CWNews.com - 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

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Virtues and vices are the food of the soul and it can feed on either one, turning to whichever one it wants. If it is bent toward moral excellence, it will be fed by virtue - by righteousness, temperance, meekness, endurance. In other words, it is just as St. Paul says, 'being nourished by the word of truth' (1 Tim. 4:6).

St. Ignatius of Antioch