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February 28, 2001 (ASH WEDNESDAY)


Addressing the 10,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square before the midday Angelus, John Paul II posed the question: "How can the Church be faithful to her vocation, at a time in which the dominant culture seems not infrequently to go against the demanding logic of the Gospel?"

The Pope answered this question by alluding to the "red color of the cardinals' habit." "[Red] recalls the blood of martyrs, witnesses of Christ to the point of the supreme sacrifice," the Pope explained. "Cardinals must make visible with their life a love of Christ that does not cease, no matter what the sacrifice. Their example will be an encouragement for all Christians to serve the divine Master generously, regarding themselves as living members of his one al Body, which is the Church." "The necessary condition for the fulfillment of this commitment is the assiduous contemplation of the face of the Lord," he continued.

"I wrote this in the apostolic letter 'Novo Millennio Ineunte,' and I have been able to confirm it many times. In fact, if there is less hearing of the word of God, if there is a weakening of prayer and interior contact with the Lord, it is easy to fall into a sterile activism, which constitutes a risk that unfortunately is not rare, especially in our days." Yet, John Paul said, "A breath of new hope seems to have invaded Christian people. In the course of the Jubilee and also in these days, the invitation to look to the future has resounded powerfully. The Church looks ahead and wishes to go 'out to sea,' inspired by the spiritual dynamism awakened within it by the Jubilee experience."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael Brown on his site,, has pointed out that this is the second time in one week that the Pope has alluded to martyrdom while referring to the newly appointed Cardinals. Perhaps this is akin to the Pope's pointed reference to the Book of Revelation, particularly Chapter 12 in his Fatima homily last May though he himself never directly discussed the Third Secret of Fatima.

In similar fashion, it might also be that the last sentence quoted in the article above, "the Church looks ahead and wishes to go 'out to sea'", is a veiled reference to the vision of Saint John Bosco of May 30, 1862. This would indeed be in keeping with the theme of martyrdom which the Pope has underlined during the past week. Please join me in praying for the health, safety and intentions of the Pope and his chosen Cardinals.



The following link leads to an interesting article on the origins of Ash Wednesday:

RELATED: Pope John Paul to Preside Ash Wednesday Liturgy

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

83. It is true that the heart produces good and bad thoughts from itself (cf. Luke 6:45). But it does this not because it is the heart's nature to produce evil ideas, but because as a result of the primal deception the remembrance of evil has become as it were a habit. It conceives most of its evil thoughts, however, as a result of the attacks of the demons. But we feel that all these evil thoughts arise from the heart, and for this reason some people have inferred that sin dwells in the intellect along with grace. That is why, in their view, the Lord said: 'But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thought, adulteries', and so on (Matt. 15:18-19). They do not realize, however, that the intellect, being highly responsive, makes its own the thoughts suggested to it by the demons through the activity of the flesh; and, in a way we do not understand, the proclivity of the body accentuates this weakness of the soul because of the union between the two.

February 27, 2001



Brother Anthony of Aachen (19 century)

Brother Anthony was a monk living in the area of Alsace-Loraine in the mid 19th century. He was publicly recognized as having the gift of prophecy to a great degree. He spoke at length of a future was in Europe in which – in general – the good people would be on one side and the bad would be on the other. Interestingly enough – in general – Brother Anthony and the other Catholic prophets who prophecy this event make it very clear that it will not for the most part be the case of one nation being bad and another being good. There will be both good an bad in each country. The civil wars described by dozens of Canonized Saints, Blessed and Venerable about this event state that the civil wars which precede the Russian Invasion will be between the good and the bad in each country. Brother Anthony prophesies:

"Some day war will break out again in Alsace. I saw the French in Alsace with Strassburg at their rear, and I saw Italians fighting with them [as allies of the French]. Suddenly, great transports of troops arrived from the French side. A two-day battle ended with the defeat of the Prussian army. The French pursued the Prussians over the Rhine in many directions. In a second battle, at Frankfurt, the Prussians lost again and retreated as far as Siegburg, where they joined with a Russian army. The Russians made common cause with the Prussians. It seemed to me as if Austrians also were aiding the French.

The battle of Siegburg was more horrible than any before, and its like will never occur again. After some days, the Prussians and Russians retreated and crossed below Bonn, to the left bank of the Rhine. Steadily pressed by their opponents, they retired to Cologne, which had been bombarded so much that only one-fourth of the city remained intact. Constantly in retreat, what was left of the Prussians moved to "Westphalia where the last battle went against them. People greatly rejoiced because they were freed from the Prussians.

After the battle of Westphalia, the French returned to their country, and from then on there was peace between the French and the Germans. All exiles returned to their homes. When I begged God to take the terrible vision away, I heard a voice saying: 'Prussia must be humiliated in such a manner that it will never again bring sorrow to the Church.'".

As Dr. Zambrano (or anyone who has read TTT) can tell you, it takes hundreds of pages to present only a smattering of the prophecies from Church-approved sources which describe these events – in very specific detail. And these prophets have never been wrong on even one single event which they have foretold. Many of their prophecies have already come to pass. I can only present a smattering of such prophecies in a short article such as this. But we will present another.

We have already heard from an Italian and a German prophet on this subject. Now we will hear from a Spaniard, Bug de Milhaus. He was a saintly layman living in the Pyrenees mountains. He predicted many events which have already come to pass in every detail. Bug prophesies:

"Then the victorious army, protected by their Supreme Creator, will cross provinces and seas and will carry the standard of the Cross even to the banks of the river Neva (the heart of Russia). The Catholic religion will triumph everywhere."

This is completely consonant with the other prophecies which state that the 'Christian' forces will chase the Russian troops which had invaded Western Europe all the way back into 'Mother Russia'.

In short I would make this comment. There are veritably dozens of prophecies which specifically state that 'just when everyone thinks that peace is assured (vis-à-vis Russia) the war will break out. Part of the war will be the Russian invasion of Western Europe.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

82 (cont.). The demons attack the intellect, but they do so by trying through lascivious temptations to entice the flesh down the slope of sensual pleasure. It is for a good purpose that the demons are allowed to dwell within the body even of those who are struggling vigorously against sin; for in this way man's free will is constantly put to the test. If a man, while still alive, can undergo death through his labours, then in his entirety he becomes the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit; for such a man, before he has died, has already risen from the dead, as was the case with the blessed Apostle Pau and all those who have struggled and are struggling to the utmost against sin.

February 26, 2001



Dr. Zambrano has asked me to present a brief introduction to prophecies which speak of a future Russian invasion of Western Europe.

There are so many prophecies presented to us today, that many people simply do not know what to make of them. Part of the problem is that many of them have not passed the scrutiny of the Church as yet. So it can be difficult to discern what to accept and what to reject. Additionally, many of the contemporary prophecies do not present an 'overall picture' of events foretold to occur sometime in the future.

Both of these problems are in many cases resolved when we proceed to those prophecies which come to us from Church-approved sources.

The invasion of Western Europe is a 'thread' which is common to many prophecies which come to us from Church-approved sources of private prophecy. To begin, we'll present a prophecy of Sr. Elena Aiello. Sr. Elena was a woman of our time. She founded the 'Calabrian Nuns' in Italy in the 1930's. She was very famous in Italy for her 'gift of prophecy', so famous that, the Italian Dictator, Mussolini, asked her for her advice on several occasions. Sr. Elena told him on two separate occasions (prior to WW II) that he had the opportunity for great good – but that if he continued to follow the course he was pursuing – that it would end in disaster for both him and Italy. [For the younger list members who do not remember anything about WW II, Mussolini's rule during the War led to vast destruction and suffering for Italy – and he and his mistress were later hung in a public square by an Italian mob.] During Holy Week of 1959, Sr. Elena was in prayer when she received a vision and locution. Subsequently, she prophesied:

"Russia will march upon all the nations of Europe, particularly Italy, and will raise her flag over the dome of St. Peter's. Italy will be severely tried by a great revolution and Rome will be purified in blood for its many sins, especially those of impurity. The flock is about to be dispersed and the Pope will suffer greatly."

Some commentators think some of Anna Maria's prophecies about turmoil in Italy have already been fulfilled. But Sr. Elena's 1959 prophecies definitely have not yet occurred. Russia has not marched upon "all the nations of Europe" nor raised her flag "over the dome of St. Peter's". Nor has Italy gone through a 'great revolution'.

There are literally hundreds of prophecies from Church-approved sources which speak of a future 'revolution' which will begin in France, immediately spread to Italy, and then to the rest of Europe. During the course of this general 'revolution' or 'civil war' (both terms appear in the prophecies describing the same thing) Russia is predicted to invade Western Europe. Sr. Elena Aiello is only one of the Church-approved prophets who prophesies this.


The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

82 (cont.). Thus it is clear that the intellect cannot be the common dwelling-place of both God and the devil. How can St. Paul say that 'with my intellect I serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin' (Rom. 7:25), unless the intellect is completely free to engage in battle with the demons, gladly submitting itself to grace, whereas the body is attracted by the smell of mindless pleasures? He can only say this because the wicked spirits of deception are free to lurk in the bodies of those pursing a spiritual way; 'for I know that in me- that is, in my flesh- there dwells nothing good' (Rom. 7:18), says the Apostle, referring to those who are resisting and struggling against sin. Here he is not merely expressing a personal opinion.

February 25, 2001

(Rev 8:10-11)  The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water-- the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.


In 1998 NASA started what is called the Spaceguard Survey, which aims to find 90 percent of near-Earth objects larger than a kilometer (half a mile) in diameter by 2008. Teams of astronomers around the world are surveying the sky with electronic cameras to find objects, and amateur sky-watchers help in the effort.

"We think we know all of the 10-kilometer (6-mile-wide) objects," Chris Chyba of Stanford University said. "There aren't very many of them that are crisscrossing Earth's orbit. We don't have to worry about them." He said researchers are about halfway through a catalog of one-kilometer (half-mile) objects. If one is found to be on a collision course with Earth, Chyba and other experts say there will be plenty of time to think about what to do -- whether to launch a spacecraft to try and deflect it, or make the best of a bad situation and move people away from coastal areas and stockpile food.

If one has been missed, NASA says the first warning will be the explosion when it strikes. "Statistically, the greatest danger is from a NEO (near-Earth object) with about 1 million megatons energy," NASA says in its Web site devoted to the threat at http:/


Japan frets over where Mir will fall
Sun flips magnetic field
Astronomers find key ingredients for formation of life

(Luke 21:28)  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

82 (cont.). Captivity is one thing, battle is another. Captivity signifies a violent abduction, while battle indicates a contest between equally matched adversaries. For precisely this reason the Apostle says that the devil attacks with fiery arrows those who carry Christ in their souls. For someone who is not at close grips with his enemy uses arrows against him, attacking him from a distance. In the same way, when, because of the presence of grace, Satan can lurk no longer in the intellect of those pursuing a spiritual way, he lurks in the body and exploits its humours, so that through its proclivities he may seduce the soul. We should therefore weaken the body to some extent, so that the intellect does not slide down the smooth path of sensual pleasure because of the body's humours. We should believe the Apostle when he says the the intellect of those pursuing the spiritual way is energized by divine light, and therefore obeys and rejoices in the law of God (cf. Rom. 7:22). But the flesh, because of its proclivities, readily admits evil spirits, and so is sometimes enticed into serving their wickedness.

February 24, 2001

The Pope asked the cardinals to be martyrs of love in today's world, a world "that is increasingly complicated and changing," in which "the acute awareness of existing discrepancies generates or increases contradictions and imbalances." "The enormous possibilities of scientific and technological progress, as well as the phenomenon of globalization, which increasingly extends to new fields, demands that we always be open to dialogue with every person, with every social event, with the intention of giving each one a reason for the hope we bear in our heart," the Holy Father said.


U.S. researchers have produced laboratory mice with human brain cells, marking a potential step toward developing treatments for human brain disease like Alzheimer's but promising to fuel fresh debate over the evolving ethics of bioengineering.

The research at California biotechnology company StemCells Inc. breaks new ground by demonstrating that human brain stem cells can be induced to grow within a mouse's skull, scientists said on Friday. "We are not recreating a human brain. We're really just trying to understand how these stem cells can function, and how they can be used in the treatment of specific diseases," said Ann Tsukamoto, vice president of scientific operations at StemCells Inc. Irving Weissman, a Stanford university professor involved in the two-year research project, said the next step could be to produce mice with brains made up almost entirely of human cells -- although he said there would have to be a thorough ethical review before this step is taken.

MORE: 80 American Nobel Laureates Back Stem Cell Research


3 Dead in Southwest China Quake
Earthquake Rattles Central Japan
Quake Jolts Indonesia's Sumatra
Earthquake Shakes Peru Jungle
Quake Rattles Central Philippines
Moderate Earthquake Hits Vietnam
Tremor Hits South-Central Taiwan

Please take a moment to pray in advance for victims of future earthquakes, perhaps of even greater magnitude. Let us also not forget in our prayers those who have already suffered homelessness, hunger and fear.  May the Lord deliver them from distress and may His peace be with them!

Patron Saint of victims of earthquakes: St. Gregory Thaumaturgus

(Mat 24:7-8)  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

82 (cont.). Again, so as to teach us once more that it is through the body that Satan attacks the soul which participates in the Holy Spirit, he says: 'Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the soword of hte spirit, which is the word of God' (Eph. 6:14-17).

February 23, 2001


The statement, "The death penalty: choose life", clarifies their reasons for their opposition to capital punishment. "Increasing reliance on the death penalty", says the statement, "diminishes all of us and is a sign of growing disrespect for human life. We cannot overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life." "The Catholic Church remains steadfast in its defense of life. While punishment for convicted criminals is just, vengeance is never a Christian or human rationale for inflicting the death penalty," said Cardinal Bevilacqua, commenting the document. "The Church believes that even the worst offenders possess the potential to reform their lives and make a positive contribution to society."

IN THE NEWS: Court hears plea to stop execution


VIA THE M+G+R FOUNDATION: We applaud your letter of request for the commandment that you want to be honored by Pres. Bush, a commandment that predates the Ten Commandments. Perhaps most people ignore the fact that before the Ten Commandments of God were given to man, God had already forbidden the Death Penalty and had spelled out the penalty for excercising it. We refer you to: Genesis 4: 10-15

(Gen 4:10-15)  The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth." Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." But the LORD said to him, "Not so ; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

82. In the Gospels the Lord teaches us that when Satan returns and finds his home swept and empty- finds, that is to say, the heart barren- he then musters seven other spirits and enters it and lurks there, making its last state worse than its first (cf. Matt. 12:44-45). From this we must understand that so long as the Holy Spirit is in us, Satan cannot enter the depths of the soul and remain there. Paul too clearly conveys this same spiritual understanding. When he looks at the matter from the viewpoint of those still engaged in the ascetic struggle, he says: 'For with the inward man I delight in the law of God; but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my intellect, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members' (Rom. 7:22-23). But when he looks at it from the viewpoint of those who have attained perfection, he says: 'There is therefore now no condemnation of those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and death' (Rom. 8:1-2).

February 22, 2001

(Mat 16:18-19)  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."


Pope John Paul, putting a lasting stamp on the elite group that will choose the next Pope, created 44 new cardinals on Wednesday and greatly increased the probability that his successor will be another non-Italian. With Wednesday's ceremony the number of "cardinal electors" rose to an unprecedented 135, all but 10 of them, or 92.5 percent, appointed by the current Pope. This increases the possibility that the next Roman Catholic leader will be a theological conservative in his own image.

With Wednesday's ceremony, the number of European cardinal electors fell below 50 percent for the first time and Latin Americans, with 27 cardinals, overtook Italians, who have 24. For the first time, the number of cardinal electors from the rest of the world was greater than the number of Europeans, with 47 percent for Europe and 53 percent for the rest of the world.

Since the Pope promotes prelates who agree with his teachings, the appointments increased the possibility the next Pontiff will also be a theological conservative who will not tamper with controversial rulings such as bans on contraception and women priests. Significantly, in his homily the Pope urged the first new cardinals of the new millennium to be "strenuous defenders of the truth and custodians of (the Church's) heritage of faith and traditions...".

MORE: Cardinals are defenders of the truth, guardians of the Faith

BBC ANALYSIS: Chosing the next Pope

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

81 (cont.). We should also think about death when the demons that attack the body try to make our hearts seethe with shameful desires, for only the thought of death can nullify all the various influences of the evil spirits by bringing us back to the remembrance of God. If, however, the demons that attack the soul induce in us by this thought an excessive depreciation of human nature on the grounds that, being mortal, it is valueless- and this is what they like to do when we torment them with the thought of death- we should recall the honour and glory of the heavenly kingdom, though without losing sight of the bitter and dreadful aspects of judgment. In this way we both relieve our despondency and restrain the frivolity of our hearts.

February 21, 2001

(Mark 13:7-8)  When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.


Israeli leaders appeared unshaken by an Iraqi pledge to avenge U.S.-British air strikes, but some ordinary Israelis were sufficiently uneasy to line up for new gas masks Monday. Iraq has vowed to hit back after Friday's strikes that killed two civilians, eliciting memories for many Israelis of the 39 Iraqi Scuds that slammed into Tel Aviv during the Gulf War a decade ago. Israelis donned gas masks at the time and took to sealed rooms in anticipation of chemical and biological weapons that never came. Israeli leaders said they were taking seriously Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's threats to retaliate for the latest air strikes -- even though they did not believe there was any immediate danger.

The number of people arriving at the army's gas mask distribution centers almost tripled after official Iraqi media said Iraq would teach "the Zionist entity" (Israel) a lesson, a military official said. On a normal day about 3,500 Israelis visit the 27 distribution centers throughout the country, said Col. Gilead Golan, who is in charge of distribution. On Sunday the number jumped to 10,200, and by Monday afternoon it looked likely to reach the same total, Golan told Israel television at a crowded distribution center near Tel Aviv.


U.N. says Palestinian authority on verge of collapse
Israeli Defense Force (IDF): Palestinian violence to escalate
Mufti says Western Wall is Muslim, not Jewish
Israel Troops Accused in Hamas Death
Iraq Again Fires at Allied Warplanes-Pentagon


Nevertheless, we shall overcome by President Moshe Katsav
'Russia safer for Jews than Israel,' by Brig.-Gen.(res.) Eitam

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

81. Spiritual knowledge teaches us that there are two kinds of evil spirits: some are more subtle, others more material in nature. The more subtle demons attack the soul, while the others hold the flesh captive through their lascivious enticements. Thus there is a complete contrast between the demons that attack the soul and those that attack the body, even though they have the same propensity to inflict harm on mankind. When grace does not dwell in a man, they lurk like serpents in the depths of the heart, never allowing the soul to aspire towards God. But when grace is hidden in the intellect, they then move like dark clouds through the different parts of the heart, taking the form of sinful passions or of all kinds of day-dreams, thus distracting the intellect from the remembrance of God and cutting it off from grace. When the passions of our soul, especially presumption, the mother of all evils, are inflamed by the demons that attack the soul, then it is by thinking on the dissolution of our body that we grow ashamed of our gross love of praise.

February 20, 2001


Baby, It's You! And You, and You... - Renegade scientists say they are ready to start applying the technology of cloning to human beings. Can they really do it, and how scary would that be?


Scientists report deciphering of mouse DNA
Pst, I got the human genome recipe, now what?
As the Genome Race Ends, Another Begins

For more on the spiritual implications of cloning please see:

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

80 (cont.). Indeed, shortly afterwards the Evangelist goes on to say: 'He was the true light, who illumines every man that comes into the world' -meaning by this that He guides every man and gives him life- and: 'He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But to those who received Him He gave power to become sons of God, even to those who believe in His name' (John 1:9-12). Paul, too, interprets the words 'did not grasp it' when he says, 'Not as though I had already grasped it or were already perfect, but I press on in the hope of grasping it; for it was to this end that I have been grasped by Jesus Christ' (Phil. 3:12). Thus the Evangelist does not say it is Satan who has failed to grasp the true light. Satan was a stranger to it from the beginning, since it does not shine in him. Rather, the Evangelist is censuring men who hear of the powers and wonders of the Son of God, and yet in the darkness of their hearts refuse to draw near to the light of spiritual knowledge.

February 19, 2001


His love affair with Harley-Davidsons isn't what makes Robert McElwee the rarest of Roman Catholic priests. What sets him apart is that he shares this passion with his wife. As Catholic leaders in America confront a worsening shortage of priests, McElwee is one of a handful of reinforcements to arrive, family in tow, from the ranks of Protestant clergy.

The wiry, bearded former Episcopalian - father of six, grandfather of three - refuses to see himself as a reason to question the celibate priesthood. "I'm not the avant-garde," he said in his office behind Sacred Heart Church. "I'd be disheartened if I convinced people that married clergy is a good idea." Indeed, he calls himself a "bigamist" - married to both the priesthood and his wife, remorseful that pastoral commitments make him an often-absent husband and father. He recalled having to rush off to perform last rites for a dying man moments after his youngest son was born 16 years ago. "It's a major source of guilt," he said. "There are days when I know I'm shortchanging my family. A lot of things they do, they do without me."

Ginger McElwee said her husband's pastoral duties take a toll on the family even as they strive to support him. "He has this enormous responsibility to constantly be available to everyone - he is responsible for their souls," she said. "As a wife or a child, you can't compete. You can't say, 'I'm sorry, I want you to drop that person. You were supposed to take me out to dinner.'"

The "pastoral provision" program that enabled McElwee to become a Catholic priest is coordinated by the Rev. William Stetson from an office in Washington, D.C.. Stetson said the church has been trying to meet parishioners' needs for marital and family counseling by increasing the numbers of married couples who are deacons, with pastoral duties that include counseling. But married priests like McElwee should remain rare exceptions, Stetson said. "We have to make certain sacrifices to preserve a treasure of the church, which is celibacy."

McElwee believes most Catholics - had they a choice - would prefer to confess to a celibate priest than a married priest. He believes the priesthood has a supernatural aspect that would be diminished by making its members more like everyone else. "If someone becomes a priest only if he can be married, he's becoming a priest on his terms," McElwee said. "Becoming a priest isn't just something you do - it's something you are. It has an equal claim on you, if not more so, than your marriage vows."

MORE ON MARRIED PRIESTS: Family man takes leap of faith

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

80. There are some who allege that the power of grace and the power of sin are present simultaneously in the hearts of the faithful; and to support this they quote the Evangelist who says: 'And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not grasp it' (John 1:5). In this way they try to justify their view that the divine radiance is in no way defiled by its contact with the devil, no matter how close the divine light in the soul may be to the demonic darkness. But the very words of the Gospel show that they have departed from the true meaning of Holy Scripture. When John the Theologian wrote in this way, he meant that the Logos of God chose to manifest the true light to creation through His own flesh, with great compassion kindling the light of His holy knowledge within us. But the mentality of this world did not grasp the will of God, that is, it did not understand it, since 'the will of the flesh is hostile to God' (Rom 8:7).

February 18, 2001

(Rev 21:5-6) The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Then he said, "Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true." He said to me, "They are accomplished. I (am) the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.


The theme of John Paul II's catechesis for this weeks general audience was: "The 'uniting' of all things in Christ."

The Pope affirmed that "the salvific design of God, 'the mystery of His will' concerning every creature, is expressed in the Letter to the Ephesians with a characteristic term: 'to unite' all things, heavenly and earthly, in Christ." Thus, "Christ confers a unifying meaning to all syllables, words, and works of creation and of history."

"In the expression 'all things'," affirms Irenaeus, "is included man, touched by the mystery of the Incarnation. ... Christ is the new Adam, that is, the First-born of the human faithful," who cancels the sin "which Adam in rebellion sowed in the secular affairs of humanity and in the horizon of creation. With His full obedience to the Father, Christ opens the era of peace with God and among men, reconciling scattered humanity in Himself."

The Holy Father continued the catechesis affirming: "This work will reach fulfillment in the fullness of time, when," as Paul also recalls, "'God may be everything to everyone'. ... Christ will 'deliver the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power ... The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For God has put all things in subjection under the feet' of His Son." "The Church, bride in love with the Lamb," the Holy Father concluded, "with her gaze fixed on that day of light, raises the ardent invocation: 'Maranatha', 'Come, Lord Jesus!'"

MORE FROM JPII: Pope Remembers Armenian Martyrdom on Anniversary


The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

79 (cont.). According to the Apostle, our intellect always delights in the laws of the Spirit (cf. Rom. 7:22), while the organs of the flesh allow themselves to be seduced by enticing pleasures. Furthermore, in those who are advancing in spiritual knowledge, grace brings an ineffable joy to their body through the perceptive faculty of the intellect. But the demons capture the soul by violence through the bodily senses, especially when they find us faint-hearted in pursuing the spiritual path. They are, indeed, murderers provoking the soul to what it does not want.

February 17, 2001

(John 4:23-24)  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Father James Manjackal M.S.F.S.

Testimony of Joseph

On 9th. December 1998 I was at the airport of Bombay, India, waiting in the long queue of the passengers for the "Gulf Air". As I was the next one to be in the "Security Check In" there was an interesting episode in front of me. A young European, dressed as an Indian in saffron colour with ashes on his forehead, holding a mouse in his right hand and a snake around his neck!, was having a hot argument with the police. I heard him saying, "these (the snake + the mouse) are my gods received from India, you Indian police, why don't you allow me to go with them in the flight!". The people were getting annoyed and were shouting behind "Throw him out!". I was just praying for him from behind. Suddenly inspired by the Spirit I put my hand over his shoulder and with a smile asked him "Joseph, are you not a Catholic from Germanyûare you so mean to take these creatures as gods". With surprise he stared at me and asked "who told you that I am Joseph and that I am a German-Catholic?". Taking out my Crucifix I told him "This is my God who revealed these things to me through the Holy Spirit." In tears he asked me if I would be willing to tell him more about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I agreed to do it but on condition of throwing away those creatures. Like a small child he obeyed me and threw the snake and the mouse into the dustbin!. The police thanked me and the people expressed their relief and gratitude through shouts and claps. In the flight I told all what I could about Jesus and the Holy Spirit to Joseph, who was a baptised Catholic abandoned his faith going after drugs, alcohol and women and at last spent six month in India through temples and ashrams adopting Hinduism as his way of life. He confessed that he could not find real meaning of life or happiness of life with all these.

To cut the long story short, the flight ended with his confession and when I celebrated Holy Mass in a hotel at Ryadh, in Saudi Arabia, he received the Holy Communion and I laid hands on him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Embracing me he said with tears of gratitude "Now my thirst and hunger are quenched by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist".


NEW LINK: What is the United Relgions Initiative?  Why should you be concerned about it?  What do you need to know about it? -

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

79. Satan is expelled from the soul by holy baptism, but is permitted to act upon it through the body for the reasons already mentioned. The grace of God, on the other hand, dwells in the very depths of the soul- that is to say, in the intellect. For it is written: 'All the glory of the king's daughter is within' (Ps. 45:13), and it is not perceptible to the demons. Thus, when we fervently remember God, we feel divine longing well up within us from the depths of our heart. The evil spirits invade and lurk in the bodily senses, acting through the compliancy of the flesh upon those still immature in the soul.

February 16, 2001


Russia's aging Mir space station will come crashing to Earth around a week later than planned, according to more precise calculations on the station's orbit, the Russian space agency said Thursday. A spokesman for space agency Rosaviakosmos said data from the 15-year-old station showed it was likely to plunge into the Pacific Ocean between March 13 and 18, rather than March 5 and 8 as originally calculated.

"It is now moving at an altitude of 280 kilometers (170 miles) ... and the decision was to start dumping it when it comes to 230-250 (135-160 miles)," spokesman Vyacheslav Mikhalichenko said. "We had thought it would reach that altitude on about March 3 and March 8 was the scheduled date for dumping it," he said. Once the station dropped to 160 miles, he said, more precise calculations could be made.

The 130-ton vessel is due to splash down some 1,850 miles east of New Zealand's southern tip and away from major sea and air routes. Up to 40 tons of debris are expected to reach Earth at speeds high enough to smash through 6.5 feet of reinforced concrete.


VIA Paul Blake: My sense is that the end of the space station MIR's life (predicted to be around the end of next month) "peace" [i.e. MIR] will literally come crashing to earth. Because it is a Russian "peace" it is a false peace and may be a signal that our own false peace with Russia is also coming to an end.

I suspect the Red Dragon may be getting ready to unleash its full fury, knowing its powers and time on the stage are coming to an end (i.e. the Pope Leo XIII vision giving Satan 100 years). In my mind it also fits into the vision described in the The Third Secret of Fatima.

The word MIR has also appeared in the sky over Medjugorje and represents the true peace Our Blessed Mother speaks of. This peace is attained only by our own individual, interior conversions.

We shall see........

Russian forces conduct massive war-games exercise
Russia angered by U.S. charges of spreading missile technologies
Bush Vows to Engage Russia And China on U.S. Terms
Satellites pinpoint Russian nuclear arms in Baltics

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

78 (cont.). Since the form imprinted on the soul is single and simple, it is not possible, as some have thought, for two contrary powers to be present in the soul simultaneously. For when through holy baptism divine grace in its infinite love permeates the lineaments of God's image- thereby renewing in the soul the capacity for attaining the divine likeness- what place is there for the devil? For light has nothing in common with darkness (cf. 2 Cor. 6:14). We who are pursuing the spiritual way believe that the protean serpent is expelled from the shrine of the intellect through the waters of baptism; but we must not be surprised if after baptism we still have wicked as well as good thoughts. For although baptism removes from us the stain resulting from sin, it does not thereby heal the duality of our will immediately, neither does it prevent the demons from attacking us or speaking deceitful words to us. In this way we are led to take up the weapons of righteousness, and to preserve through the power of God what we could not keep safe through the efforts of our soul alone.

February 15, 2001

(John 15:20-21)  Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.


A national leader in the pro-life movement is testing a federal judge's order restricting abortion protests near women's clinics in Western New York. The Rev. Norman U. Weslin, a Catholic priest and founder of the pro-life group New York Lambs of Christ, is charged with violating that court order by praying in front of the Buffalo GYN Womenservices clinic on four occasions last year, government prosecutors said.

Weslin, who is in his early 70s, pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment last Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder in U.S. District Court in Buffalo. Weslin was released pending further court proceedings in March. "They have a mission," Weslin's attorney, John J. Molloy, said of the pro-life group. "They feel in their heart of hearts abortion is evil and they're doing the right thing. He doesn't feel he's breaking the law."

Weslin would not comment after his court appearance, but his group offered a statement. "The federal government is persecuting a nonviolent, faithful pro-life witness," said Mary E. Quinn, a spokeswoman for Lambs of Christ. "Why would a federal judge put a Roman Catholic priest in prison for saying the Rosary in prayer on his knees outside a killing center?"

RELATED: Survey Says Abortion Access Being Curtailed in U.S.


Is Albany about to go to war with organized religion? It may sound strange, but, yes, that's the lesson one might draw as the state Assembly and Senate battle over legislation that would require New York employers and insurers to offer health plans that include contraceptive services.

The regulation is vehemently opposed by, among others, the Catholic Church, which - among other things - operates hospitals statewide. Artificial contraception goes against Church teaching, thus the new law would force the Church to offer a "benefit" contrary to its core beliefs.

Forcing a religious institution into engaging in behavior that is antithetical to the tenets of the religion's faith goes against the fundamental beliefs of nearly all Americans: It's a matter of religious liberty; it's a matter of conscience.

RELATED: The betrayal of Hippocrates


The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

78. We share in the image of God by virtue of the intellectual activity of our soul; for the body is, as it were, the soul's dwelling-place. Now as a result of Adam's fall, not only were the lineaments of the form imprinted on the soul befouled, but our body also became subject to corruption. It was because of this that the holy Logos of God took flesh and, being God, He bestowed on us through His own baptism the water of salvation, so that we might be reborn. We are reborn through water by the action of the holy and life-creating Spirit, so that if we commit ourselves totally to God, we are immediately purified in soul and body by the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us and drives out sin.

February 14, 2001

(1 Th 5:3)  While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.


Jewish prayer shawls and puddles of blood marked the scene at a bus stop where a Palestinian driver rammed a bus into a group of Israeli soldiers and commuters during Wednesday's rush hour. Under blood-soaked blankets, the bodies of the victims lay on the pavement, evidence of the biggest attack inside Israel since the start of a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in late September.

Eight people were killed and 17 wounded, most of them soldiers, police and hospital officials said. Three of them were women soldiers taken to hospital unconscious. Medics attended the injured at the curbside or ushered them dazed into ambulances. A small angry crowd of onlookers shouted "Death to Arabs" as burial workers collected strewn body parts to conform with Jewish ritual.

"We got here within minutes. We saw the dead bodies thrown along the curb. It was a very harsh attack and there were body parts thrown about," said Shabtai, a burial worker. "It was different from an explosion in that it was more concentrated and the bodies were left mutilated." Clothes and purses were scattered among prayer phylacteries and shawls worn by religious men in morning prayers. Witnesses said all but one of the dead wore a uniform.


Contacts are under way for a reconciliation visit to Syria by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that would end over seven years of animosity, Palestinian and Syrian officials said Tuesday. Anwar Abdel-Habi, advisor to the head of the political department of Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said the election of rightist Ariel Sharon as Israeli prime minister would help speed a rapprochement between Arafat and Syria, which opposed Arafat's peace moves with Israel. "The election of criminal Sharon as new Israeli premier will certainly contribute to the speeding up of contacts to fix a date for brother Abu Ammar's (Arafat) visit," Abdel-Hadi said.

The PLO official condemned Sharon's election and said efforts to form a national unity government with outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak would make things worse for Arabs. "The election of Sharon shows that the Israelis do not want peace. This requires Arabs to unify their ranks and heal rift to counter the Israeli challenges," Abdel-Hadi said. "The formation of a so-called national unity government in Israel with Barak as a member would double the danger and remove chances of peace," he said.

RELATED: US says Mideast security situation 'seriously deteriorating'

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

77 (cont.). For as the soul advances, divine grace more and more reveals itself to the intellect. During this process, however, the Lord allows the soul to be pestered increasingly by demons. This is to teach it to discriminate correctly between good and evil, and to make it more humble through the deep shame it feels during its purification because of the way in which it is defiled by demonic thoughts.

February 13, 2001

(Luke 9:57-58)  As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."


In convents across the country, older women who have dedicated their lives to serving God sometimes spend their last days subsisting on welfare benefits, unable to afford prescription drugs or even a timely burial. A nun's vow of poverty endures until death.

It's a reality the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine, who own Miami's Mercy Hospital, are acutely aware of. "We don't have enough money in the bank right now to support the entire 100 of us until we die,'' said Sister Florence Bryan, general superior of the Florida order. Though many are veteran teachers and nurses, the 11 sisters who live in Lord's Hall, a retirement haven at the motherhouse in St. Augustine, share one nursing assistant. Some 35 percent of the order's 100 sisters are retired or disabled. More than half are older than 65.

Religious orders are independent. The Catholic Church has no responsibility to support them. Because sisters, brothers and priests take vows of poverty, they usually are paid about half of what is made by typical secular workers. As religious orders of nuns look to younger sisters to support the eldest in their final years, they are finding the stipends they receive do not cover rising costs. And with a dramatic decline in vocations for nuns in the Catholic Church since 1965, there is even less money coming in to meet the needs of the aged.

Many nuns face retirement without a sturdy safety net. The retirement programs for the nation's 800 religious congregations of sisters, brothers and priests are underfunded by $6.4 billion, according to a survey of needs conducted by Arthur Andersen for church administrators. Some orders have been slow to start financial planning, and nuns' wages are so low that little remains after bills are paid.

YOU CAN HELP! Sacred Heart Benedictine Foundation/ St. Leo's Alumni Association Adopt-A-Nun

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

77. As we have said, from the instant we are baptized, grace is hidden in the depths of the intellect, concealing its presence even from the perception of the intellect itself. When someone begins, however, to love God with full resolve, then in a mysterious way, by means of intellectual perception, grace communicates something of its riches to his soul. Then, if he really wants to hold fast to this discovery, he joyfully starts longing to be rid of all his temporal goods, so as to acquire the field in which he has found the hidden treasure of life (cf. Matt. 13:44). This is because, when someone rids himself of all worldly riches, he discovers the place where the grace of God is hidden.

February 12, 2001


On Monday, February 12, 2001, details will be released of one of the landmark moments in the history of science -- the mapping of the human genome. Two separate organisations were involved in the genome breakthrough: The publicly-funded Anglo-U.S. Human Genome Project, and the Celera Genomics Corporation, a private company based in Maryland, U.S.

At a press conference Dr. Michael Dexter, director of the Wellcome Trust, which funded the British part of the Human Genome Project, said: "Mapping the human genome has been compared with putting a man on the moon, but I believe it is more than that. "This is the outstanding achievement not only of our lifetime but perhaps in the history of mankind."

Celera President Dr. Craig Venter for one is in no doubt about the significance, and potential benefits of the discovery. "It will have a huge impact on humanity," he says, "Because it helps show that we are not the centre of the biological universe."

RELATED: FACTBOX-Highlights of the human genetic code

SEE ALSO: Are We Becoming Desensitized to Idea of Cloning?

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

76 (cont.). Nevertheless, even after baptism Satan still acts on the soul, often, indeed, to a greater degree than before. This is not because he is present in the soul together with grace; on the contrary, it is because he uses the body's humours to befog the intellect with the delight of mindless pleasures. God allows him to do this, so that a man, after passing through a trial of storm and fire, may come in the end to the full enjoyment of divine blessings. For it is written: 'We went through fire and water, and Thou has brought us out into a place where the soul is refreshed' (Ps. 66.12. LXX).

February 11, 2001

(Mat 18:21-22)  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"  Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.


"The only way to peace is forgiveness. To accept and give forgiveness makes possible a new quality of rapport between men, interrupting the spiral of hatred and revenge and breaks the chains of evil which bind the heart of rivals. For nations in search of reconciliation and for those hoping for peaceful coexistence among individuals and peoples, there is no other way than forgiveness received and offered. How rich are the beneficial teachings which resonate in the words of the Lord: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Mt 5: 44-45)! To love the one who offends you disarms the adversary and is able to transform a battlefield into a place of supportive co-operation."

"This is a challenge that concerns individuals but also communities, peoples and all humanity. It concerns families in a special way. It is not easy to convert one’s self to forgiveness and reconciliation. To reconcile can already seem problematic when at the origin there is self-guilt. If then the other is guilty, to reconcile one’s self can be seen even as an unreasonable humiliation. To take this path, it is necessary to experience interior conversion; the courage of humble obedience to the command of Jesus is necessary. His word leaves no doubt: not only the one who provokes the estranged, but also the one who suffers must find reconciliation (cf. Mt
5:23-24). The Christian must make peace even when feeling as the victim of one who has unjustly offended and struck. The Lord himself acted in this manner. He waits for the disciple to follow him, co-operating in this way in the brotherly redemption."

"In our times, forgiveness appears more and more as a necessary dimension for an authentic social renewal and for the strengthening of peace in the world. The Church, announcing forgiveness and love of enemies, is conscious to inspire in the spiritual patrimony of all humanity a new way of relating to each other; a somewhat difficult way but rich in hope. In this the Church knows to rely on the help of the Lord, who never abandons one who turns to him in difficulty."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

76. Some have imagined that both grace and sin- that is, the spirit of truth and the spirit of error- are hidden at the same time in the intellect of the baptized. As a result, they say, one of these two spirits urges the intellect to good, the other to evil. But from Holy Scripture and through the intellect's own insight I have come to understand things differently. Before holy baptism, grace encourages the soul towards good from the outside, while Satan lurks in its depths, trying to block all the intellect's ways of approach to the divine. But from the moment that we are reborn through baptism, the demon is outside, grace is within. Thus, whereas before baptism error ruled the soul, after baptism truth rules it.

February 10, 2001

(Mat 25:40)  "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


The Vatican said on Friday it would use a $475,000 donation it had received from Milan's city council to help Ugandan AIDS orphans. It said the donation, given by the city of Milan during the Roman Catholic Church's 2000 Holy Year, had been passed on to Cor Unum, the Vatican's charity coordinating arm. "Cor Unum intends to use the money to develop a project to help AIDS orphans in Uganda," said Archbishop Paul Cordes, the head of Cor Unum.

Uganda is one of the countries worst hit by the AIDS epidemic which has infected more than 25 million Africans. "At the end of 1997 some 9.51 percent of Ugandan adults were HIV positive, and 1.7 million children were orphaned by the illness," Cordes added. "We wanted to choose such a show that, with goodwill and some help, positive results can be achieved even in such an area." There are currently around 1.7 million Ugandans living with AIDS and about 900,000 have died due to the disease since it was first isolated in Rakai, southern Uganda in 1982.

RELATED: Death Stalks A Continent


Voices from the Middle East: Sharon must not turn the clocks on history
Arafat, Sharon Talk for First Time Since Election
Violence overshadows Sharon unity bid
Heavy security in Jerusalem's Old City
Radical PLO group urges attacks on Israel
Palestinian Killed, Unrest Flares in West Bank
Powell buys ticket to Mideast

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

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

75 (cont.). With all our strength, therefore, we should try always to face towards the life-creating and purifying wind of the Holy Spirit- the wind which the prophet Ezekiel, in the light of spiritual knowledge, saw coming from the north (cf. Ezek. 1:4). Then the contemplative faculty of the soul will always remain clear, so that we devote ourselves unerringly to the contemplation of the divine, beholding the world of light in an air filled with light. For this is the light of true knowledge.

February 9, 2001


Russian scientists warned that 38 asteroids will hurtle Earthwards in 2001, some passing the planet as near, or as far as, 1.84 million kilometres away. But they scotched fears of planetary debris causing earthquakes, tidal waves and other global catastrophes, saying close encounters of the asteroid kind were not a reason for panic.

The now identified flying objects would hurtle past Earth at a distance of less than 30 million kilometres, the Moscow-based International Centre for the Study of Small Planets said. The asteroid known as "PH5" would come the closest, flying past the planet on July 25, only 1.84 million kilometres away, Professor Mikhail Smirnov of Russia's Institute of Astronomy was quoted as saying. Asteroid "WT24" will be only 1.86 million kilometres away when it passes the Earth on December 16. However, the proximity of the asteroids posed no threat to Earthlings, Smirnov said.

RELATED: Mir Almost at Point of No Return


A chunk of rock some 30 metres across shaved the earth by a distance of 300,000 km in mid January. This was reported on Wednesday evening (Jan. 24) by the Minor Planet Centre of the International Astronomical Union in Cambridge Massachusetts. The object with the temporary designation 2001 BA16, however, was said to be discovered by astronomers of the Lincoln Laboratries in New Mexico only three days after its closest approach on January 16. A collision with Earth would have resulted in a spectacular meterorite shower.

Chunks of rock smaller than 60 metres in diametre and travelling through the atmopshere are smashed up, as a rule, by occurring forces. The level of possible damage depends on the size of individual rocks and the location of impact. Consequently, it is unknown what damage such a meteorite shower would have triggered.


A group of astronomers has come up with a plan they claim will save life on Earth from an early demise. All it takes, they say, is moving the planet into a different orbit. Their deadline is about 3.5 billion years in the future. At that time, the scientists say, the sun will be 40 percent brighter than it is today and the Earth will be too hot to sustain life. Even looking just a billion years down the road, the increased brightness of the sun would cause a "moist greenhouse" effect which will have a catastrophic impact on the planet. But what if the Earth could be moved farther away from the sun before it gets too hot for human life?

Researchers Don Korycansky of the University of California-Santa Cruz, Gregory Laughlin of NASA, and Fred Adams of the University of Michigan say the idea of changing the Earth's orbit is almost, "alarmingly feasible." The scientists' theory is outlined in a paper entitled "Astronomical engineering: A strategy for modifying planetary orbit." The paper has been accepted for publication in the journal "Astrophysics and Space Science."

RELATED: Bid to land on asteroid could save Earth from disaster

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

75. When the north wind blows over creation, the air around us remains pure because of this wind's subtle and clarifying natue; but when the south wind blows, the air becomes hazy because it is this wind's nature to produce mist and, by virtue of its affinity with clouds, to bring them from its own regions to cover the earth. Likewise, when the soul is energized by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is freed completely from the demonic mist; but when the wind of error blows fiercely upon it, it is completely filled with the clouds of sin.

February 8, 2001


A stirring testimonial by Raymond Blum regarding his ongoing battle against cancer has been added to the site.  Though subscribers have already received it via email, it is now available online at

Please feel free to share this as the Lord leads you!


VIA Richard Hubbell: The Purgatory Project is all about each one of us doing something for the souls in purgatory. Something real and practical and within the means provided for us to do so by God through the Communion of Saints and within the commission of the Church Militant to "go and do thou likewise." It is not hard, it never ever costs any money to participate and it is a very good and important thing to do.

We will be making a pilgrimage for the intentions of the holy souls in purgatory on the feast day of St Joseph who is the patron saint of the dying, on March 19th. Then we will be making another pilgrimage on Good Friday, the day our Lord was crucified and died, which this year is April 13th. Our goal is to unite with you for the intention of having all these souls released from purgatory before/on Divine Mercy Sunday which is April 22nd. Those souls which are not released we trust will be aided in their necessities and elevated to a higher level of sanctification and thus undergo less suffering in purgatory. We will be taking *all* the names with us on both pilgrimages. We will be telling you more about the pilgrimages in the near future at the website. I am also fasting on bread and water each Monday and Friday and praying a full 15 decade rosary daily as well as daily Mass and offerings of love for the intentions of the Purgatory Project.

You are invited to register as many people as you wish. There is no limit. Also let others know so they can participate in this important work of mercy and love for our dearly beloved. One day it will be me and you who will be needing the prayers - and maybe someone will enter our names then as we are doing for these deceased today. You can enter your information below so that we can pray with you for those deceased that the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind. We will be continuing the Purgatory Project for many years to come. This is not a flash in the pan. So come back often - and fast and pray with us - this is very holy and important work and we are totally committed to it.


The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

74 (cont.). On the other hand, the feeling of warmth which the Holy Spirit engenders in the heart is completely peaceful and enduring. It awakes in all parts of the soul a longing for God; its heat does not need to be fanned by anything outside the heart, but through the heart it makes the whole man rejoice with a boundless love. Thus, while recognizing the first kind of warmth, we should strive to attain the second; for although natural love is evidence that our nature is in a healthy state through self-control, nevertheless such love lacks the power, which spiritual love posssesses, to bring the intellect into the state of dispassion.

February 7, 2001

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


Hawkish Likud party leader Ariel Sharon claimed victory early Wednesday, in Israel's special election for prime minister. "Today the state of Israel has embarked on a new path," he told cheering supporters who had been celebrating for hours before he appeared.

The former Israeli army general known as "the bulldozer" gave his victory address at his Tel Aviv, Israel headquarters.

Sharon spoke of Israel traveling on a "difficult path toward security and peace." "The government I set out will work toward ... a united Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people," he said, referring to the Palestinian goal that traditionally Arab East Jerusalem become the capital of an independent Palestinian state. He called on the Palestinians to renounce violence and work toward peace and mutual security.

Israel's Sharon arouses strong passions
Bush says he looks forward to working with Sharon
US urges calm as unease, fury greet Sharon victory
Britain urges Israel's Sharon to pursue peace
Jordan's FM says Sharon will face peace test
Palestinians Say They Will Deal with Sharon

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

74. When the soul has reached self-understanding, it produces from within a certain feeling of warmth for God. When this warmth is not disturbed by worldly cares, it gives birth to a desire for peace which, so far as its strength allows, searches out the God of peace. But it is quickly robbed of this peace, either because our attention is distracted by the senses or because nature, on account of its basic insufficiency, soon exhausts itself. This is why the wise men of Greece could not possess as they should what they hoped to acquire through their self-control, for the eternal wisdom which is the fulness of truth was not at work within their intellect.

February 6, 2001

(Mat 28:19-20)  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


Rather than remain a beautiful memory, the Jubilee Year must impel the Church toward a "new missionary thrust" in proclaiming the Gospel, said John Paul II. During his traditional meeting with pilgrims to pray the Angelus, Pope John Paul II recalled his latest apostolic letter and called faithful to foster evangelization encouraged by the recent celebration of the Great Jubilee. "Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and always, encourages every eclesial community to… head towards the new millennium that opens before us", he said.

"In fact, the great treasure of grace received throughout the Jubilee needs to be now translated into vigorous proposals and concrete operative lines", the Pope stressed. "This is the moment for a new spiritual and pastoral impulse, that is not ephemeral, based in the intense and profound experience of grace lived in the Jubilee". The Church, he said, "is called to row deep into the sea so that Christ may reach the people of every continent".

RELATED: US Bishop Encourages Role of Laity in Evangelization


Pope John Paul II will visit Syria and the Mediterranean island of Malta in early May as part of his trips to Biblical sites, the Vatican said Monday. It did not give the exact dates of the pilgrimage. In Syria, Archbishop Isidore Battikha said the pope would visit that country on May 5, discussing the Middle East peace process with President Bashar Assad. John Paul has long said that he wanted to stop in Syria as part of a Middle East pilgrimage to places associated with the start of Christianity. St. Paul's travels took him to both Malta and Syria. Last year, the pope's quest, part of Holy Year activities to mark the start of Christianity's third millennium, took him to Egypt on one trip and to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

73. When a person is in a state of natural well-being, he sings the psalms with a full voce and prefers to pray out loud. But when he is energized by the Holy Spirit, with gladness and completely at peace he sings and prays in the heart alone. The first condition is accompanied by a delusory joy, the second by spiritual tears and, thereafter, by a delight that loves stillness. For the remembrance of God, keeping its fervour because the voice is restrained, enables the heart to have thoughts that bring tears and are peaceful. In this way, with tears we sow seeds of prayer in the earth of the heart, hoping to reap the harvest in joy (cf. Ps. 126:5). But when we are weighed down by deep despondency, we should for a while sing psalms out loud, raising our voice with joyful expectation until the thick mist is dissolved by the warmth of song.

February 5, 2001

(Rom 11:25-27)  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. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."


The world's first religious theme park opens its doors in Florida Monday amid angry protests by American Jews that it is a thinly disguised attempt to promote the Holy Land's Christian heritage at the expense of Judaism. The brainchild of Marvin Rosenthal, a Baptist minister who was born a Jew, the Holy Land Experience blends lavish special effects that include a column of smoke shooting from a recreation of the Ark of the Covenant, with gift shops and a restaurant featuring such dishes as the "Goliath Burger".

While on a more modest scale than its neighbours, which include Universal Studios and Disney World, the five-acre park hopes to become one of the top attractions in a city that welcomes 45 million visitors a year. What concerns the leaders of Florida's one million Jews is that the theme park is run by Zion's Hope, an evangelical Christian organisation headed by Mr Rosenthal, a so-called Hebrew Christian who believes that Jesus is the Messiah - in direct contradiction to Jewish teaching.

The park includes a half-size reconstruction of the Temple of the Great King, a first-century Jerusalem street market and a recreation of the Qumran caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Visitors can also walk along the "Via Dolorosa" to enter the tomb of Jesus, made from concrete and with the stone rolled back to reveal a discarded shroud. The tomb is chilled by a refrigeration unit to add authenticity during Florida's humid summer months. Visitors can watch a 20-minute film shot on location in Jerusalem, which begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and ends with the Second Coming of Christ. At the end, the auditorium in the Great Temple is flooded knee-deep with smoke from dry ice.

Mr Rosenthal defends the concept of a religious tourist attraction. He says: "The message of the Bible is fixed, but the method of communicating God's word has always been flexible. We are not trying to force our views on to anyone, but we hope that people, after they have been round, will blow the dust off their Bibles, or if they don't have a Bible, stop off and buy one in the gift shop on the way out."

MORE: Bible comes to life, but is it sacrilege?

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

72. The theologian whose soul is gladdened and kindled by the oracles of God comes, when the time is ripe, to the realm of dispassion; for it is written: 'The oracles of the Lord are pure, as silver when tried in fire, and purged of earth' (Ps. 12:6. LXX). The gnostic for his part, rooted in his direct experience of spiritual knowledge, is established above the passions. The theologian, if he humbles himself, may also savour the experience of spiritual knowledge, while the gnostic, if he acquires faultless discrimination, may by degrees attain the virtue of theological contemplation. These two gifts, theology and gnosis, never occur in all their fulness in the same person; but theologian and gnostic each marvel at what the other enjoys to a greater degree, so that humility and desire for holiness increase in both of them. That is why the Apostle says: 'For to one is given by the Spirit the principle of wisdom; to another the principle of spiritual knowledge by the same Spirit' (1 Cor. 12:8).

February 4, 2001



Doctor says he will clone human in year
Bid to stop sales of morning-after pill fails in Britain
Nobel brains to tackle world's ills
Las Vegas ads celebrate city's hedonism
Handheld porn a big hit
Pope Reaffirms Catholic 'No' to Gay Marriages
In poverty-stricken, devastated Cambodia, parents sell babies to buy food


VIA Richard Hubbell: Blessings to you all. Received a praise report on Grace's grandmother who was "scheduled" to have the plug pulled on her life support yesterday and we were praying for her. Grace said they were not pulling the plug on the grandmother. She said she called and she made a turn around. She woke up and was alert and had her eyes open. All praise to the Lord.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Richard Hubbell's ministry includes a mailing list which circulates prayer requests such as the one that was thankfully answered above.  Praise God for answered prayer and for providing prayer warriors such as Richard!!

(Mat 18:19-20)  "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

71 (cont.). The eye of the soul cannot be led astray when its veil, by which I mean the body, is refined to near-transparency through self-control. Nevertheless, it is much better to lament the insensitivity of the unjust than to hate them; for even should they deserve our hatred, it is senseless for a soul which loves God to be disturbed by hatred, since when hatred is present in the soul spiritual knowledge is paralysed.

February 3, 2001

(Psa 122:6-9)  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels." For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you." For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.


With just days to go before Israel's election, incumbent Prime Minister Ehud Barak said the "fate of the people of Israel" is in the balance. Despite polls that show Barak trailing rival Ariel Sharon by wide margins, Barak said voters are just now focusing on the stakes. "It's only in the last four days that there will be real election campaigning and Israel, the public, will have to wake up and realize that it's not about the two beauties, myself and Sharon, but about the fate of the people of Israel," he said.

Sharon's chief ally in the election campaign is a growing dissatisfaction among Israelis with Barak's handling of the rising tide of violence that has left more than 400 people -- most Palestinians -- dead. Sharon has pledged to make no further concessions to the Palestinians, despite last-minute negotiations that have reportedly leaned toward Palestinian statehood in at least 90 percent of the West Bank and Gaza and sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem. Sharon says he will grant no more territory to the Palestinians than what they already hold and that Jerusalem will remain in undivided city under Israeli control.

Barak and his supporters say Sharon is a warmonger whose policies will only escalate the violence. "This is not just an election about people," said Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. "It's an election about concepts about how to make peace. What we've had for the last two or three years is a peace concept that hasn't been working."

RELATED: Ancient prophecies play into modern Old City land dispute

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

71. Spiritual knowledge teaches us that, at the outset, the soul in pursuit of theology is troubled by many passions, above all by anger and hatred. This happens to it not so much because the demons are arousing these passions, as because it is making progress.  So long as the soul is worldly-minded, it remains unmoved and untroubled however much it sees people trampling justice under foot. Preoccupied with its own desires, it pays no attention to the justice of God. When, however, because of its disdain for this world and its love for God, it begins to rise above its passions, it cannot bear, even in its dreams, to see justice set at nought. It becomes infuriated with evil-doers and remains angry until it sees the violators of justice forced to make amends. This, then, is why it hates the unjust and loves the just.

February 2, 2001

(Mal 4:1-2)  "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.


President George W. Bush, who gave up the bottle and found God 14 years ago, is making clear during his early days in the White House that religion will have a high profile. Since Bush was inaugurated less than two weeks ago, he has declared Jan. 21 a national day of prayer, made a high-profile pilgrimage to a black church last Sunday and has spent this week promoting his proposals to allow faith-based organizations to seek federal dollars.  His inaugural address included a reference to a higher purpose with his comment that "an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm."

On Wednesday, Bush sat down with leaders of the Catholic Charities organization to promote his faith-based program, calling them "folks that have heard the call from the Lord." "There is no way that government can create love. Love comes from a higher calling. Love is inspirational. But what government can do is fund and welcome programs whose sole intent is to change lives in a positive way," he said.

Bush aides say that in 1995 Bush, as governor of Texas, became frustrated that faith-based groups like Teen Challenge and Victory Outreach that help substance abusers were being stymied by state regulations, and he set out to make it easier for them to operate. Now, he would like to expand the program nationwide. One aide said the goal is "to make the federal government both culturally and legislatively and in the regulatory world a bit more respectful and hospitable and evenhanded when it comes to how it relates to faith-based and other neighborhood groups."

Bush presents faith as driving force behind his presidency
Miami Archbishop optimistic about Bush's charity-sharing
Bush Proposes Tax Deductions for Faith-Based Giving
Bush reaffirms separation of church and state
Bush proposes plan to help disabled

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

70. When the door of the steam baths is continually left open, the heat inside rapidly escapes through it; likewise the soul, in its desire to say many things, dissipates its remembrance of God through the door of speech, even though everything it says may be good. Thereafter the intellect, though lacking appropriate ideas, pours out a welter of confused thoughts to anyone it meets, as it no longer has the Holy Spirit to keep its understanding free from fantasy. Ideas of value always shun verbosity, being foreign to confusion and fantasy. Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.

February 1, 2001

(Rev 3:14-19)  "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

Via Sadie Jaramillo:

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus:

The signs of the times are all around us.  For those few who are persevering in prayer and fulfilling the requests of Our Heavenly Mother, the signs are clear.  Many have, I believe, improperly interpreted the messages.  Thus causing them to fall away into a “lukewarm” and “unbelieving” state.   We should convert, truly convert, our hearts to God, because our salvation is of first and foremost of importance!  To be aware of the times we are living in is a great grace and gift.  But most importantly we should be always working at overcoming our faults, overcoming the vices that still plague us.  If we do our daily duties with love, that is what God can see and that is what pleases Him.  To be great in the heart of God means we become little and painfully aware of our total dependency on God for anything and everything!  When the “bad” things come to us Christians, is it because God is doing it?  NO!  God permits it to purify us, to strengthen us, to allow us to share in the very things that He went through while He walked here on earth.  All of what is written in the Holy Bible about Jesus is what we should fill our hearts and spirits with.  If we read and know what Jesus did, how can we say, “I can’t do this, that or the other?”  Jesus tells us through the Word, that “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”  (Phillipians 4:13)

I continue to pray for the Holy Father, John Paul II, and implore you to do the same.  Pray and rejoice always, for everyday we experience mercy!  The “tribulations” exist right now in our families, the Church, and the world.   God’s justice will come and then all will know how much time was wasted.  Please remember that God is in control!

This is the battle of all battles and with Our Lady, the Great Queen of Heaven, leading us, we will form the heel with which She will crush the serpent and the evil all around us. The Lord and Our Lady have called me to pray for priests and the religious, and have shown me the importance of praying for them.  So, I continue to say, “Pray for our priests," that they will have the courage to speak unpopular and “politically incorrect” truths that have never changed.  We must pray and fast that they will become dedicated to restore order and reverence and holiness to the Church, which in turn will restore families and the world.

Sadie's website:
Sadie's Spiritual Director: Father Jim Anderson

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

69 (cont). For just as great sadness brings the soul to despair and loss of faith, so great joy incites it to presumption (I am speaking of those who are still beginners). Midway between illumination and abandonment lies the experience of trial, and midway between sadness and joy lies hope. This is why the Psalmist says: 'I waited patiently for the Lord; and He heard me' (Ps. 40:1); and again: 'According to the multitude of the sufferings in my heart, Thy blessings have gladdened my soul' (Ps. 94:19. LXX).

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