CWN - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Pentecost on June 19 to open the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.

In recent weeks, four of 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches chose not to send delegations to the council.

“Our Orthodox Church has the supreme gift and blessing of possessing the treasure of truth and preserving intact the gift of the All-Holy Spirit, which 'has filled the whole world' (Wis. 1:7), and it is obliged to give the contemporary world a testimony of love and unity, and to reveal the hidden hope that lies within it,” he preached at the Cathedral of St. Minas in Heraklion, Crete.

“Regardless of our different opinions, we Orthodox Christians ought to point out that the only road on our course in this world is unity,” he continued. “Of course, this road demands a living sacrifice, much work, and is achieved after great struggle. It is certain that this Council of ours will contribute towards this direction by creating a climate of mutual trust and understanding through our meeting in the Holy Spirit and through an edifying and sincere dialogue.”

References:


Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 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 lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“We firmly believe that the Church will never fall, will never waiver and will not be destroyed. For this is what Christ taught, by Whom the heavens were established and the earth was founded, and stands firmly as the Holy Spirit says”. (Ps. 32:6) The Antichrist will lure to himself “those who have a weak and feeble mind, will seduce and will tear them away from the living God.”

St. John of Damascus, Oration on the Transfiguration of the Lord