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

“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

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We ought to learn the virtues through practicing them, not merely through talking about them, so that by acquiring the habit of them we do not forget what is of benefit to us. 'The kingdom of God', St. Paul says, 'resides not in words but in power' (I Cor. 4:20). For he who tries to discover things through actual practice will come to understand what gain or loss lies in any activity that he pursues..."

St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1:A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 183)