We truly believe that prayer can help our brothers and sisters in Iraq avoid a worsened massacre even though they may be suffering now because they fled their homes. Let us not lose sight that the situation is a horrible and that winter is quickly approaching.
“We have the Rosary as a weapon which has proven its power over centuries. We have the supplication of Mary Mother of God who always asks us to pray the Rosary, to repent and to convert,” said Father Werenfried van Straaten
We invite you all, while reading the following meditations, to join with us in prayer for them.
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN
“Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane…and he said to them, I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me”. Jesus came back and found them sleeping… They simply could not keep their eyes open… So great is his anguish that His sweat becomes as drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Mt:26).
We, also, O Jesus, already forced in the night of August 8, 2014, to abandon our Christian cities in the Nineveh Plain. We, also, having escaped from the face of evil and lost the way of safety, with the screams of the children and the confusion of the youths, and the crying of the old people, and with the bitterness of leaving our houses, our schools, and our churches to live in the camps of the refugees, in poverty and indifference. In this our suffering, we our feel our closeness to you and your nearness to us. With you, we trust our existence and our destiny in the lovely hands of the Father, and we say: “But do what you want and not what I want” (Mt. 26:42). Give us the courage to drink the chalice, hoping in the salvation and the resurrection with you and with all who suffer in the world.
THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
In the mystery, we share with you O Virgin Mary, the sorrow and the pain which you endured when your Son had been scourged with injustice and false testimony, and they could not accuse him of any crime.
Our mother Mary, this is the condition of your Christian people, despite our loyalty and belief and our honesty we were flagellated and persecuted for our faith in Jesus Christ your Son. So, is it fair that ISIS destroyed our lands and possessed everything that we owned, and took our daughters and our youths?
We ask you today, O blessed Mother, we Christians of Iraq, to help us in our sorrows and our sufferings, caused by the violence and the religious oppression that expelled us from our villages and our houses.
THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
After you endured the severe pains, O Redeemer, they crowned you with thorns, and they mocked you, because you said that you are a King. Their hearts detested you, and their eyes were blinded by their rancor and hatred. You crowned the earth by the glory of the Heaven, but they crowned you by thorns, You who came to bring Love and Mercy among peoples.
We also, the Christians of the Middle East in general, and Iraq especially, we are enduring today the pains of oppression and ethnic cleansing and displacement and hostility. We are drinking the chalice of pain and facing insults, and we are still silent! We have been crowned with thorns like our Master; we participate in his pains; so let us participate in the glory of his Resurrection!
O Mary, mother of Jesus and our mother, we ask you for the grace to imitate your son Jesus in each time of mockery and oppression and displacement. Teach us to contemplate the image of your Son crowned with thorns, as you did. Help us to discover His love for us and for all those who cause pain to humanity.
THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS
(Chaldean Seminarian Martin)
As you carried your cross O Lord, we carried it too. We lost everything except the cross hanging around our necks and in our cars. We looked at this cross when we were force to leave our houses. It is the cross of the pain and the hope, the cross of the sadness and the hope, the cross of the resistance and the steadiness of those who endure injustice but responds to it in love, even when we feel that the injustice is increasing.
We carried this Cross from our lands in Nineveh to other lands, and we still hang on to it. In spite of all this, you can see the smiles on our faces; you feel the goodness of our neighbors. We are full of hope and trust in you O Lord.
We are still carrying the Cross for you said: “who wants to follow me he must deny himself and carry his cross and follow me,” so we left everything for your name, our villages, churches, houses, families. But we are waiting to go back and raise the Cross again above our churches, our hills, our houses, so everyone on this earth is glorified in your cross.
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
O my God, I place in your hands my land, people, my crucified and suffering church. I place my people who have lost the meaning of the joy of the Resurrection, and my land, which does not promise any green growth because of the dryness and heat!
Yes, O my God, we need you, and we need your help, for you said to us: “do not be afraid I am with you all the days.”
We still hope and dream to return to our land, and walk by its streets. It is so long that we have hoped this, and we still dream of the beautiful days that we had together with our people.
O Lord, help us to go back to our lands and houses.