Keep your eyes open!...


April 28, 2006 


(John 17:20-22) And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me. That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them: that, they may be one, as we also are one.


The first year of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate has seen improvements in relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, said in an interview with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper.

"The climate of Orthodox-Catholic relations has improved, partly thanks to the personality, statements and deeds of the new pontiff," he said.

Father Vsevolod said he hoped relations between the two churches would continue to improve and problems would be resolved, including missionary competition from certain Catholic priests, monks and nuns and the expansion of the Uniate Church.

Both churches are facing the challenge of "aggressive, totalitarian secularism and the cult of life only for the sake of earthly pleasures, comfort and pride permeated with sin," he said.

RELATED: Catholic-Orthodox relations to define role of values in Europe, Russian metropolitan says

OF INTEREST: Date of Roman Catholic Easter and Orthodox Pascha coincide in 2007

INSIDE THE VATICAN NEWSFLASH: Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev The Need to Act

ANOTHER NEWSFLASH: Blood exuded from icons of Christ on Easter in an Orthodox church

: For those of you who have enjoyed reading quotes excerpted from The Philokalia and The Ladder of Divine Ascent on this site, I would highly recommend The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism.

Very Reverend Thomas Hopko comments: People often ask me about books. The one I've been recommending most in the last few years is The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism, by St Ignatius Brianchaninov, a Russian Orthodox bishop of the last century who was canonized in 1988. Although written by a rigorous monk for fellow monastics, all Christians possessing the courage and discipline to engage this book with attention and obedience may study it with great profit.

An Excerpt from an Orthodox Christian Site: On the Remembrance of Death

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

14.  Hyperichius said, 'To accept poverty freely is the monk's treasure.  Therefore, my brother, lay up treasure in heaven, where there will be endless time for rest.'

April 27, 2006

VIA FATHER TED: Easter Reflection by Father Ted

My dearest Lord Jesus, today, Easter Sunday You remind us to trust in the Father’s love.


You did, and look what happened to You.


You rose from the dead.


You became victorious – over death and over Satan.


You trusted the Father.


You trusted His word to You.


Although You felt abandoned during Your Passion, You knew that You weren’t.


He was with You throughout Your entire life – especially during Your Passion.


He had asked You to show Your love for Him and for us by undergoing Your complete Passion.


You did. And what blessings have resulted.


Because of Your triumph over death and over Satan – we can share in Your life.


All You ask of us is that we imitate You.


You ask us to follow You by doing ourselves all that the Father asks of us.


To help us to follow You, You have given to us the gift of Your Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth and of Love.


To strengthen us You allow us to participate in Your Perfect Act of Love which is revealed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


To strengthen us You allow us to receive You – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – in Holy Communion. Every time we are at Mass, provided we are in the state of grace, You invite us to receive You.


When we lose that grace – through serious sin – You allow us to regain that grace, that intimate relationship with You, through the sacrament of penance – by confession our sins to Your ordained priests.


Thank You, Jesus, for giving to us a share in Your Holy Life.


Thank You, Jesus, for trusting in Your Father.


Thank You, Jesus, for encouraging us to trust in Him too.


Thank You, Jesus, for loving us to life. 

May we do Your Father’s Will just as You have done His Will.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

13.  Syncletica of blessed memory was asked, 'Is absolute poverty perfect goodness?' She replied, 'It is a great good for those who can do it.  Even those who cannot bear it find rest to their souls though they suffer bodily anxiety.  As strong clothes are laundered pure white by being turned and trodden under foot in water, a strong soul is strengthened by freely accepting poverty.'

April 26, 2006

(1Sa 15:22) And Samuel said: Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat or rams.


Catholic Notre Dame to Allow Vulgar “Vagina Monologues”
Cardinal defies Pope on AIDS
Priests face Vatican dismissal following ecumenical Mass
Italy's Largest Catholic Weekly Praises Potter, Omits Pope Benedict's former Criticism
Bishops fault local archdiocese's sex-abuse program

From the Laity (see comments section):


Father Robert Altier comments on his being prohibited from being able to give homilies, spiritual talks and spiritual direction on both the Internet and the Catholic radio station Relevant Radio:

"Beyond that, I really do not have much to say other than what was said of the Apostles 2000 years ago, i.e., that they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name [Acts 5:41]. All of this is part of God’s loving providence and He will bring about a greater good from this than any of us can ask or imagine. Can you think of a better way to live out the Lenten observance?

Regarding the letter from the Archbishop, I will not release it to anyone. This is done solely out of respect for the Archbishop. He did not request that I not release the letter; it is my decision to act in this manner out of respect for his Excellency.

The Archbishop acted within the bounds of his jurisdictional rights (canon 831 §2) and I simply have to obey. The rest is up to our Lord and Our Lady. It is so wonderful because I am at peace and filled with joy knowing that through obedience I am doing the will of God.

Who could ask for anything more in this world than to know with certainty the will of God for you at any given moment and to be able to live it out in peace and joy? The whole thing is a pure gift from God. This is my take on the whole situation, but as I mentioned above, this cannot possibly be about me. I am merely an instrument that God is using for a much larger purpose. So, if you want to write an article, you really do need to look at what God is doing here."

(John 15:20) Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

10. Cassian said that Syncleticus renounced the world, and divided his property among the poor.  But he kept some for his own use, and so he showed that he was unwilling to accept either the poverty of those who renounce everything or the normal rule of monasteries.  Basil of blessed memory said to him, 'You have stopped being a senator, but you have not become a monk.'  

April 25, 2006
(John 8:44) You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

(Eph 2:1-2) And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.


Judas Iscariot superstar?

RESPONSE: "The text speaks highly of Judas and says that he was a friend of Jesus and that Jesus wanted Judas to betray him so that God's plan might be fulfilled," Santa Fe Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan said.

He said the National Geographic Society has done a disservice because it "has presented the Gospel of Judas as, in some way, credible." This "could cause Christian people to have questions or doubts about the Bible" and authentic Christian teaching, he said.

He noted that the four gospels found in the Bible are about the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus. "The Gospel of Judas is not about Jesus, but rather about Judas himself and seeks to rehabilitate him or put him in a favorable light," he said.

"The Bible clearly contradicts the heretical teaching" of that text, he said. He noted that Mark's Gospel "clearly describes Judas Iscariot as an unworthy disciple who betrayed Christ." "The Gospel of John repeats this truth and also points out the Judas was a thief. ... Jesus himself said that it would have been better if Judas had not been born," Archbishop Sheehan wrote.

He quoted Jesuit Father Gerald O'Collins, a noted theology professor in Rome: "The Gospel of Judas was junk in 180 and is junk today."

Google launches Da Vinci Code quiz

RESPONSE: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a Web site, that’s full of resources for those who want to turn the Da Vinci Code fuss into an evangelical and catechetical opportunity. In addition to a devastating critique of Brown’s understanding of Leonardo da Vinci by Elizabeth Lev, the Web site includes a very useful “When they say...” essay by Catholic author and blogger Amy Welborn, “What Do You Say to a Da Vinci Code Believer?” Ms. Welborn is always interesting and always feisty: for example, “There is enough truth in The Da Vinci Code to be seriously misleading. Yes, the sources, like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and The Templar Revelation, exist. But they don’t reflect serious historical scholarship. You’re not going to find a university history department on the planet that uses the works that provide the meat of The Da Vinci Code theories as part of the syllabus.”

EXCERPT Father Cantalamessa's Good Friday Homily:

There is much talk about Judas' betrayal, without realizing that it is being repeated. Christ is being sold again, no longer to the leaders of the Sanhedrin for thirty denarii, but to editors and booksellers for billions of denarii. No one will succeed in halting this speculative wave, which instead will flare up with the imminent release of a certain film, but being concerned for years with the history of Ancient Christianity, I feel the duty to call attention to a huge misunderstanding which is at the bottom of all this pseudo-historical literature.

The apocryphal gospels on which they lean are texts that have always been known, in whole or in part, but with which not even the most critical and hostile historians of Christianity ever thought, before today, that history could be made. It would be as if within two centuries an attempt were made to reconstruct a present-day history based on novels written in our age.

Jesus may have walked on ice, not water: study

RESPONSE: The fact is the miracles of Jesus attest to His person. They are His credentials, proving His claim to be the Son of God. As A.E. Garvie once so eloquently stated it: “A Christ who being the Son of God, and seeking to become the Savior of men, (and) wrought no miracle, would be less intelligible and credible than the Jesus whom the Gospel records so consistently present to us.” 

There is only one reason Jesus walked on the water. It was not because He was walking on ice, but because He was who He claimed to be — God in human flesh — the very one who has the power to supersede all the laws of nature. Most importantly, it should be mentioned Jesus also performed miracles to demonstrate His authority to change and redeem lives, which is a considerably greater miracle than the ability to walk on water.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Possessing Nothing

5. Evagrius said that there was a brother who had no possessions except a Gospel book and he sold it in order to feed the poor. He said something worth remembering: 'I have sold even the word that commands me to sell all and give to the poor.'
Links  E-mail Dr. Zambrano  Home

Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

The Tribulation Times Archives:


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
January July January July January July January July January
February August February August February August Feb-March August February
March September March September March September April September Lent
April October April October April October May October
May November May-June November May November June November
June December December June December December


1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
June-July January July January July January July January July 
August February August February August February August February August
September March September March September March/April September March/April September
October April October April October May October May October
November May November May November June November June November
December June December June December December December

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more detailed information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.