your eyes open!...
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
VATICAN.VA: MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR LENT 2018
ALETEIA: Begin Lent with this powerful prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
NCR: 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 (https://radiomaria.us/how-to-listen/)
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 https://radiomaria.us/programs/.
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
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)
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
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
email non-reformatted news articles to Trib Times subscribers that I
to be of particular interest. But barring a major event (admittedly not unlikely these days), the Trib
web page itself will not be updated.
apologize to all who have recently subscribed but
will keep your email information for use after my return. God
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
I will do the same.
I recommend the
following links to keep up
with unfolding events:
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.
Signs of the Times
Readings & Meditations for Lent &
Statements of Archbishop Chaput
“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.”
LINK TO DONATE TO AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED: https://secure3.convio.net/acn/site/Donation2;jsessionid=1B6D0D927CE5E03CD247F9BC016AAE5D.app322b?idb=1588471532&df_id=1240&1240.donation=form1&idb=0.
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
February 12, 2018
(Lev 19:19) Keep
ye my laws. Thou shalt not make thy cattle to gender with beasts of any
other kind. Thou shalt not sow thy field with different seeds. Thou
shalt not wear a garment that is woven of two sorts.
POPE JOHN PAUL II:
Christ taught another way: it is that of respect for human beings; the
priority of every method of research must be to know the truth about
human beings, in order to serve them and not to manipulate them
according to a project sometimes arrogantly seen as better even than
the plan of the Creator.
PONTIFICIA ACADEMIA PRO VITA: Reflections on Cloning
RECENT NEWS HEADLINES
Rice Expert Alert: Age of genetically engineered humans has begun
Christian Biologist: Human Dignity Is Under Assault in China Monkey Cloning
First human eggs grown in laboratory
NCBC: Human Cloning, Stem Cell Research and Attempts at Hybrid Embryo Creation
A Commentary On Dignitas Personae, Part Three, nn 28-33 by Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
The document Dignitas Personae, from the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith is an “instruction on certain bioethical questions.” In
the latter part of the document, several controversial research
techniques, including cloning, stem cells, and attempts at creating
hybrid human-animal embryos are examined and ethically evaluated.
The document notes how human cloning is a technique of reproduction to
produce a copy of a human who would be nearly genetically identical (in
effect, an identical twin), and concludes that such attempts are
“intrinsically illicit.” It identifies the general ethical principle
that we have an “obligation to respect the singularity and integrity of
each person, even on the biological and genetic levels.” This is a
consequence of being willed by God in all of our specificity and
particularity. Every human being “owes his existence and his proper
characteristics to the love of God, and only the love of husband and
wife constitutes a mediation of that love in conformity with the plan
of the Creator.”
In the light of these considerations, it becomes clear how cloning,
when carried out to produce a live birth, is morally objectionable for
two reasons: first, because it transforms human reproduction into a
laboratory undertaking, rather than the interpersonal and shared
marital activity it is meant to be; and second, because it sanctions
the raw arrogation of power by one human being over another by allowing
the former to choose “who” the latter shall be through direct
predetermination of many of that individual’s most fundamental
characteristics. This kind of cloning is called “reproductive” because
it seeks to reproduce or copy an individual.
When cloning is carried out to produce an embryo not for reproduction,
but for the purposes of harvesting stem cells from it, it is
objectionable for both of the above reasons, and for the additional
reason that it “makes the existence of a human being at the embryonic
stage nothing more than a means to be used and destroyed.” This kind of
embryo cloning is sometimes termed “therapeutic” because the stem cells
extracted from the clone can theoretically be used to develop therapies
for the patient who was cloned (the clone’s adult identical twin) and
the transplanted cells should not be rejected by the recipient, given
that identical twins are generally immune compatible with each other.
It should be noted, though, that this kind of cloning is not
“therapeutic” for the embryo. On the contrary, it is invariably lethal
to the cloned embryo, and could therefore more accurately be termed
“exploitative cloning” instead of “therapeutic cloning.”
Certain other, more recently-proposed techniques for obtaining stem
cells, putatively without destroying embryos, remain questionable in
terms of their ethical permissibility, since it is not entirely clear
whether embryo-destructive steps might or might not be involved. The
document mentions several techniques of this kind, including
parthenogenesis (using an activated egg to create stem cells), altered
nuclear transfer (a modified form of cloning to create stem cells), and
oocyte-assisted reprogramming (another modified form of cloning to
obtain stem cells).
Those forms of research where stem cells can be obtained without
causing serious harm to the donor, including stem cells obtained from
spontaneously miscarried fetuses, umbilical cord-derived stem cells,
and other kinds of adult stem cells “are to be considered licit.”
Induced pluripotent stem cells, derived by “turning the cellular clock
backwards” for an adult somatic cell by genetic reprogramming would fit
in this category as well. In fact, any such research which does not
raise significant ethical problems, and most particularly adult stem
cell research, “should be encouraged and supported,” in the words of
Stem cell research which depends on the destruction of human embryos,
on the other hand, is identified as morally unacceptable. It
represents, in the final analysis, an inhuman and inhumane activity
that progresses “through the suppression of human lives that are equal
in dignity to the lives of other human individuals and to the lives of
the researchers themselves.”
It is not merely the derivation of these cells from embryos that is
problematic, but even their subsequent use when somebody else may have
done the embryo-killing years earlier in order to obtain the cells,
which now propagate continuously in the lab. There are likely to be
concerns about whether a researcher, who uses such cells derived by
somebody else, would be involved in an unacceptable form of cooperation
with evil, and there could be additional concerns about the scandal
that would be caused by tacitly accepting the use of such cells within
one’s own laboratory or pharmaceutical company.
Other ways of generating stem cells have also been proposed, including
approaches that might be construed to “reduce the humanness” of an
embryo by “mixing it” with animal parts (in street parlance, sometimes
termed “Franken-embryos”). The technique involves using an animal egg,
rather than a woman’s egg, to start off the process of cloning. The
animal egg is given a kind of “DNA transplant” using human DNA, to make
an embryo which contains mostly human genetic information, and a little
bit of animal genetic material as well. The document reminds us that
doing this kind of hybrid cloning to make a hybrid embryo (to be
harvested for its stem cells) represents “an offense against the
dignity of human beings on account of the admixture of human and animal
genetic elements capable of disrupting the specific identity of man.”
COMMENTARY: Cloning: A Diabolical Counterfeit of Eternal Life
of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 22- "On the many forms of vainglory"
11. The flatterer is a servant of devils, a guide
to pride, a destroyer of contrition, a ruiner of virtues, a misleader.
Those who pronounce you blessed, lead you astray, says the prophet.
February 9, 2018
(2Ti 4:6-8) For
I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is
at hand. I have fought a good fight: I have finished my course: I have
kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of
justice which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day:
and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.
"Adoration is an uphill journey with the memory of election. We can
only arrive there with the memory of having been chosen, of bearing
within our heart the promise which pushes us to keep going with the
covenant in our hand and in our heart. In the presence of God’s glory
words disappear, we do not know what to say.”
VATICAN NEWS: Benedict, Pope emeritus: I am on a pilgrimage towards Home
Pope emeritus Benedict has sent a short letter to the editor of the Italian news daily Il Corriere della Sera.
The Pope emeritus was responding to the many inquiries from readers as
to how he is spending “this last period of his life.” Noting the “slow
decline” of his “physical strength,” Benedict says in the letter that
“interiorly, I am on a pilgrimage towards Home.” The former Roman
Pontiff admits that “this last stretch of the road” is “at times
difficult,” but says, “It is a great grace for me to be surrounded by a
love and goodness that I could not have imagined.”
Concluding his letter, Benedict said he considers the concern of the
readers for his well-being as an “accompaniment” for the journey. In
closing, he expresses his gratitude, and assures everyone of his
In 2013, Benedict XVI became the first pope since Gregory XII in 1415
to resign the papacy. In the announcement of his resignation, Benedict
said he would continue to serve the Church “through a life dedicated to
prayer. Since May of 2013, the pope emeritus has resided in the Mater
Ecclesiae Monastery within the borders of Vatican City State.
ZENIT.ORG: Archbishop Chaput: ‘Charity, Clarity, & Their Opposite’
MORE FROM ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT:
The “new knighthood” St. Bernard once praised never really disappears.
It’s new and renewed in every generation of faithful Catholic men. And
brothers, that means us. It’s a vocation that belongs to us, and nobody
else. The rules of our order—all 22 of them—were written down 500 years
ago by the great Catholic humanist, Erasmus of Rotterdam, in his book,
The Manual of a Christian Knight. It’s a dense text for the modern
reader, but here’s the substance of what he says:
Rule 1: Deepen and increase your faith.
Rule 2: Act on your faith; make it a living witness to others.
Rule 3: Analyze and understand your fears; don’t be ruled by them.
Rule 4: Make Jesus Christ the only guide and the only goal of your life.
Rule 5: Turn away from material things; don’t be owned by them.
Rule 6: Train your mind to distinguish the true nature of good and evil.
Rule 7: Never let any failure or setback turn you away from God.
Rule 8: Face temptation guided by God, not by worry or excuses.
Rule 9: Always be ready for attacks from those who fear the Gospel and resent the good.
Rule 10: Always be prepared for temptation. And do what you can to avoid it.
Rule 11: Be alert to two special dangers: moral cowardice and personal pride.
Rule 12: Face your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
Rule 13: Treat each battle as if it were your last.
Rule 14: A life of virtue has no room for vice; the little vices we tolerate become the most deadly.
Rule 15: Every important decision has alternatives; think them through clearly and honestly in the light of what’s right.
Rule 16: Never, ever give up or give in on any matter of moral substance.
Rule 17: Always have a plan of action. Battles are often won or lost before they begin.
Rule 18: Always think through, in advance, the consequences of your choices and actions.
Rule 19: Do nothing—in public or private—that the people you love would not hold in esteem.
Rule 20: Virtue is its own reward; it needs no applause.
Rule 21: Life is demanding and brief; make it count.
Rule 22: Admit and repent your wrongs, never lose hope, encourage your brothers, and then begin again.
by St Theophan (1815-1894)
[James 1:19-27; Mark 10:17-27]
Someone turned to the Lord with a
question: Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
What necessitated this question? Were there no scriptures? Was the law
not read every Saturday for everyone? There was everything — both
Scripture and its interpreters; but in society difference of opinion
went around and muddled everyone. The Pharisees said one thing, the
Sadducees another, the Essenes, their own thing, the Samaritans their
own. In Galilee, perhaps even pagan teachings were heard, and each put
forth their own with a tone of conviction. Anyone who was zealous for
salvation naturally came to the question: What should I do? What should
I follow, that my soul not be destroyed?
Our situation now is very similar those times. What teachings are not
going around our schools, in society, and in literature! For the
indifferent it is nothing; but they for whom every teaching is not the
same cannot but seek an answer to the question, “What should I do?” So
what is the solution? The one the Saviour gave: Believe and live as God
commanded, and do not listen to people's talk; let them talk. The talk
of scientists is like rumours and fashion: today they say one thing,
tomorrow another. But you should heed only God's word, which abides
unto the ages. What the Lord commanded no philosophizing can revoke.
Everything must be done, and cannot be put off. The judgment indeed
will be according to the word of the Lord, and not according to our
Ladder of Divine
Ascent excerpt: Step 22- "On the many forms of vainglory"
10. God often hides from our eyes even those perfections
that we have obtained. But he who praises us or, rather, misleads us, opens
our eyes by his praise, and as soon as our eyes are opened, our treasure vanishes.
February 7, 2018
(1Co 3:16-17) Know
you not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you? But if any man violate the temple of God, him shall
God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are.
CRISIS MAGAZINE: The Antichrist and the Temple in the Christian Mind
RNS: Why is Jerusalem’s Temple Mount so disputed?
EWTN Q&A: Will the Third Temple ever be built?
EXCERPT CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT: Divinely Planned Obsolescence
Why the Temple in Jerusalem will never be rebuilt and how the Sacrifice
of the Mass is “the source and summit of evangelization”.
The events of A.D. 70 and 362 serve as covenant exclamation points that
the New Covenant has indeed fulfilled the Old (see CCC 66-67). Still,
Catholics should not view these events as reason to celebrate Israel’s
downfall, lest they endure a much harsher divine judgment themselves.
Nor should they invoke events of nearly 2,000 years as justifying
virulent prejudices today. Anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism are, in fact,
invariably anti-Catholic. As Pope XI noted about Jews and Catholics,
“Spiritually, we are all Semites,” the beneficiaries of God’s covenant
plan to make a universal blessing of the nation of Israel (Gen. 12:1-2;
22:18)6 through his Jewish Son (Mt. 1:1). Jesus himself reminds us that
“salvation is from the Jews” (Jn. 4:22), and the biblical story of the
Mass incontrovertibly testifies to the privileged role that the Jewish
people have played in salvation history (see Rom. 9:3-5).
While the Church speaks of herself as the restored “Israel of God”
(Gal. 6:11-16), God has certainly not abandoned those Jews who continue
to profess the Old Covenant, even though its sacrifices cannot be
offered. He desires them, as he desires all men and women, to freely
embrace Christ and his New Covenant as members of his Catholic Church
(see CCC 836, 839-40). The Messiah came to save all mankind,
particularly those who share his heritage as an Israelite (see Mt.
1:21; 10:6, 15:24; CCC 438; 528). To participate fruitfully in this
saving mission to both Jews and the world in general (Mt. 28:18-20),
Catholics en masse must make knowing, living, and sharing their faith
the unambiguous, number-one life priority it should be. They must truly
seek God’s kingdom first in their lives (Mt. 6:33), setting aside
soul-sapping modern distractions so they can understand well and
passionately convey the biblical story of the Mass. While Mary, the
Pope and the Eucharist are typically the three major obstacles that
prospective converts must overcome, the roles of the Mother of God and
the Vicar of Christ are more easily negotiated when seen in light of
the foundational, saving work of our Eucharistic Lord. As Pope St. John
Paul II reminds us, the mission of Christ and his Church is primarily
conveyed and carried out in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the
Mass, implicitly reaffirming the pointlessness of trying to rebuild the
the perpetuation of the sacrifice of the Cross and her communion with
the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, the Church draws the
spiritual power needed to carry out her mission. The Eucharist thus
appears as both the source and the summit of all evangelization, since
its goal is the communion of mankind with Christ and in him with the
Father and the Holy Spirit.
If people come to know and believe in Jesus Christ, and how his saving
work is profoundly continued in the Mass, the rest of the doctrinal
dominoes will follow. Yet, testifying to the Truth in word must be
coupled with witnessing to the Incarnate Word in deed. The example of
ancient Israel bears emulating. Ancient Israelites yearned to pierce
the veil of the Temple’s most holy place, consistently approaching God
with reverential fear. Today, Catholics pierce that sacred veil on a
regular basis, yet frequently commune with the Real Presence of the
Eucharistic God-man in a casual and sometimes irreverent manner.
As St. John Paul II has exhorted, Catholics must become more like the
One they worship, reverently offering themselves with Christ’s
Sacrifice to the Father at Mass; receiving frequent Holy Communion;
spending time with their Beloved in Eucharistic adoration; and making
regular spiritual communions, so that the world might better know
that Jesus is truly Lord. If Catholics begin to see the Mass as the
most profound and intimate communion with almighty God that is possible
on earth, unworthy reception of the Eucharist will end overnight,
liturgical abuses will cease; and the world will be won over to Christ,
who will lead us to our ultimate and everlasting Communion in the
heavenly sanctuary, when the sacramental veils of bread and wine will
be removed and we will love our Lord, face to face, forever:
God, help us to live the example of love we celebrate in this
Eucharist, that we may come to its fulfillment in your Presence. We ask
this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Ladder of Divine
Ascent excerpt: Step 22- "On the many forms of vainglory"
8. A vainglorious ascetic is cheated both ways: he
exhausts his body, and he gets no reward.
February 5, 2018
(Luk 1:28-30) And
the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord
is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was
troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of
salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary,
for thou hast found grace with God.
CNS: Pope puts founder of Rosary Crusade one step closer toward sainthood
EXCERPT HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS:
As the journeying People of God, we are here to pause at our Mother’s
temple. The presence of the Mother makes this temple a family home for
us sons and daughters. Together with generations and generations of
Romans, we recognize in this house of our mother our own home, the home
where we can find refreshment, consolation, protection, shelter. The
Christian people have understood, from the very beginning, that in
difficulties and trials we need to turn to our Mother, as the most
ancient Marian hymn has it: Beneath your protection, we seek refuge, O
Holy Mother of God; do not despise our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
We seek refuge. Our fathers in faith taught that in turbulent moments
we should gather under the mantle of the Holy Mother of God. At one
time those who were persecuted and in need sought refuge with
high-ranking noble women: when their cloak, regarded as inviolable, was
held out as a sign of welcoming, protection had been granted. So it is
for us with regard to Our Lady, the highest woman of the human race.
Her mantle is always open to receive us and gather us. The Christian
East reminds us of this, where many celebrate the Protection of the
Mother of God, who in a beautiful icon is depicted with her mantle
sheltering her sons and daughters and covering the whole world. Monks
of old recommended, in times of trial, that we take refuge beneath the
mantle of the Holy Mother of God: calling upon her as “Holy Mother of
God” was already a guarantee of protection and help, this prayer over
and again: “Holy Mother of God”, “Holy Mother of God”… Just like this.
This wisdom, that comes to us from far off, helps us: the Mother
protects the faith, safeguards relationships, saves those in storms and
preserves them from evil. Where our Mother is at home, the devil does
not enter in. Where our Mother is at home, the devil does not enter in.
Where our Mother is present, turmoil does not prevail, fear does not
conquer. Which of us does not need this, which of us is not sometimes
distressed or anxious? How often our heart is a stormy sea, where the
waves of our problems pile up and the winds of our troubles do not stop
blowing! Mary is our secure ark in the midst of the flood. It will not
be ideas or technology that will give us comfort or hope, but our
Mother’s face, her hands that caress our life, her mantle that gives us
shelter. Let us learn how to find refuge, going each day to our Mother.
Do not despise our petitions, the hymn continues. When we petition her,
Mary implores on our behalf. There is a beautiful title in Greek that
says this: Grigorousa, that is, “she who intercedes swiftly”. And it is
this swiftly that Luke uses in the Gospel to indicate how Mary went to
Elizabeth: quickly, immediately! She intercedes at once, she does not
delay, we heard in the Gospel, when she brings the people’s concrete
need to Jesus at once: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3), they have no more!
This is what she does each time, if we call on her: when there is no
hope, when joy is scarce, when our strength is all used up, when life’s
star grows dark, our Mother intervenes. And if we call on her, she
intervenes even more. She is attentive to our weariness, sensitive to
storms – the storms of life, she is close to our hearts. And she never,
never despises our prayers; she does not let even one of them fall to
the ground. She is our Mother, she is never ashamed of us; on the
contrary, she waits for the chance to help her children.
One event can help us understand this. Next to a hospital bed, a mother
was keeping watch over her son, who was in pain after an accident. The
mother complained to the priest, saying: “There is one thing that the
Lord did not grant us mothers”. “What is that?” asked the priest.
“To take away the pain of our children”, answered the woman. Here we
see a mother’s heart: she is not embarrassed by injuries, by her
children’s vulnerability, but wants to take these injuries upon
herself. And God’s Mother – and our Mother – can take things upon
herself, can console, keep watch and cure.
A MOMENT WITH MARY: The day that Ireland was encircled by the Rosary
The Rosary on the Borders, an event in Poland that gathered a large
number of Catholics on Saturday, October 7, 2017, has been replicated.
First by a the National Rosary in Italy on Friday, October 13th, "to
follow the teachings of Mary and to follow the very good example given
by our Polish brothers," then more recently in Ireland on Sunday,
November 26, 2017, feast of Christ the King, with a "Rosary on the
Coast for Life and Faith." Why on this day? Quite simply because,
according to those who organized it, Ireland was the first country
dedicated to Christ the King, in the 1940s.
All along the Irish coast, people prayed the Rosary at 2:30 pm,
followed by the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 pm. More than 250 prayer
locations were designated for this event, including places in Northern
Ireland, far exceeding the original goal of 53 locations!
At least four bishops and many priests had announced their intention to
participate. The goal of this great national prayer was the restoration
of the Catholic faith in Ireland and the protection of children from
the moment of conception. The organizers evoked the words of Pius IX:
"Give me an army that recites the Rosary and I will conquer the world.”
They asked the faithful to bring miraculous medals with them to have
them blessed by the priests and bury them on the seashore, while asking
the Virgin Mary to intercede to protect Ireland against evil.
CHINA: The Maria Rosa Mystica Sanctuary of Changle
Ladder of Divine
Ascent excerpt: Step 22- "On the many forms of vainglory"
7. Every lover of self-display is vainglorious.
The fast of the vainglorious person is without reward and his prayer is futile,
because he does both for the praise of men.
February 2, 2018
For better is one day in thy courts above thousands. I have chosen to
be an abject in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the
tabernacles of sinners. For God loveth mercy and truth: the Lord
will give grace and glory. He will not deprive of good things them that
walk in innocence: O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in
ROMAN CATHOLIC MAN: Super Blue Blood Moon and St. John Bosco's Dream/Prophecy
REVIEW CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT: “Created for Greatness”: The Emerging Catholic Men’s Movement
ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: RISE and the vocation of Christian men
This week’s column is meant explicitly for the men of our local Church. I’m talking to you.
C.S. Lewis once described Christianity as a “fighting religion.” He
meant that living the Gospel involves a very real kind of spiritual
warfare; a struggle against the evil in ourselves and in the world
around us – not with violence, but with courage and love.
Men need a challenge. Men need to test and prove their worth. Men feel
most alive when they’re giving themselves to some purpose higher than
their own comfort. This is why young men join the Marines or Rangers or
SEALs. They do it not despite it being hard, but exactly because it’s
hard; because it hurts; because they want to be the best and earn a
place among brothers who are also the very best.
Men joined the early Capuchins and Jesuits not to escape the world but
to transform it; to convert the world by demanding everything a man had
— every drop of his energy, love, talent and intelligence — in service
to a mission bigger and more important than any individual ego or
As men, we’re hardwired by nature and confirmed by the Word of God to
do three main things: to provide, to protect, and to lead — not for our
own sake, not for our own empty vanities and appetites, but in service
We men — all of us, both clergy and lay — bear a special responsibility
because the Gospel tasks us as leaders. That takes nothing away from
the genius and ability of women, or the equality of women and men. But
human beings are not identical units. We’re not interchangeable pieces
of social machinery.
Christian equality is based not in political ideology but in the
reality of the differences and mutual dependencies of real men and
women. As creatures we’re designed to need each other, not replicate
Thus, when it comes to leadership, men are meant to lead in a uniquely
masculine way. The great saint of the early Eastern Church, John
Chrysostom, described every human father as the bishop of his family.
All fathers are bishops. And every father shapes the soul of the next
generation with his love, his self-mastery and his courage, or the lack
So we need to ask ourselves: If I claim to be a believing Catholic man,
can I prove it with the patterns of my life? When do I pray? How often
do I seek out the Sacrament of Penance? What am I doing for the poor?
How am I serving the needy? Do I really know Jesus Christ? Who am I
leading to the Church? How many young people have I asked to consider a
vocation? How much time do I spend sharing about God with my wife, my
children and my friends? How well and how often do I listen for God’s
presence in my own life?
The Church has lots of good reasons why people should believe in God,
and in Jesus Christ, and in the beauty and urgency of her own mission.
But she has only one irrefutable argument for the truth of what she
teaches: the personal example of her saints.
That means the world needs faithful Catholic men, men with a hunger to
be saints. The role of a Catholic husband and father — a man who
sacrifices his own desires, out of love, to serve the needs of his wife
and children — is the living cornerstone of a Christian home. The
Church in this country may face a very hard road in the next 20 years,
and her sons need to step up and lead by the witness of their daily
Maleness is a matter of biology. It just happens. Manhood must be
learned and earned and taught. So we need the friendship of real
brothers in the Lord to be the disciples and leaders God intends us to
Where can we get that? Later this week, on February 3, I’ll be speaking
at the excellent annual “Into the Breach” men’s conference sponsored by
the Diocese of Phoenix. And here in Philadelphia, the “Man-Up Philly”
gathering each year is a tremendous source of friendship and fraternity
among Catholic men.
But this week in a special way I want to leave readers and parishes
with an invitation to check out the program RISE: A 30-Day Challenge.
RISE is the work of co-authors Chris Stefanick and Bill Donaghy — I
greatly admire the work of both men — supported by an impressive
production team. And in the program’s own words:
Our goal is simple: to use powerful media as a tool to present the true
path to freedom and peace by challenging men to live the fullness of
their vocation every day; at home, at work, and in their communities …
RISE gives men a battle plan for daily living, while walking alongside
them each day.
RISE is a journey through 30 days of impactful videos and written
content. Each day men experience a short and powerful video meditation,
inspirational words and quotations, and [they’re] given a [weekly]
challenge based on their state-in-life (Single, Married/Kids at Home,
Married/No Kids at Home, Separated/Widowed/Divorced). Men will also be
immersed into powerful short films of other men who personify the theme
of each week. The goal is to help all men, wherever they are on their
faith journey, to live life to the full as Sons, Brothers, Spouses, and
The decline of male maturity and responsibility is one of the greatest
problems American culture now faces. Catholic men need to grow as men
in the vocation God intends for them. In other words, the healing of
the culture begins with the conversion of our own hearts and actions.
RISE isn’t the only path to achieving that. But it’s an invaluable tool
for the work.
More information about RISE can be found at MenRiseUp.org.
Ladder of Divine
Ascent excerpt: Step 22- "On the many forms of vainglory"
6. A vainglorious person is a believing idolater;
he apparently honours God, but he wants to please not God but men.
Dr. Zambrano Home
2000: Bringing the World to Jesus
Tribulation Times Archives:
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