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."
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Teachings of Christ

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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.

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Random Proverb

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Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying: "If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2Cor. 5:17).

The Homilies of St. Gregory the Great On the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel