CWN - The Moscow Patriarchate’s chief ecumenical officer praised a non-sectarian class in religions in Russia’s schools and called for the course’s extension beyond fourth grade.

“If our children do not know religious teachings, they can involuntarily become an easy prey for terrorists,” Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, said in an interview with Ekaterina Gracheva of the television station Russia-24.

“We must always remember that terrorism cannot be motivated by religion,” he continued, though “there are people who cover their criminal acts with religious rhetoric.”

After stating that Orthodox children should learn about Islam, and Muslim children should learn about Orthodoxy, the prelate criticized the “anti-religious ideology which is always gaining more ground in the West,” where “the revolution of man against God is in substance propagated and encouraged” in “a variety of modes and images.”

First, said Metropolitan Hilarion, comes the rejection of God, or the idea that one can choose or not choose to believe in God; then comes the idea that one can choose one’s gender, rather than accepting one’s God-given sex as male or female.

 
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Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

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

Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were formed, who we are, and with what nature we came into the world, and how He Who formed and created us brought us into His world from the darkness of a grave, and prepared his benefits for us before we were born. Since, therefore, we have everything from Him, we ought in everything to give Him thanks, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Clement of Rome