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

“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)

Seventh Ecumenical Council

O Christ our God, You are most glorious, * for You established our Fathers as lights upon the earth * and through them led us to the true faith. * O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 8)

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

The Son Who shone forth ineffably from the Father * was born two-fold in nature. * Beholding Him, we do not refuse the image of his form, * but piously depicting it, we honor it faithfully. * Therefore the Church, holding fast to the true faith, * kisses the icon of the incarnation of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Troparia of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for your desires are not always in keeping with the will of God. It is better to pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Pray in this way about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

Saint Nilus of Mount Sinai: "153 Texts on Prayer"