CWN - In a speech to Latin American ambassadors to Russia, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow emphasized the ties that bind Russian Orthodox Christians to Christians in Latin America.

“I have always felt, especially at that time, that Russia and Latin America have many things in common,” he said. “First, the very strong living Christian faith; it is really a faith of millions. Christianity in our country and in Latin America is an important factor of not only people’s spiritual but also intellectual life.”

He continued:

Just as in our country, in Latin America I have seen overcrowded churches, examples of remarkable Christian mission, also amidst the poor. I noted the great interest in Russia wherever we met with very warm and emotional manifestations of sympathy towards us.

The nations of Western Europe and North America, on the other hand,

used to be leaders of the Christian world, but they are ceasing to be such. Unlike them, in Latin America churches are not sold to accommodate some secular institutions in them, nor are churches closed but, on the contrary, are being built in a great number in Russia. We have the religious life on the rise, and it is what Russia and Latin American countries have in common.

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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 sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of the masses and the false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning, let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the All-seeing God not to expose us to temptations, since the Lord has said: 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians