VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2010 (VIS) - At midday today the Pope received participants in a congress called to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

This anniversary, said the Holy Father, provides an occasion "to examine to what extent the Code has had effective force of law for all 'sui iuris' Eastern Catholic Churches, and how it has been translated into their daily lives". Moreover, it is an opportunity to consider "the extent to which the legislative authority of each 'sui iuris' Church has undertaken to promulgate its own particular law, while bearing in mind the traditions of its own rite and the dispositions of Vatican Council II.

"The themes of your congress (divided into three sections: historical, legislative and ecumenical) are", he added, "an important indication of the course to be followed in this matter".

Benedict XVI then highlighted how "the 'sacri canones' of the ancient Church, which are the inspiration for the current Eastern Code, stimulate all the Eastern Churches to preserve their own identity, which is Oriental and Catholic at one and the same time. In maintaining Catholic communion the Eastern Catholic Churches had no intention of renouncing faithfulness to their own tradition", he said. "As has been noted on several occasions, the union they have already achieved with the Church of Rome must not cause the Eastern Catholic Churches to lose an awareness of their own authenticity and originality. Therefore, the task of all the Eastern Catholic Churches is that of preserving their legal heritage and nourishing their traditions, which are a treasure for the whole Church".

The Holy Father went on: "To a large extent, those same 'sacri canones' of the early centuries of the Church also constitute the fundamental and identical heritage of Canon Law that regulate the Orthodox Churches. Thus, the Eastern Catholic Churches can make a specific and important contribution to the progress of ecumenism".

The Pope concluded his remarks by noting how, "in the context of the Church's current commitment to the new evangelisation, Canon Law, as the specific and indispensable regulation of ecclesial unity, will not fail to make an effective contribution to the life and mission of the Church in the world, if all members of the People of God interpret it wisely and apply it faithfully".
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Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Holy Prophet Elias

The glorious Elias, * an angel in the flesh, the foundation of prophets and the second Forerunner of the coming of Christ * sent grace from on high to Elisha * to drive away sickness and cleanse lepers. * Wherefore, he pours forth healings for those who honor him. (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.

O Prophet and foreseer of the great works of our God, * O renowned Elias, who, by your word restrained the clouds of rain, * pray for us to the only One Who loves mankind. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

The Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Prophet Elias on July 20th.

Random Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky