CWN - A Russian Orthodox official has said that relations with the Catholic Church are critically important at a time when the world’s two largest Christian institutions face a powerful trend of secularization.

“The Orthodox and Catholic Church remain a bastion of traditional morality, and feel their responsibility for the future of civilization,” said Hieromonk Stefan, the secretary of the ecumenical department of the Moscow patriarchate. He told the AsiaNews service that the Catholic and Orthodox faiths are “moral reference points” for a society that is in danger of losing any firm sence of morality.

Commenting on the document recently produced by a joint Orthodox-Catholic theological commisison, on the nature of primacy as understood during the first Christian millenium, the Russian cleric said that “at that time, the attitude towards this issue, in the West and in the East, was different, but this difference did not abolish the fundamental unity of Christians.” He said that the commission’s document focused on “our common heritage” as a possible basis for future ecumenical progress.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 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 praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"And when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. And for three days he could not see." (Acts 9:9)

By no means would he [Saul] have been able to see well again unless he had first been fully blinded. Also, when he had rejected his own wisdom, which was confusing him, he could commit himself totally to faith. Since he had not believed that the Lord had conquered death by rising on the third day, he was now taught by his own experience of the replacement of three days of darkness by the return of the light.

Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles from the Venerable Bede