Keep your eyes open!...


February 28, 2006

(Joel 2:12-16) Now, therefore, saith the Lord. Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bridal chamber.


On Living Lent Well

MORE: Lent is time to see others through eyes of Christ

FREE PDF VIA TAN BOOKS: Pious Practices for Lent

FROM THE MAILBAG VIA Jean Marie:  The Lenten discipline consists of three separate parts:

1. Corporal or External Fast - including the abstinence from certain foods, drinks and amusements, and parties during Lent. These points of fast should be stressed today especially with the mania of entertainment besetting our society.

2. Spiritual or Internal Fast - which consists of abstaining from 'all evil' - sin. Saint John Chrysostom taught that 'the value of fasting consists not so much in abstinence from food but rather in withdrawal from sinful practices." Saint Basil the Great explains; "turning away from all wickedness means keep ing our tongue in check, restraining our anger, suppressing evil desires and avoiding all gossip, lying and swearing. To abstain from these things - herein lies the True Value of fast!"

3. Spiritual Change - achieved by the practice of virtues and good works must be the main objective of our fasting. The Fathers of the Church insisted that during Lent the Faithful attend the Lenten church services and daily Mass. In the course of the centuries, our fasting discipline has undergone numerous and radical changes. Today, unfortunately, the observance of Lent is but mere formalism, reduced to abstinence on certain days and without any stress o n one's spiritual growth or the amending of one's life style.

It is urgent that we return to the pristine spirit of the Great Fast which is so badly needed in our materialistic world.

FATHER TED: Reflection by Father Ted

My dearest Lord Jesus, You desire to bless each and everyone of us.

You always have. You always will.

Whether we experience Your blessings or not depends upon us and upon others.

Last Saturday, in the morning gospel, You told Your disciples: “Let the children come to Me; do not prevent them …” For they were rebuking the parents of the children who wanted to bring them to You.

After You rebuked Your disciples, You embraced those children who were brought to You by their parents. And You blessed them.

You also told Your disciples: “[W]hoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not [even] enter it.” You want us to be with You in Your Kingdom – which is heaven.

If we are going to be there with You, then we must become childlike; and we must allow You to bless us and even embrace us.

This coming season of Lent, which begins in two days, is our opportunity for us to allow You to embrace us and to bless us.

You want us to experience the deep love that You and the Father and Your Holy Spirit have for us.

That is why you exhort us in the Gospel for Ash Wednesday, the 1sts day of this holy season of Lent, to do three special activities.

You ask us to pray. You ask us to fast. You ask us to give alms.

For these activities will enable us to experience Your presence and Your love.

All three are important – to be able to be touched by You.

For they complement each other.

Yet at the same time, You give us a warning – “Don’t do these for show!” For if we do them to show off – how religious we are; then we won’t be able to experience Your love.

Jesus, You are speaking to all of us – not just to adults.

You are speaking to Your children as well.

For You want them especially to know and to enjoy that incredible love that You have for them.

Jesus, may we all do just what You ask of us – so that we may also love You more and more.

May this Lent be for each one of us a most holy season.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Lust

25. A hermit said, 'Chastity is born of tranquillity, and silence, and inner prayer.'

February 27, 2006

(John 15:13) Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


Cause for Beatification and Canonization of John Paul II
Vatican may have found Pope John Paul‘s "miracle"
Cardinal says Pope John Paul didn't retire because he feared precedent

VIA GUAM: From among the many apparently miraculous healings people from around the world had reported, Archbishop Apuron talks about his personal experience. Last year while in Rome, the archbishop met the father and mother of a boy who was diagnosed with a serious eye disease. The archbishop gave the family a rosary and an intercessory prayer by Pope John Paul II. "I gave this card out to a family whose son, a ten-year old boy had trouble with the eye. Was on the verge of having the eye removed and they told me later that his eye had been healed through his intersession through that prayer," he recalled.


Text of Third Secret: After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

HEADLINE 2 July 2005 John Paul II may be declared a martyr: “John Paul II actually shed his own blood in St Peter’s Square on 13 May 1981, and again, during the long years of his illness, he offered not his blood, but his entire life.” The allusion was not insignificant. Recently a Polish priest who died of cancer after being released from a 36-month prison sentence was beatified as a martyr. It was deemed that his Communist prison guards caused him “spiritual and physical suffering” which eventually led to his death. Cardinal Ruini said the shedding of blood was “equally decisive” in uniting John Paul to Christ and the humanity he redeemed.

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB -Fatima, 13 May 2000: "The decision of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public the third part of the “secret” of Fatima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil, yet pervaded by the merciful love of God and the watchful care of the Mother of Jesus and of the Church."


O Blessed Trinity
We thank You for having graced the Church
with Pope John Paul II
and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care,
the glory of the cross of Christ,
and the splendor of the Holy Spirit,
to shine through him.
Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,
and has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life
and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will,
the graces we implore,
hoping that he will soon be numbered
among your saints.

With ecclesiastical approval

the Holy Father’s Vicar General
for the Diocese of Rome

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Lust

12. A brother was obsessed by lust and it was like a fire burning day and nigh in his heart. But he struggled on, not examining the temptation nor consenting to it. After a long time, the fire left him, extinguished by his perseverance.

February 24, 2006


LINK: Practical strategies of evangelization by Father Robert Barron

LINK: A Catholic Lay-Driven Re-evangelization of Western Culture

LINK: The Saints of John Paul II- A Way to Counter Secularism Within the Church?


Leading Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant theologians have discussed the future of Christian unity at the World Council of Churches 9th Assembly.

Scholars from different Christian traditions offered reflective comments on the document "Called to Be the One Church."

The document, prepared by the Faith and Order commission, recapitulates previous work and statements on unity as a divine gift and calling, based on the common faith confessed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and on common baptism.

Fr Jorge Scampini OP of Argentina, a leading Catholic Dominican theologian, urged the WCC to continue and strengthen its role as the "privileged instrument" of the ecumenical movement in the search for visible Christian unity.

He stated that the churches "should enter into a renewed conversation about the quality and degree of their fellowship and communion, and about the issues which still divide them".


Christian Unity Hinges on Grace, Says Vatican Official
Greek Orthodox leader plans visit to Vatican
Russian Orthodox prelate to visit Pope?


(John 17:20-21) And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me. That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Lust

8. Poemen said, 'As a bodyguard is always standing by to protect the Emperor, so the soul should always be ready to fight the demon of lust.'

February 23, 2006

(Mat 16:19) And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

by Robert Mickens

INTRO: For many modern Catholics, the practice of granting indulgences to hasten the path through purgatory to heaven is thought to have been ended by Vatican II. Under Benedict XVI there has been a revival – and it is one which tells us much about papal authority


FROM THE MAILBAG: Holy Souls - The Story of St. Peter Claver & Two Women

St. Peter Claver, of the Company of Jesus, Apostle of the Negroes of Carthagena, knew of the Purgatory of two souls, who had led poor and humble lives upon earth; their sufferings were reduced to a few hours. We find the following account of it in the Life of this great servant of God.

He had persuaded a virtuous negress, named Angela, to take into her house another negress named Ursula, who had lost the use of her limbs and was covered with sores.

One day when he went to visit them, as he did from time to time, to hear their confessions and to carry them some little provisions, the charitable host told him with grief that Ursula was at the point of death."No, no," replied the Father, consoling her, "she has yet four days to live, and she will not die until Saturday."

When Saturday came, he said Mass for her intention, and went out to prepare her for death. After spending sometime in prayer, he said to the hostess with an air of confidence, "Be consoled, God loves Ursula; she will die to-day, but she will be only three hours in Purgatory. Let her remember me when she shall be with God, that she may pray for me, and for the one who until now had been a mother to her." She died at noon, and the fulfilment of one part of the prophecy gave great reason for belief in the accomplishment of the other.

Another day, having gone to hear the confession of a poor sick person whom he was accustomed to visit, he learned that she was dead. The parents were extremely afflicted, and he himself, who had not believed her to be so near her end, was inconsolable at the thought of not having been able to assist her in her last moments.

He knelt down to pray by the corpse, then suddenly rising, with a serene countenance he said, "Such a death is more worthy of our envy than our tears; this soul is condemned to Purgatory, but only for twenty-four hours. Let us endeavour to shorten this time by the fervour of our prayers."

Enough has been said on the duration of the pains. We see that they may be prolonged to an appalling degree; even the shortest, if we consider their severity, are long. Let us endeavour to shorten them for others and to mitigate them for ourselves, or better still to prevent them altogether.

You are invited to permanently register your souls, both living and dead and also please be sure to register yourself, for perpetual Masses at:

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Lust

7. Mathois used to say that a brother came and told him that the slanderer was sorse than the fornicator.  Her replied, 'This is a hard saying.' Then the brother said to him , 'What do you think about the matter?' Mathois said, 'Slander is bad, but it can be cured quickly; the slanderer can do penance and say "I have spoken wrongly," and it is over. But lust is certain death.'

February 22, 2006

(Mat 5:11-12)  Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.


A delegation of Israeli-Arab Christians has been at the Vatican recently to discuss urgent aid for the struggling Christian communities of the Holy Land.

The delegates submitted a plan to help revive Christian communities in the Holy Land, whose numbers are dwindling. The plan includes obtaining more support from Christians abroad, particularly pilgrims visiting holy sites in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as this could alleviate the sense of neglect and isolation felt by the local Christian community.

One of the representatives said it was time for churches abroad to take a more active role to revitalise Christian communities in the Holy Land. "We are a dying congregation," said Dr Raed Mualem, head of the Mar Elias University in the Galilee town of Ibillin.

Mualem told Israel's daily Haaretz newspaper that soon Galilee Christians would be almost "extinct" because the migration rate is 35 per cent. Christians currently comprise about 1.7 per cent of Israel's six million population - or about 110,000 people. But Mualem said that if the high rate of migration continues then the number of Christians living in Israel will drop to less than half of one per cent of the population by 2020.

Around 40 000 Christians live in the Palestinian territories and they are migrating at a rate of about 2000 people a year. Christians who have often been wealthier and more educated then their neighbours have increasingly sought to make a better life for their families abroad rather than live as a small minority caught between the mostly Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian-Muslim populations.


A forgotten story: the plight of Holy Land Christians
Hamas and the Christian Community
No distinction is possible between Hamas and the Palestinians, says the Custodian of the Holy Land
Christians Persecuted in the Holy Land

FROM THE MAILBAG VIA [email protected]: Sukker two church burned

Greeting and prayers from pakistan.this very sad news for us and all the christian community in the world.The christisn Two churches and property were burned in pakistan last night in Sukker.May be you know many Islamic fanatics in the pakistan.

The alligation was put on christian by the muslims of that place (the christian have burnet there holy Quran).Actually this is a false alligation it has no reality,actually it was done by the muslims themselves in order to attack on christians.

This is not one incident that muslims attack on christian it has been happened by the muslims in couple of last years.We went there with our Archbishop L.J.Saldana and vicar Genral Rev. Fr.Andrew Nisari many priest Sisters,catechist,Animator for visit this area.

Many people are injoured in this situation.Archbishop and his fellow pray for them here and advice them please pray to God for this dangrious situation.Govt promise with all the christian community we are with you in this situation.Present situation in pakistan is very dangrious many muslam,students,organization,and other extreemist group every day strike for against cartoon and against christian people.

I request to you and your friends please pray that this situation will be changed and christian will be saved in pakistan.God bless you.

NEWS STORY: Bishop blames police for burning of Sukker Churches

PAKISTAN: Mob violence heightens insecurity among minorities

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Lust

5. When Cyrus of Alexandria was asked about the temptation of lust, he said, 'If you are not tempted, you have no hope; if you are not tempted, it is because you are sinning. The man who does not fight sin at the stage of temptation is sinning already in his body. The man who is sinning in his flesh has no trouble from temptation.'

February 21, 2006

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Intolerance and violence are never justifiable responses to the offence (to religion), since they are not compatible with the sacred principles of religion".

Catholic News Agency: Can Islam and Christianity coexist? Only with Muslim reform, Vatican expert says

Zenit: Martyrdom and Muslim Fundamentalism Interview With Robert Royal

Newsmax Editorial: 12th Century Thinking

The American Thinker: Churchill on Islam

Catholic Answers:
The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed


Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold, each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinion, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolotry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. 

Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once Thy chosen people. Of old, they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may It now descend upon them as a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant , O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise be to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor forever. Amen.

Pope Pius XI 
Feast of Christ the King December 11, 1925


Iran: the Other Clock is Ticking
Bin Laden 'won't be caught alive'
Iran's Khamenei Urges Muslims to Fund Hamas
Muslim Brotherhood raising funds for Hamas
German Calls to Ban Controversial Turkish Movie on Iraq
Protests of prophet cartoons kill 15 in Nigeria

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Lust

2. Gerontius of Petra said, 'Many people who are tempted by pleasures of the flesh do not sin with the body but lust with the mind; they keep their bodily virginity but lust in their heart. It is better then, beloved, to do what is written, "Let everyone keep a close guard upon his heart" (Prov. 4:24).'

February 20, 2006

February 13, 2006 Sixth Week in Ordinary Time Reading (James 1:1-11) Gospel (St. Mark 8:11-13)

In the Gospel reading today, we hear these people asking Our Lord for a sign, and He tells them that no sign would be given. It is quite an interesting statement, all things considered, because He had worked many signs and He Himself was the sign to that generation and to every generation that would come because He was God-with-us and He went to the Cross in that generation. Yet He is telling them that no sign would be given.

Well, we are no different, because people do not want to see. There are signs all around us of what is going on, yet we do not want to see and we keep saying to God, “Give me a sign.” What do we need? How big of a sign do we need? Do we need to get hit by a semi [truck] before we realize what is going on? The time is at hand, and people do not want to believe it. We do not know the exact timing, but I submit to you that Lent this year may be quite different from any that we have ever known.

So we had better listen very carefully to what Saint James has to say: Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials. If we have not been praying, this is not possible. Instead, what we are going to wind up doing is being angry and cursing God and probably falling away from our faith. The warnings have been there over and over again that we need to pray and that we will not survive if we do not pray. Now the time is upon us, and we run around saying, “Oh, Lord, show me a sign.” There is not going to be another sign. There is going to be a pretty stiff warning, but there is not going to be another sign. We need to be able to recognize that this is part of God’s mercy. This is His love for us. Just as we heard in the psalm, It is good for me that I have been afflicted, he said, and then goes on to say, O, Lord in Your faithfulness You have afflicted me.

God is going to give us all an opportunity to make a radical decision of whether we are going to stick with Him or not. It is not going to be an easy decision. Right now it is easy. We can all sit back and say, “Of course I’m going to be faithful to the Lord!” But in the midst of trial, it might not be so easy. We will all have to make that decision; otherwise we are going to be exactly like what Saint James is talking about. He said, Ask in faith, not doubting, because the one who doubts is like the wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. That person will not receive anything from the Lord. Why? Because he is of two minds and unstable in his ways. All we are doing is hedging our bets: “If the Lord is God… If He does this, well, then maybe…” And so we go to prayer with these kinds of attitudes.

We need to trust God. And how is that going to happen? Only if we pray. So we need to make some serious changes, and we better make them very quickly because the time is upon us. We are not going to get any kind of extraordinary signs. We are going to get immense suffering. This is a great gift, but when it is over the Church is going to be a whole lot smaller and our faith is going to be purified if we persevere. It will be a great, great gift, but it is not going to be an easy one and it is not going to be a fun one. But we need to rejoice in the trials because then our faith is being purified, as Saint James tells us, and when our faith is tested that makes for perseverance. So that is what we need. And when that perseverance is there, he tells us, we will be perfect and complete and lacking in nothing. That, again, is what God wants for us. When that is in place, we will be unshakeable; we will have that absolute faith. We are not going to be like the wave tossed about by the wind, we are not going to be of two minds anymore because it will be very clear and our faith will have been purified so that we will remain faithful to the Lord.

We need to be able to see what God is doing and why, and we need to rejoice in it because it is a great gift, a profound gift. But it is not going to be any kind of sign. It is going to overtake us like a thief in the night. When it happens, we need to be able to rejoice. And how are we going to be able to do it? There is only one way. The only ones who will be able to rejoice and the only ones who will be able to persevere are those who pray.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

60. They said of one hermit that he sometims longed to eat a cucumber. So he took one and hung it in front of him where he could see it. He was not overcome by his longing, and did not eat it, but tamed himself, and repented that he had wanted it at all.

February 17, 2006



The information on the workcamp has now been posted on the St David's Relief Foundation website:

I believe that this is going to be one of the more worthy projects that St David's has done (though all of them have been very good). We will be working in the area of Mother's Village in the Medjugorje area (it's about a 20 minute walk north from the main village).

As St David's Relief will not be doing a regular postal mailout this year, please do your best to spread the word. The people of Medjugorje have been generous hosts to all of us and to the pilgrims of the world that have come to their small village since the events of 1981.

We now have a chance to give something back to these great and noble people.

Atheists are encouraged to come, but they must bring their sense of humor; God has His ready!

VIA FATHER TED: Reflection by Father Ted

My dearest Lord Jesus, today You want me to reflect upon the mercy that You offer to everyone. There is not one person whom You do not offer that divine mercy too, even frequently.

The reason why You do so is quite simple. You love each one of us.

You want each one of us to not merely experience that Love; You want us to thrive on that love and to share that love.

Every single day You offer to us that love. You do so directly as well as indirectly.

You who are Love created us to participate in that love.

That is why You have been prompting me to reflect frequently upon that teaching I learned as a young child – why You created me.

As I reflect upon this truth, I, necessarily, am prompted to recall that my goal in this life is to be with You in the next.

Again and again You tell me – I made You, my child, to be with Me.

Sometimes I do not hear You.

I become too preoccupied with other things and with other people.

Sometimes I choose not to listen to You.

I become afraid – because You seem to ask me to do what is difficult.

Many times I forget that when You ask of me to do anything, whether difficult or easy, You always give to me the help that I need.

When I choose to do what You do not want me to do – that is when I sin, You keep on loving me.

And in loving me, even after I have sinned seriously, because of Your love for me, You offer to me Your divine mercy.

Even when I refuse that mercy – even many times, You still offer it to me.

For You have made me to enjoy that mercy - always.

Jesus, thank You for always loving me!

Jesus, thank You for always offering to me Your divine mercy!

Jesus, may I express to You my thanks for Your Love and for Your Mercy by doing what You ask of me each day.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

52. He also said, 'The serpent whispered to Eve and cast her out of paradise. The man who whispers against his neighbours is like the serpent. He condemns the soul of whoever listens to him, and he does not save his own.'

February 16, 2006

Virtually Silent Film about Carthusian Monks a Surprise Hit in Germany

( - A virtually silent film about silent monks in an ancient French monastery is proving a surprise hit with German audiences, the BBC reports. With no dialogue, no script or voiceover and only Gregorian chant as background music, Into Great Silence is an unusual documentary of the daily lives of the monks of Le Grande Chartreuse, the extremely remote original foundation in the French Alps, of the Catholic Church’s most rigorous religious order, the Carthusians.

The film depicting this devoted and austere life has the highly secularized German audiences spellbound and is playing to packed houses. It has hit a benchmark in Germany with over 100,000 viewers. The film was featured at Berlin’s Film Festival and was awarded the World Cinema Special Jury prize at the Sundance festival. Its European distributors are enjoying relatively high box office receipts for a documentary and by mid-January the film had grossed over 700,000 Euros.

Carthusian spirituality is a rarity even among Catholic monastics. The monks live in small cottage-like hermitages attached to each other by a cloister that leads to the monastery church. They do not talk to or interact with each other except for a brief period once a week; meals, manual labour, study and much of their prayer time is spent alone. The extreme asceticism of Carthusian spirituality has been altered very little since the order’s foundation in the 11th century.

The film’s German director, Philip Gröning, told the BBC, “When I left the monastery, I was thinking about what exactly had I lived through and it was realizing that I had had the privilege of living with a community of people who live practically without any fears.” Gröning had to wait 17 years for permission to visit the monastery to make his film. He had been asked to wait until some of the newer monks had settled into the life of the monastery, which, he was told, took about ten years.

At 164 minutes, Into Great Silence is longer than the average film with dialogue. Commentators at the Toronto International Film Festival were surprised that it held audience attention. Sean Farnel, a reviewer for the Toronto festival wrote, “At a time in which spiritual practice is a radically variegated pursuit, these privileged observations of one of its purest forms are a balm for our bustling days.”

An interviewer asked Gröning what the most difficult part was about returning to the outside world after seven months with the Carthusians. He responded, “The main thing that happened when I left the monastery was, having had this experience of living with people who are pretty free of fear makes you realize how fear-driven our society is.” “We tend to say that our society is driven by consumerism or greed but it’s not true. Greed, consumerism, wanting to have a new Porsche, for example, is a disguise of pure fear. It’s a near panicking society and that was difficult to accept.”

Watch trailer for Into Great Silence: (Most of it is silent)-

COMMENTARY VIA FATHER GRUBER, author of Journey Back to Eden: My Life and Times Among the Desert Fathers (great Lenten reading!):

The most important aqueducts that fed the City of Rome flowed from Subiaco ("below the lake") were destroyed by the Goths in the sixth century. St. Benedict initiated the monastic heritage of the western Church by returning to the same region and founding eremitical and the coenobitical communities there. In a sense by his monastic charism he restored new "aqueducts" of Living Water that brought the besieged Church back to life and raise Christendom up from the collapsed empire.

The barbarians who once wrecked the aqueducts of stone at Subiaco eventually joined St. Benedict's communities there and poured their lives into the monastic currents that revived the ruined Church.

With a pope named Benedict who hails from the Germanic tribe that twice nearly destroyed the Church and Europe in the last century, and now a cinematic icon of traditional monasticism riveting the continent, perhaps a new "springtime" of faith is upon us even in the arctic blast of secular repudiation of our religion.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

51. He also said, 'It is better to eat meat and drink wine than to eat the flesh of the brothers by disparaging them.'

February 15, 2006

(Rev 6:5-6) And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying: Come and see. And behold a black horse. And he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard, as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying: Two pounds of wheat for a penny, and thrice two pounds of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the wine and the oil.

EXCERPT- PAUL B. FARRELL Oil? America's addicted to everything!

We are a nation of addicts, in denial, and our mastery over the economy and markets is an illusion, crating a false sense of security. Wall Street, Washington and Corporate America are all addicted to computer models that minimize or eliminate unpredictable threatening variables: Global wars, pandemics, terrorist attacks on American soil, the very things that could do the most damage to the economy and markets are not included. Meanwhile, Main Street is focused narrowly on getting the next "fix."

Denial blinds us to many dangers. Like the coming Iranian Petro-Euro Bourse threatening the American dollar's position as the world's reserve currency, a threat potentially more catastrophic than a nuclear arsenal. We deny it.

And recently, we learned of an even bigger threat: about World War III. Seriously, a war is being provoked by loose cannons in America as well as abroad. Irrational, absurd and unwanted, fanatics on both sides are prophesizing an all-out war in the next couple years.

For years America has heard religious fundamentalists predict the "End of Days," Armageddon, an Apocalypse, The Rapture, Tribulation, a final battle prophesized for the Holy Land. Prominent evangelists believe it's coming soon. Many are so convinced their rhetoric may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Until recently this was outside market and economic thinking. That is, until Iranian President Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations in October. His prophecies mirror those of America's evangelists. Ahmadinejad not only hopes for but is trying to provoke both the free world and Islam into war.

Iran's "End-of-Days:" Ahmadinejad passionately believes that in the next couple years the world will witness the "second coming" of the Mahdi, a messianic "hidden 12th imam" of Shiite Islam, prophesized to appear at the "End of Days." Ahmadinejad even embraces his "divine mission" to "pave the way" for the second coming.

Get it! We have ideological fanatics on both sides, like two alcoholics itching for a bar fight. Both sides want a global war, provoking enemies and allies alike. Both pray for an irrational first blow triggering the "End of Days," a WW III nuclear conflict between the world's greatest cultures. Both expect fulfillment of ancient prophecies. Both want a war to end all wars, and the end of the world as we know it.

Irrational? Probably. But remember, these high-risk variables are not programmed into America's economic models and market forecasting systems that Washington, Wall Street and Corporate America throw at you every day. Yet in the hands of fanatics these variables can trigger events that can easily overwhelm entire economies and markets.

Wake up America! Oil's only one minor symptom. We are a nation of addicts, in denial of so many threats external to our bubble world. Mentally we are at greater risk than with the irrational exuberance of 2000. Except this time the threat is global, systemic and potentially catastrophic, far outside the box of our mega-rational economic models and market forecasting systems. Soon your denial system may no longer work, reality will implode.

So please, be prepared for market losses far greater than the $8 trillion we lost between 2000 and 2002. Plan conservatively.


Two of the world's most successful investors say oil will be in short supply in the coming months
Will Iran dispute push oil to $130?
The dollar may fall this March

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

50. He also said, 'Do not let your mouth speak an evil word: the vine does not bear thorns.'

February 14, 2006

(Rev 6:3-4) And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying: Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red. And to him that sat thereon, it was given that he should take peace from the earth: and that they should kill one another. And a great sword was given to him.


Iran notched up the brinksmanship over its disputed nuclear program Monday, abruptly postponing talks with Moscow on a plan to enrich Tehran's uranium on Russian territory to allay fears it is building an atomic weapon.

Diplomats in Europe said Iran had started small-scale enrichment of uranium, a process that can produce fuel for an atomic bomb.

"Uranium gas has been fed into three machines," said a senior diplomat in Vienna, Austria, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the matter. Another diplomat confirmed that limited enrichment had begun at Iran's Natanz site.

State-run Iranian television later reported that Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the national security and foreign relations committee in parliament, said the country had begun peaceful nuclear enrichment activities Monday. Boroujerdi said inspectors from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency were present.


Agency: Iran Document for Nuclear Weapons
Nuke Tests In Iran?
Iran tells nuclear agency to remove seals, cameras
Ahmadinejad: Israel 'will be removed'
Moscow believes Iran has developed a large nuclear device in its “preliminary stage.”
Iran’s suicide bombers threaten to “burn down” U.S. interests


US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites
Iran row: Germany debates military option
Can Israel Take Out the Mullahs' Nukes?
Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al: "We Say to This West... By Allah, You Will Be defeated"
Attack on Iran could lead to Mid-East war

BRIEFING PAPER- Iran: Consequences of a War

REVIEW:  A high-risk game of nuclear chicken

COMMENTARY: Later than we think

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

49. He also said, 'The monk who cannot control his tongue when he is angry, will not control his passions at other times.'

February 10, 2006



Benedict XVI is offering the faithful a plenary indulgence on the World Day of the Sick, February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The indulgence was announced in a decree signed by Cardinal James Stafford, major penitentiary. This year's main celebration of the World Day is to take place at the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier in Adelaide, Australia.

The plenary indulgence is granted to baptized persons who, "according to the prescribed conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, participate devoutly next February 11 in the Cathedral of Adelaide or in any other place established by the ecclesiastical authority in a sacred ceremony celebrated to implore God for the ends of the World Day of the Sick."

Individuals who cannot take part in these celebrations because they are looking after the sick, "especially those whose mental disorder calls for greater patience, diligence and care and, due to their service cannot participate in the ceremony indicated earlier, will obtain the same gift of the plenary indulgence, if on that day they generously give at least for an hour their charitable assistance to the sick as if they did it to the Lord Christ himself (cf. Matthew 25:40)."

Finally, the plenary indulgence may be obtained by those faithful who because of sickness, advanced age or any reason of this sort cannot take part in the ceremony, so long as "they unite themselves spiritually with desire in the mentioned celebration, pray devoutly for all the sick and offer God, through the Virgin Mary, 'health of the sick,' their physical and spiritual sufferings."

Moreover, the decree grants a partial indulgence "to all the faithful, from February 9 to 11, each time that, with a contrite heart, they address devout prayers to the merciful God to implore the mentioned ends of help for the sick."


DOCTOR OF MIRACLES- Interview with Dr. Patrick Theillier, head of the Medical Bureau of Our Lady of Lourdes.

EXCERPT: What is then the spiritual meaning of miracle?

- The reality of miracle depends first of all on our understanding of God's action in the universe. As we know there are people who question the existence of God (atheists) or people who do not ask the question if God exists (agnostics). One can believe that God exists and at the same time one can be convinced that God is completely outside our world. In our cultural sphere people often treat God as a great clockmaker who set the mechanism of the world once and switched himself off. But Christianity claims something different. Man is loved by God who will do anything to show us his love, especially through signs. For example, miracles are such signs.

We often do not notice them because we believe - especially in our materially developed civilisation - that everything depends on what we have at our disposal: our strength, financial resources, material means. Thus we have lost the sense of sacrum which for instance the people of Africa have. When I meet them at various conferences they tell me there are many miracles among them. They say that they do not even mention them since they continuously have them. 'We have not got medicines that the West has so we pray over the sick and they are cured'.


Lourdes: A Medical Perspective
Important Marian Apparitions
The Message of Lourdes
Lourdes: Testimony of healings

LINK: Place your prayer petition at the Grotto of Lourdes

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

48. He also said, 'The chaste monk shall be honoured on earth, and in heaven he will be crowned in the presence of the Most High.'

February 9, 2006

(Luke 8:38-39) Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying: Return to thy house and tell how great things God hath done to thee. And he went through the whole city, publishing how great things Jesus had done to him. 

FROM THE MAILBAG: Reflection by Father Ted

My dearest Lord Jesus, both yesterday and today at Mass You exhorted us to ask the Father, and You and Your most Holy Spirit to help us to love You with all our hearts and to love all men as You love them.

You know how much we need Your help to do both.

Without Your help we cannot do it.

Without Your grace it is impossible to love.

Yet that is why You made us - to love.

You also made Lucifer to love. 

But he rejected this calling. 

He rejected Your graces.

He rejected his vocation.

Because he rejected You who are love, he chose to hate.

He hates You; he hates everyone that You love.

He hates us; he hates Your beloved children.

That is why he strives to tempt us, as he strove to tempt You.

He strives to persuade us to become as miserable as he is.

In today's gospel, You showed to us the effects of his evil efforts.

That man who was possessed by many of Lucifer's associates was miserable.

Although he was without love, at least he behaved that way, You showed him that You loved him. For You came to that region - called the Decapolis - precisely to free him of his misery - of his hatred. 

And You did. 

Then You commanded him to proclaim to his family all that You had done for him. For You wanted his family to also experience Your incredible love.

And he did just what You commanded him to do.

Lord Jesus, help us to be like him. Help us so love You with all our hearts so that we too will proclaim Your love to others. 

May we truly love others as You love them, as You loved the man possessed by Legion.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

46. He also said, 'Fasting is the monk's control over sin. The man who stops fasting is like a stallion who lusts the moment he sees a mare.'

February 8, 2006

February 3, 2006 Fourth Week in Ordinary Time Reading (Sirach 47:2-11) Gospel (St. Mark 6:14-29)

In the readings today, we see three different ways of dealing with sin. The first way that we see we can deal with sin is the style of Herodias. Herodias gave in completely to the sin that she was involved in, which was the sin of adultery, and she was completely unrepentant for what she was doing. Consequently, she wanted to have Saint John the Baptist removed because he was a censure to her conscience. Being completely unrepentant, what she wanted to do was to make it seem as though she was not doing anything wrong, to make it seem as though what she was doing was correct. “I’ll just get rid of John the Baptist, and then nobody will be telling me that what I’m doing is wrong.” The second way is what we see in Herod. He knew that what he was doing was wrong, he did not like what Saint John the Baptist was telling him, but he knew it was the truth – and it bothered him. Yet, because of his circumstances, he still did not want to change his life. He was caught between a rock and a hard place in his own mind. “Should I do what’s right, or should I continue to do what’s wrong? I know that I should do what is right, but I like doing what is wrong, and, well, how am I going to get out of this anyway? I like it, so I’ll keep doing it, even though it bothers my conscience.” After a while, what happens is that the conscience simply becomes numb and then it does not bother us so much anymore.

Then in the first reading, we hear about David. David wanted to serve God. David, as we all know, had sinned in some very severe ways, yet we hear that his sin was forgiven. Why? Because he was repentant, and because he truly sought to serve the Lord.

Those are really the three possibilities of what it is that we can do. When we sin, we can say, “I know that I’m wrong, and I don’t care.” There are not too many people who are going to say that, because what they want to do is justify what they are doing. Even though they know it is wrong, they are going to find a way to say that it is okay. Or we can say, “You’re right and I’m wrong, but I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.” That was Herod’s plight. Or we can say, “You’re right and I’m wrong – and I need to change.” That is what David did. Those are really the only three possibilities that we have.

We have to realize within ourselves as we look at our sinfulness, that all of us are going to fall into one of these categories. We obviously know which one we ought to be in, and it gives us great hope that the sins David committed are probably worse than what most of us have done. That being the case, if David can be forgiven because with his heart he sought to serve the Lord and he was repentant for what he had done, so too our sins can be forgiven. If we try to ignore our sins, or if we try to cover them up, then there is no forgiveness because we are not repentant. The only thing that cannot be forgiven is unrepentance. If we refuse to accept the mercy of God, it is a sin against the Holy Spirit, and we cannot be forgiven if we will not repent. The only limitation in the confessional is our lack of repentance.

So that is the thing we have to look at: how much do we really want to serve God? Are we in the middle someplace trying to play footsie with sin? Or are we just giving in completely to sin and we do not care? There are lots of Catholic in that boat right now because they contracept and they refuse to change and they refuse to acknowledge that it is a sin. They do not bring it up in Confession because they do not even go to Confession. They are just like Herodias looking for a way to get rid of what censures their conscience. Probably a lot of us fall into the middle category: “I know it’s wrong, but I like it.” We go to Confession, but we half-heartedly confess our sin because we really do not intend to change. Then there are those like David, who know that what they have done is wrong, who truly repent of their sin, and their sins are completely removed because their heart is set on God, even though in a moment of weakness they took their heart off of God and acted selfishly and stupidly.

No matter what it is that we have done, if we are repentant, if we truly want to love the Lord, our sins will be forgiven and we will be free of those sins so that we can give even greater glory to God than what we would have been able to without the sin, because then we can acknowledge the mercy of God in our own lives and we can be free to love Him with our whole heart and soul and strength.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

45. Hyperichius said, 'Donkeys are terrified of a lion. So temptations to concupiscence are terrified of an experienced monk.'

February 7, 2006

(Rev 6:9-11) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (Holy and True), dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them one; And it was said to them that they should rest for a little time till their fellow servants and their brethren, who are to be slain even as they, should be filled up.


EXCERPT LAST PUBLISHED LETTER OF FATHER SANTORO: Moreover, Jesus said: "I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness." If his light illuminates us, not only will it illuminate every situation, even the most tragic, but in addition we too, as He always said, will be light. The tenuous light of a candle illuminates a house, an extinguished lamp leaves everything in darkness. May he shine in us with his Word, with his Spirit, with the sap of his saints. May our life be the wax that is consumed willingly.


A Muslim protest over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad turned into a rampage that injured at least 30 people in Beirut yesterday, as outrage over the drawings spread across continents and widened the rift between Islam and the West.

Protesters in the Lebanese capital torched the Danish embassy, clashed with police and stoned a church -- the most violent reaction yet to 12 cartoons lampooning the prophet that first appeared in a Danish newspaper and were reprinted in other media this month.

In Turkey, a Roman Catholic priest was shot dead yesterday in the courtyard of a church, a shooting authorities fear could be linked to the cartoon uproar.

Italian priest Andrea Santoro, 59, was shot twice in the entrance to the Santa Maria Catholic Church in the northern city of Trabzon.

The Vatican's ambassador to Turkey said the gunman shouted, "God is great" as he fired his pistol.

"We don't have much to go on to make a proper interpretation of what happened. However, the only element which a collaborator of Father Santoro's mentioned to me is that the person who killed him shouted, 'Allahu Akhbar,' " Monsignor Antonio Lucibello was quoted as saying by Italy's ANSA news agency. The acclamation, used in prayer, is also employed as a rallying cry by Islamic militants.

CHELSIA.COM REVIEW: Blessed Are the Meek: The Life and Martyrdom of a Priest on Mission in Turkey


Pope prays that blood of slain priest in Turkey becomes 'seeds of hope' for fraternity
A volunteer in Turkey remembers Fr Andrea Santoro
Bishop in Turkey Links Priest's Murder to Muslim Protests
Priest's killing shocks Christians in Turkey

BREAKING! Turkish teen admits priest killing

A teenage student arrested in Turkey over the killing of a Italian priest has reportedly told police he was influenced by European cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad cartoons. The 16-year-old is in police custody in Trabzon, the Black Sea city where Fr Andrea Santoro was shot on Sunday. He was allegedly carrying a gun when arrested.

Violent attacks on Christian clergy are rare in Turkey, which views itself as a bridge between mainly Christian Europe and the predominantly Muslim Middle East. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called on Turkey to, in his words, "neutralise fanatics" after the killing of the priest. But he said the murder should not be allowed to affect Ankara's bid to join the European Union.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

43. She also said, 'The pleasures and riches of the world must not attract you as if they were of any use to you. Because of its pleasure the art of cooking is respected, but by rigoruous fasting you should trample on that pleasure. Never have enough bread to satisfy you and do not long for wine.'

February 6, 2006

(Mat 6:33) Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.


Even in ordinary times, it’s hard to think of Pittsburgh as just one word — “Steelers” automatically follows. And in this week of Super Bowl mania, “Go Steelers” chants are flying heavenward as fast as Hail Marys.

Just as inseparable from Pittsburgh and Steelers is “Rooney.” The Rooney family is part of the package, and Dan Rooney has succeeded his father, the late Art Rooney Sr., as the family patriarch.

“The Rooney family has been a vital part of the life of the Catholic Church here in Pittsburgh for so many years,” said Bishop Donald Wuerl.

“Art Rooney, ‘the Chief,’ was a legendary figure, a dedicated Catholic whose acts of charity defined the man. Dan Rooney, though a private man who does nothing to promote himself, is a fixture in the diocese. The Holy Family Institute, the Cardinal Wright Regional School, Catholic Charities — the list goes on and on. His faith and his values permeate the Pittsburgh Steelers organization which is the real reason why, win or lose, the Steelers are so important to our city and region.” The Rooney family’s — and through them the Steelers organization — support of good causes in Pittsburgh is a litany of foundations: Boys & Girls Club; Cancer Caring Center; Catholic Charities; Catholic Youth Association; Central Blood Bank; Children’s Hospital; Duquesne University Mind, Heart and Spirit Award; Extra Mile Education Foundation; For Kids Sake; Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank; Holy Family Institute; Make-A-Wish; Salvation Army-Project Bundle-Up; United Way; and many others have benefited.

Father Kris Stubna, diocesan secretary for education, singled out Rooney’s support of Catholic schools over the years.

“For so many years now, Dan Rooney has been a great friend to Catholic education. Certainly he has provided enormous support for countless initiatives like the Bishop’s Education Fund, the North Side Friends and Neighbors, the Extra Mile Education Association, North Catholic and Cardinal Wright Regional School and others. But more important, Dan has invested himself personally in our efforts,” Father Stubna said.

“He loves children and youth and has been for them a model of everything that is good about being a person of faith. He models for all he meets his love for the church, especially the Eucharist, and his desire to serve the needs of others in whatever way he can. Dan Rooney is a man of tremendous faith and great compassion, and it is always a joy to interact with him,” he said.


At St. Sylvester Catholic Church in Brentwood, teenagers will begin preparing for Super Bowl Sunday tonight by fasting.

It's not to give the Steelers a spiritual edge -- they've done this every Super Bowl Eve for a decade. Tomorrow, with youth from more than 10,000 churches nationwide they will collect money after services for the Souper Bowl of Caring. Parishioners are asked for $1. All of the money goes to charities that the young people choose.

"They love it. Some of them hesitate at first because of the fasting, but they are always amazed at how easy it is," said Suzanne Maloney, the youth minister.

The 15 young people typically raise $1,500 to $2,000 from pledges and offerings put into the soup bowls after Mass. This year the money will be split between the Brentwood Food Pantry, a parish fund for people with emergency needs and to Catholic Relief Services for work in Peru.

Pennsylvania has more participants than any other state, said the Rev. Brad Smith, Souper Bowl founder and a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Last year about 1,300 Pennsylvania congregations and schools raised more than $300,000. The Souper Bowl of Caring raised $4 million in 2005, and about $28 million since it began 1990.

The idea came from a prayer he offered on Super Bowl Sunday 1988, as a seminarian-intern at a church in Columbia, S.C.: "Lord, as we enjoy this Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without even a bowl of soup to eat."

The homonym ate at him through the rest of seminary. He conceived the idea of teens asking people to give $1 to feed the hungry that day, and giving all of the money to local charities. Churches are the dominant participants. But other faith groups are welcome and some public schools take collections. All that's required is to take the collection, give it away and report the total to or 1-800-358-SOUP.

At Park Place AME Church in Homestead, Marion Morton is thrilled that this year's collection will go to a sister African Methodist Episcopal Church in hurricane-devasted Mississippi.

"Usually we've given it to shelters and things like that, but this year it came on my heart because our church has been helping" Gulf Coast churches, said Ms. Morton, who works with the Young People's Division of the missionary organization at Park Place. Her wish became reality last week, when she attended a missionary convention in Cincinnati and met her counterpart from a church in Gulfport.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

42. Syncletica said, 'Bodily  poison is cured by still stronger antidotes; so fasting and prayer drive sordid temptation from us.'

February 3, 2006 



Sunday, January 22, 2006 During prayer of the rosary at adoration of the most Blessed Sacrament.

BVM to db

My child do not be disturbed. Have faith in God and trust in my Son, Jesus.

Our Lord to db

There are difficult days to come. Do not fear but have faith. Do not be disturbed or distracted by the events that will occur but persevere in your response to the requests of the Virgin. Hearken to her plea to prepare well. Do not doubt or delay but be faithful in your response. Have faith, trust what is revealed and made known to you. You in turn must help and care for those entrusted to you.


Over the years there has been a constant statement from our Lady.

Pray and prepare.

Without prayer, all preparations are useless.

Without conversion, all preparations will fail.

Without God, we toil in vain.


I would like to encourage everyone to review the following information. I encourage everyone to put their hearts and homes in order. I encourage everyone to amend their lives to respond fully to the gospel message to repent and return to God. I also encourage everyone to complete their preparations for emergency preparedness as soon as practicable and to maintain them thereafter. This is not a time for panic, but rather for preparedness. Once prepared, spiritually and temporally, there is no need for panic or fear. The gospels tell us that where fear exists love has not been perfected. Let us pray the Holy Spirit may come and bring to perfection in each of us the Love of God.

Come Holy Spirit! Come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

I have been trying to think of away to clearly express what I am encouraging everyone to do. The best thing I have come up with is to share with you what I am doing. I am not advocating or encouraging extreme measures. I don't have a bomb shelter or any other type shelter for that matter. I don't have a biological or radioactive protective suit. I don't have 3, 4, or 100 year supply of food and supplies. NOR due I believe our Lord or Lady has or will advocate such for everybody. We do have in our home those religious supplies that allow us to participate in an ordinary life of faith advocated by the Church and encouraged by our Lady and temporal supplies that enable us to be self sufficient for about 2-3 weeks.

I am encouraging everyone to keep a supply of food, medicine, etc. that would allow a family to be self sufficient for a period of 2 weeks regardless of the season (hot or cold). If you are in a position to set aside an additional amount to share with friends, family, neighbors or anyone in need - great. The most important thing in these times or at any time in the history of humanity for that matter is to be spiritually prepared. We are called to live each moment as it might be our last. Simply because it could. This is true now and always. A simple fact of life is that we are all going to die at some point. It should be remembered that we live in the womb of time awaiting birth into eternity. The best is yet to come!!!

There are people in Rome who gather each morning at the Vatican at what is called the Bronze Door. If you have ever been blessed to go to Rome to Saint Peter's Basilica, the Bronze door is to the right of Saint Peter's Basilica. You will typically see a small crowd gathered at the door most of the time taking pictures of the Swiss Guard. Anyhow, a select few gather at the door each morning between 6:30 -6:45. They have been invited to attend Mass with the Holy Father in his private chapel. The people are excited, anxious, dressed in there best, pious, etc. My wife and I were blessed several years ago to pass through the Bronze Door. That blessed event has influenced us in many ways, but me in particular with my view of death. Each of us should be just as excited and prepared to pass through the "Golden Door" that leads to life eternal whenever we are called. We should be prepared as best we can at all times to participate in the Eternal Sacrifice and Banquet with Christ Himself.

So, through prayer and reception of the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, make your spiritual preparations FIRST, then by the light and grace of God, you will know and understand what preparations to undertake - if any.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

39. Sisois once said with confidence, 'For thirty years I have not prayed to God without sin. When I pray, I say "Lord Jesus Christ, protect me from my tongue." Even now, it causes me to fall every day.'

February 2, 2006 

(Luke 18:8) I say to you that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? 


An Italian atheist is suing a parish priest for saying Jesus Christ existed.

The hearing in a court in Viterbo, a city located in a valley 25 miles northwest of Rome, opened Friday and could take weeks to decide. Luigi Cascioli, 72, a lifelong atheist, is suing the Rev. Enrico Righi, 75, a local parish priest.

The case has opened debate here over whether it's appropriate for a civil court to decide matters of religious faith.

To some Italians, the case is a sign of growing secularism in their society. "I don't think this belongs in the court, and it never would have got there if the church was held in high esteem, as it used to be," retired Roman teacher Lana Napoli, 62, says.

"I don't think I would want the church deciding on taxes or foreign policy," said Federico Massaroti, 35, a city worker in Rome. "Why should the court worry about a religious topic?"

Cascioli filed a civil suit against Righi in 2002 citing an Italian anti-fraud law designed to target advertisements that make unrealistic health or beauty claims. Righi wrote in a church newsletter that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a couple named Mary and Joseph and that he lived in Nazareth. Cascioli's lawsuit claims the statement was an "abuse of popular belief."

"The court will have to decide whether the statements Father Righi made were indeed fraudulent to decide whether the case has merit," says Antonio Schieppati, a retired director of the law faculty at the University of Rome and a legal consultant. "It has to make a judgment about the existence of Christ. As far as I know, no court has ever been required to do such a thing." 

COMMENTARY: The Jesus trial


A French newspaper has published Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that have stirred outrage in the Muslim world. France-Soir newspaper says it is simply defending freedom of expression.

France-Soir plastered its own cartoon on its front page - spoofing not only the prophet Mohammed, but also Buddha, Jehovah and Jesus. The French newspaper wrote in a large headline, "Yes, one has the right to make fun of God." Inside its pages, the newspaper ran all of the controversial cartoons of Mohammed that appeared in a Danish daily in September.

In an editorial, France-Soir defended its action as defending freedom of expression and reporting on a major subject of controversy.


Is God dead in Europe?
Australia: Catholic teachings 'irrelevant'
Catholic Church in the Caribbean is in a state of decline
Is Georgetown University Still Catholic?

MORE: God, Religion ... Whatever -- Are Our Churchgoing Youth Falling Away from the Faith?

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

28. Macarius the Great said, 'If you are stirred to anger when you want to reprove someone, you are gratifying your own passions. Do not lose yourself in order to save another.'

February 1, 2006 

(1Jo 4:16) And we have known and have believed the charity which God hath to us. God is charity: and he that abideth in charity abideth in God, and God in him. 

“God is Love” What Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical says to the pro-life movement 
by Fr. Frank Pavone

Link to Pope's Encyclical: 


Eros and Agape
Love is God's gift, proclaims encyclical


One Bread, One Body contains daily teachings based on the Catholic Church's readings for daily Mass. In keeping with the purpose of the publisher, Presentation Ministries, each issue of One Bread, One Body is sent to the Chancery for review. There it receives the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur, which are your assurance that the teachings are not contrary to official Church teaching.

Sample Commentary: "Since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die." —2 Samuel 12:14

We need Nathans and John the Baptizers to prophesy to a society wallowing in sexual sin. We don't hear much talk about the sins of adultery and fornication but only about the "new sins" of getting sexually transmitted diseases or getting pregnant. We used to hear about grace to overcome sexual temptations. Now we hear about condoms so as to be overcome by temptations. Who will stand not only for purity, but sanity?

Who will speak of repentance and commitment to Jesus? We need Savior-education rather than safe sex-education. Who will love the adulterous Davids, Herods, and Herodiases of today enough to tell them the truth? Nathan's prophecy was accepted, and David repented. John's stand for purity was rejected, and he was beheaded.

Whether our prophetic witness for purity is accepted or rejected, we must love people enough to warn them of their self-destructive sexual sin. The only "safe sex" is sex between a man and a woman in marriage. All other sexual relations cause extensive spiritual and psychological damage. In sexual relations, the members of the one become the members of the other (1 Cor 6:15-16). In marriage, this sexual bonding is good. Outside marriage, it is a bondage which damages the very core of a person's being. As bad as the damage caused by sexually transmitted diseases is, that damage is not as bad as the spiritual damage caused by fornication and adultery (see 1 Cor 6:18). We must repent, be pure, and prophesy for purity.

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The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control

22. One of the brothers asked Isidore, the priest of Scetis, 'Why are the demons so afraid of you?' He said, 'Ever since I became a monk, I have been trying not to let anger rise as far as my mouth.' 

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