VATICAN CITY, NOV. 8, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A culture worthy of human life needs to be promoted, both in the Church and in the world, says Benedict XVI, who encouraged pontifical academies in their quest to accomplish this objective.

The Pope affirmed this in a message sent to Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the coordinating council of the pontifical academies and president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. He sent the note on the occasion of the public session of the academy council meeting.

"The celebration of this public session," writes the Pontiff in his message, "annually renews an opportunity for meeting and collaboration between the pontifical academies [...] in order to harmonize their various initiatives, all of which have a precise objective: promoting, both in the Church and the world, a culture worthy of human life, made fruitful by faith, capable of proposing the beauty of Christian life and of providing an adequate response to the ever more numerous challenges of today's cultural and religious context."

Alluding to the session's theme on the love of God shown in the lives of martyrs, the Holy Father highlighted how "it is more necessary than ever to re-present the example of Christian martyrs, both those of antiquity and those of our own time, whose lives and witness, even to the spilling of their blood, are the supreme expression of love of God."

The Pope concluded by mentioning "the works of charity that have flowered down the centuries through the efforts of generous faithful" who "have endeavored to create and promote charitable initiatives and institutions to meet the needs of the poorest, thus giving concrete expression to the close and indissoluble link between love of God and love of others."

ZE07110803 - 2007-11-08


Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived. All this is enough to stir the pity of men who have learnt the love of Christ; but, compared with the actual state of things, words fall very far short....

Saint Basil the Great
(Letter 90)