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Tribulation Times

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Lent, 2018  

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

UPDATES: Non-subscribers can access items emailed during Lent at!forum/tribulaton-times


ALETEIA: Begin Lent with this powerful prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

: Formulating a Plan of Life for Lent and Beyond

LENTEN READING: Padre Pio read this book four times!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Beginning Saturday Feb. 17, 2018, Radio Maria ( offers a new one-hour weekly program entitled, “Learning to Live in the Divine Will”, hosted by Fr. J. Iannuzzi, STL, STD..  Archives will be available at

Reverend George William Rutler, S.T.D.: There are different theories as to why Schubert did not finish the Unfinished Symphony. If his Symphony in B minor lacks two movements, it has two, and explaining why it began is as challenging as explaining why it did not end. Mozart did not finish his Requiem for the simple reason that he died. That also is why Thucydides did not finish his history of the Peloponnesian War, Raphael’s incomplete Transfiguration, Giorgione’s “Sleeping Venus” which was left for Titian to complete, and Dostoyevsky’s unrealized chapters for “The Brothers Karamzov.”

A Roman soldier’s sword prevented Archimedes from resolving a mathematical problem. Chaucer did not finish his “Canterbury Tales” because he had to go back to work as a clerk in the Port of London, and Spencer did not finish the last six books of “The Faerie Queen” for political reasons. Coleridge could not complete his “Kublai Khan” because someone awoke him from a laudanum stupor. Perhaps the arrival of Alessandro de Medici caused Michelangelo to quit Florence, without finishing the statue which still puzzles experts who are not sure if it is Apollo or David. We do know that Donatello deliberately used his “non finito” technique to give a kind of emerging vitality to his figures.

Artists rarely think that they have completed a work. Tolkein, for example, kept re-writing “The Silmarillion.” At least they have an intuition, a mental sense, of what should be realized with paint or pen. But if life has no goal, there is nothing to complete. Chesterton said that man has always been lost, but modern man has lost his address and cannot return home. Far different was Saint Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)" His faith was trust that life has a goal, and it is realized in the eternal existence offered by the Creator who made us in his image. “In Him you have been made complete. (Col.2:10)”

The days of Lent are like signposts toward the goal. Meanwhile, we are “works in progress,” The question is, “Can these bones live? (Ezekiel 37:3)" When Ash Wednesday is coincident with St. Valentine’s Day, there is a stark contrast between love and sentiment. The martyr Valentine loved so much that he sacrificed his life for the love of God. To reduce him to some sort of cupid, is never to finish the picture. The world’s greatest Lover shouted from the cross: “It is finished!” That “teteletai” is an accounting term meaning “paid in full.” The Son cried out to the Father that he had paid the debt incurred by human pride. It is what every composer, painter, writer and scientist wants to be able to say, but can only be said satisfactorily when Christ is seen “face to face, and not as a stranger. (1 John 3:2)”

Easter 2018 Dates

February 14 - Ash Wednesday
March 25 - Palm Sunday
March 29 - Maundy (Holy) Thursday
March 30 - Good Friday
April 1 - Easter Sunday (Western Christianity - Roman Catholic, Anglican Communion, Protestant Churches, etc.)
April 8- Divine Mercy Sunday

April 8 - Orthodox Easter Sunday (Orthodox Christianity - Eastern Orthodox Churches)


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

I apologize to all who have recently subscribed but will keep your email information for use after my return.  God willing, the next issue of the Trib Times should be shortly after Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8, 2018.  Please keep me in your prayers, and be assured that I will do the same.

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

Catholic News

Signs of the Times

Readings & Meditations for Lent & Holy Week

Catholic Commentary
Courageous Priest
Statements of Archbishop Chaput
Crisis Magazine

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

G.K. CHESTERTON: “But when fundamentals are doubted, as at present, we must try to recover the candour and wonder of the child; the unspoilt realism and objectivity of innocence. Or if we cannot do that, we must try at least to shake off the cloud of mere custom and see the thing as new, if only by seeing it as unnatural.  Things that may well be familiar so long as familiarity breeds affection had much better become unfamiliar when familiarity breeds contempt. For in connection with things so great as are here considered, whatever our view of them, contempt must be a mistake. Indeed contempt must be an illusion. We must invoke the most wild and soaring sort of imagination; the imagination that can see what is there.”

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Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 22- "On the many forms of vainglory"

12. People of high spirit bear offence nobly and gladly, but only the holy and righteous can pass through praise without harm.

Prayer request?  Send an email to: [email protected]

This month's archive can be found at: