LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Members of a local Catholic church are in shock because of a crime over the weekend that has also left them hurt and confused.

St. Barbara Chaldean Catholic Church was broken into, burglarized, and apparently the target of an attempted arson.

"We were shocked," Father Ray Sarkees, the church pastor said. "We're all shocked about it."

Several heavy-duty fans cover the floor of the building. They're drying things out after the sprinklers went off. A black scorch mark covers a large area around the altar.

Sarkees says a church safe and a sound system were stolen, along with donation boxes.

Michael Patros, a member of the small church, says he's heartbroken.

"Who would do something like this and why?" Patros said. "What did we do to upset somebody? What was the reason? What were they getting out of it?"

Almost all of the 150 to 200 families that belong to the church are Iraqi.

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky