CWN - Meeting with Chaldean Catholic priests in Ankawa, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan to which thousands of Christians fled two years ago, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako called upon priests to live simply and to accompany their suffering people.

“Let us learn from Pope Francis’s experience in simplicity, humility and warmth of love to reveal the face” of Christ, the patriarch said, as he praised the priests for remaining in Iraq rather than emigrating.

“Let us follow the Pope’s example in serving Jesus with a new way of thinking and approaching as well as an ongoing search for new things to serve our brothers and offer assistance to them due to their poverty, worries and suffering so that our church can witness the love, mercy and resurrection of Christ forever,” he continued.

The patriarch also asked priests to embrace liturgical changes:

I believe that updating of liturgy helps the faithful understand and apply it on their daily life, especially [since] our liturgy is mostly dated back to the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. Thus, liturgy has not to be limited to one particular text only and it is not right to say that [a] “liturgical text cannot be touched or translated.” Such [a] mentality is intolerant and not in line with the Gospel: “the Sabbath was made for a man.”

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 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

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived. All this is enough to stir the pity of men who have learnt the love of Christ; but, compared with the actual state of things, words fall very far short....

Saint Basil the Great
(Letter 90)