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November 30, 2000


Christmas celebrations at Jesus' traditional birthplace have been called off because of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian fighting, city officials said Wednesday.

Seven Palestinians from the Bethlehem area have been killed in two months of rock-throwing clashes and gun battles with Israeli troops. Israel has also imposed a strict blockade on biblical Bethlehem, keeping residents in and tourists out.

"Celebrations for Christmas have been cancelled," said Tony Marcos, a spokesman for the municipality. "In view of the very bad situation we are living in, it doesn't make sense that we celebrate."


The Church in the Holy Land is praying for peace while sharing the suffering of both peoples.  There are Catholics on both sides, although mostly among the Palestinians.  Some Christian Palestinian sources feel that since there is little chance of winning an armed conflict with Israel the violent uprising may be unjustifiable according to the traditional criteria of a just war.  For others the right of a people to fight an occupying army with all means available cannot be questioned.  But all sides deplore violence against civilians and want a fair peace solution based on mutual recognition of the two nations, equal in their dignity and in their right to live in security on their own land.


VIA David Dolan: A special day of prayer and fasting was held throughout Israel Monday, called for by Israel’s two chief rabbis and other religious leaders to ask for God’s intervention in the ongoing conflict and to thank Him for the many near misses since the violence began over two months ago.  One leading rabbi noted yesterday that Monday was the first day in quite a while when no fatalities were recorded on either side.  The special day ended with a prayer gathering at the Old City’s Western Wall of the Temple Mount.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

30 (cont.). Just as the body, when it tastes the delectable foods of this earth, knows by experience exactly what each thing is, so the intellect, when it has triumphed over the thoughts of the flesh, knows for certain when it is tasting the grace of the Holy Spirit; for it is written: 'Taste and see that the Lord is good' (Ps. 34:8). The intellect keeps fresh the memory of this taste through the energy of love, and so unerringly chooses what is best. As St. Paul says: 'This is my prayer, that your love may grow more and more in knowledge and in all perception, so that you choose what is best' (Phil. 1:9-10).

November 29, 2000

(Mat 24:12-13)  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.


The Vatican slammed the Dutch parliament"s vote on Tuesday to legalise euthanasia, saying it violated human dignity.  The historic 104-40 vote in Amsterdam"s lower chamber made the Netherlands the first country to vote to legalise the controversial practice after decades of unofficially tolerating mercy killings.

"It is a very sad record for the Netherlands to become first to want to approve a law that goes against human dignity," said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.  "The first problem this law poses is a very serious question of conscience, which doctors will have to face up to," he told Reuters.  "Again, we are faced with a law of the state which opposes the natural law of human conscience," he said.


The HIV/AIDS epidemic has tightened its grip on the planet, outstripping even the worst predictions and surprising experts with the speed at which it has infected 36 million people, the U.N.  said Tuesday. More than 5 million new cases were reported this year alone, according to new figures released by UNAIDS, the United Nations agency that spearheads the global battle against AIDS.

"It has killed more people this year than any other year before," said Dr.  Peter Piot, the executive director of UNAIDS.  "Now it is clear the world has to wake up," he said in an interview. "The world clearly underestimated how rampant this epidemic would become," Piot told Reuters.  "We"ve got far more cases than the worst case scenario than thought out 10 years ago.  It is the No.  1 cause of deaths in many, many parts of the world," he said.


Time short in Russian HIV/AIDS fight
TB, malaria return as killer diseases
Ebola Spreads Southwest in Uganda
Mad Cow Confidence Crisis Spreads in Europe
Yellow fever death toll in Guinea rises to 98

(Luke 21:10-11V)  Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

30. The perceptive faculty of the intellect consists in the power to discriminate accurately between the tastes of different realities. Our physical sense of taste, when we are healthy, leads us to distinguish unfailingly between good food and bad, so that we want what is good; similarly, our intellect, when it begins to act vigorously and with complete detachment, is capable of perceiving the wealth of God's grace and is never led astray by any illusion of grace which comes from the devil.

November 28, 2000


The agency that acts as the U.S. government's landlord rejected on Monday Republican George W.  Bush"s request for office keys and presidential transition funds pending resolution of Democrat Al Gore"s court challenges.  "As long as both sides continue with their plans to go to court, we believe that the outcome remains unclear," said General Services Administration (GSA) spokeswoman Beth Newburger.  "Therefore we are not planning to authorize the transition at this time," she said in a statement.  The GSA, as arbiter of federal office space, plays a critical role in the presidential transition process because it rents and sets up the office space for the incoming administration to use on a temporary basis, also providing computers and telephones, as it does for others on the federal payroll.

RELATED: Drudge Report reveals names of military whose vote did not count.


The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear an appeal by a condemned killer from Texas whose lawyers say he is mentally retarded and has the reasoning capacity of a 7-year-old.  The court said it will use the case of Johnny Paul Penry to clarify how much opportunity jurors in death-penalty cases must have to consider the defendant's mental capacity.

RELATED: Tuscan Bishops issue strong worded document against death penalty


Question: Dr. Z. will you be sending out information on the death of Fr. Slavko in Medjugorje?

Reply: Michael Brown has done a wonderful job in obtaining information about the untimely passing away of Fr. Slavko and its aftermath.  You can find his site at .

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

29 (cont). If, therefore, we learn persistently to be detached from the good things of this world, we shall be able to unite the earthly appetite of the soul to its spiritual and intellectual aspiration, through the communion of the Holy Spirit who brings this about in us. For unless His divinity actively illumines the inner shrine of our heart, we shall not be able to taste God's goodness with the perceptive faculty undivided, that is, with unified aspiration.


November 27, 2000


Pope John Paul II Sunday urged lay Catholics to play active roles in meeting modern challenges such as those posed by genetic advances and economic progress.  Saying humanity is "rich with potential and expectations, imperiled, however, by multiple traps and dangers," John Paul sought to encourage lay Catholic activism.  "All you need to think of, among other things, are social advances and the revolution in the field of genetics, of economic progress and the underdevelopment which exists in vast areas of the planet," the Pope said, going on to list hunger, violence, loneliness and challenges to peace as other areas ripe for Catholic activism.  "Don"t be afraid to accept this challenge," the Pope said, adding during his homily: "If you live Christianity without compromises you can set the world on fire." John Paul noted that since the 1960s, the Vatican has sought to encourage the Catholic laity to take a more active role in their church.

RELATED: Patent allows creation of man-animal hybrid


Inflamed religious feelings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan could intensify the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza if Israeli troops do not withdraw from friction points, Palestinian analysts say.  The conduct of the Palestinian "Intifada" during Ramadan, which begins on Monday, will also hinge on whether Israel allows Palestinians to pray at the ancient al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, the analysts and Muslim clerics say.  Al-Aqsa is one of two mosques on the Muslim holy site of al-Haram al-Sharif, also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.  "If worshippers have access to al-Aqsa, the al-Haram will be quiet, but if the Israeli police prevent them, this will complicate matters and there could be unrest, thus we ask the police not to provoke worshippers," Ikrima Sabri, the Mufti of Jerusalem, told Reuters.

RELATED: Saddam urges Palestinians to continue uprising

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

29. The loving and Holy Spirit of God teaches us, as we have said, that the perceptive faculty natural to our soul is single; indeed, even the bodily senses differ from each other only because of the body's varying needs. But this single faculty of perception is split because of the dislocation which, as a result of Adam's disobedience, takes place in the intellect through the modes in which the soul now operates. Thus one side of the soul is carried away by the passionate part in man, and we are then captivated by the good things of this life; but the other side of the soul frequently delights  in the activity of the intellect and, as a result, when we practise self-restraint, the intellect longs to pursue heavenly beauty.

November 23, 2000




The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

28 (cont). That is why the Apostle says: 'Do not quench the Spirit' (1 Thess. 5:19), meaning: 'Do not grieve the goodness of the Holy Spirit by wicked actions or wicked thoughts, lest you be deprived of this protecting light.' The Spirit, since He is eternal and life-creating, cannot be quenched; but if He is grieved- that is if He withdraws- He leaves the intellect without the light of spiritual knowledge, dark and full of gloom.

November 22, 2000


The Vatican has blasted lawmakers for giving legal recognition to so-called "de facto" unions- including those between homosexuals- and said attempts to allow adoption by gays were "a great danger." A 77-page document made public Tuesday by The Pontifical Council for the Family was built heavily around similar denunciations over the last few years by Pope John Paul II.

While not citing any particular country, the Vatican spoke of "great concern" about lawmakers" efforts "in many countries with an ancient Christian tradition" to give legal status to unmarried couples. "De facto unions are the result of private behavior and should remain on the private level," the Vatican said.  It described as a "serious sign of the contemporary breakdown in the social and moral conscience," political efforts to give institutional status to de facto couples.


Moldova"s Orthodox church said Tuesday it would expel from its flock parliamentary deputies who vote for a law allowing abortions. The church, which wields strong influence in the highly religious nation of four million, said it would view supporters of the law "as accomplices of homicide." "We will demand from the clergy not to give communion to those supporting abortions until they have changed their attitude to this crime," Moldovan Metropolitan Vladimir said in an open letter to parliament.  "Would you or your children like to be victim of an abortion?" he said.  "Would we have parliamentarians then?"

FROM THE MAILBAG: "I wept today as the December 12th deadline kept coming up as THE cut off day for the election in Florida.  December 12th is the feast of Our Lady of Guadeloupe - the patroness of the America's".

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

28. Only the Holy Spirit can purify the intellect, for unless a greater power comes and overthrows the despoiler, what he has taken captive will never be set free (cf. Luke 11:21-22). In every way, therefore, and especially through peace of soul, we must make ourselves a dwelling-place for the Holy Spirit. Then we shall have the lamp of spiritual knowledge burning always within us; and when it is shining constantly in the inner shrine of the soul, not only will the intellect perceive all the dark and bitter attacks of the demons, but these attacks will be greatly weakened when exposed for what they are by that glorious and holy light.

November 21, 2000


Pope John Paul II, addressing veterans of peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the world, urged soldiers and police Sunday to be sensitive to the suffering of the weak.The pope, noting his own father in Poland had served in the military, said he was sympathetic to the difficulties of military life, and he offered special greeting to representatives from the peacekeeping force in the Balkans.

"I pray so that the not-easy service of the army and the police be always marked by deep sensitivity to the suffering and needs of the weakest," the pope said.  Peacekeepers, he added, should be "at the service of the great values of life, of justice, of pardon, of freedom." During his homily, the pope reiterated the Vatican"s "humanitarian interference" policy for use of military force _ "the extreme attempt to stop the hand of the unjust aggressor" if political efforts fail.  The pope often has been highly critical of the use of military force to stop conflicts.


A bomb exploded in front of a Jewish settlers school bus in the largely Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip Monday, killing two adult passengers and wounding nine others including children.It was the first fatal bomb attack on settlers in Gaza since the Palestinians began their Intifada, or uprising, to demand independence and an end to 33 years of occupation, embodied by the settlements built on land which Israel captured in 1967.

The army said damage to the bus, which was heavily armored and under a military escort, was caused by a heavy caliber mortar shell attached to a detonator.  The shell was surrounded with pieces of metal "to inflict as many injuries as possible," it said.

RELATED: Israeli Helicopters Fire Missiles in Gaza City


President Hosni Mubarak ordered Egypt"s ambassador to Israel to return home, citing recent Israeli "aggression," Egypt"s Middle East News Agency said Tuesday.  The decision marked a hardening of attitude in a country that has been a main voice of moderation in the Mideast.

RELATED: VIA Judean Voice: 21 years ago triplets were born to Al-kudza familiy in Lod Israel.
The three Arab Israeli infants made headlines in Israel when their parents decided to name them Begin, Sadat and Carter.  According to Yediot Achronot, Nov.  16, the three poster boys made headlines again after Sadat and Begin were caught vandalizing Jewish vehicles in solidarity with the "Palestinian" uprising.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

27 (cont). But if the soul persists in its worldly disposition, even though it commits a murder or some other act deserving severe punishment, it takes little notice; and it is quite unable to discern its other faults, often considering them to be signs of progress, and in its wretchedness it is not ashamed to defend them heatedly.

November 20, 2000



(2 Ki 6:15-17)  When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.


(Exo 17:8-13)  The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands." So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.


(Psa 28:2)  Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.

(Psa 63:4)  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

(Lam 3:41-42)  Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: "We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.

(1 Tim 2:8)  I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

27 (cont). Our bodily eyes, when healthy, can see everything, even gnats and mosquitoes flying about in the air; but when they are clouded by some discharge, they see large objects only indistinctly and small things not at all. Similarly if the soul, through attentiveness, reduces the blindness caused by the love of this world, it will consider its slightest faults to be very grave and will continually shed tears with deep thankfullness. For it is written, 'The righteous shall give thanks unto Thy name' (Ps. 140:13).

November 19, 2000



Excerpt from Encyclical Letter of Pope John Paul II to the entire Church on the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit (May 18, 1986)-  Dominum et Vivificantem

In the midst of the problems, disappointments and hopes, desertions and returns of these times of ours, the Church remains faithful to the mystery of her birth.  While it is a historical fact that the Church came forth from the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, in a certain sense one can say that she has never left it.  Spiritually the event of Pentecost does not belong only to the past: the Church is always in the Upper Room that she bears in her heart.  The Church perseveres in prayer, like the Apostles together with Mary, the mother of Christ, and with those who in Jerusalem were the first seed of the Christian community and who awaited in prayer the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The Church perseveres in prayer with Mary.  This union of the praying church with the Mother of Christ has been part of the mystery of the Church from the beginning: We see her present in this mystery as she is present in the mystery of her Son.  It is the Council that says to us: "The Blessed Virgin ...  overshadowed by the Holy Spirit ...  brought forth ...  the Son ...  He whom God placed as the firstborn among many brethren (cf.  Rom 8:29), namely the faithful.  In their birth and development she cooperates with a maternal love"; she is through "His singular graces and offices ...  intimately united with the Church.... [She] is a model of the Church."[285] "The Church, moreover, contemplating Mary's mysterious sanctity, imitating her charity ...  becomes herself a mother" and "herself is a virgin, who keeps ...  the fidelity she has pledged to her Spouse. Imitating the Mother of the Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she preserves with virginal purity an integral faith, a firm hope and a sincere charity."[286]

Thus one can understand the profound reason why the Church, united with the Virgin Mother, prays unceasingly as the Bride to her divine Spouse, as the words of the Book of Revelation, quoted by the Council, attest: "The Spirit and the bride say to the Lord Jesus Christ:"Come!" [287] The Church's prayer is this unceasing invocation, in which "the Spirit himself intercedes for us": In a certain sense, the Spirit himself utters it with the Church and in the Church.  For the Spirit is given to the Church in order that through His power the whole community of the People of God, however widely scattered and diverse, may persevere in hope: that hope in which "we have been saved."[288] It is the eschatological hope, the hope of definitive fulfillment in God, the hope of the eternal Kingdom, that is brought about by participation in the life of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit, given to the Apostles as the Counselor, is the guardian and animator of this hope in the heart of the Church.

In the time leading up to the third Millennium after Christ, while "the Spirit and the bride say to the Lord Jesus: Come!" this prayer of theirs is filled, as always, with an eschatological significance, which is also destined to give fullness of meaning to the celebration of the great Jubilee.  It is a prayer concerned with the salvific destines toward which the Holy Spirit by His action opens hearts throughout the history of man on earth.  But at the same time this prayer is directed toward a precise moment of history which highlights the "fullness of time" marked by the year 2000.  The Church wishes to prepare for this Jubilee in the Holy Spirit, just as the Virgin of Nazareth in whom the Word was made flesh was prepared by the Holy Spirit.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

27. Very few men can accurately recognize all their own faults; indeed, only those can do this whose intellect is never torn away from the remembrance of God.

November 18, 2000


The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have called on members of Parliament to reject a proposal to allow human cloning for research purposes.

The bishops, meeting here this week, said in a statement: "We believe that research on cloned human embryos is both immoral and unnecessary.  It is immoral because it involves the deliberate creation and destruction of new human lives for the sole purpose of extracting stem cells for research."

"It strips an individual human life, in its earliest form, of all dignity, reducing it to no more than a commodity, a supply of disposable organic matter," the statement added.  "It is also unnecessary because other avenues of stem cell research exist which may offer the same potential benefits without the ethical difficulties.  ...

"The Royal Society admitted this month that it is not known whether research on embryonic or adult stem cells will ultimately prove to be of greater value therapeutically."

RELATED: Cloning technology for babies unacceptable, ethics group says


Prime Minister Tony Blair waded into the ethical minefield of genetic research on Friday, championing the technology and vowing he would push for Britain to become Europe's leader in the field.

Addressing a biotechnology conference in London, Blair said there were massive potential benefits of research into stem cells -- master cells that can generate most of the 200 cell types in the human body.

"We must recognize that stem cell research has huge potential to improve the lives of those suffering from disease,'' Blair said, vowing the government will invest in research more in biotechnology. "Biotechnology is the next wave of the knowledge economy and I want Britain to become its European hub,'' he added.

RELATED: Made-To-Order Embryos Debated

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

26. Those pursuing the spiritual way must always keep the mind free from agitation in order that the intellect, as it discriminates among the thoughts that pass through the mind, may store in the treasuries of its memory those thoughts which are good and have been sent by God, while casting out those which are evil and come from the devil. When the sea is calm, fishermen can scan its depths and therefore hardly any creature moving in the water escapes their notice. But when the sea is disturbed by the winds, it hides beneath its turbid and agitated waves what it was happy to reveal when it was smiling and calm; and then the fishermen's skill and cunning prove vain. The same thing happens with the contemplative power of the intellect, especially when it is unjust anger which disturbs the depths of the soul.

November 17, 2000

(Jude 1:17-19)  But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.


The Broward County (FL) School Board voted unanimously late Tuesday night, without comment, to ban the Boy Scouts of America from using schools and centers for meetings after deciding the scouts violated a board policy prohibiting discrimination against gays. In a sometimes raucous meeting, the board agreed to give the scouts 30 days notice to find another place to meet.

Scout leader Timothy P.  Smith drew applause from the audience when he stood and condemned the School Board for considering ousting the Scouts. "I seriously resent the actions of this board to discriminate against my rights to live this way,'' he said, referring to his belief in the Boy Scouts' policies.

The Boy Scouts have been under fire in South Florida and elsewhere for months, after the U.S.  Supreme Court upheld the organization's decision to ban gays from becoming Scouts or scout leaders.  The Scouts have been fighting to protect its funding in the halls of government and its privileges in the public schools.


GORE  386,561 (68%)
BUSH  177,323 (31%)

RELATED: Full manual recount under way in Broward


VIA Alan A Trombetta: "America has allowed herself to become an idol in the eyes of many other nations.  She has assumed a posture of being the 'savior', the provider, the source for other nations.  She has called herself and been called a superpower.  In this hour I will make known that only I, the Lord, am Savior, Provider and Source.  I alone am the Superpower of the Universe.  For this idolatry, there must be deep and heartrending repentance on the part of My people or I come swiftly to remove the idolatry from the midst of this nation and from the hearts of her people."

(Received from a prophetic minister on the island of Cyprus who called me and said that as he prayed and fasted, the Lord showed him a huge, very black cloud hanging over America.)

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

25 (cont). Then, according to the measure of its own progress, the intellect communicates its joy to the body too, rejoicing endlessly in the song of love and praise: 'My heart has trusted in Him and I am helped; my flesh flowers again, and with all my being I will sing praise' (Ps. 28:7). The joy which then fills both soul and body is a true recalling of the life without corruption.

November 16, 2000

(James 2:12-13)  Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!


U.S.  Catholic bishops opened their fall conference Monday with calls to abolish the death penalty, reverse Supreme Court abortion rights decisions and welcome immigrants to the church. Among proposed issue statements is one renewing the church's opposition to the death penalty.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, Los Angeles archbishop and chairman of the bishops domestic policy committee, said the church drafted the statement in hopes of raising "innovative community-based strategies for addressing crime.'' "We are encouraged by small but growing signs that support for the death penalty is eroding and that capital punishment is being reconsidered,'' Mahony said in a written summary of the proposed statement.  "We welcome legislation to address these issues ...  It is time to abandon the death penalty - not just because of what it does to those who are executed, but because of how it diminishes all of us.''

RELATED: Bishops Seek Justice Reforms


Texas is expected to break its own U.S.  record for most executions in a year when it puts three men to death this week, the last of whom is said to be so mentally retarded he still believes in Santa Claus.  The executions, which are scheduled for three consecutive nights starting this past Tuesday, would give Texas 38 for the year, the most by any state since U.S. authorities began keeping death penalty records in 1930.  Texas holds the current record with 37 executions in 1997 and has put a nation-leading 234 people to death since the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a ban on the death penalty in 1976.  Of those 234 executions, 147 have been performed since Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush became Texas governor in January 1995.

RELATED: Retarded Sex Slayer Set to Die Thursday

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

25. Divine knowledge, once it is awakened in us, teaches us that the perceptive faculty natural to our soul is single, but that it is split into two distinct modes of operation as a result of Adam's disobedience. This single and simple perceptive faculty is implanted in the soul by the Holy Spirit; but no one can realize this singleness of perception except those who have willingly abandoned the delights of this corruptible life in the hope of enjoying those of eternity, and who have caused every appetite of the bodily senses to wither away through self-control. Only in such men does the intellect, because of its freedom from worldly care, act with its full vigour so that it is capable of perceiving ineffably the goodness of God.

November 15, 2000

(Psa 122:6)  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure.


Yasser Arafat made his holy war call- his first full public admission that he has been behind the ongoing violent attacks upon Israel- at a 56 nation Islamic summit meeting in Qatar.  After hailing the "holy martyrs who have sacrificed their lives" in the new uprising, he said that "despite the heavy casualties, which includes more than 200 martyrs, our people are determined more than ever before to continue their jihad (Islamic holy war) in the Al Aksa intifada, with the help of our brothers and friends." He said his people would not stop their attacks until "all Muslim and Christian holy sites in Al Quds (Jerusalem) are under our control."

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, acting prime minister while Israeli leader Ehud Barak visits the United States, said Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and his Fatah movement, otherwise known as Tanzim, had adopted new tactics.  "Arafat and the Tanzim have started to implement a new strategy called "death on the roads"," Ben-Eliezer, who is communications minister, told Israel Radio.  Hinting at retaliation, he said: "If it happens on the one side it will happen on the other side.  So I ordered a total closure of the whole area (ruled by Palestinians in the West Bank) except for humanitarian things...until further notice." He said Israel knew who was responsible for Monday"s shootings and "will put a finger on them."

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the papal nuncio in Israel, condemned the current situation in the Holy Land.  "This killing and destruction is of no use to either side, Israelis or Palestinians," he said. "Whatever leads toward peace is building a future; whatever leads in the direction of war, only destroys both peoples," he added.  "These people have a right to peace and it cannot be sacrificed for the pride of their leaders.  Furthermore, it was in this land that God chose to reveal his wisdom to men, and it is in the light of this wisdom that men must act."

Four Palestinians dead in fresh Mideast clashes
Israel mulls separation from Palestinians
Palestinian leaders may meet soon on statehood
Arafat, Mubarak hold brief Mideast talks

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

24. Just as the senses of the body impel us almost violently towards what attracts them, so the perceptive faculty of the intellect, once it tastes the divine goodness, leads us towards invisible blessings. Everything longs for what is akin to itself: the soul, since it is bodiless, desires heavenly goods, while the body, being dust, seeks earthly nourishment. So we shall surely come to experience immaterial perception if by our labours we refine our material nature.

November 14, 2000


A U.S.-based rights group has released what it says are secret Communist Party documents that undermine Vietnam"s claim to respect religious freedoms, just days before a historic visit by President Clinton.  Washington-based Freedom House said the eight documents dated between 1998 and the middle of this year showed "a concerted and ongoing government campaign to arrest and reverse the country"s growing Christian movements." It said: "Although Vietnam is a signatory to international conventions on human rights that guarantee religious freedom, the documents provide irrefutable evidence that repression continues to drive day to day policy and practice."

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said in a report last week religious freedom in Vietnam remains sharply curtailed and more than 20 members of religious groups were in detention.

RELATED: Catholic Church Evaluates Itself in Vietnam


From the pulpit to the pews, ministers and parishioners pondered America's odd presidential quandary Sunday and expressed hope that something - be it prayer, politics or public pressure - would point the way for the nation. In a country where the government and religion have an uneasy but sometimes unbreakable relationship, Sunday offered a moment for churchgoers to consider the meaning of both - and, in some cases, reiterate the motto on the coins: In God We Trust.

The Rev. Chuck Smith, founder of the evangelical Calvary chapels, said at his flagship church in Costa Mesa, Calif., that the tight election is a symptom of a moral "free-fall'' in the United States. "It used to be that we had moral absolutes.  We knew what was right, we knew what was wrong,'' he said between services Sunday.  Smith said he was annoyed by the limbo but would accept the outcome because "it is God who sets upon the thrones those whom he would ...  he has a purpose for doing so.''

On the south side of Chicago, the Rev.  Michael Pfleger of St.  Sabina's Roman Catholic Church said he was "tired of this garbage talk that it's expedient that we do this quickly.'' "We've been doing things quickly for too long,'' Pfleger said to wild cheers.  "Is speed more important than truth?  Is speed more important than justice?  Is speed more important than democracy?  An entire Democratic process right at this moment is on trial.'' Said one of his parishioners, Dolores Johnson, 70, a retired teacher: "This is the worst situation I've ever heard of in our history of elections.''

RELATED: Florida Churches Interested in Recount

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

23. No one can either love truly or believe truly unless he has first brought accusation against himself. For so long as our conscience is troubled with self-reproach, the intellect is no longer able to sense the perfume of heavenly blessings, but at once becomes divided and ambivalent. Because of the experience it once enjoyed it reaches out fervently towards faith, but can no longer perceive faith in the heart through love because of the pricks of an accusing conscience. But when we have purified ourselves by closer attentiveness, then with a fuller experience of God we shall attain what we desire.

November 13, 2000

(Rev 22:13-16)  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."


The Vatican blasted Germany"s new law allowing same-sex partners to marry, saying no legislation could legitimise a "moral disorder." Father Gino Concetti, writing in the Vatican newspaper L"Osservatore Romano, said such laws "disfigure the divine project of matrimony, damage the family and produce negative effects on society and on new generations." The editorial was entitled: "It is not permissible to legitimise a "moral disorder"."

The ruling red-green coalition voted unanimously in the Bundestag lower house for legislation which allows for gay weddings, where same-sex partners can register their relationship at state registry offices.  The law, which is due to come into force next year, gives gay married couples the same pension entitlements as heterosexual couples, and gives foreigners in homosexual relationships with Germans the right to residency.

Concetti, a moral theologian whose views are close to those of Pope John Paul, said the Catholic Church considered the family, based on a man and woman united in marriage, the cornerstone of society.  The Vatican newspaper said it was not right to try to introduce any type of surrogate for the family.  The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful but homosexual acts are.

RELATED: Starting to learn to accept gays, but harassment and violence persists


VIA Darrell Bennett: What we have decided to do is begin by producing an electronic newsletter named Mission MomentsMission Moments will contain a wide variety of information.  Everything from Mission activities and schedules, the activities of JP2, including Sunday Angelus and his catechism at the Wednesday General Audience in Rome, to information from around the world.  You can subscribe by going to the Mission's web site: and clicking on Mission Moments and then follow the directions.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

22. The deep waters of faith seem turbulent when we peer into them too curiously; but when contemplated in a spirit of simplicity, they are calm. The depths of faith are like the waters of Lethe, making us forget all evil; they will not reveal themselves to the scrutiny of meddlesome reasoning. Let us therefore sail these waters with simplicity of mind, and so reach the harbour of God's will.

November 12, 2000


Leaders of the world"s 1.2 billion Muslims started converging in Qatar on Saturday for an Islamic summit expected to call on Muslims to sever ties with Israel for killings of Palestinians they say amount to war crimes.  Authorities placed the Qatari capital of Doha under tight security for the three-day Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit that starts on Sunday.

Syria preparing for war
Iraqis train for ‘jihad’ against Israel
Egypt, Saudi Arabia Start Red Sea Military Drill
Israeli soldier, eight Palestinians die in violence


VIA Richard Hubbell: For anyone still not completely sure still if this election is a spiritual battle please take a look at these statistics.  Notice how there is an almost perfect symmetrical relationship in the numbers.  For example the people who go to church (any church) more than once a week voted for Bush 62% vs 36% in a very focused way.  But among those who never go to church it is exactly reversed and 62% voted for Gore - with the rest of this group being dispersed rather wildly among the other candidates.

You can see a similiar type of symmetry - but the division between bush and gore is even sharper here at 73% for Bush vs 23% for Gore in the abortion stance.

The entire survey is available at:

MORE ON THE ELECTION: Electoral College may not need Florida electors to choose president

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

21. He who loves God both believes truly and performs the works of faith reverently. But he who only believes and does not love, lacks even the faith he thinks he has; for he believes merely with a certain superficiality of intellect and is not energized by the full force of love's glory. The chief part of virtue, then, is faith energized by love.

November 11, 2000


Scientists have coaxed new life out of dead brains.  It turns out that even cadavers can supply the incredibly versatile brain stem cells -- master cells which can turn into different kinds of brain and nerve cells -- once thought available only from fetal tissue.  So can skin.  And it appears that just about every bone stem cell can be tweaked to produce brain cells.  "It's an extraordinarily exciting field," said Ronald D.G.  McKay of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Several reports to the Society for Neuroscience seem to offer yet more possible solutions to the ethical dilemma blocking stem cell studies which use human fetal tissue.  But they are not yet solutions and may never be, said McKay and two other scientists who discussed their findings at a news conference Sunday at the society's annual meeting.  There are big differences among stem cells from embryos, from fetuses and from adult tissue, and scientists don't really know much yet about any of them, they said.

RELATED: UK scientists call for embryo stem cell research


Cloning a human involves little more than "an easy afternoon's work", one of the world's leading fertility experts claimed recently.  Professor Jacques Cohen, speaking at the world's largest ever gathering of reproduction scientists and doctors in San Diego, says the science of human cloning is far less complicated than the ethics.

"Cloning a human would be easy - an afternoon's work for a PhD student.  I could do it tomorrow," he boasted.  Reproductive cloning - the making of a carbon-copy baby using genes from an adult or a child - is currently illegal in most Western countries.  And scientists such as Britain's Professor Ian Wilmut, who created Dolly the cloned sheep four years ago, claim that cloning a human is so difficult that it will not happen for many years.  But Prof Cohen of Saint Barnabas Medical Centre in New Jersey - one of the world's leading test-tube baby experts - claims otherwise.  "Prof Wilmut's speciality isn't egg manipulation.  The human egg is the easiest egg of any mammal we have seen to manipulate," he said.

He said the only thing stopping him from cloning a baby was his uncertainty that the resulting child would be healthy.  "I think the survival rates in humans would be incredibly high - better than sheep or cows.  The problem is that I could not guarantee that you would not get abnormal babies.

Prof Cohen said that he had been approached by three people wishing to clone either themselves or a relative.  "Two I dismissed - their motives are not good.  But one woman aged 50, whose daughter had just died of leukaemia aged 19, had preserved some of her daughter's cells and she asked me to clone her.  I think she had a strong, compassionate case," he told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in San Diego.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

20. Faith without works and works without faith will both alike be condemned, for he who has faith must offer to the Lord the faith which shows itself in actions. Our father Abraham would not have been counted righteous because of his faith had he not offered its fruit, his son (cf. Jas. 2:21; Rom. 4:3).

November 10, 2000

(John 17:22-23)  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.


The leader of Armenia"s Christians on Thursday invited Pope John Paul to visit the country next year.  Catholicos Garegin II made the invitation at the start of an official visit to the Vatican which culminates on Friday when the church leaders celebrate mass together in St Peter"s Basilica.  In 301 AD, King Trdat III proclaimed Armenia a Christian country, 36 years before the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity.  The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the so-called Ancient Churches of the East that split from Byzantine Christianity before the Great Schism of 1054, which divided the Eastern and Western Churches.  The Armenian church is celebrating its 1,700th anniversary next year.  "Your august presence during those festivities will be an honour both to the Armenian Church and to her children throughout the world," Garegin told the Pope.


VIA CatholiCity: URGENT: From Bud Macfarlane Jr., Founder of CatholiCity
Dear CatholiCity Citizens, I am bleary eyed.  I was up all night--until 6am--following the incredible election returns, and I'm sure all of you realize that the Soul of the United States still hangs in the balance.  If there ever was a moment when 23,000 CatholiCity families and thousands of our friends and relatives praying together ever could change the world, NOW IS THAT MOMENT.  Let us not just "say the words" when we pray together this time.  Let us calmly and with humble faith unite our hearts with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and now begin with the sign of the Cross...

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen.
Heavenly Father, You alone have the divine power to vouchsafe the election in America for the forces of goodness and life.  Relying on the perfect promise of Your perfect Son, we implore you to mobilize the Holy Spirit to battle the forces of evil in our beloved land and to bring forth Your Perfect Will for this election which yet still hangs in the balance.  Send the Intrepid Saint Michael and all the Archangels to fight for the United States!  Send all the warrior angels from heaven to bind the forces of darkness and cast them to hell, never to return!  We beg for the intercession of all the martyrs in heaven; for all holy souls who have shed blood for Divine Love, and we ask especially for the intercession of all the deceased relatives of CatholiCity Citizens and their guardian angels!

Hold back nothing to vouchsafe what is good, O Lord!  Suppress all that is evil, O Creator!  We ask this in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and the Incarnate Word Who told us that the Kingdom of God is the littlest among us.  Who are we, Lord, but your beloved children?  We pray on behalf of Your littlest ones, the ones who do not have voices to pray.  Here and answer our prayers.  Amen."

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.
Saint Katharine Drexel and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, Patron of Politicians, pray for us.
Immaculate Mary, Patroness of the United States, pray for us.
Jesus Christ, King of Kings, we adore you!


Join CatholiCity workers by praying before the Blessed Sacrament during these next crucial days. (Please forward this novena to Christians everywhere!  God bless you.)

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

19. The qualities of a pure soul are intelligence devoid of envy, ambition free from malice, and unceasing love for the Lord of glory. When the soul has these qualities, then the intellect can accurately assess how it will be judged, seeing itself appear before the most faultless of tribunals.

November 9, 2000



Much had been written that the 2000 Presidential Election was a referendum on the spiritual state of our nation. The American people in choosing a president were choosing between abortion and the sanctity of unborn life, morality and prosperity, and perhaps even between God and the world. It was suggested by many that the result of the election would determine how severely God would judge our nation. Now that the election results are in, I find myself wondering how God views the results.

Gore, in winning the popular vote, received over 48 million votes. Certainly this is a strong statement that many in America places temporal prosperity over eternal spiritual values.  But over 48 million people also cast their vote for Bush, the apparent election winner through the technicalities of the election process.  From a human perspective then, there is reason for both hope and despair.  But the Lord, who sees the heart, knows the true spiritual state of our nation and will judge accordingly.

Please join me in praying that God will be merciful in judging our nation and that the newly elected president will lead this nation back to the Biblical principles on which it was founded.  I also ask that you join me in praying that legal challenges or any tactics that delay the inauguration do not arise. Unfortunately the state of Florida, particularly South Florida, is no stranger to election abuses and outright fraud.  Hopefully no such irregularities will come to light in this particular election.

Finally, I pray that President Clinton will not further compromise our nation's standing before our Creator during the remaining weeks of his tenure in office.

Clinton: 'I've got another 10 weeks to quack'
US presidential election outcome may be in the mail
Hail Zogby – And Beware Reno!

SUGGESTED LINK: Chaplet of Divine Mercy

(Ezek 18:27-28)  But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life. Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

18. A person who is not detached from worldly cares can neither love God truly nor hate the devil as he should, for such cares are both a burden and a veil. His intellect cannot discern the tribunal which will judge him, neither can it foresee the verdict which will be given at his trial. For all these reasons, then, withdrawal from the world is invaluable.

November 8, 2000


(Josh 24:15)  But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."


If the story of the 2000 U.S.  Election Day was a movie, it might be called "Tales of Weirdness." And even the most rabid fans of the surreal might find it far-fetched.  First there was the presidential contest that had no clear winner even after 99.9 percent of the votes were counted from Tuesday"s balloting.  Then there was the dead man who won a Senate seat.  And of course, there was the first lady"s Senate victory in New York, making Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of President Bill Clinton, the first president"s wife to win elective office.  In the presidential race, pollsters said it would be close, but nobody thought it would be quite this close: first, the mainstream news media projected that Democratic White House contender Al Gore had won Florida, then that pivotal state was declared too close to call, then it was ceded to Republican Texas Gov. George W.  Bush.  That declaration was so convincing that Vice President Gore called Bush to concede defeat.  Foreign leaders sent their congratulations to Bush and television talking heads pontificated about just exactly what turned the tide in the Texan"s favor.  But hours later, amid questions early on Wednesday about the vote count in Florida, Gore retracted his concession.

Suggested Link: Chaplet of Divine Mercy

(Eph 2:1-5)  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

17 (cont.). When, however, through great attentiveness the soul begins to be purified, it also begins to experience the fear of God as a life-giving medicine which, through the reproaches it arouses in the conscience, burns the soul in the fire of dispassion. After this the soul is gradually cleansed until it is completely purified; its love increases as its fear diminishes, until it attains perfect love, in which there is no fear but only the complete dispassion which is energized by the glory of God. So let us rejoice endlessly in our fear of God and in the love which is the fulfilling of the law of perfection in Christ (cf. Rom. 13:10).

November 7, 2000



FROM VERITATIS SPLENDOR: "Reason attests that there are objects of the human act which are by their nature "incapable of being ordered" to God, because they radically contradict the good of the person made in his image.  These are the acts which, in the Church's moral tradition, have been termed "intrinsically evil" (intrinsece malum): they are such always and per se, in other words, on account of their very object, and quite apart from the ulterior intentions of the one acting and the circumstances.  Consequently, without in the least denying the influence on morality exercised by circumstances and especially by intentions, the Church teaches that "there exist acts which per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object". The Second Vatican Council itself, in discussing the respect due to the human person, gives a number of examples of such acts: "Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution and trafficking in women and children; degrading conditions of work which treat labourers as mere instruments of profit, and not as free responsible persons: all these and the like are a disgrace, and so long as they infect human civilization they contaminate those who inflict them more than those who suffer injustice, and they are a negation of the honour due to the Creator".

In deciding whether to vote for Gore or Bush in this presidential election, a key concern for Catholics is which of the two candidates is pro-life.  The encyclical quoted above clearly denotes the immorality of acts which are hostile to life.  Gore has made no excuses for his "pro-choice" (better termed "no-choice"- from the embryo's perspective) position.  Bush, on the other hand, is clearly anti-abortion. Thus the choice would be clear..... except.

Bush has also historically been an advocate of the death penalty. His signature on death warrants while governor of Texas has led to the execution of more than 130 death row inmates. This position is, as defined above, clearly immoral and hostile to life. But is this "the lesser of two evils"?

I make no pretentions of being a theologian but it appears to me that it just might not be. To deny a person who is in danger of eternal damnation the time necessary for that person to repent seems to me to be a horrid unconscionable act. In an eternal view, that person needs more of society's mercy, not less. An aborted fetus who is inhumanly destroyed, on the other hand, is not in danger of eternal separation from God.

One might argue that the death penalty is not instantaneous, offering at times years for a person to repent.  But what if those years are not sufficient?  Is it man's role to say "times up"? Perhaps it is easier for me than most to want to allow a sinner time to repent.  God, in His mercy and according to His timetable, gave me the time that I needed to turn away from my sins.  Like all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ,  I continue to "work out my salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12).

Were Gore against the death penalty, Catholic voters could find themselves in a difficult quandary.  However research shows that this is not the case. Vice President Al Gore has consistently called for more - and faster - executions. Along with President Clinton, Gore championed the 1994 "Omnibus Crime Bill," which expanded the number of crimes punishable by death at the federal level from 2 to 60.  A recent news report documents pervasive disparities found in the Federal death penalty.

Thus the choice for Catholics is between two candidates who share an immoral stance on the death penalty but differ in their view of abortion.  For this Catholic, the choice is clear.  I must vote against abortion- and subsequently petition the newly elected President to re-evaluate his views on the death penalty.

RELATED:  Election 2000:'Thinking Catholic'  by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

17. If wounds in the body have been neglected and left unattended, they do not react to medicine when the doctors apply it to them; but if they have first been cleansed, then they respond to the action of the medicine and so are quickly healed. In the same way, if the soul is neglected and wholly covered with the leprosy of self-indulgence, it cannot experience the fear of God, however persistently it is waned of the terror and power of God's judgment.

November 6, 2000



The next president could have a dramatic, long-lasting impact on the future direction of the U.S.  Supreme Court, which has been closely divided on important issues such as abortion, religion, race and states" rights.  Democrat Al Gore and his Republican rival, George W.  Bush, have expressed sharply differing visions of the nation"s high court, which generally has been controlled by a 5-4 conservative majority.  The next president over the coming four years could get several appointments to the judicial tribunal, reshaping the court and altering its ideological makeup, political activists and legal experts agreed.  The appointments could affect the outcome on such issues as abortion rights, church-state separation, affirmative action to help minorities overcome past discrimination and the balance of power between the federal government and the states.



Is Bush the end-all solution?  No, of course not!  But his election will begin the glorious ascent of America back into God's good graces, of restoring dignity and morality back in the White House and throughout our great country, of suffocating the culture of death by appointing honest, forthright Supreme Court Justices who will see the grave error made in Roe vs.  Wade and overturn this terrible decision.  That is why Bush's election is so vital.  If enough Catholics and Christians go to the polls on Tuesday, November 7th and vote for Bush-Cheney, we can begin to give America back to God.

...Only through Christ can we be saved, only through placing our trust in Him totally can we expect hearts to change, only through consecration to His Immaculate Mother Mary can we expect the Triumph to take place in our hearts and the hearts of others.  But because of what is at stake, I strongly recommend you vote for Jesus in your heart while physically casting your vote for George W.  Bush on November 7th.  We have no other choice!  The alternative is beyond scary!!!

YOWUSA Endorses Bush

"Domestic issues aside, the reason for our endorsement of George Bush for President is based solely on the issues of the pressing need for a coherent foreign policy and a renewed commitment to a strong US military."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

16 (cont.). From this we see clearly that the righteous, who are still in the process of being purified, are characterized both by fear and by a moderate measure of love; perfect love, on the other hand, is found only in those who have already been purified and in whom there is no longer any thought of fear, but rather a constant burning and binding of the soul to God throught the energy of the Holy Spirit. As it is written, 'My soul is bound to Thee: Thy right hand has upheld me' (PS. 63:8.LXXX).

November 5, 2000


Pope John Paul on Friday praised the Council of Europe for championing human rights over the past 50 years but criticised the group for not doing enough to try to prevent abortion.  Ministers from the 41 countries that make up the Council of Europe are currently in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights, which was first signed in the Italian capital.

"The 50th anniversary of the Convention is a time to give thanks for what has been achieved and to renew our commitment to making human rights ever more fully and widely respected in Europe," the Pontiff said in an address to delegates at the conference.  "The Council of Europe has succeeded in having the death penalty removed from the legislation of the large majority of its member states," he added. "(But) it is my fervent hope that the moment will soon come when it will be equally understood that an enormous injustice is committed when innocent life in the womb is not safeguarded."

The 80-year-old Pope said there was a clear paradox in the Convention in that, on the one hand, it vigorously affirms respect for human rights, "while the most basic of them all -- the right to life -- is denied." "This radical contradiction is possible only when freedom is sundered from the truth inherent in the reality of things, and democracy divorced from transcendent values," the Pontiff said.

RELATED: Defense of Life is not a Secondary Issue, Stressed Bishop Myers


VIA Pegeen: Ever since The Entrustment, I have had the feeling during my prayers that--in the eyes of God--this election has become a marker for our country.  I believe it is why nothing has happened yet as far as punishment goes for this nation.  He is waiting to see what we do.  Whether we are going to choose Him, or not choose Him.

As a nation, may we choose well.

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

16 (cont.). Thus the fear which characterizes those who are still being purified is accompanied by a moderate measure of love. But perfect love is found in those who have already been purified and in whom there is no longer any fear, for 'perfect love casts out fear' (1 John 4:18). Fear and love are found together only in the righteous who achieve virtue through the energy of the Holy Spirit in them. For this reason Holy Scripture says in one place: 'O fear the Lord, all you who are His saints' (Ps. 34:9), and in another: 'O love the Lord, all you who are His saints' (Ps. 31:23).

November 4, 2000


VIA Scott and Kimberly Hahn: Dear Friends, I'm sending you the enclosed letter from Gov. Bush and his campaign so you will know of his commitment to the battle (against pornography). We have requested a similar commitment from the Gore campaign and have not yet received a response.  When we do receive that response we will send it to you as well.

Please urge people to vote.  We believe the election is crucial for the future of our country. Yours, Jerry Kirk


October 27, 2000
Dr.  Jerry Kirk
Chairman of the Board, National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families
800 Compton Road, Suite 9224
Cincinnati, OH 45231

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for your letter and for letting me know your concerns about the spread of pornography in our country.  Like most Americans, I am deeply disturbed by material that glorifies drug abuse, violence and irresponsible sexual behavior.  Pornography has no place in a decent society.

As Governor of Texas, I have used the bully pulpit of my office to send the message that pornography is not welcome in the Lone Star State.  The state of Texas has been committed to enforcing state anti-pornography laws.  If I am fortunate enough to be elected President, I will insist on vigorously enforcing federal anti-pornography laws.  But government alone cannot solve the problem.  It will take each of us, working together, to rid our neighborhoods of the menace of pornography.

Unfortunately, since the Clinton-Gore Administration entered office, obscenity prosecutions have plummeted. A Syracuse University report (TRAC, 1997) found that obscenity prosecutions had decreased 86 percent since Clinton and Gore were elected.  In 1998, the Adult Video News, the trade magazine for the adult film industry, concluded that there was now a "more relaxed justice department" and announced: "It's a great time to be an adult retailer." This is unacceptable and this must change.  It's time for Americans to renew our commitment to enforcing obscenity laws, and a good place to start is by giving parents the tools to better protect their children from obscenity.

I am encouraged that you share my concern.  As parents and leaders we have an important obligation to help keep pornography out of the hands of our children.  Only if we are united and involved, can we protect our most precious resource -- our children.

I appreciate your taking the time to write.

Sincerely, George W.  Bush (signed).

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

16. No one can love God consciously in his heart unless he has first feared Him with all his heart. Through the action of fear the soul is purified and, as it were, made malleable and so it becomes awakened to the action of love. No one, however, can come to fear God completely in the way described, unless he first transcends all worldly cares; for when the intellect reaches a state of deep stillness and detachment, then the fear of God begins to trouble it, purifying it with full perception from all gross and cloddish density, and thereby bringing it to a great love for God's goodness.

November 3, 2000

(Mat 24:12-13) Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Jerusalem bomb kills 2 after Israel, Palestinians reach truce agreement
Eleven injured in bomb blast in Pakistan city
Two injured by Spanish car bomb, ETA blamed


Shlomo Hajaj lugged sandbags up to his apartment in the Jewish settlement of Gilo on Thursday, his actions testifying to his family"s lack of faith in a deal forged with the Palestinians to end five weeks of bloodshed.  "Today there is an agreement and in two days, maybe even tonight, they will fire on us. They don"t honour agreements," said Hajaj"s wife, Sima, pessimistic the fifth ceasefire deal with Israel in as many weeks of violence would hold.

Israeli Nobel peace laureate Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat made a pact overnight Wednesday to end the fighting in which at least 165 people, almost all of them Palestinians, have been killed.  The meeting took place while residents of Gilo, built on land Israel captured in the 1967 war and unilaterally annexed to Jerusalem, crouched in darkened homes waiting for shooting from the Palestinian town of Beit Jala to end.

IDF stocks up, steps up training
All combat reservists to be called up within a year
Is this 1973 or 2000?

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

15. When a man begins to perceive the love of God in all its richness, he begins also to love his neighbour with spiritual perception. This is the love of which all the scriptures speak. Friendship after the flesh is very easily destroyed on some slight pretext, since it is not held firm by spiritual perception. But when a person is spiritually awakened, even if something irritates him, the bond of love is not dissolved; rekindling himself with the warmth of the love of God, he quickly recovers himself and with great joy seeks his neighbour's love, even though he has benn gravely wronged or insulted by him. For the sweetness of God completely consumes the bitterness of the quarrel.

November 2, 2000


Most Halloween visitors are no more alarming than, say, an earnest-looking 3-foot vampire with an eye on the candy tray -- easily warded off with a bag of M&M's.  But this year there's a more sinister Trick-or-Treater on our planet's doorstep: the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis.

At 0430 Universal Time on Oct.  31st, the 5-km long space rock passed less than 29 lunar distances from Earth.  There was no danger of a collision, say scientists, but astronomers are nevertheless keeping a watchful eye on Toutatis.  It is one of the largest known "Potentially Hazardous Asteroids" (PHAs) and its orbit is inclined less than half-a-degree from Earth's. No other kilometer-sized PHA moves around the Sun in an orbit so nearly coplanar with our own.

If you miss Toutatis this time around, don't worry.  Four years from now it will be back and brighter than ever.  On Sept.  29, 2004, Toutatis will pass just 4 lunar distances from Earth -- that's closer than any other known PHA will come during the next 30 years.  Toutatis will be so bright -- 9th magnitude near closest approach -- that skywatchers will be able to easily see it through binoculars.  As viewed from Toutatis in 2004, the Earth will appear to be the size of the Full Moon.


VIA Victoria Forrester: I deeply sorrow for cruelty inflicted on anyone.  What I also feel is that the people in Palestine are living in unspeakable conditions with constant fear and no hope. So many years of tension take a heavy toll.  I have Orthodox Christian friends whose whole village left Ramallah en mass with only a few belongings and now live in America because of the cruelty they experienced when Israel became a nation and seized their homes and property.  In their church in San Francisco are several weeping icons.  Nijmah once told me that the name Ramallah means "God's Will".  May He have mercy.

VIA Dave Hughes: The link below contains the awe inspiring messages of Christ to Sr. Josefa Menendez:

VIA Jim Foard: Read about the young Charles Darwin and how he wrote the Origin of Species at:

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

14 (cont.). He is both present in this life and not present in it; stil dwelling in the body, he yet departs from it, as through love he ceaselessly journeys towards God in his soul. His heart now burns constantly with the fire of love and clings to God with an irresistible longing, since he has once and for all transcended self-love in his love for God. As St Paul writes: 'If we go out of ourselves, it is because of God: if we are restrained, it is for your sake' (2 Cor. 5:13).

November 1, 2000


Children cry at night and adults instinctively duck when they walk outside their homes on both sides of the rocky valley that separates Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood from the Palestinian town of Beit Jala. "We just didn't understand what was happening when the gunfire started.  We were shocked,'' said Shlomit Peretz, 35, showing visitors where a Palestinian bullet shattered the living-room window of her Gilo apartment. "We are Christians, we want peace,'' said Milad Nazar, 27, pointing to where an Israeli tank blasted a two-foot hole into his Beit Jala home.  "But now my nephew wants a tank for Christmas, a real one so he can shoot back.''

There is irony in the names of Gilo (pronounced ``geeloh'') and Beit Jala (pronounced ``beh-it yah-lah'') from the Hebrew and Arabic root words for revelations, for the gunfire has come as a surprise to their residents. Today, both Beit Jala and Gilo residents say they live in fear, their nerves raw, their children edgy and refusing to go to school after a night of gunfire.

RELATED: Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem calls for return to peace talks


VIA Fr. Alex Roque, OMI: A quick note to tell you that we are back from our Jubilee Year Pilgrimage in Europe, Holy Land and Bosnia Herzegovina.  Powerful things happened during our religious Journey: TWO L 1011 JUMBO JETS filled with pilgrims and carrying the Pilgrim Statue Of Fatima.  Know that you and your family as well as the Tribulation Times "family" where all in my prayers.

Regarding the Holy Land, John Paul II acknowledged the presence of our Pilgrims at his Sunday, October 15 Mass for the World Family Encounter and referred to us as his Emissary of Peace to that troubled land, praying both for the Jewish and Palestinian Victims.  The reason why I remark this, I've been reading some of your Tribulation Times articles and the info.  provided makes it sound as the Palestinians are the bad guys all the time.  I want you to be aware that they are victims as well not of the Hebrew People but of the "Jewish Government" that it is not synonymous with the "People of God" since many of them do not even believe in God.  I can tell you that since I've talked in my past travels with some officials and they have told me that they feel the "Jewish Scriptures" are a good source of Philosophy of Life.  And when asked, "Do you believe is the Word of God," their answer again is that it is a "Good Philosophy of Life." In other words as long as the words go with what their aims are, they are good philosophy.  But how about all the teachings of Compassion, Mercy and so forth that these Hebrew Scriptures contain ...  nothing is done with that.

I recently read an article by a Jewish Columnist at "Ha' Aretz" Gideon Levy (Israeli Daily Newspaper) which was written on March 20, 2000, ...  way before these September Riots began.  The topic was the Papal Visit and the title is "Ask Forgiveness?  Who, Us" and it deals with the reality that as a Nation they don't want to acknowledge the fact that (I am quoting this Hebrew journalist):

"The Palestinians People - 600,000 of whom were expelled or forced to flee their homes and villages which were wiped off the face of the earth, whose social and cultural fabric was torn apart overnight [due to the establishment of the Israeli State), who continue to live in refugee camps like the one visited by the Pope - deserve some recognition of the wrong that was inflicted upon them.  That has to be followed by an admission of responsibility and a request for forgiveness, just as we (i.e., Israeli's) demand such acts for ourselves.  There is an important moral aspect to this, but also a practical aspect: NO TRUE SETTLEMENT WILL BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT IT." The whole article can be purchased from the Jewish Newspaper and I find it worth publishing it in your Tribulation Times web page.
The reason I bring all this out is that as we Journeyed all three days in the Land of Jesus, we could not help to see the abuse that was going on by the Israeli Army upon the Palestinians as well as ourselves for using "Palestinian Catholics Transportation.  We saw this and lived it in our own flesh at the various check points that were set up to contain the Palestinians within Bethlehem, Jerico and the West Bank Territories.  In the mean time they claimed that all check points were open (CNN Live ...  we watched it in our Hotel Rooms) yet the reality was that no one got through and many guns (large I might say) were pointed at Palestinians Israelis as well as ourselves (US Citizens) for being with them and this at the very same time Clinton was there trying to forge a peaceful Settlement!  As Mr.  Levy says in his article, there has to be a "true Reconciliation" and only then will there be any progress made.

Sorry for this long letter but I felt it necessary if we are to be Christians in this whole process ...  for the "Truth shall make you free."

The Philokalia excerpt: St. Diadochos "On Spiritual Knowledge"

14. He who loves God consciously in his heart is known by God (cf. 1 Cor. 8:3), for to the degree that he receives the love of God consciously in his soul, he truly enters into God's love. From that time on, such a man never loses an intense longing for the illumination of spiritual knowledge, until he senses its strength in his bones and no longer knows himself, but is completely transformed by the love of God.

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