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

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for your desires are not always in keeping with the will of God. It is better to pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Pray in this way about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

Saint Nilus of Mount Sinai: "153 Texts on Prayer"