Prelate Hopes for Sufficient Security to Have Sunday Mass

BAGHDAD, Iraq, FEB. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- 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."
ZE07022828

Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

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

Blessed is he who always has before his eyes that "the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof" (Ps. 23:1), and keeps in mind that God is powerful to arrange for His servants as is pleasing to Him. 

St. Barsanuphius