CWN - The patriarchs of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Syriac Catholic Church have issued a joint statement on the second anniversary of the fall of Mosul, Iraq, to the Islamic State, and the flight of tens of thousands of Christians to the Kurdistan region.

The Syriac Orthodox Church is an Oriental Orthodox church that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451; the Syriac Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See.

“Two years after the calamity that was brought upon our people, the decision-making countries and the international community remain silent and inactive towards the ethnic cleansing of a historical people who founded the civilizations of the area,” the patriarchs said in their statement.

“We welcome the decision of certain countries to recognize these terrorist acts as a genocide against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities,” they added. “However, we strongly denounce the absence of serious actions from the part of the international community and the Iraqi government to step up the liberation of Mosul and the villages of the Nineveh Plain from the terrorist groups.”

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Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 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

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

God is nearer to us than any man at every time. He is nearer to me than my raiment, nearer than the air or light, nearer than my wife, father, mother, daughter, son or friend. I live in Him, soul and body. I breathe in Him, think in Him, feel, consider, intend, speak, undertake, work in Him. `For in Him we live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28).

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ