There are times when a man needs to have his faith in his Creator affirmed from time to time, so that he may be reminded that, though Man appears to be in an awfully big hurry to forget God, He is certainly in no great hurry to forget us.
A group of Christians has erected a massive cross outside the city of Mosul on land recently liberated from domination by the Islamic State terror group.
Last weekend, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Raphael Sako, visited the site and blessed the new cross in the village of Telekuf-Tesqopa, 17 miles from Mosul.
A large group of Christian faithful accompanied the archbishop to a hill on the outskirts of the city where he blessed the enormous cross as the people set off fireworks and cheered, “Victory! Victory! Victory! For those who chose the faith and those who return!”
This cross will announce to the world “that this is our land, we were born here and we will die here,” Archbishop Sako said. “Our ancestors were buried in this pure land and we are going to remain to preserve them with all our might and for future generations.”
“It is a sincere and great call to return and rebuild. We are joined to our land, to our future on the land of our ancestors. Here we can be proud of our history and here we can be granted all our rights,” Sako said.
The placement of crosses has become a recurring gesture since the Iraqi Army began the offensive to retake the city of Mosul, the stronghold of the Islamic State in Iraq. As villages have been liberated across the Nineveh Plain, Christians have made wooden crosses and placed them on the roofs of churches and homes.
It is certainly to be expected when the nominally Christian West embarks on incredibly foolish misadventures in the Middle East with no plan of victory, no explicit goal to recapture the lost treasures of Christendom, and no actual aim to convert people from Islam (itself a heresy of Christianity) back to the True Faith.
A secular attempt to attack, occupy, and conquer lands steeped in faith is, in the end, going to fail one way or another- because faith, by definition, is itself rooted in things that the secular mind will struggle to comprehend.
It is easy for Churchians to argue that faith and fidelity to the Word do not matter, and yet still cloak themselves in the mantle of their chosen religion, when there is little cost associated with such rank hypocrisy. To most Western Christians, the prospect of war is a distant one, for the lands of the West have known peace for a very long time.
But Christians in the Levant- which was, about 1500 years ago, very Christian indeed- have not known peace for the last 15 years. They have instead known little more than persecution, war, slaughter, and death.
Perhaps I am something of an optimist to argue that the Ascension of the God-Emperor (PBUH) represents a fundamental change in the way that the West thinks and operates. It remains to be seen whether the monumentally stupid American tendency to go adventuring in foreign lands will be curbed and American foreign policy will return to a more sensible and restrained approach.
But the initial signs are almost entirely positive. It is clear to me that, if nothing else, the Christian West is finally beginning to bestir itself after a long and terrible period of retreat.
Perhaps it is too little, and too late. Perhaps Christian civilisation and all of the great good that has come with it will fall into the abyss created by its own weakness, its own internal divisions and heresies. Perhaps the Cross of victory over Mosul was raised prematurely.
And yet, I cannot shake the feeling that our Creator has, at long last, decided that enough is enough.
I see signs of hope all around us- signs that sense and reason have at last begun to return to a world long since gone completely mad.
Time will tell whether I am right. But it is difficult to remain sceptical and pessimistic when one sees the Holy Cross being raised over a rooftop in Mosul- hardcore Muslim territory for a very long time.