Keep your eyes open!...


February 24, 2009  

(Ecc 3:1-7) All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

VATICAN: Pope Benedict's 2009 Message for Lent

ON FASTING:  Self restraint in order to leave room for God

MEDITATION: A season of hope - Lent - awaits us, offering full life by Bishop Robert Vasa


The TRIB TIMES will not be updated again this year during the Lenten season, extending to the first week after Easter.  My computer time will be limited to 30 minutes each morning and evening during Lent. I will read all emails I receive, and will answer all that I can, time permitting.  I may also occasionally email non-reformatted news articles to Trib Times subscribers that I find to be of particular interest. But barring a major event, the Trib Times web page itself will not be updated. 

I apologize to all who have recently subscribed but will keep your email information for use after my return.  God willing, the next issue of the Trib Times should be shortly after Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19, 2009.  Please keep me in your prayers, and be assured that I will do the same.

I recommend the following links to keep up with unfolding events:

Catholic News

Signs of the Times

Readings & Meditations for Lent & Holy Week

Newer subscribers may also be interested in a meditation that first appeared in the Trib Times in 2004, The Pain of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

19. Certain learned men have well defined renunciation, by saying that it is hostility to the body and a fight against the stomach.  

 February 20, 2009    


(Php 4:6-7) Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

COMMENTARY: The Crucial Test for the Pontificate of Benedict XVI

PETITION:  International letter of support for the Pope Benedict XVI


A press conference was held to present a forthcoming academic congress entitled: "New frontiers of genetics and the dangers of eugenics". The congress, promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life for the occasion of its twenty- fifth general assembly, is due to take place in the Vatican's New Synod Hall on 20 and 21 February.

Participating in today's presentation were Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, respectively president and chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and Bruno Dallapiccola, professor of genetic medicine at Rome's "La Sapienza" University.

"The congress will be attended", Archbishop Fisichella explained, "by scientists from a number of universities, who will examine the question from various points of view: from the strictly biomedical to the legal; from the philosophical and theological to the sociological".

"Thanks to the great work undertaken over the last ten years, above all that of Francis Collins on the Human Genome Project, it is possible to map thousands of genes and thus achieve an understanding of various types of disease; this often offers a real possibility of overcoming heredity ailments".

"The aim of this congress is to verify whether, in the field genetic experimentation, there are aspects that tend towards - or effectively implement - eugenic practices", said the archbishop. Such practices "find expression in various scientific, biological, medical, social and political projects, all of them more or less interrelated. These projects require an ethical judgement, especially when it is sought to suggest that eugenic practices are being undertaken in the name of a 'normality' of life to offer to individuals".

"Such a mentality, which is certainly reductive but does exist, tends to consider that some people are less valuable than others, either because of the conditions in which they live, such as poverty or lack of education, or because of their physical state, for example the disabled, the mentally ill, people in a 'vegetative state', or the elderly who suffer serious disease".

"Not always do the requirements of medical science meet with the approval philosophers or theologians", said the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. "If, on the one hand, certain people frequently succumb to the temptation to consider the body in purely material terms, on the other, a concern to ensure the fundamental unity of each individual ... is something that must not be marginalised or overlooked".


Vatican condemns embryo stem cell research, cloning
Vatican warns of ethical risks with gene progress
Stem Cell Therapy Boy Develops Tumors
Obama to lift ban on stem cell research soon
First Extinct-Animal Clone Created
Human Clones: One Step Closer

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

18. Do not trust that because of abstinence you will not fall. One who had never eaten was cast from Heaven. 

February 19, 2009

(Eph 6:11-13) Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect.

VATICAN STATEMENT ON POPE BENEDICT XVI- PELOSI AUDIENCE:  His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.


ST. LOUIS BISHOPLax Catholics, Satan behind pro-abortion officials

HEADLINE: Exorcist: Devil Influences Abortion Industry

An exorcist authorized to perform exorcisms in several dioceses spoke at a religious ministry luncheon recently, explaining the basics of exorcism and its connection with abortion.

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International and an exorcist, spoke at a luncheon hosted by In His Sign Network (IHS). He is an exorcist authorized to perform exorcisms in several states, and highlighted the connection between the abortion industry and demonic influence.

"Abortion is a demonic industry," he told The Bulletin. "Abortion is blood sacrifice of innocent blood to the devil. The clinics are like temples, the doctors are like priests, the medical table is like their altar. It's a ritualized sacrifice. They have a dogma called choice, a hierarchy called Planned Parenthood, and guardian angels in the form of police guards that will arrest you if you try to stop them."

He said that there have been abortionists who have called abortion "their sacrament." Fr. Euteneuer advocates prayer as a necessary step to successfully fighting abortion.

"Abortion is a spiritual evil," he said. "If we are to beat it, we can't just fight it in the political realm. It derives its power from below. To confront a force this strong, you need a massive amount of prayer. That's why I like the 40 Days For Life group, because they bring us what we need where we need it."


Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington DC have been completely destroyed by Atomic Weapons. Witnesses have gone into all these cities and have not found one survivor. It is estimated that around 50 million have been terminated by this legal process. Apparently, overnight the US government made it legal to use these weapons of mass destruction on all these innocent people in these seven cities without their permission. Officials stated that because of the new law which was approved by the Supreme Court just last night, makes it legal for the government to decide at its convenience which cities in the US will survive if not needed. They also stated that none of the cities were really cities, but were just large collections of cells, and that there was no pain as the destruction came quickly, completely and with almost clinical skill. Some officials thought that perhaps this was not really a good thing to do, but it was legal, and so after choosing the cities that seemed to contribute the least to the economy and no longer needed were terminated for the good and convenience of all the other cities. Most people contacted by TDN (The Devils News) stated that it was something they would personally not choose. On the other hand, most felt that the government should have the right to make these choices if they wished; after all, it was the law and everyone should be pro-choice, especial when it came to laws and legal things.

Abortion is a weapon of mass destruction. The populations of the above seven cities is approximately 50 million. Over 50 million innocent unborn babies have been terminated (legally) in the USA after Roe VS Wade and will never walk this earth, learn to love from their parents or even play with a toy. They will never go to school, and will never be there when their parents may need them later in life. God will not be mocked, and soon will expect payment for all this legal carnage. It is easy to understand why people don't value life any more. After all, it's just a collection of cells!

Don't we have wonderful laws?
Pray for the USA – it needs it even more now than ever before.

HEARTBREAKING: A botched abortion in mother's own words

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

17. Throughout your life, do not trust your body, and do not rely on it till you stand before Christ. 

February 18, 2009

(Rev 19:3-6) And again they said: Alleluia. And her smoke ascendeth for ever and ever. And the four and twenty ancients and the four living creatures fell down and adored God that sitteth upon the throne, saying: Amen. Alleluia. And a voice came out from the throne, saying: Give praise to our God, all ye his servants: and you that fear him, little and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying: Alleluia: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, hath reigned. 


A: The following discussion is derived from an explanation of Septuagesima Sunday, an observance dropped from the calendar as revised by the Second Vatican Council but still in use in the traditional calendars. Previously it was on Septuagesima Sunday on which the canticle of the Lord, Alleluja, ceased to be said. Since 1970 the omission of "Alleluia" in the liturgy does not start until Ash Wednesday. 

VIA Dom Gueranger though Our holy mother the Church knows how necessary it is for her to rouse our hearts from their lethargy, and give them an active tendency towards the things of God. On this day, the eve of Septuagesima, she uses a powerful means for infusing her own spirit into the minds of her children. She takes the song of heaven away from us: she forbids our further uttering that Alleluia, which is so dear to us, as giving us a fellowship with the choirs of angels, who are for ever repeating it. How is it that we poor mortals, sinners, and exiles on earth, have dared to become so familiar with this hymn of a better land? It is true, our Emmanuel, who established peace between God and men, brought it us from heaven on the glad night of His Birth; and we have had the courage to repeat it after the angels, and shall chant it with renewed enthusiasm when we reach our Easter. But to sing the Alleluia worthily, we must have our hearts set on the country whence it came. It is not a mere word, nor a profane unmeaning melody; it is the song that recalls the land we are banished from, it is the sweet sigh of the soul longing to be at home.

The word Alleluia signifies praise God: but it says much more than this, and says it as no other word or words could. The Church is not going to interrupt her giving praise to God during these nine weeks. She will replace this heaven-lent word by a formula also expressive of praise: Laus tibi, Domine, Rex aeternae gloria! Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory! But this is the language of earth; whereas Alleluia was sent us from heaven. ' Alleluia,' says the devout Abbot Rupert, ' is like stranger amidst our other words. Its mysterious beauty is as though a drop of heaven's overflowing joy had fallen down on our earth. The patriarchs and prophets relished it, and then the Holy Ghost put it on the lips of the apostles, from whom it flowed even to us. It signifies the eternal feast of the angels and saints, which consists in their endless praise of God on whose face they are to gaze for everlasting ages. This mortal life of ours can in no wise attain such bliss as this. But, to know where it is to be found, and to have a foretaste of it by the happiness of hope, and to hunger and thirst for what we thus taste, this is the perfection of saints here below. For this reason, the word Alleluia has not been translated; it has been left in its original Hebrew, as a stranger to tell us that there is a joy in his native land, which could not dwell in ours: he has come among us to signify, rather than to express that joy.'

During this season of Septuagesima, we have to gain a clear knowledge of the miseries of our banishment, under pain of being left for ever in this tyrant Babylon. It was, therefore, necessary that we should be put on our guard against the allurements of our place of exile. It is with this view that the Church, taking pity on our blindness and our dangers, gives us this solemn warning. By taking from us our Alleluia, she virtually tells us that our lips must first be cleansed, before they again be permitted to utter this word of angels and saints; and that our hearts, defiled as they are by sin and attachment to earthly things, must be purified by repentance. She is going to put before our eyes the sad spectacle of the fall of our first parents, that dire event whence came all our woes, and our need of Redemption. This tender mother weeps over us, and would have us weep with her.


Traditionalist bishop sees problems in setting aside doctrinal differences with Pope
Linz auxiliary bishop-designate Gerhard Maria Wagner has asked Pope Benedict XVI to withdraw him from nomination for promotion
Schönborn claims Pope had given nod to Wagner withdrawal
Interview with Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, SSPX

LINK: SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson Blog: The "Re-incommunication"


Catholic tradition revived
WHAT? Catholics are curious about how indulgences work
Granting of special indulgences part of Catholic tradition of purification, helping others

RELATED BOOKLET: Church of Saint Paul the Apostle

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

16. A fox pretends to be asleep, and the body and demons pretend to be chaste; the former in order to deceive a bird, and the latter in order to destroy a soul. 

February 17, 2009

(Psa 103:12-14) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our iniquities from us. As a father hath compassion on his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear him: For he knoweth our frame. He remembereth that we are dust:

POPE BENEDICT XVI: Confessing our sins restores us to communion with the Father

EXCERPT COMMENTARY: Feeling guilty? Maybe there's a reason by Fr. Vincent Hawkswell

To be objectively guilty of wrongdoing means to have done something which is wrong in a sense which is independent of the wrongdoer: wrong whether or not we know it, admit it, or feel it. To be subjectively guilty of wrongdoing means to have done something wrong through our own fault, at least partly.

The bad news is that we have all sinned, both objectively and subjectively. The good news is that we can all be forgiven.

Many people think that when God forgives us our wrongdoing He excuses or overlooks it. They think that God forgives us because what we have done is excusable, or only slightly wrong.

No; God freely forgives the inexcusable wrong we have done, no matter how great it is. He knows what excuses there are: how much we were tempted, how afraid we were to do what was right, how much we resisted, how thoroughly we knew what we were doing, how fully we consented. He excuses whatever can be excused.

What He forgives is the deliberate, inexcusable offence that remains after all the excuses. He does not ignore it or overlook it, no matter how trivial we think it.

To reconcile us with Himself, God "made Christ to be sin," St. Paul said. When Christ took on our sins, God certainly did not ignore them or overlook them: He allowed His own Son to suffer what they deserved.

Some years ago, when I wrote an article about sin, a woman wrote back saying that surely the Church wants us to focus not on obeying the Ten Commandments, but on building a loving personal relationship with God. I replied that sin is precisely what damages or even breaks off a loving personal relationship with God. To restore that relationship, we first have to examine our consciences with respect to sin.

Many of us use a standard list of sins to help us determine our objective guilt. As we read it, we might wonder how we can possibly avoid committing sins when there are so many.

However, we must not give way to scrupulosity, always wondering and worrying whether we have committed a sin. This is a real temptation for some people. It is the devil's way of getting us to focus on our sins instead of on God.

On the other hand, we might find that we commit very few of the sins listed, or that we do not commit them very often. However, we must never presume we are good enough. We cannot enter heaven clinging to even one sin; we must repent and reject every one.

As Pope John Paul II said in Veritatis Splendor, with every freely committed sin, we offend God as the giver of the law, and as a result become guilty with regard to the entire law.

An examination of conscience should neither scare us nor reassure us, but help us repent, go to confession, make amends, and make the necessary changes in our lives. We should all go to confession frequently, but especially during the penitential season of Lent, now fast approaching.

If we commit mortal sins, we are required by Church law to confess them to a priest at least once a year, and we may never receive Holy Communion until we have done so.

In the sacrament of penance, God brushes away our offences "like a cloud," our sins "like the morning mist," as the Prophet Isaiah says.

After confession, we can say with the glad confidence of the psalmist, "Then I acknowledged my sin to You; my guilt I covered not. I said, `I confess my faults to the Lord,' and You took away the guilt of my sin."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

12. He who drives away this dog by prayer is like is like someone fighting with a lion; he who subdues it by resistance is someone still pursuing his enemy; but he who has once for all reduced its assault to nothing, even though he is still in the flesh, is as one who has already risen from his coffin. 

February 13, 2009


(Luke 22:19-20) And taking bread, he gave thanks and brake and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner, the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.

VIA Christian Witness: The Holy Souls Will Repay us a Thousand Times Over

Cabio: The Power of the Mass

At the hour of death the Holy Masses you have heard devoutly will be your greatest consolation.

Every Mass will go with you to Judgement and will plead for pardon for you.

By every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins, more or less, according to your fervour.

By devoutly assisting at Holy Mass you render the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.

Through the Holy Sacrifice, Our Lord Jesus Christ supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.

He forgives you all the venial sins which you are determined to avoid. He forgives you all your unknown sins which you never confessed. The power of Satan over you is diminished.

By piously hearing Holy Mass you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.

Through Holy Mass you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass.

Through the Holy Mass you are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

When you hear Holy Mass devoutly, offering it to Almighty God in honour of any particular Saint or Angel, thanking God for the favours bestowed on him, etc., you afford that Saint or Angel a new degree of honour, joy and happiness, and draw his special love and protection on yourself.

Every time you assist at Holy Mass, besides other intentions, you should offer it in honor of the Saint of the day.

Quotations Regarding the Mass

"The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!" - Pope Paul VI

For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death. (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).

A great doctor of the Church, St. Anself, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.

St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than many after it.

"The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death" - Pope Benedict XV

Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord "How can I thank you?" Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS."

The Blessed Virgin Mary once told Her faithful servant Alain: "My Son so loves those who assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that, if it were necessary He would die for them as many times as they've heard Masses."

"When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary - a joy, a fragrance, a well being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt."
"If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy."
"There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us." 
When we have been to Holy Communion, the balm of love envelops the soul as the flower envelops the bee." - Saint Jean Vianney
"The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross." - Saint Thomas Aquinas
"It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass." - Saint Pio
"The heavens open and multitudes of angels come to assist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." - Saint Gregory
"The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass." - Saint Augustine
"When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the divine victim immolated on the altar." - Saint John Crysostom

VIA Dave: This is an excellent video and it is FREE to watch. Archbishop Fulton J Sheen gives an excellent presentation on the meaning of the Mass to a young audience.
You may find this video helpful if you need to explain the Mass to your children or grandchildren.

Link: http://www.keepthef video_feature. htm#A_Family_ Retreat_

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

7. Let no one thoroughly trained in purity attribute its attainment to himself. For it is impossible for anyone to conquer his own nature. When nature is defeated, it should be recognized that this is due to the presence of Him who is above nature. For beyond all dispute, the weaker gives way to the stronger. 

February 12, 2009

(Rom 11:25-27) For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery (lest you should be wise in your own conceits) that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is to them my covenant: when I shall take away their sins.


Pope to address Jews after bishop denies Holocaust
Society of Saint Pius X Distances Itself from Holocaust Denial
Latest Interview With Bishop Richard Williamson
Is the End of the Williamson Furor in Sight?

VIA INSIDE THE VATICAN: The Rest of the Story -- Lefebvre's Father

But in this brief newsflash, we thought it right to make a point which has not received sufficient attention in the midst of the tumult.

That point is that the man at the remote origin of this entire controversy, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, .who in 1988 consecrated Williamson a bishop, along with the three others, in order to ensure the continuation of his Pius X Society after his death (he died in 1991), experienced "in his own flesh," as it were, the same cruelty millions of Jews experienced prior to and during the Second World War: his own father died in a Nazi concentration camp.

COMMENTARY: Benedict's tragedy, and Israel's

SUPPORTING POPE BENEDICT XVI: Second International Declaration in Support of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI


EU Presidency statement on the election result in Israel

The European Union considers Israel one of its important partners and looks forward to further developing this relationship. In particular, it looks forward to working with the new Israeli administration to achieve the most important goal of all – a peaceful resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. We hope that the new Israeli government will honour the obligations taken by Israel under the Roadmap and at Annapolis and refrain from measures rendering a two-state solution impossible.

The Presidency encourages the incoming Israeli government to pursue all efforts leading towards the creation of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side with Israel in peace and security.

The European Union, in close cooperation with its partners in the Quartet and in the region, stands ready to offer all its support in this process and to promote security and peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike.


Election comes at pivotal moment in Israeli history
Israel faces gridlock, peace prospects dim
Palestinian Figure Fears Israeli Election Hinders Peace Efforts
Europe fearful about impact of Israeli elections
Israel's Election Dashes Hopes for Peace
Extremist leader will emerge as kingmaker

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

6. The rule and limit of absolute and perfect purity is to be equally disposed towards animate and inanimate bodies, rational and irrational. 

February 11, 2009

(John 2:3-5) And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: Pope: Let us pray for the sick, especially those completely dependent on care of others

Absence of God Man's Worst Sickness

LINK: Place your petition at the Grotto of Lourdes


A Moment with Mary: Charlemagne, Mary's Son (II)

In 778, Charlemagne was ready to surrender, wearied by the obstinate resistance of the Saracen Lord Mirat in the citadel of Mirambel (the current site of Lourdes). He was on the very point of raising the siege, when his companion Turpin, bishop of Puy-en-Velay, had an inspiration and obtained the authorization to negotiate with the besieged. Turpin proposed to Mirat to surrender, not to the sovereign, but to the Queen of Heaven.

The proposal actually pleased the Moor chief who laid down his weapons at the feet of the Black Madonna of the Puy and asked to be baptized. The day of his baptism, Mirat took the name of Lorus which, transmitted to the city, became Lourdes at a later date. One thousand years before Saint Bernadette, the Blessed Virgin had already taken official possession of the place where she would one day appear.

VIA Manilla Bulletin Online: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick

We celebrate today the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was on February 11, 1858, that the Blessed Mother first appeared to a 14-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France.

It was a week before Ash Wednesday when the mother of Bernadette noticed that they had run out of firewood in the house. Bernadette and her sister Toinette volunteered to go and pick up branches at the riverside. At first, the mother expressed her disapproval because of the bad weather. Jeane Abadie, their neighbor, offered to go with the two children and the mother consented. They decided to go southward to Merlasse.

When they reached the end of the Monsieur de la Fittes field, nearly opposite the grotto of Massabieille, her companions left Bernadette behind because she was reluctant to cross the cold river due to her constant poor health. Soon afterwards, she heard a rustling noise and caught sight of a beautiful lady in a hollow of the Massabieille rock. Bernadette fell to her knees and prayed the Rosary. The lady identified herself as the "Immaculate Conception'' and requested that a church be built on that site. The apparition was followed by 17 more until July 16, 1858.

It was on February 25 that the young Bernadette was told by the lady to scratch at the ground. The lady then asked her to drink and wash in a spring that came up. In a matter of days, the spring began to be the source of many miraculous occurrences.

The water still flows today, and continues to be a source of God's healing through the Blessed Mother's intercession for many people. This is why Pope John Paul II pronounced that February 11, the day the Blessed Mother first appeared to Bernadette in 1858, be specially designated as the World Day of the Sick. The apparition was finally approved by the Church in 1862 and a church in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary was dedicated in 1901. The grotto of Lourdes in France is now one of the most visited pilgrim sites in the whole world.

In the Litany of Loreto, one of the titles attributed to the Blessed Mother is "Health of the Sick.'' It is not Mary who heals the sick. It is her Son Jesus Christ who brings about healing to many people. Mary just allows herself to be used as an instrument of God's grace of healing.

On this feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Lourdes, may we receive the healing grace of God through her. Moreover, like Mary, let us allow God to use us as his instruments of healing to all those in need of this grace. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

LINK: Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes 

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

5. He is chaste who has continually acquired perfect insensibility to difference in bodies. 

February 10, 2009

(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.

COMMENTARY: Our economic depression: Sowing and reaping

In this economic crisis, is there a word from God, and if there is what is it? There were economic depression crises experienced in the Old Testament and the New Testament by God's nation and God's church. Sometimes it was a judgment of God upon his nation and included a call from God for true repentance with the assurance that God would respond and intervene (see 2 Chronicles 7:13-14). Sometimes it was the opportunity for the more fortunate to respond with concern and sacrifice towards persons in great financial need (Acts 11:27-30).

In Psalm 11:3 the question is asked, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Now and in the future of this crisis many will feel that the foundations they have been relying upon are crumbling beneath them. I will emphasize now only one response I am sure we all need to make. Let's allow this crisis to bring us to our knees in prayer. You may say, "That's too simple!" The Bible says about the Disciple Peter, "But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!' " (Matthew 14:30). Prayer is our first way of involving God and God's first way of involving us in a crisis. We may do more than pray after we have prayed. But we cannot do anything more important than pray. What is more practical and simple than Jesus teaching us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11)?

Yes, we must pray for ourselves and our needs when our foundations are being destroyed. We must intercede for others whose foundations are being destroyed. But, also, we must pray diligently for the "decision makers" in our National Government who are responsible for economic leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-3). This includes our new President, but probably even more so for the President's National Economic Council, the treasurer, the responsible committees, the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is serious business. Some admit that they do not have the answers. Do not consider that your prayers are not important. They are and they are important now!


The deeper one's faith, the greater one's generosity, cardinal says
Time to reassess our values: Pell
Fr. Hesburgh remembers tough times during Great Depression

HEADLINE: IMF Says Advanced Economies Already in Depression

Advanced economies are already in a "depression" and the financial crisis may deepen unless the banking system is fixed, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said.

"The worst cannot be ruled out," Strauss-Kahn said in Kuala Lumpur, where he was attending a gathering of central bankers from Southeast Asia. "There's a lot of downside risk."

Ten days ago, the IMF cut its world-growth estimate for this year to 0.5 percent, the weakest pace since World War II. Stimulus packages alone won't succeed in dragging the global economy out of recession unless confidence is restored in the banking system, Strauss-Kahn said today.

"All this will work if, and only if, the different countries are likely to do what they have to do in terms of restructuring the banking sector," he said. "And today it's not done."

The U.S. economy has lost 3.57 million jobs since a recession started in December 2007, its biggest employment slump of any economic contraction in the postwar period as companies from Macy's Inc. to Caterpillar Inc. cut costs. The U.K. economy will shrink this year by the most since 1946, the IMF forecasts.

"There is hope that the fiscal and monetary stimulus measures being implemented around the world can help turn things around," said David Cohen, Singapore-based director of Asian economic forecasting at Action Economics. "But there is still the risk it can be short-circuited by further financial turmoil."


Depression Survivors Lend Perspective on Economic Crisis

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Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

4. He is chaste who, even during sleep, feels no movement or change of any kind in his constitution. 

February 5, 2009


(Mat 11:28-30) Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

OVERCOMING: Where faith has been constantly put to test

To the tourists, Son La is a beautiful, alluring mountainous site situated deep in the primeval forest of Northeast corner of North Vietnam. To the Catholic Church, Son La is a place where faith has been constantly put to test by the government whose determination to abolish Christian faith in the heart and mind of the locals always seems to be at highest level compared to the rest of the country. Yet they are unable to achieve their goal despite all effort to separate Catholic faithful from their God, thanks to the un-yielding belief of the mountaineers whose lives is a true story of good conquering evil.

PERSPECTIVES: An Atheist Returns to Christ

MORE: Priest: Journey is what's important

Abbas Anthony: MOTIVATION ~ The Holy Rosary of our Lady

The more I live in this fallen world, the more I am seeing the value and neediness that our Lady has revealed to us with respect to the Rosary. The more I sense the internal spiritual need we have for a true Mother, as we have a true Father God; as was also seen in the early Church (and has been reflected in the Church through the ages). The Mother we have is not a "goddess," but she is the woman filled with the fulness of Grace, as spoken of by St. Luke.

My sense is that this devotion we propose to God through the Prayers of the Rosary is God's "tool" in the hands of the Holy Spirit in bringing us closer to our Beloved Lord and as it produces the fruits of the Holy Spirit within our hearts through a true devotedness to JESUS, as expressed in the Immaculate Heart of Mary toward the Most Sacred Heart of JESUS... I am also sensing the words of St. Louis de Montfort here as well.

“Mary is the fruitful Virgin, and in all the souls in which she comes to dwell she causes to flourish purity of heart and body, rightness of intention and abundance of good works. Do not imagine that Mary, the most fruitful of creatures who gave birth to a God, remains barren in a faithful soul. It will be she who makes the soul live incessantly for Jesus Christ, and will make Jesus live in the soul” (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin).

This is the blessed Mother's "pondering" of these things (as spoken of by St. Luke, chapter 1) in her heart and, therefore, within our hearts as we are "knit with the heart of our Mother", whose Immaculate Heart was uniquely flooded with God's Grace.

I would encourage us, then, to memorize this Holy Prayer and begin therefore to FOCUS upon JESUS in the manner proposed by Our Lady, as we see the days grow darker as we walk in the Light as He is in the Light having fellowship with one another so much the more as we see the Day approaching (Cf. I John 1:7ff).

Keep in mind, my beloved, always keep in mind (the Mind of Christ) that this focus is that which focuses upon CHRIST JESUS OUR RISEN LORD... and it was never meant by our Lady to be a focus upon Mary herself, but upon the Heart of Mary speaking to us toward her most holy Love for her Son... thus, it becomes the Prayer of the Church as is also the Divine Office and all Lectio Divina.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

3. Chastity is the name which is common to all the virtues. 

February 4, 2009    

REVIEW: Vatican-Israeli relations- From Rome to Jerusalem

HEADLINE: EU to Israel: remove obstacles to entry of Gaza aid

The European Union has complained to Israel that it was obstructing the entry of needed supplies into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, despite assurances the restrictions would be eased after the 22-day offensive.

In a February 2 letter obtained by Reuters Wednesday, the EU presidency expressed "grave concern regarding the current humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the obstacles that we face in the delivery of aid."

"Addressing the plight of ordinary people in Gaza and supporting the PA in its relief efforts are our priorities and, as we understand, also yours," EU leaders wrote, referring to President Mahmoud Abbas's Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

"Your government gave us assurances regarding access of humanitarian aid and aid workers to the Gaza Strip... Since then we have not witnessed much improvement of the overall restrictions," they wrote.

While Israel has opened Gaza's border crossings to larger amounts of food and medicine since last month's war, it has balked at letting in construction materials, including glass, steel and cement, needed to rebuild the thousands of Palestinian homes, roads and buildings destroyed or damaged.

Israel has also blocked Abbas' government from transferring cash to the Gaza Strip to pay its workers, undercutting its reconstruction efforts, Palestinian and Western officials said.

Israeli officials say building materials and cash could be used by Hamas to build rockets, bunkers and smuggling tunnels.

EU leaders said the nearly 200 truckloads of aid currently entering Gaza each day were "far below the minimal requirements to answer the humanitarian and commercial needs" of Gaza's 1.5 million residents.

RELATED: Aid ship heads to Gaza from Lebanon

COMMENTARY: Arab-Israeli Conflict Must be Judged by Facts on the Ground not by Sensational Stories


Iran satellite move sparks fears
Iran's first spy satellite launch Tuesday signifies nuclear-capable rocket in hand
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Netanyahu says Iran will not get hands on nukes

FACTBOX -Global financial crisis sparks unrest

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

1. Purity means that we put on the angelic nature.  Purity is the longed-for house of Christ and the earthly heaven of the heart.  Purity is a supernatural denial of nature, which means that a mortal and corruptible body is rivalling the celestial spirits in a truly marvelous way. 

February 3, 2009    

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Euthanasia is a false solution to the drama of suffering, a solution that is not worthy of man. The real answer cannot be, in fact, to give death, as 'gentle' as this may be, but to testify to the love that helps us to face pain and agony in a humane way. We can be certain of this: no tear, neither of those who suffer, nor of those close to them, will be lost before God."

HEADLINE: Vatican calls right-to-die decision 'murder'

VIA WASHINGTON STATE: Health-care facilities scrambling to deal with Death with Dignity Act

CELEBRATING LIFE: Four Chaplains who gave up lives memorialized in Stony Pt. service

EXCERPT: Christ, the Defender of Human Life By Fr. Frank Caggiano

How can we as Christians hope to reverse this culture of death? How can we restore the dignity and respect that human life deserves? It seems to me that the Christian struggle to protect life must begin by answering the question, "Who do you say that I am?"

The Christian commitment to protect and respect human life comes directly from the identity of Jesus Christ. We defend human life because we believe Jesus Christ to be true God who took on a true humanity. Jesus is the divine Son who assumed a sinless human life so that what he assumed might be saved from the effects of sin and death. Christ as true God changed every human life by becoming a man like us in all things but sin. In other words, every man, woman, child and fetus is of infinite value because the divine Son assumed a human life in the Incarnation.

The Incarnation has changed humanity in two ways. First, Christ has restored the divine image of our creation. To be made in the image and likeness of God means that all our human abilities and talents reflect the qualities of God. Our reason, freedom and love reflect the infinite wisdom, absolute freedom and perfect love of God. Sin deformed the divine image within us, robbing our natural gifts and abilities of their power and beauty. Since we are not able to heal ourselves from sin, it was necessary that humanity receive a new start. This new start came when the Son assumed a human life. He restored us to our original glory as the image of God in the world. As such, each human being is of inestimable value because each of us has been restored as a living mirror into the life of God.

A second way in which Christ has changed human life comes from the gift of salvation which he offers to all. We do not believe that Christ simply restored what humanity lost through sin. Rather, we are "recreated" in Christ. This means that we have received gifts that Adam never enjoyed. Through baptism, we have become children of God and temples of the Holy Spirit, allowing God to dwell within us. The Holy Spirit also sanctifies us and makes us worthy to possess divine life. We are more fully human and perfect because we have been recreated in Christ. If God finds human life to be so precious that he considers it to be a worthy dwelling place, then every human life is priceless.

"And you, who do you say that I am?" Our Christian commitment to human life begins with this question. We respect human life because it is created in the divine image and has been re-created and made holy in Christ. The meaning and value of life cannot be measured apart from Jesus Christ. All human life must be respected, defended and promoted because it is worthy to receive God's own life.

USCCB: Assisted Suicide: What is at Stake?

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: step 14- "On that clamorous mistress, the stomach"

21. He who cherishes his stomach and hopes to overcome the spirit of fornication, is like one who tries to put out a fire with oil. 
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