Keep your eyes open!...






 

April 16, 2015  

(Joh 1:12-13) But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

MEDITATION: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)

The Bright Resurrection of Christ. [Acts 1:1–8; John 1:1–17]

Pascha, the Lord's Pascha! The Lord has led us from death to life by means of His resurrection. And this resurrection “the angels hymn in the heavens,” having seen the brightness of the deified human nature in the glory foreordained for it, in the countenance of the Lord and Redeemer. All Who truly believe in Him and cleave to Him with all their soul are changed into His image by the power of His resurrection. Glory, O Lord, to Thy most glorious resurrection! The angels hymn, rejoicing with us and foreseeing the filling of their assembly.

Vouchsafe us also with pure heart, O Lord, to glorify Thee resurrected; seeing in Thy resurrection the severing of our consuming decay, the sowing of a most bright new life, and the dawn of future eternal glory, into which Thou hast gone before us by Thy Resurrection for our sake. The tongues not only of men but also of angels are have insufficient strength to express Thine unspeakable mercy toward us, O most gloriously resurrected Lord!

FROM THE MAILBAG
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RON ROLHEISER, OMI: THE RESURRECTION AS VINDICATING HUMAN FIDELITY AND GOD’S SILENCE

Theologians sometimes try to simply the meaning of the resurrection by packaging its essence into one sentence: In the resurrection, God vindicated Jesus, his life, his message, and his fidelity. What does that mean?

Jesus entered our world preaching faith, love, and forgiveness but the world didn’t accept that. Instead it crucified him and, in that crucifixion, seemingly shamed his message. We see this most clearly on the cross when Jesus is taunted, mocked, and challenged: If you are the son of God, come down from there! If your message is true, let the God verify that right now! If your fidelity is more than plain stubbornness and human ignorance then why are you dying in shame?

And what was God’s response to those taunts? Nothing, no commentary, no defense, no apologia, no counter-challenge, just silence. Jesus dies in silence. Neither he nor the God he believed in tried to fill that excruciating void with any consoling words or explanations challenging people to look at the bigger picture or to look at the brighter side of things. None of that. Just silence.

Jesus died in silence, inside God’s silence and inside the world’s incomprehension. And we can let ourselves be humbly scandalized by that silence, just as we can let ourselves be perpetually scandalized by the seeming triumph of evil, pain, and suffering in our world.  God’s silence can forever scandalize us: in the Jewish holocaust, in ethnic genocides, in brutal and senseless wars, in the earthquakes and tsunamis which kill thousands of people and devastate whole countries, in the deaths of countless people taken out of this life by cancer and by violence, in how unfair life can be sometimes, and in the casual manner that those without conscience can rape whole areas of life seemingly without consequence.  Where is God in all of this?  What’s God’s answer?

God’s answer is in the resurrection, in the resurrection of Jesus and in the perennial resurrection of goodness within life itself. But resurrection is not necessarily rescue.  God doesn’t necessarily rescue us from the effects of evil, or even from death. Evil does what it does, natural disasters are what they are, and those without conscience can rape even as they feed off life’s sacred fire.  God doesn’t intervene. The parting of the Red Sea isn’t a weekly occurrence.  God lets his loved ones suffer and die, just as Jesus let his dear friend, Lazarus, die and God let Jesus die. God redeems, raises us up afterwards, in a deeper more lasting vindication. And the truth of that statement can even be tested empirically.

Despite every appearance sometimes, in the end, love does triumph over hatred. Peace does triumph over chaos. Forgiveness does triumph over bitterness.  Hope does triumph over cynicism. Fidelity does triumph over despair. Virtue does triumph over sin. Conscience does triumph over callousness. Life does triumph over death. And good does triumph over evil, always. Mohandas K. Gandhi once wrote: “When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it, always.”

The resurrection, most forcibly, makes that point. God has the last word. The resurrection of Jesus is that last word. From the ashes of shame, of seeming defeat, failure, and death, a new, deeper, and eternal life perennially bursts forth.  Our faith begins at the very point where it seems it might end, in God’s seeming silence at Jesus’ death.

And what does this ask of us?

First of all, simply that we trust its truth.  The resurrection of Jesus asks us to believe what Gandhi affirmed, namely, that in the end evil will not have the last word. It will fall. Good will eventually triumph.

More deeply, it asks us to roll the dice of our lives on that trust and that truth:  What Jesus taught is true: Virtue is not na´ve, even when it is shamed.  Sin and cynicism are na´ve, even when they appear to triumph. Those who genuflect before God and others in conscience will find meaning and joy, even when they are deprived of the world’s pleasures. Those who drink in and manipulate sacred energy without conscience will not find meaning and life, even when they taste pleasure. Those who live in honesty, no matter the cost, will find freedom. Those who lie and rationalize will find themselves imprisoned in self-hate. Those who live in trust will find love. God’s silence can be trusted, even when we die inside of it.

We can live in faith, love, forgiveness, conscience, and fidelity in spite of everything that suggests that they aren’t true. They will bring us to what is deepest inside of life and love because God vindicates virtue. God vindicates love. God vindicates conscience. God vindicates forgiveness. God vindicates fidelity.  God vindicated Jesus and will vindicate us if we remain faithful as Jesus did.

SEE ALSO: Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence by Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

46. A hermit said, 'Satan has three powers, which lead to all the sins. The first is forgetfulness, the second negligence, the third selfish desire. If forgetfulness comes, it causes negligence, negligence is the mother of selfish desire, and by selfish desire we fall. If the mind is serious, it repels forgetfulness, negligence does not come, selfish desire finds no entry, and so with the help of Christ we shall never fall.'


April 14, 2015  

(Heb 4:15-16) For we have not a high priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin. Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy and find grace in seasonable aid.

LINK: 
Misericordiae Vultus BULL OF INDICTION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY

Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him.

FROM THE MAILBAG
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Ethelyn David:
 
Happy Easter! Alleluia! He has risen!
What better time than to introduce you to the face of Jesus the instant he conquered death and was resurrected. This moment can be seen on the Veil of Manoppello treasured in the Volto Santo (Holy Face) Basilica in Manoppello, Italy.

I belong to the Canadian Apostolate of the Veil of Manoppello. Our small group of four in Vancouver, together with our patron in Bellevue, WA have been praying and preparing for the Vancouver visit of Fr Carmine Cucinnelli, Capuchin OFM,  the rector of the Volto Santo Basilica and the Guardian of the Veil. With him will be Paul Badde, author of "The Face of God" and "The True Icon". They will hold several presentations and will enthrone the image in two churches September 4 and 5, 2015. From there they will continue on to Los Angeles and then to the Philippines.

Virtually unknown for the last 400 years except for a small number of the faithful, it has been increasing in the number of devotees from all nations ever since Pope Benedict XVI chose this shrine for his first Papal trip. There he adored the face of his Lord and Savior and composed a prayer:

http://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.ca/2011/01/pope-benedict-xvis-prayer-to-holy-face.html?m=1

Please peruse the websites below and may the Holy Spirit fill your heart with love for Him as you discover "the greatest miracle in our possession" (St. Padre Pio - a strong devotee).

http://thesestonewalls.com/gordon-macrae/i-am-a-mystery-to-myself-the-last-days-of-padre-pio/

THE HOLY FACE ON THE VEIL OF MANOPPELLO AND THE SHROUD OF TURIN

http://youtu.be/mxDTNaJAwMo

THE HOLY FACE ON THE VEIL OF MANOPPELLO

http://www.sudariumchristi.com/uk/turin/index.htm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-403209/Pope-visits-Face-Christ-veil-time.html

http://insidethevatican.com/news/lead-story/veil-manoppello-unexpected-bridge-judaism

http://holyfaceofmanoppello.blogspot.com/?m=1

http://www.loamagazine.org/nr/the_main_topic/the_shroud_of_manoppello.html

http://www.loamagazine.org/nr/the_main_topic/the_greatest_miracle_in.html

http://www.loamagazine.org/nr/the_main_topic/the_resurrections_exhibit_b.html

http://www.voltosanto.it/Inglese/index.php

http://go.aleteia.org/WniZhlK

http://www.ilsussidiario.net/mobile/English-Spoken-Here/Culture-Religion-Science/2011/3/11/HOLY-FACE-The-Veronica-Veil-The-Portrait-of-the-Living-Christ-/157452/

http://www.gloria.tv/?media=178246

THE HOLY FACE ON THE VEIL OF MANOPPELLO AND THE VILNIUS DIVINE MERCY

http://thedivinemercy.org/momm/programs/divinecoincidence.php

http://youtu.be/KaIJtzyVV20

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

45. A hermit said, 'Unless the inner self lives soberly, the outer self is beyond control.'


April 12, 2015  

(2Ti 4:1-5) I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. Be sober.

VATICAN NEWS
: Pope focuses on Divine Mercy in Mass for Armenians

Pope Francis processed into the Basilica of Saint Peter flanked by the Catholicoi Karekin II and Aram I of the Armenian Apostolic Church, with the Patriarch Catholicos Nerses Bedros XIX a few paces ahead. Patriarch Nerses concelebrated Mass with the Holy Father.

Greeting the Armenian faithful who had come to Rome for the event, Pope Francis spoke out boldly against cruelty, recalling the occasions when he had previously spoken of “a third world war” being fought piecemeal, a war “in which we daily witness savage crimes, brutal massacres and senseless destruction.” Today, he said, “we are experiencing a sort of genocide created by a general and collective indifference, by the complicit silence of Cain…”

Pope Francis noted three “massive and unprecedented tragedies” of the twentieth century, the first of which was the “Great Crime,” the systematic massacre of Armenian Christians who were slaughtered because of their faith. The atrocities of the Nazis and the Communists, along with other mass killings, makes it seem as if “humanity is incapable of putting a halt to the shedding of innocent blood… We have not yet learned,” he said, “that ‘war is madness,’ a ‘senseless slaughter.’”

It is necessary, and even a duty, he said, to recall these events, notably the massacre of the Armenians, “with hearts filled with pain, but at the same time with great hope in the risen Christ.”

In his homily for Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis focused on the wounds of Christ, the wounds our Lord showed His disciples so that they might believe He was truly risen from the dead. “The wounds of Jesus are wounds of mercy,” the Pope said. “Through these wounds we can see the entire mystery of Christ and of God,” the whole history of salvation. The wounds of Christ proclaim the mercy of God from generation to generation.
Alluding once again to the centenary of the massacre of the Armenians, Pope Francis said the tragic events of history can leave us feeling crushed, wondering “why?” Humanity cannot fill the abyss left by the mystery of evil. “It is only Jesus, God made man, who died on the Cross and who fills the abyss of sin with the depth of His mercy.”

Pope Francis concluded, “Brothers and sisters, behold the way which God has opened for us to finally go out from our slavery to sin and death, and thus enter into the land of life and peace. Jesus, crucified and risen, is the way, and His wounds are full of mercy.”

OPINION: It is necessary, and indeed a duty to recall the centenary of that tragic event

MORE: Pope Francis Utilizes 'Genocide' To Describe Armenian Killing, Turkey Reacts

RELATED: Here are ten things you should know about the Armenian Genocide

REFLECTION: God’s Perfect Mercy – A Meditation for Divine Mercy Sunday by Msgr. Charles Pope

FROM THE MAILBAG

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Rev. Joseph Leo Iannuzzi:

Divine Will Logo
Explanation of Divine Will Logo

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

44. They said of a hermit that his thoughts suggested to him, 'Rest today; do penance tomorrow.' He contradicted the thoughts, saying, 'No, I do penance today, and tomorrow the Lord's will be done.'


Easter, 2015  

(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 https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/tribulaton-times  Easter2015

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Christos Voskrese! Voistinnu Voskrese!

Christ is risen from the dead! By death He trampled Death, and to those in the tombs, He granted life. And to us He granted life eternal. Let us glorify His resurrection.
(Above are all from the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church, and also Slavonic)

LENTEN SABBATICAL

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 12, 2015.  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
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/headlines.asp
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/
http://www.catholicnews.com/

Signs of the Times
http://www.spiritdaily.com/
https://www.lifesitenews.com/
http://www.lifenews.com/

Readings & Meditations for Lent & Holy Week
http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/index.html
http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/lent.htm

Catholic Commentary
Courageous Priest
Statements of Archbishop Chaput
Crisis Magazine
Aleteia

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.

ORTHODOX LENT PRAYER: “Grant unto me, Thy servant, the spirit of chastity, meekness, humility, patience and love.

LINK TO DONATE TO AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED: 
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The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living

43. A brother said to a hermit, 'I don't find any disturbance in my heart.' The hermit said, 'You are like a door swinging open. Anyone who likes can go inside, and come out again, and you don't notice what is happening. If you had a door that was shut you wouldn't let wicked thoughts come in, and then you would see them standing outside the door and fighting against you.'
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