Friday, April 11, 2014

Archbishop Cordileone and Metropolitan Gerasimos Lead Prayer Service

Our good shepherd, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, met with His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos, at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross in veneration of the relic of the Holy Cross of our Lord, April 8th, 2014. 

His Excellency sent out an email describing the meeting (which linked to an MP3 recording of his speech--I hope this link works. If it does not, the text may be found here). 

From the Archbishop:

"The Churches of the East and the West came together yesterday for prayer, and veneration of the instrument of our salvation, the Holy Cross of our Lord.

We recalled John Chapter 17 when Jesus expressed His desire for unity among believers, that we would all be one. There will be no unity without a healthy spirit of penance, and the cross.

How appropriate that our meeting was to take place during lent, a time of penance, in a year where we will sharing together the Pascal Mystery with coinciding calendars.

Also, within weeks a great historic meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness Pope Francis will take place in Jerusalem.

I am sure that these steps to bring our two churches together are pleasing to our Lord. Please continue to pray with us for unity among Christians."


His Excellency's entire speech was learned and moving. I repost the excerpt below, because it speaks to one of my (many) failings:

"How much poverty, how much violence, how much oppression is caused, at its root, by an incorrect understanding of the human person? If I see my neighbor as a means to achieve an end that I desire – even if that end is to assuage my conscience by giving from my surplus to respond to my neighbor’s need, and then I can then be rid of him or her – have I not undermined my neighbor’s God-given dignity? But when we understand and live by the sacramental principle that God created man and woman in His own image and likeness, then I see God revealed in my neighbor; I come to my neighbor’s assistance not to give something in response to need, but to make a gift of my very self. When I approach my neighbor not motivated by giving in response to need, but by love in response to love, then the encounter becomes act of true charity in which the true face of Christ is revealed."

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