your eyes open!...
Christmas Week, 2014
THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN IN EARLY JANUARY 2015, GOD
WILLING (James 4:15).
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL FROM THE ZAMBRANO FAMILY! BLESSINGS FOR A JOYOUS NEW YEAR!
(Luk 1:31-33) Behold
thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou
shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the
Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne
of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
VATICAN.VA: MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS FRANCIS FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD DAY OF PEACE 1 JANUARY 2015
POPE FRANCIS (2013):
The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin
Mary, true man and true God. He has entered our history; he has shared
our journey. He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light. In
him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the
Father: Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom,
he is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing that we are
hopelessly distant from it. He is the meaning of life and history, who
has pitched his tent in our midst.
LINK: CHRISTMAS PROCLAMATION
ALETEIA: The Best Christmas Music You've Never Heard: Goosebumps Guaranteed , You've Never Heard "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" Like This Before
EXCERPT: Creighton University's Online Ministries
Some of us, might be really looking forward to Christmas, and not be
aware of these struggles with Christmas, yet feel that, in spite of our
best efforts to make Advent different this year, there is still
something missing, and we still feel unready for Christmas.
For all of us, the story behind these days can draw us in, and invite
us to bring our lives to the mystery of how Jesus came into this world
and why. Our best preparation for the Holy Night ahead and the Joyful
Morning to follow is for us to reflect upon how he came. He came in the
midst of scandal and conflict. He came in poverty. He was rejected
before he was born. He was born in a feed trough. He was hunted down.
And he grew up in obscurity.
He did not shun our world and its poverty and conflict. He embraced it.
And he desires to embrace us today, in this day. Right where we are.
Right where we are feeling most distant. Right were we are feeling
least “religious” or “ready.” If we let him come into our hearts to be
our Savior these challenging days, we will find ourselves entering the
sacred night and morning of Christmas “joyful and triumphant” as never
Come, Lord Jesus. Come and visit your people.
We await your coming. Come, O Lord.
MEDITATION RON ROLHEISER,OMI: Keeping Watch With the Shepherds in Bethlehem
ARCHIVES, FR. ALTIER:
Take the attitude of our Blessed Lady, not to be looking for anything,
not to seek anything for herself. Here she is the highest creature that
God ever made and she put herself as the lowliest of all, not in any
kind of false humility, but in true humility. She literally and truly
saw herself as being less than everyone else. That is what we have to
do. We need to see ourselves in the light of Jesus Christ. If we see
ourselves in the light of Christ then we will recognize that we are
quite lowly, and then we can actually do His Will.
That is what we need more than ever. The Church has always needed
people who would do the Will of God–they are called saints. Whether
they are the ordinary saints who are going to be the mothers and
fathers and just the average person grunting out his daily work, or
whether that is going to be the saints that we all know who do
extraordinary and heroic things, it does not matter. All that matters is that we do God’s Will. That is all that matters.
We are not going to be judged in the end by how much money we made, or
by how many heroic things we did; we are going to be judged by how well
we did the Will of God. That is all.
And so God is going to ask each one of us to do something that will
seem impossible for us to do, but we have the assurance that God will
strengthen us according to the Gospel. We have the assurance of His
grace. And we have the assurance of the angel that nothing is
impossible for God, even to make us saints. Nothing is impossible for God. The only question is our disposition, and we learn from our Blessed Lady what it needs to be: Behold the humble handmaiden of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.
Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living
5. Allois said, 'Until you can say in your heart, "only I and God are in the world," you will not be at peace.'
Week of December 14, 2014
(Isa 61:10-11) I
will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my
God: for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation: and with
the robe of justice he hath covered me, as a bridegroom decked with a
crown, and as a bride adorned with her jewels. For as the earth
bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth her seed to shoot
forth: so shall the Lord God make justice to spring forth, and praise
before all the nations.
Advent Calendar 2014
“I am thinking about those who are oppressed by suffering, injustice
and oppression, about those who are slaves to money, power, success,
and worldliness. We are all called to console our brothers, testifying
that only God can eliminate the causes of existential and spiritual
CATHOLIC REVIEW: Advent: the perfect spiritual wake-up call by Archbishop William E. Lori
ST. LOUIS REVIEW: BEFORE THE CROSS | Gaudete Sunday reminds us that Advent is a season of joy by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
ALETEIA: Don't Let the Real Meaning of Christmas Be Overwhelmed by a Misspent Advent
EXCERPT DFW CATHOLIC: Advent = War is Coming!
When we view a nativity scene, we generally think of a peaceful scene.
Many think of the baby born to a virgin in a manger and the star which
rests above. There are peaceful animals, a humble St. Joseph, and
But, something is missing.
It is the drumbeat of war. Can’t you hear it? It is the spiritual
battle that rages in places we cannot see with our eyes or hear with
our ears. It rages in our hearts.
Even in the peaceful image of Jesus being born, we need to see God
warning His people to prepare for battle. The victorious king has
entered the fray and he calls us to take up our weapons of prayer,
righteousness, chastity, faith, hope, love….
The Army General, Satan, knows he will lose the final battle, yet he
fights to ruin as many as he can. He will tempt, deceive, and push you
Notice how the manger scene cries out WAR IS COMING!
Now it is our turn. If we fail to pick a side in the war, it means we have already chosen: “he who is not with me is against me.”
- The star of Bethlehem is a warning flare that signals the victor is now on the battlefield.
- The gifts the babe receives include myrrh for embalming the King after His death.
- The angels are singing battle songs of a victorious King – “Glory to God in the highest”.
- The first casualties in the war are the innocent sons of Bethlehem slaughtered by Herod.
- The King is one who has come to conquer sin and death!
The drumbeat of war is pounding. Pick up your cross – it is your weapon
against the enemy – and follow The King of Kings into battle. He is
about to be born as a poor babe to a virgin.
EXCERPT HOMILY FR. ESPER:
Hope, patience, and repentance are three essential road markers or
landmarks as we journey through these weeks of Advent, and through life
itself; if we’re lacking in any of these things, it will be very easy
for us to become spiritually lost or stranded.
Hope means that we don’t lose heart, even if we’re passing through a
period of grief, poor health, financial difficulties, relationship
problems, religious doubts, or anything else. The Lord wants us to
persevere in doing what’s right, even when it’s hard, and to continue
in our prayers, even when they’re unsatisfying, for His Kingdom will
certainly come. Rather than giving up, we must constantly be looking
up, keeping our eyes on the goal of heaven.
The road marker of patience is also vitally important. In a car journey
it’s quite common for children to ask, “Are we there yet?” and for
parents to respond, “Not yet—a little while longer.” Jesus says the
same thing to us: “Be patient; look around you as you travel, notice
the other travelers, and enjoy the journey— you’ll be here with Me
before you know it.” Patience allows us to make good progress by
keeping things in perspective and by continuing to grow spiritually
even when things are difficult.
The third road marker of repentance is an essential one, for our
sinfulness can prevent or delay the successful completion of our
spiritual journey. Our lesser sins are like stretches of rough,
potholed, uneven road that force us to slow down, and our serious sins
are like road closings and detours that actually take us in the wrong
direction away from God. We overcome these faults by honestly admitting
our sins and humbly seeking God’s forgiveness for them; the regular
examination our conscience and reception of the Sacrament of
Reconciliation, our use of divine grace to overcome our faults, and our
humble apologies to those we’ve hurt by our sins, help smooth out the
way before us and keep us on the right path.
Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living
4. At first Ammoi said to Aesius, 'What do you think of me?' He said,
'You are like an angel, abba.' Later on he said, 'Now what do you think
of me?' Her replied, 'You are like Satan, for even if you speak a good
word, it is like a sword to me.'
Week of December 8, 2014
(Mat 13:16-17) But
blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they
hear. For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired
to see the things that you see, and have not seen them: and to hear the
things that you hear and have not heard them.
Advent Calendar 2014
FR. LIOI: The season of Advent and its many meanings
PATHEOS: How to Have a Marian Advent by Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP
EXCERPT CATHOLIC SAN FRANCISCO: Valiant in battle by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone
Make no mistake about it. Priests and all Catholics are in combat. It
has now become unfashionable to speak of the “culture war,” or at
least, there are some who would like to make it so. They want us to
believe that this is a passé concept, or that this war has been fought
and won by the … well, however you want to label them – the
secularists, the postmodernists, the social anarchists, the
deconstructionists. Of course, they try to force us into believing
that, because they want us to back off from our position.
Some say the language of “culture war” is not helpful to us, and they
have a point. After all, the church is all about peace and
reconciliation. But in another sense, we Catholic priests are, and
always have been, at war. The church has always understood the reality
of spiritual warfare.
The worst soldier is the one who does not realize he is in a war. He
fulfills his normal duties on the army base, while the enemy kills,
takes prisoners, and occupies territory. While he guards the base, the
enemy has occupied vast territory surrounding the base.
In the church, both priests and laypeople are soldiers. Advent is a
time when soldiers of Christ prepare to welcome the Child who by
lowering himself to be among human beings raised us up to participate
in his divinity. Following him in Advent moves us away from the lure of
sin and from giving primacy to mundane pursuits which, even if not
illegitimate in and of themselves (such as sports, shopping, or
partying with friends and coworkers), would result in us dethroning
Christ in our hearts. Embracing the true spirit of Advent instead moves
us toward purity and wholeness. It’s a time for prayer, confession,
fasting, penance and works of charity.
MORE: Advent and the Drama of Light and Darkness by: Msgr. Charles Pope
FROM THE MAILBAG VIA Ronald Rolheiser OMI: ADVENT: CURING FIRE BY FIRE
“The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre -
To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame.
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire Consumed by either fire or fire.”
T.S. Eliot, whose genius for being
succinct remains unrivalled, wrote those remarkable words in his poem,
The Four Quartets. Brief though they are, they capture an entire
anthropology, a spirituality of longing, and a theology of Advent.
What do they say in terms of
anthropology? They tell us that we are born congenitally dis-eased,
incurably erotic, restless, consumed by a thirst that cannot be
quenched and a fire that will not be stilled. To be human is to be on
fire for a consummation, a love, a restfulness, an embrace, and a
symphony that, in this life, forever escapes us. In every cell of our
bodies and in the very DNA of our souls we ache for someone or
something that we have not yet known, ache in a way that leaves us too
dissatisfied and restless to live fully inside our own skins. Our lives
always seem too small for us. Moreover, and this is the key, this is
God’s doing. God is the hand behind this “intolerable shirt of flame”.
Hence the fire inside us is not
necessarily a sign that we are doing anything wrong, that we have
missed the boat somewhere, are sinful, are over-sexed, or are
too-greedy for our own good. What Eliot suggests is that this is the
normal order of things, God’s doing. The fire inside us comes from the
way God made us, namely, to crave the infinite and to be dissatisfied
with everything else until that wide embrace is consummated. Thus, the
fire inside us will never be extinguished simply by attaining the right
partner, the right job, the right city, the right set of friends, and
the right recognition. We will always be on fire.
The choice, as Eliot puts it, is
not between being restless or being restful, between being tense of
heart or calm of soul. No. The choice is between two kinds of fire, two
kinds of restlessness, two kinds of inner thirsts – “pyre or pyre”:
With what kind of fire do we want our hearts to burn? We are destined
to be consumed by one kind of restlessness or another, but the flames
are very different. Do we want God’s flames or those of our own
Eliot suggests that we choose God’s
fire because the solution to our deep-seated restlessness will not be
found in some long sought-after experience which will finally soothe
the last ache within us (“At last, the thing that has forever eluded
me!”). Rather the solution lies in letting our thirsts be consumed by
another kind of restlessness, a higher fire, a deeper eros, God’s eros.
What this means is that the answer to our longing is to extend our
longing, the answer to our eros is to deepen our eros, and the answer
to our aching is to widen our aching. We can stew in our own fires or
we can use those fires to enter the fire of God. more
ALETEIA: The Silent Grace of Advent
Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living
1. A brother asked Arsenius to give him advice. He said to him, 'As far
as possible, try hard to make your inner progress as God would have it,
and by this overcome the passions of the body.' He also said, 'If we
seek God, he will appear to us; if we grasp Him, He will stay with us.'
Week of December 1, 2014
13:33-37) Take ye heed, watch and pray. For ye know not when the time
is. Even as a man who, going into a far country, left his house and
gave authority to his servants over every work and commanded the porter
to watch. Watch ye therefore (for you know not when the lord of the
house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in
the morning): Lest coming on a sudden, he find you sleeping. And what I
say to you, I say to all: Watch.
SPECIAL PRAYER REQUEST
VIA Father Ted: May the grace and peace of our Lord be with you.
On Monday, December 1st I will be admitted to UCSF medical center for
surgery on my heart. I have a damaged valve which needs to be replaced.
The surgery will take place about 1:00 PM.
Please remember me in your prayers. Your brother in Christ, Father Ted Shipp.
p.s. Last October 1st I have a stint placed in my aorta successfully - also at UCSF in San Francisco
VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE: Indulgences for the Year of Consecrated Life
ICN: Ireland: Archbishop Eamon Martin launches online Advent Calendar
Archbishop Eamon Martin has launched a
specially commissioned 2014 Advent calendar on the homepage of the
Irish Catholic bishops' website: http://www.catholicbishops.ie/advent-calendar/
to coincide with the beginning of Advent on Sunday 30 November.
Archbishop Eamon said: "I am delighted to launch this year's Advent
calendar which each day will reveal Advent information and prayer
resources by clicking on a virtual numerical door... For many years we
have provided online resources to assist with our Advent preparations,
and this year we once again offer the faithful our novel online
calendar for this purpose.
MORE ADVENT RESOURCES
"The season of Advent is a time of spiritual preparation for the Lord's
coming at Christmas. Advent also prepares us for the second coming of
Christ at the end of time. As Christians, we must always be prepared
for the coming of the Lord 'You must stand ready because the Son of Man
is coming at an hour you do no not expect' [Mt 24:37-44]. Why is the
Advent calendar useful? Preparation does not happen at once but over
time. Each day of Advent amounts to a period of time which allows us to
journey and reflect on 'the joy of the Gospel'.
Archbishop Eamon continued: "As we begin our Catholic new year, I
invite everyone during the Advent season to visit and to enjoy the
information provided on our online calendar."
A new feature on this year's Advent Calendar will be an audio 'Thought
for Today' which will be voiced by a different contributor each of the
days of Advent and will reflect themes of the Advent season.
Contributors include Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and
Leighlin; Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin; Father Michael Drumm,
Chair of the Catholic Schools Partnership, as well as seasonal
reflections by staff from the councils, agencies and offices of the
Bishops' Conference for example ACCORD and Trócaire and by individual
students from Catholic primary and secondary schools. These audio
recordings will be available on the pages of the Advent Calendar on
catholicbishops.ie as well as on http://audioboom.com/IrishCatholicBishops.
Five Strategies for Keeping Advent in Advent
Advent a time for preparing, not for Christmas, but for eternity
Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion
118. A hermit said, 'The cowl we use is the symbol of innocence, the
scapular which covers neck and shoulders is the symbol of a cross, the
girdle, the symbol of courage. Let us live our lives in the virtues
symbolized by our habit. If we do everything sincerely, we shall not
Dr. Zambrano Home
2000: Bringing the World to Jesus
Tribulation Times Archives:
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
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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
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.