Keep your eyes open!...


January 31, 2007 

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "How can we not turn our attention, once again, to the awful situation right in the land where Jesus was born? How can we not implore through persistent prayer that the day of peace also arrives in that region as soon as possible?"


Pope Benedict XVI called for a return to dialogue and an end to violence in Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday. The pontiff told people gathered in St. Peter's Square that he was saddened by the pain inflicted on the population and appealed for dialogue.

Referring to the past week's violence in the region, the Pope said that "it is unacceptable that one should take this path to affirm one's political reasons."

"I feel immense pain for that dear population," the Catholic Church's leader added in comments carried by AP.

Benedict also appealed for the cessation of violence in the Gaza strip "as soon as possible" and called on all involved to "work together for the common good."

RELATED: Religious leaders seek more vigorous U.S. role in Mideast peace


Hamas fails to condemn Eilat bomb that killed three
Bizarre tale of Shia messianic cult plot
Bush Warns Iran Against Action in Iraq
On Shiites' holiest day, 58 dead in Iraq

EXCERPT: John Paul II on War in the Name of God

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

35. Hyperichius said, 'Let your mind be always on the kingom of heaven, and you will soon inherit it.'

January 26, 2007


(Mat 25:37-40) Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'

LINK: Charity Unites Christians, Pope Says


Mr. Jeff Reed, Exec. Director of St David's Relief ( has asked me to get the word out on the 2007 Workcamp. We are going into the historic town of Stolac. It is about 18 miles southwest of Medjugorje. The town has a troubled past and was on the front lines during the war. Hopefully, our work will mend some bridges.

WORK CAMP 2007 Bosnia Herzegovina June 30 – July 13-14

St. David's Relief Foundation is once again pleased to announce its Summer Work Camp Program. The 2007 Work Camp will return to rural Bosnia Herzegovina and the village of Stolac.

Stolac suffered greatly during the war and was a front line zone of military activity. Its citizens have struggled through the years to bring normalcy back into their lives. Both the Christian and Muslim citizens of Stolac are called to reconciliation. Their path to reconciliation is scattered with scars and unpleasant memories.

St. David’s was approached by the Catholic community in Stolac and requested to help with construction of a new youth center on the grounds of the church. The youth are the conduit to future and lasting peace. Coming together at centers of faith strengthen the devotion of healing and peace. St. David's has committed to assist with funding this worthy building endeavor. We wish to invite our friends to help initiate this project with their prayers, resources, and labor. Please join us.

If you have questions, or to secure YOUR place, please e-mail to [email protected]


Report Work Camp 2006: The Heart of a Mother; the Touch of God

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

32. Syncletica said, 'Let us live soberly, for thieves get in through our bodily senses. The inside of the house is sure to be blackened if the smoke that is coiling up outside finds the windows open.'

January 25, 2007

(Mat 16:24-25) Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.

VIA Nadine: How to Start a Spiritual Revolution! By Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.

If you're perfectly content with the state of your spiritual progress, then stop reading. If you have a healthy discontent with your spiritual life, then read about a resolution that will cause a spiritual revolution in your life.

Each new day reminds us not only of the fleeting nature of time, but also that we have precious little with which to purchase our eternity.

Here's a resolution that's a real challenge to any day or year! Our Blessed Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24). Apply this one sentence to your daily life for one year, and you won't recognize yourself at its close.

To follow Christ means first of all, to make Him the chief study of your life. It calls for meditation and study of His words. It needs the intention to live of His life by prayer and the sacraments. It will lead to the mirroring of Him in your daily life. It is the wholehearted living of the commitment you made to Christ on the day of your Baptism. Actually, it means that you intend to substitute Christ for yourself in your daily life.

Undoubtedly, every Christian wants to walk with Christ, but not everyone is willing to pay the price. The determination to follow Him must be a more than half-hearted hope or a weak-kneed wish. It must be a truly effective resolution that doesn't count the cost implied in the perfect following of our Blessed Lord.

Immediately after inviting us to follow Him our Blessed Savior adds: "Let him deny himself." Living for God calls for a denying of self.

The quest for the perfect love of God implies an unselfish dedication to the love and interest of God. Christ didn't ask us to give up something but rather someone-and that someone is ourselves! If we sacrifice all our selfish desires, there is no need for any further mortification to become a saint.

We deny ourselves first by our daily struggle against mortal sin. Simply to stay alive in Christ involves an undramatic but very real kind of daily martyrdom. Previous sinfulness must be atoned for, and future possible sin must be avoided, but the real struggle is in the present hour.

Nor do we have to go far from ourselves to find the cross that our Lord tells us we must take up daily. Each of us has our cross built within the framework of our own human nature. Indeed, the greatest cross of many of us is simply the putting up with ourselves~! The refined selfishness that is part and parcel of our personality can be cured only by the Cross of Christ.

Start off by taking yourself just as you are. Then be determined to do you best with the materials on hand. You have the blue-print in the life of our Lord. You have the guidance and inspiration of His words and His representatives. You can contact Him and His life through prayer and the sacraments. And you have the reassurance that you don't have to walk alone, for this Constant Companion not only shares your life, but has a healing compassion and a divine insight into your slightest needs.

What do you need to bring Christ more perfectly into your life during this year-and consequently more perfectly into the world that needs Him so badly? Only one thing-to will it! You need, in short, a firm resolution. One that will cause a spiritual revolution in your life. It's the only one that can save the world and yourself!

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

30. Some brothers once asked Silvanus, 'What way of life did you follow to be endowed with such prudence?' He answered, 'I have never let any bitter thought remain in my heart.'

January 24, 2007 

(Eph 6:12-13) 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.

ARCHIVES: More From Father Corapi

Satan's scheme is an assault that comes through the attack on what Father Corapi termed the transcendentals — unity, truth, good (the moral life) and beauty. It is an attack on life itself, he said. The ultimate goal is an attack on the Eucharist — the source, center and summit of the Church's life.

"And how do you get rid of the Eucharist?" he asked. "You get rid of priests. Strike the shepherd and scatter the sheep."

Father Corapi outlined how scandals coming from within the Church (sexual abuse by priests) and scandals coming from outside the Church (via attacks by the media) are combining to do the devil's work.

"Divide and conquer is part of the end game," he said, and it can be traced back to that division within human beings themselves — sin.

The disintegration of the family, the dismissal of truth, the dissolution of morals, and the corruption of beauty are the results of what Pope Pius XII described in 1948: "The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin."


Parshioners Weep, Vow To Fight Church Closures
Preservationists push to save Catholic church
St. Thomas holds final Mass at old site
Archdiocese wants to redistribute $3 million from closed parishes
As churches close, relics hidden in altars face an uncertain fate


Vietnamese cardinal quoted as saying there are no more obstacles to Vatican-Vietnam ties
China welcomes Vatican olive branch
Vatican, Bavaria sign new pact on education
Pope Asks Montenegro to Recognize Catholic Community
European Churches Push for EU 'God Clause'
Head of Italy's bishops lashes out at rights for same-sex couples in Italy, pans euthanasia
Catholic Church battles gay adoption rules

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

27. A brother said to Sisois, 'I want to guard my heart.' He said to him, 'How can we guard the heart if our tongue leaves the door of the fortress open?'

January 23, 2007 

(James 4:7) Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil: and he will fly from you.


Michael D. O’Brien Meditation: The First Rays of Dawn

HEADLINE: Benedict seen as isolated at Vatican

EXCERPT PETER KREEFT: Jesus took Satan very, very seriously (though not obsessively). If we do not, how can we say we are in line with our Lord? If we object to the fear of Satan, or even belief in Satan, in principle, or if we scorn it as foolish, we call Christ a fool and thus deny either the Incarnation (that He is God) or the wisdom of God (for if fear of Satan is foolish, and Christ taught it, and Christ is God, then God is foolish). Christ commanded us to conclude the only prayer He ever gave us, His model prayer, with “Deliver us from the evil one.” The Greek word is a singular noun, not a plural participle, and it has a definite article; the proper translation is not just “evil” but the “evil one. “ And this reference to the Devil makes up one of the prayer’s six petitions, one-sixth of the perfect prayer.

EXCERPT FATHER CORAPI: The existence and malevolent activity of the devil or Satan and the fallen angels or demons is likewise a teaching of the church that must be accepted by all. "The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing (#391).

Through the misuse of the gifts of intellect and free will the devil (Lucifer) and those who went his way chose irrevocably to reject God and his reign. Their choice is irrevocable because of their higher nature. Men get a second chance, and many more than that, but the angels clearly saw what they were doing. Hence, "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death" (#393).

Christ came to cast out the evil one and his works of lying and death, and did so through the humble obedience which led him always to accept the Father's will, even unto the death of the cross. The essence of the diabolic is that pride and arrogance which leads to disobedience. This leads to fracturing and division. Stepping outside of the truth who is God himself results in this division.

Those who are most powerful in Christ through his church, which is called to fight against "the liar and father of lies, the murderer from the beginning" (cf.. Jn 8:42f) (the devil), are those who are most humbly obedient to God's authority working through the church. The devil can do nothing when he comes up against those who obey most humbly Christ's church and her teachings. On the other hand, he is most powerful and untiringly active working through those who imagine themselves to be above the church's teaching authority. Humility leads to obedience, which leads to life. Pride leads to disobedience, which leads to death. This is the lesson of the book of Genesis. It is the lesson of the cross.

With the angels of the Lord we humbly and obediently praise and give thanks to the Father through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit for all that God's creative and redemptive power has wrought.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

25. He also said, 'Do not stay with anyone who is always scornful when they speak.'

January 19, 2007


(1Th 5:17) Pray without ceasing.


RELATED HEADLINE: World Has 5 Minutes on Doomsday Clock

VIA Ron Smith: Discernment Definition & Use

Q:How does the Catholic Church define discernment? 

A: When looking to define Catholic sayings or words, we often forget older dictionaries back before 1970. In them you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of words with their accepted Christian meanings. These were the days when schools and colleges could still read about God and pray without penalty. “Discernment: skill in discerning or discriminating: keenness of insight. Discern: to come to know or recognize mentally: to see or understand the difference.” “In 1 Cor. 12:10, Paul lists one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit - 'the ability to distinguish between spirits'. The English term discernment is from the Latin discerne - to distinguish between, to resolve [as in conflict], to decide which parallels the New Testament term diakrisis, meaning to distinguish, differentiate or see through to the source, which inspired either an interior movement or a specific behavior. Discernment includes making a judgement aided by the Holy Spirit, so that it is a grace-filled human judgement. The goal of discernment is to see through a given behavior or movement in one's interior life to its source and inspiration: God (or angels), our own heart or evil spirits/the Tempter. Discernment of spirits is necessary for the sake of the People of God, so that they may recognize and participate in the act/work of God in their midst as this relates to the unfolding of His great plan of salvation; in effect, it is God's gift of spiritual sight which helps identify the critical path of our pilgrimage to God.” 

Q: How should a Catholic use discernment?  

A:“Pray without ceasing. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good." “There are two basic means of verifying what is discerned. First, at the theological level, any movement of the interior life or behavioral pattern which claims to be from God affirms the basic gospel message is verified throughout Sacred Scripture, is echoed in the Sacred Liturgy, and is consistent with the lives of the saints. Second, on the pastoral and practical level, one always judges an authentic prophecy the same way one judges whether or not an attractive tree is not full of sickness instead of being full of life - by the fruit produced; such fruit would normally include a deepening love for God, others and even one's enemies.” “Beware of false prophets, who come in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” In summary: Discernment includes making a judgement aided by the Holy Spirit, so that it is a grace-filled human judgement.

Pray without ceasing, or, in English a bit more understandable, pray about everything before you make a decision. You know you discerned correctly and made the right decision by the fruits born by your decision!

Let me close with an example. You have $25,000 cash available to buy a new car. You 'want' a SUV with all of the bells and whistles. You put considerable prayer into this and decide to spend only $10,000 on a perfectly good compact car that will serve your 'needs'. You buy the compact car. A week later your daughter has an accident that totals the families minivan. It was not insured and they have no money to replace it. But you have an extra $15,000 to give them because you trusted in the Lord by discerning in faith your own vehicle purchase! The Lord provided for the 'needs' of both you and your daughter because you prayed, discerned and obeyed!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please join me in whispering a prayer for Ron who is facing possible vascular surgery.  You can join his email distribution list or simply write to provide encouragement at: [email protected]

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

24. He also said, 'The beginning and the end is the fear of the Lord. For it is written, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps. 111:10) and, when Abraham built an altar the Lord said to him, "now I know that you fear God" (Gen. 22:12).'

January 18, 2007 

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


POPE BENEDICT XVI: “The closer we draw to Christ, converting ourselves to his love, the closer we also draw to one another.”

COMMENTARY: On the Church and Society by Raymond J. Keating


79. It is already possible to identify the areas in need of fuller study before a true consensus of faith can be achieved: 1) the relationship between Sacred Scripture, as the highest authority in matters of faith, and Sacred Tradition, as indispensable to the interpretation of the Word of God; 2) the Eucharist, as the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, an offering of praise to the Father, the sacrificial memorial and Real Presence of Christ and the sanctifying outpouring of the Holy Spirit; 3) Ordination, as a Sacrament, to the threefold ministry of the episcopate, presbyterate and diaconate; 4) the Magisterium of the Church, entrusted to the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him, understood as a responsibility and an authority exercised in the name of Christ for teaching and safeguarding the faith; 5) the Virgin Mary, as Mother of God and Icon of the Church, the spiritual Mother who intercedes for Christ's disciples and for all humanity.

In this courageous journey towards unity, the transparency and the prudence of faith require us to avoid both false irenicism and indifference to the Church's ordinances. Conversely, that same transparency and prudence urge us to reject a halfhearted commitment to unity and, even more, a prejudicial opposition or a defeatism which tends to see everything in negative terms.

To uphold a vision of unity which takes account of all the demands of revealed truth does not mean to put a brake on the ecumenical movement. On the contrary, it means preventing it from settling for apparent solutions which would lead to no firm and solid results. The obligation to respect the truth is absolute. Is this not the law of the Gospel?


Unity - the essence of Christianity
Vatican unveils plan for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Human Suffering Inspires Prayer for Christian Unity

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

23. Poemen said that someone asked Paesisus this question, 'What am I to do about my soul? I have become incapable of feeling and I do not fear God.' He said to him, 'Go, and live with someone who does fear God: and by being there, you to.'

January 17, 2007 

(Mat 10:37-38) He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me.


Muslims respect certitude and disdain weakness in exchanges with Christians and are more responsive to principled individuals who are unapologetic in defending their world view, according to a Catholic convert from Islam.

Addressing a seminar in Alexandria, Va., Iraqi-born Daniel Ali, who converted in 1998, discussed some of the key components of his former religion, such as jihad and Islamic views on God.

At a time when Islam is gaining strength worldwide, Ali told fellow Catholics in attendance that the "first line of defense is to know to your faith."

Catholics must be willing to speak up when their faith is under assault, Ali said.

When Christians engage Muslims, they must avoid the temptation to equivocate in their beliefs in order to appease or keep the peace.

"You cannot flush out Jesus for the sake of getting along with Muslims," Ali said. "They do not like wishy-washy people. They are much more respectful of those who stand by their convictions."

Ali advised Catholics to carefully weigh arguments about points of convergence between Christianity and Islam -- for instance, the fact the Koran affirms the virgin birth of Jesus and expresses a high regard for Mary.

"Every sentence that comes from Muslims includes a 'but,'" Ali said. "The beliefs are not the same."

Ali is co-author of "Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics," which outlines some of the distinct beliefs of Muslims and what this means for Catholics.

A key point raised in the book, co-written with Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer, concerns Islamic beliefs about Jesus. Although Muslims consider Jesus a prophet, the Koran condemns those who view Jesus as being divine. Muslims also deny Jesus died on the cross.

In his talk, Ali touched on the different meanings of "jihad" and how they relate to contemporary politics. The internal struggle individual Muslims face daily in practicing their faith is described as "greater jihad," while the combat between Muslims and enemies of Allah is called "lesser jihad."

It is this second definition that should concern Christians and other non-Muslims, Ali said.

"It is very sad that tragedy makes us pay attention to most challenging moment of our time," Ali said in reference to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. "When Muslims say they want to take the West, they are not joking. I know their minds, and I know they mean what they say."

RELATED: Christian converts from Islam

EDITORIAL: What to do with Muslim veils? By Father Alponse de Valk, C.S.B.


Muslim Extremism Featured in Documentary
Britain's growing jihadist movement
Spanish bishops uneasy at demand for new mosques

LINK: Maps of war: History of religion

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

12. Theonas said, 'Our mind is hindered and held back from contemplating God, because we are kept prisoner by our bodily passions.'

January 12, 2007


(Rev 12:12) Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.


Saturday, 13 May 2000 Fátima 

EXCERPT: "Another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon" (Rv 12: 3). These words from the first reading of the Mass make us think of the great struggle between good and evil, showing how, when man puts God aside, he cannot achieve happiness, but ends up destroying himself.

How many victims there have been throughout the last century of the second millennium! We remember the horrors of the First and Second World Wars and the other wars in so many parts of the world, the concentration and extermination camps, the gulags, ethnic cleansings and persecutions, terrorism, kidnappings, drugs, the attacks on unborn life and the family.

The message of Fátima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the "dragon" whose "tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth" (Rv 12: 4). Man's final goal is heaven, his true home, where the heavenly Father awaits everyone with his merciful love.

God does not want anyone to be lost; that is why 2,000 years ago he sent his Son to earth, "to seek and to save the lost" (Lk 19: 10). And he saved us by his death on the cross. Let no one empty that Cross of its power! Jesus died and rose from the dead to be "the first-born among many brethren" (Rom 8: 29).

In her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fátima to ask men and women "to stop offending God, Our Lord, who is already very offended". It is a mother's sorrow that compels her to speak; the destiny of her children is at stake. For this reason she asks the little shepherds: "Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them".


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Embezzlement is rampant in Catholic dioceses
Priests ask Vatican to punish Mexican cleric accused of child abuse


The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

10. He also said, 'If you always keep in mind your death and the eternal judgment, there will be no stain on your soul.'

January 11, 2007 


As the situation in the Middle East has shown, says Benedict XVI, "armed solutions achieve nothing."

On meeting with ambassadors accredited to the Holy See today, the Pope renewed his appeal "to all parties involved in the complex political chessboard of the region, hoping for a consolidation of the positive signs noted in recent weeks between Israelis and Palestinians."

The Holy Father said: "The Holy See will never tire of reiterating that armed solutions achieve nothing, as we saw in Lebanon this summer. "The future of that country depends upon the unity of all its components, and upon fraternal relations between its different religious and social groupings."

Pope warns of nuclear weapons crisis


Although a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program is preferable, a clash between the West and the Islamic Republic on the issue in the coming years is inevitable, an Israeli expert on Iranian affairs said Tuesday.

"It is not possible in the world today for one nation to have world hegemony. Someone will be worried and there will be a clash," said Dr. Eldad Pardo, an Iranian affairs specialist at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

"A nuclear Iran would sell weapons to terrorists, and a clash [to prevent this] will be inevitable," Pardo said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.


Apocalypse warning heads top 10 religion stories of 2006
Decision time
Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran over Turkey

EDITORIAL: Iran Sobered Us Up on New Year’s- A message of nuclear proportions

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living 

9. Evagrius said, 'It is a great thing to pray without distraction. It is even greater to sing psalms without distraction.'

January 9, 2007 

(Heb 12:14) Follow peace with all men and holiness: without which no man shall see God.

LINK: Happiness By Rev. Richard Scheiner, C.P.

Short Excerpt: The greatest lesson the saints teach us is that holiness and happiness always go together. Happiness, true happiness, is never found outside ourselves, but always within. Holiness is really the path to happiness, a path that never ends until it reaches the heart of God where it rests forever. Holiness and happiness is a kind of direction rather than a destination. The path of happiness and holiness is a way that awakens us to God's presence in every moment of our lives. All the way to heaven is, indeed, heaven. Give us, Lord, the eyes to see.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Holiness constitutes the vocation of all the baptized"

"There is a profound relationship between Christ's baptism and our baptism. In the Jordan, the heavens were opened (cf. Luke 3:21) to indicate that the Savior opened to us the way of salvation and that we can follow it precisely thanks to the new birth "of water and the Spirit" (John 3:5), which takes place in baptism. In it, we are introduced in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church, we die and rise with him, we are clothed in him, as the Apostle Paul underlines on several occasions (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27). The commitment that arises from baptism consists therefore in "listening" to Jesus, that is, to believe in him and follow him docilely doing his will, the will of God. In this way, each one of us can aspire to holiness, a goal that, as the Second Vatican Council reminded, constitutes the vocation of all the baptized. May we be helped by Mary, mother of the beloved Son of God, to always be faithful to our baptism".

ARCHBISHOP NICHOLS:  "I am not saying that all must be well for home to be holy. Holiness is not about having successful children, a tidy house, or even a very solid marriage. Nor is holiness simply about having a routine of family prayer, although that helps.

"Holiness is about having eyes for God. It is about being ready to respond to God's presence in ways that are generous and brave. Holiness is about seeing beneath the surface of daily events and having the courage to know that God is at work in them even if they don't make sense to us. Holiness is walking every minute with God. Seeking holiness is tough going."

Archbishop Nichols stressed: "Seeking holiness in our homes is particularly difficult. Often it's far easier to be kind to strangers than to those with whom e live. Everyone starts off with the hope of being the perfect family.

But then reality sets in. All of life's difficulties begin to emerge. It's only when we realise that we are not perfect, that we are never going to be perfect, neither as individuals nor as a family that the real work of holiness begins.

"When we accept that something has really gone wrong, when we have that terrible feeling in the pit of our stomach, then we can begin to discover what it is to rely on God, to have eyes for God, to walk each minute with God.

"The great joys of life, especially in a family, bring us together. It is the knocks, the disappointments, the tragedies of life that leave us stunned and shaken, the façade of our respectability seriously dented. Yet these cracks and gaping holes in the fabric of our lives are precisely the spaces through which the light and love of God enter. These are the opportunities to become holy."

Archbishop Nichols explained: "The pathway to holiness in our homes is the pathway of St Teresa of Liseux. It is her Little Way, the constant effort of doing the ordinary things in an extraordinary way: as best we can. This is the way by which the home becomes a holy place. It is a pathway each of us can walk, day by day.

Everyone in a family has their part to play, as a parent a grandparent, as a child or brother or sister."

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living 

7. When he was dying, Bessarion said, 'A monk ought to be like the Cherubim and Seraphim, all eye.'

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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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