CWN - Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad argues that military action against the Islamic State is justified.

“In these circumstances, making war is legitimate,” writes the Chaldean leader, in a new book, Stronger than Terror: The Christians of the Middle East and the Violence of ISIS. Saying that Pope Francis has recognized the need for action, the Patriarch says: “It is self-defense.”

The Islamic State is dedicated to the eradication of Christianity, the Iraqi prelate writes. At the same time, he assures readers, many Christians are ready to sacrifice—even to lay down their lives—to preserve their faith.

The Patriarch’s book bitterly criticizes the US for invading Iraq, destabilizing the country, and allowing for the rise of the Islamic State. In a related development, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, has released a new book of his own, recounting the history of Christianity in Iraq. The cardinal’s book traces the origins of the Iraqi Church to the preaching of St. Thomas the apostle.

Explaining the purpose of the book, Cardinal Filoni said: "Knowing the history of Christianity in the Middle East and especially Mesopotamia -- now Iraq-- is not an idle cultural extravaganza, but an approach that helps us to understand the reasons and the dramatic events of that region and appreciate life, culture, witness of faith and the reasons for Christians to be attached to their land, but also the hatred of their enemies.”


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2 Cor. 5:17). 

St. Gregory the Great