Pope Francis Condemns ISIS Killing of

Coptic Christians

'The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out'

Pope Francis on Monday condemned the killing of 21

Coptic Christians hostages in Libya by militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), according to a Vatican Radio report.

“The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that

cries out,” he told a delegation from Scotland on

Monday. “If they are Catholic, Orthodox, Copts,

Lutherans, it is not important: They are Christians. The blood is the same: It is the blood which confesses Christ.”

http://time.com/3710911/pope-coptic-christian-killing/

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Prayer, fasting, sacrifices

It has many weeks and still the first reading from Sunday 1/25/15 continues to replay in my mind.

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second

time. 'Up!' he said, 'Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to it as I shall tell you.' Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of Yahweh. Now

Nineveh was a city great beyond compare; to cross it took three days. Jonah began by going a day's journey into the city and then proclaimed, 'Only forty days more and Nineveh will be overthrown.' And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. God saw their efforts to renounce their evil ways. And God relented

about the disaster which he had threatened to bring on them, and did not bring it.

The reading led me to more fervent prayer for the city

and people of Nineveh – now the area encompassed by current day Mosul.
As Iraqi priests work to save historic Christian writings,

they note: “Across the region, Christianity is in the

process of being swept away. Mass has been celebrated

in Mosul for 1,600 years. This year was the first time that there hasn’t been a Mass in all that time.”
Iraqi priests work to save historic Christian writings from Islamic State
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/iraqi-priests-work-to-save-historic-christian-writings-from-islamic-state-11199/

Many sacred sites, including the Tomb of the prophet

Jonah have been destroyed.
Why Sunni Extremists Are Destroying Ancient Religious Sites in Mosul
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014

/08/140802-iraq-mosul-christian-muslim-slamic-state-syria-history/

With the release of the video showing the horrific murder of Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh, and now the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya the situation intensifies and is constantly changing. Jordan and Egypt are taking military action. There is also a large group of Christians who have formed their own militia to battle Isis.
Iraqi Christians form militia to battle Isis

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/iraqi-christians-form-militia-battle-isis-1487011

 

My friend Mother Olga was born in Nineveh. Last summer when the persecutions began she had family and friends that still lived there. She now lives just outside Boston where she founded the order Daughters of Mary of Nazareth in 2011. http://www.dmnazareth.org/
She has spoken extensively on the situation in Iraq.


In the end we are brought back to the reading; as in the days of Jonah, as Mother Olga says in the article quoted below -  “We need prayer and fasting and sacrifices,” she said. “We cannot change the world, but we know the one who can.” 

Prayer, faith, sacrifices can change things in Iraq, the world.

Peace, Laura Westbrook

http://www.catholicfreepress.org/lead-story-3/2014/10/07/prayer-faith-action-can-change-things-in-iraq-the-world/

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LENT

The Early Church Fathers

A Lenten Reading Plan

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