CWN - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said that the Moscow patriarchate and the Vatican were close to agreement on the situation in Ukraine, after an August 22 meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.

“We greatly appreciated that this time, we found a mutual understanding on the role that our churches must play concerning the reconciliation of the population in Ukraine,” the Russian patriarch said. He added that churches “cannot play any other role if not one of peacemaking.”

Patriarch Kirill’s statement is particularly significant because the Russian Orthodox Church has frequently blamed the Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church for fomenting divisions in Ukraine. Tensions over the role of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, in a country that the Moscow patriarchate regards as its “canonical territory,” have troubled relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church for years, since the Catholic Church in Ukraine burst into vigorous activity after the fall of the Communist regime.

Cardinal Parolin spoke with Patriarch Kirill about the expansion of ecumenical ties between Rome and Moscow, which took a dramatic step forward when Pope Francis met with the Russian patriarch in Havana. This year, more than 2.3 million Russians venerated the relics of St. Nicholas, which were displayed in Moscow and St. Petersburg, on loan from the Catholic cathedral of Bari, Italy. Cardinal Parolin remarked that this massive display of faith illustrates the depth of belief that unites the Catholic and Orthodox faithful. “The ecumenism of holiness is real,” he said; “it exists.”

During their talk, held at the Danilovsky monastery, the cardinal and the patriarch also discussed the plight of Christians in the Middle East, agreeing that they should cooperate in providing support for those in need.

 

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 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

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.

St. John of Kronstadt