- Unfortunately, the pragmatic tactics to uphold positions and gain personal benefits was and is still the overruling policy in Iraq since the fall of the previous regime. As a result and due to the  referendum and the right of self-determination declared by the Government of Kurdistan Region (KRG), the tension with the Iraqi Central Government (ICG) is escalating and raises fears, while others are beating war drums in such a blur situation of conflict. If, God forbid, there will be a military confrontation, in such devastating circumstances, both socially and economically, the consequences will be disastrous for all Iraqis, especially for minorities, who are always victims and losers. It will be similar to what happened in Nineveh Plain upon the invasion of ISIS terrorists, where minorities were murdered, displaced, and left vulnerably to face demographic change and migration.

It is important that everyone should realize the seriousness and the actual facts of this situation to hurry up and courageously resume the reconciliation negotiations before it is too late. Moreover, it is urgently required to coordinate and bring together a number of internal issues of common concern in order to promote social harmony and civil peace. Wisdom should play a vital role in prevailing the voice of moderation, to defuse the crisis, war is not a solution, and would never be a substitute for dialogue. Frankly, such war cannot be endured by either side.

We as Christians, have no power to preserve our rights and our presence, either in Iraq or in Kurdistan Region. Knowing that, most of the Christian parties and militia are seeking livelihood rather than concerning about Christians’ issues. Therefore, war means migration of the rest of Christians, who will have no presence in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region at all.

Finally, we ask our Lord to inspire the decision makers to do what is right.

+ Louis Raphael Sako

http://saint-adday.com/?p=19322


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

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

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Virtues and vices are the food of the soul and it can feed on either one, turning to whichever one it wants. If it is bent toward moral excellence, it will be fed by virtue - by righteousness, temperance, meekness, endurance. In other words, it is just as St. Paul says, 'being nourished by the word of truth' (1 Tim. 4:6).

St. Ignatius of Antioch