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January 31, 2002

(Mat 10:27-28)  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.


Italians, who have criticized Pope John Paul II less as he grows older, are taking him to task for strong comments against divorce seen by many as blatant interference in state and personal affairs. Addressing magistrates Monday, the pope urged lawyers in Italy to shun divorce cases because, he said, marriage should be indissoluble and divine law superseded human law.

The overwhelmingly negative reaction was another sign of the dwindling influence of the church in a country that is nominally 98 percent Roman Catholic. A poll Tuesday by the Datamedia research group showed 87.5 percent of those interviewed disagreed with the pope, spiritual leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics.

He took hits from all sides as groups ranging from women's organizations to politicians of all persuasions weighed in. The toughest criticism came from leftist parties, but even ordinary citizens took off the gloves.

"I believe that divorce is better than to have a war at home," said divorcee Mara Stella, in her early 30s. "Why force people to go through all that? It's not the Middle Ages anymore. Decisions should be made inside the homes."


Four years after the pope drew hundreds of thousands around the island to plazas named for Cuba’s communist revolution, the church remains the only non-governmental institution capable of convoking the masses. It is that independence that creates tension with the government.

Although church membership hasn’t mushroomed, the pope’s legacy has been to loosen the “religious inhibitions” built during three decades of repression, Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega said. The church is regaining ground, especially in remote towns where baptisms, catechism classes and Masses are held in private homes. Ortega occasionally speaks on the government-run radio stations for holy days, and about a dozen church magazines have cropped up.

This gradual expansion is not so much a result of government approval, Ortega said, but rather of the church’s willingness to push ahead.

“This is space we have won,” he said. “We haven’t asked for permission for the things we do. There is a series of rights, which as a religion the Catholic Church has. We try to put those rights into practice.”

“The pope’s visit was a tremendous awakening, like a family that hears a noise in the night and gets up,” said Rev. Jesus Maria Lusarreta, a Spanish priest who moved to Havana in 1993. “Even if some go back to bed others remain awake. In this parish not many have gone back to sleep.”

(1 Th 5:4-6)  But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

10. Be on the look-out for this trick and wile of the thieves. For they suggest to us that we need not separate ourselves from people in the world, and maintain that we shall receive a great reward if we can look upon women and still remain continent. We must not believe these suggestions, but rather the opposite.

January 30, 2002

(Mat 7:22-23)  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'


A Sermon by Saint John Nepomucene Neumann

The Necessity of Confession by Fr. Ronald M. Vierling

USSB QUIZ - Sacrament of Penance


VIA Richard: Please celebrate with us as the Purgatory Project turns 40 (40,000 registered souls!!) in its very first birthday on Feb 5th. There are only a few hundred souls to go to make 40,000 - can you please help us make 40,000 ??!!

You are invited to quickly register your beloved deceased whether they be family, loved ones, friends, acquaintences or enemies at the Purgatory Project's web site located at:

There will be the first birthday pilgrimage as we rapidly close in on 40,000 registered souls. The pilgrimage will take place Thursday Jan 31st which is the Feast of St John Bosco. All souls that you register with the Purgatory Project receive many Holy Masses, and many benefits and indulgences for their intentions.

So please quickly register your souls, whether you register one special soul or dozens of special souls. Each and every soul is uniquely loved and is infinitely valuable and beloved by Our Lord.

Also please try to remember to unite your prayers and Mass intentions on Jan 31st (this Thursday) to the intentions of the pilgrimmage that day for the holy souls. The more prayer power we have the better !!

It is Monday night as I send this out - there are less than 48 hours to get your souls registered for this pilgrimage. Previously registered souls need not be re-registered. Please feel free to forward this to your friends or anyone grieving the loss of a loved one that you may know. Thanks for helping spread the word. May God bless you richly with His true peace in your heart.

May Our Father and Our Lady keep you free of all useless anxiety as we wait together in joyful hope for the second coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Glory.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

9. Run from places of sin as from the plague. For when fruit is not present, we have no frequent desire to eat it.

January 29, 2002

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


Woman Detonates Explosives in Downtown Jerusalem
Sharon pledges victory over terrorism
Arabs Defend Palestinian Icon Arafat Against Bush
Saudi Cleric Decries 'Smear Campaign' Against Islam
Arabs to Tell U.S. Its Interests at Risk

TIME MAGAZINE: The Grim Brinkmanship of Bush vs. Arafat


VIA MTMelvin: All of the evidence of the last week point to one inescapable conclusion – the radical forces of Islam are preparing for an all-out war with Israel. Here are the latest intelligence reports:

1. Israeli Military Intelligence Chief just warned the Knesset, “The most dangerous wave of terror attacks is just ahead. In his opinion, nothing would avail to halt Arafat’s headlong terrorist offensive - even if Israel offered to withdraw to its 1967 borders, gave up all the holy places and consented to the return of 1948 refugees.” This is first public confirmation by an Israeli intelligence officer that Arafat is bent on nothing less than Israel’s defeat and destruction.”

2. Yasser Arafat, in direct violation of Oslo Agreements, has just ordered 20,000 of his police force to take to the war field. They have been equipped and deployed for major war. Military experts note that the Palestinian police force is not an irregular militia like the Tanzim or a terrorist gang like the Aqsa Brigades, but an organized regular corps with a command hierarchy, an operations arm, intelligence, an advanced communications network and considerable mobility. It is equipped with hundreds of vehicles, some armored, donated mainly by the United States, the UK, Germany, France and Italy, as well as being amply armed with automatic weapons, including heavy machine guns.

3. Iranian Revolutionary Guards, hundreds of escaped al-Qaeda trained terrorists and Hezbollah units are in Lebanon preparing to strike Israel from the north. Iranian troops are in control of 300 long-range rockets capable of hitting the large population centers of Acre, Nahariya, Tiberias, Kiryat Shmoneh and Haifa with its oil refineries and heavy industry. Iran appears to have orchestrated whole operation.

4. Palestinian Authority distributing huge hidden cache of Qasem 1 and Qasem 2 long-range Katyusha rockets, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles and heavy mortars. Apparently other ships before Karen-A believed to be successful in delivering these arms.

5. Israeli Defense Forces given new tactical orders and deployed for regular combat.

To say the situation is a powder keg ready to explode doesn’t begin to catch the enormous danger that is gathering. When we add some of the following facts, the situation begins to take on catastrophic, Biblical proportions.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

8. Eve was exiled from Paradise against her will, but the monk is a willing exile from his home. She would have liked the tree of disobedience again; and he would certainly expose himself daily to frequent danger from relatives according to the flesh.

January 26, 2002



VIA Barbara Foley: Last Sept. after 9/11 our local paper wrote of a Roman Catholic visionary, the artist Mary Reilly.  She has been having visions at the grotto at St. Mary's Skaneateles (Syracuse Diocese) this past year and also at her home.  She was told to go to Rev. Albert Shamon, a Marian/Fatima enthusiast, as he was the holiest priest in the Rochester Diocese.

My husband and I visited the grotto built by the now-deceased Polish Priest, Francis Nowakowski who built three grottos to Mary in NY state to thank Mary who appeared to him in the concentration camp the night before he was to be gassed to tell him she would save him.  Until the cold weather there were reports of up to 2,000 people attending her rosary, prayer and healing service at the Grotto.  I asked a deacon if he believed the apparitions were true.  He said a young boy of six asked him if the other people smelled the scent of roses as he had.  I met a man who claimed Mary had laid hands on him an healed him of degenerative arthritis.  Our local paper said that Mary told Reilly that 9/11 was just the beginning of our sorrows.

The following article is provided with permission courtesy of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

Faithful flock to Skaneateles
Woman shares messages she gets from Virgin Mary near area grotto.


SKANEATELES - By his own toil, the Rev.  Francis Marianus Nowakowski built the grotto at St.  Mary of the Lake Roman Catholic Church as a tribute to the Blessed Mother for saving him from the Nazi death camps in World War II.  Now a local shopkeeper says the Virgin Mary delivers messages of prayer, love and consolation to her at the courtyard shrine.

As many as 1,500 people fill the parking lot behind the church every Wednesday to hear Mary S.  Reilly relay her most recent conveyance.  The crowds have grown steadily since June, when the 43-year-old Reilly first shared her messages with a few friends.

Many come out of devotion and faith.  Others are simply curious.  "This is the power of God at work," Joe Cardarelli, a 47-year-old construction worker from Moravia, said during a recent vigil.  "Look at all these people, loving and prayerful people.  A few months ago, this was just a parking lot.  Now it is a holy place."

Even the skeptical have been roused by the display of passion and faith. "I'm not Catholic.  I wouldn't call myself a devout Christian," said Cia George, a Methodist from Syracuse who accompanied a friend to a recent service.  "But I was moved.  Whether or not you believe she really hears voices, it was a powerful feeling of love, and it's a message worth spreading.  The world needs more love," said George.

To believe in miracles at the 46-year-old grotto needs only a small leap of faith.  It is one of three in upstate New York built by Nowakowski, a Catholic priest who hid Jews in his church in Krakow and who was imprisoned at Auschwitz and Dachau during World War II.

"He had three visions of Mary," said Stanley Zima, a pastoral minister and parishioner of St.  Mary in New York Mills, where another of the shrines is located.  The other is in Auburn, where Nowakowski later lived.  He died Oct. 1 last year.  "She always was able to help him out of his problems.  So when he came to this country, he promised he would build her three shrines," Zima said.

Soon after Nowakowski was ordained in 1939, the German army invaded Poland and soon seized Nowakowski's monastery.  Exhausted, demoralized and ready to die, Nowakowski said that three times he was saved by Mary, who came to him in visions, lifting him physically and spiritually.  Her last appearance came the night before Nowakowski was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at Dachau.  She told him not to despair.  The next morning, American troops liberated the camp.

At the Skaneateles shrine, families, couples and individuals arrive in cars, on bicycles, on foot, and in wheelchairs.  The crowds have grown so large that village police now help control traffic and park cars.  A public address system helps people on the fringes hear.

The hour-long vigils begin with praying and singing songs such as "Immaculate Mary" and "Ave Maria." Then Reilly kneels in front of the white statue of the Virgin Mary.  As the crowd recites prayers venerating the Virgin, Reilly leans back.  With her head up and her eyes closed, she raises her arms and listens.  Some people say they see rainbows.  Others smell roses.  One person said the chain of her rosary beads changed from silver to gold.  When Reilly is finished, her spiritual adviser, the Rev. Albert Shamon, an 86-year-old conservative priest from Auburn, or another intermediary reveals the message.

From week to week, the holy tidings echo the same call for prayer.  "I am the mother of consolation.  The Queen of Peace.  My children, I love all of you so very much.  My children, you must pray without ceasing.  My children, I am with you," was the message on a recent Wednesday.

Only once - following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon - has Reilly heard the Blessed Mother's voice somewhere other than the grotto.  She told her audience she was at home when the mother of Christ told her, "This is one of the chastisements.
Further chastisements can be averted by prayer.  Call my children to prayer.  And pray without ceasing.  My heart is wounded by the atrocities caused to my children.  Pray for peace.  Pray with your hearts."

The local Roman Catholic diocese has observed from afar.  The church will only start an official investigation if Reilly claims to give church teachings, calls for public acts of penance or creation of a new church, or if events otherwise become disruptive, said Danielle Cummings, spokeswoman for the Syracuse diocese.  Any investigation would require Reilly to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, Cummings added.  "We would want to make sure those teachings were authentic, not contrary to church teaching or dangerous," said the Rev.  Michael Minehan, chancellor of the diocese.  "So far, it has been mostly a call to prayer," he said.  "And if it is moving people to pray, if it is giving them a greater nearness to the Lord, that can be a very good thing."

The Catholic Church has recognized a number of incidents as authentic, including those reported at Fatima, Lourdes, Guadelupe, Knock and LaSallette.

The Rev. Thomas McGrath, pastor of St.  Mary of the Lake, neither attends the gatherings nor dismisses them.  He said Reilly does not belong to his parish.  "It's a very quiet, reverent group, and as long as it stays that way, it's a wonderful thing," he has said.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

7. Have you become an exile from the world? Do not touch the world any more; because the passions desire nothing better than to return.

January 25, 2002


1. We have come to Assisi on a pilgrimage of peace. We are here, as representatives of different religions, to examine ourselves before God concerning our commitment to peace, to ask him for this gift, to bear witness to our shared longing for a world of greater justice and solidarity.

We wish to do our part in fending off the dark clouds of terrorism, hatred, armed conflict, which in these last few months have grown particularly ominous on humanity’s horizon. For this reason we wish to listen to one other: we believe that this itself is already a sign of peace. In listening to one another there is already a reply to the disturbing questions that worry us.
This already serves to scatter the shadows of suspicion and misunderstanding.

The shadows will not be dissipated with weapons; darkness is dispelled by sending out bright beams of light. A few days ago I reminded the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See that hatred can only be overcome through love.

2. We are meeting in Assisi, where everything speaks of a singular prophet of peace known as Francis. He is loved not only by Christians, but by many other believers and by people who, though far-removed from religion, identify with his ideals of justice, reconciliation and peace.

Here, the "poor man of Assisi" invites us first of all to raise a song of gratitude to God for his gifts. We praise God for the beauty of the cosmos and of the earth, the marvellous "garden" that he entrusted to men and women in order that they might cultivate it and tend it (cf. Gen 2:15). It is good that people remember that they find themselves in a "flowerbed" of the immense universe, created for them by God. It is important for people to realize that neither they nor the matters which they so frantically pursue are "everything". Only God is "everything", and in the end everyone will have to give an accounting of themselves to him.

We praise God, the Creator and Lord of the universe, for the gift of life and especially human life, which has blossomed on this planet through the mysterious plan of his goodness. Life in all its forms is entrusted in a special way to the care of man.

With daily renewed wonder, we note the variety of manifestations of human life, from the complementarity of male and female, to a multiplicity of distinctive gifts belonging to the different cultures and traditions that form a multifaceted and versatile linguistic, cultural and artistic cosmos. This multiplicity is called to form a cohesive whole, in the contact and dialogue that will enrich and bring joy to all.

God himself has placed in the human heart an instinctive tendency to live in peace and harmony. This desire is more deeply-rooted and determined than any impulse to violence; it is a desire that we have come together to reaffirm here, in Assisi. We do so in the awareness that we are representing the deepest sentiment of every human being.

History has always known men and women who, precisely because they are believers, have distinguished themselves as witnesses to peace. By their example they teach us that it is possible to build between individuals and peoples bridges that lead us to come together and walk with one another on the paths of peace. We look to them in order to draw inspiration for our commitment in the service of humanity. They encourage us to hope that, also in this new millennium just begun, there will be no lack of men and women of peace, capable of irradiating in the world the light of love and hope.

3. Peace! Humanity is always in need of peace, but now more than ever, after the tragic events which have undermined its confidence and in the face of persistent flashpoints of cruel conflict which create anxiety throughout the world. In my Message for 1 January, I stressed the two "pillars" upon which peace rests: commitment to justice and readiness to forgive.

Justice, first of all, because there can be no true peace without respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, respect for the rights and duties of each person and respect for an equal distribution of benefits and burdens between individuals and in society as a whole. It can never be forgotten that situations of oppression and exclusion are often at the source of violence and terrorism. But forgiveness too, because human justice is subject to frailty and to the pressures of individual and group egoism. Forgiveness alone heals the wounds of the heart and fully restores damaged human relations.

Humility and courage are required if we are to take this path. Our gathering today, in a context of dialogue with God, offers us a chance to reaffirm that in God we find pre-eminently the union of justice and mercy. He is supremely faithful to himself and to man, even when people wander far from him. That is why religions are at the service of peace. It is the duty of religions, and of their leaders above all, to foster in the people of our time a renewed sense of the urgency of building peace.

4. This was recognized by those who took part in the Interreligious Gathering in the Vatican in October 1999. They affirmed that religious traditions have the resources needed to overcome fragmentation and to promote mutual friendship and respect among peoples. On that occasion, it was also recognized that tragic conflicts often result from an unjustified association of religion with nationalistic, political and economic interests, or concerns of other kinds. Once again, gathered here together, we declare that whoever uses religion to foment violence contradicts religion’s deepest and truest inspiration.

It is essential, therefore, that religious people and communities should in the clearest and most radical way repudiate violence, all violence, starting with the violence that seeks to clothe itself in religion, appealing even to the most holy name of God in order to offend man. To offend against man is, most certainly, to offend against God. There is no religious goal which can possibly justify the use of violence by man against man.

5. I turn now in a special way to you, my Christian Brothers and Sisters. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ calls us to be apostles of peace. He made his own the Golden Rule well known to ancient wisdom: "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them" (Mt 7:12; cf. Lk 6:31) and God’s commandment to Moses: "Love your neighbour as yourself" (cf. Lev 19:18; Mt 22:39 and parallels). He brought these laws to fulfilment in the new commandment: "Love one another as I d you" (Jn 13:34).

In his death on Golgotha, Jesus bore in his flesh the wounds of God’s passion for humanity. Bearing witness to the heavenly Father’s loving plan, he became "our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility" (Eph 2:14).

With Francis, the saint who breathed the air of these hills and walked the streets of this town, let us fix our gaze on the mystery of the Cross, the tree of salvation sprinkled with the redeeming blood of Christ. The lives of Saint Francis, Saint Clare and countless other Christian saints and martyrs were marked by the mystery of the Cross. Their secret was precisely this sign of the triumph of love over hatred, of forgiveness over retaliation, of good over evil. We are called to go forward in their footsteps, so that the world will never cease to long for the peace of Christ.

6. If peace is God’s gift and has its source in him, where are we to seek it and how can we build it, if not in a deep and intimate relationship with God? To build the peace of order, justice and freedom requires, therefore, a priority commitment to prayer, which is openness, listening, dialogue and finally union with God, the prime wellspring of true peace.

To pray is not to escape from history and the problems which it presents. On the contrary, it is to choose to face reality not on our own, but with the strength that comes from on high, the strength of truth and love which have their ultimate source in God. Faced with the treachery of evil, religious people can count on God, who absolutely wills what is good. They can pray to him to have the courage to face even the greatest difficulties with a sense of personal responsibility, never yielding to fatalism or impulsive reactions.

7. Brothers and Sisters gathered here from different parts of the world! Shortly we shall go to the arranged places in order to beg from God the gift of peace for all humanity. Let us ask that we be given the gift of recognizing the path of peace, of right relationship with God and among ourselves. Let us ask God to open people’s hearts to the truth about himself and the truth about man. We have a single goal and a shared intention, but we will pray in different ways, respecting one another’s religious traditions. In this too, deep down, there is a message: we wish to show the world that the genuine impulse to prayer does not lead to opposition and still less to disdain of others, but rather to constructive dialogue, a dialogue in which each one, without relativism or syncretism of any kind, becomes more deeply aware of the duty to bear witness and to proclaim.

Now is the time to overcome decisively those temptations to hostility which have not been lacking in the religious history of humanity. In fact, when these temptations appeal to religion, they show a profoundly immature face of religion. True religious feeling leads rather to a perception in one way or another of the mystery of God, the source of goodness, and that is a wellspring of respect and harmony between peoples: indeed religion is the chief antidote to violence and conflict (cf. Message for the World Day of Peace 2002, 14).

Today, as on 27 October 1986, Assisi becomes once more the "heart" of a vast multitude of people calling for peace. From yesterday until this evening, many people are united with us in places of worship, in homes, in communities, throughout the world, praying for peace. They are old people, children, adults and young people: a people tireless in their belief that prayer has the power to bring peace.

May peace dwell especially in the soul of the rising generations. Young people of the Third Millennium, young Christians, young people of every religion, I ask you to be, like Francis of Assisi, gentle and courageous "guardians" of true peace, based on justice and forgiveness, truth and mercy!

Go forward into the future holding high the lamp of peace. The world has need of its light!

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

6. Detachment is excellent; but her mother is exile. Having become an exile for the Lord's sake, we should have no ties at all lest we seem to be roving in order to gratify our passions.

January 24, 2002

(Joel 2:15-18)  Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, 'Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'' Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.


Pope John Paul II will travel by train to Assisi for the Day of Prayer for Peace in the world which he has called for today. The train is due to arrive at 10.30 at Santa Maria degli Angeli station in the hillside town of St Francis.

The Pope will be met by civil and religious authorities. He will then drive to the square in front of the Lower Basilica for the interreligious Meeting for Peace, at 11am. The meeting will open with testimony for peace by representatives of the different religions. There will be an introduction by Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and addresses by representatives of Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion, different Reformed Churches, Hinduism, Traditional African religions, Buddhism, Judaism and the Muslim world. The Pope’s address will close this first part of the Meeting.

Grouped by religion the participants will then move to different venues for prayer. The Pope will preside the prayer of all Christians together in the Lower Basilica. At 1.30 all the participants will meet again to share a Fraternal Agape in the monastery refectory.

After a short rest, the participants will return at 3.30 to the Square in front of the Basilica for the ceremony of Common Commitment to Peace and Farewell. After an introduction by Cardinal Francis Arinze, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, a Common Commitment for Peace will be read in English, Arabic and Italian. The Holy Father will then light a lamp of the candelabrum followed by representatives of each different religion. After a short speech by the Holy Father and a monition by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, the Meeting will conclude with an exchange of peace between the religious representatives and the Pope.

Before taking the train home the Pope will make short visits to the Poor Clare Nuns in St Clare’s Basilica and the Friars Minor at Santa Maria degli Angeli.

According to press reports so far 300 representatives (40 delegations) have requested to take part in the Meeting: 30 cardinals, at least 50 Catholic bishops, 20 bishops of Orthodox Churches and Oriental Churches, 20 representing Protestant communions, 10 for Judaism and 50 for the Muslim world, and others for various other religions.

Pope urges prayers on eve of meeting of world's religions
John Paul II Extends Invitation to Join in Prayer For Peace
Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi (


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

5. In going into exile, beware of the demon of drifting and of sensual desire; because exile gives him his opportunity.

January 23, 2002

(Acts 20:24)  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.


The Internet caters to the best and worst of human nature and needs regulation to stop depravity flooding cyberspace, Pope John Paul II said Tuesday. The 81-year-old pontiff, who last year sent his first message over the Internet, praised it as a "wonderful instrument" that should be used to spread the word of God and encourage global peace.

However, he warned that while it offered access to immense knowledge, the Internet did not necessarily provide wisdom and could easily be ed to demean human dignity. The pope warned that not only did the Internet allow the spread of depraved material, it could also lead people to believe that facts mattered more than values.

"The Internet offers extensive knowledge, but it does not teach values and when values are disregarded, our very humanity is demeaned," he said, adding that the system focused people's attention on an "almost unending flood of information."

"Yet human beings have a vital need for time and inner quiet to ponder and examine life and its mysteries," he said. "Understanding and wisdom are the fruit of a contemplative eye upon the world, and do not come from a mere accumulation of facts, no matter how interesting."

He said the Catholic Church had adapted to every discovery through the ages, from the Renaissance to the invention of printing and the Industrial Revolution, and must now learn to reach the masses via cyberspace.

"Like the new frontiers of other times, this one too is full of the interplay of danger and promise," he said. "For the church the new world of cyberspace is a summons to the great adventure of using its potential to proclaim the Gospel message."


Roman Catholic Church Schism Ends
Return of Brazilian Traditionalists to Church Is a Plus for Vatican II
Pontifical Biblical Commission Publishes a New Text- "The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible"
Praise for Vatican Paper on Jews


Earthquake Felt in Egypt and Greece
Moderate Quake Rattles Turkey
Strong Quake Shakes Northern Japan
Lava, Earthquakes Consume Congolese Town
Earthquake Rattles Mexico Coastline
Strong Quake Felt in Jakarta; Buildings Sway

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

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

4. In hastening to solitude and exile, do not wait for world-loving souls, because the thief comes unexpectedly. In trying to save the careless and indolent along with themselves, many perish with them, because in course of time the soul's fire goes out. As soon as the flame is burning within you, run; for you do not know when it will go out and leave you in darkness. Not all of us are required to save others. The divine Apostle says: 'Everyone of us shall give account of himself to God.' And again he says: 'Thou therefore that teachest another, dost thou not teach thyself?' This is like saying: I do not know whether we must all teach others; but we must most certainly teach ourselves.

January 22, 2002


President Yasser Arafat, confined by Israel to his West Bank headquarters, said Monday he would keep seeking a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital even if it cost him his life.

"We do not know how to retreat, we know how to advance," Arafat said in impassioned remarks to a group of Palestinian intellectuals in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "The Palestinian state will be established with al-Quds al-Sharif (East Jerusalem) as its capital. By God I see it coming, martyred or alive," he told the group during. "May God give me the honor of martyrdom in my steadfastness for Jerusalem."

Israeli tanks encircling Ramallah have taken up positions only a few dozen meters (yards) from Arafat's offices. As he spoke, the crack of bullets fired by Israeli soldiers in clashes with stone-throwing youths could be heard. Israel has denied any plans to harm or topple Arafat but has vowed to keep him in Ramallah until he arrests the alleged killers of an Israeli cabinet minister.

DEBKA.COM COMMENTARY: Since the Israeli army's massive takeover of the Palestinian town of Tulkarm on the West Bank before dawn Monday, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has, according to DEBKAfile's military sources, advanced the timetable for his planned Waterloo, the battle he sees as his last heroic stand. Confined to Ramallah since December 3, Arafat said to his intimates a few days ago words to the effect that: We are all in rapid motion towards laying down our lives in the sacred cause.

Our sources take his words to mean that he is ready for a final showdown with Israel, barring only the time and venue. Once they are decided, he will order the secret Palestinian arsenals opened up and the heavy weapons he has stockpiled in the Gaza Strip and West Bank brought out for battle. He is known to have hidden stores of Qasem-1 and Qasem-2 rockets, mortars and anti-tank and anti-air missiles. They will be used for attacks on Israeli population centers and setting Israeli tanks and helicopters on fire.

Arafat's last gamble has been decided, all except for the timing, location and sequence. By using the word masha'ri - meaning rapid - he sends a strong signal that he does not intend to let the grass grow under his feet.



Israel Takes Over West Bank Town
Sharon May Reopen Temple Mount
Opposition against letting Jews on Temple Mount
Jewish, Muslim and Christian Clerics Gather in Egypt to Discuss Peace
Pope Decries "Perverse Logic" of Violence in Holy Land

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

3. If every prophet goes unhonoured in his own country, as the Lord says, then us beware lest our exile should be for us an occasion of vainglory. For exile is separation from everything in order to keep the mind inseparable from God. Exile loves and produces continual weeping. An exile is a fugitive from every relationship with his own people and with strangers.

January 18, 2002


(John 17:20-23)  "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and d them even as you d me.


The leader of England's Roman Catholics on Sunday became the first Catholic clergyman in 500 years to preach to the royal family in an Anglican church.

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, listened at St. Mary's Church on the royal estate at Sandringham, eastern England, as Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's called for unity among all Christians.

The queen invited Murphy-O'Connor who as archbishop of Westminster leads the Catholic church of England and Wales to spend the weekend at the royal estate and preach at Sunday's service.

"I feel a great sense of privilege to be here," he said after the service. "I think this is a sign of the growing unity between the churches."

A Church of England spokesman said Murphy-O'Connor's presence at Sandringham was a sign of the warm ties between Catholics and Anglicans and of the importance Elizabeth gives to relations between those of different religions.

MORE: Former Roman Catholic favored to head Church of England
SEE ALSO: Church in Britain Publishes Popular Manual on Ecumenism


Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders will meet next month to talk about the role of faith in fighting terrorism, the spiritual head of the world's Orthodox Christians said Sunday during a visit to Iran.

Representatives of the faiths will meet in Istanbul, Turkey, "to discuss the role religion can play in countering terrorism," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I told The Associated Press. He said the clerics would meet again in May in Athens, Greece.

Wearing a white robe and speaking in Greek, Bartholomew blessed the worshippers in the candlelit church with holy water and vegetables that represented gifts of God. Congregants then lined up and kissed the patriarch's hand, and each was given a loaf of bread and a cross.

An official at the Greek Orthodox church in Tehran, Olca Xantopoulou, said Sunday was a "historic day" for Iran's Orthodox Christian community. "It's the first time ever that the patriarch is leading a Mass in our church. History may not repeat it again," he said.

Iran's population of 70 million includes about 150,000 Christians, two-thirds of whom are Armenian Orthodox Christian.

SEE ALSO: Putin encourages the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches to establish full relations

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

2. Those who have come to love the Lord are at first unceasingly and greatly disturbed by this thought, as if burning with divive fire. I speak of separation from their own, undertaken by the lovers of perfection so that they may live a life of hardship and simplicity. But great and praiseworthy as this is, yet it requires great discretion; for not every kind of exile, carried to extremes, is good.

January 17, 2002

(Mark 16:17-18)  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Two areas that bear close watch in the immediate future are the Middle East and the financial markets.  It would appear that the stage is set for yet more Middle East unrest and the acceleration of losses in the global stock markets, including the US.

Please join me in praying in advance for individuals that will be victims of these events.


If you can bring up my homepage you can see how healings have occurred in my healing ministry. Please see Testimonies.

May you have the anointing and empowering of God's Holy Spirit.

Fr Luke Newington OFM    Sydney Australia.

Excerpt from this site:

Divinely Possible.  "Yes!"................

"Impossible!" laughed Sarah; but God sent Isaac.

"Impossible!" said Zachariah; but God sent John.

"Possible and wonderful" said Mary, and God sent Jesus.

"Impossible!" declared the disciples; but Jesus fed the famished.

"Impossible!" spoke the mariners; but He stilled the storm.

"Possible and actual" stated the centurion; and life was restored.

"Impossible!" asserted Unbelief; but Jesus arose from the dead.

"Impossible!" sighed Doubt; but He appeared to the doubter.

"Possible and Unconquerable" affirmed Faith; and the HOLY SPIRIT came.

"Impossible!" wails weakness; but God gives strength.

"Impossible !" taunts the tempter; but God sends deliverance.

"Possible in Him!" proclaims experience;

and God is glorified !!!!!!!  Amen.

(Luke 1:37)  For nothing is impossible with God."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

1. Exile means that we leave forever everything in our own country that prevents us from reaching the goal of piety. Exile means modest manners, wisdom which remains unknown, prudence not recognized as such by most, a hidden life, an invisible intention, unseen meditation, desire for humiliation, longing for hardship, constant determination to love God, abundance of love, renunciation of vainglory, depth of silence.

January 16, 2002

(Ezek 18:21-23)  "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?


Talk about strange bedfellows ... The three most significant people in the legalization of abortion on demand in the United States joined forces with the largest, most unified pro-life alliance to date, Shake the Nation Back to Life, to become part of a cultural message that is unprecedented. The historic 32-member and counting coalition announced a national campaign on Monday, 10 a.m., January 14, at the National Press Club, and the stars of the 60-second spot will be three of the abortion industry's former heroes.

Shake the Nation Back to Life is a project of D. James Kennedy's Center for Reclaiming America. Janet Folger, the force behind the grassroots effort, notes that there has never been a coalition like this before. "The fact that 32 of the most respected pro-life organizations joined together as never before was already momentous," said Folger, national director of the Center for Reclaiming America. "But having these three founders of abortion on demand join us makes Shake the Nation Back to Life historic." "Most Americans have no idea that three of the abortion industry's superstars are now solidly pro-life," Folger said. "But they'll see the truth for themselves now."

This second ad in the Shake the Nation campaign features Norma McCorvey, "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade; Sandra Cano, who was "Mary Doe" of Doe v. Bolton, Roe's companion case that legalized late-term abortions; and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a co-founder of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), the group that announced a $40 million campaign to block President Bush's pro-life judicial nominees, and all pro-life legislation in 2001. The TV spot aired at the press conference, showed McCorvey, Cano, and Nathanson boldly declaring, "Abortion is a lie." The spot is scheduled to air on Fox, MSNBC and CNN, and continue past Jan. 22, the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.


I am writing to ask a special favor of you. The March for Life is always an important event, especially this year as we face embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and the continuation of abortions in our nation.

Many college students from Benedictine College and others schools in the area are going to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, January 20-22, 2002. I send along to you the following appeal from the Director of Pro-life concerns for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, David Gittrich, and ask that you help support students who cannot afford to attend the March to pay their way.

"If any of you know of someone (or maybe your parish pro-life group) who may be willing to sponsor a student on the bus trip to Washington D.C., please contact Katie Misener, the coordinator for the Ravens Respect Life. Her email address is [email protected]. Their numbers are down because of 9-11 and they could use a little help.
The cost to adopt a student is $200 (any amount is appreciated). Contact Katie immediately if you are able to help."

Father Meinrad, O.S.B.
Vocation Director, St. Benedict's Abbey


National Prayer Vigil for Life January 21-22, 2002
Priest's for Life link on March for Life

(Prov 31:8)  "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 2- "On Detachment"

6. It is worth investigating why those who live in the world and spend their life in vigils, fasts, labours and hardships, when they withdraw from the world and begin the monastic life, as if at some trial or on the practising ground, no longer continue the discipline of their former spurious and sham asceticism. I have seen how in the world they planted many different plants of the virtues, which were watered by vainglory as by an underground sewage pipe, and were hoed by ostentation, and for manure were heaped with praise. But when transplanted to a desert soil, inaccessible to people of the world and so not manured with the foul-smelling water of vanity, they withered at once. For water-loving plants are not such as to produce fruit in hard and arid training fields.

January 15, 2002

(Psa 12:7-8)  O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever. The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.


A man left paralysed after a cycling accident is hoping pioneering methods of human cloning will give him a new lease on life without disability.

Texan doctor Judson Somerville has volunteered to give cells from his body to scientists aiming to cure him through the creation of human embryo clones. His story features in the first of four programmes, beginning on Sunday, on life and human experimentation, aptly entitled How To Build A Human.

The BBC Two landmark series looks at the ground-breaking steps being taken in human development, from recreating life to ways of altering the ageing process.

The series covers four areas of advancement in human technology: creation, genetic predictions, gender alteration and the ageing process. Cutting-edge images give a futuristic and very visual portrayal of the latest discoveries in science.

COMMENTARY FROM SPUC: A television programme promoting destructive research on cloned human embryos has been condemned by SPUC. "How to build a human" was broadcast last night on British national television and followed the [apparent] creation of cloned human embryos by Advanced Cell Technology of Massachusetts last October. SPUC spokesman Anthony Ozimic said: "Although several pro-cloning scientists were interviewed, no one against human cloning appeared. The case against human cloning was dismissed as ‘strange’, the personhood of the early embryo was denied, and ethical alternatives such as adult stem cell research were ignored. It would be most reprehensible if the BBC was acting as a mouthpiece for a British government still bruised from last year's parliamentary and legal battles on cloning."

RELATED: AFA ALERT- Action Needed Now Before Senate Considers Human Cloning Ban


VIA Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute AND American Life League:

It is expected that President Bush will decide this Wednesday whether the US government will financially support the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

UNFPA is the UN agency that promotes population control and abortion all over the world.

UNFPA has been implicated in forced abortions in China and forced sterilizations in Peru.

The President can give UNFPA any amount from zero all the way up to $34 million! We must urge him to give UNFPA ZERO!

It is urgent that all US citizens call the White House (202-456-1414)and tell the operator "Zero for UNFPA!" 202-456-1414 and say "Zero for UNPFA!".  That's all.

Your comment will be noted and passed along. Your comment "Zero for UNFPA" will assist the President in deciding what to give this pro-abortion agency.

Remember, 202-456-1414 and tell the operator "Zero for UNFPA!"

Do it now....

RELATED: Family Planning Funds Put on Hold

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 2- "On Detachment"

5. Having resolved to run our race with ardour and fervour, let us consider carefully how the Lord gave judgment concerning all living in the world, speaking of even those who are alive as dead, when He said to someone: Leave those in the world who are dead to bury the dead in body. His wealth did not in the least prevent the young man from being baptized. And so it is in vain that some say that the Lord commanded him to sell what he had for the sake of baptism. This story is more than sufficient to give us the most firm assurance of the surpassing glory of our vow.

January 12, 2002


(Mark 11:25)  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."


"To err is human and to forgive divine", according to the old adage, but humans who forgive are known to experience significant physical and mental health benefits from doing so.

Among survey participants of all ages reports of forgiveness of themselves and others were associated with decreased psychological distress, including feelings of restlessness, hopelessness and nervousness. Further, young adults who reported high levels of self-forgiveness were more likely to be satisfied with their lives, whereas middle age and older adults who reported high levels of forgiveness of others were more likely to report increased life satisfaction.

In other findings, attendance at religious services was associated with decreased psychological distress, particularly among young and middle-aged adults, and increased life satisfaction among young and old . rvice attendance was also associated with higher self-rated health among all age groups. The study was partly supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.


Doctors have today announced something Catholics have known for centuries-- reciting the Rosary is good for you.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Peter Sleight, of the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, in conjunction with doctors from Florence and Pavia in Italy, said the formulaic nature of the prayer helps harmonize breathing cycles with involuntary rhythmic fluctuations in the blood pressure to an optimum six per minute.

They monitored the blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing of 23 healthy men and women and found their respiration rate slowed down from an average 14 breaths a minute when they were not seeking to control it, to seven when they were talking rather than chanting, and to about six when they were deliberately controlling their breathing or reciting the prayer or a mantra.

The doctors say the rosary may have evolved because it synchronized with inherent cardiovascular rhythms "and thus gave a feeling of well-being and perhaps an increased responsiveness to the religious message."

MORE: Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial

CONCLUSION: Remote, retroactive intercessory prayer can improve outcomes in patients with a bloodstream infection. This intervention is cost effective, probably has no adverse effects, and should be considered for clinical practice. Further studies may determine the most effective form of this intervention and its effect in other severe conditions and may clarify its mechanism.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 2- "On Detachment"

4. Let us listen to what the Lord said to the young man who had fulfilled nearly all the commandments: 'One thing though lackest: sell whatsoever thou hast and give to the poor and become a beggar who receives alms from others'.

January 11, 2002

POPE JPII: "Darkness can only be scattered by light.  Hatred can only be conquered by love."


Pope John Paul said on Thursday that the horizon for peace in the world was dark and that humanity found itself gripped by fear of an uncertain future. But, speaking to diplomats in his annual "state of the world'' address, he said the world needed a process of healing so that violence would not be heaped upon violence.

In his wide-ranging address, he also said fighting terrorism was legitimate and that killing in God's name was blasphemy.  He told Israelis and Palestinians that the "law of retaliation" would get them nowhere.

The Pope said he was worried about the growing tensions between Pakistan and India, the financial and political crises in Argentina, and the armed struggles and health emergencies decimating Africa's people. He also urged nations to help the newly installed government in Afghanistan to achieve a lasting peace.

"The horizon indeed appears dark," the Pope told diplomats from most of the 172 countries that have relations with the Vatican in his address in the frescoed Reggia Hall in the Apostolic Palace. "Those who have lived through the great movement toward freedom and the changes of the 90s are surprised to find themselves gripped today by fear of a future which has once again become uncertain," he said.

"As this year begins, we are tragically aware that humanity finds itself in a situation of violence, suffering and sin."

FULL TEXT OF ADDRESS: Click here for text of address


RELATED: "Religion Today" Review- Violence in the Name of Religion


Quote from  "Salt of the Earth" by Cardinal Ratzinger (page 277-278):

"that with Christianity a new and in some sense definitive phase of history has begun. This phase of history is marked by the awareness that the end of history is approaching, not according to calculations of millennia, but that history is on the way, and that Christ is, as it were, the end that has begun, and the world, while moving away from him, is nonetheless moving toward him again.

This is what the Pope is talking about. That Christ brings the decisive milestone into world history itself and that, in the uncertainties of history, which are becoming ever more dramatic, he remains not only the point of departure but also the destination. Oriented toward him, we are on our way to an end. An end that is not simply destruction but is consummation, which brings history to an inner totality."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 2- "On Detachment"

3. After our renunciation of the world, the demons suggest to us that we should envy those living in the world who give alms and console [the needy], and be sorry for ourselves as deprived of these virtues. The aim of our foes is, by false humility, either to make us return to the world, or, if we remain monks, to plunge us into despair. It is possible to belittle those living in the world out of conceit; and it is also possible to disparage them behind their backs in order to avoid despair and to obtain hope.

January 10, 2002


Israel decided Wednesday to halt construction of a mosque next to a major Christian shrine in Jesus' boyhood home of Nazareth, an Israeli official said, a project that had caused friction between Christians and Muslims. The mosque would stand next to the Basilica of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East, built on the spot where tradition says the Angel Gabriel foretold the birth of Jesus.

Police in the northern Israeli town were braced for angry protests by the local Islamic Movement, which had funded the mosque construction.  The mosque has become a symbol of Muslim aspirations for greater political power in Nazareth, where Christians are no longer a majority.

Christian groups in the city called the mosque a provocation, with some accusing the government of approving it to curry Muslim votes.  The dispute also brought tensions between Israel and the Christian world, with the Vatican complaining about the project.

Pope John Paul II threatened to cancel a millennium visit to the Holy Land over the issue, and the Vatican said in November that construction of the mosque would "put this holy place in a permanent state of siege."





National Catholic Register Online: ISLAM: THE APPEAL AND THE PERIL


(2 Th 2:11-12)  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 2- "On Detachment"

2. After our call, which comes from God and not man, we have left all that is mentioned above, and it is a great disgrace for us to worry about anything that cannot help us in the hour of our need, that is to say, the hour of our death. For as the Lord said, this means looking back and not being fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. Knowing how fickle we novices are, and how easily we turn to the world through visiting, or being with, worldly people, when someone asked Him: 'Suffer me first to go and bury my father,' our Lord replied, 'Let the dead bury their dead.'

January 9, 2002

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



TO: Commander and Chief Spiritual Armed Forces, Jesus Christ

Dear Lord; I am writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons: I began my career as a private, because of the intensity of the battle You have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and given me a tremendous amount of responsibility.

There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgements, and find solutions to complex problems. You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private.

I realize that You have promised to supply all I would need for the battle. But Sir, I must present You a realistic picture of my equipment. My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and blood of those I have tried to assist. The soles of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist and encourage the instructed troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished and chipped from constant battle against the enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.

You have promised You would be with me throughout, but when the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear You. I feel so alone. I'm tired. I'm discouraged.

I have Battle Fatigue.

I would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I'll file papers or clean latrines.

Just get me out of the battle-please, Sir.

Your Faithful, but tired, Warrior.


To: Faithful, but tired, Soldier,

Spiritual Armed Forces Location: The Battlefield

SUBJECT: Transfer

Dear Soldier:

Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present My reasons:
You are needed in this battle. I have selected you, and I will keep My Word to supply your need. You do not need a demotion and transfer. (You'd never cut it on latrine duty.) You need a period of "R&R"-Renewal and Rekindling.

I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and "make all things new."

You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier.

Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuries. You need to be healed. I will heal you. You have been weakened in the battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength. I will instill in you confidence and ability. My Words will rekindle within you renewed love, zeal and enthusiasm.

Report to Me tattered and empty. I will refill you.

Compassionately, Your Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: At Benedictine College, Signs of Spiritual Rebirth

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 2- "On Detachment"

1 (cont.). But having shaken off all ties with earthly things and having stripped himself of all his cares, and having come to hate even his own flesh, and having stripped himself of everything, he will follow Christ without anxiety or hesitation, always looking Heavenward and expecting help from there, according to the word of the saint: My soul hath cleaved after Thee; and acoording to the other ever-memorable man who said: I have not wearied of following Thee, or have I desired the day or rest of man, O Lord.

January 8, 2002

(Rev 12:9)  The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.


The sun discharged a powerful burst of energy on Friday, igniting the most complex coronal mass ejection since an international solar observatory launched six years ago, according to astronomers.

The eruption, a twisting assemblage of bright patches that resembles a fantastical dragon, unleashed billions of tons of particles at speeds of about 2.2 million mph (3.5 million km/h).

The sun's magnetic field lines were responsible for the intricate design, according to Paal Brekke, a scientist with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency

"The complexity and structure ...amazed even experienced solar physicists at the SOHO operations center," Brekke said. "It shows lots of structures, lots of filaments. They get twisted up like rubber bands and sometimes they can just snap."

FROM THE MAIBAG VIA Dr. Richard Hubbell: See the online movie of the explosion on the sun that took place Friday, 1/4/2002. It sure looks to me like a dragon !!

Link to movie:
Link to photo:


A large asteroid discovered just weeks ago has passed close to the Earth on Monday. Astronomers say if the 300 metre wide rock had hit it could have wiped out an entire country. The asteroid passed less than twice the moon's distance from us, which is considered close in cosmic terms.

The BBC reports it was named 2001 YB5 after its discovery in December by the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking telescope in California. If it had been on a collision course with Earth scientists admit there would have been too little time to take action against it.

The asteroid has now been classified as 'potentially hazardous' because it orbits the Sun every 1,321 days and could strike the Earth in the future.

Scientists have calculated that if it had struck London everything within 100 miles would have been devastated and everything within a further 500 miles would have been severely damaged. If it had fallen in the sea it would have created tsunami waves which would have devastated a much wider area.

(Luke 21:25)  "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 2- "On Detachment"

1. The man who really loves the Lord, who has made a real effort to find the future Kingdom, who is really pained by his sins, who is really mindful of eternal torment and judgment, who really lives in fear of his own departure, will not love, care or worry about money, or possessions, or parents, or worldly glory, or friends, or brothers or anything at all on earth.

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