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July 28, 2000

The next issue of the Trib Times will be on August 1. Thanks for your patience!

(Rev 8:10-11) The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water-- the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.


A group of scientists known in government circles as "The X Files committee" has warned that the Earth is overdue for an asteroid strike serious enough to wipe out 10% of its population.

The report says the risk of death is about the same as from an aircraft crash and similar to a terrestrial accident such as a nuclear reactor meltdown. Although strikes are rare, the damage inflicted by a single hit could be enormous.

An asteroid 1 km wide is likely to hit Earth once every 100,000 years. According to the taskforce there has been no strike for at least that time.

Dr Harry Atkinson, who chaired the taskforce, declined to comment on the findings. The warnings in the report are uncannily similar to the plots of two recent Hollywood films, Armageddon and Deep Impact.

Related: Comet erupts violently as Hubble watches


VIA Javier López : Rafael Lopez has started a great project. I collaborated with him on it in the very beginning. The issue is to have a webcam in Garabandal broadcasting 12 hours per day! The image will be updated each 5 seconds and Rafael could control the camera from his computer! The URL is:


The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

139. The Fathers regard Moses the Lawgiver as an ikon of the intellect. He saw God in the burning bush (cf. Exod. 3:2-4:17); his face shone with glory (cf. Exod. 34:30); he was made a god to Pharaoh by the God of gods (cf. Exod. 7:1); he flayed Egypt with a scourge; he led Israel out of bondage and gave laws. These happenings, when seen metaphorically and spiritually, are activities and privileges of the intellect.

July 27, 2000

(Mark 13:35-37) "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'"


In his audience Pope John Paul said that he wished "to focus on two basic demeanors" that man must assume as he prepares to meet the Lord. "The first demeanor is that of expectation. ... In the original Greek we found three imperatives which underscore this expectation: The first is 'be alert', literally, 'look out!' ... It is the opposite of distraction which is, unfortunately, our almost habitual state, above all in a frenetic and superficial society such as today's. It is difficult to be able to fix on one objective, on one value, and to pursue it with fidelity and coherence."

The Holy Father pointed out that the second imperative is "'keep watch', which in the original Greek is equivalent to 'stay awake'. The temptation is strong to fall asleep, wrapped in the coils of darkness, which in the Bible is a symbol of blame, inertia, of refusal of the light." The third imperative, he went on, is "'Be vigilant!' It is the word of the guard who must stay alert as he patiently awaits the passing of nighttime to be able to see the light of dawn as it begins to appear on the horizon."

"Christ's three appeals: 'look out', 'keep watch' and 'be vigilant' summarize very clearly the Christian expectation of the meeting with the Lord. ... For the meeting with mystery one needs patience, inner purification silence, expectation."

John Paul II concluded by highlighting man's second demeanor vis-a-vis meeting the Lord, "that of astonishment, wonder. One must open one's eyes to admire God Who both hides and reveals Himself in things and who introduces us to the spaces of mystery. ... In reality, every thing, every event, for those who know how to read them in depth, bears a message which, in the last analysis, leads to God."

VIA Nadine Mansour: BLESSINGS

The man whispered, "God, speak to me." And a meadowlark sang. But, the man did not hear.
So the man yelled, "God, speak to me!" And the thunder rolled across the sky. But, the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, "God let me see you." And a star shined brightly. But, the man did not notice.
And the man shouted, "God show me a miracle!" And a life was born. But, the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!"
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man. But, the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect it to be!

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

138. When under the pressure of stupid thoughts, we will find relief and joy by rebuking ourselves truthfully and unemotionally, or by confessing everthing to the Lord as to a human being. In both these ways we will always find tranquillity, whatever troubles us.

July 26, 2000

(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 have loved them even as you have loved me.


A Cardinal had not celebrated Mass in Winchester Cathedral since the time of Henry Beaufort (1404-1447). So July 15, 2000 will be remembered as the day when Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli, Archbishop of Florence, presided over a Mass in this historic Anglican Church. The event took place to celebrate the cooperative agreement between the Cardinal's diocese and the Anglican diocese of Winchester.

The initiative has resulted in marked improvement in relations between Catholics and Anglicans. "Initially I was sceptical, but I must acknowledge that the first fruits are being reaped," stated Peter Doyle, Winchester's Anglican minister.


VIA Pat: I wonder, Doctor, whether it would be worthwhile to use the power of your Tribulation Times audience to start a 'last-minute' First Saturdays campaign. Might be worse that pulling teeth to try to get this announced, but Mass this coming Sunday is the final opportunity to announce that only five first Saturdays remain in this century. Even if their parishes will not, your readers could encourage each Catholic family member and Catholic friend to accede to Our Lady's request, either for the first time or again, this last available time before the century in which She made Her request ends.

In the face of all the apparent happenings in these times, 'making' the First Saturdays seems to me to be far, far more important than just a nice thing to do.


The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

137. When combined with watchfulness and deep understanding, the Jesus Prayer will erase from our heart even those thoughts rooted there against our will.

July 25, 2000

(Zec 12:1-3) This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.


Among the thorniest of the issues on the table is Jerusalem -- home to some of the holiest sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Diplomatic sources close to the talks said the main problem was control of the holy places in Jerusalem"s Old City, where no solution was in sight. "That"s what makes them still feel somewhat pessimistic," one said.

Palestinian officials said they expected a new U.S. proposal on Jerusalem because previous ideas for shared control over some Arab neighborhoods in the east were rejected by Arafat. Palestinians insist on full sovereignty over Arab East Jerusalem, occupied and annexed by Israel in 1967. Israel sees East Jerusalem as part of its "eternal capital," but Palestinians want it to be the capital of their future state.



Bibles and Cheerios just don't mix, General Mills says.

But a public apology from the cereal giant came too late: More than 12 million boxes of cereal containing software versions of the Bible are headed for grocery-store shelves nationwide.

The apology Friday afternoon was a shock because the unprecedented promotion, which involved giving away CD-ROM games, dictionaries and Bibles, was one of the most creative marketing ideas in years, said Phyllis Tickle, an editor at Publishers Weekly magazine and a leading expert on the marketing of religious publications.

"They got spooked with the idea of the Bible in their boxes,'' Tickle said Friday. "There would have been some controversy, but this probably would have been a very popular idea.''

(Luke 18:8) I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

136. The incensive power roused in an unnatural fashion against men, sorrow that does not accord with God's will and listlessness are all equally destructive of holy thoughts and spiritual knowledge. If we confess these things the Lord will rid us of them and fill us with joy.

July 24, 2000

Happiness is: .....Holy Communion after four days without! Thank you, Jesus!!!


Highlights of interesting news items and commentaries over the past two weeks:

***The MGR Foundation in an email announcement and open letter reports that Fr. Gobbi has indeed confirmed in a written communication that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will take place before the end of the year 2000.  Previously MGR had suggested that perhaps Fr. Gobbi had been inadvertently misquoted.

***A startling message from Our Lady of Emmitsburg appears to confirm Fr. Gobbi's assertion. The relevant excerpt follows:

"It was My Child, My Son who raised His two fingers as the Alpha and the Omega and who encompassed the entire world with His Love and Mercy. Now the justice of God will flash forth. I have waited patiently for 2000 years for My plans to unfold because God the Father permitted Satan to draw souls away from His truth. Satan's reign is ending this year and now I am moving swiftly on his turf to reclaim all those who were deceived and lost. I am determined to bring all My children back to My Son."

I have since written the Archdiocese of Baltimore for their comments on this message.

***A news commentary by J.R. Nyquist of WorldNetDaily suggests the possibility of a significant military conflict involving the US in October. It is interesting to note that according to the Vatican Calender of Events for the year 2000 a special ceremony will be held at the Vatican in which the world and the third millennium will be entrusted to the Virgin Mary on October 8th, the Jubilee of Bishops.

Many have questioned Fr. Gobbi and others calling for the Triumph to occur this year. Their reasoning centers on the many events still left to occur in a literal reading of the Bible, particularly the Book of Revelation. Others point out the many Catholic prophecies that are as yet unfulfilled. Was the recent revealing of the Third Secret anticlimactic or instead part of the greatest climax in human history?

Time will tell. Please join with me as we may watch and pray together.

(Luke 21:36) Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

135. When we are in trouble or despair or have lost hope, we should do what David did: pour out our hearts to God and tell Him of our needs and troubles, just as they are (cf. Ps. 142:2). It is because He can deal with us wisely that we confess to God: He can make our troubles easy to bear, if this is for our benefit, and can save us from the dejection which destroys and corrupts.

July 11, 2000


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The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

134. For the traveller it is a source of joy to return to where he started. But for the watchful man to turn back is the death of his deiform soul and the sign of his apostasy from thoughts, words and actions that accord with God's will. In the lethal sleep of his soul he will have thoughts stirring him up like goads with remembrance of the heavy torpor and indolence that is his because of his negligence.

July 10, 2000

(Ezek 13:10-11) "'Because they lead my people astray, saying, "Peace," when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth.


Barak's coalition collapses on eve of make-or-break summit
Summit, and a Prayer- Looking for a Mideast Miracle
Palestinian woman accidentally shot, killed by Israeli troops
Israel's Barak faces no-confidence crisis on eve of peace summit
Camp David, Good Intentions and the Road to Hell

VIA Jim Collins: As you know I am part of a Healing School now approved by the Catholic Church.

We met again this week, and two wonderful stories of Jesus' saving grace were witnessed by 4 different people, 2 different pairs at a time. Both are absolutely true.

In the first, a man within the group itself, was cured of cancer within two hours of being prayed over by two others within the group. The man was scheduled for surgery, which was subsequently cancelled because all of the symptoms of the cancer disappeared. Praise be Jesus!

The second event comes with a warning. It is the spiritual equivalent of a heart transplant. Totally preventable, but I am sorry to say because people have turned away from the Bible's admonishment to stay away from the occult, a 17 year old was almost taken through suicide. The preventive medicine in this case was to rid the home of all things of the this case tarot cards and a ouji board.

Thank God, Jesus came to the rescue!

Two people responded to a call for help from parents because their daughter had been admitted into the hospital in a despondent state. The girl was suicidal. When the two people from our group began to pray over the young lady, her eyes opened wide, without blinking. It became apparent that she had been possessed by a demon called Candy. As they prayed in Jesus name, another spirit came to the foreground, who called himself Ben. Ben announced that the young lady was his bride and that she was to come with him that night. He announced that the young lady was his, and his alone.

The two prayer warriors prayed over this teenager for 3 hours. They discovered that in the house was a ouji board and tarot cards. These had to be thrown out, before the demons could be cast out in Jesus' Name. They encountered a total of 4 demons, the last of which called himself, Satan. The possession was so bad that the people praying over the girl, had difficulty in getting the girl to speak to them for the demons kept blocking access to her spirit. The episode included the teenager crawling around on all fours and barking like a dog. In the end, after much prayer and praise, the casting out of the 4 demons occurred. Jesus, Himself, came and blessed the girl.

The happy ending: the girl, having encountered this evil, has converted to Christianity and has given her life to Jesus.....she now wants to be a nun. Because Christians around the girl had had enough common sense to call on the Lord for help, Jesus rescued her from the very gates of hell....Praise be Jesus!

With the rise in TV and "Follywood" (Hollywood) promoting violence, terror, occult, witchcraft, psychics, tarot card reading, etc., we unfortunately can expect to see a rise in this kind of event. I am sorry to say, this story proves that Follywood and TV are having an impact on the lives of our communities. The purpose of my retelling of this event is to say that this was preventable. Please rid your homes of anything to do with the occult. Stay away from psychics. If you encounter neighbors with this stuff, tell them the above story. It's real, it happening today in my community and given the spiritual state of many communities, in other communities as well. The spiritual damage caused by the tools of the occult is worse than heart can result in the death of a person in your home, in your neighbor's home, and can cause eternal damage beyond repair. The Bible asks us to pray for our families and communities. Good advice. God will rid them of this type of disease and spiritual sickness. All we have to do is ask Him to.

(Luke 8:30) Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

133. A traveller setting out on a long, difficult and arduous journey and foreseeing that he may lose his way when he comes back, will put up signs  and guideposts along his path in order to make his return simpler. The watchful man, foreseeing this same thing, will use sacred texts to guide him.

July 9, 2000

(John 17:22-23) 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 have loved them even as you have loved me.


They worship differently, take Holy Communion differently, even cross themselves differently. Yet leaders of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches are seeking common ground during 10 days of talks that start Sunday.

Full reconciliation - the ultimate goal of the international dialogue - is unlikely at this meeting, the first in the Western Hemisphere, organizers say. But some consider it a victory just bringing together delegates of two faiths split by a 946-year-old disagreement.

Eventually, the churches could resolve even their ancient dispute over the pope's jurisdiction, said the Rev. Robert Stephanopoulos, dean of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in New York and a veteran of ecumenical meetings.

``It is a very important meeting in the sense that there has been so much tension in the past, this is like a breakthrough,'' he said. ``The happy thing is that it is being done and that there will be some direction given for continuing progress in the dialogue.''

RELATED: Episcopal bishops approve communion with Lutherans


With tensions rising in Italy's overcrowded prisons and politicians debating what to do about it, Pope John Paul II's planned visit to a prison in Rome is raising some prisoners' expectations of a long-awaited amnesty.

John Paul will celebrate Mass on Sunday inside Regina Coeli, a prison in a 17th-century building that once housed a monastery. Nine inmates will serve as altar boys and 14 others will make up the choir. The scheduled two-hour visit is part of the pontiff's Holy Year activities. It follows his recent call for governments worldwide to make a "gesture of clemency" to inmates.

In his June 30 message, the pope urged a "reduction, even a modest one, of the term of punishment" as a "clear sign of sensitivity to their condition."

(Mat 9:13) But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

132. When the heart has acquired stillness it will perceive the heights and depths of knowldege; and the ear of the still intellect will be made to hear marvellous things from God.

July 8, 2000


Pope John Paul II urged Roman Catholic doctors Friday to refuse to perform abortions or be party to euthanasia because the church considered both practices "crimes" that no civil legislation could justify.

In an address to doctors visiting Rome for Holy Year celebrations, the pope told them they had an unshakable mission to defend life from its natural start to its natural end.

Couple Expecting Septetets Will Not Abort Embryos
Florida throws in the towel on abortion ban
Vatican sternly reaffirms communion ban on divorced


VIA William Curtis: Perhaps it would be wise to add a post-script to the "Harry Potter" headline of today...Many who read your headline may not realize that this book and the three that precede it deal with witchcraft, sorcery, spells and the like. I am not surprised by the "phenomenon" of this series of books given the times we live in. The Bible emphatically forbids believers from entertaining these things. Those who are not aware of the danger in opening oneself up to such garbage might be encouraged to pick up their very own copy of this book and perhaps be venturing down a most dangerous road... I would encourage you to make a statement to your readers.

VIA The M+G+R Foundation: As the latest New Age "Gospel" is published in the form of yet another Harry Potter novel, we Christians need to take a hard look in the mirror. You may find this Reality Check at

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

130. A donkey going round and round in a mill cannot step out of the circle to which it is tethered; nor can the intellect which is not inwardly chastened advance in the path of holiness. With its inner eyes blinded, it cannot perceive holiness or the radiant light of Jesus.

July 7, 2000


Germany’s controversial “baby bank” — a drop slot for unwanted infants — has announced its first successful adoption. A baby girl left anonymously two months ago at a Hamburg clinic is well and living with her adoptive parents.

How It Works-- A mother can approach the drop-slot without being watched by cameras, pull down the waist-high metal door, slip her infant into a baby carrier, close the door and walk away. A silent alarm sounds, a camera watching the carrier turns on, and the baby is monitored until a nurse arrives.

The program, “Operation Foundling,” was launched in Hamburg with the intent of reducing the growing number of abandoned babies.


Harry Potter is back. And with a vengeance. The fourth book in the smash-hit Potter series goes on sale on Saturday, stirring mania in playgrounds and publishing houses around the world and proving the printed word is far from dead.

Advance hardback sales of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" stand at 5.3 million for just four countries -- Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia. It is expected to be sold in another 106 and translated into 49 languages. Online U.S. retailer has more than 250,000 pre-orders, the highest number it has ever received for a book.


In a meeting that began with a prayer, the Colorado Board of Education voted Thursday to urge public schools to post the motto "In God we trust" on their walls.With a 5-1 vote, the board passed a non-binding resolution to encourage "the appropriate display in schools and other public buildings of the national motto."

Earlier this year, the Colorado Legislature refused to require schools to post the Ten Commandments and the U.S. Supreme Court recently banned prayers at high school football games. In April, a federal appeals court found that Ohio's motto, "With God, all things are possible" -- a quote from the New Testament -- is unconstitutional.

In the last three decades -- most recently in 1996 -- three federal appeals courts have allowed the use of "In God we trust" on coins and said it does not amount to a government sponsorship or endorsement of religion.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

129. If we give attention to the intellect and assiduously reestablish its activity, it will stop being neglectful and will regain its proper state and its watchfulness.

July 6, 2000


(Rom 8:22) We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Strong typhoon, earthquake hit northern Philippines
Wildfires blaze amid Italian heat wave
Ukraine storms leave hundreds of villages in dark
Colorado wildfire chars Dinosaur Monument
Heat wave scorches southeastern Europe
Drought distresses Southern U.S. crops

(Rom 13:13-14) Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


In his keynote address, Prof. Roberto de Mattei linked the Gay Pride to the newly-revealed third part of the secret of Fatima. "The staging of this Gay Pride", he said, "is made possible by the fact that nowadays our Christian civilization is in ruins, as is in ruins the city through which the Holy Father passes in the vision of the third secret". The only remedy to this situation, he went on saying, "is indicated by the Angel: Penance, Penance, Penance". As matter of fact, the president of Centro Culturale Lepanto pointed out, the Gay Pride is a direct and head-on challenge on the most basic tenets of the Catholic Church, which the pro-homosexual forces are opposing with a vision based on an unbridled lust for pleasure and whose ultimate aim is to wipe out any trace of Christendom, however marginalised and dimmed it may be.


The voices of the kids who spoke to UNICEF field workers are harsh but vulnerable. They are sometimes ignorant or incoherent. All were pushed into the sex trade one way or another, by manipulative friends or abusive parents, or simply by poverty.

Underage recruits feed Argentina's sex business, according to the study obtained by Reuters. Many are lured to the big cities from poorer provinces and some are brought in from countries as far away as Honduras. The study concluded that the notion that sex workers opted for prostitution just as other people chose to be lawyers or bakers was a myth. Instead, UNICEF said, it was the ignorance and lack of maturity of vulnerable children that left them easy prey for the sex trade.

Related: Brazil links Israeli consul to child prostitution

(Mat 18:6) But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

128. Whoever aspires day and night to peace and stillness of intellect finds it easy to be indifferent to all material matters and so does not labor in vain. But if he scorns or cheats his own consicience, he will sleep bitterly the death of forgetfulness. This is the death that David prayed not to sleep (cf. Ps. 13:3); and the Apostle says: 'To know how to do good and yet not to do it is sin' (Jas. 4:17).

July 5, 2000

(Deu 28:15, 27) However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: ... The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.


As the AIDS epidemic enters its third decade, the disease that has confounded scientists has shown that it can mutate and transform itself as easily and as often as the HIV virus that causes it.

An estimated 900,000 people are living with the HIV virus in North America and about a third of them do not know it. Western Europe accounts for slightly more than half a million of the world's 34.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS.

The numbers are small compared with sub-Saharan Africa's 24.5 million or the 5.6 million people in South and Southeast Asia. But they illustrate the persistence of the disease in Western countries that have been fighting it the longest.

"The epidemic is nowhere near over," said Tony Farmer of the New York-based National Association of People Living with AIDS, referring to the United States. "In fact the estimates are that there is going to be a resurgence."


The Scottish company behind Dolly the sheep has been criticised for inserting a woman's DNA into thousands of sheep without her knowledge.The DNA in question is understood to have come from a sample donated by a Danish woman during the 1980s and was inserted into thousands of sheep in New Zealand. Scientists used the human DNA as part of their research into a cure for conditions including cystic fibrosis.

Dr Sue Mayer, director of GeneWatch, said: "People give blood and organs thinking they will be shared freely with other people. They are given as a gift. "Certainly most donors do not think their DNA will be patented, inserted into animals or bacteria and used to boost the profits of some company. "Many people would find this morally objectionable."

The UK Department of Health has admitted that DNA taken from blood or tissue banks in Britain can be used in genetic experiments by scientists at universities and biotech firms as long as the donor is not identified.

(Lev 19:19) "'Keep my decrees. "'Do not mate different kinds of animals. "'Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. "'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

127. Our intellect is darkened and remains fruitless whenever we speak words of worldly import or, entertaining such words in our mind, begin to give them our attention, or whenever the body and the intellect waste their time in some outward matter, or whenever we give ourselves over to vanities. For then we immediately lose our fervour, our sense of compunction, and our intimacy with God and knowledge of Him. So long as we concentrate our attention on the intellect, we are enlightened; but when we are not attentive to it we are in darkness.

July 4, 2000

(Phil 4:6-7) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


The Heart of Jesus is the compass of love for man, who runs the risk of losing the center of his own life, John Paul II said at noon today during his traditional Angelus message.

"In a society, where technology and information science develop at a growing pace, where we are prey to a thousand often conflicting interests, we risk losing our center, the center of ourselves," the Pontiff said.

This is why Christ shows us his Heart, which began to beat 2000 years ago "in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary," to remind us "that he is there, in the interior of the person, where the destiny of each one is decided, death or life in the ultimate sense. He himself gives us life in abundance, he who makes it possible for our hearts, until now hardened by indifference and egotism, to open to a higher form of life." This is the message of His Heart "to today's world," the Holy Father added.


The proportion of Americans who say they've felt the threat of a nervous breakdown provoked by stress, depression and anxiety is on the rise, according to a study released Sunday.

The study, by Indiana University researchers, found that in 1996, more than 26 percent of adults surveyed said they had felt an impending nervous breakdown, up from 19 percent in 1957. In addition, another 7 percent said they had experienced a mental health problem, a question not asked in the 1957 survey.

The authors write that "a mental health policy emphasis that is prevention centered -- focused on building coping skills, fostering stress resilience, and strengthening ties with family and friends -- is in keeping with the present results."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

126 (cont). Our intelligence should control our incensive power and our desire with wisdom and skill, regulating them, admonishing them, correcting them and ruling them as a king rules over his subjects.  Then, even should they rebel against it, our inmost intelligence will direct the passions in a way that accords with God's will, for we shall have set it in charge of them.  The brother of the Lord declares: 'He who does not lapse in his inmost intelligence is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body' (Jas. 3:2).  For the truth is that every sin and transgression is brought about through these three aspects of the soul, just as every virtue and good action is also produced through them.

July 3, 2000

(Luke 4:18-19) "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."


Pope John Paul will go ahead with a planned visit to Rome's Regina Coeli jail next week despite a violent prisoners' uprising on the weekend, the Vatican said on Sunday.

Some Italian newspapers speculated on Sunday that the disturbance could lead the Vatican to call off plans for the Pope to hold a mass at Regina Coeli to mark the Roman Catholic Church's Holy Year, or Jubilee, day for prisoners next Sunday. But Vatican officials said the papal schedule was unchanged.

In a letter released by the Vatican on Friday, the Pope urged world leaders to use the Church's Holy Year as an opportunity for a gesture of clemency to prisoners and to rethink their attitude to punishment and jail conditions.

(Isa 11:12) He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.


Iranian Jewish leaders said Sunday they fear a wave of Jewish emigration from Iran following a court's decision to convict 10 Jews of spying for Israel and sentence them to prison terms.

About 80,000 Jews lived in Iran just before the Islamic revolution. But the Shiite clergy that took power in 1979 considered Israel their enemy, and Jews immediately became suspect. Many fled to the United States, Europe and Israel. Today, Iran's Jews number about 25,000.


The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

126. We should use the three aspects of the soul fittingly and in accordance with nature, as created by God. We should use our incensive power against our outer self and against Satan. 'Be incensed', it is written, 'against sin' (cf. Ps. 4:4), that is be incensed with yourselves and the devil, so that you will not sin against God. Our desire should be directed towards God and towards holiness.

July 2, 2000


A shadow has been cast over one of Europe's most famous Catholic sanctuaries after its mystique was punctured by the Vatican's controversial decision to reveal the last of its secret prophecies. The revelation on Monday that there were no doomsday predictions has provoked angry reactions from the Portuguese church over the decision to keep the prophecy secret for half a century.

"Dismayed, cheated and betrayed, that is how many people feel," the O Publico newspaper said yesterday as it summed up the reaction in Portugal to the third prophecy. Bishop Januario Torgal demanded: "If the Vatican knew that it was not apocalyptic, why on Earth did it only make it public now?"


Q-- You said that John Paul II read the secret for the first time after the attempt...

A-- Archbishop Bertone: It is a matter of record. And he didn't read it immediately after the attempt, but two weeks later: on July 18, 1981, the Substitute at the Secretariat of State, at the time Archbishop Eduardo Martinez Somalo (today a Cardinal), took two envelopes to the hospital, one with the original "secret" and the other with the translation into Italian.

Q-- But, even though he had not read the text, he would have known its content...

A-- Archbishop Bertone: I think it quite unlikely that he knew it in this way. Both because there were very few, perhaps none, who were up-to-date, with exact knowledge of the content, and because it was very easy for the Pope to read the text: all he had to do was request it.

Q-- The attempt against the Pope happened two and a half years after his election. How is it possible that no one would have spoken to him of the "secret," when it was given to John XXIII and Paul VI at the beginning of their pontificates?

A-- Archbishop Bertone: This is not quite correct. Paul VI saw it in March of 1965, when he had been Pope for two years!

Q-- John Paul II has been audacious in publishing a prophecy that concerned him, while the person who wrote it is still living.

A-- Archbishop Bertone: In fact, there were people who said it would be better to wait. Also, on the issue of the beatification of the two little shepherds, there were those who felt it would be better to postpone it until after Sister Lucia's death.  However, the two processes had concluded and the century was ending, and so the Pope felt the time had arrived.

Q-- How is it possible to be sure that the prophecy referred to the 1981 attempt against the Pontiff? Couldn't it refer to a future Pope who might, in fact, die?

A-- Archbishop Bertone: First of all there is the coincidence of the date of the attempt and the anniversary of the first Fatima apparition. In addition, there is the event, unique in this century, of a Pope who was at the point of being assassinated. Finally, there is no reason to expect future events, because public revelation is for all centuries, but private revelations have a date.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

125. For if with God's help we make progress daily by means of our watchfulness, we should not behave indiscriminately and damage ourselves through a host of random meetings and conversations. On the contrary, we should scorn all vanities for the sake of the beauty and blessings of holiness.

July 1, 2000

(Rev 6:8) I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.


Earthquakes and other natural disasters may have captured donations and headlines, but preventable diseases killed far more people - 13 million people in 1999, according to a report by the Red Cross.

An estimated 150 million people have died from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria alone since 1945, compared to 23 million in wars, said the World Disasters Report issued by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Malaria - which kills 2.6 million people a year, 70 percent of them children - is appearing in countries such as Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. North Korea has reported 40,000 new cases of tuberculosis this year. And Russian cases of syphilis have increased 40-fold since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the report said.


Tens of thousands of Orthodox Christians stood in line in Kiev for hours on Thursday to worship the head of St. Panteleimon, which was brought to Ukraine from a monastery on Greece's Mt. Athos. Ukraine has undergone a major upsurge in religious observance since the collapse of the officially atheist Soviet Union in 1991.

Most of them were elderly women, but the line also included teen-agers and desperate parents holding sick children, who they believed the saint would cure. "We no longer put any hope in doctors," said Yelena, a young woman who brought her paralyzed 4-year-old girl from a village near Kiev.

St. Panteleimon, a martyr revered as a healer by Orthodox Christians, lived in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Trained as a physician, church tradition says he used both his knowledge and prayer to cure the sick until being tortured and killed in 305.

(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."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Hesychios "On Watchfulness and Holiness"

124. Each hour of the day we should note and weigh our actions and in the evening we should do what we can to free ourselves from the burden of them by means of repentance- if, that is, we wish, with Christ's help, to overcome wickedness. We should also make sure that we perform all our outward tasks in a manner that accords with God's will, before God and for God alone, so that we are not mindlessly seduced by the senses.

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