Keep your eyes open!...


February 27, 2004


EDITOR'S NOTE:  "The Passion" is not just a movie.  Viewed with the eyes of faith "The Passion" is a personal encounter with Jesus.  One sees the Lord as the font of courage from which every courageous human act ever performed evolves.  You are THERE in suffering, you are HERE in victory.  All praise and honor and glory be to Him forever and ever!


VIA Jean Marie Paparelli: Link- THE PASSION STORE - Passion Guide, Free Posters, CD

VIA SAR: The movie is truly inspired by The Holy Spirit and closely follows the visions and writings of Anne Catherine Emmerich. The emotions are truly dynamic and gripping from the first five minutes and you must see the movie for yourself because of the strong personal message and individual meaning it will have in your own life. This movie will become the most attended movie worldwide in the history of this media and leave a profound impact and all who see it. After everyone sees this movie you will either come to accept that Jesus is the Son of God or you will deny it in your life.

Go see the movie and be ready for an extremely emotional and very personal experience at many levels. Exceeds all expectations.

VIA: Jim McCrea: Why some people view the Passion negatively

How one sees the movie the Passion, depends on if one has the light of faith or not.  Someone of one mind and heart would see something as white, and someone of another mind and heart would see the same thing as black.  Take the Catholic Church as example.  Many people see it as the most despicable thing on earth.  For the heart in the state of God's favor, on the other hand, the Catholic Church is the most beautiful thing on earth.  Her doctrine and truths have a supreme coherence and profundity, and there are endless truths that can be explored.  Every other human philosophy is pure mud compared to the philosophy, theology, and mysticism of the Catholic Church.  The sublime supernatural virtue and wisdom of the saints is unparalleled anywhere.  Even the least of the saints is vastly transcendent over, say, an Einstein, a Newton, or a Galileo.  Catholicism is not a system amongst others - It is reality itself!  But it takes the light of faith to see this - a light which vastly strengthens the human intellect.  Without this light, all in the Church is seen as confusion and nonsense, and the failings of her members is brought into prominent view.

Now to the Passion.  How one sees it, depends on whether God's light enlightens the mind or not.  With those without the light of faith, suffering itself in life is seen as a pure absurdity - a pure frustration standing in the way of happiness.  With such a view, a movie such as the Passion would be seen as purely negative.  But with those in union with Christ, suffering has a redeeming value.  The sufferings of Christ have transformed our own.  It is no longer purely negative.  Our sufferings offered in union with Christ can do inconceivable good.  These sufferings can save souls, release souls from purgatory, and marginalize Satan's work on earth - in addition, any suffering born with patience wins us a more glorious crown in heaven.  In fact, one mystic said that the slightest pain suffered in union with Christ gives such an eternal return in heaven, that all the hearts on earth would not be able to contain it.

What the Passion shows is how much Jesus loved us to go through all that for us.  What the passion of Christ in history is, is the taking on of all mankind's sins, derelictions, and evils, so that we can find peace in this world and eternal happiness in the hereafter.  Not only did Christ effectively absorb the penalty of human sin itself, but gives us the power to transcend our sufferings, so that we can find the deepest joy, and even bliss, in the greatest pain.  Even as we are in a vale of tears on this earth, Christ has offered us a share in paradise, through the transformation and transcending of earth's sufferings.  Many people think that Christ's suffering should have ended our need to suffer.  But it is a far more wonderful thing that Christ elected to help us to transcend our sufferings, rather than end them.

Suffering in and of itself is a pure evil.  It is a pure negation.  It is not to be sought for its own sake.  But it is its instrumental value which is a supreme good (because Christ's sufferings have made it so).  When suffering for Christ on this earth we are most fundamentally and rock-bottom in union with Christ.  It is then that we are doing the most good for our souls and for the souls of others and giving the greatest honor to God.  In fact, the cross is God's greatest gift to us on earth.  Heavenly bliss can only be imparted on this earth through the cross.  Of all actions, sufferings of the cross touch the axis of human life.

Now when it is brought home in a very vivid way that Christ - the second person of the Trinity - suffered more horribly than any person on earth ever has or ever will, it becomes easy and joyful for us to bear even the greatest privations and humiliations.  I don't think that there is any saint who did not draw strength from Christ's passion.  In fact, many saints have said that it is the meditation on Christ's passion that pleases God the most.  Such a movie would make the passion of Christ real in a way as never before (outside of witnessing the actual event).  As a result, it has the potential to bear unparalleled fruit (as many have already testified).  Now context is everything.  Those who see the Passion as merely useless violence, do not have the context of a lively Christian faith.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

55. As one who has suffered a prolonged illness can scarcely obtain health in an instant, so it is impossible suddenly to overcome the passions, or even one passion.

February 25, 2004

(Mar 8:34-35) And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.


The Forty Wrestlers

When Nero was emperor of Rome, a band of soldiers were hand-picked by Nero himself from the bravest and best of Rome to wrestle in the amphitheater. As the 'Emperor's 40', these fighters upheld the name of Nero against all challengers. Before each contest, they would shout these words,

We are 40 wrestlers, wrestling for thee O emperor to win for thee the victory and from thee the victor's crown.
When war erupted in Gaul, the wrestlers volunteered. Unknown to Nero, they were believers. As news reached Nero that many had accepted the Christian faith, he issued a decree that any soldiers who cling to faith in Christ, must die.

The decree arrived in the middle of an ice cold winter. With a heavy heart, the wrestlers' centurion pleaded with these, his best soldiers, to deny their faith in Christ. They respectfully refused, were ordered to remove their outer garments, and, march to the center of a nearby frozen lake. As they did, those 40 soldiers broke into this chant:

We are 40 wrestlers wrestling for Thee O Christ to win for Thee the victory and from Thee the victor's crown.
Through the long hours of that ice cold night the centurion waited next to his blazing campfire as the sound of the wrestlers' song grew quieter, fainter, and softer. As morning arrived, one lone figure, overcome by exposure, crept quietly toward the fire. In the extremity of his suffering, he denied his Lord. As that soldier approached the fire, the centurion heard from the center of the lake,
We are 39 wrestlers wrestling for Thee O Christ to win for Thee the victory and from Thee the victor's crown.
Hearing that sound of faith, that Roman centurion threw off his clothing, ran to the center of the lake, and with tears in his eyes, he cried,
We are 40 wrestlers wrestling for Thee O Christ to win for Thee the victory and from Thee the victor's crown.
Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

54. If anyone is weak in body and has had some grave falls, he should take the road of humility and the qualities that belong to her, for he will find no other way to salvation.

February 24, 2004


Christians prepare with Lent
Lenten reminders: Fast and abstinence
Meaning of holy season goes deeper than small sacrifices

VIA SAR List:  In late September or October of 1916, the Angel of Peace (Angelus pacis Michael) came for the third and last time to the children of Fatima. He was beautiful, resplendent, dazzling and hovered in the air before them. This time he held in one hand a Chalice, and the other, over it, a Host. These he left suspended in the air while he prostrated himself on the ground and said:

"Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly and offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners."

This he said three times. Then, rising up, he took the Chalice and the Host, and kneeling on a flat rock, held the white disk before him, saying: "Take and drink the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God."

They could see drops of Blood falling from the Host into the Cup. He placed It on the tongue of Lucia. To Jacinta and Francisco, who had not received First Communion, he presented the Chalice, and they drank of it. At the end he prostrated himself on the ground and said the same prayer thrice. The children repeated it with him, Francisco following the others, for he had not heard the words. Then, for the last time, the Angel of Peace faded away into the shimmering sunlight.
(Reference: Our Lady of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh, ISBN 0-385-02869-5)

Remarks: The Holy Father said that the Rosary is contemplating the Face of Jesus through the eyes of Mary. Father, may we all ask to see the Face of Jesus more often in our lives.

These are the End Times and are so important because more than 99% of all the world's possible Saints are still living today - they are the Face of Jesus!. We can all help each other to reach Heaven by saying the Rosary and The Prayer of The Angel of Peace for all peoples of all faiths....then you shall see The Face of Jesus.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

52. As a ship which has a good helmsman comes safely into harbour with God's help, so the soul which has a good shepherd, even though it has done much evil, easily ascends to Heaven.

February 21, 2004



PAX TV will broadcast a one hour special in advance of the worldwide premiere of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" on Sunday, February 22 at 9:00 p.m.  ET/PT and on Tuesday, February 24, at 9:00 p.m.  ET/PT.  "The Making of 'The Passion of The Christ'" is a behind-the scenes look at this bold motion picture, which is a vivid depiction of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ.  Produced by Academy Award winning producer and director, Mel Gibson and Icon Productions, the film will be released into theaters on February 25, 2004.

"The Making of the Passion" will present never-before-seen footage of the actors and directors as they tackle the enormous task of bringing Gibson's "labor of love" to the big screen.  It will feature on-set interviews of the cast and crew, as well as explore the driving forces behind the making of this remarkable film.  Also featured is the story of how they assembled a crew to create a set complete with a temple, courtyard and palace that would best represent a centuries old Jerusalem.

MORE: "'The Passion' … for Its Author, Is a Mass"


The Passion of The Christ is an epic movie masterpiece that, through the grace of God, is going to change the lives of those who respond to His call. It is not just another extraordinary Hollywood production—it’s an opportunity for each of us to encounter the person of Jesus Christ.

The Passion of The Christ offers an unprecedented cultural opportunity for you to spread, strengthen, and share the Catholic faith with your family and friends.  Unlike any other, this movie will inspire hearts and change minds.  And it will evoke questions.

You can play a role in bringing home this film’s inspiring message.  Catholic Passion Outreach has prepared some great resources to help you in your evangelization efforts.  Please browse this website, order A Guide to the Passion, and download our free study Small Group Handbook and Leader’s Manual.


EDITOR'S NOTE:  One resource for evangelization available as part of Eyedoctor's Site is a collection of Catholic testimonies that are grouped by age and occupation, including the email address of the author of each testimony.  The URL for this page is

(1Pe 3:15) ..... Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

48. As one whose legs are tied cannot walk freely, so those who hoard money cannot ascend to Heaven.

February 20, 2004

Excerpted from a commentary by George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

What issues will frame the election to choose a successor to Pope John Paul II?

At least three matters of global consequence are shaping the pre-conclave discussions among key cardinal-electors:

• Collapsing Catholicism in Europe. Europe is committing demographic suicide, as no Western European state has a replacement level birth rate. At the same time, Catholic practice in Western Europe is at historical lows. Churchmen believe that these two facts of European Catholic life are related.

Europe is heading for demographic disaster because it is in a severe crisis of cultural morale. That crisis is one result of a radical secularization that dissolves a people's sense of responsibility for the future. Not even a pope as devoted to pan-European culture as John Paul II has been able to jump-start the Catholic Church into renewed institutional vitality in ``Old Europe.'' What the next pontificate can do about the collapse of Catholicism in Catholicism's historic cultural homeland is a large, urgent and unsettled issue for the next conclave -- and for the future of the West.

• Radical Islam. The Vatican has long resisted the idea that the 21st century will be dominated by a ''clash of civilizations.'' Yet the cardinal-electors know that there are two culturally assertive religious communities with global reach in the world -- Catholicism and Islam. They also know that radical Islamism is an implacable enemy of religious freedom, the centerpiece of the Catholic Church's approach to world politics for a quarter-century.

The question now under discussion is one of strategy: How can the Catholic Church's dialogue with the worlds-within-worlds of Islam strengthen the position of Muslim religious leaders and intellectuals who want to develop an authentically Islamic case for religious toleration and civility in pluralistic societies?

• Biotechnology. The Catholic Church welcomes the new genetic knowledge and its capacity to advance the arts of healing. The Catholic Church also teaches that attempts to remanufacture the human condition by manufacturing (or retrofitting) human beings end up dehumanizing us. How to shape the global debate about the new biotechnologies so that humanity gets to the 22nd century without finding itself ensnared in Aldous Huxley's brave new world is a mega-issue bearing hard on the next conclave.


Possible Successors
Church attacks bookies who take bets on next Pope
Catholic laity seeks more clout in church practices

SEE ALSO: Prophecies of Saint Malachy

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

47. As a blind man cannot see to walk freely, so those who hoard money cannot ascend to Heaven.

February 19, 2004

(Luke 17:26-30) As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was in the days of Lot--they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all-- so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed.

LINK: "Marriage Matters"- Document by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops


Did you ever consider what would happen if, at some point, every young man and woman on earth would choose to enter into same-sex unions and to remain totally faithful in these unions?

Death would happen! Death to the whole human race would be the ultimate consequence because no life is generated from such joining. Human life, like most life on earth, is only regenerated by the reproductive union of the male and female of that species.

Recently a well-known syndicated columnist wrote, in effect, that people should stop opposing homosexual unions and same-sex marriages because they were harming no one. Another columnist praised a retired homosexual pro-football trainer for his humility, serenity and easygoing nature, and commiserated because the man's long-time partner was dying of AIDS. That's harming no one?

It is, indeed, sad, that these same-sex partners will have no offspring of their bodies to love them, honor them and mourn them when they die. They have chosen death instead of life.


Legalization of same-sex marriage would be a seismic event across this culture. Nothing would ever be the same. Every young child asks his parents, "Can boys [or girls] get married to each other"? If the answer changes from "no" to "yes," homosexuality would have then achieved equal status with heterosexual conduct and marriage. This equivalence would be taught in schools, observed in the workplace and eventually imposed even on churches.

By the time it is proved that same-sex marriages don't work, irreparable damage will have been done to traditional marriage, which has already been weakened by divorce and extramarital cohabitation. Damage will be compounded by the ramifications of same-sex marriage. As Georgia law presently stands, pedophilic homosexual marriages would immediately be legal if same-sex marriage were instituted today. A 50-year-old man or woman could marry a 16-year-old (and in some cases younger) boy or girl. And the very same sham constitutional privacy arguments used by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will be, and in some cases already have been, made for legalization of incestuous and polygamous or group marriages (including same-sex, opposite sex and bisexual varieties).

ACTION ALERT: Christian Coalition Calls for Citizens to Protest Illegal Marriages Taking Place in San Francisco with Calls, Faxes, E-mails


Gay 'MarriageFest' In San Francisco to Continue
Gay Spanish couple win right to adopt
Gay Marriage Poses Dilemma for Catholic Lawmakers

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

46. As a mass of dung breeds a mass of worms, so a surfeit of food breeds a surfeit of falls, and evil thoughts, and dreams.

February 18, 2004


Nanotechnology, the hot young science of making invisibly tiny machines and materials, is stirring public anxiety and nascent opposition inspired by best-selling thrillers that have demonized the science -- and new studies suggesting that not everything in those novels is fantasy.

The technology, in which scientists manufacture things less than 1,000th the width of a human hair, promises smaller computers, stronger and lighter materials, even "nanobots" able to cruise through people's blood vessels to treat diseases. Billions of dollars are being pumped into the field, and products with science-fiction-like properties have already begun to hit the market.

But studies have also shown that nanoparticles can act as poisons in the environment and accumulate in animal organs. And the first two studies of the health effects of engineered nanoparticles, published in January, have documented lung damage more severe and strangely different than that caused by conventional toxic dusts.

by Bill Joy, co-founder and Chief Scientist of Sun Micro-systems

Accustomed to living with routine scientific break-throughs, we have yet to come to terms with the fact that the most compelling new technologies - robotics, genetic engineering and nanotechnology - pose a different kind of threat than the technologies that came before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: they can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once, but one altered gene can become many, and quickly get out of control.

While replication in a computer or a computer network can be a nuisance, at worst it disables a machine or takes down a network or network service. But self-replication in the new technologies runs a much greater risk: a risk of substantial damage in the physical world.

Each of these new technologies also offers untold promise: the vision of near immortality; genetic engineering that may soon provide treatments, if not outright cures, for most diseases; and nanotechnology and nanomedicine which can apparently address yet more ills. Together these technologies could significantly extend our average life-span and improve the quality of our lives. Yet, with each of these technologies, a sequence of small, individually sensible advances leads to an accumulation of great power, and, concomitantly, great danger.

What was different in the twentieth century? Certainly, the technologies underlying the weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, biological and chemical - were and are a powerful and enormous threat. But building nuclear weapons required, at least for a time, access to both rare raw materials and highly protected information.

The twenty-first-century technologies, however, are within the grasp of individuals. They do not require large facilities and rare materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them. Thus, we have the possibility of not just weapons of mass destruction, but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction, hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.



Industries await dawning of nanotechnology age
Big hopes for tiny tech
U.S. scientists create new form of matter
Scientists Brew Tree-Shaped DNA

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

45. As some, for lack of water, blot out writing by other means, so there are souls who have no tears, but pound out and scour away their sins by sorrow, sighing, and great heaviness of heart.

February 17, 2004


Catholic officials have condemned the recent cloning of human embryos, with Pope John Paul's bioethics advisor calling it a repeat of what the Nazis tried to do in World War Two concentration camps.

"You can't kill human life in the hopes of finding medicines to save other lives," said Monsignor Elio Sgrecia, vice president of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, Friday.

"That would be a repeat of what the Nazis did in the concentration camps," Sgrecia, who is close to the pope, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"The scientists are saying: 'First I'll clone you. Then I'll kill you.' This is not a victory but it is stepping on human life twice," he said.

South Korean scientists announced last week they had cloned several human embryos and extracted stem cells from one.

They were the first researchers to prove they had cloned a human embryo and said they did it not to make a baby but for the purposes of therapeutic cloning.

Sgrecia said: "This is not a victory for humanity but a crime twice over."

The Catholic Church condemns all forms of research on embryos that leads to their destruction.

Sgrecia, who also heads an ethics centre at a leading Catholic medical school in Rome, said stem cells taken from umbilical cords or adults should be used for research instead because the process does not involve the destruction of life.

"There is no proof that stem cells taken from embryos are better for cures than those taken from adults," he said.

"Some scientists are filling people with false hopes while at the same time committing crimes because creating an embryo to suppress it is a technological but inhuman game," he said.

MORE: Cloning Turns a Human Being Into "Industrial Material," Warns Adviser

TIME MAGAZINE: Cloning Gets Closer


Three Cloned Mules Said Healthy, Normal
New Chinese rules permit cloning for research
Fetal Cell Research Continues at the Georgetown University Medical Center

LINK: Cloning: A Diabolical Counterfeit of Eternal Life

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

44. As writing is washed out by water, so sins can be washed out by tears.

February 13, 2004




VIA Phillip and Jayne Teague: Your Trials...(excerpt from the writings of Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure)

Do not let ourselves be troubled when we are sometimes beset by adversity, for we know that it is meant for our spiritual welfare and carefully proportioned to our needs, and that a limit has been set to it by the wisdom of the same God who has set a bound to the ocean. Sometimes it might seem as if the sea in its fury would overflow and flood the land, but it respects the limits of its shore and its waves break upon the yielding sand. There is no tribulation or temptation whose limits God has not appointed so as to serve not for our destruction but for our salvation. God is faithful says the Apostle, and will not permit you to be tempted ( or afflicted) beyond your strength, but it is necessary for you to be so, since through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God in the steps of our Redeemer who said of Himself, Did not the Christ have to suffer all these things before entering into his glory? If you refused to accept these tribulations you would be acting against your best interests. You are like a block of marble in the hands of the sculptor. The sculptor must chip, hew and smooth it to make it into a statue that is a work of art. God wishes to make us the living image of Himself. All we need to think of is to keep still in His hands while He works on us, and we can rest assured that the chisel will never strike the slightest blow that is not needed for His purposes and our sanctification; for, as St. Paul says, the will of God is your sanctification.

VIA Dennis DeLaurier: You are always there

Oh Father How You watch Your Children, as You are always there when I look. You know the number of steps I take each day, week and year.

I see You Father in all things big and small. Color is your crown and mighty mountains Your throne.

Your love is in the goodness of water or a sweet fruit on the vine. It is in a spring shower or lightning in the distance that catches my eye.

Your love is the wind in the trees and the fresh smell of a summer storm.

Your love is the cry of a baby or the purring of a cat. A bird’s distant cry or crashing waves on a sandy beach.

You are the beat of my heart and the soft touch of my spouse. You are the love in my heart and the tears in my eyes. You are compassion that rips at my heart and soft loving words from my mouth.

You Oh Lord are all the good things in my life and understanding and forgivness for things that aren’t.

You Oh God are all that matters for You are the center of my very being, and I Your poor son are your most loving focus.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

43. As it is impossible for a starving man not to think of bread, so it is impossible for a man eager to be saved not to think of death and judgment.

February 12, 2004


VIA Jim McCrea: Pro-life vs. other political issues

Many Catholics put pro-life issues on a par with other things such as crime, hunger, homelessness, education, health care, so if a candidate is good on all issues except abortion, they vote for him or her, since most of the issues are being properly addressed.

I feel that this is a serious error. First of all, the right to life is fundamental. Without the right to life, all other rights are null and void. One must first have existence to enjoy anything else.

Secondly, there is a fundamental difference between a candidate supporting abortion, and seemingly not being good on other social issues. In the case of things such as hunger, homelessness, poor education, crime etc. these are not the directly intended effects of the candidate (at least of no candidate that I have heard of). That is, no candidate campaigns for an increase in hunger, homelessness, poor education, and crime, as ends sought in themselves. These problems are simply side effects of inefficiency or what the candidate feels are higher priorities such as lower taxes to get the economy going, or perhaps the candidate has less worthy motives for putting social issues lower in priority (we can disagree with the candidate and say that the side effects are the result of his poor choices or judgment, but they are still not directly intended effects).

The difference between those who are poor on social issues and those who support abortion is that abortion *is* a directly intended effect. If one claims to be pro-choice, they are in support of the direct intended attack on an innocent unborn child. That is why that is different, and that is why that is intrinsically immoral. An informed Catholic cannot in good conscience vote for a pro-abortion candidate. In that case, he is cooperating with the crime of abortion and may be guilty of mortal sin.

There is a third reason why the abortion issue is fundamental and takes priority over other social issues. For if it is part of the structure of our society to kill other human beings for either convenience or to solve a difficult situation, then that feeds all other social problems. A disrespect for human life feeds crime, homelessness, bad education, bad health care etc. For at the root of these problems are human beings being unjust to each other in numerous subtle ways, each and every day. That injustice saps generosity, efficiency, creativity in solving human problem, care for the common good, trust, love, justice, and removes a whole host of other virtues. If these virtues were practiced on the level of the individual, that would solve practically all pressing social problems. It is this lack of justice and other virtues among people in society today, which causes all of its problems - and that is fed directly by the abortion mentality. Get rid of the abortion mentality and one is guaranteed to see a vast improvement in society.


Pro-Life Activists Target Kerry's Stand on Abortion
Why the Warning to Pro-Abortion Politicians Was Right -- Even Obligatory
Catholic bishops critical of Kerry

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

42. As he who climbs up a rotten ladder runs a risk, so all honour, glory and authority oppose humility and bring down him who has them.

February 11, 2004

POPE JOHN PAUL II: "Erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people and their alleged culpability have circulated [in the Christian world] for too long, engendering feelings of hostility toward this people."


Fearful that Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" will revive age-old tension between Christians and Jews over the death of Jesus Christ, U.S. bishops are issuing strict instructions on how Catholics should view the crucifixion.

A 150-page booklet, "The Bible, the Jews and the Death of Jesus," will be released this week to every diocese in the United States, instructing Catholics on the Vatican's position: that Jews were not collectively responsible for Christ's torture and death.

"It gives people instructions about what they need to know about the passion and death of Christ," said Bill Ryan, a spokesman in Washington for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "But it is in no way a judgment on the film."

"The Passion," which is to be released Feb. 25, has sparked Christian evangelical zeal and raised fear among Jews that the film's message could provoke anti-Semitism.

Official Vatican policy for nearly 40 years has been that the Jews were not collectively culpable for Christ's death, despite some depictions in the Gospels.

RELATED: Catholics, Jews seek common ground

SEE ALSO: Who Crucified Christ? (Evangelical Viewpoint)


Simply put, the story of Jesus is offensive because he was.

Jesus seems particularly galling in this age when the worst social crime is to believe in absolute truth. He wanted us to not just follow rules but be right in our hearts. He touched the untouchable and chased merchants from the temple with a whip. He associated with prostitutes and other social outcasts, claiming "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." He addressed religious leaders who violated the scriptures with little endearments like "You brood of vipers" and "You whitewashed tombs."

Today we don't bat an eye when a prominent clergyman like Virginia's Episcopal Bishop Peter J. Lee tells a church council "If you must make a choice between heresy and schism, always choose heresy," as the Washington Times reported last month. I won't presume to guess what Jesus would say but it's a safe bet it wouldn't be "Amen."

Still, I suspect the main reason the reaction is different is because we are. I doubt Gibson could do anything to satisfy those who are determined to hate his work, and if he has truly made a Biblically accurate film he shouldn't try.

RELATED: 'Actor's film of 'Passion' is others' fury
MORE: Gibson’s Passion ‘work of faith’, says Cardinal

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

41. A man who is fighting a lion is lost the moment he takes his eye off it, and so is the man who, while fighting the flesh, gives it any respite.

February 6, 2004


(Mar 1:2-3) As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight--"


EDITOR'S COMMENTARY: This week we have looked at Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Jesus Christ", with particular emphasis on the powerful visceral reaction that it evokes from those who have viewed it.  Next we reviewed the Warning, as described by the visionaries of the admittedly controversial Garabandal apparition.  I would invite you to review both updates (link) prior to continuing with this brief commentary.

The following is an excerpt of relevent questions and answers that were posed to the Garabandal visionaries nearly forty years ago:

Q. Will the Warning reveal personal sins to every person in the world and to persons of all faith, including atheists?

A. Yes, the Warning will be like a revelation of our sins, and it will be seen and experienced equally by believers and non-believers and people of any religion whatsoever.

Q. Conchita, can you explain the statement that during the Warning we will know ourselves and the sins we have committed?

A. The Warning will be a correction of the conscience of the world.

Q. How will we feel it?

A. We will all feel it differently because it will depend on our conscience. The Warning will be very personal, therefore, we will all react differently to it. The most important thing will be to recognize our own sins and the bad consequences of them. You will have a different view of the Warning than me because your sins are different from mine.

Q. About the nature of the Warning, how do you sense it:

A. It is going to be something like and interior feeling of sorrow and pain for having offended God. God will help us to see clearly the harm we are causing Him and all the evil things we do. He will help us to sense this interior pain because often when we do something wrong we just ask the Lord's forgiveness with our lips, but now (through the Warning) He will help us sense physically that deep sorrow.

As I review the reaction that people will have to the Warning I cannot help but be reminded of the reaction that people have had after viewing "The Passion".  Shame, regret, pain, sorrow, and personal responsibility are all very prominent reactions to both.

Could they be one and the same?  Is "The Passion" the Warning?!!

The description of the visionaries of the event itself seems to separate the Warning from a simple movie, no matter how powerful it may be.  "The Passion", though it is planned to be initially released to over 2000 theaters in the USA,  will not be simultaneously viewed by everyone on earth as is to occur with the Warning.

But might "The Passion" be a precursor to the Warning in an analagous fashion to John the Baptist being a precursor of our Lord Jesus Christ?  Might the Lord have inspired Mel Gibson to create "His film" to prepare the hearts of men for an even more profound examination of conscience?

Will the controversy that has been created within the Jewish community over "The Passion" be transformed by the Warning into a life changing re-examination of the life of Christ?

One can only hope.... and pray.

(Isa 25:7) And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

40. The drowsy are easily robbed, and so are those who seek virtue near the world.

February 5, 2004

(Rev 14:6-7) Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following link serves as a reminder that the Bishop overseeing Garabandal has ruled that nothing supernatural has happened there:

Garabandal Ruling Final

Additional commentary from the EWTN Experts Site:

"It seems, therefore, that notwithstanding the decisions of two commissions accepted by the bishops of Santander, that there are reasonable grounds for individual Catholics to find Garabandal credible. The children themselves predicted that the message of Garabandal would be approved with difficulty, but in sufficient time to spread it. Perhaps this means that the 'warning' (a clearly supernatural event) must occur first for approval to be given. Given the seriousness of the times we do well to heed the message of conversion, whether proposed by Fátima or some other source such as Garabandal, Medjugorje or another, without fear, that is, with complete confidence in God's providence for us and the world. The future will take care of itself if we remain spiritually prepared for anything. This has always been the advice of the saints, anyway."


The Warning is a great act of God´s Mercy, on such a big scale that nothing compares to it in all mankind´s history, bar The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Which information do we have? Here it is:

It will be seen in the sky all over the world and immediately transmitted to the inside of our souls.

It will be an astronomic phenomenon, similar to a bang of stars with a lot of light and noise, but it won´t fall over us.

It will be like fire, but it won´t burn our bodies, though it will be felt physically and internally.

It will last a very short time, but its effects on the world will be huge.

We should not be afraid of death if we are not quaking with fear or, in some special cases, due to God´s Mercy.

Everyone will see in a short period of time how their souls are before the light of God, and will know that He exists, and that He has been present at every single sin of theirs.

It will be like a trial in miniature.

God hopes that, through this act of His Mercy, we amend our lives, and turn away from the wrong path.

Those who already know and love God, will be closer to Him.

Many will be converted, but still many will keep on denying God, denying the One Who is, in an act of supreme hypocrisy.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

39. Crabs are easily caught because they walk sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards. So the soul that now laughs, now mourns, now lives in luxury, can make no progress.

February 4, 2004

(Isa 53:5-6) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.


Gibson believes God called him to make this movie. "This is God's movie," he said after a screening at Focus on the Family in August 2003. "The Holy Ghost was running the show. I was just directing traffic."

According to Danae Dobson, when she asked why he made the movie, he said that he had no choice in the matter--he felt called to the assignment, and he was determined to carry it out.

Gibson makes a brief appearance in the movie, his hand is seen putting the nail into the palm of Christ as he’s crucified.

The gesture is “symbolic of the fact that [Gibson] holds himself accountable first and foremost for Christ’s death,” according to one fan site for the movie.

NEWSLINK: A Tie-In Made in Heaven

Review: The sounds of the unfamiliar tongue put the viewer outside any one time or place, in a kind of timeless, universal space. The mood "The Passion" generates is meditative and contemplative. The tone is awe. One finds one's emotions hushed. For minutes after the film ended, the audience at the showing I attended did not speak or move. We felt part of an indescribably important human moment. We had been drawn into an axial point of silence and wonder.

Review: In my opinion, one of the great achievements of this film is to have shown so effectively both the horror of sin and selfishness, and the redeeming power of love. Seeing this film provokes love and compassion. It makes the viewer want to love more, to forgive, to be good and strong no matter what, just as Christ did even in the face of such terrible suffering. The viewer is drawn into a powerful experience of God's strong yet gentle love, of his overflowing mercy.

Review: In addition to being a masterpiece of film-making and an artistic triumph, The Passion evoked more deep reflection, sorrow and emotional reaction within me than anything since my wedding, my ordination or the birth of my children. Frankly, I will never be the same.

When the film concluded, this 'invitation only' gathering of 'movers and shakers' in Washington,D.C. were shaking indeed, but this time from sobbing. I am not sure there was a dry eye in the place. The crowd that had been glad-handing before the film was now eerily silent. No one could speak, because words were woefully inadequate. We had experienced a kind of art that is a rarity in life, the kind that makes heaven touch earth.

Review: It is a moving film, and what it moves you to is tears, and thought. It doesn't rouse, it seeps in and inspires introspection and consideration.

It leaves you indicting yourself: it leaves you wondering about what your part in that agonizing drama would have been back then, and what your part is today.

LINK: Browse Movie Theaters playing "The Passion" on February 25

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

38. As a ray of sun, passing through a crack, lights everything in the house and shows up even the finest dust, so the fear of the Lord, entering a man's heart, reveals to him all his sins.

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