Keep your eyes open!...

A Chronicle Depicting the Lateness of the Hour

Spirit Daily  Saint of the Day  Contemporary Christian Music

May 31, 2002



The First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first mentioned by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917. After showing the three children a vision of hell she said, "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace... I shall come to ask for... the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays..."

Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Mary and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia, the sole surviving Fatima visionary, at a convent in Pontevedra, Spain. Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia's shoulder, revealing a heart encircled by thorns.

The Child Jesus said: "Have compassion on the heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation..."


Our Lady spoke next, saying: "Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."


Christians have always honored the Blessed Virgin on Saturday because of her constant faith in Jesus on that first Holy Saturday before the Resurrection.

Five first Saturdays of reparation were requested to atone for the five ways in which people offend the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1. attacks upon Mary's Immaculate Conception
2. attacks against her Perpetual Virginity
3. attacks upon her Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind
4. for those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, comtempt and even hatred of this Immaculate Mother
5. for those who insult her directly in her sacred images.


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

6. As with the appearance of light, darkness retreats; so at the fragrance of humility, all anger and bitterness vanishes.

May 30, 2002

PAPAL STATEMENT: "Lastly, His Holiness wished to express, despite the difficulties of the moment, his faith in the spiritual resources of American Catholics who are committed to witnessing to the Gospel values in society."


America's legal system is shifting into high gear to punish the Catholic Church for the sexual misdeeds of its priests through multimillion-dollar lawsuits.

What first caught the public's eye as a criminal trial of an abusive priest has become a snowballing mass of civil lawsuits by victims similar to suits brought against asbestos companies, big tobacco and fen-phen manufacturers.  It now seems inevitable that jury awards and settlements will soar to the point that dioceses will go bankrupt and church property will be sold to pay these judgments.  The news last week that Chicago Cardinal Francis George may sell his stately residence in part to help pay for sexual abuse settlements makes it clear that this process is underway.

Bankruptcy for the deep-pocketed Catholic Church may seem too far off to worry about.  But if there is anything certain about America's tort system, it is that once it finds vulnerability, it keeps digging.  New victims come forward. New causes of action are found.  Already, decades-old settlements with the church are being dusted off and re-litigated in light of new information about long-serving priests.  There is truly no end in sight to the litigation the church faces.

The gospel taught by the church instructs Catholics to render unto Caesar (civil society) that which is Caesar's and to reserve for God what belongs to God.  The current rush to the courthouse threatens to empty church coffers of both, and that should concern Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Sex abuse may close Catholic colleges
Some Parishes Able To Forgive Abuse
Vatican, U.S. Bishops May Be at Odds


A deadline looms Saturday that could ignite a smoldering conflict over academic freedom between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and theologians at the nation's 235 Catholic colleges and universities.  Acting on instructions from the Vatican, U.S.  bishops have ordered Catholics who teach their faith's doctrine, morality, Scripture, law or history at Catholic schools to obtain a "mandatum" (mandate, in English) from the bishop of the diocese where the college is located.

The document, which the bishops agreed should be obtained by June 1 -- this Saturday -- attests the theologian teaches only authentic Catholicism.

While some, like the orthodox Cardinal Newman Society, have hailed the mandatum, opponents have derided the requirement as a "loyalty oath." Faculty have complained it tramples their academic freedom.

The penalties dissenters may face is uncertain.


Ominous statement in the writings of St. Leopold Mandic, a Capuchin priest from Croatia, to an American priest in 1939: "Be careful to preserve your faith, because in the future the Church in the U.S.A. will be separated from Rome."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

5. Wrath is a reminder of hidden hatred, that is to say, remembrance of wrongs. Wrath is a desire for the injury of the one who has provoked you. Irascibility is the untimely blazing up of the heart. Bitterness is a movement of displeasure seated in the soul. Anger is an easily changeable movement of one's disposition and disfiguration of soul.

May 29, 2002

MOTHER TERESA: "The fruit of abortion is nuclear war"


A bold expansion of abortion training in the nation's largest public hospital system -- New York City's -- has sparked anger on one side of the abortion debate and admiration on the other.

Abortion-rights advocates, worried about a shortage of abortion providers, hope for a ripple effect as other hospital systems emulate the city and New York-trained doctors move to other states. Abortion opponents accuse the city -- which trains one-seventh of the nation's doctors -- of trying to force a controversial procedure into the medical mainstream.

Starting in July, abortion training will become part of the required curriculum, rather than a generally bypassed elective, for obstetrics and gynecology residents in New York's 11 public hospitals. Unless they opt out on moral or religious grounds, all residents will learn the latest abortion procedures, including use of the abortion pill mifepristone and other techniques requiring neither anesthesia nor an operating room.

If the program thrives "we'll have changed the face of abortion provision in this country,"
said Cristina Page of the New York branch of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. "It's going to make other programs question how they're delivering this care."

The New York State Right to Life Committee has accused Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the moderate Republican who approved the initiative, of trying to "shove child-killing down our throats." The committee has warned of "devastating" consequences as New York-trained OB-GYN residents start practices across the country.

Olivia Gans of the National Right to Life Committee criticized New York for obligating residents to "opt out" of abortion training rather than "opt in."  "You put the onus on a young doctor to be brave enough to stand out from the pack," she said.

Nationally, however, Gans predicted abortion won't become widely practiced by the next generation of doctors. Technological advances such as ultrasound are convincing medical students that fetuses are indeed living beings who should not be aborted, she said.  "The knowledge available now has made young doctors reluctant to go into abortion, because that would mean ending one of their two patients' lives," Gans said.


Pakistan conducts another test of ballistic missile systems as India considers response
How S. Asia conflict can turn nuclear
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf: 'We'll fight to the last drop of blood'
Delhi decries Musharraf's speech

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

4. The begining of freedom from anger is silence of the lips when the heart is agitated; the middle is silence of thoughts when there is disturbance of the soul; and the end is an imperturbable calm under the breath of unclean winds.

May 25, 2002



Excerpt from- Christ our Saviour in time and eternity

The intersection of time and eternity in the Person of the Risen Lord is what makes the Sacrifice of the New Covenant both an offering of intercession, sorrow and atonement and, simultaneously, the great heavenly feast of Thanksgiving (Eucharist) and pledge of final triumph. This may be a novel angle on things to those who are used to thinking of redemption exclusively in terms of the Lord's death on the cross, which we then try to relate somehow to our current liturgical action.

But if we start from a Christ-centred point of view on creation and history, we can overcome the tensions and difficulties of integrating the past and present works of Jesus. To offer himself as Sacrifice and to give himself as Sacrament belongs to his abiding identity and work among us through the ages. This is why the Mass can never be just the expression of a local 'eucharistic community'. It is the 'Wedding Supper of the Lamb' which is universal and eschatological in its scope.

Our concept of 'The Paschal Mystery' should not be collapsed onto the three days of Easter alone - whether as event or as narrative proclamation - crucial though these are. Rather the Mystery in full encompasses not only the saving events of the past, but also the present historical moment, together with whatever is the measure of purgation for those who have died still imperfect in charity, and the eternal 'now' of the saints in heaven. In fact one could say that the Paschal and Eucharistic work of Christ extends from the beginning of creation to the utter completion of the Father's plan. Naturally therefore it includes all the sacramental actions of the Church within its one saving agenda.

So rather than trying to derive the Eucharist from the Cross in some complex and tenuous way, it is surely simpler and truer to say that the Eucharist went to the cross. Jesus consecrated Himself in his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity as the universal Sacrifice of atonement and thanksgiving and as the Sacrament of nourishment and healing for all mankind on Holy Thursday Night. As our Eucharistic Sacrifice and Sacrament he was then marked with the sign of the cross, anointed with the blood of suffering and accepted by the Father in the great cry of apology on Calvary on Good Friday afternoon. His victorious power as saving Sacrifice and Sacrament was then vindicated on the first Easter Sunday morning, taken up to the Father as the pledge eschatological fullness on Ascension Thursday, and activated as a sacramental ministry in the Church on earth from Pentecost Day onwards.

Excerpt From- Holy Mass: From the Annunciation to the Ascension

"For in the Mass all the mysteries of Christ are brought into unity and presented here and now in what we may call numerical identity with their historical occurrence. This mystery, a truth which we can but partially understand, finds expression in the prayer immediately following the consecration: "Wherefore . . . calling to mind the blessed Passion of the same Christ, Thy Son Our Lord, and also His Resurrection from hell and also His glorious Ascension into Heaven" to which in medieval times was also prefixed the mystery of the Nativity, while the early Christians added Christ's Second Coming. Thus in one divine act the whole Christ-mystery, commemorative and eschatological, is actualized in the present."

Excerpt From- Eucharist: Holy Meal

"Through the miracle of the Mass and the Eucharist, Jesus Christ, not just in His divine nature, which is present everywhere; but in His human nature is present on the altars of the Church around the world as Mass is celebrated daily approximately 300,000 times each day."


Encounter and Feast
The Harrowing of Hell
The Mass in Time and Eternity
The Holy Mass Explained



The best thing about traveling is that it gives me time to catch up on my spiritual reading.  Over the past three days I read a book that I highly recommend, The Lamb's Supper- The Mass as Heaven on Earth.  Written by Dr. Scott Hahn, this book provides not only an insightful look at the Book of Revelation, but a wonderful, penetrating look at the Mass.  I will warn all Catholic readers in advance that after reading this book, it will be difficult to not attend daily Mass.  And non-Catholic Christians, particularly those who have a sophisticated knowledge of Scripture, may find themselves enthusiastically visiting their Catholic brethren on Sundays. Heaven on Earth!!  Alleluia!!!

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

3. Meekness is an immovable state of the soul which remains unaffected, whether in evil report or in good report, in dishonour or in praise.

May 24, 2002


MY CHILDREN, we have come to the Sacrament of Orders. It is a sacrament which seems to relate to no one among you, and which yet relates to everyone. This sacrament raises man up to God. What is a priest! A man who holds the place of God -- a man invested with all the powers of God. "Go," said Our Lord to the priest, "as My Father sent Me, I send you. All power has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go then teach all nations.... He who listens to you, listens to Me; he who despises you despises Me." "When the priest remits sins, he does not say, "God pardons you", he says, "I absolve you." "At Consecration, he does not say, "This is the Body of Our Lord," he says, "This is My Body."

St. Bernard tells us that everything has come to us through Mary, and we may say that everything has come to us through the priest; yes all happiness, all graces; all heavenly gifts. If we had not the Sacrament of Orders, we should not have Our Lord. Who placed Him there, in that tabernacle? It was the priest. Who was it that received your soul, on its entrance into life? The priest. Who nourishes it to give it strength to make its pilgrimage? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God by washing that soul for the last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest -- always the priest. And if that soul comes to the point of death, who will raise it up, who will restore it to calmness and peace? Again the priest. You cannot recall one single blessing from God without finding, side by side with this recollection, the image of the priest.

Go to confession to the Blessed Virgin, or to an angel, will they absolve you? No. Will they give you the Body and Blood of Our Lord? No. The Holy Virgin cannot make her Divine Son descend into the Host. You might have two hundred angels there, but they could not absolve you. A priest, however as simple as he may be, can do it, he can say to you, "Go in peace; I pardon you. "Oh, how great is a priest! The priest will not understand the greatness of his office until he is in Heaven. If he understood it on earth, he would die, not of fear, but of love. The other benefits of God would be of no avail to us without the priest. What would be the use of a house full of gold, if you had nobody to open you the door! The priest has the key of the heavenly treasures; it is he who opens the door; he is the steward of the good God, the distributor of His wealth. Without the priest, the Death and Passion of Our Lord would be of no avail. Look at the heathens: what has it availed them that Our Lord has died? Alas! They can have no share in the blessings of Redemption, while they have no priests to apply His Blood to their souls!

The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the sacraments to himself. He is not for himself he is for you. After God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish twenty years without priests; they will worship beasts. If the missionary father and I were to go away, you would say, "what can we do in this church? There is no Mass; Our Lord is no longer there: we may as well pray at home." "When people wish to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest, because where there is no longer any priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no longer any sacrifice there is no religion.

When the bell calls you to church, if you were asked, "Where are you going?" you might answer, "I am going to feed my soul." If someone were to ask you, pointing to the tabernacle, "What is that golden door?" "That is our storehouse, where the true Food of our souls is kept." "Who has the key? Who lays in the provisions? Who makes ready the feast, and who serves the table?" "The priest." "And what is the Food?" "The precious Body and Blood of Our Lord." O God! O God! How Thou hast loved us! See the power of the priest; out of a piece of bread the word of a priest makes a God. It is more than creating the world.. Someone said, " Does St. Philomena, then, obey the Cure of Ars?" Indeed, she may well obey him since God obeys him.

If I were to meet a priest and an angel, I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel. The latter is the friend of God, but the priest holds His place. St. Teresa kissed the ground where a priest had passed. When you see a priest, you should say, " There is he who made me a child of God, and opened Heaven to me by holy Baptism; he who purified me after I had sinned; who gives nourishment to my soul." At the sight of a church tower, you may say, "What is there in that place?" "The Body of Our Lord." "Why is He there?" "Because a priest has been there, and has said Holy Mass."

What joy did the Apostles feel after the Resurrection of Our Lord, at seeing the Master whom they had loved so much! The priest must feel the same joy, at seeing Our Lord whom he holds in his hands. Great value is attached to objects, which have been laid in the drinking cup of the Blessed Virgin and of Child Jesus, at Loretto. But the fingers of the priest, that have touched the adorable Flesh of Jesus Christ, that have been plunged into the chalice which contained His Blood, into the pyx where His Body has lain, are they not still more precious? The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus. When you see the priest, think of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

2. Freedom from anger is an insatiable appetite for dishonour, just as in the vainglorious there is an unbounded desire for praise. Freedom from anger is victory over nature and insensibility to insults, acquired by struggles and sweat.

May 23, 2002

(Mat 24:6)  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.


India's prime minister has called on his troops to prepare for a "decisive battle" one day after the assassination of a Kashmiri activist.  As concern worldwide grew over the prospect of a full-blown war between the nuclear-armed rivals, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told troops along the Line of Control dividing the Pakistani- and Indian-administered parts of the Himalayan flashpoint to be ready for a conclusive fight.

"We must be prepared for sacrifices," Vajpayee said in the middle of a three-day trip to Kashmir, his first visit there in two years. "Our goal is victory.  It's time to wage a decisive battle."

In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan told The Associated Press that Pakistan was also prepared for war. "Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding issues with India through peaceful talks and negotiations, but our armed forces are also fully prepared to face any aggression," he said.

Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes, who also addressed the troops, said the soldiers appeared ready for war.  "Everywhere I go, soldiers ask me when will we get an opportunity to attack," Fernandes said.  Gen. V.G. Patankar, the officer who commands the troops in Kashmir, said the leaders' visit had raised troop morale.  "We have a desire to die," Patankar said.  "We have a resolve to wage war."

The one million troops dispatched by both countries to their border is the biggest military buildup since their last war in 1971.  They have already fought wars in 1948 and 1965 over the Himalayan province

COMMENTARY: India's options to counter Pak terrorism


Lone's murder threatens to plunge Kashmir into fresh turmoil
India moves warships closer to Pakistan
Desperate Pak ready to nuke India


Pope John Paul arrived in overwhelmingly Muslim Azerbaijan Wednesday and urged nations to reject all forms of fundamentalism and imperialism and seek dialogue to achieve peace. Speaking in Russian in his arrival address, the pope made a broad appeal for peace from East to West, saying that some people in the Caucasus were still suffering from cruel and senseless armed conflict.

"From this gateway of civilisation which is Azerbaijan, I address today a heartfelt appeal to those lands experiencing the upheavals of conflict which are bringing unspeakable suffering for their defenseless peoples," he said.

"Everyone must be committed to peace, but it must be true peace, based on mutual respect, on the rejection of fundamentalism and every form of imperialism, on the pursuit of dialogue as the only effective means of resolving tensions so that entire nations are saved from the cruelty of violence," he said.

"The religions which in this country are striving to work together in harmony should not be used as a tragic excuse for enmities which have their origins elsewhere.  No one has the right to call upon God to justify their own selfish interests," he said. "I ask religious leaders to reject all violence as offensive to the name of God and to be tireless promoters of peace and harmony with respect for the rights of all," he said.


Suicide Bomber Kills Two, Wounds 27 South of Tel Aviv
Israeli Missiles Kill Key Palestinian Militant
Suicide Bomber Pledges More Attacks
Millions of martyrs' to descend on Al-Quds (Jerusalem): Arafat

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 8- "On Freedom from Anger and on Meekness"

1. As the gradual pouring of water on a fire completely extinguishes the flame, so the tears of true mourning are able to quench every flame of anger and irritability. Therefore, we place this next in order.

May 22, 2002

POPE JOHN PAUL II "The hour of freedom has come! This is the time of reconstruction", the Pope says reminding the East Timorese of what was said by Saint Paul: "Christ has set us free so that we may remain free; therefore do not take on yourselves the yoke of sin a second time" (Gal 5,1). "This homeland which God entrusts to your diligent hands – the message says – must rest on values without which there can be no real democracy: respect for life and for every person; effective solidarity among members of the same community; (…) concern for the needs of families and, in particular, youth, who are the future promise of the new nation. In everything Christians must give example, all the more because, as the liturgy of Pentecost Sunday tells us, they are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to renew themselves and the world".


When President elect Xanana Gusmao hears people call him "Timor's hero" he often deflects the praise to Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo.  The archbishop of Dili and Nobel laureate has been a passionate defender of the poor and disenfranchised from the very beginning of East Timor's struggle for independence.

Monsignor Belo is the newest nation's foremost spiritual leader and every Sunday can be found leading the Christian populace of 700,000 in Catholic mass below the eves of the capital's cathedral.

The violence waged against the Timorese church in the bloody years leading up to independence is testimony to its strength in this nascent nation.  Feared and hated by mainly Muslim pro-Jakarta militia, it has been a bastion of strength and comfort for the East Timorese throughout their struggle.

Over the years the church has been recognized for the courage of its Catholic priests, nuns and lay workers who continued their work in the face of murder, looting, violence, rape and militia hatred.

And throughout the carnage Bishop Belo vocalized the church's campaign for a peaceful end to Indonesian occupation in East Timor -- a crusade that won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.


East Timor and Holy See establish diplomatic relations
East Timor at a Glance

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

35. Do not trust your fountains of tears before your soul has been perfectly purified. For wine cannot be trusted when it is drawn straight from the vats.

May 21, 2002


A suffering Pope John Paul struggled to get through a long ceremony at the Vatican on Sunday in which he declared five new Roman Catholic saints and asked for prayers to be able to continue his mission.

At the end of the service, in words he had difficulty pronouncing, the Pope expressed gratitude for birthday greetings that had arrived the day before.

"I was particularly comforted by the guarantee of special prayers for me and for my service (to the Church), which the Lord has entrusted to me," he said. He added: "In his regard, I ask you to join me in prayers (to the Madonna)"

His head slumping to his right, his facial muscles stiff, his breathing heavy and his voice trembling, the Pope appeared in discomfort at times during the two-and-a-half hour ceremony.

The Vatican's press office issued statistics Sunday that noted the pope has now proclaimed 461 saints, carried out 95 pilgrimages abroad to a total of 130 different countries and led 1,037 public audiences attended by a total of 16.4 million faithful from around the world.

MORE: Brazil gets first female saint
SEE ALSO: Pope for early beatification of Mother Teresa


A Roman Catholic church in Albuquerque's most historic neighborhood will get a new bell tower using beams from the World Trade Center.  The Church of the Sacred Heart will display two 20-foot beams found in the trade center ruins after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Archbishop Michael Sheehan announced Saturday.

"Every time the bell rings," he said, "we will be reminded not only to pray for the people of Barelas but also to pray for the people who died in the World Trade Center."

The original church, in the Barelas neighborhood, was razed in the 1970s because of structural problems. When the church was razed, its two bronze bells disappeared. One of them was found recently and will be housed in the new bell tower, expected to be completed in June 2003.

Larry Perea, president of the development corporation, remembers ringing the bells as a 7-year-old altar boy. "The excitement of ringing those bells was always there," Perea said, "even into adulthood."

The tower will include a memorial listing the World Trade Center victims, said the Rev. James Moore, Sacred Heart's pastor.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

34. It is not surprising if mourning begins with good tears and ends with bad. But it is praiseworthy if reprehensible and natural tears are goaded on to spiritual tears. People inclined to vainglory understand this problem clearly.

May 18, 2002 (Happy Birthday Pope John Paul II!)


(1Co 12:4-7)  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.


Pope John Paul II, Pentecost May 30, 1998: "Today the Church rejoices at the renewed confirmation of the prophet Joel's words which we have just heard: "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" (Acts 2:17). You, present here, are the tangible proof of this "outpouring" of the Spirit. Each movement is different from the others, but they are all united in the same communion and for the same mission. Some charisms given by the Spirit burst in like an impetuous wind, which seizes people and carries them to new ways of missionary commitment to the radical service of the Gospel, by ceaselessly proclaiming the truths of faith, accepting the living stream of tradition as a gift and instilling in each person an ardent desire for holiness.

Today, I would like to cry out to all of you gathered here in St. Peter's Square and to all Christians: Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit! Accept gracefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us! Do not forget that every charism is given for the common good, that is, for the benefit of the whole Church."

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M .Cap., preacher of the Papal Household:

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

"The Baptism in the Spirit is not a sacrament, but it is related to several sacraments. The Baptism in the Spirit makes real and in a way renews Christian initiation. At the beginning of the Church, Baptism was administered to adults who converted from ism and who, made on the occasion of Baptism, an act of faith and a free and mature choice. Today it is substituted instead by intermediary parents or godparents. In this situation, rarely, or never, does the baptized person ever reach the stage of proclaiming in the Holy Spirit "Jesus is Lord". And until one reaches this point, everything else in the Christian life remains out of focus and immature. Miracles no longer happen and we experience what Jesus did in Nazareth: "Jesus could not perform many miracles because of their lack of faith" (Mt.13.58). The Baptism in the Spirit's effectiveness in reactivating baptism consists in this: finally man contributes his part -- namely, he makes a choice of faith, prepared in repentance, that allows the that allows the work of God to set itself free and to emanate all its strength. It is as if the plug is pulled and the light is switched on. The gift of God is finally "untied" and the Spirit is allowed to flow like a ftragrance in the Christian life."


Recent Popes' and Bishops' Statements Concerning the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Grace For The New Springtime-
A Statement from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops on the Charismatic Renewal

Interview with Bishop Sam Jacobs: CCR in the Church

What is Catholic Charismatic Renewal?

Albert A. Caprio, O.P. on the Catholic Charismatic Movement


VIA Nadine: St. Augustine's Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

33. Stripped by the fear of God, let us train ourselves in all these ways, and acquire for ourselves pure and guileless tears over our dissolution. For their is no dissimulation or self-esteem in them, but on the contrary there is purification, progress in love for God, washing away of sin, and dispassion.

May 17, 2002

(Mark 16:15)  And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.


Three days before his 82nd birthday, Pope John Paul II made clear Wednesday he has no intention of stepping down.  The frail pope, who suffers from the sympton's of Parkinson's disease and knee and hip ailments, received birthday greetings from pilgrims during his general audience in St. Peter's Square.

"I count on your spiritual support to continue faithfully in the ministry that the Lord entrusted to me,'' John Paul responded."

Vatican officials have frequently said that John Paul, now in the 24th year of his papacy, is not considering resignation. Church law allows a pope to resign but there is no provision to force him from office.

John Paul marks his birthday Saturday, four days before departing on a five-day trip to Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, he will meet with Patriarch Maxim and the Sacred Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, as well as with the country's highest authorities. His apostolic visit will culminate with the beatification of Bulgarian martyrs of Communism.


After a year travelling Canada, the cross given to young Catholics by Pope John Paul II in 1984 has spent the last week in Montreal. It has been inside a federal prison, a psychiatric hospital, a school for the disabled and a suburban shopping mall. Recently, young pilgrims carried it across a bridge off the island of Montreal to begin a 43-day walk to Toronto, where hundreds of thousands of Catholics from around the world are to gather in July for World Youth Day. Those organizing the cross's visit to Montreal say that everywhere it stops, they are impressed by the power it holds over people.

"It is very special," said Marc-André Galipeau, a 31-year-old firefighter and devout Catholic who arranged for the cross to visit the firehouse Friday night. "It's as if it gives off something that I cannot really identify. When people are around it, they find peace and hope."

The Pope presented the cross in Rome during the 1984 Jubilee of the Redemption, intending young people to carry it as a symbol of their faith. Through the first week in Montreal, an estimated 20,000 people came to touch the cross and pray before it at its various stops.


VIA Helen Arata: Regarding the letter (Trib Times, May 10) suggesting a laity group to pray for priests, check out

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

32. Many of the Fathers say that the question of tears, especially in the case of beginners, is an obscure matter and hard to ascertain, as tears are born in many different ways. For instance, there are tears from nature, from God, from adverse suffering, from praiseworthy suffering, from vainglory, from licentiousness, from love, from the remembrance of death, and from many other causes.

May 16, 2002


Scientists at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago have discovered an important shortcut to creating a more efficient, more reliable, and safer source of stem cells with the ability to turn into specific neurons or brain cells. Paul Carvey, PhD, chairman of pharmacology at Rush, used his team's discovery to clone several generations of stem cells that, when grafted into the brains of rats with a Parkinson's like disease, developed into healthy dopamine neurons. This effectively cured the animals' severe Parkinsonian symptoms.

Many people confuse all types of stem cells with embryonic stem cells, which are taken from the earliest stages of an embryo, generally at 32 cells or less. Such cells have the potential to turn into dopamine neurons when implanted in the brains of humans with Parkinson's disease.
Carvey's group did not want to work with this type cell, however, not because of the political difficulties but because it is only at the beginning of the lineage restriction pathway.

"Embryonic stem cells can literally develop into any cells," Dr. Harvey said. "We wanted stem cells right at the point of becoming the cells we wanted and therefore unlikely to become cells we didn't want. We took progenitor stem cells from the midbrain of a fetal rat, but many scientists believe it may be possible to find progenitor cells in adult brains using needle biopsy of living patients (a procedure already being done in humans for different reasons). Cells about to become the needed neurons would be selected, cloned, and placed back in the patient's brain, like an autograft. We know these cells have the capacity to develop into healthy neurons. If the results resembled those we found in our rats, this process could provide stunning new treatments for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other diseases."

RELATED: Scientists reprogram cells without cloning
SEE ALSO: Adult Stem Cells Study Called Success


I'm the human genome, says 'Darth Venter' of genetics
As the U.S. hesitates, other countries move ahead with embryo research
Free to Be Me: Would-Be Cloners Pushing the Debate

Sermon Excerpt from Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M .Cap., preacher of the Papal Household:

"Believers can only rejoice along with the whole of humankind at any discovery that holds promise of advancing the good and bettering the condition of life on earth. That is what God intended when he said: "Multiply, fill the earth and conquer it" (cf. Gn 1: 28). Conquer the world, creatively, moulding it and yourselves. I am Ens a se. Being who am of myself, and it is my will that you too should share this my dignity, making yourselves by yourselves, using the intelligence I have given you to mould and perfect your own nature, while respecting my will and revering my name. This is what it means to be "my image and likeness".

However, we cannot simply give ourselves over to the euphoria of the moment. Recent discoveries in the area of human life reveal their ambiguities and they are open to contradictory developments. They open up the possibility of discovering the causes of many diseases and of preventing them; but they also pose certain "disquieting moral questions" that not even the most fervent supporters of science can hide from themselves. It is not easy for us humans to give up trying to play God, to decide everything for ourselves: who will live and who die; who will be born and who not; what will be the colour of a baby's hair, to say nothing of all the rest. It has already happened that individuals have been dismissed from their place of work, or have had their life insurance terminated, because it has been shown that there are elements in their genetic make-up that indicate the possibility of their developing a serious disease. And that is only one forewarning of what might happen."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

31. Just as fire is destructive of straw, so are pure tears destructive of all material and spiritual impurity.

May 15, 2002

(Luke 5:31-32)  Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."


The Rev. Edward M. Voorhaar of La Plata United Methodist Church found himself in unusual surroundings yesterday and faced with a nearly impossible task.

The tornado that ripped through La Plata on April 28 heavily damaged his church, and Voorhaar was trying to help his congregation of 950 find meaning in the disaster.

Yesterday, he stood in a makeshift sanctuary in McDonough High School and read a portion of Scripture that had come to mind last week as he tried to sleep: Luke 5:27-32.  In it, Jesus says: "It is not those who are well that need a physician but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners to repentance."

"When I was thinking about what I was going to say to my people on Sunday, that scriptural passage just came to me," Voorhaar said.  "Those who are well don't need a physician.  We are not well, so we need God's help."

Voorhaar is a meticulous man, given to typing out his sermons word for word with "conclusion" written in big letters and circled on page six or seven, to signify the time has come to wrap all the threads neatly together.  It wasn't that kind of week, but speaking without a typed script, without notes, he still lived up to the reputation for oratory he quickly established when he came to La Plata 1 1/2 years ago.

The thought of all the human suffering the tornado had caused - there were five storm-related deaths - brought on a deep sense of grief, the likes of which he had felt only once before, he said in his sermon: 15 years ago when his son was killed in an automobile accident.

During the past week, he said, several people asked him whether God caused the tornado.  He said he doesn't think so - the God he knows doesn't operate that way.  But the important thing, he said, was that even in the moment that the tornado touched down, God was working to bring healing in their lives and in the life of the church.

"I am grieving, but God is bringing healing to me," Voorhaar said.  "You are grieving, but God is and will bring healing to you as well."

Miracle in Maryland Tabarnacle and Statue of Mary Survive Massive Tornado


Rare storms baffle experts

Homeowners in tornado-ravaged Maryland town face rebuilding quandary

LATEST: Funnel cloud is sighted as storms buffet Md.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

30. The fruit of spurious compunction is self-esteem, and the fruit of praiseworthy compunction is consolation.

May 14, 2002

(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."


In his weekly address at St. Peter's Square Sunday, the 81-year-old Pontiff said: "I've decided, therefore, to propose a big new theme for this year: 'The Internet -- a new forum for proclaiming the Gospel."'

"Recent progress in communications and information have presented the church with unheard-of possibilities for evangelism," he said.

"We shouldn't be afraid to put to sea in the vast ocean of information," he went on. "If we do so, the good news can reach the hearts of the men and women of the new millennium."

"We have to become part of this modern and ever more finely woven web of communication with realism and confidence, convinced that, if it is used competently and with due responsibility, it can offer a sound opportunity for the dissemination of the word of the Lord."

The Roman Catholic Church has traditionally adapted to discoveries through the ages, from the Renaissance to the invention of printing presses and the Industrial Revolution.

RELATED: Post your Catholic testimony today!

SEE ALSO: Filipino church launches 'smut-free' internet service

Ethics in Internet
The Church and Internet


Christian Palestinians flocked to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity to pray at the traditional birthplace of Jesus on the first Sunday since the end of an Israeli siege of gunmen.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, envoy of Pope John Paul and the Latin Patriarch of the Holy Land Michel Sabbah, led hundreds of Catholics from Bethlehem and surrounding towns in prayers, urging Israelis and Palestinians to work for peace.

"The manger of Jesus Christ has suffered for long. We pray to God to help us reach the real roots of peace which are in the heart of every human being," Etchegaray said in his sermon.

"The results we reached must induce us to seek peace through justice and dialogue and not through violence," he added, referring to Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that ended the more than five-week standoff.

Many worshippers appeared overcome by faith as they inspected the church interior, which had been turned into an untidy barracks during the siege. "I felt a veneration and faith when I entered the church," said worshipper Shawqi al-Hawwash from the nearby town of Beit Sahour. "It was as if I was entering the church for the first time."


Rival Christian Clergy Unite
Reconsecration for the Church of the Nativity
Bethlehem Reemerges With Joy and Lament
Pope Praises End of Bethehem Siege
Bethlehem Priest Talks About Siege

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

29. When we see anger and pride in those who seem to be mourning in a way pleasing to God, then their tears are to be regarded as repugnant to God. For what communion hath light with darkness? (cf. 2 Cor 6:14).

May 11, 2002



Make a virtual Catholic pilgrimage online without leaving home

Patriarchal Basilicas

St. Peter's

Other Sites in Rome

Sistine Chapel
Christian Catacombs
The Holy Land
Via Dolorosa
Holy Sepulchre
Jerusalem (Jewish Site)
Entire Holyland (Travel log)
Jubilee2000 Holyland (Not Official)
Other Sites around the World
Abbey Montecassino (Italian Tour Site)
Immaculate Conception (USA)
Santiago de Compostela (In Spanish)
National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

National Shrine

SEE ALSO: Purgatory Project

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

28. Those who have obtained mourning in the depth of their being hate their own life as something painful and wearisome, and a cause of tears and sufferings; and they turn and flee from their body as from an enemy.

May 10, 2002

(Psa 51:1-4) ...Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity. Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me. To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: that thou mayst be justified in thy words, and mayst overcome when thou art judged.


Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the pope’s top doctrinal official, has endorsed the idea of the American bishops performing a public day of penance connected to the spiraling sexual abuse scandal in the United States.

“The American bishops have already decided on a day of expiation, which will probably be the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” Ratzinger said. The feast occurs Friday, June 7.

“It will be an act of purification, which can promote the idea of expiation in the daily life of Christians,” he said. “Such a public act takes note of the reality of sin and invites us to think about sin and mercy.

“Above all, it can promote a praxis of penitence, focusing on both education and prevention against these human failings. It can renew our sense of the sacrament [of reconciliation] that the Lord offers us.”


VIA [email protected]: Instead of berating all priests, bishops and our seminaries, why don't we promote a confraternity of the laity interested in praying for them. One could spiritually adopt a priest, bishop or seminarian of their choice and pray for them and their ministry.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

27. Genuine compunction is undistracted pain of soul, in which it gives itself no relief but hourly imagines only its dissolution; and it awaits, like cool water, the comfort of God who comforts humble monks.

May 9, 2002


By Elizabeth Reynolds

Opinion article written by 17 year old Elizabeth Reynolds from Hudson, New Hampshire in the "Your Turn" section of print edition of the The Union Leader on May 6th, 2002.

I am a Roman Catholic, and I think it is about time for someone to stand up and defend the Catholic Church. I want to extol my wonderful priests at St. Patrick parish in Nashua; I want to thank them for their efforts, for their devotion, for their willingness to assist and to be there when needed. They are true and perfect examples of what Catholic priests should be.

I want to thank the Catholic Church for all that she does for the world, not just for the country. Without her numerous services for the poor, the homeless, the afflicted and the confused, the world would be a much more sorrowful place in which to live.

Take away Catholic Charities and other Catholic organizations designed to assist the needy and the less fortunate, and America and the rest of the world would be in bad shape. Take away the separate collections taken up every year for less fortunate countries (that money coming straight from the pockets of faithful Catholics) and you will have some very miserable refugees living in less than perfect conditions elsewhere on the earth.Take away the missionaries of Africa, made up of priests and nuns, and the poor, starved, dehydrated, uneducated and spiritually hungry population of the poorest parts of Africa would be gone in little time.

Take away World Youth Day,and some two billion young people would be deprived of one of the most beautiful spiritual retreats in existence. Take away EWTN (Eternal World Television Network), run by Mother Angelica, and so many, many Catholics and those seeking answers to questions about the Catholic faith would be at a terrible loss. Take away the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and we would lose the most precious, invaluable leader on the face of the planet.Take away the millions of good, chaste, devoted priests, bishops and cardinals, and Catholics would be without their sacraments: they would lose the chance to receive Christ in the blessed sacrament. They would no longer be able to confess, they would no longer be able to marry, to be ordained, to receive last rites, to be confirmed or to be baptized.

Take away Catholicism itself, and you will find a huge gap on the face of the earth, a gap that could never be filled by anything else. Take away Catholicism, and you can watch the erosion of what is left of decency on this earth, you can watch nations fall apart, you can watch communism take control, you can watch the world fall into irreparable chaos.

Everyone says that Osama bin Laden and his followers do not represent Islam. Well, the few sexually abusive priests involved in scandals do not represent Christ as they are supposed to, and they do not represent the purity and beauty of the Catholic Church. Shame on those people who profess to be Catholics and who at the same time turn on the Catholic Church. Shame on those who have lost all trust in the faith that has lasted for some 2,000 years despite much, much worse than this. Shame on those of you who have turned on your bishop and on your cardinal. Shame on all of you, because you are only weakening the Catholic Church, not strengthening her. If you are unwilling to stand up for your faith now, when you most need to; if these scandals are enough to so shake your faith; if the devils so much more powerful than your trust in God and in His ability to make things right on earth; if you are so unwilling to forgive in your hearts those priests who have acted in a terrible way, then you do not even deserve to be called Christians. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and get up and try to help the Catholic Church out; give her a push, help her get back up again.

The Catholic Church is not and never will be irreparably damaged by these events. Christ promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against her, and it is time for Catholics to embrace the bride of Christ and to mend her wounds. Support your priests, support your bishop, support your cardinal, support your Pope, support those Catholics who still cherish and admire the Catholic Church and her clergy for all of the good that they do as a whole.

Good always overcomes evil.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

26. He who mourns when he wishes has not attained the beauty of mourning, but rather he who mourns on the subjects of his choice, and not even on these, but on what God wants. The ugly tears of vainglory are often interwoven with mourning which is pleasing to God. We shall know this with all proof and piety when we see ourselves mourning and still doing evil.

May 8, 2002


In 1985 the human genome was thought of as a code that would resist cracking until 2010 or 2020. When the feat was completed last year it was no more surprising than was the ensuing cascade of cloned mice, cats, rabbits, pigs and cattle that followed the first cloned sheep.
Who is not braced for the first renegade human clone?

What will this mean? Will human nature itself change? Many are trying to imagine the future.
They describe our children and grandchildren as no longer really being like us. They call them trans-human, or post-human. They see our lives changing more dramatically in the next few decades than in most of recorded history.

"Life in 2015 will be revolutionized by the growing effect of technology across all dimensions of life: social, economic, political and ," ays a Rand National Defense Research Institute report for the National Intelligence Council. "The results could be astonishing." First up: the ability to "manipulate, improve, and control living organisms (including ourselves)." Not only is research under way to "create new, free-living organisms," but so is work to "'improve' the human species. These will be very controversial developments - among the most controversial in the entire history of mankind," the National Intelligence Council report says.

What shakes people up about all this is not just how exotic it is. It's how fast it's coming. It makes the last 20 years a guide not to the next 20 years but to the next eight. Several areas of technological upheaval are coming together and reinforcing each other at a pace that is rapidly doubling and redoubling, within our lifetimes.

The question is whether we are creating alterations to ourselves that will fundamentally change human nature. In his book "Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution," Francis Fukuyama of Johns Hopkins University says: "The people in 'Brave New World' may be healthy and happy, but they have ceased to be human beings."

RELATED: Scientists crack genetic code of mice to aid man
SEE ALSO: Scientists produce 'ratbot' - first radio-controlled animal


The man who helped create Dolly the sheep says every cloned animal is genetically and physically defective.

Ian Wilmut, of the Roslin research centre in Scotland, says, for instance, that cloned sheep and cattle can suffer from excessive size.

He also found mice could have placentas up to four times the normal size and discovered pigs with heart defects. Mr Wilmut has published his findings this weekend with a warning to scientists over attempts to clone humans.

Dolly the sheep was born with chromosomes which have shortened telomeres and now suffers from arthritis at a far younger age than is normal in sheep.


Double trouble in cloning family pet
Bull Clone Stumps Brazil Scientists Expecting Cow
Cloning backers bank on science

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

25. Both in creation and in compunction, there is that which moves itself and that which is moved by something else. When the soul becomes tearful, moist and tender without effort or trouble, then let us run, for the Lord has come uninvited, and is giving us the sponge of God-loving sorrow and the cool water of devout tears to wipe out the record of our sins. Guard these tears as the apple of your eye until they withdraw. Great is the power of this compunction, greater than that which comes as a result of our own effort and reflection.

May 7, 2002

POPE JOHN PAUL II: "The very difficult situation in which many peoples of the world find themselves is always before me. I would like to present the Virgin Mary with the request for security and peace that arises unrelentingly from many sides and especially from the Holy Land. I invite you to pray to our Lady with me that she will grant those heartfelt invocations."


The outlines of an agreement to resolve the 35-day standoff at the Church of the Nativity were taking shape Monday, but the sides remained at odds on several issues, including how many of the wanted Palestinians holed up in the Christian shrine would be deported.

The Palestinians want no more than eight of those in the church sent into exile in Italy, while Israel reportedly insists that at least a dozen be deported. Another 30 Palestinian militiamen would be sent to the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinians.

The standoff in Bethlehem began April 2 when more than 200 Palestinians, including several dozen gunmen, fled into the Church of the Nativity ahead of invading Israeli forces, at the height of Israel's large-scale incursion into the West Bank. About 75 Palestinians have since emerged from the besieged compound, which marks Jesus' traditional birthplace, while last week, 10 foreign pro-Palestinian activists sneaked into the shrine. Several dozen members of the clergy have been staying inside the compound as well.

MORE: The Calvary of Bethlehem


The month of May, with its profusion of blooms (in the northern hemisphere temperate climes of Europe and America), was adopted by the Church in the eighteenth century as a celebration of the flowering of Mary's maidenly spirituality - not otherwise venerated as such in either the Liturgy or the Mysteries of the Rosary.

The recentness of this dedication of the flowers of May to Mary bespeaks the long period of ripening in popular devotion and in the mind of the Church of the piety, poetry and art applying to Mary the nature symbolism from the Old Testament, first applied to her by the Church Fathers.

With its origins in Isaiah's prophecy of the Virgin birth of the Messiah under the figure of the Blossoming Rod or Root of Jesse, the flower symbolism of Mary was extended by the Church Fathers, and in the the Liturgy, by applying to her the flower figures of the Sapiential Books - Canticles, Wisdom, Proverbs and Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) - although this symbolism was initially mostly verbal and poetic, rather than celebrated in nature itself.

SEE ALSO: The Month of Mary

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

24. Theology will not suit mourners, for it is of a nature to dissolve their mourning. For the theologian is like one who sits in a teacher's seat, whereas the mourner is like one who spends his days on a dungheap and in rags. That is why David, so I think, although he was a teacher and was wise, replied to those who questioned him when he was mourning: 'How shall I sing the Lord's song in a strange land? (Ps 136:5)- that is to say, the land of passions.

May 4, 2002



Reflection by Father Ted Shipp, Catholic Chaplain - San Francisco General Hospital:

"What is the Problem?"

Many people have wondered why all the problems within the Church at this time - especially concerning the immoral behavior of some of our clergy.

I know that many different reasons have been expressed.

I would like to put forth my observations - for what they may be worth.

To me we need to recall the effects of the Fall of our First Parents - the consequences of their Original Sin.

Before the Fall, they enjoyed Sanctifying Grace and the Preternatural Gifts.  When they sinned against God, they lost for themselves and for their descendants both.

As a result of this grievous sin their descendants, including us, inherited the inclination to sin - which we have called concupiscence.

We are inclined to commit the seven capital sins - which are pride, envy, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, and wrath.

But with this inclination to commit these sins, almighty God, from the very beginning, gave to us the graces to resist these inclinations and develop the virtues we need to become the men He wants us to be - ultimately enjoying the eternal life with Him in Heaven that He wanted our First Parents and all of their descendants to possess.

That is why He promised to them and to us a Savior who has already come and enables all to enter into Eternal Life.

His Son died for us and has given to us, through His Church, the Holy Spirit to enable us to live holy lives upon earth and after death to enter into Heaven as saints.

To enable us to resist the temptations and to develop the virtues that we need to become saints, Our Lord gave to us tremendous helps - through the Sacraments and the Spiritual Life that His Church has always fostered.

For us who are clergy we have had the recitation of the Divine Office, an obligation we accepted when we received Major Orders.  This is the Prayer of the Church.

We have the benefit of being able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day - which privilege and need Our Holy Father reminded our American Bishops of during the "Ad Limina" visit for Region 6 on May 21,1998.

We have the privilege of going to confession frequently - to forgive us our sins and to give us the strength to overcome the sinful inclinations that we have succumbed to through our sins.

We have been exhorted to develop a very close relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Queen of the Clergy - especially through the daily praying of the Rosary.

We have been encourage to fast - as a powerful means to grow in strength to resist the sinful inclinations of our weakened nature; and also grow in virtue.

Yet during the past thirty to forty years, as many of us are well aware, there has been a subtle and even a blunt attack on these beneficial practices of the Church.

How many of our brothers who have succumbed to the powerful temptations of the world have been lax in these practices?

Is there a causal connection between their sinful activities and the neglect of these ecclesial practices?  Or is this merely coincidental?

Saint Paul had a "thorn" in his side - to which he begged the Lord to deliver him.  Which weakness it was, I don’t know.  But without doubt it was one of those inclinations that we all suffer from - called concupiscence.  Our Lord told him that He would not deliver him from this "thorn" for His grace was sufficient for him.

The graces that our Lord offers to us through our prayer life, especially praying the Divine Office daily, offering Mass daily, praying the Rosary daily, visiting Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament daily, frequent confession, and frequent fasting, will definitely enable us to resist these sinful inclinations that we experience and will enable us to become the holy priests that we are meant to be - to help our lay brothers and sisters to become the holy men and women that they are meant to be - to enable the Church to become the Holy Church that She is meant to be.

Lord, in Your love for us, You made us weak so that as we call upon Your Holy Name we may become strong.

Help us to become the saints that You ordained us to become.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us!

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

23. In the case of tears, as in everything else, our good and just Judge will certainly take into consideration the strength of our nature. For I have seen small tear drops shed with difficulty like drops of blood, and I have also seen fountains of tears poured out without difficulty. And I judged those toilers more by their toil than by their tears, and I think that God does also.

May 3, 2002

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the Holy Father's envoy on a special mission to the Holy Land:
"Shalom, Salam, peace is only built with the stones of a true dialogue."


The Franciscans in the Holy Land have decided to offer one hundred Holy Masses for peace in three special Churches, the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Holy Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem.  The initiative – Fides was told by Father Giovanni Battistelli, Holy Land Custodian – was prompted by the visit of Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, papal envoy of Pope John Paul II, who is on a "special mission" to try to solve the situation of siege around the Nativity Church compound.

These three Churches were chosen by the Pope for gaining the special indulgence during the Great Jubilee Year 2000.  The Masses will be said for the intentions of the Pope, for the repose of the soul of all those killed in the conflict, to comfort the grieving families, and for the intentions of friends and benefactors who have shown solidarity and sympathy in this difficult period in the Holy Land.

RELATED: Muslims, Christians endure siege at Nativity church

NOW ONLINE: Papal Apostolic Letter In The Form Of Motu Proprio-
"Misericordia Dei" On Certain Aspects of the Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance

FROM THE MAILBAG VIA Stephen: Sunday we went to Monsignor William Crowe’s retirement party at St Dominic’s Catholic Church (Bay County, FL). He has been a priest for 55 years and he said his first Mass at Wexford (Ireland) on April 28, 1947.

Monsignor Crowe came from Ireland to Mobile, Alabama in 1963 and in 1970 to Bay County, Florida. However, it was a quite a story as to how Father Crowe was able to get into the USA because he had TB as a young man in Ireland and was prevented by INS from entering this country. In 1963, President Kennedy was visiting Ireland. He asked the President of Ireland if there was anything the US could do for Ireland and the President of Ireland (Develiere?) said there was a priest (Father Crowe) they were trying to send to the US (as a missionary) but his admission kept being blocked by the INS. The President of Ireland asked Jack Kennedy if he could help get Father Crowe into the country. Jack turned the problem over to Bobby Kennedy and in several weeks Father Crowe was a given a "letter" with which he could enter the country. Father Crowe came into the US on a Sunday with nobody else around. It turns out the letter was an "Act of Congress" in which a law was passed (rider on another Bill) to admit Father William Crowe into the country. The man at INS who admitted him said that he only sees such a letter about "every ten years". A day after arriving in New York, some "rogue" rented an apartment to Father Crowe (except the guy was not the real owner or renter of the apartment) and Father Crowe was "evicted" and slept on an Army cot in the basement of some Rectory Office for next few months – welcome to New York!

Monsignor Crowe has been the sponsor of seven missionary churches in various North Florida cities (latest is large new church in Quincy, FL) and has built retirement apartments on our church grounds for retired clergy and aging parishioners. He began televising the Mass on local TV station many years ago and has sponsored many Hispanic/Spanish groups and built a church (St Peter and Paul) for the Vietnamese groups. Several Spanish children did a Mexican dance (in full costume) and sang Mexican songs for Monsignor Crowe and Bishop John Ricard. Several years ago Monsignor Crowe started Adoration at our parish – first church in the Diocese to return to Adoration. About four hundred people came to the retirement party.

I thought for a brief moment I saw a beautiful Lady standing by Monsignor Crowe as he stood up to speak – she must be "Irish" with that smile and twinkling eyes. Praise Be to God! It is Monsignor’s favorite saying. Praise Be to God!

COMMENTARY: Catholi e Won't Heal These Wounds


Parishes still blessed with good priests
Father Stephen Adrian — He Keeps Going, and Going...
Future priests vow to make difference
New Yorkers' test of faith

(Mat 25:23)  His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.'

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

22. Let your very dress urge you to the work of mourning, because all who lament the dead are dressed in black. If you do not mourn, mourn for this cause. And if you mourn, lament still more that, by your sins, you have brought yourself down from a state free of labours to one of labours.

May 2, 2002

(Num 19:2-3)  "This is the statute of the law which the LORD has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and upon which a yoke has never come. And you shall give her to Elea'zar the priest, and she shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him;

RECENT NEWS ITEM: Red Heifer Born in Israel!


Could a little calf born last month in Israel bring about Armageddon? The concept would have struck many people as absurd the last time such a calf was born, in 1997, and probably makes most readers laugh today. Big mistake: Never underestimate the power of religious faith to shape events, especially in the Holy Land. Especially right now.

Our eschatological heifer story begins on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where tens of millions of Jews, Muslims, and Christians believe the central events of each tradition's Last Days will play out. The site, the Biblical Mount Moriah, was the site of the Hebrews' First Temple, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC, and the Second Temple, which the Romans leveled in 70 AD. Muslims, believing the site to be the place from which the Prophet Mohammed ascended into Heaven atop a steed, began in 685 to build the Noble Sanctuary, a 35-acre site in Jerusalem's walled Old City, containing the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al Aqsa mosque.

To Jews who adhere to ancient tradition, whose number include religious Israeli nationalists, the long-awaited Messiah will return to become the king of Israel and high priest of a rebuilt Temple, which can only be on Temple Mount. For Christian fundamentalists, Jesus Christ's return at the height of the battle of Armageddon, in which forces of the Antichrist clash in Israel with a 200 million-man army from the East, will require a Third Temple from which the Lord will begin a millennial reign. And for Muslims, an Antichrist figure called the Dajal will be a Jew who will lead an all-encompassing war against Islam, which will culminate in the return of Jesus (as a Muslim prophet), the Kaaba, or Sacred Rock in Mecca, transporting itself to Jerusalem, and final judgment in the valley just below the Noble Sanctuary.

So how does the calf recently born in Israel figure into things? As Gorenberg explains, the ashes of a flawless red heifer — an extremely rare creature — were required by the ancient Hebrews to purify worshipers who went into the Temple to pray. In modern times, rabbinical law forbids Jews from setting foot on the Temple Mount, thus violating the site where the Holy of Holies dwelled, until and unless they are ritually purified. Without a perfect red heifer to sacrifice, the Third Temple cannot be built, and Moshiach — the Messiah — will not come. Writes Gorenberg, "[Israeli] government officials and military leaders could only regard the requirement for the missing heifer as a stroke of sheer good fortune preventing conflict over the Mount."


FROM THE MAIBAG VIA CHETT: The ashes must come from a three-year-old Red Heifer. The Red Cow is considered one year old at birth. Gestation for the cow is nine months. At the nine month birth the cow is considered one year old. The validation or qualification process for a Kosher Red Cow comes from the Mishnah or Oral Law. That is the authority by which the Rabbi's determine qualifications. The specific Mishnah is Mishnaoth, Vol.VI, Order Taharoth for the Red Cow.

The Validation criteria are: Three years of age (one year old at birth of nine months); Completely and purely Red; without spot or blemish;- Red, all hairs including tail and tail hairs including the vary hair cavities, hooves, (eyes and tongue exempted.). Red Cow is exempt if she does not meet Mishnah requirements. Red Cow represents Yeshua The Anointed Messiah of HASHEM. It is written, Messiah Yeshua will sprinkle the nation with the ashes of the Red Heifer purifying the nations upon His return at the end of The Tribulation." Further requirements on other areas of the Red Cow can be found in the Mishnah and Numbers 19.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

21. Let the remembrance of the eternal fire lie down with you every evening, and let it rise up with you too. Then sloth will never overwhelm you at the time of psalmody.

May 1, 2002



Since our Nation's founding, Americans have turned to prayer for inspiration, strength, and guidance. In times of trial, we ask God for wisdom, courage, direction, and comfort. We offer thanks for the countless blessings God has provided. And we thank God for sanctifying every human life by creating each of us in His image. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we call upon the Almighty to continue to bless America and her people.

Especially since September 11, millions of Americans have been led to prayer. They have prayed for comfort in a time of grief, for understanding in a time of anger, and for protection in a time of uncertainty. We have all seen God's great faithfulness to our country. America's enemies sought to weaken and destroy us through acts of terror. None of us would ever wish on anyone what happened on September 11th. Yet tragedy and sorrow none of us would choose have brought forth wisdom, courage, and generosity. In the face of terrorist attacks, prayer provided Americans with hope and strength for the journey ahead.

God has blessed our Nation beyond measure. We give thanks for our families and loved ones, for the abundance of our land and the fruits of labor, for our inalienable rights and liberties, and for a great Nation that leads the world in efforts to preserve those rights and liberties. We give thanks for all those across the world who have joined with America in the fight against terrorism. We give thanks for the men and women of our military, who are fighting to defend our Nation and the future of civilization.

We continue to remember those who are suffering and face hardships. We pray for peace throughout the world.

On this National Day of Prayer, I encourage Americans to remember the words of St. Paul: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our citizens to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to honor the religious diversity our freedom permits by recognizing annually a "National Day of Prayer."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2002, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask Americans to pray for God's protection, to express gratitude for our blessings, and to seek moral and spiritual renewal. I urge all our citizens to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.


RELATED: 'Humble Sinner' Bush Testifies to Power of Faith

SEE ALSO: Prayer for America by Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, Chaplain of the United States Senate


Even veteran astronomers say they are stunned by the first pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope’s month-old Advanced Camera for Surveys — images of unprecedented detail that reveal crashing galaxies, colorful nebulas and new cosmic depths.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Another sign in the heavens?!! Don't miss this Hubble photo:

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 7- "On Joy-Making Mourning"

20. The seas wastes with time, as Job says (Job 14:11). And with time and patience, the things of which we have spoken are gradually acquired and perfected in us.

Links  E-mail Dr. Zambrano  Home

Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

The Tribulation Times Archives:

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