Keep your eyes open!...


April 30, 2004


(Eph 6:121-3) For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.  Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.


Pope John Paul II denounced during his weekly general audience on Wednesday the evil in today's world and what he called the acts of Satan, although he made no specific reference to any situation.

"There is aggressive evil in the world which is guided and inspired by Satan," he said addressing 15 000 people from all over the world.

Citing a psalm from the Bible, the head of the Roman Catholic Church urged the faithful to have confidence when "beset by evil" and when going through "dark days".

RELATED: The Vatican's top exorcist sends the devil packing


Pope John Paul II 'hopes will all his heart" that the movement of Renewal of the Holy Spirit will inspire change in the church necessary in order for humans to resist sin".

"There is - he wrote in a message addressed to the movement gathering underway in Rimini - a great need for men and women who, like rays of light, know how to communicate the beauty of life with the Holy Spirit.  With the strong force of the prayer and grace of sacramental life, the spirit gives Himself to the ecclesiastic community".

"To the gospel of Christ - explained the Pope - we need, however, to correspond with our faith, which is the mother of all miracles of love, with the firm trust that leads us to beg for God to save our souls.  All the disciples of Jesus have to work tirelessly and follow his teaching, making their path of spiritual renewal a permanent school of conversion and sanctity".

According to the pope, "bearing witness to the spirit is the mission of the renewal of the Holy Spirit, in a society where often human life doesn't seem to be aware of the wisdom that comes from above".  "Spread to the churchgoers who participate in these group activities - concludes the message - a seed of hope in the daily devotion of each of us to our responsibilities".

RELATED: Pope Calls Church's Missionary Effort an "Urgency"

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

2. Let us rise and listen to what that holy queen of the virtues cries with a loud voice and says to us: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and ye shall find rest for your souls and healing for your wounds. For my yoke is easy (Matt 11:28-30) and is a sovereign remedy for great sins.

April 29, 2004


An Israeli movie theater has decided to screen Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," a decision likely to raise an uproar in the Jewish state over accusations the movie is anti-Semitic.

The Tel Aviv Cinematheque is in final negotiations with Gibson's production company for a one-time showing of the film in Israel, probably in a few months, cinema manager Alon Garbuz said.

The cinematheque has received angry reactions to the decision, Garbuz said. "I think that those who think that the film is anti-Semitic shouldn't come see it," Garbuz said. "No one has the moral duty to decide for the public what they can see."

Jewish and Christian clergy will oversee a discussion with the audience after the viewing.

Angry Jewish reaction to the film prompted the Vatican to reiterate its stance that Jews were not collectively responsible for Jesus' persecution. Gibson has denied he meant to portray Jews in a damaging light, saying he was only trying to portray the New Testament as it was written.


Franciscan friars have asked Mel Gibson to make his next film about their founder, St Francis of Assisi.

Impressed by Gibson's film on the last 12 hours of Jesus, The Passion of the Christ, the American friars and sisters have published an open letter and petition on their website. The petition (at has more than 10,000 signatures.

Calling the controversial film "an extraordinary work of sacred art", they ask the actor/director to "produce a sequel which would show the world what happens when a person totally and unequivocally responds to the Passion of the Christ".

St Francis (1182-1226) is the patron saint of animals and the environment.

However, Gibson has suggested that his next project may be a Middle East version of the Western, a film about the rebellion of the Jewish Maccabees against their Greek overlord in 165BC.

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY: My son died in peace thanks to ‘The Passion of the Christ’

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

1 (cont.) For him who truly prays, prayer is the court, the judgment hall and the tribunal of the Lord before the judgment to come.

April 28, 2004


Cardinal Francis Arinze, a top Vatican official who said Friday that Roman Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights should not receive Holy Communion, was speaking for the pope, local Catholic leaders said yesterday.

"He is the highest-ranking person in the whole chain under the pope with regard to the sacraments," said the Rev. Joseph Koterski, head of the philosophy department at Fordham University.

Pope John Paul II said virtually the same thing in an encyclical fairly recently, he added.

"You can be confident that he is speaking also for the pope" and about Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Jack Healey of Bronxville, the retired director of the Archbishop Hughes Institute for Religion and Culture at Fordham.

"This has been bothering the bishops and it has obviously been bothering the Vatican that Catholic politicians are responding to the 'American situation' and not trying to impose Catholic understanding of abortion and human life. I think it will be a storm in the church," he said. "Short-lived.'' People should be concerned about Kerry's voting record, said Monsignor William Smith, academic dean at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, who addressed the Northern Westchester and Putnam Center for Life's annual breakfast yesterday.

The thing about Kerry is "he goes out of the way to tell people how Catholic he is. He can't have it both ways," he said. Kerry is among many lawmakers who say they are not personally in favor of abortion but recognize a woman's right to chose.

South Salem resident Marilyn Percoco, who attended the breakfast, said the politicians in question shouldn't attempt to receive Communion "because they themselves know the rules."

That, in fact, is what Arinze was saying, said Koterski. During Communion, two people are making the decision, the communicant and the priest, he said. This is not about the priest.

"This is about the person coming up to take Communion," he said. A person who advocates for abortion rights "shouldn't present himself for Communion," he said.


What Vatican II did, and didn't, teach about conscience by Archbishop Chaput
How to tell a duck from a fox by Archbishop Chaput
Editorial: Kerry and Communion

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

1 (cont.). Prayer is the mother and also the daughter of tears, the propitiation for sins, a bridge over temptations, a wall against afflictions, a crushing of conflicts, a work of angels, the food of all the bodiless spirits, future gladness, unending activity, a source of virtues, a means of obtaining grace, invisible progress, food of the soul, enlightenment of the mind, an axe against despair, a demonstation of hope, a cure for sorrow, the wealth of monks, the treasure of hesychasts, the reduction of anger, the mirror of progress, the disclosure of stature, an indication of one's condition, a revelation of future things, and a sign of glory.

April 27, 2004

(Heb 12:1-2) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


Pope John Paul II added six people Sunday to the ranks of Catholics on the path to possible sainthood, beatifying 19th and 20th century Europeans and South Americans at a ceremony in St. Peter's Square.

Among them was a paralyzed woman, Alexandrina Maria da Costa of Portugal, who the Vatican says lived the last 13 years of her life eating only the bread and wine of Communion.

With the six, representing Poland, Colombia, Mexico, Italy, Spain and Portugal, John Paul has beatified 1,330 people in his 25-year pontificate, more than all his predecessors in the past 500 years combined. Beatification is the last formal step before possible sainthood.

The 83-year-old pope said the six -- da Costa, a priest and four nuns -- were "eloquent examples of how the Lord transforms the existence of believers when we have faith in him."

He praised each one of them in their native language during his homily, then urged the crowd to follow in their example.

Honored were: August Czartoryski (1858-1893) of Poland, a Salesian priest; Laura Montoya (1874-1949) of Colombia, who founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Mary; Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala (1878-1963) of Mexico, co-founder of the Congregation of the Servants of Saint Margaret Mary and the Poor; Nemesia Valle (1847-1916) of Italy, a nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Giovanna Antida Thouret; Eusebia Palomino Yenes (1899-1935) of Spain, a nun of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians; and da Costa (1904-1955), who became a lay Salesian cooperator.


Hawai'i nun a step closer to sainthood
Faithful submit miracles in hopes to elevate beloved Detroit priest to sainthood

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

1. Prayer, by reason of its nature, is the converse and union of man with God, and by reason of its action upholds the world and brings about reconciliation with God.

April 24, 2004


(Mat 26:26-28) while they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you,for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins."


The Vatican clamped down Friday on abuses in the celebration of Mass, barring lay people from giving homilies, non-Catholics from taking communion and rites of other religions from being introduced in the service.

The directive, commissioned by Pope John Paul II, softened a stricter earlier draft that had discouraged the use of altar girls and denounced such practices as applauding and dancing during Mass.

It said, however, that ``shadows are not lacking'' and that the Vatican cannot remain silent about abuses that ``not infrequently plague liturgical celebrations.'' And it reiterated the pope's view that the ``mystery of the Eucharist is to great for anyone to treat it according to his own whim.'' Roman Catholics believe that they receive the body and blood of Christ when they take communion.

The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s led to many liberalizing changes in the Mass, such as having priests face the congregation and celebrating the service in the local language instead of only Latin.

The 71-page document, called an instruction, keyed in on what the Vatican considers such abuses as lay people increasingly taking on the role of priests, even non-Christians ``out of ignorance'' coming forward to take communion and the introduction into the Mass of books and rites of other religions.

It said only priests may read the Gospel, and that only priests or deacons may deliver the homily - never lay people.  However, it allowed that bishops can appoint ``extraordinary ministers'' to give communion when there is no priest available.

It reiterated Church teaching that anyone who is conscious of being in ``grave sin'' must go to confession before taking communion.

VATICAN LINK: Redemptionis Sacramentum On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist

PITTSBURG CATHOLIC FEATURE: Understanding excommunication as free, conscious separation from Catholic faithful


Vatican backs ban on pro-abortion politicians
Vatican Document May Spur Debate on Catholic Kerry

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

68. Faith is the wing of prayer; without it, my prayer will return again to my bosom. Faith is the unshaken firmness of the soul, unmoved by any adversity. A believer is not one who thinks that God can do everything, but one who believes that he will obtain all things.

April 23, 2004


Prenatal diagnosis (also known as prenatal genetic testing) -- procedures such as amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and ultrasonography -- in and of itself, is not evil.  But it can be evil if the intention of undergoing such testing is to procure an abortion if the unborn child is determined to be "defective."

Catholic teaching provides the best argument on this matter.  As the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's document Donum Vitae (1987) explains:

...  [Prenatal diagnosis] permits, or makes it possible to anticipate earlier and more effectively, certain therapeutic, medical, or surgical procedures.  Such diagnosis is permissible...if the methods employed safeguard the life and integrity of the embryo and the mother, without subjecting them to disproportionate risks.  But this diagnosis is gravely opposed to the moral law when it is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion depending upon the results....
In conclusion, any directive or program of the civil and health authorities or of scientific organizations which in any way were to favor a link between prenatal diagnosis and abortion, or which were to go as far as directly to induce expectant mothers to submit to prenatal diagnosis planned for the purpose of eliminating fetuses which are affected by malformations or which are carriers of hereditary illness, is to be condemned as a violation of the unborn child's right to life and as an abuse of the prior rights and duties of the spouses.

We have seen that, because of unscrupulous persons and a dubious if not morally corrupt justice system, lawsuits are filed against doctors for "wrongful birth" and even "wrongful life." As Thomas Murphy Goodwin, M.D., writing in the March 1996 issue of First Things, observed: "...There is a tremendous imbalance between the liability involved in not informing the mother of risks, compared to the liability of suggesting the alternative of abortion.  All pregnant women, no matter what their personal convictions, are subject to the effects of this imbalance...."

Dr.  Goodwin's assertion is an unfortunate reality within the medical community.  Doctors who otherwise might be inclined to promote an alternative to abortion fear that women will effectively blame them if the child is born with a "defect," particularly if the pregnancy itself is deemed high-risk and there is an adverse prenatal diagnosis.  The probable result, then, is a lawsuit.  (Of course, true pro-lifers realize that each and every child is a gift from God, deserving to be welcomed in life and protected by law.  Hence, they would not act in such a manner.) Thankfully, there are pro-life resources for parents who receive an adverse prenatal diagnosis.  One such resource is “is an online outreach to parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis.  The family stories, articles, and links within this site are presented as a resource for those who may have been asked to choose between terminating a pregnancy or continuing on despite the diagnosis.  The families faced the same decision and chose not to terminate.  By sharing our experiences, we hope to offer encouragement to those who may be afraid to continue on.” Ultimately, prenatal diagnosis, like so many other technological advances, can be used for good or evil purposes.  Sadly, in our present culture, it is largely a tool for the latter.  But it needn't be.  Perhaps one day, with enough prayer, love and sacrifice, such medical technology will be used only to glorify God.

RELATED- USCCB: Respect for Human Embryos

SEE ALSO: Pontifical Academy for Life

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

61. Let the remembrance of Jesus (Jesus Prayer) be present with each breath, and then you will know the value of stillness.

April 22, 2004

(Gen 9:7) And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it."

VIA Phillip and Jayne Teague:


Having a baby is a wonderful thing. Children are great. No matter what the circumstances are, no matter who the mother or the father is, no matter how they were conceived, a child is a gift from God, and an occasion for celebration. In fact, the more children God sends you, the more He blesses you.

Do any of these statements seem odd, deranged maybe, or just a little weird to you? Can rational people really believe that every conception/birth is a sign of God's favor? Of course we can. Why? Because we believe in God, and our God simply loves people, and the more, the merrier.

So what God is this that wants lots and lots of children? Hasn't He ever heard of over-population? Doesn't He know that it is now the duty of all decent people to limit their progeny to two? What kind of God is this anyway? It's the God of the Bible. Come with me, and I'll show Him to you.

From the very beginning, God made it pretty clear that he wants children, and lots of them. In Genesis he told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it." (Genesis 1:28) What is even more striking is that when God blesses someone in the Bible, children are usually part of the blessing. Noah was told, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth" (Genesis 9:1). In Genesis 17:5-6 Abram was promised, "For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you." When Rebecca left home to marry Isaac, her brother blessed her saying, "May you, our sister, become thousands of ten thousands, and may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them" (Genesis 24:60). When Isaac blessed Jacob he said, "And may God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of people" (Genesis 28:3). This expressed wish of God for human procreation found its way into the Psalms too. In Psalm 127 we read, "Behold, sons are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward."

So children are a blessing: God's gifts to people he loves and has great plans for, like the patriarchs of the Old Testament.

VIA Jim McCrea: Marriage as God's Intensive School of Love

CITIZENLINK: Do Your Part for the Federal Marriage Amendment

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

60. Stillness is unceasing worship and waiting upon God.

April 21, 2004

(Mat 19:14) ...but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."


A British filmmaker behind what is being billed as the first pictures of an abortion ever shown on television has defended her documentary as a powerful stimulus to moral debate.

My Foetus, to be broadcast by Channel 4 on Tuesday, includes footage of an abortion being conducted on a woman who is four weeks pregnant, as well as images of aborted foetuses that are 10, 11 and 21 weeks old.

"It's still a subject that is taboo and not discussed openly and I wanted to kick-start debate by allowing both sides of the argument to actually look at what an abortion is," 34-year-old filmmaker Julia Black said.

EXCERPTED COMMENTARY: Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)disappointed after previewing TV programme on abortion

Mrs Eileen Brydon of SPUC’s north-east England office said: “Our heart goes out to women who have had an abortion and it could be that Ms Julia Black, the film’s presenter, may still not be at peace about the abortion she had. However, her film could have addressed the humanity of the unborn child more successfully and the ultrasound images could have been clearer and better. We could have supplied such images if we had been approached.

“The abortion which viewers will see was a very early one, which is unusual. The message was that this was a quick and easy operation, yet nothing was mentioned of all the possible psychological or physical effects, some of them long-term, on women of having abortions at any stage.

“Also, the programme-makers may have chosen such an early abortion so that the child who was shown was perhaps less recognisable than an older one. Many abortions are carried out later in the pregnancy and images of those children are even more convincing evidence of their humanity.

“The British pro-life movement has a small presence in the film but it tends to be seen from far off. The American scene is given disproportionate prominence and much of the rest of the programme is an attempt to sanitise what is essentially the taking of young, helpless, innocent life.

MORE: Abortion documentary to encourage ethical debate

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

56. He who has experienced the good which comes from prayer will shun crowds like a wild ass; for what, if not prayer, makes him like a wild ass and free from all association with people?

April 20, 2004

POPE JOHN PAUL II: "I am following with great sadness the tragic news that arrives from the Holy Land . . . May the bloodshed of brothers' blood cease!"

HEADLINE: Gaza: A Deal, A Hit

VIA Deal Hudson: When you venture just east of Old Jerusalem onto the Mount of Olives, the first thing you'll see is a freshly-built 28 foot concrete wall -- almost five times my height -- rudely dividing the sacred land. (It's sometimes described inaccurately as a "fence.")

You'll see the same thing on your journey to Bethlehem. And soon, the wall will completely divide the city of Christ's birth from the road to Jerusalem, only a short distance away.

I had seen photographs of the massive wall before I went, but pictures simply don't do it justice. It didn't take long before I saw the devastating impact it was having on the lands surrounding it, including convents, monasteries, churches, homes, businesses...and, of course, the people of the West Bank.

On Good Friday I walked along a nearly-finished section of the wall behind the convent and school of the Daughters of Charity. My meditative thoughts were interrupted by a bulldozer roaring away nearby, leveling the land belonging to the sisters. This particular section of the wall runs directly through their property, cutting them off completely from their own garden and many of the schoolchildren and families they minister to on the other side. The next day, I read about several neighborhood Palestinians, protesting the arrival of bulldozers and chain saws in their neighborhood. Israeli security guards scattered the crowd with rubber bullets while an olive grove of over 150 trees -- the sole means of income of one family for generations -- was cut to the ground.

And the wall isn't just creating physical divisions. Many people I spoke with in the area told me that the arrival of the wall was driving out the few remaining Christians from the Holy Land (who now only number 10,000 now).

But it isn't just the wall that's forcing Christians out. Religious workers in the area are now having a difficult time obtaining the standard two-year visas from the Israeli government. What was once a fairly routine process has become a thorny situation for Christian missionaries, priests, and religious who minister to those in the West Bank. Many of these groups organize simple works of mercy -- serving the poor, teaching children, and housing elderly on the West Bank. Even Protestant Evangelical ministries -- as pro-Israel as they come -- are being denied visas. Like you, I've read with horror about the suicide bombers and the Israeli citizens who live in fear for their lives every single day. I nodded sympathetically -- from afar -- about the steps that were taken to stop the stream of terrorists into city streets and onto buses. No one can question Israel's obligation to protect its people.

But standing underneath the massive wall on the convent property, I had to ask myself: Is this the way to do it? Confiscating the property of nuns and denying them visas to live and work there... is this an effective anti-terrorist strategy?

What will become of the Christians of the Holy Land? Only time will tell. But it's certain that their difficult lives will become still more difficult. And each year, fewer of them will remain. Pray for them.

SEE ALSO: Cardinal Moussa Daoud visit of “solidarity” to the Holy Land

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

54. Those who are thoroughly versed in secular philosophy are indeed rare; but I affirm that those who have a divine knowledge of the philosophy of true stillness are still more rare.

April 16, 2004


(Rom 9:15-16) For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So it depends not upon man's will or exertion, but upon God's mercy.


The Church on April 18 will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, "a perennial invitation to address, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that await humanity," according to John Paul II.

In May 2000, a decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, established by instruction of John Paul II the feast of the Divine Mercy on the Second Sunday of Easter.

Devotion to the Divine Mercy constitutes an authentic spiritual movement within the Catholic Church, promoted by Faustina Kowalska, who was canonized April 30, 2000. The Holy Father chose that day to announce a surprise: "Throughout the world, the Second Sunday after Easter will be given the name Divine Mercy Sunday."

Faustina Kowalska was born in the rural village of Glogowiec on Aug. 25, 1905. At 20, she was admitted to the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw. For the next 13 years, she carried out humble tasks as cook, gardener and porter. She died in Krakow on Oct. 5, 1938.

While living her hidden, humble life, she began to be favored with the mystical experience of consecration to the Divine Mercy. She received visions, revelations, and hidden stigmata and, at the suggestion of her spiritual director, began to write about these experiences in her diary in 1934.


In a decree dated August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.”

The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).

MORE: Why Mercy Sunday? A Q&A Guide to Celebrating Mercy Sunday

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

53. He who wishes to present his mind pure to God, and is agitated by cares, is like a man who has tied his legs tightly together and then expects to walk briskly.

April 15, 2004

(Mar 5:34) And he said to her: Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole: go in peace, and be thou whole of thy disease.

VIA Cathy: The Red Scapular and Lent, 2004

My personal experience....

I have to tell you something very serious about my wearing the Red Scapular during Lent this year. I promised Jesus, knowing full well from past experience, that I would wear the Red Scapular (of the Passion) for the duration of Lent no matter what. I have failed to wear it for more than two weeks in the past, but it was not during Lent. The road gets pretty rough when you share His Passion by wearing this scapular. I had been told of this, but didn't believe it at the time...... but I found out first hand that, when one wears the Red Scapular of the Passion, you, indeed, take on the sufferings of that Passion in your own unique way.... and the way that Jesus wants you to.

I am a vain person when it comes to wearing my contacts rather than my glasses.... as well as wearing eye makeup. However, I had not been wearing my glasses and had been going with no makeup for the past month and a half or so. The reason for this was because I had been battling a blocked tear duct, which came on before Lent..... I went to the eye doctor and went through putting drops in my eyes and it had gone away.... in fact, upon my return from Louisiana (family visit), my eye doctor told me that I no longer needed these drops and to stop. This was on the Tuesday after Ash Wednesday. I had forgotten to bring my Red Scapular along to Louisiana, so I wasn't able to put it on before Monday when I returned, which I did. Two days later, after my "tah dah" appointment, the eye was tearing again. I went back to the doctor on Thursday and she was astounded....... she commented how unusual and odd this was. She said it a couple of times. She said my eye was filled with white blood cells again (which fight off the bacteria... ie... infection.... because of the suspected blocked tear duct). I initially thought it was because of the Red Scapular I was now wearing, but one never knows what He is thinking on these things.

She prescribed more drops..... in fact, I went through two more sets of different drops, one prescription coming from an eye lid specialist in Green Bay. My bill for all of this is now up to the $700's because I needed new glasses (with the bifocals in them). Still, I wore my scapular...... after all, I promised Jesus that I would.

I have an appointment scheduled for surgery on the duct at the end of April. I am still going to this appointment to make sure all is well, even though the tearing stopped on Good Friday without doing anything different. Today is Saturday and I have my eyes made up and I have my contacts in. There hasn't been one tearing incident whatsoever all day. I suspect he will look at my eye and ask me why I am there.

This is beyond remarkable. I learned how much in the way of tears we produce on a minute-to-minute basis. It is amazing!!! I had kleenex stuffed in my pockets at all times to blot it..... which was constantly. I used my finger sometimes, which was not such a good thing to do, but I couldn't drag that stupid kleenex out and wipe my eyes during Mass or at other times. People would think I was crying my eyes out.... they likely did anyway.

My daughters and husband have been very patient with my whining about this stupid eye dripping........ IT DROVE ME CRAZY!!!! Constant dripping..... the skin under my eye was getting raw from the salt of the tears..... my eye itself was painful from the wiping...... The Lord never breaks His promise...... He had a plan for me with this suffering (which I feel guilty even calling it suffering in comparison to His)...... perhaps some souls were set free from purgatory.... maybe some conversions took place..... I don't know..... I just place this all in His Hands.

I share this testimony with you because I want people to know that He is present with us always and, even though I wanted to take the scapular off - I fought tooth and nail with the demons on this one - I did not and placed my trust and faith with the Lord to get me through this. I took the scapular off yesterday (Good Friday) and will not wear it again until next year's Lent. I didn't give anything up for Lent..... I tried (and failed many times) to be patient with others, but I never gave up.... wearing this Scapular made this Lent the most special.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

52. He who has really attained to stillness does not give a thought to his flesh; for He who has promised will not prove false.

April 14, 2004

(Act 2:38-39) And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him."

Catholic Charismatic Movement

IN THE NEWS: Charismatic Brazilian priest has Mass appeal

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

51. A small hair disturbs the eye, and a small care ruins stillness; because stillness is the banishment of thoughts, and the rejection of even reasonable cares.

April 13, 2004


John Paul II said again, that he places the "hope and expectations, as well as the worries and the fears of the whole world on the mother of Jesus crucified and resurrected" at noon, from the window of his private study for the prayer of Regina Coeli, that replaces the Angelus during Easter.

"Dear brothers and sisters," he said to the believers, "on this Angel's Monday, an extension of the Easter day, every one of us must linger over the empty sepulchre to meditate upon the wonder of the resurrection of Christ," a mystery of which "the Virgin Mary was a silent testimony." The Pope asked her today to "sustain us in the moments of doubt and in temptation" and to help us "reach the interior serenity that no fear can shake."



A sea of candles and torches illuminated Christianity's holiest shrine, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as thousands of pilgrims participated in Saturday's holy fire ceremony, a key ritual of Easter Week.

At the start of the ceremony, church leaders descended into the underground burial area. The faithful clutched their bundles of unlit candles and torches while waiting in the darkened church for a flame to emerge from the tomb. When church leaders emerged with a miraculously lighted torch, a cheer arose, and the flames were passed around, illuminating the church within seconds.

Many believers held their hands in the fire from their candles, some even "washed" their faces with the holy flames without wincing as the church bells pealed to signify the miracle had again occurred.

MORE: Divine Light of the Holy Sepulchre

VIA Nabil Rishmawi: This is to wish all of you, your families, friends, and loved ones, all the warmest wishes from all the Christians in Bethlehem/The Holy Land, and we all pray to the Lord, our Saviour, to grant us His peace.

Blessings from The Holy Land!

RELATED NEWSLINK: Palestinian Christians barred from Easter pilgrimage

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

50. When you go forth, guard what you have gathered.  When the cage is opened, the birds fly out.  And then we shall find no further profit in stillness.

April 11, 2004

(Ecc 1:9) There is nothing new under the sun,




Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

27. The monk is one who flees all men, though without hatred, just as another hastens to them, though without enthusiasm; he does not wish to be hindered from partaking of the sweetness of God.

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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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