Keep your eyes open!...


Lent, 2013 

(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.

UPDATES: Non-subscribers can access items emailed during Lent at

VATICANPope's Lenten message 2013: Believing in charity calls forth charity

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: Preparing For the Journey of Lent, 2013

THE REGISTER: During Lent, Catholics urged to return to Confession

CATHOLIC REGISTER: Fast in solidarity with world’s hungry



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 (admittedly not unlikely these days), 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 7, 2013.  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

Catholic Commentary
Courageous Priest
Statements of Archbishop Chaput
Crisis Magazine

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.


Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

8. Be despoiled of everything and the Sacred Heart of Jesus will enrich you. Empty your heart of everything and He will compensate you. Forget and abandon yourself.

February 13, 2013  

(2Th 2:13-15) But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you firstfruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit and faith of the truth: Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

POPE BENEDICT XVI, Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima Thursday, 13 May 2010: May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

: Setting the World Ablaze- The future of the Catholic Church

THOUGHTFUL COMMENTARY:  On the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI  by Rev. Dr. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, STL, STD, Ph.D.


Fulfilling Sunday Mass Obligation
Holding Hands During Our Father Prayer
Restrictions on Receiving Holy Communion
Laying on of Hands
Catholic Church for Civil Wedding

Note from Ron: To receive my Catholic Q&A reports please contact me with your correct email address.

BLOG: Heaven, the Hope of Our Souls

How did we forget about hell?

In the late 1990s I wrote a history of the Knights Templar and, after a year or two immersed in the Crusades, was struck by how real was the fear of hell among Catholics at the time, and by what extreme measures they were prepared to take to save their souls. So central to their faith was this fear of damnation that present-day post-Vatican II Catholicism seemed in this respect like a different religion.

Six years later, I expressed my perplexity on the subject in an essay published together with other collected writings by Darton, Longman and Todd as Hell and Other Destinations. I asked how it was that the clear teaching of the Church (and of the monks at Ampleforth where I went to school) that those who die in a state of mortal sin would be damned, that many were called but few chosen, that the hard and narrow path leads to salvation and the broad and easy road to damnation, all now seemed to have been replaced by an assumption that salvation is a universal entitlement with hell either empty or reserved for world-historical monsters like Genghis Khan, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and, possibly, General Pinochet and Mrs Thatcher.

My essay was an amateur effort and the question I put received no answer. That is, until now. Dr Ralph Martin is an associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, director of graduate theology programmes in the new evangelisation and a consultor for the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation. He is, in other words, a man at the cutting edge of the current drive to convert non-Catholics to the Catholic Faith. In this endeavour, however, he has clearly faced a problem. What is Catholicism’s unique selling point, other than the conviction of Catholics that what they believe happens to be true? What makes up for its inconveniences such as its strictures on sex and the obloquy Catholics must endure for their perceived misogyny, homophobia, indifference to Aids in Africa and so on if, in the long run, as we now seem to believe, everyone will end up in heaven?

Dr Martin’s book is called Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and its Implications for the New Evangelisation. Theological cognoscenti will recognise the reference to Dare we Hope “That All Men Be Saved”? by Hans Urs von Balthasar, a book in which the Swiss theologian claims not just that we dare hope that no one is in hell but that we should hope that no one is in hell and, in fact, can assume that no one is in hell.

Dr Martin treads carefully with von Balthasar, said to be the favourite theologian of Blessed John Paul II, but his critique of his writing on the subject is devastating. In his book Balthasar “departs from the content of revelation and the mainstream theological tradition of the Church in a way that undermines the call to holiness and evangelisation and is pastorally damaging”. Martin is equally critical of the teaching of Karl Rahner, whose heavy tomes of theology, impenetrable to the lay Catholic, have done much to change our beliefs on the question of salvation. It is Rahner’s concept of the “anonymous Christian” that put the final nail in the coffin of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus – outside the Church there is no salvation.

Both Rahner and Balthasar make much of paragraph 16 of Gaudium et Spes, which teaches that members of other religions, and even atheists, may be saved; but here, says Martin, there is some cherry-picking and sleight of hand. “Rahner’s completely optimistic description of the conciliar teaching on the salvation of non-Christians is only possible when the complete text is ignored…” With great delicacy and repeated protestation of respect Martin shows how both Rahner and von Balthasar have allowed their wishful thinking to distort, even pervert, the teaching of the gospels and the Church.

Paragraph 16 of Lumen Gentium states that non-believers who “seek God with a sincere heart” and “do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience” will be saved. So far so good. But, as Martin points out (with the aid of other commentators), both theologians wilfully ignore what follows: “But very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, have exchanged the truth of God for a lie…” Note the “very often”. Note, too, Lumen Gentium’s reference at this point to St Paul’s First Letter to the Romans, in which he uses “unnatural intercourse” as an instance of where such vain reasoning can lead: “men doing shameless things with men and getting an appropriate reward for their perversion”.

Dr Martin is a specialist on evangelisation and at first sight his book is a merely a scholarly contribution to his area of expertise. But, of course, it is much more than that. Evangelising is at the heart of what it means to be a Catholic. Presenting the Catholic faith as “an optional enrichment opportunity”, instead of “a precious and urgent opportunity to find salvation and escape damnation”, is to distort both the gospels and the teaching of the Catholic Church.

A riddle remains. Why, if Martin’s critique is correct, has the teaching on salvation of Rahner and Balthasar not been condemned by the Church? Cardinal Avery Dulles described Balthasar’s position as “adventurous” and the then Cardinal Ratzinger talked of Rahner’s “astonishing optimism”: he also warned Catholics against reading Scripture “contrary to its own intentions”. But these are mild criticisms if the two theologians have got things so wrong. Dr Martin’s book is now endorsed by four cardinals and two archbishops but, given that the subject is of such paramount importance, should there not be a clear statement by Pope Benedict or Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, about what we must do, or not do, to be saved?

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

7. I wish to learn in the Sacred Heart of Jesus to suffer all things in silence, and never to complain of what may be done to me, since dust deserves but to be trodden underfoot.

February 12, 2013  

(Mat 27:40) And saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God and in three days dost rebuild it: save thy own self. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

POPE BENEDICT XVI (02/10/13): "Man is not the author of his own vocation, but the proposal is a response to the Divine.  We have to have confidence in his power acting in our own poverty, we must rely more and more in the power of his mercy, which transforms and renews.”

VIA A MOMENT WITH MARY: The Gospel of Suffering

From the time of her secret conversation with the angel, she began to see in her mission as a mother her "destiny" to share, in a singular and unrepeatable way, in the very mission of her Son. And she very soon received a confirmation of this in the events that accompanied the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, and in the solemn words of the aged Simeon, when he spoke of a sharp sword that would pierce her heart. Yet a further confirmation was in the anxieties and privations of the hurried flight into Egypt, caused by the cruel decision of Herod.

And again, after the events of her Son's hidden and public life, events which she must have shared with acute sensitivity, it was on Calvary that Mary's suffering, beside the suffering of Jesus, reached an intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view but which was mysterious and supernaturally fruitful for the redemption of the world (…).

As a witness to her Son's Passion by her presence, and as a sharer in it by her compassion, Mary offered a unique contribution to the Gospel of suffering, by embodying in anticipation the expression of Saint Paul (…). She truly has a special title to be able to claim that she "completes in her flesh"—as already in her heart—"what is lacking in Christ's afflictions ".

In the light of the unmatchable example of Christ, reflected with singular clarity in the life of his Mother, the Gospel of suffering, through the experience and words of the Apostles, becomes an inexhaustible source for the ever new generations that succeed one another in the history of the Church. The Gospel of suffering signifies not only the presence of suffering in the Gospel, as one of the themes of the Good News, but also the revelation of the salvific power and salvific significance of suffering in Christ's messianic mission and, subsequently, in the mission and vocation of the Church.

John Paul II Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Suffering) February 11, 1984

REPORT: Lightning Struck St Peter's Dome at the Vatican on Monday after Pope Benedict XVI Announced He Will Resign

RETROSPECT: Pope Benedict's Symbolic Placement of the Papal Pallium on the Tomb of St Celestine V


Q&A: The Pope Who Quit: Pope Celestine V


Questions and Answers on the Resignation of the Pope
Papal Resignation Throughout History
The Rules for the Election of the Next Pope

CALL TO PENANCE: Penance for the Church: Penance for the Upcoming Papal Election!

VIA CHASTISEMENT LIST: I will mention in this context something that was said by Fr. Malachi Martin in the final years of his life. As you may know, Fr. Martin was one of the few who read the 3d Secret of Fatima, about which he would say very little because he was sworn to secrecy. But one of the things that he did say was that in the 21st Century the Catholic Church would-- not "might", but "would"-- abolish the papacy & move towards becoming a loosely affiliated group of national churches organized around their individual colleges of bishops. Viewed in this light, the Church has been moving in that direrction since V2. If Fr. Martin is correct, then the last pope will possibly be elected specifically in order to effect that change.

I'll conclude with a brief discussion of the chronology that leads me to the conclusion that the events foretold at the beginning of Ch. 13 of the Apocalypse-- & the Chastisement-- will begin to unfold in 2017.

1. Ch. 9 of the Apocalypse foretells that "locusts" will be released from the Pit & will be given the power to torment Mankind for 5 months. These locusts have been interpreted by Fr. Herman Kramer ("The Book of Destiny") & others to refer to the ministers who spread the Protestant Reformation, & the 5 months has been interpreted to refer to 5 centuries. Martin Luther began the Reformation by nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Church in Wittemburg on Hallowe'en, 1517-- a particularly auspicious date, on which tradition has held that demons are annually released from Hell. 1517 + 500 years = 2017.

2. When Jesus appeared to Sr. Lucy at Rianjo He said, "Make it known to My ministers, given that follow the example of the King of France in delaying their obedience to My command, they will follow him into grave misfortune." Jesus was referring to a revelation given to Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque in which He asked the King of France to consecrate France to His Sacred Heart. The King didn't do so, & exactly 100 years later-- to the day-- the Kingdom was annihilated & the King himself was executed in the French Revolution. This came about because of the refusal of the Church to do as Jesus had asked thru his mother & consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. The verbiage indicates that Jesus was thinking in terms of exact timetables. In other words, 100 years. The miracle that gave divine force to Jesus' request thru His mother was performed on 13 October 1917, & 1917 + 100 years = 2017.

3. Fr. Malachi Martin, when he was questioned about the 3d Secret of Fatima, said in 1997 that it did refer to a worldwide chastisement, & that we had 20 years or less left until its fulfillment. 1997 + 20 = 2017.

4. At Garabandal it was foretold that Joey Lomangino would see again at the time of the Miracle. In 2017 Joey will be 89 years old, & the Miracle is removed from the Chastisement by only a year or so. Theories that place the Chastisement further in the future than c. 2017 have to contend with the fact that Joey is unlikely to live very much longer than that.

There is more, but these are the bare bones of it. Other interpretations are possible, so I don't insist on this one-- but I do think that with the present information available, this one is the most likely.

(Mat 24:21-22) For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be. And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened.

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

6. I assure you I possess naught but my Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore He often says to me: "What wouldst thou do without Me? Thou wouldst be poor indeed!"

February 11, 2013  

(Psa 73:26) For thee my flesh and my heart hath fainted away: thou art the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion for ever.

BREAKING VIA VATICAN RADIO: Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he Plans on Resigning the Papal Office on February 28th

Full text of Pope's declaration:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013



MORE: Benedict XVI will be first Pope to stand down since Gregory XII quit in 1415

ON ST. MALACHY: Papal Prophecy of St. Malachy Suggests There Will be Just One More Pope After Benedict

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

3. I must efface and annihilate myself and live poor, unknown, forgotten and despised by creatures and hidden in the Sacred Heart of my divine Master, so that He may found His Kingdom on my nothingness.

February 8, 2013  

(Rom 12:1-2) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.

UPDATE: Catholic bishops reject revised ObamaCare contraceptive rule

: Making sense of another ambiguous ‘compromise’

AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE: Obama-Mandate--Extermination of Religious Freedom

LIFENEWS.COM: EWTN Will Continue its Lawsuit Against HHS Abortion Mandate

Human Life International: HLI Statement on the Revised Rules for the HHS Mandate

Following is a statement from Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, on the release of proposed rules from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding the mandate that almost all employers must provide insurance that pays for abortifacient and contraceptive drugs:

“Although many questions remain about what these proposed (not final) rules mean and how they will be implemented, we see no evidence that the Obama administration has any intention of listening to dissenting voices.

“The proposed ‘compromise’ seems to amount to small changes on the margins, most likely destined to send the problem to the courts rather than simply acknowledge the basic right to religious freedom enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. While it appears that some additional entities may be provided relief from the unjust mandate, others, such as for-profit business and not-for-profits whom the administration deems insufficiently religious, are still subject to coercion. It is not clear that Human Life International and similar organizations will be protected from being forced to participate in actions that we find morally abhorrent.

“Most importantly, the more fundamental problem with the Affordable Healthcare Act (also known as ‘Obamacare’) remains unaddressed. HHS Secretary Sebelius has almost unlimited power to make any changes to the rules as needed, with little oversight from Congress, and massive new bureaucratic structures that both strengthen and hide the laws’ many anti-life aspects. Under this administration, this means that abortion will be free – paid for by taxpayers, despite assurances to the contrary; yet many life saving treatments are not free, and coverage is not nearly as universal for the most poor, as we were led to believe.

“Not only is this latest accommodation not acceptable, the entire law is still an affront to human rights, especially the right to life. The entire law must be abolished, and must be replaced by a more modest system that respects freedom, that values life, and that is set on a sustainable fiscal path.”

VIA Anne Lastman: Broken Branches Issue 91 for Feb/Mar, 2013 newsletter for Victims of Abortion Ministry

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

2. As all things find rest only in their center and are irresistibly drawn to what is natural to them, even so my heart, wholly absorbed in its center, the humble Heart of Jesus, has an unquenchable thirst for humiliations, contempt and oblivion on the part of creatures, and thus I never feel happier than when I am conformed to my crucified Spouse.

February 5, 2013  

(Psa 122:6) Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them that love thee.

ROME REPORTS: Pope welcomes new Chaldean Patriarch, pray together for peace

REPORT: Region's Armies All on High Alert

The armies of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan are all on high alert, a report in a Lebanese newspaper said Sunday. The report in Ad-Diar said that the alerts were due to Israel's attack on a Syrian missile transport and, according to Syrian claims, an attack on a sensitive Syrian military installation.

The report said that the Syrian army has instructed its units to break up into smaller groups, “similar to what Hizbullah has done in south Lebanon.” The strategy is designed to protect troops in the wake of another possible Israeli attack, the report said.

The report added that Syrian troops had joined Hizbullah terrorists in several areas of south Lebanon. According to the report, the Syrian and Hizbullah forces were stationed very close to the Israeli border, in the area of Har Dov (also known as “Sheba Farms”). The Lebanese and Jordanian armies are also on high alert over the possibility of a clash between Israel and Syria in the area. Unconfirmed Lebanese reports said that Israeli warplanes had been seen over Lebanon earlier Sunday.

ANALYSIS: Israel airstrike may foreshadow Iran attack


Pre-emptive threat not empty, Israeli says
Iran’s security head: Israel will ‘regret’ striking Syrian targets
Assad set on arms transfers to Lebanon. Israel responds with no-fly zone

Thoughts and Sayings of Saint Margaret Mary: Self-effacement--Detachment

1. Behold, O my soul, the means by which you cn honor your God, viz., by renouncing and humbling yourself with Jesus Christ and for the love of Jesus Christ. Thus you will find life in death, sweetness in bitterness, and God in self-effacement: for you must leave all in order to find Him.
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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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