The Chaldean Diocese of Beirut held an evening of prayer and reflection on the intention of Iraq and the Chaldean Church there, under the patronage and presence of the Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai and the blessing of the head of the Chaldean community in Lebanon, Bishop Michel Kassarji. In the presence of Patriarch Youssef Al-Absi, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Alexandria and Jerusalem for the Roman Catholic Church, and Patriarch Mar Raphael Bedros XXI Minassian, the Armenian Patriarch of Cilicia, represented by His Excellency Bishop George Asadourian, and Bishop Constantine Kayal, Head of the Monastery of Saint Elias – Shuya, representative of His Beatitude Patriarch John X Yazigi, Patriarch of Antioch for the Greek Orthodox, Bishop George Saliba, representative of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mar Ephrem Karim, and a number of bishops, chief priests, priests, deacons, monks and nuns, and a number of statesmen, politicians, security forces, representatives of parties, social and educational institutions, and believers, at the Cathedral of the Angel Raphael in Baabda – Brasilia, Pierre Helou Street.
First, Monsignor Raphael Trabelsi, the Episcopal Vicar General, gave a welcoming address in which he said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that it is yours, and it will be done.” (Mark 11:24)
This heavenly promise urges us to gather today for a spiritual gathering in which our hearts, thoughts, and aspirations will climb to the highest, where the throne of the Paschal Lamb (Revelation 21:3) is concealed by hosts of holy angels. We surrender to Him our intents, concerns, and sufferings, as well as our beloved Iraq and our beloved Church. And “speaking to one another in psalms and spiritual hymns, singing with our hearts to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).
The prayers and readings were then offered.
In his statement, Bishop Kassarji stated, “This is our faith, and this is how we were and will remain, absolute trust in God.” He is the only heavenly Father who can safeguard us. Fear, worry, and irritation are not words in the lexicon of a Christian.”
“O Lord, we know that the more intense the distress and tribulations become, and the more severe the violent storms become, the more the openings in the sky will remain,” he said. The more the agony, the greater the hope. And we know that His Church will last forever.”
“Are we too late?” he asked. Oh, Lord, you are so patient. We’re always delighted that you still worry about us. Despite everything, we come to you today to pray. Oh, Christian, you are so bright. Remove the definition of “frustration” from your dictionary. Do not claim to be incapable. You didn’t just happen to be here. You are a priceless gem. You are a challenging number. You are the salt of the earth. We want your surrender. On the cross, Jesus shed his blood for you. And you are my refuge, my shield, and my hope, Lord. I am experiencing these difficulties, trials, and persecution. I am certain that anguish will ensue. Patience, and perseverance will lead us to victory, and victory will lead to hope, and hope will lead to resurrection.”
“It is the Holy Spirit who guides our ship to the port of salvation,” he explained. The Holy Spirit is aware of the hazards of the path, and He alone is capable of protecting His Church and His people. God sent us to this sacred region, the land of Abraham the Prophet, Ur of the Chaldeans. We are inspired by the Holy Spirit. We shall not submit, because the Lord is our protector. O Lord, bless us, bless our evenings, bless our shepherds, bless your priests and consecrated persons who bring the good news of your Gospel, bless Iraq and its people, bless the Chaldean Church, bless Lebanon, bless our lands.” “Our church in Iraq is facing difficult circumstances,” he continued. We’ll all be praying. The Lord has the power to transform any situation. Persistence builds willpower, and prayer is the key to success. We will undoubtedly win and will not give up.”
Put peace in our hearts, O Lord of Peace. Allow us to feel your touch and more of your presence. O Lord, how mighty and powerful you are, how good and holy you are. Our confidence in you is strong, strong as a rock, and no matter how difficult the hardships, we will keep this seed in our countries, Iraq and Lebanon. There is no despair, no grief, no dread and worry with you, O Lord. The hope that comes from the Lord is Jesus. It is the joy that has filled our hearts, and the strength that has strengthened our determination, steadfastness, and trust.”
“Today, we must not forget that there would be no civilization, neither in Europe, nor in the Middle East, nor in Lebanon, if this cross had not been raised on churches and mountains and carried the arts, literature, poetry, melody, sound, history, engineering, language, science, schools, institutes, universities, hospitals, orphanages, and nurseries.”
“Our lord, Patriarch Louis Sako, and all those who came before him, assisted in raising the name of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and around the world,” he concluded. The church, first and foremost, and then the church and state, are the guarantees of this East’s perpetuity, and I tell you that the church bells and the battle of the clergy and politicians will be the leaven of this land’s continuity.” Blessed is a message sent to the entire the universe. Let us pray with this goal tonight. Amen!”
Patriarch Al-Rahi preached, saying, “Come out of this man, you filthy spirit.” Only Jesus, at his command, was able to cast out the group of demons from that guy in the Gerasene’s region, while no one could bind him even with the shackles he was breaking. This passage implies that Christ the Lord is capable of freeing man from the bonds of wickedness and evil, no matter how big, and of restoring his name and identity to him. In reality, the unclean spirit was speaking via that man’s mouth. When Jesus inquired about his surname, he said, “We are a group because we are many.” When Jesus brought him out, he restored that man’s name, identification, and good health, as the people of that country knew him.
Today’s world, particularly the leaders who rule it, disregard God, disregard His mandates and prohibitions, yield to their own interests at the expense of the general good, perpetrate injustice and tyranny, and fan the flames of conflicts and wars with no conscience. This signifies that they are under the power of forces of evil and evil.
The Gospel of Christ, our Lord, seeks to save every human being from evil spirits and Satan’s temptations. He granted his followers the ability to drive out demonic spirits when he dispatched them. He banished these ghosts several times. The New Testament priests were granted the same authority, which they began to employ with what is known as “prayer of exhortation,” beginning with baptism.
Few people believe in Satan and the possession of people and things by evil spirits. And if they believe, they feel they are immune to it, even if they give in to every wicked behavior and evil desire. As a result, evil has grown, and no one is to blame. People are currently living in a cycle of sins for which they do not repent.
These are the tragedies of nations and peoples. From this vantage point, we consider the tragedy of beloved Iraq, its people, the Chaldean Church, and other churches and Christians. These are our tragedies in Syria, the Holy Land, and Lebanon, where God revealed Himself in the Old and New Testaments and established the foundations of Christian culture, which filled these nations with their civilisation. We stay solid in faith, hope, and love as a result of our evangelical message in these nations, where God meant us to be, and are resolved to live together in a spirit of fraternity, collaboration, and mutual respect with all residents.
The seven Holy Spirit gifts mentioned in Isaiah’s prophesy reawaken in us the three heavenly qualities that act as torches for our life. Wisdom, insight, and knowledge illuminate our faith and reason; counsel and strength strengthen our hope and will; and piety and fear of God instill love in our hearts.
God bestows the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit on all of mankind, just as God bestows the virtues of faith, hope, and love on all of humanity. We pray that everyone would open their intellect, will, and heart to these virtues and Holy Spirit gifts, and find their path to truth, justice, and beauty. As a result, all people enjoy the joy of brotherhood and living together, as described by the prophet Isaiah in the passage we heard (Isaiah 11/1-10).
Then, with the strength of God’s armor, which is His Word, Gospel, and truth, we will be able to prevail over the spirit of evil and the wicked one (see Ephesians 6:10-17).May God accept our prayers and send the gift of peace upon our beloved Iraq, the sister Chaldean Church, the patriarchs, bishops, clergy, and believers, the Middle Eastern countries, and our churches. To Him, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be praise and thankfulness now and forever, Amen.”
Finally, a benediction was offered to conclude the ceremony.