CWN - Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has arrived in Crete to prepare for the June 19 opening of the Pan-Orthodox Council, and issued a plea for other Orthodox churches to participate in the meeting.

Prospects for the success of the meeting improved somewhat when the Serbian Orthodox Church, which had expressed misgivings about proceeding with the council, announced its intention to join in the meeting. However, the Russian, Georgian, and Bulgarian Orthodox churches have said that they will not participate, as has the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

Despite these defections-- and despite a plea from the Moscow Patriarchate for postponement of the event-- the Ecumenical Patriarchate has insisted that the Pan-Orthodox Council will proceed on schedule. The rules of the meeting had included a provision that all decisions by the council must be accepted by all the Orthodox churches. Nevertheless the Ecumenical Patriarchate has taken the stand that decisions of the council will be binding on all Orthodox bodies, whether or not they participate. 

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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

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

The Seraph could not touch the fire's coal with his fingers, but just brought it close to Isaiah's mouth: the Seraph did not hold it, Isaiah did not consume it, but us our Lord has allowed to do both. 

St. Ephraim the Syrian