Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - Heads of religious communities in Iraq will ask the Iraqi parliament to pass a law to punish forms of religious propaganda that instigate hatred and violence. This is what was reported by the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans, spreading the report of a singular meeting among Iraqi religious leaders, gathered at the invitation of the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako at the church of St. Joseph, in the district of Karrada, on Thursday 1 March. The meeting was attended by about thirty religious representatives – Shi’a and Sunni Muslims, Christians, Sabeans and Yazidis - and by the heads of political offices in charge of the various religious communities, together with Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martín, Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq. During the meeting - according to official sources of the Chaldean Patriarchate, consulted by Agenzia Fides - the proposal to organize similar meetings in other cities of the country was also taken, such as Najaf, and to establish a permanent council that would periodically meet scholars and senior representatives of the different religious communities. What was highlighted and discussed was the proposal to monitor religious preaching in places of worship and to examine with greater care the courses given in religious education centers, always with the aim of contrasting the seed of fanaticism,. "On the Judgment Day", among other things, said Patriarch Louis Raphael, in his opening speech, "we will not be asked, whether we are Shi'a Muslim or a Sunni? Christian Catholic or Orthodox, Mandae, or Yazidi? But rather the question of God would be, what did you do for your brother? and what have you offered to your people?". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 2/3/2018)


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 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)

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

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal life.

St. Ignatius the God-bearer