January 16, 2008

Unity Week to Focus on Unceasing Prayer

[From Zenit.org]

Begins Friday With Pope's Celebration of Vespers

Vatican City, January 15, 2008
Benedict XVI will begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by presiding at the celebration of vespers at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

The week of prayer begins Friday and ends Jan. 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

The theme chosen for this year, taken from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, is "Pray Without Ceasing." The texts for reflection and prayer were prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.

The Vatican press office released today the theme for each day of the week:
Friday, Jan. 18: Pray always. "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Saturday, Jan. 19: Pray always, trusting God alone. "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Sunday, Jan. 20: Pray without ceasing for the conversion of hearts. "Admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted" (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

Monday, Jan. 21: Pray always for justice. "See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all" (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

Tuesday, Jan. 22: Pray constantly with a patient heart. "Be patient with all of them" (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

Wednesday, Jan. 23: Pray always for grace to work with God. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:16).

Thursday, Jan. 24: Pray for what we need. "Help the weak" (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

Friday, Jan. 25: Pray always that they all may be one. "Be at peace" (1 Thessalonians 5:13b)

Although the traditional period for celebrating this week of prayer is in January, in the Southern Hemisphere, Churches sometimes seek other periods such as around the time of Pentecost.

[Note from Fr. Stephanos. St. Paul's Basilica is also a Benedictine monastery, and has been so for more than a thousand years.]

January 13, 2008

More about my monastery’s Papal guest this past week

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M.Cap. (Franciscan Capuchin)

Divinity Doctor and Doctor in classical literature.

Former Ordinary Professor of History of Ancient Christianity and Director of the Department of religious sciences at the Catholic University of Milan.

Member of the International Theological Commission (1975-1981).

In 1979 he resigned his teaching position to become a full time preacher of the Gospel.

In 1980 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II Preacher to the Papal Household in which capacity he still serves, preaching a weekly sermon in Advent and Lent in the presence of the Pope, the cardinals, bishops, and prelates of the Roman Curia, and the general superiors of religious orders.

He has a website.

Click HERE for it.