Keep your eyes open!...


March 5, 2014  

(Ecc 3:1-7) All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

UPDATES: Non-subscribers can access items emailed during Lent at

VATICAN: Pope's Lenten Message 2014 focuses on poverty, sacrifice

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT:  Three simple questions on the threshold of Lent

CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT:  Make Your Lent Beautiful with Lent at Ephesus

INTEGRATED CATHOLIC:  Why do Catholics Practice Fast and Abstinence?

MEDITATION: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

[Rom. 14:19–23, 16:25–27; Matt. 6:1–13. For the Fathers — Gal. 5:22–6:2; Matt. 11:27–30]

They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. 5:24). Nowadays, this order of things has been perverted: people crucify the flesh, but not together with the affections and lusts — rather by means of affections and lusts. How people now torture their bodies with overeating, drunkenness, lustful deeds, dancing and merry-making! The most heartless master does not torture his lazy animal this way. If we were to give our flesh freedom and reason, its first voice would be against its mistress — the soul; it would say that the soul has unlawfully interfered in the flesh's affairs, brought passions alien to it, and tortures it by carrying these passions out in the flesh.

Our body's needs are essentially simple and passionless. Look at the animals: they do not overeat, they do not sleep in excess, and having satisfied their fleshly needs at the given time, they remain calm for the entire year. Only the soul, which has forgotten its better inclinations, has by its intemperance developed out of the body's basic needs a multitude of unnatural inclinations, which are unnatural for the body as well. It is necessary to crucify the flesh in every possible way, in order to cut the fleshly passions off from the soul which the latter has grafted onto itself. This can be done only in the reverse — that is, by not giving it enough of what is necessary, or by meeting its needs to a far lesser degree than what its nature demands.

REFLECTION: The Struggle to Will-the-One-Thing

LENTEN READING: The Signs of the Times the New Ark and the Coming Kingdom of the Divine Will


The TRIB TIMES will not be updated again this year during the Lenten season, extending to the first week after Easter.  My computer time will be limited to 30 minutes each morning and evening during Lent. I will read all emails I receive, and will answer all that I can, time permitting.  I may also occasionally email non-reformatted news articles to Trib Times subscribers that I find to be of particular interest. But barring a major event (admittedly not unlikely these days), the Trib Times web page itself will not be updated. 

I apologize to all who have recently subscribed but will keep your email information for use after my return.  God willing, the next issue of the Trib Times should be shortly after Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013.  Please keep me in your prayers, and be assured that I will do the same.

I recommend the following links to keep up with unfolding events:

Catholic News

Signs of the Times

Readings & Meditations for Lent & Holy Week

Catholic Commentary
Courageous Priest
Statements of Archbishop Chaput
Crisis Magazine

Newer subscribers may also be interested in a meditation that first appeared in the Trib Times in 2004, The Pain of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

LINK TO DONATE TO AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED:;jsessionid=1B6D0D927CE5E03CD247F9BC016AAE5D.app322b?idb=1588471532&df_id=1240&1240.donation=form1&idb=0.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Fortitude

23. A hermit said 'We do not make progress because we do not realize how much we can do.  We lose interest in the work we have begun, and we want to be good without even trying.

March 3, 2014  

(Rom 14:17-19) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink: but justice and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in this serveth Christ pleaseth God and is approved of men. Therefore, let us follow after the things that are of peace and keep the things that are of edification, one towards another.

PATRIARCH SVIATOSLAV:  "The role of the church is consistent. During the last three months, the church, especially the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, was with its people. And it will continue to remain with its people. If, God forbid, we will have to stand together on the battlefield with our soldiers, with our army, the Ukrainian Church, especially the UGCC, is ready to provide pastoral support.

Every citizen of Ukraine must be prepared to defend his or her independent and sovereign state. The church has always sought to defend peace. The church at all costs tried to prevent bloodshed. Unfortunately, there are already victims in Ukraine, and bloodshed was not prevented. We will continue to use every opportunity to relieve tension in society and avoid casualties."

THE GUARDIAN: Ukrainian and Russian troops in standoff at Crimean military base - live updates


As the world was being lured by years of careful calculation, preparation and machination, all leading up to the Winter Olympics In Sochi, Russia, into a comfortable belief - or perhaps a desired belief - that the great bear had finally been domesticated, the people of Ukraine sat outdoors on cold cobble-stoned streets in Kyiv's Independence Square - the Maidan - ready to give their lives in order to be rid of yet another corrupt leader and to finally breathe the ever fresh air of freedom and of a lifestyle that enables them to grow and be productive citizens of their nation.  For a brief few days it seemed to be a dream come true when that leader suddenly packed up and left town and those who had supported him abandoned him.  Those who remained and who had supported the Maidan were suddenly the majority in the Verkovna Rada - The Ukrainian Parliament - acting with solidarity in the name of Ukraine first.

Then suddenly, the mask was dropped. Without the slightest provocation or act of aggression against any Russian speaking citizen of the Crimean Peninsula or of any other region of the independent nation of Ukraine, the bear's claws and fangs were no longer restrained and its military troops invaded Ukraine.  No longer was there any attempt to "improve the image" of the bear.  It would no longer remain in its domesticated realm.  Is it once again setting out to recreate the lost empire?  Will this doctrine of protecting its citizens in Ukraine expand to other nations – even those never part of the former empire? Regardless of the answers to these questions, once again our beloved ancestral homeland - Ukraine - is under threat of suppression and repression.

The world watches.  The world says "Stop!"  The world says "Go home!" The world says "Ukraine has the right to self-determination"!  In reality, however, what can simple words accomplish?  Will the world find the courage to do more than pronounce warnings?  Will the world, this time, ensure that Ukraine and her people will not again be subject to a new form of genocide?  Or will the world once again ultimately abandon what it considers a futile effort to force the bear back into its own domain and simply turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the situation?  Words are simply words, with no inherent authority or power.  It is what stands behind - and before - those words that matters. No one envisions a military force entering Ukraine from the West.  This would only inflict more unnecessary damage upon the people of Ukraine - remember the last armies that came from the West who the poor Ukrainian people at first thought to be liberators? No, military force will not accomplish the necessary end. The words of modern diplomacy must be backed up with effective economic, political and social actions and sanctions, which will convince the invaders that its efforts are futile and counterproductive for its own welfare and the welfare of the people subject to it.  

All our lives we have studied the history of our Ukrainian nation and throughout our ministry we have held in our arms the victims of the bear's aggression, the survivors of the suppression, repression, family separation, gulags, torture, Holodomor – death by starvation - looking into their eyes as they remember the millions of their own family members lost “for the good of the empire”.  We witnessed the joy in their faces as they thanked God for the freedom of their nation - their whole, united nation - before independence and over the past 24 years since the referendum on independence passed overwhelmingly throughout all the nation.  As the result of this, in the face of threats to that independence, that we must make demands of our political leaders, here in the United States of America and throughout the world for immediate strong, effective and honorable action before it is too late - once again.  We urge all our clergy, faithful and parish communities to be in contact with our President, Congressional Representatives and Senators, our state Governors and Legislators to stand firm in support of Ukraine and her beloved people!

We remain in solidarity with our Orthodox, Catholic and other Faith leaders in Ukraine who have proved their devotion to their flocks in their steadfast prayer and ministry to those who sat on the cold cobble-stoned Maidan.  We have personally delivered material support to the hospitals caring for the injured and the families of those murdered.  Today, however, we call upon all our brother Hierarchs of Orthodox Churches throughout the world to utilize their God-give authority, including those in Russia itself, to call for the cessation of the attack of Orthodox brothers against their own in the Faith!  We call upon Christians of other denominations and adherents of all religious Faiths around the world to urge their followers to speak up and help to avoid a cataclysm for a nation that has endured far more such cataclysms than it should have been able to endure. But, endure it did!  Only by the Grace of God was Ukraine reborn over these 24 years - in spite of weak and fractured leadership at all levels - political social, ecclesiastical and more.  The time has come to allow her to blossom, as she has begun to - without being a threat to any of her neighbors and without abandoning millennium old international relationships.

Ukraine and her people were for a significant and vital period of time, the very epicenter of world Orthodoxy.  She and her people have proven themselves by their incredible faith in our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  She has submitted herself to hope in Holy Trinity and to the Protection of the Mother of God.  We, as the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, beg for the sincere and endless prayers of all who read these words or hear them spoken.  We especially appeal to those monastic communities around the world, who pray continuously for mankind to place Ukraine and her people in their hearts and minds during all their prayers.

May God in the Holy Trinity and the beloved Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin Mary, and all the Saints and Martyrs of Ukraine hear our prayers and protect our God-loving Nation of Ukraine and grant her peace and the knowledge of Truth and Love at all times.


Let us Pray to the Lord - Lord, Have Mercy!   Господу помолимось - Господи, помилуй!

Almighty Father, You said that when two or three are gathered in your name – you would be among them. Remembering Your words and having received the land of Ukraine for our heritage; We ask you today to prove us mindful of this great blessing. Bless our ancestral homeland Ukraine and these United States with honorable works, sound learning, and good manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance. Defend liberty which is an expression of your Divine Will. During this time of difficulty throughout our ancestral homeland Ukraine fill our hearts with gratitude, and grant the people of Ukraine, and all of us the grace to continue to trust in You and Your mercy as we did in previous days of trouble. We ask this for we know that you are a gracious and loving God in whom we are blessed through the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, always now and ever and to the ages of ages. AMEN.


Ukraine Mobilizes Reserve Troops, Threatening War
Muscovites call for invasion of Ukraine
We already paid the ultimate price in Crimea — we must not do so again

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Fortitude

21. He also said, 'Temptations come to us in all kinds of ways.  We ought to put on full armour, and then we shall seem to them to be expert soldiers when they attack us.
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