearest Brother Bartholomew, and to His Beatitude Theodoros, Patriarch of Alexandria: your important presence honours the twenty-five years of the Conference that the Monastery of Bose organises in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches and confirms its contribution to the common path towards full unity.

This year’s theme, “the gift of hospitality”, is evocative and timely. It is true that hospitality is a gift, a gift we have first received: we are guests in a world created for us and which must be protected, but we are also transient here, strangers on earth, because we are guests invited and awaited in heaven, where we have our citizenship (cf. Phil. 3: 20).

In the meantime, as itinerant disciples, we are called to focus on what does not wane, on the charity that will never end (cf. Cor. 13: 8), to accept each other as gifts from the Lord, to promote mutual care and affection, to “have compassion, to take part in the pain of those who suffer, to consider as one’s own ill the misfortunes of others” (N. Cabasilas, The Life in Christ, VI, 8). I hope that this calling is rekindled by the humble and sincere listening and reflections of these days, so fraternal sentiments may grow, and an authentic “hospitality of the heart” mature, so as we journey in pilgrimage together towards the Kingdom, we are inspired to take more courageous and concrete steps towards full communion.

With these sentiments I invoke upon you and upon the works of the Conference the abundance of the gifts of the Spirit, while asking you to keep a place for me in your prayers.

From the Vatican, 18 August 2017.


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)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (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.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.

St. John of Kronstadt