Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!
Saints of the Day
May 8 / 21. Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian. St. Arsenius the Great. (services combined) St. Arsenius of Novgorod, fool-for-Christ. St. Arsenius the Lover of labor, of the Kiev Caves. St. Hierax of Egypt. (Greek Calendar: St. Milles the Melode, monk. Commemoration of the miraculous healing of blinded Stephen by the Mother of God of Cassiopia.) Repose of Schemahieromonk Michael of Valaam, confessor for the Orthodox Calendar (1934), and Blessed Basiliscus of Uglich (1863).
Photo of the Day
Our red, fifty year old Rhododendron, is nearing full bloom.
News of the Day:
Catholics and Russian Orthodox Seen as Allies
Moscow Patriarchate Sponsors 2-Day Event in Vatican
By Carmen Elena Villa
ROME, MAY 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Catholics and Orthodox are growing in the awareness they are not competitors but allies, says an official from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, affirmed this today at a press conference in the headquarters of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
That council, along with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Moscow Patriarchate, is sponsoring a Day of Russian Culture and Spirituality in the Vatican, being held today and Thursday.
Archbishop Hilarion, himself an accomplished music composer, noted how culture, art and music have become indispensable in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.
Through this language, “we can say what we cannot express with diplomatic or political words,” he contended. “It is possible to live this dialogue at several levels, also with simple persons.”
As part of the cultural event, there will be a concert Thursday in honor of Benedict XVI, sponsored by the patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Holiness Kirill I.
Archbishop Hilarion went on to note that in both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church “the awareness has grown of not being in competition, but of being allies.” The rivalries of the past, he added, “must stay there, in the past.”
He noted that cultural changes, particularly the “de-Christianization of our countries,” is calling for “greater collaboration.”
Other cultural changes call increasingly for an open dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, the prelate said: “Today there are many mixed marriages. We often find an Orthodox person next to a Catholic.”
“The whole of Russian culture has been founded on a Christian world,” recalled the archbishop.”When we were banned from all activities, culture enabled us to go forward.”
He also reflected how Russian spiritual music is much heard in Catholic liturgy, not to mention how many persons read Dostoyevsky and other authors, he noted.
Friends of Benedict
Archbishop Hilarion affirmed that for many Orthodox, “the election of Benedict XVI was received positively,” especially because of “his position on moral questions.”
“There is a commitment [among the Orthodox] to observe and promote traditional values,” he said.
In regard to the theological dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics, the archbishop projected that it will last for many years.
“Each stage of the dialogue ends with a text where Catholics and Orthodox say something together,” he explained. “What is important is that these texts are received not only by theologians but also by the faithful.”
For his part, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the cultural event can become an opportunity “to deepen our ecumenical relations themselves in a new dimension.”
“The sad age-old separation between East and West was not only caused by theological differences or political conflicts, but especially by distance and a cultural alienation,” he explained.
This distance must be overcome, the cardinal affirmed, not in the sense of a leveling “but in the sense of a mutual enrichment, a communion without fusion or absorption.”
Such a communion, he proposed, can be “a strong common testimony of the richness of European culture and its Christian roots — today, lamentably forgotten by many and even denied and rejected.”
Scripture Readings for the Day
The Voyage to Rome Begins
1 And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. 2 So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us. 3 And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care. 4 When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.
7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. 8 Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.
Paul’s Warning Ignored
9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there .
In the Tempest
13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. 15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands , they struck sail and so were driven. 18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us , all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”
27 Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea , about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land. 28 And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. 29 Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.
33 And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. 36 Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. 37 And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. 38 So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
Shipwrecked on Malta
39 When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible. 40 And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. 41 But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.
42 And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”