O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Leader is One Who Suffers for Those Under Him

Via Rorate, which has been so excellent in standing up for their Oriental Catholic and Oriental Orthodox brethren in the Middle East during this latest Muhammadan persecution, comes this statement from His Beatitude, Louis Raphael, Patriarch of Babylon and All Mesopotamia, Primate of the Chaldean Catholic Church, regarding the current persecution:

I’ll start my speech by the Word of Christ as His Word is the source of strength and salvation of us, the poor of this lost world: "There is no need to be afraid, little flock" (Luke 12:32).

Our present pain is associated with our Christianity and with the mystery of our Passover (i.e., Easter). Our suffering if joined to the suffering of our Savior Jesus, "Man of Sorrows", will turn out to be a blessing and salvation to us and to others. And the current challenges are faced with more faith, hope and prayer and solidarity and wisdom. Be brave in front of what you are facing, do not be afraid, you have deep roots in Iraq, do not give up for frustration and despair, confident that "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52) and evil does not last! You are the small mustard seed, the Lord will not let you fall. He is with you today, tomorrow and after tomorrow and forever.

We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices. I repeat, do not be afraid; stay strong as you are with your faith and your hope and love. We thank God for your safety, as no matter what, your life has no price.

God’s blessing be upon you.
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako
[Chaldean Catholic Church]
July 20, 2014

Rorate is also the site that started the practice of displaying an Arabic letter "N" (which has since gone viral) in support of Christians in the Middle East. "N" stands for "Nasara", meaning "Nazarenes", which is what the Muhammadans call Christians. It is used to mark Christian-owned properties in the Middle East so they can be targeted for terrorism and execution, much like the Nazi practice of labeling Jewish-owned properties (and eventually the Jews themselves) with Stars of David. That same page has an interview with His Beatitude, Ignace Joseph III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Primate of the Syrian Catholic Church, on the current crisis.