CWN - The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has sent his best wishes to Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the patrons of Rome.

Thanking Pope Francis for joining him on the Greek island of Lesbos to draw attention to the plight of refugees, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said that “the contemporary crisis of refugees and migrants has demonstrated the need for European nations to address this problem on the basis of the ancient Christian principles of fraternity and social justice.”

“We recognize that the European civilization cannot be understood without reference to its Christian roots and that its future cannot be as a society entirely secularized or subjected to economism and various forms of fundamentalism,” he continued. “The ‘culture of solidarity’ nurtured by Christianity is not preserved through the progress of standards of living, the Internet and globalization.”

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also thanked Pope Francis for his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ and added:

"No one honors mankind created in the image and likeness of God as much as the Church of Christ, who was revealed as God 'with us' (Matt. 1.23) and as God 'for us' (Rom. 8.32). This is why the word of the Church is and shall remain to the ages an intervention for the sake of humanity and its divinely-granted freedom. Life in the Church incorporates, along with the Holy Eucharist, the splendid worship and life of prayer, the ascetic and internal struggle against the passions, as well as the resistance against social evil and the struggle for the prevailing of justice and peace."

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Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 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 despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 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