The news coming out of Mosul regarding the expulsion of religious minorities is pretty awful, and we should pray for the Iraqis, but I also wanted to share a link to a Lebanese Christian’s response to the situation, which, if it is not simply posturing, is a clear example of blessing those who curse you. It is an open letter from Levant Party President Rodrigue Khoury to the self-appointed “Caliph Ibrahim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” of ISIS, and it begins: (more…)
This last week the Christian population was driven out of Mosul, or rather, was given the options to convert to Islam (and not just any variety of Islam, but the extremist Sunni variety practiced by Mosul’s new ISIS masters), or to pay an exorbitant extra tax, or to leave with only the clothes on their backs, or to die. All or almost all have chosen to leave. As Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako put it, “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians.” (more…)
Things start sometime, if they start at all. Tuesday of Holy Week is not generally considered the best time to start anything. The events of the Passion have already begun, and the joy of Easter is not yet here. And yet, this is where we always first find ourselves with God: things have started without us, and we have not yet reached the fullest joy. So this blog starts at the wrong time, on the wrong foot, just like everything in our lives.
Tuesday of Holy Week is also not the best time for a road trip. Holy Week “ought to be” a time of preparation for the severity of Good Friday and the joy of Easter. It is a time of reflection, of spiritual discipline, and of worship. But real life has its requirements, and I drove ten hours today. This is also how most of us worship God. A few people have the privilege of withdrawing from the world to devote their lives to worship alone. Most of us have to work in order to eat. We worship God in the moments around other activities, and we try to learn how to worship God in all the movements of our lives. It is not easy, and it does not come naturally. But Christ did not come to call the perfect, the devout, and the righteous; he came to call the sick and the sinners, like us. And he did not take us out of the world, but left us in the world to be his servants here. So real life happens, and we seek to worship Christ within real life.