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

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 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

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus