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Lent, 2011 

(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.

VATICAN: Pope Benedict's 2011 Message for Lent

LINK: Join the Bishops of Australia as we journey towards Easter

MEDITATION: Striving to live up to promises of the Cross by Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless Bishop of Sioux City 


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, 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, May 1, 2011.  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

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.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

17. Try to lift up, or rather, to enclose your thought within the words of your prayer, and if in its infant state it wearies and falls, lift it up again. Instability is natural to the mind, but God is powerful to establish all things. If you persevere indefatigably in this labour, He who sets the bounds to the sea of the mind will visit you too, and during your prayer will say to the waves: Thus far shall ye come and no further (Cf. Job 38:11). Spirit cannot be bound; but where the Creator of the spirit is, everthing obeys.

March 8, 2011 

(Mat 6:16-18) And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.

CHIESA: The Next Lent Is on the Road to Damascus

OP-ED: Lent: time to get a (new) life
EXCERPT INTERMOUNTAIN CATHOLIC: Lenten fasting challenges us to focus on God

In a culture that wants everything now, it is hard for us to slow down, stop and not indulge in things whenever we want to. Our Christian heritage invites us to prepare ourselves to renew our baptismal vows during the season of Lent, but also look deep within ourselves, discover our sinfulness, and offer it to God for healing. Fasting or giving up something is a discipline that helps us turn from our selfish desires and move to a deeper relationship with Christ.

Lent provides us with a 40-day retreat, a time to slow down and really examine our brokenness, our sinfulness. During these 40 days we, hopefully, renew and deepen our practice of prayer; we challenge ourselves to be more charitable, and we fast. What we must remember is that this is a communal effort. Fasting is a discipline that helps turn our focus back to God. The hunger pangs we feel or the cravings we must resist are reminders that we must completely empty ourselves and turn away from the things that keep us from loving God and knowing God more intimately. Fasting is not a punishment, but an act that reminds us of God’s love for us and hopefully our love for God, our desire to be drawn deeper into God’s life. 


IN THE EXAMINATION of conscience, consider three things:

1. The faults committed on the particular day.
2. The occasions of these faults.
3. Your need of alacrity in amending those faults and acquiring the contrary virtues.

With regard to the faults committed each day, recall the recommendations of Chapter Twenty-Six, which treats of the mode of behavior to be adopted by one who has fallen into sin. It goes without saying that you must strive with the greatest caution and circumspection to avoid the occasions of these faults. And as to the amendment of these faults and the acquisition of the requisite virtues, you must fortify your will by a firm confidence in God, Who will aid you in remedying the evil habits.

If, however, you find that you have triumphed in the struggle over self or excelled in the performance of a good work, beware of vainglory. Even the memory of such victories should not be too much in your thoughts, lest presumption and vanity steal quietly and insidiously into your heart. Leave, therefore, your good works, whatever they may be, to the mercy of God and, forgetting the triumphs of the past, fortify yourself for the struggles of the future.

As to your thanksgiving for the gifts and favors which the Lord has bestowed upon you in the course of the day, humbly acknowledge Him to be the author of all good, and your protector against myriad unseen foes. Thank Him for having inspired you with good thoughts and for having given you the opportunities of practicing virtue. And finally, thank Him for all His unknown gifts of which you will never know.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

16. Until we have acquired genuine prayer, we are like people teaching children to begin to walk.

March 4, 2011 


(Isa 58:5-7) Is this such a fast as I have chosen: for a man to afflict his soul for a day? is this it, to wind his head about like a circle, and to spread sackcloth and ashes? wilt thou call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this rather the fast that I have chosen? loose the bands of wickedness, undo the bundles that oppress, let them that are broken go free, and break asunder every burden. Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh.

CNS: Pope says Lent is time to renounce selfishness

THE CATHOLIC LEADER: Faith-filled Christians rejoice despite the crosses we all carry by Archbishop John Bathersby 

VIA Fr. Corapi: Lent: Season of Penance, Season of Hope

Another Lenten season will be upon us soon.  Although Lent is a season of penance; it is a season of hope more than anything.  For as surely as Easter Sunday follows Good Friday, so the hope of Lent gives way to the fulfillment of that hope which is the Resurrection.

It seems to be a law woven into creation that there must be sacrifice before there can be victory.  There must be a dying to sin and self before there can be a rebirth in Christ.  As we walk the path of Lent we should use this graced time to exercise discipline in the small things of life.  There can be no victory in anything: sports, business, military, or life in general, without self-discipline.

Examples of this discipline are many.  They can be first and foremost in the area of charity to others, and this begins at home.  Perhaps there is someone in your life that rubs you the wrong way, your "hair shirt".  Deny the inclination to bicker and complain.  Love the person whether you feel like it or not.  Do some small act of kindness for them.

Pray the Rosary every day (or once a week, or 3 times a week, etc.) of Lent, or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  If you love chocolate, exercise discipline and don't eat it through the days of Lent, offering your sacrifice to Jesus through Mary for the salvation of souls.

Assist at holy Mass herhaps one or more days during the week as a preparation for the great gift of the Paschal mystery which unfolds during Holy Week.  Discipline yourself to be more recollected and reverent at the Eucharist, realizing that this is nothing less than the same sacrifice of Calvary offered in a sacramental manner.

The discipline of Lent always opens the door for the bright light of Easter.  The pain of Good Friday is at once the joy and triumph of the holy Cross.  No passion and death, no Victory.  In Jesus we walk through the trials and frequent darkness of this life to the unending joy and light of heaven.  It is the Cross that wins that victory we know as Easter.

May this Lent be a time of true hope for you, a time of self-discipline and spiritual battle that leads to great personal triumph in Jesus Christ at Easter.  Dying He destroyed our death, rising He restored our life, come, Lord Jesus, come!


THE SECOND ASSAULT by which the perverse one attempts our destruction is the terror which he would infuse into our minds at the recollection of our past sins, hoping thereby to drive us to despair.

In this peril, hold fast to the infallible rule that the remembrance of your sins is the effect of grace, and is most salutary if it inspires within your heart sentiments of humility, compunction, and confidence in God's mercy.  But if such recollection creates vexation and despondency, leaving you spiritless from the apparent cogency of the reasons adduced to convince you that you are irrevocably lost, be assured that it has been suggested by the devil.  In such circumstances, humble yourself the more, and have greater confidence in God; thus shall you destroy the strategem of the devil, turn his own weapons against him, and give greater glory to God.

It is true that you should be truly contrite for having offended such sovereign goodness, as often as you call to mind your past offenses; but as often as you ask pardon you should have a firm confidence in the infinite mercy of Jesus Christ.

I will go further and say that even though God Himself should seem to say within your heart that you are not one of His flock, still place your confidence in Him; rather say to Him in all humility: "Thou hast good reason indeed, O Lord, to condemn me for my sins, but I have greater reason in Thy mercy to hope for pardon.  Have pity then, O Lord, on a humble sinner condemned by his own sinfulness, but redeemed by Thy Blood.  I commit myself entirely to Thy hands, O my Redeemer; all my hopes are in Thee, trusting that in Thine infinite compassion, Thou will save me to the glory of Thy name.  Do with me as Thou wilt, for Thou alone art my Lord.  Even though, My Lord, Thou shouldst destroy me, ever will I hope in Thee."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

15. If you are clothed in all meekness and freedom from anger, you will not have much trouble in loosing your mind from captivity.

March 3, 2011 

(2Th 2:15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

CALIFORNIA CATHOLIC:  On May 19, 2009, Archbishop Gomez spoke to graduates of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, rejecting moral relativism.  "Pilate was not uneducated,” the archbishop told the graduates.  “But he was educated in such a way that he could not recognize the truth -- even when the truth was standing right in front of him.  Our society today is a lot like Pontius Pilate -- it doesn’t recognize the truth… Our culture believes instead that there are many truths -- as many different truths as there are individuals, and that it’s wrong to try to decide or judge among these… My friends, part of what God is calling you to do with your higher education is to restore the sense of truth to our society -- especially the truth about the sanctity and dignity of human life.  You have to help our society see that truths and moral absolutes do exist.”

RON SMITH REPORT:  Why is the Catholic Church Correct in her Doctrine?

IN THE NEWS: Revised Catholic Bible Nixes The Word "Booty"

Changes are coming to the Bible translation used by many American Catholics.

The U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops has decided to remove the word "booty" from the upcoming edition of the New American Bible and replace it with "spoils" -- a word less likely to make Sunday school children think of a person's backside.

Editors tell "USA Today" updating the wording of the New American Bible is necessary as the English language changes.

In addition to dropping the word "booty," the new Bible translation will change the emotionally charged word "holocaust" to "burnt offering" and Proverbs 31:10 will be called "Poem on the Woman of Worth" instead of "The Ideal Wife." It will even change the Book of Isaiah to say "the young woman" instead of "the virgin" in a passage many Catholics see as a prophesy on the Virgin Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ. (emphasis added)

The latest version of the New American Bible is due out on March 9th, when Catholics observe Ash Wednesday.

: New Ways of Being "Catholic"

Every year, many US Catholics are turning to married priests to celebrate thousands of Masses, weddings, baptisms, and other sacraments.  Many of them had no spiritual place to call home -- their church was closed for lack of priests, they felt unwelcome due to divorce or other circumstance, or, like the Lorenz', they sought out a married priest affiliated with CITI Ministries/ (!) when they felt disenchanted with the institutional church.

CITI Ministries is a nonprofit organization that offers free referrals to married priests in almost every state.  Married priests are available for special one-time services such as Holy Week or Easter Masses, weekly or occasional Masses, first or second marriages, baptisms, Holy Communion, Anointing of the Sick, funerals, spiritual guidance or group discussion, such as those among vigiling parishes who are trying to discern their future as a congregation.  The extensive theological backgrounds and experience of these priests has been invaluable to those who might otherwise have fallen away from Catholicism.


"What if we said, 'wait'?" Vatican won't
Homosexuals have nothing to be ashamed of, Catholic bishops say
Hawaii OKs civil unions; Maryland House panel debates same-sex marriage

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

14. Oil and salt are seasonings for food; and tears and chastity give wings to prayer.

March 2, 2011 

(1Co 4:9-13) For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things.

NEWS REPORT: Libyan Christian clergy vow to stay on amid violence

Christian clergy in Libya said they have no intention of leaving the country, where several days of protests and retaliation by government armed forces have left hundreds of people dead.

“We feel we belong here with our sisters who are giving their services in social centres. Their work is so much appreciated by the Libyans here and often finds support and appreciation,” Rev. Daniel Farrugia, a senior Roman Catholic priest at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Tripoli told ENInews.

He said the leaders were safe as well as the church structures, with the church’s life in the mornings being almost normal, although many foreigners were leaving the country.

“We pray for all those who are suffering in these moments and for the leaders to have wisdom in their decisions,” said Farrugia. In Libya, 1.8 percent of 6.7 million people are Christians. Islam is the dominant religion.

The Catholic Church, which is the largest denomination in Libya, has been allowed two places of worship: St. Francis Church in the capital of Tripoli and Immaculate Conception church in Benghazi. There are also Anglican, Greek Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and some Pentecostal churches.

The priests serve more than 80,000 Christians who come from Asia, Africa and Europe. Together with the pastoral care service, the church also offers social services to large number of African immigrants. Nearly 100 nuns are working in hospitals and health centers in various places.

With violence intensifying, Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli in Libya was quoted media reports on 22 February saying that many Christians were going into the churches to pray for peace.

“The two churches in Tripoli and Benghazi have not suffered any damages. The different communities of religious sisters working in hospitals in Cyrenaica (the eastern coastal region of Libya which includes Benghazi, Tobruk and other areas), are busy treating those wounded in clashes,” said Martinelli.

CNA: As Catholics flee Libya, Church responds with prayer, charitable works

CATHOLIC REVIEW: As rallies continue, Vatican expresses concern about Libya

ICN: Libya: nuns and priests remain to help stranded migrants

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

13. Though you may have climbed the whole ladder of the virtues, pray for forgiveness of sins.  Listen to the cry of Paul regarding sinners: Of whom I am chief (1 Tim 1: 15).

March 1, 2011

(Eph 4:21-24) If so be that you have heard him and have been taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus: To put off, according to former conversation, the old man, who is corrupted according to the desire of error. And be renewed in spirit of your mind: And put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "Jesus has demonstrated to us what it means to live with our feet firmly planted on the earth, attentive to the concrete situations of our neighbor, and at the same time having our heart always in Heaven, immersed in God's mercy".

IN THE NEWS: Scrutiny of a saintly life finds a home here

REFLECTION by Father Ted – February 25, 2011

My dearest Lord Jesus, thank You again for allowing Your Mother to speak to us through Maria.  You want us to respond to Your call to holiness and to love.  You want us to radiate Your love to others.

Because of this You exhort us through Mary to work on our own conversions so that we can effectively witness to others Your love and Your call for them to become holy – just as You are holy.

So many of our brothers and sisters do not even know their purpose in life.  As Jeff Cavins said in one of his talks on the Bible – our young people do not know their origin; they do not know their destiny; they do not know their purpose in life.

You have come to reveal to all of us our origin, our destiny, and our purpose in life.

You have been telling us that You created us; that You desire us to be with You in Your home with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit; that You and the Father and Your Holy Spirit want us to become saints.

You have been telling us that You are always with us, though we may not sense Your Presence.

You have been telling us that You are always guiding us, though we may not sense this reality.

You have been telling us that You offer to us every single day the helps that we need in order to do Your Will – to become holy and to help our brothers and sisters in their needs.

You have sent Your Mother to us to help us, to encourage us, to teach us how to become holy.

And You have warned us that when we do not listen to her, when we do not respond to Your guidance that not only do we become miserable and unhappy, but, unless we allow You to help us to change, we will deprive ourselves of our ultimate purpose in life which is to be with You and Your Holy Family in heaven.

Yes, You have warned us that unless we do what You ask of us, we will end up in Gehenna, that is Hell, with those spiritual beings who rejected Your eternal love – with those who have been constantly tempting us not to keep Your commandments, not to do Your Will, not to become holy.

They have been enticing us with so many things that actually prevent us from experienc­ing Your love.  They have been keeping us so busy that we do not make time each day to listen to You and to do what You ask of us.

Dearest Jesus, help us to reject their persuasions.  Help us to use our time and our energy well.  Help us to seek first Your kingship over ourselves and Your righteousness.  Yes, Jesus, help us to become saints.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 28- "On holy and blessed prayer"

12. Do not be bold, even though you may have attained purity; but rather approach with great humility, an you will receive still more boldness.
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