BAGHDAD, Iraq, DEC. 18, 2006 ( Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly of Babylon of the Chaldeans is appealing to Christians everywhere to observe the "Nineveh fast" for peace today and Tuesday.

The pastor of the country's largest Christian community gave this intention for prayers and sacrifices: "That the Lord may grant the gift of peace, security and stability to our beloved Iraq, and that a climate of fraternity and charity may reign among the children of Iraq."

The initiative is called "Nineveh fast" in remembrance of the fast that the prophet Jonah asked of the inhabitants of that city (near present-day Mosul, Iraq), which moved God.

The fast, as practiced by the Chaldeans, can be total for two days, or from dawn to dusk, or involve just abstinence from fish, meat and milk products.

The "Nineveh fast" is practiced every year by the Chaldeans. The novelty this year is that the patriarch has called Christians worldwide to join in.

Code: ZE06121803

Date: 2006-12-18


Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 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)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder