CWN - The head of the Syriac Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, said that the Iraqi members of his flock who fled the advance of ISIS two years ago “have no hope of returning home, either to Mosul or to the nearby Plain of Nineveh.”

“The Western powers, like the United States and the European Union, have their own geopolitical agenda,” Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan said in an interview with Crux.

Referring to efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the patriarch added that “what was done to Syria was clearly unjust, a kind of Machiavellian politics exercised against Syria and the Syrian people.”

Patriarch Yonan also criticized European bishops who have rebuffed his attempts to send Syriac priests to minister to refugees, as well as those who have forbidden him to celebrate the liturgy in Catholic churches.

“When I was in Sweden a couple of weeks ago, I had to use Syriac Orthodox churches for the Divine Masses I celebrated, although I am a Catholic patriarch,” he said. “I don’t know what kind of theology and canon law they study in the seminary, refusing for a patriarch to celebrate the Mass in the parish church. I was in Berlin two weeks ago and the thing is, I celebrated in a Syriac Orthodox church.”

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Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The enemy of our salvation especially strives to draw our heart and mind away from God when we are about to serve Him, and endeavours to adulterously attach our heart to something irrelevant. Be always, every moment, with God, especially when you pray to Him. If you are inconstant, you will fall away from life, and will cast yourself into sorrow and straitness. 

St. John of Kronstadt