Going to the Desert with Our Lord

Message from the Apostolic Administrator on the occasion of the beginning of Lent

“It is written to worship God alone.” Dear brothers and sisters, Our Lord went to the desert to be tempted by the devil. He experienced three temptations that would have resulted in three big sins. The first is gluttony. This sin is born with us and it confirms the war between body and spirit. The second temptation is of pride, love of ourselves, selfishness, and this temptation is with human beings from the beginning of our history. The third temptation is the love of money, when we make for ourselves statues from all our desires. So the Lord warns us, we must be careful, because we cannot serve two gods. Either God or the devil; we cannot love both of them.

Lent teaches us how to live with God and to love him, and our brothers and sisters. We want to live the word of God during this Lenten season, that is in Scripture. So it is very useful to read every day one page from the Holy Scriptures.

Our Liturgy teaches us that Lent is empty and fruitless if only fast from bread and food, if the soul does not fast from sin.

In this way we can educate our spiritual life. We must fast from any kind of sin. Our tongue must fast from useless words. Our thoughts must think only good things. Our eyes must see only polite visions. In a word, we must be pure in everything.

Northern Iraq

This year, let us offer our Lent to love God and our brothers and sisters. We pray for peace and for our brothers and sisters in North of Iraq, that we gathered something for them. God bless those who participated and may he open the hearts of those that did not participate, because what we have done, as we said, it is for the Lord.

We must adjust every disagreement with others. Especially in families, between brothers and sisters, between fathers and mothers, and everywhere. We must prepare ourselves for Easter time, especially in our ambience. In our diocese and our parish, we ask you to pray for our clergy and especially that our Lord opens our hearts to listen to him and to forgive one for another in love and unity and in this we will gain peace. If we do not do that, our Easter will be useless.

It is not in Christian spirit to write something hurtful, one against another. In this case we are showing separations, divisions, and scandal for others. We especially do not want to hear from the Lord, “Depart from me, evil-doers.”

May the Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you from evil and, please, pray for me.

+Bishop Shlemon Warduni
Apostolic Administrator