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 would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 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

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“We firmly believe that the Church will never fall, will never waiver and will not be destroyed. For this is what Christ taught, by Whom the heavens were established and the earth was founded, and stands firmly as the Holy Spirit says”. (Ps. 32:6) The Antichrist will lure to himself “those who have a weak and feeble mind, will seduce and will tear them away from the living God.”

St. John of Damascus, Oration on the Transfiguration of the Lord