CWN = Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has suggested a plan for the reconstruction of Iraq, based on the possibility that a new offensive will drive the Islamic State out of the region around Mosul and the Nineveh Plains.

The Iraqi prelate said that if families who fled from that region are able to return to their homes, the process of reconstruction should be based on a rejection of violence, a determination to stop terrorism, a firm understanding that religion must not be invoked to support violence, and a commitment to peaceful coexistence.

The Chaldean Patriarch conceded that he was looking beyond current problems to imagine better days. At the moment, he said, “terrorism has not been defeated yet; the conflicts are not over; violations of human rights are still growing at different levels; the efforts for national reconciliation came to a halt; and the promises of eradicating corruption, reforming, establishing a civil government, and fighting against unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and diseases, did not go beyond being promises only.”

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 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

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The perfection of the Christian life -- and I mean that life which is the only one the name of Christ is used to designate -- is that in which we participate not only by our mind and soul but in all the actions of our lives, so that our holiness may be complete, in accordance with the blessing pronounced by Paul, in our 'whole body and soul and spirit' (I Thess. 5:23), constantly guarded from all admixture with evil.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, From Glory to Glory