Prelate Hopes for Sufficient Security to Have Sunday Mass

BAGHDAD, Iraq, FEB. 28, 2007 ( Christians in war-torn Iraq have been asked to add Lenten sacrifices to their daily privations as an offering to God.

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Babylon explained this to the Italian bishops' SIR news agency.

"They are renunciations that are added to the privations that we experience daily in Iraq," said Bishop Warduni. Such privations include lack of drinking water, food, medicines and electricity.

"It is paradoxical, moreover, that in an oil-rich country such as Iraq there is no gasoline for the population's needs," he added in the interview published Friday by SIR.

"We have no security or stability, or job possibilities, and we suffer violence and abuses," the prelate said. "Despite this, we have asked our faithful to offer all these difficulties to God so that he will keep present the fate of Iraq, of its children, of its sick, of its elderly, and of peace and security." At home

According to his statements, since Christmas, Masses are no longer celebrated regularly because it is very dangerous.

For Lenten celebrations, "we have asked our faithful to meet in homes to do little Stations of the Cross, to pray the rosary or vespers with the help of a committed layman or subdeacon," said Bishop Warduni.

The celebrating of Mass on one of the forthcoming Sundays will be impossible, unless the situation improves, he lamented.

"And this makes us suffer a lot. Our faithful try to live the celebrations together, gathering in family groups, avoiding moving around for security reasons," the bishop added.

Nevertheless, priestly vocations and the Church are growing and the Church in Iraq is "full of hope in the Lord," he said.

Bishop Warduni asked "all Christian families worldwide to remember the Iraqi people in their prayers."

Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 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

"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

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder