Keep your eyes open!...


April 30, 2009  


(Rom 8:17-18) And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us.  

EXCERPT BLOGGER:  Daily Mass... ready to die

I have become almost completely fearless! In this day and age where calamity can befall us at any point in time, I move around without a care in the world. And if Jesus Christ himself can subject himself to a violent and painful death, what right do I have to shy away from such an end? Granted, one does not pray for a brutal death, but my Christian faith compels me to accept the possibility calmly, even if I don't yearn such a death.

: The Shortness of Life by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Third Point - Importance of the Last Moment

(Job 14, 1) "Man born of a woman, living a short time … who cometh forth like a flower, and is destroyed." 

How great, then, the folly of those who, for the miserable and transitory delights of this short life, exposes themselves to the danger of an unhappy eternity. Oh! How important is that last moment, that last gasp, the last closing of the scene! On it depends an eternity either of all delights or of all torments - a life of eternal happiness or of everlasting woe.

Let us consider that Jesus Christ submitted to a cruel and ignominious death in order to obtain for us the grace of a good death. That we may at that last moment die in the grace of God, is the reason why He gives us so many calls, so many lights, and admonishes us by so many threats.

Antisthenes, though a pagan, being asked what was the greatest blessing which man could receive in this world, answered, "A good death."

And what will a Catholic say, who knows by faith, that at the moment of death eternity begins, and that at that moment he lays hold of one of two wheels, which draws with it either eternal joy or everlasting torments? If there were two tickets in a lottery, on one of which might be written Hell and on the other Heaven, what care would you not take to draw that which gives you a right to Paradise, and to avoid the other, by which you would win a place in Hell! O God! How the hands of those unhappy men tremble who are condemned to throw the dice on which their life or death depends! How great will be your terror at the approach of that last hour, when you will say: On this moment depends my life or death for eternity; on this depends whether I shall be forever happy or forever in despair!

St. Bernardine of Sienna relates, that at death a certain prince exclaimed, with trembling and dismay: Behold, I have so many kingdoms and palaces in this world; but if I die this night I know not what apartment shall be assigned to me.

Brother, if you believe that you must die, that there is an eternity, that you can die only once, and that if you then err, your error will be forever irreparable, why do you not resolve to begin at this moment to do all in your power to secure a good death? St. Andrew Avellino said with trembling: "Who knows what will be my lot in the next life? Shall I be saved or damned?"

The thought of the uncertainty of being damned or saved filled St. Louis Bertrand with so much terror, that he could not sleep during the night, because of this thought which would suggest to him: "Who knows whether thou wilt be lost?" And will not you, who have committed so many sins, tremble?

Oh! Hasten to apply a remedy in time. Resolve to give yourself sincerely to God, and begin from this moment a life which, at the hour of death, will be to you a source, not of affliction, but of consolation. Give yourself to prayer, frequent the sacraments, avoid all dangerous occasions, and, if necessary, leave the world, secure to yourself eternal salvation, and be persuaded that to secure eternal life no precaution can be too great.

RELATED: Mortal sin: The what, why and how to heal


: Top Swine Flu Myths Debunked


IN THE NEWS: Mexicans put faith in Christ as flu fears grow

WILL WALL STREET EVER LEARN?: Don't fear the swine flu . . . trade it

Saint Bernardo Tolomei, Pray for Us!

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

37. The mother of sweetness is earth and dew, and the mother of purity is stillness with obedience. Dispassion of the body attained by stillness has often been shaken on coming into contact with the world; but that obtained by obedience is genuine and inviolable everywhere. 

April 29, 2009    

(Luke 12:11-12) And when they shall bring you into the synagogues and to magistrates and powers, be not solicitous how or what you shall answer, or what you shall say. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you must say.

EDITORIAL: 'Catholic' a mere label? by the Most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D. Bishop of Camden

HEADLINE: Ex-Vatican Ambassador Declines Notre Dame Honor Over Obama Invitation

Citing concerns about plans to honour President Barack Obama despite his views on "fundamental principles of justice" that are contrary to Catholic teaching, former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon has turned down the prestigious Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame.

In an April 27 letter to Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, Glendon said she will not participate in May 17 commencement exercises during which the award was to have been presented.

The letter, posted on the blog of the magazine First Things, does not mention specific justice principles, but Glendon was critical of Notre Dame's decision to give Obama an honorary degree.

Obama supports legal abortion and his administration recently proposed new regulations that would allow the use of federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research. Both are in direct conflict with fundamental church teaching.

The Laetare Medal is presented annually to an American Catholic layperson for outstanding service to the Catholic Church and society.

A spokeswoman for the Indiana university confirmed April 27 that Glendon, who served as ambassador from 2007 until earlier this year, was the first person to accept and then later decline the award.

Father Jenkins offered a two-sentence response on the university's Web site.

"We are, of course, disappointed, that Professor Glendon has made this decision," his statement said. "It is our intention to award the Laetare Medal to another deserving recipient, and we will make the announcement as soon as possible."



LIFENEWS.COMWhite House, Notre Dame Respond to Mary Ann Glendon's Pro-Life Principles

HUMAN LIFE INTERNATIONAL: Shake Down the Thunder on Notre Dame


Pope Benedict XVI canonizes 5 new saints

Pope Benedict XVI named five new saints Sunday, including Portugal's 14th century independence leader and a priest who ministered to factory workers at the dawn of the industrial era.

Speaking in a packed St. Peter's Square, Benedict praised each of the five as a model for the faithful, saying their lives and works were as relevant today as when they were alive.

Cardinal John Newman poised for beatification after ruling

A panel of theological consultors agreed unanimously that the inexplicable healing of an American man who was "bent double" by a severe spinal disorder came as a result of praying to Newman for a miracle, according to sources. Their decision was the final hurdle before Pope Benedict XVI can declare him "Blessed".

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

36. Purity is the fellowship with and likeness to God, so far as is possible for men. 

April 28, 2009    

(John 5:43) I am come in the name of my Father, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.

BLOG:  'The Truth' Painting is Obama as Jesus Christ  

In honor of Barack Obama's 100th day in office, an artist has painted what is just one more rendering of Obama as Jesus Christ complete with crown of thorns. 'The Truth' will be unveiled on April 29th in Union Square in New York City.

HOMILY EXCERPT (02/09): “The cult of Moloch lives on today” 

The first 100 days of a new presidency is the time when legislation desired by the new leader is rammed through the congress without much discussion and over the objections of the minority party. It often is not good legislation, has been brewing in the hearts of special interest groups for years, who now have a vehicle to impose their will on the American people.

If the special interest groups have their way, it will spell the end of days for the American nation as we have known it since 1776. Abominations will be forced on us by the new government, such as which our founders never had intended, and certainly opposed to the Christian life: abortion on demand, homogenital sex, lust in all its forms, euthanasia, oppression of opportunity and entrepreneurs, silencing of faith and free speech among many.

In the Old Testament, God's chosen people abandoned Him and sacrificed their own innocent children to a demon god called Moloch in hopes of a good harvest to feed themselves. The cult of Moloch lives on today, but just not under the god's formal name, but in the name of abortion, or rightly put, murder of children in the womb to promote false promises, ruined lives, and degraded humanity.

Abortion is our god and Obama, Pelosi, Kennedy are his prophets. His sacrifice is the life of infants and the souls of mothers. His priests are doctors who perform abortions. His church is Planned Parenthood and FOCA, (freedom of choice act). His covenant promises rights and freedom for women. It delivers death of infants, permanent damage to the souls of women, of men, of politicians.



Most U.S. Christians Don't Believe Satan, Holy Spirit Exist
Study Shows Americans Leave Religion Due to Drift, Not Rupture  
Quebec Catholics leave fold

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

34. As long as sorrow and despair are present, we do not so easily abandon ourselves to further sin. But when sorrow and despair are quenched, the tyrant speaks to us again of God's mercy. 

April 24, 2009    


(Heb 10:23) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering (for he is faithful that hath promised):

EDITORIAL REPLY: Bishops' responsibility is to always tell the truth

Dick Polman's commentary last Sunday, "Catholic hierarchy finds the flock isn't so easily led," made for interesting reading as the Catholic Church began Holy Week on Palm Sunday.

Polman fails to realize that the mission of both the Catholic Church and its bishops is to teach the truth, regardless of the percentage of Catholics accepting it, or the time of year.

Polman writes that Catholics for Choice legitimize their support of the killing of innocent human life in the womb based on their research into Church history. According to Polman, they note that St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine never decreed the fetus to be a person during the early stages of pregnancy.

The fact is that such a discussion at the time of Aquinas and Augustine had absolutely nothing to do with the abortion issue. Both of these great saints believed that life in the womb was sacred and that the willful destruction of it was a "morally intrinsic evil." While the science of their day was very primitive, I am sure that they would be amazed to find themselves being used in 2009 to support the horrific crime of abortion, when medical science has proven that the DNA defining each one of us commences at conception.

Likewise, the "Catholic left" using the 1974 Vatican document on abortion to legitimize its position should examine the 2008 Vatican document that clearly gives the updated teaching on the "Dignity of the Human Person."

The bishops of the United States are not in the business of running campaigns for or against public officials. The role of the bishops is to teach the Gospel of Jesus, and to ask those who would be His followers to form their lives on the truth of the Gospel and to encourage others to do the same. In the end, it is not about orthodoxy. It is about truth. It may be well for all Catholics to remember - especially during Holy Week - that society put Jesus to death for His witness to the truth. For that witness, we should all be grateful.

Most Rev. Joseph P. McFadden

EXCERPT OF ARTICLE WRITTEN SHORTLY AFTER THE RISE OF NAZISM: "Such is the weight of truth, so hard the burden of the good that unfortunately many people, albeit sincere Catholics allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by the maneuver. They lacked that hunger and thirst for justice which is the root of holy intransigence. They lacked that appetite for full-fledged Catholicism that would lead them to reject as an impurity any alliance with revolutionary leavens of the times. Things very markedly Catholic, exclusively Catholic, hurt their eyes as the sun hurts those of nocturnal birds. They preferred pale, diluted, indirect forms of Catholic radiation, like owls prefer moonlight. And they gave themselves body and soul to these tendencies of a clearly anti-Catholic character. In Italy, as in Germany and other places, a cohort of na´ve and incautious, though well-intentioned people let themselves be enthralled and swept away by a bunch of crooks and adventurers of every ilk. And God alone knows with what furor and wrath countless threats were hurled at brothers in the Faith who indulged the luxury of being more lucid, perspicacious and vigorous in defense of the Faith."

The full article was written by Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira, and is at


"Christ did not die for the sins of the people": Head of German Catholic Bishops' Conference on TV
Georgetown, Notre Dame... Pseudo-Catholic Universities
Vatican probes nuns' heterodoxy
NY Catholic Governor introduces same-sex marriage bill a day after attending Archbishop Dolan's installation Mass

MORE: 'We are at war' - Bishop Finn's Gospel of Life Convention Keynote

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

26. Offer to the Lord the weakness of your nature, fully acknowledging your own powerlessness, and imperceptibly you will receive the gift of chastity.

April 23, 2009    

(Rom 11:25-26) For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery (lest you should be wise in your own conceits) that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: "The Jewish religion is not 'extrinsic' to us, but in a certain way is 'intrinsic' to our own religion. With Judaism therefore we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion."

: Pope Benedict XVI and the Jews

Pope Benedict XVI sees the Church as having a special - indeed unique - relationship with the Jewish people. This inevitably must take into account the central affirmations of the Jewish faith and of contemporary Jewish identity. In this regard the pope has a profound understanding of the significance of the State of Israel for the Jewish people. As Cardinal Ratzinger, he was on the Special Committee of the Holy See that reviewed and authorized the establishment of full relations between Israel and the Vatican.

Among his close friends in Israel of many years standing (which included the late mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek) is Prof. Zwi Werblowsky, one of the Jewish Israeli pioneers of interfaith dialogue. The then Cardinal Ratzinger phoned Werblowsky in Jerusalem to express his joy over this development, describing it as the fruit of the work of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

Not everyone in the Church has appreciated the central role that Israel plays in contemporary as well as historic Jewish identity. Pope Benedict XVI does, and he fully realizes that the relationship between the Vatican and the State of Israel is inextricably bound up with the relationship between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church.

Of course this is not without its complications both in terms of the interests of the local Church in Israel and the Palestinian territories and the Holy See's interests within and in relation to the Arab world and Muslim society as a whole. These often conflicting interests are obviously substantially affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The Israel Ministry of Tourism has announced a new website dedicated to Pope Benedict XVI's first Papal visit to the Holy Land due to be launched on April 15th this year.

The user-friendly mini-site will be available in seven languages and feature background information, photographs and video footage related to Christian holy sites in Israel as well as detailed information on the Pope's itinerary and trip highlights.

"The new website will help satisfy the influx of telephone and email inquiries from across Canada requesting information on the Pope's pilgrimage to the Holy Land," commented Oded Grofman, Consul for Tourism and Director, Israel Government Tourist Office - Canada. "Israel anticipates thousands of Canadian Catholics and other Christians across the world to follow in the Pope's footsteps and travel to the Holy Land this spring."

The website will also include links to travel agents offering classic pilgrimage tours and Christian itineraries.

For more information on Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Israel visit

RELATED VIA CNS: In Israeli Jewish schools, no teaching about Christianity

OF INTEREST: Hebrew Catholics Follow Their Own Church- Sharing 'Shalom HaMashiach' at Jerusalem's Evening Mass

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

25. He who has resolved to contend with his flesh and conquer it himself struggles in vain. For unless the Lord destroys the house of the flesh and builds the house of the soul, the person who wants to destroy it watches and fasts in vain. 

April 22, 2009    

LINK: Catholic Prophecy: Unapproved Catholic Apparitions

VIA THE WORKERS OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL: It was with great sadness that we were informed late last night of the death of Garabandal visionary Mari Loli Lafleur in Boston after a long illness. She was very much loved by everyone involved in the promotion of Garabandal. We ask your prayers for Mari Loli and her family and close friends.

Joey and Marilynn Lomangino
The Workers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel de Garabandal
Lindenhurst NY USA

Please note: We have no further information at this time.

Eternal rest grant unto them her, O Lord.
And may perpetual light shine upon them her.
May the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.


No, I'm not Dying Yet 

A Scottish bishop was hiking in the mountains of his diocese. He lost his way and nightfall caught him in a forest. After searching for hours, he finally came across the cottage of a poor family. These honest people welcomed the stranger without knowing who he was, because he was wearing a large overcoat.

The bishop himself had no idea about his hosts. Were they Catholics or Protestants? He had no clue to the answer. However, after a few moments of mutual reserve, the bishop realized that great sadness overwhelmed those poor people. Collecting his thoughts, he ventured: "You are all so kind to me, yet you all seem to be so sad."

"Alas! Yes," the mother answered immediately. She seemed to have been waiting for that question to unload her grief. "Yes, we are sad. Our old papa is about to die, right here, in the next room. And what afflicts us the most it that he claims he's not dying yet and stubbornly refuses to prepare himself for death."

"May I see him?" asked the bishop. "Yes, of course," the woman answered, with the trust that characterizes afflicted souls. Forthwith, she took her guest into the dying man's small bedroom. There, the bishop indeed did find an old man on his death bed. The man looked awfully bad, but he seemed to regain some force, when the bishop spoke to him, and firmly said: "No, I'm not dying yet." Nothing could persuade him to accept the inevitable. Indeed the old man was about to breathe his last. Death had to take but one step in order to carry him away.

"But really," the bishop said, "how do you expect to recover?"

The dying man answered, "Sir, are you Catholic?"

"That I am," said the bishop proudly.

"In that case," said the sick man, "I will tell you why I won't die yet. I am Catholic too, sir. Since my First Communion until today, I have asked the Blessed Virgin every day for the grace to die with a priest at my side, and do you think my good Mother would forget my prayers? It's impossible! I tell you, sir, I'm not dying yet."

"My child," the bishop exclaimed, deeply moved, "my child, your prayers have been heard. The person at your side is more than a priest, he's your bishop. The Blessed Virgin herself brought him to you through the forest to receive your last breath."

Opening his coat, the bishop revealed his pastoral cross. At this sight the sick man was filled with joy and cried out: "O Mary, my Good Mother, I thank you." Then, turning to the bishop: "Please hear my confession: now I believe I'm ready to die."

Soon afterward, purified one last time, the old man died full of joy and trust.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

24. Do not expect to overthrow the demon of fornication with refutations and pleadings. For with nature on his side, he has the best of the argument. 

April 21, 2009

(Psa 139:5-8) Behold, O Lord, thou hast known all things, the last and those of old: thou hast formed me, and hast laid thy hand upon me. Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me: it is high, and I cannot reach to it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy face? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I descend into hell, thou art present.

CARDINAL DULLES:  "The search for numbers in the demography of hell is futile. God in His wisdom has seen fit not to disclose any statistics. Several sayings of Jesus in the Gospels give the impression that the majority are lost. Paul, without denying the likelihood that some sinners will die without sufficient repentance, teaches that the grace of Christ is more powerful than sin: "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20). Passages such as these permit us to hope that very many, if not all, will be saved.

All told, it is good that God has left us without exact information. If we knew that virtually everybody would be damned, we would be tempted to despair. If we knew that all, or nearly all, are saved, we might become presumptuous. If we knew that some fixed percent, say fifty, would be saved, we would be caught in an unholy rivalry. We would rejoice in every sign that others were among the lost, since our own chances of election would thereby be increased. Such a competitive spirit would hardly be compatible with the gospel.

We are forbidden to seek our own salvation in a selfish and egotistical way. We are keepers of our brothers and sisters. The more we work for their salvation, the more of God's favor we can expect for ourselves. Those of us who believe and make use of the means that God has provided for the forgiveness of sins and the reform of life have no reason to fear. We can be sure that Christ, who died on the Cross for us, will not fail to give us the grace we need. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, and that if we persevere in that love, nothing whatever can separate us from Christ (cf. Romans 8:28-39). That is all the assurance we can have, and it should be enough."

Conservative Viewpoint: "Is Hell Empty?"

Sue Cifelli:  Apostolic Pardon

Although you may not want to think of possibility you may want to keep a list of prayers you should recite or request from a Priest in case of the death of a loved one or friend.

When my husband died I forgot everything. I forgot to pray the 3 very beautiful prayers in The Pieta prayer book for the dying and I forgot about the Apostolic Pardon even though I had sent it out and knew some Priests did not know about it.

Thankfully my pastor who came to the hospital asked if we wanted to have the Apostolic Pardon given.

You may want to print this out and keep with you in case of the loss of someone close to you to give to Priest who does not know.

I found that most people have not heard of this and it could spare many years of a loved ones soul in purgatory. Make sure every priest you know is aware of this. I just found out recently of a priest who has never heard of it.

Explanation and prayer below:

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Apostolic Pardon is an indulgence given for the remission of sins. The Apostolic Pardon is given by a priest, usually along with Viaticum (i.e. reception of Communion by a dying person, see Pastoral Care of the Sick, USA numbers 184, 187, 195, 201). It is not usually given as part of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. However if the Anointing of the Sick is given with Viaticum, in exceptional circumstances or an emergency, it may be given then. (See Pastoral Care of the Sick, USA numbers 243, 265) Prior to the Second Vatican Council, the Apostolic Pardon was called the Apostolic Blessing.

According to the church, a person who is properly disposed by being in the state of grace- i.e., the person has committed no known and unconfessed mortal sins- who receives the Apostolic Pardon gains the complete pardon of all temporal punishment due to sin that has already been forgiven by the reception of absolution and the doing of penance, i.e., a plenary indulgence.

The Apostolic Pardon does not forgive sins by the act of absolution; it deals only with the punishment (purgation) due for those sins that have already been sacramentally forgiven.

Apostolic Pardon - Form "Ego facultate mihi ab Apostolic Sede tributa, indulgentiam plenariam et remissionem omnium peccatorum tibi concedo et benedico te. In nomine Patris, et Filii, + et Spirtus Sancti, Amen."

"By the Faculty which the Apostolic See has given me, I grant you a plenary indulgence for the remission of all your sins, and I bless you. In the Name of the Father and the Son + and the Holy Sprit. Amen."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

23. He who falls is to be pitied. But still more to be pitied is he who causes another to fall, because he bears the burden of the falls of both, and further, the burden of pleasure tasted by the other. 

April 20, 2009

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Resurrected, Jesus grants a new unity to his followers, stronger than before, invincible, because it is based not on human resources, but on divine mercy, which makes them all feel loved and forgiven by him. Therefore it is the merciful love of God that solidly unites the Church, today as yesterday, and that makes humanity a single family, divine love, which through Jesus crucified and risen forgives our sins and renews us interiorly."

IN THE NEWS: Catholics celebrate Divine Mercy

It's been a week since many Christians celebrated Easter, but Sunday Catholics around the world also observed another important day of faith.  It was Divine Mercy Sunday and the Diocese of Marquette brought in a world renowned expert on it.

"Because the Lord said this is your last chance for salvation because we're going into some very difficult times and He's giving us this Sunday where the floodgates of God's mercy are open," said Father George Kosicki, an expert on Divine Mercy.

Sunday afternoon at Saint Peter Cathedral, the faithful confessed their sins and received communion, with the belief that they'll receive complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.

Father Kosicki has written over 30 books on the subject.

"Father Kosicki has been spreading the message of Divine Mercy for many, many years now," said Bishop Alexander Sample, "even long before it was established as a feast in the church.  He's probably more knowledgeable than any other priest I know on the whole teaching and doctrine of Divine Mercy, so we're very honored to have him here.  He's nationally, internationally known."

For Kosicki, who says he's a hermit that lives in Paradise, Michigan, the second Sunday of Easter is extremely important for Christians.

"(Many) years ago, I said, 'what is the Divine Mercy about?' ABC: Ask for His mercy, Be merciful, Completely trust in Jesus, just like that."

It's simple to remember and necessary, according to Kosicki to receive mercy from above.

HEADLINE: Vision prompts man to devote life to spreading word of Divine Mercy Sunday

FR. CORAPI: On Divine Mercy

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

21. Some have extolled those who are eunuchs by nature, because they are delivered from the martyrdom of the body; but I daily extol those who make themselves eunuchs by castrating their bad thoughts as with a knife (cf. Matt. 19:12).

April 14, 2009


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and throughout the world,

From the depths of my heart, I wish all of you a blessed Easter.  To quote Saint Augustine, "Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra – the resurrection of the Lord is our hope" (Sermon 261:1).  With these words, the great Bishop explained to the faithful that Jesus rose again so that we, though destined to die, should not despair, worrying that with death life is completely finished; Christ is risen to give us hope (cf. ibid.).

Indeed, one of the questions that most preoccupies men and women is this: what is there after death?  To this mystery today's solemnity allows us to respond that death does not have the last word, because Life will be victorious at the end.  This certainty of ours is based not on simple human reasoning, but on a historical fact of faith: Jesus Christ, crucified and  buried, is risen with his glorified body.  Jesus is risen so that we too, believing in him, may have eternal life. This proclamation is at the heart of the Gospel message.  As Saint Paul vigorously declares:  "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."  He goes on to say: "If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied" (1 Cor 15:14,19).  Ever since the dawn of Easter a new Spring of hope has filled the world; from that day forward our resurrection has begun, because Easter does not simply signal a moment in history, but the beginning of a new condition: Jesus is risen not because his memory remains alive in the hearts of his disciples, but because he himself lives in us, and in him we can already savour the joy of eternal life.

The resurrection, then, is not a theory, but a historical reality revealed by the man Jesus Christ by means of his "Passover", his "passage", that has opened a "new way" between heaven and earth (cf. Heb 10:20).  It is neither a myth nor a dream, it is not a vision or a utopia, it is not a fairy tale, but it is a singular and unrepeatable event: Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, who at dusk on Friday was taken down from the Cross and buried, has victoriously left the tomb.  In fact, at dawn on the first day after the Sabbath, Peter and John found the tomb empty.  Mary Magdalene and the other women encountered the risen Jesus.  On the way to Emmaus the two disciples recognized him at the breaking of the bread.  The Risen One appeared to the Apostles that evening in the Upper Room and then to many other disciples in Galilee.       

The proclamation of the Lord's Resurrection lightens up the dark regions of the world in which we live.  I am referring particularly to materialism and nihilism, to a vision of the world that is unable to move beyond what is scientifically verifiable, and retreats cheerlessly into a sense of emptiness which is thought to be the definitive destiny of human life.  It is a fact that if Christ had not risen, the "emptiness" would be set to prevail.  If we take away Christ and his resurrection, there is no escape for man, and every one of his hopes remains an illusion.  Yet today is the day when the proclamation of the Lord's resurrection vigorously bursts forth, and it is the answer to the recurring question of the sceptics, that we also find in the book of Ecclesiastes:  "Is there a thing of which it is said, 'See, this is new'?" (Ec 1:10).  We answer, yes:  on Easter morning, everything was renewed.  "Mors et vita, duello conflixere mirando:  dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus – Death and life have come face to face in a tremendous duel:  the Lord of life was dead, but now he lives triumphant."  This is what is new!  A newness that changes the lives of those who accept it, as in the case of the saints.  This, for example, is what happened to Saint Paul.

Many times, in the context of the Pauline year, we have had occasion to meditate on the experience of the great Apostle.  Saul of Tarsus, the relentless persecutor ofChristians, encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, and was "conquered" by him.  The rest we know.  In Paul there occurred what he would later write about to the Christians of Corinth: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come" (2 Cor 5:17).  Let us look at this great evangelizer, who with bold enthusiasm and apostolic zeal brought the Gospel to many different peoples in the world of that time.  Let his teaching and example inspire us to go in search of the Lord Jesus.  Let them encourage us to trust him, because that sense of emptiness, which tends to intoxicate humanity, has been overcome by the light and the hope that emanate from the resurrection.  The words of the Psalm have truly been fulfilled:  "Darkness is not darkness for you, and the night is as clear as the day" (Ps 139 [138]:12).  It is no longer emptiness that envelops all things, but the loving presence of God.  The very reign of death has been set free, because the Word of life has even reached the "underworld", carried by the breath of the Spirit (v. 8).

If it is true that death no longer has power over man and over the world, there still remain very many, in fact too many signs of its former dominion.  Even if through Easter, Christ has destroyed the root of evil, he still wants the assistance of men and women in every time and place who help him to affirm his victory using his own weapons:  the weapons of justice and truth, mercy, forgiveness and love.  This is the message which, during my recent Apostolic Visit to Cameroon and Angola, I wanted to convey to the entire African continent, where I was welcomed with such great enthusiasm and readiness to listen.  Africa suffers disproportionately from the cruel and unending conflicts, often forgotten, that are causing so much bloodshed and destruction in several of her nations, and from the growing number of her sons and daughters who fall prey to hunger, poverty and disease.  I shall repeat the same message emphatically in the Holy Land, to which I shall have the joy of travelling in a few weeks from now.  Reconciliation – difficult, but indispensable – is a precondition for a future of overall security and peaceful coexistence, and it can only be achieved through renewed, persevering and sincere efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  My thoughts move outwards from the Holy Land to neighbouring countries, to the Middle East, to the whole world.  At a time of world food shortage, of financial turmoil, of old and new forms of poverty, of disturbing climate change, of violence and deprivation which force many to leave their homelands in search of a less precarious form of existence, of the ever-present threat of terrorism, of growing fears over the future, it is urgent to rediscover grounds for hope.  Let no one draw back from this peaceful battle that has been launched by Christ's Resurrection.  For as I said earlier, Christ is looking for men and women who will help him to affirm his victory using his own weapons:  the weapons of justice and truth, mercy, forgiveness and love.

Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra!  The resurrection of Christ is our hope!  This the Church proclaims today with joy.  She announces the hope that is now firm and invincible because God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead.  She communicates the hope that she carries in her heart and wishes to share with all people in every place, especially where Christians suffer persecution because of their faith and their commitment to justice and peace.  She invokes the hope that can call forth the courage to do good, even when it costs, especially when it costs.  Today the Church sings "the day that the Lord has made", and she summons people to joy.  Today the Church calls in prayer upon Mary, Star of Hope, asking her to guide humanity towards the safe haven of salvation which is the heart of Christ, the paschal Victim, the Lamb who has "redeemed the world", the Innocent one who has "reconciled us sinners with the Father".  To him, our victorious King, to him who is crucified and risen, we sing out with joy our Alleluia!

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

20. With beginners, falls usually occur by reason of luxury; with intermediates, because of haughtiness as well as from the same cause which leads to the fall of the beginners; and with those approaching perfection, solely from judging their neighbour.
Links  E-mail Dr. Zambrano  Home

Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

The Tribulation Times Archives:


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
January July January July January July January July January July January July January
February August February August Feb-March August February August February August August February
March September March September April September Lent September Lent September Lent September Lent
April October April October May October April October April October April October
May-June November May November June November May November May November May November
December June December December June December June December June December


1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
June-July January July January July January July January July  January July
August February August February August February August February August February August
September March September March September March/April September March/April September March September
October April October April October May October May October April October
November May November May November June November June November May November
December June December June December December December June 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.