UP Catholic 10 02 2015 E Edition Page 3

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC October 2, 2015 3 BY MATT HADRO CNA/EWTN NEWS Syrian natives who have ministered to refugees from the civil war there are trusting in God to protect their fellow Christians. There are many satans in the world, but theres a lot right now in Syria and Iraq, Christian minister Joseph Sleman told an audience Sept. 18 at a religious freedom sum- mit co-sponsored by Baylor University and hosted by the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. Sleman and his wife Hannah described a list of horrors per- petrated by the Islamic State against Christians in Syria amid a years-long civil war. The blood is shouting from this land, Hannah said. Yet they added that the Gos- pel originally spread to much of the world from Syria, thanks to St. Paul, and that we be- lieve that God can do it again. The only hope that we have is Jesus, Hannah said, noting that prayer and fasting have sustained the Christians in Syria far longer than expected. We believe that the power of the Lord is working a lot in our country, she said. The Syrian civil war has continued since 2011, inter- nally displacing 8 million, and forcing more than 4 million to lee the country as refugees. More than 250,000 have died in the war. The Slemans hail from Syria, but moved to the United States for Joseph to continue his theology education. They have ministered to refugees in Syria for years, though; first from the Iraq War, and now from the Syrian civil war. Before the civil war, Chris- tians and Muslims lived together peacefully and were free to worship, they main- tained. Joseph described how his childhood friends were Muslims. As Christians and Muslims, we have one enemy, he said, its Satan. Now that the civil war has erupted and the Islamic State is ravaging portions of the country, Syrian Christians live in the constant face of death, they explained, and they are waiting for the time they will die. Fathers say goodbye to their families when they leave the house, knowing it could be the last time they do so. Parents cry after their children leave the house for school in the morning. The Slemens described their own hellish experience in Syria as they endured an hour-long shelling of mortar rounds in the area of their residence as they cried and prayed on the loor. Many children died that day, Joseph said, adding that many families face the same things every day. Islamic State militants can eviscerate whole villages in 24 hours, he explained, and they are notorious for not only mass killings but rape as well. Their trail of terror has grown so great that some Christians have planned to kill them- selves and their families rather than fall into their hands. One of Hannahs friends armed his house with explosives in case the Islamic State took over the area, she noted, and this would have killed intruders along with his family. The White House says the United States has taken in 1,500 Syrian refugees since the beginning of the conflict, and the president pledged to increase to accept 10,000 refugees over the course of the next year. However, more than 20 former senior White House officials urged the administra- tion to increase that number to 100,000, citing the gravity of the situation. Joseph and Hannah are pseudonyms, used to preserve the couple's safety and privacy. S ometimes it is easy to know what to do or what not to do, because some actions are always wrong. For exam- ple, lying is always wrong. Murder is always wrong. Em- bezzlement is always wrong. Yet many moral situations are more difficult to dis- cern. How do I address the situation with my co-worker who is failing to do his work and is harming everyone else on the team? How do I discipline my children without being too harsh or too lenient? In situations like these, we need to seek wisdom or become a wise guy. In my last three messages on our mystery tour, we reflected on the theological virtues, faith, hope, and charity. In this and the next three messages, I would like to reflect upon the four cardinal virtues, prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. All these virtues are skills that help us to live the moral life well. The term car- dinal comes from a Latin word mean- ing hinge. So the cardinal virtues are the four main virtues on which all the other virtues are hinged. In this light we will begin our reflec- tion on prudence, which is the virtue that helps us to know our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it. (CCC, 1806) In other words, prudence helps us to be truly wise. So how do we grow in prudence? Experience is the best teacher. Think about times you were in similar situ- ations. Remember what you did and how it turned out. If this is a new situ- ation for you, consult a trusted person with experience. Another way to grow in prudence is to consider the different options available from an eternal perspective. Ask yourself these questions. When I am at the point of death and look back at my life, what choice would I have wanted to make in the present situation? When I stand before God on judgment day and look back at my life, what choice would I have wanted to make in the present situation? In addition, the more we keep doing the right action, the better our judg- ment becomes. Not all situations in life are difficult. Much of the time, the right action is pretty clear. Keep doing what is good. The more we ignore what is right and do wrong instead, the more our judgment becomes dark- ened. If we keep throwing junk in the drawer, it gets harder and harder to ind what we are looking for. Finally, read the lives of the saints and look for similar situations in their lives and how they handled them. The saints are models of the virtues. Be confident that God does not leave us alone. Rather, he helps us to know the right thing to do. The Holy Spirits Gift of Counsel helps us to know the right thing to do. Pray for this Gift. Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us. (USPS 916-360 ISSN 10634525) THE U.P. CATHOLIC The Newspaper of the Diocese of Marquette Publisher: Most Rev. John F. Doerfler Editor: John Fee Assistant Editor: Jamie Carter Advertising Manager: Deacon Stephen Gretzinger Administrative Assistant: Sheila Wickenheiser Direct all news, correspondence and changes of address to: 1004 Harbor Hills Drive, Marquette, MI 49855-8851. Postal authorities direct Form 3579 to: 1004 Harbor Hills Dr., Marquette, MI 49855. The U.P. CATHOLIC is the official publication of the Diocese of Marquette. All notices and regulations, appointments, assignments, etc., issued under the caption 'Official' are to be regarded as official communications of the Diocese of Marquette. Opinion columns, letters to the editor and advertisements that appear in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions held by The U.P. Catholic or the Diocese of Marquette. The diocese is prohibited from endorsing candidates for public office. Office of Publication: 1004 Harbor Hills Dr., Marquette, Michigan. Periodical postage paid at Marquette, Michigan, 49855 and at additional entry office. Published Monthly in January, April, June, July, August and November. Published semi-monthly all other months. The U.P. Catholic is provided to all registered U.P. parishioners. The cost for subscribers who are not registered members of a parish in the Marquette Diocese is $25/year. Advertising is $14.86/col inch unless specified otherwise. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The U.P. Catholic, 1004 Harbor Hills Drive, Marquette, MI 49855-8851. FOR CHANGE OF ADDRESS or SUBSCRIPTION QUESTIONS CALL (906) 227-9104 Telephone: (906) 227-9131 Toll Free: 1-800-562-9745 (ext. 131) FAX: (906) 225-0437 ADVERTISING Toll-Free: (866) 452-5112 E-Mail: Editorial - editor@dioceseofmarquette.org Advertising - upc@new.rr.com Experience is the best teacher for growing in prudence JOY OF THE GOSPEL Bishop John Doerfler THE MORE WE IGNORE WHAT IS RIGHT AND DO WRONG INSTEAD, THE MORE OUR JUDGMENT BECOMES DARKENED. Syrian natives speak out about civil war in homeland COURTESY OF MELKITE ARCHDIOCESE OF ALEPPO SYRIA An attack on Christian homes in Syria left considerable devastation.

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