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

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom