In a society that tends to distort the spiritual significance of the holidays by encouraging consumerism, Patriarch Daniel explained on Thursday how to better prepare for the feast of the Nativity of the Lord.
“By more prayer, by reading the Holy Scriptures, by a more frequent Confession and Communion, and with acts of mercy. Let us be diligent and generous. If we do not have material goods, let us offer a prayer for a sick, lonely and sorrowful person.”
‘Let us offer a good piece of advice, a word of encouragement, because these are also acts of mercy. The greatest act of mercy is prayer for the health and salvation of our fellows,’ the Patriarch said November 21.
The Patriarch of Romania offered these practical pieces of advice during the festive Divine Liturgy celebrated at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest on the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.
Patriarch Daniel offered Virgin Mary as an example of this type of preparation since ‘she prepared herself for a long time to become the Birthgiver of God, so that Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world may be conceived and born by her.’
‘This feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple is a sacred icon for every Christian in particular and for the entire Church in general because it shows us how to prepare ourselves to meet Christ Who was born in the cave in Bethlehem, was placed in a manger, and Who mystically, through the action of the Holy Spirit, wishes to be born in our body and to dwell in the manger of our soul.’
The Patriarch noted that the establishment of a celebration dedicated to the Theotokos was necessary for our preparation for Christmas because the Virgin Mary ‘is an icon of saintliness, preparation, obedience to the Word of God and its fulfilment in the way of living and acting.’
“The Mother of God shows to young girls that they must prepare with prayer, by listening to the Word of God and with good deeds if they want to start a family or if they want to become nuns in the monastery. The Mother of God is for all Christians, men and women, a call for purity, holiness, humble and merciful love.”
Concelebrant for the Divine Liturgy included Bishop Ieronim of Sinaia who marked his 60th birthday the same day.
During the Divine Liturgy, Patriarch Daniel ordained Daniel Tamaslicaru, who served as a chanter at the Patriarchal Cathedral for five years, to the diaconate.