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

“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)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (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.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

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

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“The legalization of the termination of pregnancy is none other than the authorization given to an adult, with the approval of an established law, to take the lives of children yet unborn and thus incapable of defending themselves. It is difficult to imagine a more unjust situation, and it is very difficult to speak of obsession in a matter such as this, where we are dealing with a fundamental imperative of every good conscience — the defense of the right to life of an innocent and defenseless human being.”

- Saint John Paul II