- Lamenting the problems that afflict Russian society-- “corruption, disrespect for the law, alcoholism, drug addiction, criminality, the crisis of the family”-- the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said that efforts at “modernization” will fail unless they take moral norms into account.

“Modernization without a moral dimension turns to [the] unrestrained pursuit of temporary goods and pleasures, heartless technocracy, [and] results in perverted relations between people,” said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

State authorities, the patriarch added, need to recognize the indispensable role that civil associations play in renewing society. While the “actions of state authorities are absolutely necessary, these problems can't be solved only from above, without participation of people, without creative activity of an ordinary person, without people's capability to self-organization, to creating what we call institutes of civil society,” he said.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 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

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina