CWN - Pope Francis told a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that the restoration of “full, visible communion” between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches “represents one of my main concerns, for which I do not cease to pray to God.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch customarily sends a delegation to Rome for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and the Pontiff in turn sends a delegation to Istanbul for the Feast of St. Andrew. This year, the Orthodox delegation included Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon, Metropolitan Maximos Vgenopoulos of Selyvria, and Father Heikki Huttunen of the Finnish Orthodox Church.

“It is my desire that we may be able to face, in truth but also with a fraternal spirit, the difficulties which still exist,” Pope Francis said on June 27. “In this way, I wish also to renew my support for the important work of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.”

“The problems which we may encounter in the course of our theological dialogue must not lead us to discouragement or resignation,” he added. “The careful examination of how in the Church the principle of synodality and the service of the one who presides are articulated, will make a significant contribution to the progress of relations between our Churches.”

The Pope assured the Orthodox delegation of his prayers for the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Synod and asked for prayers for the upcoming Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church on the family.


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Nativity of the Mother of God

Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, * heralded joy to all the world; * for from you has dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * and, having annulled the curse, He gave the blessing * and by destroying Death He granted us eternal life. (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.

Through your holy nativity, O Immaculate One, * Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness, * and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. * Delivered from the guilt of sin, your people celebrate this as they cry out to you: * "The barren woman gives birth to the Mother of God, the Nourisher of our Life." (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 8th.

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

Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this, the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them. But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and worshipper of the world.

St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven.