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August 31, 2001

(Rev 2:10)  Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.


An Australian aid worker being held in Afghanistan celebrated her birthday Thursday, as the Taliban prepared to try her and seven other foreigners on charges of preaching Christianity in this devoutly Muslim nation.

The eight foreign workers with Shelter Now International, a German-based Christian organization, were arrested during the first week of August, along with 16 Afghan staff members.

The Taliban announced Wednesday that the aid workers would be put on trial for the charge of preaching Christianity. For a foreigner, the penalty for spreading Christianity is jail and expulsion. The penalty for an Afghan who converts from Islam is death.


The Christian community in Saudi Arabia continues to suffer from the restrictions put on their religious freedom. According to the humanitarian organization Middle East Concern, eight Christian were recently arrested in a police round-up.They are all accused of professing to be of the Christian religion.

According to the association Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the police round-up was aimed at finding out the names of Saudis connected to the Christians, all of whom are foreign guest workers. CSW underscores the abuse of human rights perpetrated by the Saudi authorities who hold people under arrest solely because of their religious beliefs.

Besides constituting the largest non-Muslim group, the Christians are the best-organized of the clandestine prayer groups. For this reason, they are also the favorite target of the Saudi authorities. Considered sacred Muslim territory, Saudi Arabia does not permit the followers of other religions to construct its own places of worship or to hold religious services in private.

RELATED: Is radical Islam form of racism?

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

47 (cont.). The spider is far more silent than Pythagoras, whom the ancient Greeks admired more than any other philosopher because of the control that he exercised over his tongue. Although Pythagoras did nto talk with everyone, yet he did speak occasionally in secret with his closest friends; and often he lavished nonsensical remarks on oxen and eagles. He abstained altogether from wine and drank only water. The spider, however, achieves more than Pythagoras: it never utters a single word, and abstains from water as well as from wine. Living in this quiet fashion, humble and weak, never going outside or wandering about according to its fancy, always hard at work- nothing could be more lowly than the spider. Nevertheless the Lord 'who dwells on high but sees what is lowly' (Ps. 113: 5-6), extends His providence even to the spider, sending it food every day, and causing tiny insects to fall into its web.

August 30, 2001


Unborn children risk becoming the object of a new form of racism and slavery as scientists push the boundaries to use embryos for research, the Vatican warned Wednesday.

In a statement released two days before a racism conference is due to start in South Africa, the Vatican highlighted the ethical risks of artificial reproduction, so-called therapeutic cloning and the use of "excess embryos" in research.

"The risk of a new and unknown form of racism is very real because the development of these techniques could lead to the creation of a new 'human subcategory' destined essentially to serve the comfort of others," it said, referring to the use of embryos in research.

"This would be a new and terrible form of slavery," added the statement, released by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.



"Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide
In the strife of truth with falsehood
For the good or evil side.
Some great cause, God's true Messiah,
Offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand
And the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever,
'Twixt the darkness and that light.

Hast thou chosen, O my people,
On whose party thou shalt stand
Ere the Doom from its worn sandals
shakes the dust against our land?

Careless seems the great Avenger; History's page but record
One death-grapple in the darkness,'Twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,-
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great,
Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate,
But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din,
List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave within,-
"They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin."

Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves
Of a legendary virtue carved upon our father's graves,
Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light a crime;
Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by men behind their time?
Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that make Plymouth Rock sublime?

They were men of present valor, stalwart old iconoclasts,
Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was the Past's
But we make their truth our falsehood thinking that hath made us free,
Hoarding it in mouldy parchments, while our tender spirits flee
The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove them across the sea.

They have rights who dare maintain them; we are traitors to our sires,
Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit alter-fires,
Shall we make their creed our jailor? Shall we, in our haste to slay,
From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away
To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of today?"

James Russell Lowell, (1819-1891) The Present Crisis

(2 Chr 7:14)  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

47 (cont.). 'Show restraint and moderation,' writes the Apostle Peter, 'and be watchful in prayer.... casting all your care upon God, since He cares for you' (1 Pet. 4:7; 5:7). But if you still feel uncertainty, doubting whether He really cares about providing for you, think of the spider and compare it with a human being. Nothing is more weak and powerless than a spider. It has no possessions, makes no journeys overseas, does not engage in litigation, does not grow angry, and amasses no savings. Its life is marked by complete gentleness, self-restraint, and extreme stillness. It does not meddle in the affairs of others, but minds its own business; calmly and quietly it gets on with its own work. To those who love idleness it says, in effect: 'If anyone refuses to work, he should have nothing to eat' (2 Thess. 3:10).

August 29, 2001

(Joel 1:10-11)  The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up ; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed.


The old man walked between twisted, pale corn stalks incrusted in the dry earth. "This harvest was supposed to support my family for the rest of the year," said Elias Marroquin, a 64-year-old farmer in this village 75 miles northwest of the Guatemalan capital.

A few miles away, 75-year-old Felipa Claveria sat on a wooden chair in her adobe kitchen and waited for her son Oscar to bring her some food. "What am I going to cook if the harvest is lost?" she asked.

Marroquin and Claveria are among more than 600,000 Central American peasants devastated by a drought that has tormented the region for months. More than 740,000 acres of corn, rice and beans have been destroyed across Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

RELATED ANALYIS VIA [email protected]: In recent months the headlines of Internet news providers have included many predicted maladies ranging from wars and rumors of wars, large and unnatural storms, increased volcanic and earthquake activity, record setting unnatural climate, challenges to God in the forms of "medical science", etc. In view of the Book of Joel, of particular note have been the plagues, famine and drought.

Plagues of locusts have pillaged sections of China and Russia. In an admittedly weak attempt to arrest the plague, the Chinese imported tens of thousands of ducks and geese to the plagued area. Grasshoppers and crickets have ravaged sections of Utah and Northern California in the USA. Many square miles of California vineyards were stripped of all of their leaves and new growth by the ravaging insects, prompting one farmer to state that he had never witnessed anything like this plague, and that it would be several years before his vineyard recovered.

Drought has been prevalent in various locations around the globe. In Israel the Sea of Galilee has dropped to serious levels resulting in increased concern over the potability of the water supply there. Other areas experiencing drought include: Central South America, Southeastern Europe, Turkey, Asia Minor, Northeastern Africa, Southeastern Canada, Honduras and certain areas of Japan.

The State of Florida in the USA has been punished by drought for most of the last year, rendering inland lakes as dust bowls inhabited by dead carcasses of alligators. Northern Mexico and the Southwestern USA have experienced serious drought for some time. The Rio Grande ("Great River") is now a meager stream for most of the way. While it once was navigable by ocean-going vessels, it now stops about 300 yards short of dumping into the Gulf of Mexico.

Farmers in the Midwestern States of the USA are alarmed over the lack of water for their crops, and fear the worst.

In certain areas of the world, exotic diseases have taken their toll on the animal population; in other areas they have decimated the animal population altogether. Hoof and Mouth disease has taken its toll on the beef herds of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Recently, it was detected in Czechoslovakia and Greece. The French have been impelled into consuming horse flesh in lieu of beef.

Mad Cow disease not only caused the death of large herds of beef, but combined with the Hoof and Mouth epidemic, have created grave concerns. Originally thought to infect animals only, a certain strain of Mad Cow Disease has infected humans as well. Prior to learning this, huge numbers of burned carcasses were buried in the UK. As a result in certain areas, the people are forced to drink bottled water for fear that the local water table has been tainted. In certain parts of Western Europe, the shelves of grocery markets have been empty of all beef and dairy products. At one point, a local zoo located in a small German town reported certain of its birds and animals beginning to disappear suspecting that they had become table fare.

In view of the above and the first two chapters of Joel, it appears to be time to not only pray, but to fast. Again as we see at the end of the 2nd chapter of Joel, Our Heavenly Father always takes care of His people.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

47. We should on no account wear ourselves out with anxiety over our bodily needs. With our whole soul let us trust in God: as one of the Fathers said, 'Entrust yourself to the Lord, and all will be entrusted to you'.

August 28, 2001

(Psa 122:6)  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure.


Israeli helicopters fired two rockets at the office of a senior PLO leader Monday, killing him in what Israel said was retaliation for several bombings. Palestinians warned the attack could unleash "all-out war."

Mustafa Zibri, 63, widely known as Abu Ali Mustafa, was the highest-ranking Palestinian official killed in a targeted Israeli attack in 11 months of fighting.

Zibri, who led the second-largest PLO faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was also one of the most senior PLO figures to be killed since Israeli commandos shot and killed PLO military chief Khalil Al-Wazir in his Tunis home in 1988.

The Palestinian Authority said in a statement that "with its latest criminal act, the Israeli government confirms that it has decided to open the doors to an all-out war."

ANALYSIS VIA Special Jerusalem Report: Ali Abu Mustafa was the notorious George Habash’s successor as secretary general of the PFLP, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which hit the headlines in the seventies and eighties as the radical Marxist super-terrorist, hijacker of international airliners and hostage-taker. His liquidation by two Israeli missiles that crashed through the window of his Ramallah office near Arafat’s headquarters Monday morning is the most meaningful and bold operation Ariel Sharon has thus far ordered since becoming prime minister last March.

The successful assassination is being described by intelligence as a "military threat to Syrian president Assad to keep his hands off the Palestinian intifada and a warning to Arafat that he takes his Intifada across the border at his own personal peril." (Debkafile) This operation also raised Israel's campaign against terrorism to the regional level for the first time with the object of warding off an emerging regional conflict.

DEBKAfile’s political analysts explain: The Abu Mustafa hit warned Arafat: first , Israel will not let him go to Damascus; second, Israel will not let him sign a military pact with Syria; third, Israel will not stand by if he pushes ahead with his plans for a Baghdad-Damascus-Gaza-Hizballah anti-Israel axis; and, fourth, defying Israel on all three points will place his life in peril.

PRAYER REQUEST: Please join me in praying for the Palestinian Christians who are caught in the crossfire of this terrible conflict.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

46. How can someone with little or no faith be made to realize that an ant grows wings, a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, and many other strange and unexpected thigs happen in nature, so that in this way he shakes off the sickness of unbelief and despair, himself acquires wings, and buds in spiritual knowledge like a tree? 'I am He', says God, 'who makes the dry tree flourish; I give life to the dry bones' (cf. Ezek. 17:24; 37:1-14.).

August 25, 2001


(John 17:11)  I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one.


Russia's Orthodox patriarch is only willing to meet with Pope John Paul II if there are first assurances a meeting would bring progress in the disputes between the churches, a senior Orthodox cleric said Thursday. Kirill, sitting between frescoed columns in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral as he answered queries, indicated Orthodox leaders remain resistant to the pope's efforts to mend the nearly 1,000-year-old rift between their churches.

"The patriarch says he's ready to meet with the pope ... but the meeting should bring real results," said Kirill, the church's chief of foreign relations. Otherwise, he said, the meeting would become a media show producing merely "illusions of conciliation."

In a key theme of his papacy, John Paul has visited several Orthodox countries in recent years and has long sought a meeting with Russian Patriarch Alexy II. But Alexy has balked, citing disputes over church property and Catholic missionary activities in traditionally Orthodox areas.


American Rabbi David Dalin proclaimed Pius XII a "great friend of Jews" and one of the "righteous among the gentiles" at a meeting last night attended by thousands of Italians in the resort town of Rimini. Dalin, who lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, made the comments during a panel discussion at the annual "Rimini Meeting" sponsored by the lay Catholic movement "Communion and Liberation." Pius XII "is a great friend of Jews," Dalin said, "and merits to be called 'Righteous among the Nations.' He saved many of my 'brothers', more than Schindler... At least 800,000 according to some statistics."

The majority of the crowd outside listened to the hidden rabbi's words with great intensity, surprised to hear what had not been said publicly in Italy since shortly after World War II ended in 1945. "We haven't heard any of what you said in at least 50 years," burst out Thomaso Toschi, a professor at the University of Bologna, after the presentation, "and we are all in complete agreement with you." Indeed, many others in the crowd said they felt the same way. To hear Papa Pacelli (Pius XII's name before he became Pope was Eugenio Pacelli) defended so actively for his wartime activity, and from the lips of a Jew, was something many in the crowd thought would never be possible in their lifetimes.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

45 (cont.). The Lord promised these 'good things' not to the righteous but to sinners, saying: 'If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him?' (Luke 11:13). Ask, then, unremmittingly and without doubting, however poor your efforts to gain holiness, however weak your strength; and you will receive great gifts, far beyond anything that you deserve.

August 24, 2001

(Lev 19:19)  "'Keep my decrees. "'Do not mate different kinds of animals. "'Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. "'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.


Chinese scientists have successfully regrown dog bladder tissue on the back of a mouse in what state media called another big breakthrough for the nation's bio-engineers.

Both mouse and dog bladder were doing well after the transplant performed by two researchers with the Beijing-based Military Medical Research Institute, the official Xinhua news agency said.

"Though carrying a 'dog bladder' as big as half a ping-pong ball, the naked mouse still runs around and looks very robust," the report said. Meanwhile, the dog bladder "has expanded fast as the cells keep absorbing nutrition from the mouse."

China opposes human cloning but has aggressively promoted a biotechnology program to clone tissues such as cartilage and bone for the purpose of conducting human tissue transplants.

MORE: Australian Scientists Find 'Tender Steak' Gene


If you think you see Madonna or Nelson Mandela walking down the street, better look twice. A U.S. company is offering the chance to copyright DNA, warning the rich and famous that fans may be eager to clone them.

In theory, all that is needed to clone a celebrity is a few living cells, perhaps left on a glass or passed on by a handshake, Britain's New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

"A lot of people are going to want to clone people they admire," Andre Crump, president of the DNA Copyright Institute (DCI) of San Francisco, told the magazine. To set the minds of the famous at rest, DCI is offering to record DNA, check it is unique and store it -- all for $1,500. "Clients can show legal ownership of their Personal DNA Pattern and protect it from misappropriation and copyright infringement", says the firm's Web site,


Man-beast hybrid beyond talking stage
Manufacturing Human Beings in Worcester?
Two Ethical Advisers to Advanced Cell Have Resigned
Human Reproductive Cloning: Not Ready For Prime Time

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

45. In one place it is said that the Father 'will give good things to those that ask Him' (Matt. 7:11); elsewhere, that He will 'give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him' (Luke 11:13). From this we learn that those who pray to God with steadfast faith in these promises receive not only remission of sins but also heavenly gifts of grace.

August 23, 2001

(Rom 11:25-26)  I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.


Despite numerous signs that a dialogue between Roman Catholics and Jewish representatives has come to a dead halt this summer, Inside the Vatican has learned that there is a growing consensus among some leading Jewish rabbis and top Vatican officials to make a dramatic new start in improving Catholic-Jewish relations.

According to our authoritative sources, both in the Vatican and in the world Jewish community, a number of leading Jewish rabbis have become convinced that the Catholic-Jewsih dialogue not only should continue but should be raised to a new level never before reached. Rather than focus on divisive historical issues where passions are inevitably inflamed, these rabbis and their Vatican counterparts would like to initiate a profound theological reflection about the relationship between the Jewish and Christian faiths, about the things the two faiths have in common rather than the things which divide them.

"I am in very close contact with these rabbis," Jerzy Kluger, a Polish-born Jew who was a childhood schoolmate and friend of Pope John Paul II and has also met nearly on a monthly basis with the Pope during his pontificate, told Inside the Vatican today.

JPOST FEATURE ARTICLE:  Heavenly dangers


There is not much you can do about the threat of suicide bombings other than to recite psalms, according to Prof. Menahem Friedman, a sociologist at Bar-Ilan University. Friedman was commenting on a recent campaign encouraging Israelis to be more aware of the Book of Psalms.

The campaign, which has no paid staff, is run by about 20 volunteers, said Raphael Hakuk, 30, the volunteer coordinator of the organization running the campaign. The organization sends out free copies of a selection of psalms "for time of trouble for the people of Israel."

It is the initiative of donors from North and South America who appreciate the beauty of the psalms, are mindful of their popularity in the non-Jewish world, and want Israelis to be more familiar with them. The campaign asks Israeli Jews to open the biblical book and discover what it contains, he said. Some chapters speak of the beauty of nature, others express our emotions in a special way, while others are a guide to life, he added.

Friedman, an expert on the religious world, is himself Orthodox and teaches at an Orthodox university, but he says that one of the basic principles of sociology and anthropology is that people turn to a higher power when they are faced with a situation over which they have no rational control. "At least part of the Israeli public feels that rational solutions don't work. They have nothing else to depend on," he says.


Arafat, Peres agree to meet
In Syria, a half-million march in support of Palestinians
Iraqi vice-president in surprise visit to Syria
Palestinians Rebuke U.S. for Blocking U.N. Action
Hamas Vows to Avenge Palestinian Deaths

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

44 (cont.). 'Thus have I appeared before Thee in the sanctuary'- the sanctuary of my thoughts- 'that I might behold Thy power and glory', for they are my salvation. 'In Thy name will I lift up my hands', and I shall be heard; I shall think myself 'filled with marrow and fatness', and my lips will rejoice as they sing Thy praise (Ps. 63:2, 4, 5). It is a great thing for me to be called a Christian, as the Lord tells me through Isaiah: 'It is no light thing for you to be called My servant' (Isa. 49:6).

August 22, 2001

(Isa 45:22)  "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.


Even as Mass attendance loses out to material pursuits, a slim volume of prayers produced by Ireland's most media-savvy monks has been selling out as soon as stocks hit the shelves. Every day in Dublin's major bookshops, scores of people can be seen asking in vain for copies of "The Glenstal Book of Prayer," which offers well-known prayers like Hail Mary as well as prayers to help in daily life.

Observers see the book's popularity as a sign of national soul-searching in a land where Catholic tradition often appears to be losing out to capitalism. For the past decade of profound social change, Ireland has enjoyed an unprecedented growth in personal wealth, largely thanks to the arrival of high-tech American and European employers. The Catholic church, meanwhile, has seen its authority disintegrate under the pressure of a string of sexual scandals, mostly involving priests long protected by church authorities. Now, with many foreign employers struggling, some suggest that the Irish are turning to prayer because of fears that their economy might go belly-up.

The book itself runs to little more than 100 pages, divided into four sections. The first details a "liturgy of the hours," the monastic tradition of dedicating set times of the day to praising God. The second reprints familiar Catholic prayers, including how to say the Rosary. The third has prayers in English, Gaelic and Latin for specific events, such as a death in the family or a new job. The fourth highlights the teachings of St. Benedict, the order's founder.



VIA RBAnthony, CSAP, Brother Guardian: We announce a new publication that will also solicit the contemplative and reflective works of others of like faith in Christ. You are also welcomed to submit your reflective and contemplative works to the Editor for consideration. Please visit:

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

44. The Lord says to you what He said to Matthew: 'Follow Me' (Matt. 9:9). But when you follow the Lord with burning love, it may happen that on the road of life you strike your foot against the stone of some passion and fall unexpectedly into sin; or else, finding yourself in a muddy place, you may slip involuntarily and fall headlong. Each time you fall and in this way infure your body, you should get up again with the same eagerness as before, and continue to follow after your Lord until you reach Him.

August 21, 2001

(Rev 6:5-6)  When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"


Hoping to jump-start an economy that is barely growing at all, the Federal Reserve is expected to trim U.S. interest rates by a quarter percentage point on Tuesday, its seventh cut this year.

Many Fed officials had hoped by now to see signs the world's largest economy was pulling out of its slump. But growth has remained frustratingly sluggish and some economists have become more concerned about the threat of a recession as questions have emerged over the effectiveness of rate-cutting.

The Fed has cause to be concerned that its rate cuts are not packing the punch that might have been expected to help get the economy moving along again. Bill Dudley, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, which developed a financial conditions index that gauges the potency of Fed rate cuts, agreed with that concern. "Monetary policy is helping the economy but much less powerfully than it has in the past," said Dudley, whose index takes into account the stock market, long-term interest rates and the strength of the dollar.


Signs of Economic Rebound Prove Elusive
Layoffs go beyond fat, experts fear
Dollar tumbles after IMF warning
Tokyo stocks hit 16-year intraday low
More Air in the Internet Stock Bubble?

Perspectives: The Perfect Financial Storm? Financial Storms Heading Towards the U.S. Economy

(Col 3:5-6)  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

43 (cont.). Do not become puffed up, my brother, but continue in fear until your last breath, even though you should live as long as Moses. Pray in these words: 'Lord, cast me not off in the time of my old age; forsake me not when my strength fails; O God my Savior, my praise shall be continually of Thee' (cf. Ps. 71: 6, 9).

August 18, 2001


(1 Cor 15:58)  Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Singapore's hopes of becoming a biomedical hub have hit an ethical snag with a group Roman Catholic doctors staging a prayer vigil against the use of human embryos in research. The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore, made up of some 300 doctors, kicked off 10 days of prayer on Wednesday against embryonic stem cell research.

"We are praying that embryonic stem cell research will be discontinued, not just in Singapore but throughout the world," guild president Dr. John Hui told Reuters on Thursday. "We were human at the point of inception... and we believe that absolute respect should be accorded to the human embryo from the very beginning of life."

"We don't engage in protests," he said. "We hope and pray they will seriously take a stand that will be on the side of the embryo." But Hui said the guild was not opposed to the use of adult stem cells in research, which can be gathered non-destructively.


Researchers have successfully harvested stem cells from mouse brains, a breakthrough which could reduce the need to use human embryos for this purpose. Thursday's issue of the science journal Nature reports the successful research from Australia's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Stem cells are able to generate themselves into other, specialized cells, in particular the types of cells which naturally fight disorders or replace damaged or diseased cells. Before this reseach it was not known if mature brain stem cells could do this too. The head of the neurobiology group at the Melbourne-based institutute, Perry Bartlett, says the group has also unequivocally shown the adult stem cells can become other types of cells.

"It's really taken us this last nine or 10 years to be able to find what the cell looks like, and having found, we can now look at ways of being able to stimulate it into making new nerve cells with the possibility of replacing damaged or lost nerve cells in the adult brain," he said. "It's important in the sense that there's been a debate about whether stem cells from adult tissues, whether that be brain or blood or elsewhere, do have the potential of embryonic stem cells to give rise to various tissues."

RELATED: Adult Stem Cell Miracle Breakthrough Reported in Canada

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

43. Do not forget what St Paul says: 'I fear lest, after preaching to others, I myself should be cast away' (1 Cor 9:27); 'Let anyone who thinks he stands firm take care lest he fall' (1 Cor. 10:12); 'You, who are spiritual...look to yourself, in case you also are tempted' (Gal. 6:1). Remember how Solomon, after receiving so much grace, turned aside to wickedness (cf. 1 Kgs. 11:1-8); remember how St Peter unexpectedly denied his Lord. If you allow yourself to forget all this, you will grow over-confident because of your spiritual knowledge; you will become boastful about your way of life and complacent because of your many years of strict asceticism, and so will give way to pride.

August 17, 2001

(Eph 1:18-19)  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.....


A report on the life of Mother Teresa to launch the process of beatification is 35,000 pages long and 76 volumes. It will be taken from Calcutta to the Vatican in six sealed cardboard boxes and will include details of a miracle Mother Teresa was said to have performed on a woman suffering from stomach cancer in West Bengal.

"We can only hope, given Mother Teresa's fame and sanctity, that the process (in Rome) will move as fast as possible," said Calcutta Archbishop Henry Sebastian D'Souza, who oversaw the working of a panel looking into the "life, virtues and reputation of sanctity" of Mother Teresa.

The Diocesan Commission was set up in 1999 after Pope John Paul II granted a special dispensation to put the Nobel Peace laureate, who died in 1997, on the fast track to sainthood.


Pope John Paul II paid tribute Wednesday to a priest who gave his life for a married man at Auschwitz. St. Maximilian Kolbe died 60 years ago Tuesday, and John Paul recalled Kolbe's "dramatic and heroic martyrdom" during his weekly appearance to pilgrims at his summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.

Kolbe offered to replace one of 10 prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp who had been slated to die to pay for another prisoner's escape. The spared man, a young husband and father, had cried out: "My wife, my children! I will never see them again!" John Paul said. Kolbe was starved for two weeks and was eventually killed Aug. 14, 1941 by an injection of acid.

"His extraordinarily generous gesture can be symbolically considered a 'gift to the family,"' John Paul said. He noted Kolbe had once written that the love that creates a family echoes divine love.


VIA John L. Maurath: Have you heard about the Canonization process for Queen Isabel the
Catholic of Spain? You can read about this at

VIA Dennis DeLaurier: You can find a collection of articles by Peter Kreeft online at:

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

42. If you have resolved to clothe yourself in dispassion, do not be negligent, but strive to attain it with all your strength. 'For we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our house that is from that what is mortal in us may be swallowed up by life' (2 Cor. 5:2-4)- not only in the case of the body after the consummation of this age, but also by anticipation here and now, spiritually. For 'death is swallowed up in victory' (1 Cor. 15:54); all the pursuing Egyptians that harass us will be swallowed up in the waves, when power is sent down upon us from heaven.

August 16, 2001

(Eph 6:12-13)  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.


Many people who love children's books don't understand why some parents worry about the witchcraft in the Harry Potter books.  "It's just fantasy," they say.

But while Harry's capers with hippogriffs and vicious trees are purely imaginary, the practice of modern-day witchcraft, known as "Wicca," is real. Dozens of Wicca Web sites flourish on the Internet. A glance at our local Yellow Pages reveals bookstores, a masseuse and specialty stores offering magickal (that's how Wiccans prefer to spell it) supplies and services. A few weeks ago a car with a "Proud to be a Witch" bumper sticker passed me on Wornall Road.

"Some say Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the U.S.," announces publisher Puffin, a paperback division of Penguin Putnam. "In a recent poll on teen Web site, Wicca was cited as the second most popular religion among teens (Christianity was first)."


The world of France's banlieues and cites —the grim ghettos on the fringes of the country’s major towns—has never been more menacing to the society that for so long has ignored them. Outside Marseilles and Paris, gang wars rage and riot police are drawn into running battles. In Strasbourg, angry youths used to burn one or two cars a week. Now it’s several a night. Beleaguered bus drivers are regularly assaulted. In the southeastern town of La Seyne last week, one was hospitalized after a young passenger smashed a bottle of beer over her head. Two weeks ago in the Parisian suburb of Evry, a bus full of Red Cross volunteers returning from a vacation in the Alps was attacked by teenagers wielding knives and metal bars. During the July 14 Bastille Day celebrations, 130 cars were torched in the city of Aulnay. When firefighters arrived on the scene, their truck was rammed by a bulldozer commandeered by a group of thugs, who then destroyed the fire hoses.

Such violent blowouts have spread the sense among many French that youth-related crime is out of control, and a country known for its genteel, civilized culture is falling prey to homegrown Bloods and Crips.“Some of these kids are just crazy with rage against French society,” says Sophie Body-Gendrot, an expert on urban violence at the Sorbonne. “They’ve been marginalized to the farthest edge.”  Politicians agree that measures to integrate the kids into society have largely failed. “We are responsible for the hell that these kids are living in,” says Colombes official Camps-Voqeur.

And a hell it can be, especially for children. According to a recent report, the number of kids from the ages of 13 to 18 in prison for violent crimes tripled between 1993 and 1998 to 3,800, while the age of those who fall prey to organized gangs continues to drop.

(1 Th 5:17)  Pray without ceasing.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

41. Anyone who devotes himself with special intensity to prayer is assailed by fearsome and savage temptations.

August 15, 2001

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please be aware that the article posted below was NOT submitted directly by Dr. Peter Kreeft but instead forwarded to me by a frequent Trib Times contributor.


Who is the real enemy??


How to Win the Culture War
by Peter Kreeft

Who is our enemy?

Not Protestants. For almost half a millennium, many of us thought our enemies were Protestant heretics, and addressed that problem by consigning their bodies to battlefields and their souls to Hell. (Echoes of this strategy can still be heard in Northern Ireland.) Gradually, the light dawned: Protestants are not our enemies, they are our “separated brethren.” They will fight with us.

Not Jews. For almost two millennia many of us thought that, and did such Christless things to our “fathers in the faith” that we made it almost impossible for the Jews to see their God — the true God — in us.

Not Muslims, who are often more loyal to their half-Christ than we are to our whole Christ, who often live more godly lives following their fallible scriptures and their fallible prophet than we do following our infallible scriptures and our infallible prophet.

The same is true of the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Quakers.

Our enemies are not “the liberals.” For one thing, the term is almost meaninglessly flexible. For another, it's a political term, not a religious one. Whatever is good or bad about political liberalism, it's neither the cause nor the cure of our present spiritual decay. Spiritual wars are not decided by whether welfare checks increase or decrease.

Our enemies are not anti-Catholic bigots who want to crucify us. They are the ones we're trying to save. They are our patients, not our disease. Our word for them is Christ's: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We say this of the Chinese communist totalitarians who imprison and persecute Catholics, and to the Sudanese Muslim terrorists who enslave and murder Catholics. They are not our enemies, they are our patients. We are Christ's nurses. The patients think the nurses are their enemies, but the nurses know better.

Our enemies are not even the media of the culture of death, not even Ted Turner or Larry Flynt or Howard Stern or Disney or Time-Warner. They too are victims, patients, though on a rampage against the hospital, poisoning other patients. But the poisoners are our patients too. So are homosexual activists, feminist witches, and abortionists. We go into gutters and pick up the spiritually dying and kiss those who spit at us, if we are cells in our Lord's Body. If we do not physically go into gutters, we go into spiritual gutters, for we go where the need is.

Our enemies are not heretics within the Church, “cafeteria Catholics,” “Kennedy Catholics,” “I Did It My Way” Catholics. They are also our patients, though they are Quislings. They are the victims of our enemy, not our enemy.

Our enemies are not theologians in so-called Catholic theology departments who have sold their souls for thirty pieces of scholarship and prefer the plaudits of their peers to the praise of God. They are also our patients.

Our enemy is not even the few really bad priests and bishops, candidates for Christ's Millstone of the Month Award, the modern Pharisees. They too are victims, in need of healing.

Who, then, is our enemy?

There are two answers. All the saints and popes throughout the Church's history have given the same two answers, for these answers come from the Word of God on paper in the New Testament and the Word of God in flesh in Jesus Christ.

Yet they are not well known. In fact, the first answer is almost never mentioned today. Not once in my life have I ever heard a homily on it, or a lecture by a Catholic theologian.

Our enemies are demons. Fallen angels. Evil spirits.

So says Jesus Christ: “Do not fear those who can kill the body and then has no more power over you. I will tell you whom to fear. Fear him who has power to destroy both body and soul in Hell.”

So says St. Peter, the first pope: “The Devil, like a roaring lion, is going through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.”

So says St. Paul: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of wickedness in high places.”

So said Pope Leo the XIII, ceived a vision of the 20th century that history has proved terrifyingly true. He saw Satan, at the beginning of time, allowed one century in which to do his worst work, and he chose the 20th. This pope with the name and heart of a lion was so overcome by the terror of this vision that he fell into a trance. When he awoke, he composed a prayer for the whole Church to use to get it through the 20th century. The prayer was widely known and prayed after every Mass — until the '60s: exactly when the Church was struck with that incomparably swift disaster that we have not yet named (but which future historians will), the disaster that has destroyed a third of our priests, two-thirds of our nuns, and nine-tenths of our children's theological knowledge; the disaster that has turned the faith of our fathers into the doubts of our dissenters, the wine of the Gospel into the water of psychobabble.

The restoration of the Church, and thus the world, might well begin with the restoration of the Lion's prayer and the Lion's vision, because this is the vision of all the popes and all the saints and our Lord himself: the vision of a real Hell, a real Satan, and real spiritual warfare.

I said there were two enemies. The second is even more terrifying than the first. There is one nightmare even more terrible than being chased and caught and tortured by the Devil. That is the nightmare of becoming a devil. The horror outside your soul is terrible enough; how can you bear to face the horror inside your soul?

What is the horror inside your soul?

Sin. All sin is the Devil's work, though he usually uses the flesh and the world as his instruments. Sin means inviting the Devil in. And we do it. That's the only reason why he can do his awful work; God won't let him do it without our free consent. And that's why the Church is weak and the world is dying: because we are not saints.

And thus we have our third Necessary Thing: the weapon that will win the war and defeat our enemy.

All it takes is saints.

Can you imagine what twelve more Mother Teresas would do for the world? Can you imagine what would happen if just twelve readers of this article offered Christ 100% their hearts and held back nothing, absolutely nothing?

No, you can't imagine it, any more than anyone could imagine how twelve nice Jewish boys could conquer the Roman Empire. You can't imagine it, but you can do it. You can become a saint. Absolutely no one and nothing can stop you. It is your free choice. Here is one of the truest and most terrifying sentences I have ever read (from William Law's Serious Call): “If you will look into your own heart in complete honesty, you must admit that there is one and only one reason why you are not a saint: you do not wholly want to be.”

That insight is terrifying because it is an indictment. But it is also thrillingly hopeful because it is an offer, an open door. Each of us can become a saint. We really can.

What holds us back?

Fear of paying the price.

What is the price?

The answer is simple. T.S. Eliot defines the Christian life as: “A condition of complete simplicity/Costing not less than/Everything.” The price is everything: 100A worse martyrdom than the quick noose or stake: the martyrdom of dying daily, dying to all your desires and plans, including your plans about how to become a saint. A blank check to God. Complete submission, “islam,” “fiat” — Mary's thing. Look what that simple Mary-thing did 2000 years ago: It brought God down and saved the world.

It was meant to continue.

If we do that Mary-thing — and only if we do that — then all our apostolates will “work”: our missioning and catechizing and fathering and mothering and teaching and studying and nursing and businessing and priesting and bishoping — everything.

A bishop asked one of the priests of his diocese for recommendations on ways to increase vocations. The priest replied: The best way to attract men in this diocese to the priesthood, Your Excellency, would be your canonization.

Why not yours?


Kreeft, Peter. “How to Win the Culture War.” Crisis 16, no. 6 (June 1998): 12-15.

Reprinted by permission of the Morley Institute a non-profit education organization. To subscribe to Crisis magazine call 1-800-852-9962.


Dr. Peter Kreeft has written extensively (over 25 books) in the areas of Christian apologetics. He teaches at Boston College in Boston Massachusetts. Dr. Peter Kreeft is on the Advisory Board of the Catholic Educator's Resource Center.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

40. God saves one man through spiritual knowledge and another through guilelessness and simplicity. You should bear in mind that 'God will not refect the simple' (Job 8:20).

August 14, 2001

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please be aware that the article posted below was NOT submitted directly by Dr. Peter Kreeft but instead forwarded to me by a frequent Trib Times contributor.


Who is the real enemy??


How to Win the Culture War
by Peter Kreeft

If you can't see that our entire civilization is in crisis, then you are a wounded victim of the war. We are now engaged in the most serious war that the world has ever known. What follows is a three point checklist for understanding what is really at stake at the most critical period of human history:

To win any war, the three most necessary things to know are (1) that you are at war, (2) who your enemy is, and (3) what weapons or strategies can defeat him. You cannot win a war (1) if you simply sew peace on a battlefield, (2) if you fight civil wars against your allies, or (3) if you use the wrong weapons.

Here is a three point checklist for the culture wars. I assume you would not be reading a magazine called Crisis if you thought all was well. If you don't know that our entire civilization is in crisis, I hope you had a nice vacation on the moon.

Many minds do seem moonstruck, however, blissfully unaware of the crisis — especially the “intellectuals,” who are supposed to be the most on top of current events. I was dumbfounded to read a cover article in Time devoted to the question: Why is everything getting better? Why is life so good today? Why does everybody feel so satisfied about the quality of life? Time never questioned the assumption, it just wondered why the music on the Titanic sounded so nice.

It turned out, on reading the article, that every single aspect of life that was mentioned, every single reason for life getting better, was economic. People are richer. End of discussion.

Perhaps Time is just with clothes on. For one kind of , the world is one great big house. For another kind, it's one great big piggy bank. For both, things are getting better and better.

There is a scientific refutation of the Pig Philosophy: the statistical fact that suicide, the most in-your-face index of unhappiness, is directly proportionate to wealth. The richer you are, the richer your family is, and the richer your country is, the more likely it is that you will find life so good that you will choose to blow your brains apart.

Suicide among pre-adults has increased 5000% since the “happy days” of the '50s. If suicide, especially among the coming generation, is not an index of crisis, nothing is.

Night is falling. What Chuck Colson has labeled “a new Dark Ages” is looming. And its Brave New World proved to be only a Cowardly Old Dream. We can see this now, at the end of “the century of genocide” that was christened “the Christian century” at its birth.

We've had prophets who warned us: Kierkegaard, 150 years ago, in The Present Age; and Spengler, 100 years ago, in The Decline of the West, and Aldous Huxley, seventy years ago, in Brave New World, and C. S. Lewis, forty years ago, in The Abolition of Man, and above all our popes: Leo XIII and Pius IX and Pius X and above all John Paul the Great, the greatest man in the world, the greatest man of the worst century. He had even more chutzpah than Ronald Reagan, who dared to call Them “the evil empire” : He called US: “the culture of death.” That's our culture, and his, including Italy, with the lowest birth rate in the world, and Poland, which now wants to share in the rest of the West's abortion holocaust.

If the God of life does not respond to this culture of death with judgment, God is not God. If God does not honor the blood of the hundreds of millions of innocent victims then the God of the Bible, the God of Israel, the God of orphans and widows, the Defender of the defenseless, is a man-made myth, a fairy tale.

But is not God forgiving?

He is, but the unrepentant refuse forgiveness. How can forgiveness be received by a moral relativist who denies that there is anything to forgive except a lack of self-esteem, nothing to judge but “judgmentalism?” How can a Pharisee or a pop psychologist be saved?

But is not God compassionate?

He is not compassionate to Moloch and Baal and Ashtaroth, and to Caananites who do their work, who “cause their children to walk through the fire.” Perhaps your God is — the God of your dreams, the God of your “religious preference” — but not the God revealed in the Bible.

But is not the God of the Bible revealed most fully and finally in the New Testament rather than the Old? In sweet and gentle Jesus rather than wrathful and warlike Jehovah?

The opposition is heretical: the old Gnostic-Manichaean-Marcionite heresy, as immortal as the demons who inspired it. For “I and the Father are one.” The opposition between nice Jesus and nasty Jehovah denies the very essence of Christianity: Christ's identity as the Son of God. Let's remember our theology and our biology: like Father, like Son.

But is not God a lover rather than a warrior?

No, God is a lover who is a warrior. The question fails to understand what love is, what the love that God is, is. Love is at war with hate, betrayal, selfishness, and all love's enemies. Love fights. Ask any parent. Yuppie-love, like puppy-love, may be merely “compassion” (the fashionable word today), but father-love and mother-love are war.

In fact, every page of the Bible bristles with spears, from Genesis 3 through Revelation 20. The road from Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained is soaked in blood. At the very center of the story is a cross, a symbol of conflict if there ever was one. The theme of spiritual warfare is never absent in scripture, and never absent in the life and writings of a single saint. But it is never present in the religious education of any of my “Catholic” students at Boston College. Whenever I speak of it, they are stunned and silent, as if they have suddenly entered another world. They have. They have gone past the warm fuzzies, the fur coats of psychology-disguised-as-religion, into a world where they meet Christ the King, not Christ the Kitten.

Welcome back from the moon, kids.

Where is the culture of death coming from?

Here. America is the center of the culture of death. America is the world's one and only cultural superpower.

If I haven't shocked you yet, I will now. Do you know what Muslims call us? They call us “The Great Satan.” And do you know what I call them? I call them right.

But America has the most just, and moral, and wise, and biblical historical and constitutional foundation in all the world. America is one of the most religious countries in the world. The Church is big and rich and free in America.

Yes. Just like ancient Israel. And if God still loves his Church in America, he will soon make it small and poor and persecuted, as he did to ancient Israel, so that he can keep it alive. If he loves us, he will prune us, and we will bleed, and the blood of the martyrs will be the seed of the Church again, and a second spring will come — but not without blood. It never happens without blood, sacrifice, and suffering. The continuation of Christ's work — if it is really Christ's work and not a comfortable counterfeit — can never happen without the Cross.

I don't mean merely that Western civilization will die. That's a piece of trivia. I mean eternal souls will die. Billions of Ramons and Vladamirs and Janes and Tiffanies will go to Hell. That's what's at stake in this war: not just whether America will become a banana republic, or whether we'll forget Shakespeare, or even whether some nuclear terrorist will incinerate half of humanity, but whether our children and our children's children will see God forever. That's what's at stake in “Hollywood versus America.” That's why we must wake up and smell the rotting souls. Knowing we are at war is the first requirement for winning it.

The next thing we must do to win a war is to know our enemy.


The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

39. Suppose you have ordered yourself not to eat fish: you will find that the enemy continually makes you long to eat it. You are filled with an uncontrollable desire for the thing that is forbidden. In this way you can see how Adam's fall typifies what happens to all of us. Because he was told not to eat from a particular tree, he felt irresistibly attracted to the one thing that was forbidden him.

August 11, 2001



Cosmic dust, some of which has been wafting through space since the American Civil War, is renewing a summer ritual by slamming into Earth's atmosphere, lighting up the night sky with shooting stars whose numbers are building to a peak on Aug. 12.

The return of the Perseid meteor shower marks one of the most rewarding skywatching events of the year. No matter how many other night sky shows fail to meet expectations, the Perseids rarely falter. Only two weeks straight of cloudy skies can completely spoil the shower.


MORE FROM THE HEAVENS:  Summer Meteor Spotlights Hunt for Killer Asteroids

FASCINATING ARTICLE:  The Age of the Universe


VIA James Foard: Russian Orthodox prayer against demonic snares

LORD JESUS Christ, the Son of God, having struck down the ancient serpent and bound him in Tartarus by bonds of darkness, protect me from his snares. Through the prayers of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, of the holy Archangel Michael and all the Heavenly hosts, of the holy Prophet and Baptist John, of the holy Evangelist John the Theologian, of the holy Martyr Cyprian and the Martyr Justinia, of St. Nicholas the wonderworker, of St. Nikita of Novgorod, of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the wonderworker ... and of all the saints, by the power of the life-giving Cross and by the intercession of my Guardian Angel, deliver me from evil spirits, from cunning people, from sorcery, curses, the evil eye, and from any slanders of the enemy. By Thine almighty power preserve me from evil, so that I, enlightened by Thy light, may safely reach the quiet anchorage of the Heavenly Kingdom and there eternally thank Thee, my Savior, together with Thine unoriginate Father and Thy Most Holy and Life-giving Spirit. Amen.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

38. Imagine that the Lord is saying to you: 'For a time I have taken away from you this or that gift of grace, in which you expected your intellect to find fulfilment, and so to be at peace. To make up for this, I have given you instead some other gift. Yet you think only about what has been taken away, not noticing what has been given you in its place; and so you fell dejected, pained and full of gloom. Nevertheless, I am glad because of this gloom which I have brought on you. I make you dejected for your own good. My purpose is not to destroy but to save you, since I regard you as My son.'

August 10, 2001

(Rev 6:3-4)  When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!"  Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.


A Palestinian suicide bomber detonated a nail-studded explosive inside a crowded Jerusalem pizzeria at lunchtime Thursday, killing at least 15 people, wounding almost 90 and provoking a wave of Israeli outrage.

As Israelis mourned the dead including several children and hospitals struggled to save the critically injured, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faced a major decision on how to respond to the attack, the second deadliest in more than 10 months of fighting.

Sharon has pledged to hit back hard against Palestinian terror attacks, but such a strike could send violence spiraling out of control. The Israeli leader refrained from military action following a suicide attack two months ago that left 22 dead, pressuring Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to declare a cease-fire.

With the truce in shambles, few were in the mood for restraint.


Israeli Police Take Over PLO Office in Jerusalem
Israeli jets hit police station after bombing
Tens of thousands in Tehran rally against Israel, US

INSIGHTFUL COMMENTARY: The Jerusalem Bombing and the President's Stem Cell Decision


Arab countries should prepare to wage a "Jihad," or holy war, to support the Palestinian uprising against Israel and take a stand against countries sponsoring the Jewish state, Egypt's largest Islamic group said Wednesday. In a statement faxed to the Cairo office of The Associated Press, the Muslim Brotherhood called on Islamic clerics to mobilize the public and said the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem were sacred issues for all Muslims.

"Martyrdom is an honor to aspire to ... A Muslim should either live dignified or die as a martyr," the statement said.  The group also said Arab calls to boycott Israel should be followed. At a conference in Iran last month, Islamic groups from around the world called for holy war against Israel.


War in Mideast
White House Issues New Appeal for Middle East Calm
Palestinians refuse to arrest militants on Israeli list; both sides hint at more violence
Israelis urged not to travel to Arab countries

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

37 (cont.). Previously I had grown old in sins and shameful passions, but now I am reborn in the fresh vigour of youth; material desires and actions had made me rough and hard, but now I am softened. God in His compassion has healed my intellect, and regaining my natural simplicity I can now see the things of this world clearly. My flesh, like that of Naaman the Syrian, has become as the flesh of a little child, because I have washed in the Jordan of spiritual knowledge (cf. 2 Kgs. 5:14). Now I am at one with myself, set free by God's grace from the guile of the serpent and from the great variety of evil thoughts that I had acquired in a manner contrary to nature.

August 9, 2001

(Mat 5:10)  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


The United States has urged Afghanistan's ruling Taliban to release international aid workers arrested last weekend on charges of spreading Christianity.  The Taliban said Monday the 24 international and Afghan aid workers from the Shelter Now International (SNI) assistance organization were in good condition, but will remain jailed until an investigation is completed. Promoting any religion other than Islam is a crime punishable by death in the 95 percent of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban, an arch-conservative fundamentalist Islamic group.

RELATED: Fundamentalists Threaten Women Over Their Attire


Pakistan’s blasphemy laws which punish with the death sentence those who "by words, either spoken or written, …directly or indirectly defile the sacred name of the Holy Prophet", are being used against Christians and conscientious journalists. Ayub Masih, a Pakistani Christian, faces death by hanging, now his appeal against the death penalty for blasphemy has been turned down. Rehmat Shah Afridi, editor of The Frontier Post and one of the country most conscientious journalists, is in jail in Lahore convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to hang. Moreover, blasphemy was the recent charge against five journalists of the same newspaper. "There is fear around us" one senior Pakistani journalist said. "You have to be so careful what you write and the way you write it".

MORE: 100 arrested in Lebanese army sweep against Christian anti-Syrian groups

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

37. To anyone among you who is oppressed by a sense of his worthlessness and inability to attain holiness, this is our message: if he attains dispassion he can see Jesus, not only in the future, but coming to him here and now 'with power and great glory' (Matt. 24:30). Though his soul, like Sarah, has grown old in barrenness, it can still bear a holy child, contrary to all expectation; like her he can still say: 'God has made me laugh' (Gen. 21:6)- that is, God has granted me a great joy after the many years that I have spent in sorrow, dominated by the passions; God has shown His tender love to me, so that my youth 'is renewed like an eagle's' (Ps. 103:5).

August 8, 2001


Delving into a topic that highlights fundamental questions of morality and science, researchers outlined their plan on Tuesday to clone human beings.

Italian doctor Severino Antinori and Panos Zavos, a retired professor and head of a Lexington, Kentucky-based private corporation that markets infertility products and technologies, told a conference on cloning held by the National Academy of Sciences that human cloning would be used to address infertility.

The highlight of the conference was the afternoon presentation by the team of reproductive specialists who talked about their plans to impregnate about 200 women.

"They may be calling us mad scientists, which of course we're not, but this is very important," said Zavos, one of the human cloning advocates, during in a fiery exchange with a colleague who warned that the procedure was fraught with danger.

Antinori's Rome fertility clinic produced a 62-year-old mother of a baby in 1994. Two years he later helped a 59-year-old British unmarried mother to have twins.


Team plans to clone up to 200 humans
Italian Doctor Says Cloning Must Go Ahead
Italian medical order says doctor at risk for losing license because of plans to clone human
American couples may be implanted with human clones


(Heb 13:8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

God did not allow the Nephilim to contaminate the human race without punishment- (Gen 6:5).

God did not allow the building of the tower of Babylon without punishment - (Gen 11:6)

God will not allow desecration of His own image (man) through cloning today- without severe punishment.

For further commentary please see:

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

36. Impassioned thoughts are the source and foundation of the corruption which comes to us through the flesh. But if, after sinning, we return to watchfulness through repentance, we expel such thoughts from our soul. It is a good thing that you have been 'filled with grief', so that the wicked and unholy thought that encouraged you to sin may be 'taken from your midst' (1. Cor. 5:2). Grief repulses the spirit of corruption.

August 7, 2001


In embryonic stem cell research, end does not justify the means

Let's be clear on this: Catholics do indeed oppose medical research that requires the destruction of human embryos. Millions of other Americans, religious and otherwise, share this moral conviction. We emphatically support science and medical advances -- but we oppose the use of immoral means to achieve seemingly good goals, even when they include possible medical cures.

Why? Because if the bloody legacy of the last century has taught us anything, it's that the end never justifies the means.

The immorality of destroying human embryos does not rest on what the Post termed a "rigid postulate". Rather, the sacredness of human life is the constant teaching of the Christian faith from the Didache of the first century through Vatican II. Two statements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church make this teaching clear.

"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. … Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death." (2273)

"Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being." (2274)

In the face of this teaching, the Denver Post and others attempt to dehumanize embryos by calling them "microscopic clumps of cells" or by insisting that they are "unneeded." But these microscopic clumps of cells are genetically complete and unique human individuals. Their tiny size does not diminish their humanity -- by exactly that same bad logic, an infant would be less human than an adult. In fact, all of us were once the same size on our journey through the continuum of human life.

RELATED: Fetal Stem Cells Are Actually Embryos

Online Petition Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

SEE ALSO: The big business of small embryonic stem cells

The Philokalia excerpt: St. John of Karpathos "One Hundred Texts"

35. There are times when a teacher falls into disgrace and undergoes trials and temptations for the spiritual benefit of others. 'For we are despised and weak,' says the Apostle, 'brought to disgrace by the thorn in our flesh; but you are honoured and made strong in Christ' (cf. 1 Cor. 4:10; 2 Cor. 12:7).

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