Keep your eyes open!...


January 30, 2009    


(Luke 2:51) And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart.

A Moment with Mary: Historic Background of the Rosary

Most historians trace the origin of the Rosary as we know it today back to the so-called Dark Ages of ninth-century Ireland. In those days, as is still true today, the 150 Psalms of David were one of the most important forms of monastic prayer. Monks recited or chanted the Psalms day after day as a source of inspiration.

The lay people who lived near a monastery could see the beauty of this devotion, but because very few people outside the monasteries knew how to read in those days, the lay people were unable to adapt this prayer form for their own use. So one day in about the year 800 A.D., an Irish monk suggested to the neighboring lay people that they pray a series of 150 Our Fathers in place of the 150 Psalms. At first, in order to count their 150 Our Fathers, people carried around leather pouches which held 150 pebbles. Soon they switched to ropes with 150 or 50 knots; eventually they began to use strings strung with 50 wooden beads.

In other parts of Europe, the Angelic Salutation, which makes up the first part of our Hail Mary, was recited as a repetitive prayer. Saint Peter Damian (d. 1072) was the first to mention this prayer form. Then during the thirteenth century another prayer form, which would soon give the Rosary its Mysteries, began to develop. Soon Psalters devoted to 150 praises of Mary were also composed. When a Psalter of Marian praises numbered 50 instead of 150 it was commonly called a rosarium, or bouquet of roses.

VIA Grace Mizzi: Please spread the word: Catholic Traditional Marian Forum. It is part of

VIA Ronald E Smith: Report on the Origin of the Word "Catholic".

VIA Dave: I leave it to your discretion regarding putting the word out on this request. I met Father John Boughton when he was still a brother over in Bosnia working with St David's Relief. I hope someday he writes about his humanitarian work in Bosnia during the war years and the road that led him into the Catholic Church and then further into joining the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. It is an incredible story.

Father John Anthony Boughton, CFR of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (Gray Friars from the Bronx) is building a new friary in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. This will be the second friary that the Friars have built in Central America; the first one was built in Honduras.

Here is some contact information.

Nicaragua Mission
Convento San Antonio ~ Apartado 283
Matagalpa, Matagalpa ~ Nicaragua C.A.
Tel: 505-772-2757 (note international calling rules apply)

Financial Offerings can be sent to:*
CFR Nicaragua Mission
P.O. Box 220435 Brooklyn, NY 11222-0435

*And please put in your memo line: CFR Nicaragua Mission Requests for information and questions regarding the CFR Nicaragua Mission can be directed to: [email protected]

Home website:

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

20. Satiety of the stomach dries the tear springs, but the stomach when dried produces these waters. 

January 29, 2009

(Eph 6:1-4) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is just. Honour thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with a promise: That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest be long lived upon earth. And you, fathers, provoke not your children to anger: but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "The family is an indispensable base for society and for peoples, as well as an irreplaceable good for children, worthy of coming into life as a fruit of love, of the parents' total and generous surrender."

"Today more than ever is needed the testimony and public commitment of all the baptized to reaffirm the dignity and the unique and irreplaceable value of the family founded on the marriage of a man and a woman and open to life, as well as the [value] of human life in all its stages."

VIA Diane : Homily on Right to Life Sunday (January 18, 2009) by Fr. Joe Shea

: Vatican Official Reflects On 'Crisis' Of Fatherhood

The president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum (one heart) on Jan. 23 expressed concern that weakened masculinity around the world prevents people from grasping Jesus' teaching on the heavenly Father.

"Today, the self-understanding of manhood, and especially fatherhood, is in crisis," said Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, pointing to the feminist movement, psycho-social theories and erroneous citations of the Bible as contributing to this.

The 74-year-old prelate cited reports and surveys documenting "weakened male identity."

One of his references, a Catholic Charities report, estimates 24 million children in the United States live in a home without a father.  According to Cardinal Cordes, that figure was 10 million in the 1960s.

The report found that compared to boys who live with their father, boys from fatherless homes are twice as likely to end up in prison.  They are also more likely to drop out or be expelled from school, and account for 63 percent of youth suicides and 90 percent of youths who run away from home, it said.

U.S.  laws also "undermine the role of the father," the cardinal maintained, citing legislation allowing "gay so-called parents" to adopt children and the 2008 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act, which enables single women to conceive children through artificial methods.

In Europe, he said, recent trends also "work to diminish masculinity." He described a research paper published by the Council of Europe in 1998 that indicated male leaders and fathers have "become more like women and mothers" in behavior, including becoming "sweeter."

Cardinal Cordes cautioned that "flexibility of the sexes" in children's education should not suggest that male identity is merely a product of a culture or consequence of social circumstances.

Cardinal Cordes offered Jesus Christ's relationship with God the Father as a model for father-son relationships.  Jesus spoke with God as a child, in a simple way, intimate and familiar, he said.  In his view, "abba," which the cardinal translated as "papa" or "dear daddy" in today's language, reveals the most affectionate center of Jesus' relationship with God.

However, he also stressed the role of the father as the person who orients and directs the child and contributes to its growth in goodness even when it causes the child discomfort or unpleasantness.  Men who are not necessarily biological fathers perform that spiritual fathering role in developing children in ethics and values, he explained.

NEWSLINK: Gays preferred to grandparents in Edinburgh

REVIEW: Saving marriages, one viewing at a time

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

19. The mind of a faster prays soberly, but the mind of an intemperate person is filled with impure idols. 

January 28, 2009

(John 17:20-22) 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. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them: that, they may be one, as we also are one.

DECREE: Pope's remission of the excommunication pronounced on bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre

VATICAN NEWSPAPER: Lifting excommunications is example of Vatican II's 'medicine of mercy'

Far from representing a rejection of the Second Vatican Council, the lifting of the excommunications of four SSPX bishops last week is an example of the council's spirit. Carlo Di Cicco, the newspaper's subdirector, writes in the January 26-27 edition, "The reform of the council has not been totally applied, but it is already so consolidated in the Catholic Church that it cannot go into crisis with a magnanimous gesture of mercy-- inspired, moreover, in the new style of Church promoted by the council that prefers the medicine of mercy to that of condemnation."

EXCERPT: Interview of Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X

Q: According to observers, the Pope's decision could create divisions within the Fraternity. All the faithful and priests would not be ready for unity.

A: [Fellay:] I do not fear it. There may always be a dissonant voice here or there. But the zeal with which the faithful prayed the Rosary to ask for the removal of the excommunications says a lot about our union; 1 700 000 rosaries were said in two and a half months.

Q: Ecumenism and religious liberty are at the center of the criticisms you make of Vatican II

A [Fellay:] The quest for unity of all in the Mystical Body of the Church is our dearest desire. Nonetheless, the method that is used is not appropriate. Today, there is such a focus on the points which unite us to other Christian confessions that those which separate us are forgotten. We believe that those who have left the Catholic Church, that is, the Orthodox and the Protestants, should come back to it. We conceive ecumenism as a return to the unity of Truth.

Regarding religious liberty, it is necessary to distinguish two situations: the religious liberty of the person, and the relations between Church and State. Religious liberty implies liberty of conscience. We agree with the fact that there is not a right to force anyone to accept a religion. As for our reflection on the relations between Church and State, it is based on the principle of tolerance. It seems clear to us that there where there are multiple religions, the State should be watchful of their good coexistence and peace. Nevertheless, there is but one religion that is true, and the others are not. But we tolerate this situation for the good of all.

MORE: Bishop Fellay salutes 'benevolent and courageous' Pope Benedict

THE REMNANT: Triumph and Tribulation- Pope Under Fire for Lifting Excommunication of SSPX Bishops

BREAKING: Catholic group apologizes for Holocaust denial

MORE BREAKING NEWSKirill Elected New Russian Orthodox Patriarch

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

17. Master your stomach before it masters you; and then you are sure to control yourself with the aid of shame. Those who have fallen into the horrible gulf know what I have said; but men who are eunuchs have not experienced this. 

January 27, 2009

(Gen 1:9-13) God also said; Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done. And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And he said: let the earth bring forth green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done. And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

EDITOR'S NOTE: There is an Orthodox Jewish tradition to hold weddings on "the third day", Tuesday, because in the Genesis narrative Tuesday was "doubly blessed".  

President Obama used his third day in office to usher in the next phase of the war on life.

HEADLINE: Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding

President Barack Obama on Friday lifted restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, a spokesman said.

The Democratic president's decision was a victory for advocates of abortion rights on an issue that in recent years has become a tit-for-tat policy change each time the White House shifts from one party to the other.

When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counseling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.

Obama signed an executive order lifting the restrictions on Friday, a White House spokesman said.

MORE: Q+A: What is the Mexico City Policy or Global Gag Rule?


Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life: "When President Obama takes money out of taxpayers' pockets to abort children, he can no longer claim with any legitimacy that he wants to reduce the number of abortions performed here or abroad," said Fr. Pavone. "Forcing Americans to pay for the killing of innocents will not 'bring us together;' there can be no common ground when the ground is soaked with innocent blood."

Colorodo Bishops: "This policy bars non-governmental organizations that perform and promote elective abortions from receiving federal tax subsidies for overseas family planning programs." "Promoting abortion as a method of 'family planning' violates the beliefs and ethical norms of many foreign cultures. It is politically invasive; and in the absence of a global demand for more abortions, it is also unnecessary. Many developed countries have supported the Mexico City Policy and have acknowledged that a central goal of family planning should be to reduce abortion not promote it".

Catholic League president Bill Donohue: "Here we have a black president taking money from the taxpayers in a time of economic crisis and giving it to organizations—many of which are anti-Catholic—so they can spend it on killing non-white babies in Third World nations. And Obama is known as a progressive.

"Obama has said repeatedly that he is not pro-abortion, and some Catholics salivating for a job in his administration believe him. Yet he's in office for only a few days and one of the first things he decides to do is fund abortion. That would be on a par with someone who said he was in favor of gun control and then provided funds to the NRA. Indeed, no one spends money to support that which he really abhors. In short, it's time for the pro-abortion crowd to simply say that whatever reservations they may have about abortion (and some have none at all), they are outweighed by their overall support for it.

"Just last Monday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops made public a letter it sent to Obama asking him to retain the Mexico City Policy. Obama has made his decision, and we hope every Catholic who is truly pro-life gets it."

COMMENTARY: Abortion is the ultimate "hate crime"

Human Life International e-Newsletter Commentary: Abortion Advocates Giddy About Obama Order Reversing Mexico City Policy

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

16. The heart of gluttons dreams only of food and eatables, but the heart of those who weep dreams of judgment and castigation. 

January 23, 2009


Psa 46:11) Be still and see that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.

LINK: The Silence of Mary 

by Father Ted – January 15, 2009:

My dearest Lord Jesus, once again today You urge me to listen to You, to the Father, and to Your Holy Spirit.

In the first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, You declare, through the Holy Spirit – “Would that today you would hear His voice …” Then He adds – “Harden not your hearts.” You want me not only to hear You and the Father and Your Holy Spirit speak to me. You want me to respond positively to that voice.

You give me a tragic example of a negative response in the Gospel for today when the leper who had been cured disobeyed You by proclaiming his miraculous cure to others – which You had sternly warned him not to do.

Today You remind me of two things: one – to listen for You or Your Father or Your Holy Spirit to speak to me – either directly or through Your Word.

You want me to be open to listening.

Normally that means that I must be quiet. For most of the time You speak very softly.

Though sometimes You speak quite loudly – over the noise that frequently surrounds me.

When You speak, You tell me either what to do, or what not to do.

I do not have to understand why You speak the way that You do. I want to know why I should do something or why I should not.

I know that this is hard at times – that You tell me should be enough.

Secondly, You want me to do what You ask me to do. Or to not do what You tell me I should not do.

This is obedience. To obey is a love response.

When I do listen to You, or to Your Father, or to Your Holy Spirit, and then carry out Your or Their request or command – or not do what either of You forbids, then not only do I get blessed, but so do many others.

My Jesus, may I listen for You or Your Father or Your Holy Spirit speak to me each day.

May I prepare myself to listen to You – again through reflective silence.

May I, as was indicated in the opening prayer for this week at Mass - may I do it with courage and with faith.

I love You Jesus. I love Your Father. I love Your Holy Spirit.

May I show that love by doing what You Three ask of me.

VIA Christian Witness: Where We Learn Silence

How wonderful is the silence of Christ in the Tabernacle
Silence is the greatest lesson ever preached
Silence under irritation:
Silence under criticism:
Silence under disappointment:
Silence when rebuffed:
Silence under ingratitude:
Silence under jealousy in oneself:
Silence under the jealousy of others:
Silence under disloyalty:
Silence when self-pleased:
Silence in sorrows of all kinds.

No practice seems of more value than silence.
It gives the impression of latent force.
It wins confidence.
It secures deference.
A judicious reserve clothes a person with an air of mystery,
often the most interesting aspect of personality.

SILENCE has also a positive quality in forebearance.
There are forbearances of speech that constitute most effective replies;
which work persuasion that a torrent of eloquence cannot accomplish.

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

15. The perfect find their time of gladness and consolation in freedom from care in all things; the warrior-ascetic delights in the heat of the battle; but the slave of the passions revels in feasts. 

January 22, 2009

(Deu 30:19) I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

COMMENTARY: Obama, change, and hope ... in the cross of Christ

LINK: A brief guide to the March for Life

NEWSWIRE: Abortion Opponents in 118 Cities Launch 40-day Campaign to Counter Roe v. Wade and New Administration

"As the country marks the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that imposed abortion on the United States, as well as the inauguration of the most outspokenly pro-abortion president in American history, pro-life advocates in some 118 cities across 41 states - plus four Canadian provinces and even Australia - have great hope," said Shawn Carney, spring campaign director for 40 Days for Life. "They're all preparing to participate in simultaneous 40 Days for Life campaigns from February 25 through April 5."

40 Days for Life consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, 40 days of constant, peaceful vigil outside abortion centers and Planned Parenthood offices and 40 days of active pro-life community outreach. The list of cities is posted online at: The campaign dates of February 25 through April 5 coincide with the Christian season of Lent. "It's a perfect match," said Carney. "Lent is a season of prayer, fasting, repentance and renewal. It is our prayer that the efforts of the thousands of people who will participate in 40 Days for Life in their home towns will touch hearts and minds, save lives - and show that extreme pro-abortion policies do not resonate with the values of this nation."

There have been three coordinated national 40 Days for Life campaigns thus far, beginning in the fall of 2007. "The efforts of people at the grassroots level have shown a profound impact," said Carney. "More than 200 cities have participated, reporting more than 175,000 people united in prayer and fasting. Three abortion facilities closed following 40 Days for Life campaigns, and more than a dozen abortion industry employees have left their jobs during these times of prayerful outreach. And most notably, we are aware of 1,128 innocent children who were spared from death by abortion during these campaigns."

Even Planned Parenthood - the nation's largest abortion chain - has noted the impact of 40 Days for Life's previous efforts. A Planned Parenthood fundraising letter specifically identifies 40 Days for Life as one of the greatest threats to the organization's abortion business. The letter states, "the hard-edged, well-funded groups coming after Planned Parenthood are playing for keeps."

"I don't know about that 'well-funded' part," said Carney, "but we are playing for keeps in this effort to end abortion. Following the tremendous impact experienced during the first three national 40 Days for Life campaigns, I can't wait to see what life-saving results will be accomplished this spring."

RELATED: Rosaries For Life

ESSAY: Why they fear Christmas by Frank Rega

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

9. Often vanity proves an enemy of gluttony, and between themselves they quarrel over the wretched monk as for a purchased slave. The one urges him to relax, while the other proposes that he should make his virtue triumph. The wise monk will shun both, at the right time shaking off each passion by the other. 

January 21, 2009

(Jude 1:21-23) Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting. And some indeed reprove, being judged: But others save, pulling them out of the fire. And on others have mercy, in fear, hating also the spotted garment which is carnal.


Bishops Urge New President to Keep Laws on Conscience Rights, Foreign Aid for Abortion, Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Catholic Group Uses Obama Bio as Case Against Abortion in Inauguration Day Ad
President Obama to Press Reset Button


We have passed the threshold into one of the most important weeks in American history, and a convergence of three very important celebrations reminds us of it. Monday we celebrate the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, who worked so heroically and tirelessly to insure that all men and women might share in the American dream equally. Tuesday we celebrate the inauguration of the first African American president, Barack Obama. That an African American can be so elected is indeed a cause to celebrate. However, thursday we pray and do penance on the anniversary of the most infamous court decision in United States history, Roe v. Wade. All three are related.

Dr. King fought long and hard and suffered many things that all men and women in the United States of America might enjoy those truths that we hold to be self evident: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He was an American hero for so doing. This week we should rightly celebrate the fact that an African American can be and has been elected President of the United States. This is surely progress, both political and moral.

This all being said, it has to plague the conscience of any thinking person that in this country there is yet the most immoral and deadly form of prejudice and persecution imaginable against the most innocent and vulnerable class of human beings—the unwanted unborn. No matter what advances this country makes, moral, economic, social, or technological, so long as that blight on our national identity remains, all else will ultimately pale into relative insignificance.

God is not a disinterested spectator in the affairs of man. He knows every child by name from all eternity. He loves each one with His infinite love. God's holy Catholic Church teaches that abortion in a single case is homicide. I assert that if this is the case, and it is, then the 50,000,000 homicides through abortion that have taken place in the United States since Roe v. Wade constitute genocide. God will not favor such a country, regardless of any other progress. Unless this outrage against God and humanity is stopped very soon, the United States of America, and in turn all of the Western world, will realize the death wish that it has manifest for several decades.

Every Catholic, Christian, Jew, and all people of good will and right reason must pray and do penance rigorously and daily from now on for the defeat of this heinous evil we call abortion. If we fail, then Western society as we know it will soon collide with a disaster it will not survive.

May God have mercy on us.


As we prepare to enter a new era in politics and perhaps society in general, keep something in mind: WE WIN! No matter what political party is in power at a given point in time, in the end those that remain faithful to Jesus Christ win the war. We may have to fight many battles outnumbered and even be despised and looked upon as criminals and outcasts by a society that is unraveling and degenerating into something no one could have imagined.

What matters is that we run the race to the finish line and fight the good fight. Don't "go with the flow," for as the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminds us, "Dead bodies float downstream." More than ever we shall have to be strong in the faith. Regular and worthy reception of the sacraments, constant prayer, and rigorous study of the faith is now essential, not merely a luxury.

The front line and primary battle is going to be the fight for life: the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception to the last moment of natural life. If we lose that one, every other battle space will be compromised. If the government succeeds in establishing abortion as an inalienable "right", then the elderly and sick will be next. It will then be a short and slippery step to the government deciding who lives and dies regardless of their inherent human dignity.

If you don't already pray the Rosary every day, please start at once. The prayer of the holy Rosary is the prayer of the holy Gospel, and that means it is the prayer of the Good News Who is Jesus Christ, the LIFE of the world. Many saints will be forged in the crucible of the coming years. Make sure you are among them.

God bless you

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

6. He who fondles a lion often tames it, but he who coddles the body makes it still wilder. 

January 20, 2009

(John 5:43-44) I am come in the name of my Father, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive glory one from another: and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek?


Obama carries the hopes of the world
Obama plans ambitious first week, aides say
David Axelrold: Obama's 'Magical Journey'
Israel to pull out of Gaza by Obama inauguration

Human Life International e-Newsletter: Obama v. Life

As tens of thousands prepare to gather for the 36th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, we are aware that the March occurs just two days after the most extreme advocate of abortion in our nation's history takes office as our President. It is not an understatement to say that we have our work cut out for us.

In keeping with our mission, Human Life International is making a concerted effort to educate the fawning Obama admirers in other countries about the reality of the all-out assault on life, marriage and family that this man and his administration will perpetrate on our world. Please pray for the success of our endeavors to expose the truth and to wake people up to the true challenges that await us in the next four years. I include in this week's Spirit and Life our newest project to educate those who love life both in America and abroad: namely, the "Pro-Life Talking Points" series. The first number of the set, called "Obama v. Life," launches just before the Presidential inauguration next week so that we can let all know, in our modest way, that we will counter the anti-life agenda wherever we can.

In any case, please print out the Talking Points for this week (only two sides, front and back) and pass them on to your friends and any of those "Catholics" who voted for Obama. They may need this sheet more than anyone.


LINK: '22 Weeks' Shows 'Hidden Side' of Abortion -- A Low-budget film based on Florida story is previewed in Miami before being shown at March for Life in DC.

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

5. Satiety in food is the father of fornication; but affliction of the stomach is an agent of purity. 

January 16, 2009


(1Pe 3:15-16) But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you. But with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.


The Catholic testimony section of this website,, has been blessed by yet another stirring Catholic testimony.  

Please view it at  Thank you Christina Maria for your willingness to share your Faith!


HEADLINE: Program leads straying Catholics back to church

Cathy Tenace went to a Catholic grammar school and graduated from an all-girl Catholic high school in Baltimore. Her four children were baptized and received Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, but she admits falling away from her faith as the church dealt with the cultural upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s.

"Too many changes in the church, I felt," Tenace said. "I wasn't happy with the education my children were getting in Catholic school as well, and I stopped going to Mass in the 80s."

It took a family crisis and a personal spiritual crisis to bring her back to the church three and a half years ago.

She now is helping lead other wandering Catholics back to the flock at St. Joseph's Church in Emmitsburg through a relatively new six-week program, "Catholics Returning Home."

"Several years ago, my daughter was going through a difficult custody battle in South Carolina and I would be very frustrated after getting off the phone that I wasn't there for her," Tenace said. "I felt like I could talk to somebody about it just praying at night, though. That's what brought me back to church. When I did, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders."

Coincidentally, as Tenace was coming back to her church home, St. Joseph's member Mary Myers was attending a conference, at the behest of pastor Vincent O'Malley, where Sally Mews, a lay Chicago Catholic who wrote "Catholics Returning Home," was speaking. Mews had come back to the Catholic Church after a disheartening childhood experience and produced a video and other material designed to invite Catholics back to the Church. Mew's program over the years has been picked up by Catholic parishes across the U.S. and in Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia.


Religious icons make the divine present for believers
Old Mass making reappearance in Catholic churches

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

4. Gluttony deludes the eyes of others; while appearing to receive in moderation, it intends to devour everything at once. 

January 15, 2009

(Jam 5:16) Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.


Thanks to our Missionaries
January 5th…recalling St.John Neumann!
Italian missionary inspires vocation of Cincinnati native

David:  Father Robert J Fox, the Fatima priest is suffering from bone cancer

Father Robert J Fox, known as the "Fatima priest" due to his work and preaching on Our Lady of Fatima is suffering from bone cancer.

Please see:

I am encouraging people to write him a letter of support while he battles this painful illness.

Father Robert J Fox
P.O. BOX 269

I have my own "Father Fox" story.

In the early 1990s, my wife and I moved our family into a new parish in Houston and we sent our kids to the local CCD program. When they came home with the liberal rubbish being passed as "Catholic" education, we immediately pulled them out of the program, got Father Fox 's tapes and did our best to teach them the basics of the Catholic Faith.

I owe Father Fox an immense debt of gratitude for his help in this difficult period.

SEE ALSO: The Priest: A Man for Others By Father Robert J. Fox

VIA Christian Witness: Thou Art A Priest Forever

To live in the midst of the world,
Without wishing its pleasures;
To be a member of each family,
Yet belonging to none;
To share all sufferings;
To penetrate all secrets;
To heal all wounds;
To go from men to God And offer Him their Prayers;
To return from God to men;
To bring pardon and hope;
To have a heart of fire for charity
And a heart of bronze for chastity;
To teach and to pardon,
Console and bless always--
What a glorious life!
And it is yours, O Priest of Jesus Christ!

Author unknown from an old prayer card

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

3. Gluttony is a deviser of seasoning, a source of sweet dishes.  You stop one spout, and it spurts up elsewhere; you plug this too, and you open another. 

January 14, 2009

(Mat 25:37-40) Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee: thirsty and gave thee drink? Or when did we see thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison and came to thee? And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.


As the conflict in Gaza and Southern Israel continues, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will provide 500 war-affected families in Gaza with desperately needed food and other humanitarian relief supplies. With a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development and $100,000 from its American donors, CRS will distribute food, hygiene items, blankets, candles, and other essentials.

Since the fighting began on December 27, approximately 900 Gazans have been killed and thousands more wounded; 13 Israelis have also been killed. Many Gazan families are without electricity, water or food; some are living in shelters or with host families.

"We will work closely with our partners in Gaza to deliver these supplies when conditions permit the safe movement of staff," says Matt Davis, country representative for CRS' Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza program. "Aid distribution will be difficult and dangerous as a result of the closure of border crossings between Israel and Gaza, bottlenecks at open crossings and ongoing military strikes from the ground, air and sea within Gaza."

Since cooking fuel is not available, CRS will provide ready-to-eat items like tuna, canned meat, cheese, dates, and high-protein crackers. On January 7, Israel announced it would halt military strikes for a three-hour period each afternoon to allow much-needed humanitarian assistance to be distributed. CRS is working closely with the United Nations, other international organizations and local partners to ensure a fast and efficient response to the most vulnerable families during these windows of time. CRS' office in Cairo is also monitoring the situation and is ready to respond. "We are on standby to provide relief if there are Palestinian refugees from Gaza who are allowed to come to Egypt," says Luc Picard, country representative for CRS Egypt.

MOREHoly Land: Supporting those who are suffering in the Gaza Strip


Flames of war over Gaza: The gates of Hell have opened, says Palestinian trapped with 500,000
Gaza clinics destroyed by raids
Ceasefire Moves Fading Away


Holy See: Intervention Needed to Break Mideast Cycle
Bethlehem 'united in grief'
Archbishop of Liverpool speaks out against violence in Gaza

COMMENTARY: Violating human dignity is root of all conflict, says Vatican official

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

2. Gluttony is hypocrisy of the stomach; for when it is glutted, it complains of scarcity; and when it is loaded and bursting; it cries out that it is hungry. 

January 13, 2009

(Luke 10:2) And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest.


The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, January 11-17.

"This week is a chance for parishes across the country to highlight the gift of vocations in the church through prayer and education," said Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. "As a church, we recognize the need to safeguard and promote this gift."

Father James Steffes, executive director of the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, added, "The church needs to help young people hear the Lord in prayer, so they can recognize him in their lives."

"This week reminds us that it is our responsibility to pray for vocations and to invite young people to consider a call to ordained ministry and consecrated life."

The observance of National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) began in 1976 when the National Conference of Catholic Bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year as the beginning of NVAW. In 1997, this celebration was moved to coincide with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on January 11 in 2009, marks Jesus' initiation into public ministry. At his baptism Jesus is named the beloved Son of God. With this celebration the faithful recommit themselves to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. They are also initiated through their own baptism to be the Beloved of God, commissioned to proclaim Good News with their lives.


VIA NAIROBI: A day with a Catholic nun
Faith, duty contribute to priests' vocations
Called to serve

VIA CATHOLIC ONLINE: Faithful Catholic Colleges Produce High Rate of Vocations

1ST ORDINATION OF ITS KIND IN 900 YEARSSon joins his father in Catholic priesthood


Declining World Religious
U.S. Catholic Church Has Retrogressed Since Vatican II
U.S. seminary programs face steady enrollment declines

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

1. As we are about to speak concerning the stomach, as in everything else, we propose to philosophize against ourselves.  For I wonder if anyone has been liberated of this mistress before settling in the grave. 

January 9, 2009


(Psa 130:1-5) 
Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word: My soul hath hoped in the Lord.

HEADLINE: Obama Selects Yet another Pro-Abortion "Catholic" for Leading Office

Diane: The following email was received by Father John Hampsch and he wanted to share it with all of you.

WHO: A few faithful Catholic lay people and priests. (Anyone can do this: stay-at-home moms, singles, retired people, students--anyone--and we can have a huge impact on our country's future.)

WHAT: Have a Mass said on Inauguration Day for our new President's conversion. Consider that St. Leonard of Port Maurice said that one Mass offered before death may be more profitable than many after it, and St. Anselm affirmed this.

WHEN: Tuesday January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day

WHERE: Throughout our country in as many Catholic churches as possible.

WHY: Because offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for an intention is very powerful. Please see my story below.

HOW: Simply call your local parish and ask to reserve January 20th for your intention. The usual stipend is $10. (Many priests will be glad to offer the Mass for this intention without the usual stipend--just ask. I have had the best response by simply writing a personal letter to all the priests I know and asking them if they would like to participate.) If January 20 is already taken at your local parish, you may choose another date or contact a nearby parish. Also consider having Masses offered at local hospitals, nursing homes, monasteries, etc. Consider retired priests who may be offering private Masses. There is no limit to how many Masses you can have offered on any given day. You may also have the Mass listed as a "Special Intention" if you prefer.

But now, let me share the inspiration behind this idea. A young friend of ours owns a shop. One day a gentleman came in and said that, as a Jew, he was offended by the crucifix that she had hanging there. They got into a long discussion/debate and when they parted she said, "You pray for me and I will pray for you." Later she shared this story with her family and her younger, teen-age sister decided to have a Mass offered for the intention of this man's conversion. Six months later the shop-owner was entering the cathedral and this man was leaving the church. He said, "Do you remember me? I am becoming a Catholic." This story of one simple act inspired me and helped me to realize the profound impact of a Mass offered for the conversion of heart.

Here's what we have after eleven days- 36 Masses in 12 States and Washington DC: Just imagine what we can accomplish if all of you forwarded this email to all of your friends.

May God Bless You with a wonderful New Year

Bob Sanders
Claretian Teaching Ministry

email: [email protected]


Prayer Novena to Stop FOCA
Sign the Fight FOCA Petition
Sign Our Petition to Help Block Tax-Funded Abortions

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"

7. Despondency reminds those standing at prayer of necessary duties. And brutish as she is, she leaves no stone unturned to find some plausible pretext to drag us from prayer as with a kind of halter. 

January 8, 2009

(Mat 19:21-22) Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had great possessions.

A LOOK BACK- Pope: Violence, hatred, and distrust are poverty

COMMENTARY: Live Simply is a call to alms by Bishop John Rawsthorne

INSIGHTFUL Q & A by Rabbi Ullman: Money Talks

Q: With all the discussion on the causes of the current financial crisis I can't help but wonder if there aren't additional reasons going on behind the scenes. Can you offer any insight into this aspect of the crisis?

A: Contrary to popular belief, I am not a prophet. Nor do I wish to be apocalyptic. However, insofar as Judaism posits that G-d runs the world, and that things that happen are often directly related to what people do, there might be a connection between our attitude toward money and wealth and what's happened with the world economy.

Of course, there are real, tangible reasons and explanations for what's happened. And as you say, that's what everyone is talking about. Also, in considering the possible spiritual reasons behind the scenes, the key is to view them as what you correctly label "additional" reasons (although they might still be primary). This means one should not be divorced from the reality of the situation, nor should one loose touch with the human element, and should have empathy for those who have lost.

That being said, the Torah position on money is that wealth is a gift from G-d independent of one's effort or economic acumen. One person may be very original, astute and hard working and never amass much wealth, whereas another might not have much of these talents yet be very successful. Regardless, a person must view his financial success (or lack thereof) as coming from G-d. The corollary of this is that the wealth which one has must be used according to the will of the One who bestowed it. For this reason people are expected to be charitable, provide for the needy and in some cases give up to 20 percent of their net income to charity.

In our modern, materially oriented world, global obsession with wealth and financial success may have blinded mankind to the purpose of wealth, namely to be cognizant of G-d, express our gratitude to Him and to generously share wealth with the less fortunate. Not to proclaim, "By my strength and through the power of my own hands have I acquired all this", but rather "To G-d is the glory, the grandeur, the success, and the splendor". We must view the act of giving as a privilege, an honor and even as a gift itself – "the gift of giving".

It is my (perhaps na´ve) opinion that the early founders of America had all this in mind with the decision to inscribe "In G-d We Trust" on the money of the United States. The point is clear: Despite America's wealth of natural resources and the resourcefulness of the early American spirit, it was stated unabashedly with the intention to inculcate to all – it is to G-d whom we pray and in G-d whom we place our trust for financial success. (Ironically, among the multitude of ways that Israel mimics America, this is not one of them.)

Unfortunately, over time, in the United States and internationally, we have lost sight of this humble yet very powerful creed which has greatly been replaced with egotistical consumption, vice and greed. Perhaps the root of the crisis, then, is G-d's repudiation of our trust in money rather than in Him. Perhaps in replacing the motto "In G-d We Trust" with "For Money We Lust", by indulging in unnecessary luxuries while others lack the bare necessities, we have forfeited His blessing such that the money upon which we lean has started to crumble. Maybe we need to feel more acutely the precariousness of the needy, to give more to others and to put our mouths where our money is by sincerely proclaiming: In G-d We Trust!

DIRE PREDICTION: Economic Expert Nouriel Roubini Says Worst Still Is Ahead of Us

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"

6. Despondency is a pretext for hospitality. She insists that by means of manual labour, alms could be given; and she urges us eagerly to visit the sick, recalling Him who said, I was sick and ye visited Me (Mat 25:36). She puts it into our heads to go out visiting the dejected and faint-hearted, and sets one faintheart to comfort another. 

January 7, 2009    


Netanyahu in his address to the Plenum Session of the Knesset

In a special session called in the wake of the IDF operation in Gaza and the situation in southern Israel, Netanyahu called upon the citizenry of Israel, Jews and Arabs alike, to stand united behind the IDF's actions in the south. He likewise called for a change in policy that would restore Israel's deterrence. "For three transgressions of Gaza, I will turn away but for the fourth, I will not", Netanyahu opened his address in the plenum session of the Knesset quoting from the Prophet Amos (Am 1:6-10).

"For firing upon civilians, for taking cover behind civilians, for causing suffering to our citizens, and for causing suffering to their citizens, we will strike back at the terror in double measure , said Netanyahu and enumerated the crimes of the Hamas: "for destroying our communities, for destroying hope, we will pay them back with an iron hand, the hand of the Jewish people, as the Prophet Amos said: "I will send fire in the walls of Gaza."

CODE RED: The 15 Second Time Warp


9,400+   Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since 2003.
3,200+   Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza in 2008.
6,500+   Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
543+     Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israeli territory during the ceasefire from June
            19 to Dec. 19, 2008.
28         Deaths caused by rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel since 2001, including
             Israelis, Palestinians and foreign workers.
1,000+   People in Israel injured from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since 2001.
20,000   Hamas and allied militiamen Israel is targeting as part of "Operation Cast Lead."
750,000  Number of Israeli civilians that Hamas rockets can now reach.
15       Seconds Israelis have to get to a bomb shelter once a warning siren has sounded.
8      Years that Israel has been hit by rockets and mortars from Gaza.


Gaza risks becoming densely populated graveyard
Gaza: civilians 'terrorised' 'traumatised' and 'trapped'
Gaza pastor: 'We cry and nobody hears us'

- Ed Curran: We shudder at horror of Gaza, but it could once have been us


Pope Benedict XVI: War will not solve problems in Holy Land
Caritas President Cardinal Rodriguez: Gaza ceasefire vital to get help to injured
US bishops call for Gaza ceasefire, humanitarian relief
Vatican alarmed by Muslims burning Israeli flags outside cathedrals
Missionaries of Charity say they'll stay in Gaza with women, children

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"

5. A doctor visits the sick in the morning, but despondency visits the ascetics about noonday (Ps 90:6). 

January 6, 2009    

(Mat 2:11) And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Nadine: Dear Jesus, as You led the Three Kings to You by the light of a star, please draw us ever closer to You by the light of Faith. Help us to desire You as ardently as they did. Give us the grace to overcome all the obstacles that keep us far from You. May we, like them, have something to give You when we appear before You. Mary, Our Mother, help us to know Your Son. Amen.


The Epiphany is the feast of the manifestation of the majesty and divinity of the newborn Savior. As early as the third century, the Eastern Church, in celebrating the birth of the Redeemer, viewed it primarily as the manifestation of God to man. Hence, the name Epiphany, which means manifestation. Toward the end of the fourth century, as the feast gradually came to be known and celebrated in the West, the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi or Wise Men was stressed.

In today’s celebration, the light that appeared on Christmas extends its rays – it is the light of God’s Epiphany. It is no longer only the shepherds of Bethlehem who see and follow it, it is also the Magi, who came to Jerusalem from the East to adore the newborn King (Matthew 2:1-12). The same light which led the shepherds and the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem now shines brightly for all men and women who long to meet God.

Various interpretations have been given for the gifts which the Magi offered the Christ Child. The Church teaches us that the gold represents kingly power, incense the great High Priest, and myrrh the burial of the Lord. Thus, the Wise Men offering their gifts to Christ depicts Christ’s three-fold character of King, High Priest, and Man. St. Gregory, in his reflections, looks at the Magi’s gifts from the viewpoint of the givers. He invites us to see in the gold, the quest for wisdom; in the incense, the power of prayer; and in the myrrh, the mortification of the flesh.

To fully understand the Feast of Epiphany, it will have to be viewed from two aspects: That of God who manifested Himself to man, and that of man, exemplified by the Magi, who responded with wholehearted faith and love. As we join the Magi in offering our gifts to the newborn King, we realize that Jesus is the true gift, God’s gift to the world. He is the One we must receive, in order to bring Him, in turn, to everyone we will meet in our life journey.

Today, the world has greater need than ever to experience the divine goodness, to feel God’s love for every person. People need to hear the message of light and hope and give glory to the Father. With joy, we ask the Lord of time, God from God, Light from Light, to make His star, the Epiphany star, continually shine in our hearts.

Happy Three Kings!

EPIPHANY RESOURCE: T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats poems about the Three Kings

EASTERN PERSPECTIVE: The Feast of Epiphany

CHURCHYEAR.NET: Epiphany History, Information, Prayers, Resources, Traditions, & More

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "May the Lord bless all those— they are many!—who work daily in the service of the new generations, helping them to be the protagonists of their future. In addition, the World Day of Missionary Childhood, which is celebrated on the feast of the Epiphany, is an opportune occasion to show how children and young people can play an important role in the spreading of the Gospel and in the works of solidarity towards their peers most in need.  May the Lord reward them!"

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"

4. Community life is opposed to despondency. But she is a constant companion of the hermit. She will never leave him till his death, and wrestles with him daily till his end. Seeing an anchorite's cell, she smiles, and creeps up and camps near by.
Links  E-mail Dr. Zambrano  Home

Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

The Tribulation Times Archives:


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 20082009
January July January July January July January July January July JanuaryJuly
February August February August Feb-March August February August February August August
March September March September April September Lent September Lent September LentSeptember
April October April October May October April October April October AprilOctober
May-June November May November June November May November May November MayNovember
December June December December June December June December JuneDecember


1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
June-July January July January July January July January July  January July
August February August February August February August February August February August
September March September March September March/April September March/April September March September
October April October April October May October May October April October
November May November May November June November June November May November
December June December June December December December June December

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more detailed information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.