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

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

A brother asked Abba Isidore the priest, "Why are the demons so frightened of you?" The old man said to him, "Because, ever since the day I began practicing ascesis, I have striven to prevent anger from reaching my lips."

The Desert Fathers