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Trib Times Special Report: A Watchman's View of the Kosovo Crisis
Trib Times Commentary:  On the Israeli Elections

June 30,1999


( - Pope John Paul said Tuesday he had a "strong yearning" to visit Biblical sites in the Middle East as part of millennium celebrations.

In the prepared text, the Pope said he wanted to visit Ur, the ancient city in Mesopotamia where Abraham was born and now part of Iraq. He also mentioned Mount Sinai, in Egypt, where Moses received the Ten Commandments, Christ's birthplace in Bethlehem, Nazareth, the city where Christ grew up, and Jerusalem.

"The yearning is strong in me to visit and pray in these places, where the living God left his imprint," the Pope told the crowd.


( - Russia is home to at least 625,000 abandoned children - many of them deserted by impoverished or alcoholic parents - and the number is rising, reported the ITAR-Tass news agency Tuesday.

Thousands of children in Russia run away from home, usually to escape alcoholic or abusive parents who rarely try to find them later, the report said. Some newborns are left at maternity clinics by mothers who either cannot afford, or do not want to raise, a child.

(Mat 24:12) Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,


( - A man in the video holds a hand over the prisoner's mouth and lifts the prisoner's arm. Another man begins sawing at a finger with a hunter's knife. Seconds later, the finger drops to the floor.

The ransom video for Herbert Gregg, an American missionary kidnapped in a neighboring region seven months ago, was by far the most visceral image to reach the outside world of the terror of a hostage epidemic that Russian and Chechen officials have been powerless to stop.

The video was released Tuesday by Russia's Interior Ministry, which said security forces had freed Gregg and no ransom was paid, but gave no further details of the operation.

(Mat 5:10-12) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

1. Should one wish to make incense, one will mingle, according to the Law, fragrant gum, cassia, aromatic shell and myrrh in equal amounts (cf. Exod. 30:34). These are the four virtues. With their full and balanced development, the intellect will be safe from betrayal.

June 29,1999

Stratfor's Third Quarter Forecast

The split between Russia and China on one hand and the United States on the other has still not fully matured. Therefore, the response, a Sino-Russian alliance, has not yet fully taken shape. Nevertheless, matters are rapidly moving in that direction. Therefore, it is our view that the single most important global theme of the Third Quarter of 1999 will be fairly quiet, yet intense, diplomacy between Russia and China as they explore the precise meaning and implementation of their strategic relationship.

Russia's nuclear war-games

Russia began gigantic war exercises last Monday. Troops from three military districts and the powerful Northern Fleet, together with Russia's Air Defense Forces, maneuvered to evade imaginary Western air and missile strikes. Then on Saturday, Russia's forces turned to launch a mock counter strike.

In recent months, preparing for a future nuclear war has been a top priority with the Russian General Staff, which believes such a war is not only possible, but inevitable.

U.S. suspects stolen data key to China missile

China is making final preparations to test fire a new mobile intercontinental ballistic missile that the CIA believes will incorporate stolen U.S. missile and warhead secrets, The Washington Times has learned.

Preparations for the launch of the road-mobile DF-31 -- which could take place as early as next week -- were spotted by U.S. spy satellites at Wuzhai in central China.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

223. Every word of Christ shows us God's mercy, justice and wisdom and, if we listen gladly, their power enters into us. That is why the unmerciful and the unjust, listening to Christ with repugnance, were not able to understand the wisdom of God, but even crucified Him for teaching it. So we, too, should ask ourselves whether we listen to Him gladly. For He said: 'He who loves Me will keep My commandments, and he will be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him' (cf. John 14:21). Do you see how He has hidden His manifestation in the commandments? Of all the commandments, therefore, the most comprehensive is to love God and our neighbour. This love is made firm through abstaining from material things, and through stillness of thoughts.

June 28,1999

Gays hold colorful, national pride celebrations

(CNN) -- Sporting leather thongs, feather boas and political , gays and lesbians took to the streets Sunday in festive pride parades across the country, commemorating the anniversary of a watershed event in the movement.

The pride marches commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, when patrons of a gay bar in Greenwich Village fought back against a police raid.

The 1969 Stonewall Riots are commemorated around the world as a watershed for , and the bar, the Stonewall Inn, is being added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Gay Pride Parade began in 1970.

Prophecies of Thomas S. Gibson

June 25, 1999 (Prophecy, #241); United States and Canada:

For this word is given that you understand that the United States has filled up its sins which I will allow. And I am preparing now, at this time, I am preparing now to bring the judgment that I have prophecied upon it.

If they will repent, even in this late stage, I will stay, and repair all that I have done to that point. If they will repent I will stay the wrath, I will stay the wrath. I will repair and I'll build back up.

But, oh, if they do not repent, if they do not repent, if they do not repent, the judgments will become more and more severe, and everything that I have ever prophecied shall come to pass. EVERY LAST THING!!

I shall bring one thing after another, in My order and in My way. And I shall bring the nation to its knees.

Woe be tied, Canada. For you too, have not listened to the word of the Lord. And you too, have filled up your pages of wrath to come. You have filled it up. Your sin has come up to Me -- a stench that I cannot bear.

Therefore you too, will be judged. Wrath shall be poured out. And I shall take that nation, and I shall utterly destroy it from one end to the other; for its sins are so much greater, in many ways, than that of America.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

222. When someone boasts about his virtues, do not try to help him by reproving him. For a man cannot love showing off and at the same time love the truth.

June 27,1999

Editor's Note: This is not the compilation of a months worth of news reports. Each of these news items was newly reported YESTERDAY!!!! Dear reader, search your Spirit and ask yourself, "How long"? How long will the Lord allow this type of insanely demonic behavior?

Pope expresses solidarity with those abused by priests

( - Pope John Paul II expressed solidarity with victims of sexual abuse by clergy Saturday, but insisted such scandals should not cause a change in the celibacy requirements for priests.

The pope's mention of sexual abuse came during a meeting with bishops from Ireland, a predominantly Catholic nation which has been rocked by scandals involving clergy.

Man convicted of assault with AIDS virus

(AP) A man accused of with a 13-year-old girl and giving her the virus that causes AIDS was convicted of felonious assault. The girl, now 14, said that Henry Couturier, 47, did not tell her he had the virus when they had sex in May 1998. She tested positive for HIV about three months later.

10,000 celebrate Gay Pride Day in Tel Aviv

Rainbow flags, rainbow balloons, and rainbow tattoos seemed to be everywhere on Friday afternoon as thousands of Tel Aviv residents celebrated Gay Pride Day.

10-year-old boy charged with raping 5-year-old boy

(AP) A 10-year-old boy has been charged with raping a 5-year-old boy while the two were playing videogames. Police say the incident happened June 16. The younger boy's father left the two alone in the apartment for about 30 minutes to go to the grocery store and returned to find his son being assaulted, police said.

Top cadet dismissed for allegedly demanding sex

(AP) The dismissal of Virginia Military Institute's top cadet for allegedly demanding sex from female cadets does not represent a widespread problem, the head of the formerly all-male school said Saturday.

(Col 3:5-6) Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

221. He who is easily overcome by the lesser will inevitably be enslaved by the greater. But he who is superior to the lesser will also with the Lord's help resist the greater.

June 26,1999

Our Lady of Emmitsburg Message

Through Gianna Talone Sullivan (Bishop's Statement)
at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Emmitsburg, MD June 24, 1999

My dear little children, praise be Jesus!

     Little ones, please love one another.  Look beyond your differences
and be children of love, children of peace.  There is a place for each
one of you in God's Kingdom if you desire it.  You shall know the true
by their actions, their words and the fruits which
unfold from genuine love.

     Be cautious of those who speak ill of others, those who are quick
to expose other people's sinful ways and those who are certain that they
are chosen by God.  No one is infallible and anyone can fall from the
state of grace.  Humility, charity and love must be your way of life.
Mercy must always abound in all situations.

     You are little children, and the only shepherd who can lead you in
safety and truth is Jesus.  Turn to Him and ask for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit to help you be children of peace.  The light of Jesus will
saturate you with His joy and peace.

     Praise be Jesus, little children!  Work together in love and be
children who share the same vision of Mercy, a vision of love and
forgiveness not anger, bitterness or fear.

     I bless you in the name of My Son and I take your petitions to Him.
Thank you for responding to My call.  AD DEUM.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

220. He who does not learn from the commandments and warnings of Scripture will be driven by 'the horse's whip' and 'the ass's goad' (cf. Prov. 26:3. LXX). And if he refuses to obey these as well, his 'mouth must be controlled with bit and bridle' (Ps. 32:9).

June 25,1999

(1 Cor 15:57) But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Britain bars cloning of human embryos for medical research

(AP) The government rejected expert advice and banned the cloning of human embryos today for any kind of medical research, saying more time is needed to consider the implications.

The decision, announced in Parliament after months of deliberations, came as a surprise. The move meant that embryos may no longer be cloned for infertility and congenital disease research.

In the United States, publicly funded embryo research is banned and in Germany and France it is not allowed at all.

Public Health Minister Tessa Jowell said human reproductive cloning ''is ethically unacceptable and cannot take place in this country.''

''However, we recognize that regulations to allow therapeutic research should be very carefully considered,'' she told Parliament.

The government ordered its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Liam Donaldson, to set up an independent group of experts to examine the issue, consult scientists internationally and report early next year.

Beatification Imminent For Two Fatima Seers

( -- The beatification of two of the young people to whom the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima will be announced officially on June 28.

On June 22, the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints officially approved the causes of Francesco and Jacinta-- two of the three seers of Fatima-- for beatification. The official announcement of their pending beatification will me made by Pope John Paul II.

The time and date for the beatification ceremonies have not been announced. Patrons of the Fatima basilica in Portugal are hoping that the Holy Father will visit that basilica for the occasion-- perhaps next October 13, the anniversary of the final apparition in 1917.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

219. Fear of God and reproof induce remorse; hardship and vigils make us intimate with suffering.

June 24,1999

Presbyterian committee recommends allowing gays and ordination

(AP) Gays and lesbians are one step closer to being eligible to become ministers in the Presbyterian church. In a 24-14 vote Tuesday, the Church Orders and Ministry committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recommended striking a clause from the church's constitution that, in effect, prohibits s from being ordained.

The clause requires clergy to live within standards that include ''fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.''

Via email (Jim Bramlett):

Further signs of social and cultural self-destruction. Is this the bottom?

The news this morning revealed a "first man-to-man kiss" hoped for by character, Eric McCormack, on NBC's television sitcom, "Will and Grace."

This same day, the Drudge Report gives us this news shocker:



In the new shock movie EYES WIDE SHUT, Tom Cruise kisses a dead woman and discovers the taboo pleasure of !

That is just one of the bizarre moments that will be found in a new WARNER BROS. film, set for release next month....

Jim  Bramlett comments: (Man-to-man kisses? Kissing dead women for pleasure? How much further will this go before the Lord of creation says, "That's enough"?)

Brazil priest arrested for s

(Reuters) - Brazilian police said Wednesday they arrested a priest on suspicion of robbing graves and making s after finding 16 skulls and other bones buried beneath his home.

Jose Augusto dos Santos, 40, is being investigated for allegedly sacrificing a small child and a man in a rare Afro- Brazilian religious ceremony aimed at winning favors from the devil, police in the remote state of Mato Grosso said.

``This man had pictures of Lucifer, Satan, all over the house. He had statues of him as well,'' said homicide investigator Marcio Peironi.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

218. No one can experience suffering and remorse in a way that accords with God's will, unless he first loves what causes them.

June 23,1999

A Word on Evangelism

Pope John Paul II: The Church in America must speak more and more of Jesus Christ

Via email (Jim Collins):

William: I was moved to share this. It comes from my daily Bible reading found in the "Word Among Us". Tuesday, June 22: Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Summary: pray first for Holy Spirit guidance, then let the Holy Spirit lead as you share the gospel.

Pope John Paul II has called for the new millennium to be a time of evangelism. Yet, many of us are hesitant to share our faith because of fear of what others might think---and because we feel unequipped to do it. It is true that evangelizing calls for wisdom. Jesus told his disciples to be careful not to give "pearls" to "swine" (Matthew 7:6) whenever they went out to preach. In these words, Jesus isn't saying that some people are no better off than swine. Rather, he is telling us to choose wisely the moments when we try to communicate the gospel to others.

Like everything else that Jesus taught, evangelism requires the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we try to share our faith with others, it is crucial that we be open to what the Holy Spirit wants us to do. The Spirit knows the state of every person's heart. He knows who is ready to hear the gospel and who is not. If we attempt to explain our faith to others when they are unreceptive, our efforts may backfire, provoking them to reject the pearls of the gospel.

We see a very graphic illustration of this in Acts 19:11-16. Seeing the power with which St. Paul preached, the sons of the Jewish High Priest Sceva tried to use the name of Jesus as well. But because they were not in touch with the Holy Spirit, the result was disastrous. The demons turned on them and overpowered them.

If we are led by the Holy Spirit, he will guide us and show us exactly what to say and what to do. This takes a great burden off of us. We don't have to worry about what to say or when to say it. We need only to be praying for the Spirit's guidance. Actually, we can accomplish more in an hour of prayer than we could ever hope to accomplish in a week of evangelism without prayer. That's how deeply God wants to draw people to a living faith in him. So let us be committed to prayer in all things, especially the work of sharing our faith.

The prayer: Jesus, we ask you to release a flood of evangelism throughout the world. Fill Christians everywhere with you Spirit so that we might be open to his guidance and obedient to his promptings.  As we enter the next millennium, man many lives be changed by the power of your Gospel.  AMEN and AMEN!!!

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

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

217. Just as a sheep does not mate with a wolf, so suffering of the heart does not couple with satiety for the conception of the virtues.

June 22,1999

More on the Shroud of Turin from ICEJ

Hebrew University botany professor Avinoam Danin said 36 per cent of the 250 pollen grains found on the shroud were from a thorny thistle species called Goundelia tournefortii. The plant is found in Israel and neighboring countries.

Alan and Mary Whanger of Duke University in North Carolina, who studied non-body images on the shroud for many years - and who asked Danin and Baruch to undertake the project - believe this to be the plant from which Jesus' crown of thorns was fashioned.

The second part of the investigation related to images of plants on the shroud. Danin said one was found to be a cluster of thistles, another a bean caper (Zygophyllum dumosum) which grows only in Israel, Jordan and the Sinai, and the third the rock rose (Cistus creticus) which grows in Mediterranean countries.

The flowers could be found in the fields around Jerusalem in springtime, a time consistent with the understanding Jesus was crucified around Passover.

Danin said another, smaller piece of cloth revered by some Catholics, known as the Sudarium of Oviedo, in Spain, had already been found by experts to display identical blood type and size and shape of bloodstains as the shroud. It was thus believed to have been used to cover the face of the man whose image appears on the Shroud of Turin.

The practice of placing a cloth over the deceased's head before the other linen covering is referred to in the New Testament account of Jesus' resurrection: "Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloth lying on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself." (John 20:6-7)

Danin said the Sudarium, too, had delivered grains of pollen from the same thorny thistle species found on the shroud. Along with the blood type and bloodstain shape, this third factor strengthened the argument that the small cloth and the big one were "synchronic."

And the Sudarium has a well-documented history dating to at least the 8th century.

"These plants lead us to state that the Shroud of Turin existed before the 8th century; that it originated in the vicinity of Jerusalem; and that the assemblage of plants became part of the shroud in the spring months of March-April,"

It appears that bunches or bouquets of flowers were placed alongside the body of the man of the shroud - whoever he was - leaving the imprints and pollen grains on the material.

Related Sites:

Shroud 'holds DNA of God'

Shroud of Turin Website

The Sudarium of Oviedo

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

216. Just as a lioness does not make friends with a calf, so impudence does not gladly admit the remorse that accords with God's will.

June 21,1999

God will provide (YHWH Yireh)

(Gen 22:14) So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

Once again "God will provide" takes on personal meaning for me. Through His Grace, Stacey Voskans visited the Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus site and agreed to use her wonderful artistic talents to improve its general appearance.

I am very pleased to invite you for a visit to the improved page at:

I further invite all who are receiving this and have not yet submitted their own personal testimonies to please prayerfully consider doing so.

Share your wonderful faith with the world!!

(Mat 24:14) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Via email (David J. Sheehan):

I have just returned from northeast Bosnia (near Brcko). I was working with St.
David's Relief Foundation ( summer camp 1999 program.
Everything went well. We met the U.S. Army operating out of Ft. McGovern. Our men
in uniform are doing great but they need to hear more from home. You see, they are
restricted to base when they are not on patrol. It was a Congressional mandate to
avoid casualties, but their spirits do suffer by not being able to mingle with the
locals on their off time. The Croats and the Muslims love them; of course, with
the Serbs right now, it is a different thing, but I hope, in time that the Serbs will
come to understand our men.

Anyhow, it would be very appreciated if you could put something on your website
indicating that people should send letters, books, magazines or whatever that
would let the troops know that we have not forgotten about them. Here is the
TF 1-12 CAV D CO.
Camp McGovern Operation Joint Guard
APO AE 09789

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

215. If a man falls into some sin and does not feel remorse for his offence as he should, he will easily fall into the same net again.

June 20,1999

Tobacco plants with human genes about to be field tested

(CP) -- In a few weeks, tobacco plants with human genes are expected to be transplanted to a federal test plot in a project scientists are calling a world first.

"This is historic," said Dr. Anthony Jevnikar, director of transplantation research at the London Health Sciences Centre. Jevnikar said it's believed this will be the first ever field-test of plants containing human genes.

Our Lady of Emmitsburg Message

Through Gianna Talone Sullivan (Bishop's Statement)
at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Emmitsburg, MD June 17, 1999

      My dear little children, praise be Jesus!

     Little ones, when you believe with your hearts that you can achieve
the heights of love with Jesus and proclaim this truth through your
actions, you will soar to the heaven above and perform wondrous works in
the name of Jesus.  God above looks to His children to see how they use
His gifts.  If you are good stewards of His gifts you shall receive
more, but if you are foolish and are poor stewards you will lose what
little you have received.  Do not waste your gifts but bring them to
fruition through prayer and contemplation.  God's peace will rest upon

     If your minds are preoccupied with the business of daily life, you
will lose the opportunity to bring your gifts to their maturation and
will therefore position yourself where you risk losing what you have
received.  The way of the world will only continue to get more
complicated.  Your daily lives will become filled with more business and
distractions.  Prayer and contemplation will become more difficult if
you are not already committed, disciplined and strong stewards of this
gift from God.  Without prayer you will not be able to discern.  Without
discernment you will not be able to know the will of God and will not be
able to follow the truth of His words.

     Please pay heed to My words, little children, for I speak them out
of love for you.  Don't waste the gifts you have received from God.  Do
not push them aside or think they will be accessible to you whenever you
want them.  Do not think you have plenty of time to change your way of
life.  These fallacies mark the path for the foolish.  Be good stewards
of God's gifts, respectful and grateful to be called a "child" of God.

     I take your petitions to the Father.  Thank you for responding to
My call.  AD DEUM.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

214. When the evil conduct of one person begins to affect others, you should not show long-suffering; and instead of your own advantage you should seek that of the others, so that they may be saved. For virtue involving many people is more valuable than virtue involving only one.

June 19,1999

Signs and Wonders

Via email (Jim Bramlett):

Friends Christine and Peter Darg have been missionaries to both Jews and
Muslims in the Middle East, and also Africa, for many years, and have seen
God do many incredible miracles.  With a broadcasting background and great
talent, in the 1980s they were Chief Correspondents and news anchors for
CBN's Middle East Television in Israel, then felt led to begin their own

They both regularly see God do many signs and wonders.  In her latest
newsletter, "Exploits" (free copy, see below), Christine traces God's use
of miracles and signs in church history, and relates some that have
happened to them or they have discovered.  She reports an experience of
Peter's in Africa: "While on a mission to sub Sahara Burkina Faso, Peter
Darg ministered with a pastor who had recently led 300 Muslims to the Lord.
 One of the Muslim wives heard continually in her dreams, 'I am coming
soon,' but she did not know Who is coming until she watched the "Jesus Film"
presented during the mission!"

To obtain a free copy of Christine's latest newsletter, "Exploits," and her
outstanding article, "The Working of Miracles" email your request to
[email protected]  Include your name and mailing address. Their
Web address is, where one can download a daily
live picture from their Web camera overlooking the Old City Walls of
Jerusalem, the holy city.

Also, please pray for Christine and Peter, who are literally on the front
lines in the Middle East and Africa as yielded vessels of both the
compassion and power of our Lord.  They love both Jews and Muslims and are
pouring out their lives for them, for Jesus' sake.  I thank God for them
and all that they are doing.

(Mat 24:14) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

213. If someone does not obey you when you have told him once, do not argue and try to compel him; but take for yourself the profit which he has thrown away. For forbearance will benefit you more than correcting him.

June 18,1999

First Cloned Human Embryo Revealed

Details of the first human embryo to be cloned have been released. The watershed achievement in biotechnology actually happened last November, but more information was revealed on Thursday. It was achieved using a cell from a man's leg and a cow's egg. The scientists who created the clone see it as a significant step forward in the search for a way of producing human stem cells.

American Cell Technology (ACT), a leading, private biotechnology company, cloned the first human embryo and let it develop for twelve days before destroying it. In a normal pregancy, an embryo implants into the womb wall after 14 days. Dr Robert Lanza, ACT's director of tissue engineering, told the Daily Mail newspaper that the embryo cannot be seen as a person before 14 days. The company say they have released news of the discovery to try to allay fears over the artificial conception of life.

ACT say they have no intention of attempting to use a cloned human embryo to start a pregnancy - their aim is "therapeutic cloning" not "reproductive cloning".

Lord Robert Winston, a British fertility expert, said the research was "totally ethical".

For an analysis of the spiritual implications of cloning: Eyedoctor's Site: The Desolating Abomination.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

212. Every event is like a bazaar. He who knows how to bargain makes a good profit, he who does not makes a loss.

June 17,1999

Southern Baptists Rebuke President Clinton

(AP) Southern Baptists overwhelmingly voted today to rebuke President Clinton for proclaiming June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and passed resolutions on issues ranging from human embryo research to Kosovo.

''We're not going to allow the president, especially since he is a Southern Baptist, to say that is good,'' said the Rev. Wiley Drake of Buena Park, Calif.

Catholic group, moviemakers clash over "Dogma"

(Reuters) - A dispute between a U.S. Roman Catholic group and film producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein heated up on Wednesday as the Weinsteins said they would hold the Catholic League responsible if violence occurs during protests against the religious satire film "Dogma".

The Weinstein brothers, co-heads of Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax Films subsidiary, in April formed a company to acquire the rights to "Dogma", a religious satire by 28-year-old director Kevin Smith, whose credits include "Chasing Amy".

The Weinsteins bought the rights from Miramax to shield parent company Disney, whose typical fare is family entertainment like the animated film "Tarzan" being released nationwide on Friday, from embarrassment.

"Dogma", not yet finished, tells of two renegade angels, played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who believe Catholic church laws are fallible and who set about exploiting a legal loophole as a way to reenter heaven.

The script includes a fictional foul-mouthed 13th apostle named Rufus, played by comedian Chris Rock, and a Catholic woman, played by Linda Fiorentino, who works at an Illinois abortion clinic.

Italians free to duel, drink, beg and blaspheme

(Reuters) - Italians are finally free to duel, insult the flag, get drunk or beg "in a repugnant or tormenting manner'' without fear of criminal conviction.

The parliament of this bureaucratic Roman Catholic country on Tuesday passed a law decriminalising some 100 minor offences, including blasphemy and insulting a public official.

(Luke 17:28-30) "It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

211. If it is your duty to give orders to your brethren, be mindful of your role, and when they contradict you, do not fail to tell them what is necessary. When they obey you, you will be rewarded because of their virtue; but when they disobey you, you will none the less forgive them, and will be equally rewarded by Him who said: 'Forgive and it shall be forgiven you' (cf. Matt. 6:14).

June 16,1999

Pollen, plant traces bolster case for Shroud of Turin

(CNN) -- Plant imprints and pollen found on the Shroud of Turin support the premise that it originated in the Holy Land, two Israeli scientists say.

"In the light of our findings, it is highly probable that the shroud did in fact come from this part of the world," said Avinoam Danin, a botany professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Traces of pollen grains taken from the shroud are from plants found in Israel and neighboring countries, including the bean caper and the tumbleweed appearing on the shroud, said Uri Baruch, a pollen specialist at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The flowers "could have been picked up fresh in the fields. A few of the species could be found in the markets of Jerusalem in the spring," Danin said. The shroud also contains the imprint of a coin minted in the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who ruled at the time of the crucifixion.

The Roman Catholic Church has never claimed the cloth as a holy relic, but the cloth has attracted pilgrims to Turin since the Middle Ages. Pope John Paul II, who knelt in silent prayer before the cloth last year, urged scientists to do more testing of the linen.

(John 14:11-12) Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

210. Without contrition of the heart it is altogether impossible to rid ourselves of evil. Now the heart is made contrite by threefold self-control: in sleep, in food and in bodily relaxation. For excess of these three things leads to self-indulgence; and this in turn makes us accept evil thoughts, and is opposed to prayer and to appropriate work.

June 15,1999

Officials worry about possible upsurge in Jerusalem Syndrome

(AP) Jerusalem Syndrome strikes with little warning: After a few days in the holy city, seemingly normal pilgrims imagine they are biblical figures, sing psalms at the top of their lungs, preach to passers-by or dress up in hotel bedsheets.

Jerusalem clergymen and officials came together Monday to discuss ways to spot and deal with the mental illness, which one psychiatrist says may strike as many as one in 100 pilgrims and disrupt Jesus' 2000th birthday celebrations.

About 4 million Christian pilgrims are expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian areas in 2000.

''There are feelings (in Israel) that this could turn a national celebration into a national nightmare,'' said Clarence Wagner, director of Bridges for Peace, a group that advocates close ties between Christian groups and Israel and sponsored Monday's discussion.

Jews left behind in Ethiopia to be brought to Israel

(AP) -- Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the government to speed up the immigration process for thousands of Jews in Ethiopia wanting to settle in Israel, his spokesman said.

Some 2,500-3,500 Jews in the mountainous Quara region of Ethiopia were left behind when their brethren came to Israel seven years ago and have been trying to reach the Jewish state ever since.

Most of the Jews in Ethiopia, about 21,500 in number, were brought to Israel in two airlifts in 1985 and 1991.

(Ezek 11:17) "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.'

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

209. When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences wil be cut off; whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.

June 14,1999

Troops in Kosovo are just a fraction of U.S. presence now policing foreign lands

From Western Sahara to Panama, Korea to Haiti, and now Kosovo, more than 200,000 Americans, both military and civilian, are helping to keep the peace or protect U.S. interests.

The Balkans mission - in which 7,000 Americans are expected to participate in a NATO-led security force of 50,000 - has received all the attention of late. That mission is but a small part of a much larger U.S. effort worldwide.

"The Financial Times" quote: ``The machinations in the run-up to acceptance of the (Kosovo) deal have opened up huge fissures in the Russian leadership which now threaten the peacekeeping effort in Kosovo, and even the stability of the Russian government itself."

North Korean ships re-enter South Korean waters as standoff continues

Ethiopia: 7,800 Eritrean soldiers killed, wounded or captured

Saddam urges his people to train to fight the American 'enemy'

Indian troops claim capture of crucial peak in all-night battle

(Rev 6:3-4) When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

208. He who willingly accepts chastening by affliction is not dominated by evil thoughts against his will; whereas he who does not accept affliction is taken prisoner by evil thoughts, even though he resists them.

June 13,1999

Russian troops block NATO forces at Pristina checkpoint

(CNN) -- Tense moments developed Sunday at a checkpoint in Pristina, as Russian troops blocked a route being used by NATO peacekeepers entering the provincial capital.

The incident occurred near the Pristina airport, as British troops rolled into Kosovo during Operation Joint Guardian, one of the largest military undertakings in Europe since World War II.

Astronomers search for 2020 vision

The Spaceguard search for such civilisation-threatening projectiles is being conducted with only part of the sky being scanned, often the wrong part. Sponsored by Nasa and the Pentagon, major efforts are under way in the US, but they cannot look during daylight hours, nor can they see the southern sky. Our front gate may be closed, but the rear door is ajar, and our windows wide open.

We are entering a golden age of asteroid and comet research, with space missions to 13 such targets being conducted over the next dozen years. The dangerous ones, though, are those we have yet to discover. By the year 2020 we need 20/20 vision of our local cosmic environment, lest some lump of rock like that which killed the dinosaurs creep up on us unawares. We have been warned.

(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.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

207. If you do not want evil thoughts to be active within you, accept humiliation of soul and affliction of the flesh; and this not just on particular occasions, but always, everywhere and in all things.

June 12,1999

NATO forces push into Kosovo amid confusion over entry of Russians

(AP)--In a move that surprised leaders in both Washington and Moscow, a Russian armored column entered Pristina before dawn to a heroes' welcome from Serb residents. Russian officials called the march into the province a mistake.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott went into immediate pre-dawn talks with officials in Moscow. The Russian news agency ITAR-Tass said the decision to deploy was made by the Russian Defense Ministry and the Yugoslav military, which the agency said wanted Russia to enter Kosovo first.

There was also no immediate sign that the troops would obey the orders to pull back. After riding through Pristina, the Russians moved west to the village of Kosovo Polje on the outskirts of the city near the airport and stopped for the night. The convoy was believed to contain 200 to 300 soldiers.

See also: Power struggle erupts in Moscow

The Lord's Testimony To the Nations!

By David Wilkerson
May 31, 1999

"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).

Many in the church today try to determine the nearness of Christ's return by reading the signs of the times. We see such signs in particular events -- for example, the return of the Jews to Israel. Yet one of the clearest statements Jesus makes about his second coming is contained in the verse above: The end will come only after the gospel has been preached to all nations -- as a testimony.

The word that Jesus uses for "witness" in this verse is the same Greek word used for "testimony." It means, literally, "proof of the fact." Christ is speaking here of not just preaching the gospel, but presenting it as a testimony. In short, he says, the gospel we preach is effective only if it's backed up by a life that testifies to its reality.

....Right now the furnace is being heated seven times over in the lives of many believers. Satan has created situations in their homes, on their jobs and in their relationships that are more intense than ever. And many once-strong Christians are giving up, quitting on God. They no longer pray for help. Instead, they think, "My trial is too intense for me to survive!"

....Yes, things are going to get hot economically, physically, mentally, spiritually and in every other way. But God has already placed his hand on separated, godly men and women in every place. And his gospel will be preached as a testimony.

Then the Lord will come!

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

206. Wisdom is not only to perceive the natural consequence of things, but also to accept as our due the malice of those who wrong us. People who go no further than the first kind of wisdom become proud, whereas those who attain the second become humble.

June 11,1999

Desmond Birch Commentary On "Private Revelation":

No Catholic may be required to believe in any "private revelation", not even one as prestigious as Fatima, or Lourdes.   The only Revelation which any Catholic is required to believe in is "Public Revelation", which as the Church teaches us, ended with the death of the last apostle. That is the official teaching of our Catholic Church.

Again, you or I do not even have to believe in what was revealed at Fatima. However, every Pope since Pius XII has publicly stated his own belief in the miracles and messages associated with Our Lady's appearance at Fatima in 1913. Therefore, it might indeed be imprudent to deny Fatima -- when such heavyweights as 5 Popes in a Row have confirmed their personal belief in it. (Privately, I have absolutely no doubt that the apparitions and messages from Fatima are authentic.)

Let me make another point absolutely clear. I am not opposed to private prophecy. It is in many instances, a genuine charism from the Holy Spirit. I wrote a book, "Trial Tribulation & Triumph", in which I cited hundreds of prophecies from various Canonized Saints, Blessed & Venerable. The difference is this, all of their messages have received some sort of official approbation or approval from the Church.

I did not quote even one "alleged" prophecy source which had not yet been approved by the Church. The reason I did so can be very clearly seen and understood in your reaction to some of the things you are seeing posted on the Internet. After a while you don't know what to believe anymore. Then when alleged prophecies fail to happen as predicted, what happens? The same thing that always happens under those circumstances, the Devil then tempts you to blame the Church -- instead of the (by then obviously) false prophecy.

Satan is very clever. When Our Lady repeatedly appeared to St. Bernadette at Lourdes in the 19th century, the messages received by Bernadette were in some cases startling. But the Church in Her wisdom investigated, and using the special gifts of discernment granted to the Heirarchy of the Church, determined that these revelations included nothing harmful to the Faith, and that they were in fact authentic. These messages from Lourdes included some dire warnings about the future if people did not go through inner conversion, AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, everything else in those messages was theologically sound, etc.

Guess what Satan's response was? In a matter of several years Satan raised up no less than 50 false prophects within 75 miles of Lourdes, alleged prophets claiming to be receiving messages from God. Some of them were so false that even the common people could see that they could not be from God. But some of the others were subtle, cleverly phrased, and highly deceptive. In some cases only the Church initially saw through these phony apparitions. But in time, it became obvious to most people that all these other seers were false. What can we learn from this?

1. God gives the official Church the discernment to make these determinations, as He granted her the power to forgive or withhold forgiveness of sin in His name. We as individual members of the Church are neither promised nor given that kind of spiritual power and guarantee of accuracy. And, God promised us that the very "gates of hell" would never prevail against that Church till the end of time.
2. Whenever there is a legitimate or authentic private revelation to some faithful prophet or , Satan attempts to confuse the issue by raising up false prophets and seers with phony messages.
3. Throughout the course of the history of the Church, the false seers have always badly outnumbered the authentic ones. I teach Church history, I am not guessing about that statement.
4. The 20th century is no exception to that rule (of false prophets outnumbering the authentic ones).
5. Waiting for the Church's decision on a given prophet or alleged seer is often the most prudent course.
6. Our Faith and obedience to the Church are tested in many ways in the course of our lives -- sometimes tested by false s.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

205. The fear of God compels us to fight against evil; and when we fight against evil, the grace of God destroys it.

June 10,1999

Visionary Messages

Via email:


To all who read this notice:

From today forward, I will no longer be sending out the
messages of the below listed visionaries and/or locutionists:

John Leary of Rochester, NY
Carol Ameche of Scottsdale, AZ
Patricia Mundorf of Phoenix, AZ
Jack Marie Smith of Wilkes Barre, PA
Virginia Pelly of Pittsburgh, PA
Denise Curtin/Joseph DellaPuca of Southington, CT
Josyp Terelya, Toronto, Canada
Harriet Hammons, Fallbrook, CA
Teresa Whitt, Fort Worth, TX
Servant Son, Northeastern USA
Louise Starr Tomkiel, Levittown, PA

I will exclusively represent Mr. Ron O'Brien of Keene, New
Hampshire, USA.

Occasionally, I may support Paola Albertini of Pederobba,
Treviso, Italy, as well, should she return to the USA.

I will *not* answer e-mails nor telephone contacts to defend
this, my decision, which is both resolute and final.

Those of you who do not wish to receive only the messages of
Mr. O'Brien, please hit REPLY to this e-mail, and change the
"Subject:" word ‘RESIGNATION' to the word,
UNSUBSCRIBE. All other e-mails will be ignored.

In the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Joe Hunt, MI
NJ Knights of the Immaculata
Internet Advocate for Ron O'Brien

Mrs. Joyce M. Lang has volunteered to take over the distribution of messages from the above visionary/locutionists in Joe Hunt's place.  For subscription information please see: I ask you to please heed carefully the admonition that precedes the subscription information.

(Eph 6:12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

204. Every affliction tests our will, showing whether it is inclined to good or evil. This is why an unforeseen affliction is called a test, because it enables a man to test his hidden desires.

June 9, 1999

Internet reveals solar explosion's target

(BBC)- A tremendous explosion took place on the surface of the Sun last Tuesday and for a few very nervous hours astronomers did not know whether it was heading for Earth.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) satellite observed the solar explosion, which astronomers call a coronal mass ejection (CME).

The explosive event was "a real pla - ", according to Dr Richard Fisher of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre. If the magnetic energy within the cloud of superhot gas had interacted with the Earth's magnetic field it would have sparked spectacular aurora at polar latitudes.

But more worryingly it could also induce power blackouts, block radio communications and trigger phantom commands capable of sending satellites spinning out of their proper orbits.

Fortunately, it was soon established that the CME was headed directly away from the Earth - this time.

Pope Commemorates Martyrs of All Times

In a moving address, the Pope reviewed the history of martyrdom from the time of Nero and Diocletian to the Nazi extermination camps and Soviet gulags. In the glorious list of martyrs, he mentioned 108 Poles whom he will beatify next Sunday in Warsaw.

The Holy Father reviewed Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish and Mexican martyrs because "now is the time to remember all these victims and to grant them the honor which is their due. These are the martyrs: many of them nameless, 'unknown soldiers' as it were of God's great cause."

"All gave testimony of fidelity to Christ in spite of sufferings which horrify us by their cruelty," the Holy Father continued. "Their blood was poured out on our land and made it fertile for growth and for the harvest."

"By their lives they show that the world needs such 'fools for God's sake,' who walk the earth like Christ, like Adalbert, Stanislaus, or Maximilian Maria Kolbe and many others," noted the Holy Father. "The world needs people who have the courage to love and do not retreat before any sacrifice, in the hope that one day it will bear abundant fruit."

John Paul II concluded, his voice breaking with emotion: "Indeed, 'rejoice and be glad,' all you who are ready to suffer for righteousness' sake, for your reward is great in heaven!"

(Rev 6:9 -11) When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

203. God 'tested Abraham' (cf. Gen. 22:1-14), that is , God afflicted him for his own benefit, not in order to learn what kind of man Abraham was- for He knew him, since He knows all things before they come into existence- but in order to provide him with opportunities for showing perfect faith.

June 8, 1999

Pope Urges To A Correct Interpretation Of Scripture

"Given the new challenges confronting the individual and entire societies today, we must constantly renew our awareness of what the word of God is, of how important it is in the life of the Christian, in the life of the Church and of all humanity", he said.

Desmond Birch commentary on the 10 Kingdoms of Daniel:

Is the EU this end times entitity?

The 10 kingdoms comprise the terrritory of the former Roman Empire. All the ancient Christian writers (Fathers, Doctors, etc.) describe this in great depth. St. Jerome, amongst other credits, is the best historian amongst the Fathers of the Church. Jerome clearly points out that North Africa was part of the Roman Empire. I teach Church history so I'm not just taking St. Jerome's word for this.

As just one example from many: Egypt was probably the most important part of the Roman Empire outside of the Italian City-States/Provinces themselves. To the best of my knowledge, Egypt is not today part of the "European Union"! As the Roman Empire grew, it had great need of grain to feed itself (this was true for about four hundred years). EGYPT WAS THE BREAD BASKET OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. That is why the Romans three times went to war when its control of Egypt became threatened. Without Egypt, Rome and its Empire would have starved.

As St. Jerome specifically testifies [In his commentary on the book of Daniel], according to Tradition, one kingdom of the 10 which will comprise the final empire IS EGYPT. He also specifically identifies the King/Leader of Egypt, as one of the three Kings/leaders which Scripture tells us the Antichrist will kill (one of the three horns which will be destroyed by the Antichrist). Jerome lived toward the end of the Empire (died in the early 5th century). He, as were the other Fathers of the church, was totally familiar with the territory held by the Romans. He (as well as all the other Fathers of the Church) was also clearly aware that THE most import part of the Empire outside of Rome and Italy proper, was EGYPT. Any contemporary political Union or entity which does not comprise at least Egypt could not possibly fit what the Fathers of the Church universally tell us is the territory of the Roman Empire. And Catholic Prophecy (both Public and Private) so identifies that territory as the minimum meads and bounds of the Empire which Antichrist will conquer and make his own.

To this it must be also be added that; the European Union encompasses none of the territory of the Roman Provinces of Asia, or Oriens. Therefore it is highly unlikely that the EU as it is presently constituted could in any way fit what Scripture and/or the Fathers of the Church tell us about the Empire which Antichrist will take over.

(Dan 7:7) "After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast--terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

202. As work according to God is called virtue, so unexpected affliction is called a test.

June 7, 1999

Good News

Via email (Jim Collins):

One of the women who responded to the call to Bible Study has been healed of cancer. Through her tribulation, and return to church, she has established a renewal of her relationship with the Lord. She now gives thanksgiving and praise to Our Lord and reaches out to become more involved in God's Church. Part of her witness was that prior to her healing she received the "gift of peace" of the Holy Spirit.

To me this has been an example of the importance of building a relationship with God. Our Bible Study of Genesis highlighted this importance and her healing of cancer has confirmed that God indeed hears the prayers of those who humble themselves in prayer before God and seek a relationship with God.

Praise be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Prophecies of Thomas S. Gibson

May 30, 1999 (Prophecy, #232); Seek Your Answers from the Lord:

In this earth, says the Lord, there are four different kinds of things: There is judgment on those who will not serve the Lord. There are blessings on those who will bow the knee and serve the Lord God of All. There is war in the flesh. And there are wars in the spirit. Numbers one and three you should not partake in! Numbers two and four you should! For you understand, I meet your needs! I bless you with all things you need! But you use this for wars in the spirit -- war in the spirit! For it is a spiritual battle fought on your knees, in prayer, in fasting. This is what brings victory! So many seek answers from the world around them, by mans design. Seek your answers in the spirit. Seek your answers from the Holy Spirit. Seek your answers from the Word of God. For there you shall find true answers -- truth beyond measure!

(John 15:6 -7) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

201. If Peter had not failed to catch anything during the night's fishing (cf Luke 5:5), he would not have caught anything during the day. And if Paul had not suffered physical blindness (cf. Acts 9:8), he would not have been given spiritual sight. And if Stephen had not been slandered as a blasphemer, he would not have seen the heavens opened and have looked on God (cf. Acts 6:15; 7:56).

June 6, 1999

Russia reluctant to embrace Kosovo peace plan

(AP)- -Although a Russian envoy played a central role in mediating the peace plan for Kosovo, few Russians are eager to endorse it not President Boris Yeltsin, not the military, certainly not the hard-line opposition.

Chernomyrdin has been practically alone in touting the peace plan, accepted by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic last week, as a major victory for Russia's mediation efforts. The response from other Russian officials has ranged from resounding silence to bitter disapproval.

From Stratfor:

0130 GMT, 990604 – No Russian delegation is in attendance at the ongoing Kosovo peace talks. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed to be unaware of the existence of the talks.

Clinton bypasses Senate to give gay philanthropist ambassadorial post

(Gal 6:7) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

(AP)--Bypassing Senate confirmation, President Clinton moved Friday to directly install gay San Francisco businessman James C. Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg.

The president invoked a provision of the Constitution allowing him to make such appointments during a congressional recess. Hormel, who will become the first openly gay U.S. ambassador, can serve in the diplomatic post through the current session of Congress. That means until the end of 2000, basically coinciding with the end of Clinton's term when all ambassadorial posts will be up for possible replacement.

(Jude 1:18 -21) They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

200. If it is not easy to find anyone conforming to God's will who has not been put to the test, we ought to thank God for everything that happens to us.

June 5, 1999

Priest Rediscovers "Veil Of Veronica" In Italian Abbey

ROME, JUN 3 (ZENIT).- Almost four centuries after its mysterious disappearance, German Jesuit Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer reports that he has rediscovered the legendary veil of Veronica, with which Jesus wiped his face on the road to Calvary. Fr. Pfeiffer, a professor of Christian Art History at the Pontifical Gregorian University, found the relic in the abbey of Monoppello, Italy, high in the Apennine Mountains.

The story of Veronica and her veil does not, in fact, occur in the Bible, though the apocryphal "Acts of Pilate" gives this name to the woman with a blood flow who was cured by touching the hem of Jesus' cloak. The almost transparent veil measures about 6.5 x 9.5 inches and bears dark red features of a bearded man with long hair and open eyes. The legend holds that Jesus rewarded Veronica's charity in wiping the sweat from his brow by imprinting his image into the cloth. The image on the Monoppello cloth becomes invisible depending on the angle from which the cloth is viewed.

Ultraviolet examinations of the cloth, carried out by Prof. Donato Vittore of the University of Bari, confirm that the image is not paint. Particularly noteworthy are several small flecks of reddish brown -- presumably drops of blood from the wounds caused by the crown of thorns. Enlarged digital photographs of the veil reveal that the image is identical on both sides of the cloth -- a feat impossible to achieve by ancient techniques. These photographs have also been used to compare the veil with the face on the Shroud of Turin, which millions of Christians believe to be Jesus' burial sheet. Striking similarities were apparent: the faces are the same shape, both have shoulder-length hair with a tuft on the forehead, and the beards match.

Biological computer born

A computer made of neurons taken from leeches has been created by US scientists.

At the moment, the device can perform simple sums - the team calls the novel calculator the "leech-ulator". But their aim is to devise a new generation of fast and flexible computers that can work out for themselves how to solve a problem, rather than having to be told exactly what to do.

"Ordinary computers need absolutely correct information every time to come to the right answer," says Professor Bill Ditto, at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "We hope a biological computer will come to the correct answer based on partial information, by filling in the gaps itself."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

199. Another man's sin does not increase our own, unless we ourselves embrace it by means of evil thoughts.

June 4, 1999

Descendants of African slaves keep Corpus Christi fete alive

CHUAO, Venezuela (AP) African slaves in this isolated coastal village used to take a break from work at one of the world's richest cacao plantations by donning devils' masks and dancing through the streets to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi.

More than 200 years later, their descendants are keeping the tradition alive this week in one of Latin America's longest- running, best-preserved ''dancing devils'' rituals.

During the three-day event, which runs until Friday, local men and boys don multicolored outfits and black, red and white devils' masks to mark the Catholic feast.

To the beat of African drums, they collapse on the sandy streets three times to pay homage to Jesus Christ. Then they dance before the ''Cross of Pardon,'' a 4-foot-high wooden cross their ancestors fled to in order to avoid punishment by masters who would not dare whip them there.

In the event's most dramatic moment, the dancers lay face down on the broiling cement plaza in front of the village church for 15 minutes to ''purify'' themselves before God. During this time, the devils symbols of evil are submitted to the forces of good.

The Spaniards, who imposed Catholicism on slaves, used the dancing devil ritual to attract them to the church and provide an escape valve from their punishing lives, according to Francisco Planchez, a villager who writes about Chuao's history.

The slaves adapted the ceremony to their own culture, incorporating African drums into the ritual that marks Corpus Christi, when Catholics celebrate the transformation of Christ's body into the host they receive during Holy Communion.

(Phil 2:9-11) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

198. When tested by some trial you should try find out not why or through whom it came, but only how to endure it gratefully, without distress or rancour.

June 3, 1999

Signs in the Heavens?

Ferocious solar storm to herald millennium

(AP) --In January, just as computers around the world are coping with the Y2K bug, the sun will enter the most violent and disruptive phase of its 11-year cycle.

Massive bursts of energy from the sun could mean celebrating the new millennium in the dark, with dead cellular phones. Ships and planes relying on satellites for navigation might have to haul out old-fashioned maps. Even spacewalking astronauts could be at risk, according to reports Monday at the national meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Sudden brightening of star puzzles astronomers

One of the most famous stars in the southern night sky, Eta Carinae, has suddenly doubled in brightness. Astronomers call the behavior "puzzling" but suspect the star may be experiencing a massive eruption, much as it did more than 150 years ago.

"Occasionally something happens in astronomy that is so bewildering that it makes astronomers nervous," said Kris Davidson, a University of Minnesota astrophysicist. "This is weird. We don't understand."

Related information:

With a small telescope you can observe the Keyhole Nebula in Carina, containing Eta Carinae.

Situated some 13° West of the Southern Cross (Crux), in-between it and the "False Southern Cross" in Carina, it culminates at midnight on March 10.

From Bullinger's Witness of the Stars:

"The Southern Cross was just visible in the latitude of Jerusalem at the time of the first coming of our Lord to die. Since then, through the gradual recession of the Polar Star, it has not been seen in the northern latitudes. It gradually disappeared and became invisible at Jerusalem when the Real Sacrifice was offered there...."

(Dan 6:26-27) "I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. "For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

197. He who opposes unpleasant events opposes the command of God unwittingly. But when someone accepts them with real knowledge, he 'waits patiently for the Lord' (Ps. 27:14).

June 2, 1999

OUR LORD'S MESSAGE through Fr Jack Spaulding at
St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Phoenix, AZ   MAY 24, 1999

My dear ones, I come to you this night asking for your hearts. Within your heart is the true treasure given to you by My Father. The treasure is the gift of love. As you give Me your heart, your ability to love grows deeper and more profound. As you give Me your heart, you will begin to realize what treasure really is. As you give Me your heart, you will begin to look upon others and to see them as I see them. But most of all, My dear ones, as you give Me your heart, you will begin to see yourself as I see you, as being the loving children of My Father. And so, you were so much in need of healing and forgiveness and mercy, that I willingly gave up My life for you. Because of this love that God has for you, as you give Me your heart, you will begin to realize that love, and then you will feel that God's love is truly all you need.

My dear ones, My Father and I and Our Spirit love you with an everlasting love. There is nothing that you need but Our Love. Know that this night, I open your heart so that you can love the Father, the Son, and Our Holy Spirit and you will within. Be at peace. You are loved by God.

Via email:

Reverend Father Demetrios Serfes <[email protected]>

Please humbly share this prayer and update of the martyrdom now of the first priest in Yugoslavia. For more:

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

196. When something accords with God's will, all creation aids it. But when God rejects something, creation too opposes it.

June 1, 1999

Wildfires burn in California, Arizona, Florida

(AP) -- As federal and state firefighters contained a California wildfire that threatened delicate habitat near the Mojave Desert, crews in Arizona battled their own lightning-sparked blazes.

In Florida, a 40,000-acre fire charred swampland and crossed the state line into Georgia.

In California, more than 900 forestry officials and local firefighters at Joshua Tree National Park quelled wildfires Sunday that had burned more than 13,000 acres of the fragile desert habitat.

(Luke 12:49) "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

It's a boy! Scientists clone first male mammal

(Reuters) -- The small and elite club of clones, restricted until now to females like Dolly the sheep and Cumulina the mouse, has gone co-ed with the cloning of a male mouse, researchers said on Monday.

"Fibro" is also the first documented, live mammal cloned from adult cells that do not originate in the reproductive system, which suggests that adult animals can be cloned from any cell in the body at all.

Ryuzo Yanagimachi and Teruhiko Wakayama at the University of Hawaii say the technique is still tricky -- they only got one living mouse out of 274 tries -- but Fibro seems healthy and normal.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Mark the Ascetic "No Righteousness By Works"

195. When you want to resolve a complex problem, seek God's will in the matter, and you will find a constructive solution.

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