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October 31, 1999

(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.


(VIS) - Friday, in Augsburg, Germany, starts a three day gathering of Catholics and Lutherans, which will culminate Sunday, October 31, in the signing by both parties of the Joint Declaration of the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on the Doctrine of Justification.

A key sentence in the document, which summarizes the common understanding of justification by Catholics and Lutherans, can be found in paragraph 15: "Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work, and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God, and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works."

"This is indeed an historic day for the modern Ecumenical Movement," reads a comment by Cardinal Cassidy, which was published this afternoon. "The consensus reached with the Lutheran World Federation on basic truths of the doctrine of justification is of great significance, not only for the two parties directly involved, but also for the whole ecumenical movement, since the doctrine of justification is at the very heart of the Christian faith. It was the different understanding of this fundamental Christian teaching, particularly, that resulted in the disputes that led to the Reformation."


The first ordinary Jubilee was proclaimed in 1300 by Pope Boniface VII a member of the noble Caetani family, with a Bull, "Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio".....

Click here for the remainder of this brief review of the history of the Jubilee presented on the Archdiocese of New York web site.


A fascinating discussion about the occult can be heard via Real Audio by clicking here.  This Catholic Answers program is an interview of Father James Lebar, the Diocesan exorcist of New York (and you think YOU'RE busy!).


The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

120. Blessed is the intellect that has acquired complete freedom from sensations during prayer.

October 30, 1999

(Rev 6:15 -17) Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"


The fact, mentioned in Trevor Palmer's Paper, "Catastrophes: the Diluvial Evidence" that many such disasters were attributed by the survivors to divine wrath at human wickedness before the event, has an ominous bearing on our assessment of the possible results of future asteroid or cometary impacts.

"In most ancient traditions, catastrophes were associated with divine displeasure. In Genesis, as we have seen, God caused Noah's Flood because of the increasingly wicked behaviour of humankind. Similarly, in Greek mythology, Zeus regularly killed people with thunderbolts, as in the Phaeton myth, whilst Poseidon was inclined to cause great storms or floods when annoyed [2,5]."- Trevor Palmer.

Not only do we have the potential for billions of dead, and trillions of dollars' assets lost but there is the real probability that shocked survivors will either reject Science and Reason for having failed to prevent such a disaster or, worse yet, they may well blame human Pride as exemplified by science and technology for having led God to visit such a disaster upon us.

Thus our slender chance of recovering as a civilization could well be blighted by an outbreak of quasi-religious fundamentalism and obscurantism - similar to that described in " A Canticle for Leibowitz."

A pre-existing daughter civilization established, in good time, off the Earth with a healthy science based culture of cosmic expansionism would be the best insurance possible against what could well turn out to be at best a very very long Dark Age of the Mind here on Earth!

This will take several generations to accomplish, and since we do not know when such an event might take place, and since we cannot maintain indefinitely an establishment capable of expanding into Space without actaul space programmes in being, we should actively work for the growth of human science industry and habitation of space while we still have the skills base necessary.

"There is a tide in the Affairs of Men which, taken at the Flood, leads to fortune.." as Shakespeare wrote.

The oft repeated position that we must solve all our earthly problems before considering such matters is, in the light of the above, well- intentioned, understandable, but a recipe for suicide.


(Reuters) -- Scientists said on Monday they had transplanted brain cells from pigs into monkeys using a new process that made the neurons hold up longer under attack from the monkeys' immune systems.

"We are now focusing on optimizing manufacturing and beginning to explore the process of initiating human clinical trials," Dr. Leonard Bell, president and chief executive officer of Alexion, said in a statement.


Transplant patients who receive pigs' hearts and lungs will have to sign a pledge never to have children. They will also have to agree to have their current and future sexual partners registered and monitored by the medical authorities. The contracts are part of a series of stringent safeguards being drawn up by Britain's regulatory body on animal-human transplants to try to ensure that pig viruses do not spread to humans.


The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

119. Blessed is the intellect that during prayer is free from materiality and stripped of all possessions.

October 29, 1999


(AP) _ With Pope John Paul II presiding next to the Dalai Lama, representatives of 20 of the world's faiths closed a millennium-ending gathering Thursday with a forceful denunciation of religious extremism.

"Any use of religion to support violence is an abuse of religion," John Paul said in his final message to the four-day council. John Paul summoned representatives of the world's religions to the Vatican for one last try during this millennium at cooperation to solve common problems of the world's people.

The council is opposed by traditionalists in many religions, made uneasy at seeing their faith put on an equal footing with others. The first Vatican interfaith council, at Assisi in 1986, was a factor in the only formal Catholic schism of this century, when hard-liners in the church in France broke away from the Vatican.

This second meeting, 13 years later, stressed the differences between religions _ but denounced exploiting them for violent ends.


Generally speaking, Halloween is known for its pagan beginnings, which in the course of history have mixed with Christian elements.

Beginning in the 4th century, the Syrian Church dedicated a day to "All Martyrs." Three centuries later, Pope Boniface IV (615) transformed a Roman temple dedicated to all gods (The Pantheon in Rome) into a Christian temple to "All Saints" -- all those who preceded us in the faith. Initially, All Saints Day was kept on May 13. It was changed by Pope Gregory III (741) to November 1, the day of the "Dedication" of the Chapel of All Saints in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Later, in the year 840, Pope Gregory IV ordered the feast of "All Saints" to be celebrated universally. As a major feast, its "vigil" was kept on October 31. This vigil was called "All Hallow's Eve" from where we get the name "Halloween."


(Reuters) - Vietnamese police have detained three men for allegedly trying to create apparitions of the Virgin Mary, official media reported on Wednesday.

The Vietnam News daily said the three had been caught in the past two weeks using laser lights to create a radiant glow around a statue of the Virgin Mary in southern Binh Phuoc province near Ho Chi Minh City. The newspaper said local Catholics were also using candles to help create the illusion at the statue, which had attracted thousands of pilgrims to the site.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

118. Blessed is the intellect that, undistracted in its prayer, acquires an ever greater longing for God.

October 28, 1999

(Titus 2:11-14) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.


Through Gianna Talone Sullivan (Bishop's Statement)
at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Emmitsburg, MD October 21, 1999

My dear little children, praise be Jesus!

Do not be afraid, little ones, to allow Jesus to heal you of your many wounds inflicted upon you over the course of your life. My Son desires you to know what true life is and for you to live it. My Son can change any paralyzing circumstance which has caused devastation and wounds into something good if you allow Him the opportunity. Nothing is impossible with God. Freedom is within your reach and you can be enthroned in My Son's virtues of joy and peace. Do not lose hope. Do not despair. Seek the truth.

I have spoken of this many times in order to help you focus on Jesus and to not become distracted by the confusing ways of the world. You must be solid in your commitment to follow the way of My Son if you are to be planted on sturdy ground for futuristic events of purification.

You are about to enter an era of cleansing which will lead to peace, true peace in My Son. I am not speaking of peace in the world as you know it to be. I am speaking of God's peace. In order to receive His peace you must be enlightened with His truth, accept it, embrace it and live it.

All people will have the opportunity to choose life, the truth and peace. Sinners will have the opportunity to come back to grace and holiness. This is the place, the center of My Immaculate Heart, where My Son's Divine Mercy will be unveiled.

In the name of the child Jesus, I place the seal of protection against evil upon your soul, sanctified by grace for My Son's glorious reign. All hearts must be purged of iniquity and renewed in His love. This area, the center of My Immaculate Heart, is a refuge for all My children, My "little" children. Peace to you.

I take your petitions to God the Father in honor of My son. Thank you for responding to My call. AD DEUM.

VIA EMAIL Christine McWilliams:

Greetings! I hope that while we defend the Truth when called upon to do so, we do it with the spirit of Love and speak no words of condemnation. God will judge. We must always, and for everyone, pray that people will open their hearts and minds to God's Truth as He reveals it. Our warfare is spiritual, the weapon is prayer, the greatest weapons in our arsenal  are the Holy Mass and the Holy Rosary. Let us employ our weapons with diligence daily. Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth to hearts that are deluded or mistaken. Nothing can stand against Love, especially when joined with these prayers and the Truth will always out!

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

117. I shall say again what I have said elsewhere: blessed is the intellect that is completely free from forms during prayer.

October 27, 1999


Via email: Tom

Desmond Birch in referring to the problems in America, especially in Washington, DC, stated that "it would seem a prudent time to pray for a miracle. The next question is: Do we deserve one?" He said America is in great need of a miracle but "will not get that without prayer and inner conversion."

I couldn't agree more - prayer and inner conversion are really what is needed. Without that there will be no moral integrity - something that appears to be totally lacking in Washington, DC. Does America "deserve a miracle"? Of course not. But then who can say he or she "deserves a miracle"? There was a time when I desperately needed a real miracle - and I knew I did not "deserve" one. America as a whole has turned its back on God and is now in grave danger and seemingly only a miracle can save her. But until people understand the severity of the problem, I doubt they will turn back to God. Consequently, I believe we are going to be tried dearly.

So many of the "heavenly messages" that we read ask us to pray and to simply trust -- like the message from Medjugorje for this month, it is extremely short - it simply is stating that this is a special time of grace and that we must all pray, pray and pray some more. We need to respond. Besides prayer, one way to help individuals to turn back to God is to share with others what God has done in one’s life. How else will people realize that God is real and waiting for that "prayer and inner conversion?"

Let me share a brief story. As a simple example of how we need to trust – I thought I must share the following personal story. Why I say "must" you will understand as you read. I will be extremely brief as a complete description is actually rather lengthy, so I will barely give the highlights here:

As a husband and father with two young children I had much to look forward to, but then the nerves in my neck were severed in an "accident" - I was considered to be hopelessly paralyzed on the left side with severe pain that - "based on civil war statistics" - would probably continue throughout my life. The doctors said the outlook was "Dismal."

An experimental (with a one percent chance of limited success) 10-hour nerve graft was attempted - but without success; the doctors had cut out the sensory nerves from my leg as a source for repairing the nerves in my neck and had cut out part of the collar bone to gain access. Three major hospitals expected me to be paralyzed and in severe nerve pain for the rest of my life. After eight months of pain and not being able to sleep, I was facing shoulder-fusion and muscle transplant, or amputation of my left arm. But the worst part was that I was dependent on drugs which had a terrible affect on my memory and ability to even read, watch TV and just to communicate – I was told I was annoying people by repeating things constantly. I feel I have a good idea of what patients with Alzheimer’s disease are having to deal with. So, I tried to simply offer my suffering and the apparent hopelessness up to Jesus for conversions – especially when I would get the tremendous jolts of pain. The only thing I could do when the jolts hit was to try to say the morning offering – I probably said that prayer 25 times a day. I had long ago truly forgiven the person responsible for the careless "accident" – I even prayed for him.

When it seemed just impossible to continue on, I simply placed everything in His hands; and then, reviewing in prayer how a father today, even if he could not help a sick son, would be there with a word of encouragement, I simply asked our Father in Jesus' name for such a word of encouragement. I was drawn to open a Bible ("The Book" which a friend had sent to me) and, having asked in prayer for a single but very special verse, I let it open to wherever. A single verse was "highlighted" -- I at first thought by the light from the window, but as I moved the Bible, the verse remained highlighted! I felt at the time that Psalm 50: 15 (in the Protestant bible, 49:15 in the Catholic Bible) had been written 3000 years ago just for me: I want you to trust in Me in your times of trouble, so I may come to your rescue and you can then give Me glory. I had no idea of what was to happen, but I knew that it was truly in God's hands; and what more could be needed?!! The next morning I was told about the "Marian Healing Ministry."

The nightmare ended very dramatically. While attending a healing service two weeks later with Fr. Dennis Kelleher – the Marian Healing Ministry which was centered on the Eucharist through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary -- the pain immediately ended and I simply thanked God – for this also meant that I could start to wean myself off all the medications. I could now sleep through each night without being woken with jolts of pain! A week later (free of all pain but still paralyzed) I was woken up at 6:00 AM by "a voice" telling me that I should now exercise – I found that the dislocated arm (all the muscles had previously athrophied and there were no muscles to hold the arm in its socket) was back in the socket and my muscles were obviously re-innervated as the atrophied muscles were restored, were working, and were fully co-ordinated. I was no longer paralyzed!! The nightmare was really over!

No matter what our trials or how severe or how "hopeless" things get, we should always place all of our needs in God’s hands. God is so good and He is just waiting for us to ask for His help!! Thanks be to God.

There is always hope!!!

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

116. Self-esteem is the start of illusions in the intellect. Under its impulse, the intellect attempts to enclose the Deity in shapes and forms.

October 26, 1999


PRNewswire- Forty percent of all Americans and 45 percent of Christians believe that the world will end, as the Bible predicts, in a battle at Armageddon between Jesus and the Antichrist, according to a new Newsweek Poll on prophecy. Fully, 71 percent of Evangelical Protestants, but only 28 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 18 percent of Catholics share that view.

The poll is part of the cover package, "Prophecy: What the Bible Says About the End of the World," in the November 1 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, October 25), which also includes articles by Religion Editor Kenneth L. Woodward, on "The Way the World Ends," and "Millennium Madness" by Senior Editor John Leland. According to the poll, almost half of believers in the Biblical prophecy of Armageddon (47%) think the Antichrist is on earth now, and 45 percent of them believe Jesus will return to Earth in their lifetime. But, only a modest group --15 percent -- of believers in the Armageddon prophecy -- or about 6 percent of all Americans -- think Jesus will return as early as the year 2000.

Related Newsweek articles:

Millennium Madness-
The End Is Nigh?-


(AP) Israel today detained 21 foreign Christians, including 13 Americans, who have settled in recent years near the Mount of Olives in anticipation of Christ's return.

The detainees, followers of the groups House of Prayer and Solomon's Temple, were ordered deported on suspicion they planned to harm public safety, police said. Israeli officials are concerned the two groups were paving the way for other Christians to settle in the Holy Land. Group members have said in the past that they oppose violence, and they have mainly been engaged in finding housing for visitors and distributing food and clothes to needy Palestinians.

Monday's sweep marked the third time since January that Israel has detained Christian groups. Israeli authorities suspect so-called Christian ''end-timers'' will carry out violent acts to bring about an apocalypse and hasten the return of Christ.


A group of senior British police officers is to receive a secret FBI briefing on the threat of Millennium violence from hate organisations and fringe political groups, amid rising anxiety over possible extremism linked with the year 2000.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

115. Do not long to have a sensory image of angels or powers or Christ, for this would be madness: it would be to take a wolf as your shepherd and to worship your enemies, the demons.

October 25, 1999


(ZENIT).- During his words in the Synod hall, Italian Franciscan Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini of Smyrna, Turkey, who has lived in the Islamic world for 42 years, censured Muslims for their lack of reciprocity toward Christians' efforts of dialogue. The Vatican Press Office published the text of his address yesterday, which explicitly denounces the Muslims' irrational hostility toward Catholics.

Archbishop Bernardini quoted an important Muslim figure who, during an Islamic-Christian meeting said: 'Thanks to your democratic laws, we shall invade you; and thanks to our religious laws, we shall dominate you.'

Desmond Birch comments:

Approved Catholic Prophecy speaks of such an invasion for sometime in the future.

Catholic prophecy speaks of a future invasion of the heart of Christendom (Western Europe) both Muslim and Russian armies. Right now (under current conditions) the only credible threat the Russians pose to anyone (beside military lightweights such as Chechnya) is a nuclear threat. According to Catholic prophecy from many approved Catholic prophets (Canonized Saints, Blessed and Venerable), the following scenario is in store for some time in the future.

For the complete commentary, please see:

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

114. Never try to see a form or shape during prayer.

October 24, 1999

(2 Tim 3:1-2) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,.....


(AP) - A fashion photographer, hoping to cash in on would-be parents' wishes for a beautiful baby, is offering the eggs of eight models in an on-line auction set to start Monday.

Infertility groups have expressed disgust at the offer, saying it turns human life into a commodity. But photographer Ron Harris says his offer is a reflection of American society, where beauty can be purchased by the highest bidder.

The Web site,, has pictures of eight models offering their eggs for sale. The bids start at $15,000 and can go as high as $150,000. Harris told The New York Times in a story published Saturday that the Web site had already received a serious bid of $42,000.


Via email Alan A Trombetta:

BISHOPS URGE NEW EUROPEAN EVANGELISM (yesterday's Trib Times headline article) is very good news.

We were non-denominational tent making missionaries to Germany from '82-'91 in Bavaria. Europe is indeed dark and has hardened its heart to Christianity. Its reasons for this are largely based upon the horrors of WWII and the big question of 'Where was God?'. At the same time Europe owes its very existences to the Faith.

Every time we entered a massive Cathedral we could sense that the Glory of G-d had built and prepared them for an end-times out pouring of worship and praise. (Talk about the perfect sound studio.)

In about 1993 the Bishop of Augsburg (the oldest Roman city in Bavaria whose Cathedral dates back to AD 900) invited Roberta Kelly, a black American gospel singer who has lived in Germany 25 years, to become the first, not only non-Catholic, but the first gospel singer to bring her musicians and choir to perform in the Cathedral! I have photos of the event. Every seat was filled with Catholics and Protestants singing praises to G-d Almighty.

There has never been anything like it in the history of the church in Germany! Especially in light of the fact that Roberta has been putting on a "Sister Act' type performance long before the movie came out!

All Glory to G-d as he awakens Europe with the Gospel of Forgiveness, Grace, Signs and Wonders.

Via email Jim Collins:

I just joined an instruction class a month ago, for social care ministry at our RC parish. I sat with a table of six people. When we started talking about how God intervenes in our lives, the people literally burst out talking with utmost joy about how God or Our Lady had touched them...I heard stories of healing, of answers to prayer, of visions, I was shown a picture of Mary's "heart of light", etc., etc. Each person at the table had a very personal and dynamic story(ies) to tell. Quite amazing!!

God is touching a lot of people...more than we will ever realize. Praise be Jesus.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

113. The monk becomes equal to the angels through prayer, because of his longing to 'behold the face of the Father who is in heaven' (cf. Matt. 18:10).

October 23, 1999

(Mat 28:19-20) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


(AP) _ Bishops at a Vatican synod urged Roman Catholic clerics Friday toward a new evangelism in Europe, encouraging them to persevere in the face of indifference and competing beliefs.

In history and culture, Europe is "inextricably bound up with Christianity," the European bishops declared in the closing message of their synod. It urged clerics to make known the message of Christianity "in a society and culture often closed to the transcendent, stifled by consumerist attitudes, enslaved by old and new idolatries."



(AP) Millions of Hindus worship in the darkness of Satan, the nation's largest Protestant denomination contends in a new booklet urging its members to pray for millions of Hindu souls.

Some 30,000 booklets to be issued Monday in time for Divali, the major Hindu festival of lights, calls for the conversion of those ''who worship gods which are not God.'' The booklet says that Hindus have no concept of sin or personal responsibility. ''Pray that the darkness and the power of Satan will be broken,'' the guide says.


(Reuters) - Police in the eastern Indian state of Bihar Friday dug up the remains of two teenage girls alleged to have been killed by their father in a ritual human sacrifice earlier this week.

Kishor Kunal, a police official at Runisaidpur in Sitamarhi district, 100 miles north of state capital Patna, said 18-year-old Renu Kumari and 13-year-old Anu Kumari were killed with a sword and then their limbs were cut into pieces. "This is a case of human sacrifice during the festival," Kunal said. Police said the father had fled since the incident in Vasudeopur village.

The human sacrifices were part of the recent 10-day Hindu festival of Dassera when people pray to Durga, a goddess who symbolizes strength and power, according to police and villagers.

(Mat 24:14) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

112. When another monk was practising inner prayer as he journeyed in the desert, two angels came and walked on either side of him. But he paid no heed to them, for he did not wish to lose what was better. He remembered the words of the Apostle: 'Neither angels, nor principalities, nor powers...shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ' (Rom. 8:38-39).

October 22, 1999


In the race to decode all human genes and discover the secrets of disease and aging, a private company appears to have pulled ahead.

Biotechnology company Celera Genomics announced Wednesday that it has sequenced, or decoded, about one-third of all human genes and that it accomplished the milestone in one month. It has taken the publicly financed Human Genome Project three years to sequence nearly the same number of genes, although its data on the genes are more extensive.

Celera president Craig Venter estimates that his scientists will complete sequencing of human genes by December. Robert Waterston, director of the genome sequencing center at Washington University in St. Louis, responding to Venter's announcement, says the Human Genome Project should complete its sequencing by March.


(Reuters) -- Scientists said on Wednesday they had dug a woolly mammoth from the Siberian permafrost and transported it, virtually intact and still frozen, to a laboratory for study.

Samples have been sent to a laboratory for possible attempts to clone the animal. If they can get an intact cell nucleus, they may try to clone the mammoth using an elephant egg and an elephant as a surrogate mother. Or they might use frozen sperm, if they can get any, to try to create an elephant-mammoth hybrid.


Chinese scientists want to clone a giant panda embryo and try to grow it in a black bear's womb in an effort to save the threatened species, whose numbers may be down to 1,000.

Researchers produced a cloned panda embryo earlier this year, the magazine New Scientist said. A zoologist at China's National Academy of Sciences, Dr Chen Dayuan, performed the cloning by taking the nucleus from the cell of an adult panda. The nucleus contains most of a cell's genetic material. He took an egg from a rabbit, removed its nucleus and inserted that of the panda, producing an embryo. Dr Chen is searching for a suitable surrogate mother. The black and sloth bears are candidates.



(Lev 19:19) "'Keep my decrees. "'Do not mate different kinds of animals. "'Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. "'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

111. Another saint living the hesychastic life in the desert was attacked, as he was praying, by demons who for two weeks tossed him like a ball in the air, catching him in his rush-mat. They were completely unsuccessful in distracting his mind from fiery prayer.

October 21, 1999


For years, the Christian community in Jerusalem has been caught between conflicting forces: Its desire to identify with surging Palestinian nationalism and its existential need to hold hands with Israel. But today, with a final settlement seemingly closer than ever before, and with the future of Jerusalem increasingly discussed on the front lines, the social and political reverberations are being felt within the Christian community.

Church leaders agree the biggest battle facing the local Christian community - which is centered in Jerusalem - is its declining numbers. The Christian exodus began in 1948, following the British departure, when there were 31,000 Christians living in Jerusalem. Restrictions imposed on the community by the Jordanians brought that number to less than 12,000 by 1967. Today, while the Jewish and Moslem populations have grown exponentially, the Christian population has dwindled to a scant 10,000, mostly clergy and other church employees.

Growing Islamic fundamentalism has played a big role in the exodus.

What's left now is a small, powerless, and aged community. Bishop Riah Abu Assal, who heads the Anglican church in Israel, says the exodus "is the most heartbreaking issue." At a recent funeral, "there were not enough young people to carry the casket. We had to go outside and ask some non-Christians - Moslems - to help."


(Reuters) - A furiously barking dog woke up 25 people and saved them from a flood that destroyed their houses in China's southwestern Jiangsu province, the Beijing Morning newspaper reported on Wednesday.

It said Fan Zhibin was woken by the small dog just before dawn on October 12 and found it pulling his quilt towards the door. He opened the door and flood water poured into the house. Fan picked up his pregnant wife on his back and rushed out, it said.

Neighbours also woken up by the dog ran out into the street just before their houses collapsed under the weight of water roaring from a huge underground water pipe that had broken.

Only after the disaster was over did they notice the dog had disappeared, the newspaper said.

(Job 12:7-10) But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

110. Do not let your eyes be distracted during prayer, but detach yourself from concern with body and soul, and give all your attention to the intellect.

October 20, 1999


In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments–corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel's patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus. Where it has faced its toughest task has been in primordial history, where many scholars find the traces of human origins obscured in theological myth.

Just as archaeology has shed new light on the Bible, the Bible in turn has often proved a useful tool for archaeologists. Yigael Yadin, the Israeli archaeologist who excavated at Hazor in the 1950s, relied heavily on its guidance in finding the great gate of Solomon at the famous upper Galilee site: "We went about discovering [the gate] with Bible in one hand and spade in the other." And Trude Dothan notes that "without the Bible, we wouldn't even have known there were Philistines."


(ZENIT).- Scientific research carried out in a sarcophagus in the Basilica of St. Justina in Padua, Italy, appear to confirm the traditionally held belief that the relics kept in this Church are those of St. Luke the Evangelist. The data of confirmation has been published by the prestigious Jesuit magazine, "Civilta Cattolica," in anticipation of the results that will be officially communicated during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

The acknowledgement of St. Luke's alleged relics was made in September, 1998 -- 436 years after they were placed in St. Justina's Basilica. The research was carried out by a commission headed by the anatomy pathologist Vito Terribile Wiel Marin, professor of Anatomy and Histology at the University of Padua. Having removed the 1400-kilo marble slab that covered the sarcophagus, a lead box weighing 600-800 kilos was found. This box, which measures 190 centimeters in length, by 40 cm in width and 50 cm in depth, was resting on a wooden board and had two red wax seals.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

109. We read how, when another spirtual brother was praying, a viper came and wound itself round his leg. But he did not lower his hands until he had finished all his usual prayers; and because he loved God more than himself, he was not harmed at all.

October 19, 1999

(Heb 10:36 -39) You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.


Despite statements to the contrary by the government of Egypt, a growing mountain of evidence leaves little doubt the Muslim-dominated state is actively persecuting people residing under its rule based upon religious beliefs.

According to reports, Egyptian Coptic Christians are being subjected to mass arrests, with thousands held without trial for months on end, and regularly subjected to severe torture and beatings, until relatives can raise enough money to pay the baksheesh- the bribe- to authorities and secure the victim's release.


(Reuters) - The Catholic church in India launched two websites on Monday, one which will carry details on Pope John Paul's visit next month and another with information on Christianity in India.

The pope's visit comes at a time when incidents of violence against Christians across India have been increasing. Bibles and churches have been burnt, priests killed and nuns humiliated in a rash of anti-Christian attacks across the country since the beginning of this year.

One of the websites, includes the pope's itinerary and details of his previous visit to India in 1986. The other site,, would spell out information on Christianity, the church, the Vatican and the pope as seen from an Indian perspective.


(AP) The Holy Land's highest ranking Roman Catholic official said Monday that a plan to build a mosque near a Christian shrine in Jesus' boyhood home of Nazareth was an act of discrimination against Christians.

''We deplore this decision,'' Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah said. ''It is the legitimization and approbation of all threats, insults and attacks against Christians carried out to date by the Islamic group leading the campaign to build the mosque.''

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

108. You have surely read the lives of the monks of Tabennesis. When Abba Theodore was preaching to the brethren, two vipers crawled under his feet; but he calmly made an arch of his feet and let them stay there until he had finished his sermon. Then he showed the vipers to the brethren and told them what had happened.

October 18, 1999


(NE) Yesterday, during the Marian Angelus prayer, Pope John Paul II emphasized that "evangelization gains its value and credibility through the holiness of Christians and Church communities that strive to live as authentic children of God, putting into practice the double commandment of love".

During his meeting with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled the World Mission Day, to be held next Sunday, urging faithful to "become missionaries at their own life environment." The Holy Father pointed out that the Lord's commandment to evangelize is "one only mission, one only message of salvation, that comes from God and is destined to each person, so that, being redeemed from sin, he truly becomes a children of God".


An informative article on this important subject for today can be found at  

The article is written by the late Fr. Father William Most, Professor of Theology and Scripture, Notre Dame Institute.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

107. There is too the case of that great monk, John the Small. He lived the hesychastic life in a pit, and his communion with God was not interrupted even when a demon in the form of a serpent wound itself round him, chewed his flesh and spat it out into his face.

October 17, 1999

(Phil 4:6-7) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


(AP) A magnitude-7.0 earthquake centered in the Southern California desert shook buildings from downtown Los Angeles to Las Vegas early today and knocked an Amtrak train off its tracks. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or major damage.

Editor's note:  THANK YOU, JESUS!!


(AP) -- For a few scary moments, all bets were off.

The slots were silent, croupiers stopped spinning wheels and black jack dealers halted in mid-shuffle. Then the shaking stopped.

Shortly after an early morning earthquake struck the Southern California desert Saturday, awakening people in three states and rattling the city that never sleeps, the cherries and oranges were whirling again in the slots and gamblers got back to their bets.


(Reuters) - Ready or not, San Francisco will be hit sooner rather than later by an earthquake potentially far more destructive than the Loma Prieta quake of 1989.

USGS scientists say geologic markers indicate the Hayward Fault has experienced a major earthquake roughly once every 220 years. The last one, however, occurred more than 300 years ago -- meaning a big shake-up is long overdue.


Chronology of major earthquakes worldwide
Taiwan shaken anew by two earthquakes

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

106. We have heard that the evil one attacked a certain saint so fiercely as he prayed that, when the saint lifted up his hands, the evil one changed himself into a lion and raising his front legs fixed his claws into the saint's thighs; and he kept them there until the saint lowered his hand, which was only when he had come to the end of his usual prayers.

October 16, 1999

(Mat 24:44-46) So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.


From a conservative Anglican mailing list via Lee Penn:

Lee Buck had fought in two wars, been a prize fighter, fought 30 times in the ring and ran the marketing department of an insurance company with a budget bigger than the worldwide Anglican Communion when he met Jesus Christ.

Lee Buck's life was changed forever. He began telling people about Jesus while traveling the rails between Darien, CT. and New York City each day on his way to work. In fact he developed such a reputation for telling people about the Lord that the New York Times got wind of his activities and in story a reporter wrote about him, she dubbed him the "Railroad Evangelist." "I lead between 150 and 200 people to the Lord during that time," he recalls.

He told of a unique encounter he had just prior to leaving his corporate life for full time evangelistic work.

"I was flying out to Chicago on a business trip one day. The company had just made a rule that anyone flying more than three hours could fly first class. I was seated in seat 2B, the second row back, on the aisle. I looked around and saw there was only one other person. I was virtually alone. Just before the plane took off, an elderly lady, very tiny, dressed in a peculiar manner and wearing a muumuu like they do in Hawaii stepped on board. She had a tote bag made out of the same material as her dress with drawstrings and she looked very frail. She had a tree length stick in one hand. It was forked at the top. She used it as a staff to lean on. She later told me that the Watusi used it in Africa to herd cows with."

"I recognized her immediately. She was a very controversial person, prior to WWII and certainly after. I knew who she was immediately. She had been on the front cover of LIFE magazine. She had written extensively about the Samoans. The article said she had lied about them. Her name was Margaret Mead."

"Here's this empty airplane, and I said 'Lord you wouldn't let her sit next to me, would you? She walked toward me looking very frail. Her skin had that gray blue cast to it that some people, who are very ill, seem to have. She walked like she was afraid she was going to fall."

She said, "Young man that is my seat by the window."

"When she sat down, in great pride, I felt that I had another notch on my gun. I couldn't wait to get back to St. Paul's in Darien to tell my friends how I had lead Margaret Mead to Jesus. Well, I helped her into her seat and put her tote bag under the window and took her stick and put it under six seats. I couldn't wait to get my bible out and tell her the Good News. As I was doing this, I looked over and saw that she was sound asleep."

I prayed; 'Lord what's going on here. You put this famous woman next to me and now nothing.'

Five minutes later a stewardess came down the aisle and gently shook her awake and asked Mead if she would like something to drink.

Mead replied: "Just a cup of hot water." Mead then produced her own tea bag.

"I was at a loss for words. All the pride had gone and there was nothing left of the evangelist who was not afraid of anyone. I was thinking to myself, "who am I to speak to this famous woman? She probably knows more about the Bible than I will ever know. Friends, I was intimidated. And don't we all get that way when we are face to face with some other person? Finally I came up with a fantastic evangelistic opening. I said, 'my wife likes tea too.' Boy, did I feel like a fool."

Mead then looked up and said: "I saw you get your bible out. Do you read it?"

Buck replied: "I do."

"Do you believe it?" she asked.

"I do," said Buck.

"Tell me about it," she said.

"What an opening. I did. We spent an hour and fifteen minutes and all I did was to give her my testimony. Why? Because you can't argue with it, it is yours. It is not preaching, it is not teaching, you're not even telling them what to believe, you're just telling them what God did in your life. Well, I told her the whole thing and I even gave her a little prayer to say, so she could give her heart to Jesus, but I didn't have the guts to say 'pray with me.'"

"We were fast friends by the time we got to Chicago and when the plane landed, she walked out on my arm and out into the terminal. Just before she was met by two professors from Chicago University, she reached up and put her arms around my neck and kissed me and said, "Young man, that was the most wonderful airplane ride I ever had."

"Not knowing what to do, I gave her my business card."

"Two months later I read in the New York Times that she had died of cancer. She was under chemotherapy when she took the ride on that airplane."

Buck recalls some time later his church, which was by now 2,000 strong, and meeting in a high school, was concluding a meeting, when "a woman came up to my rector Terry Fullam and asked for me."

"I am looking for Lee Buck she told Fullam. I am Margaret Mead's companion."

Buck recalls that he and his wife were talking to another couple at the time."

This woman came over to me and asked if I was Mr. Buck.

"I said, I am."

At that point she took my business card out of her purse and handed it to me.

Then she said, tears in her eyes, "Margaret wanted you to know, that before she died, she gave her heart to Jesus."

"I broke down and cried," said Buck later.

"One day I am going to see Margaret again, and when I walk through those gates and down that golden road she is going to come running toward me and she is going to put her arms around my neck and she is going to say, "I love you" and I am going to say "Margaret I love you, too," and behind me will be all my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. And we will all go in and worship the Lamb together."

Editor's note: The story above is an abridged version of an article by author David Virtue. It may NOT be reproduced in hard copy without express permission from the author. He can be reached at [email protected] David maintains a twice weekly list in which he circulates stories and commentary on world Anglican news which can be joined by emailing him at the above address.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

105. Detach yourself from concern for the body when you pray: do not let the sting of a flea or a fly, the bite of a louse or a mosquito, deprive you of the fruits of your prayer.

October 15, 1999


(IDG) -- A widespread misconception that most Y2K problems will occur between late December 1999 and early January 2000 could leave companies worldwide unprepared to deal with outages that happen outside that time frame, an analyst has warned.

"The real period of risk has not been well understood," said Lou Marcoccio, a Gartner Group analyst that specializes in Y2K issues. "Most companies believe they only need to worry about supplier interruptions and failures occurring on January 1, 2000," he said. Yet, Gartner predicts that about 25% of Y2K related problems would arise during the fourth quarter of 1999 and 55% throughout 2000, with some more cropping up during 2001, Marcoccio said.


(AP) Russia, Ukraine, China and Indonesia are among the countries likely to suffer the greatest Y2K-related disruptions, but even well-prepared countries could import computer problems from other nations.

Lawrence Gershwin, the CIA's national intelligence officer for science and technology, told the Senate special Y2K panel that the United States will see few direct effects from Y2K problems abroad. But computer crises overseas ''have the potential to involve U.S. military and civilian components in humanitarian relief, environmental disaster recovery or evacuations.''


(Reuters) - The United States is likely to emerge as a perceived safe haven for investors fleeing Year 2000 technology problems, according to the U.S. intelligence community.

"Some foreign governments and businesses will look to the United States and its better prepared infrastructure to overcome Y2K problems abroad," Gershwin said. "We expect to see 'safehavening' of financial assets, routing traffic through U.S. computer and telecommunications networks to avoid local bottlenecks, using U.S. transportation facilities to move international trade, and calls on the U.S. military to intervene in humanitarian crises," he added.

Such crises could arise from prolonged power and heat outages, breakdowns in urban water supplies, food shortages, degraded medical services and "environmental disasters resulting from failures in safety controls," Gershwin said.

"Y2K has a unique capacity to produce multiple, simultaneous crises," Gershwin said, adding that its impact was difficult to predict. "We have an uneven understanding about global and national infrastructures," he said. "And the reactions of decision- makers and the general public in a Y2K-stressed environment are also uncertain."

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

104. Learn from the man who owed the ten thousand talents that, if you do not forgive your debtor, you yourself will not be forgiven. For it is said, 'He delivered him to the tormentors' (Matt. 18:34).

October 14, 1999

(Rev 6:9-11) When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.


( -- More than 10,000 Catholics who died for their faith during the 20th century are now being considered for listing as martyrs, in a new ecumenical project designed to recognize contemporary heroes of Christianity.

Archbishop Michel Hrynchyshyn, the apostolic exarch for Byzantine-rite Catholics in France, said that the 20th century will go down in history as "an era of martyrs, and especially for the Byzantine Catholic Church, which suffered through 45 years of the most intense persecution." On May 7, 2000, Pope John Paul II will solemnly pay homage to the new martyrs; he will be joined in that ceremony by representatives of other Christian faiths.


Our Pastor announced today that the girl who is the subject of the article below received her first Holy Communion in our Church this past May.  She was a student in the CCD class located right next door to the class that my wife taught this past year. Please join me in praying for both the physical and spiritual health of the remaining family members.


The day after 11-year-old Vanessa Garcia died of probable bacterial meningitis, her mother and little brother remained in critical condition Tuesday as their father and husband grieved.

Calixto Jose Garcia, 6, clung to life at Miami Children's Hospital and is expected to recover.

Though no new cases were reported Tuesday, fear and warnings spread through the community.


(AP) _ About 1 million people in the Western Pacific are now infected with HIV and the rate of infection is rising rapidly in many countries in the region, the World Health Organization said today.

Last year, WHO officials estimated there were about 700,000 HIV infections in the region and 40,000 actual cases of AIDS. If left unchecked, they said, the number of HIV infections in the region will exceed 1.5 million in 2000.

(Luke 21:11) There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

103. Try not to pray against anyone in your prayer, so that you do not destroy what you are building, and make your prayer loathsome.

October 13, 1999

(Rom 1:18 -19) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the irreligious and perverse spirit of men who, in this perversity of theirs, hinder the truth. In fact, whatever can be known about God is clear to them; he himself made it so.


(Reuters) - A hardline Hindu organisation in India said on Monday that Pope John Paul should apologise for conversions carried out by what it said was missionaries luring away gullible tribals.

Ashok Singhal, international working president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), or World Hindu Council, said he would like the Roman Catholic pontiff, who visits India next month, to stop his followers from carrying out conversions, which he said were against the law of the land, apparently referring to forcible conversions.

Singhal said mass conversions were responsible for incidents of unrest in tribal areas.


(CNN) -- India's armed forces were on alert along its border with Pakistan on Tuesday after the Pakistani army ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

India and Pakistan have been at war two times over Kashmir in their half-century as independent nations. Tensions came near another war this summer when Islamic militants crossed the "line of control" marking the border between Pakistani- and Indian-controlled territory in the Himalayan region.

The border dispute cooled when Sharif bowed to U.S. pressure and ordered the militants to return to Pakistan. Pakistan's military was reportedly at odds with Sharif over that action, particularly army chief Gen. Parvaiz Musharraf, fired by the prime minister Tuesday just two hours before the army mobilized.


The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

102. When you are in the inner temple pray not as the Pharisee but as the publican, so that you too are set free by the Lord (cf. Luke 18:10-14).

October 12, 1999


(ZENIT)- As the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Europe gathers momentum, it's obvious that the Bishops are extremely aware of the most important problem of all: the need to offer a response to Europe's present religious crisis.

The analyses pervaded by the reality of Christianity today have been numerous. Bishop Fernando Sebastian Aguilar admitted that "cultural and spiritual secularization has affected many members of the Church. Consequences of this are the weakening of adherence in faith to God's revelation, the theoretical and practical questioning of Christian morality, the massive abandonment of Sunday Mass attendance, the non-acceptance of the Church's Magisterium on those issues that clash with the preferences of the dominant culture."

Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, said there are moments, like the deaths of Princess Diana or ... Cardinal Basil Hume, in which the secularized societies, such as the British, are confronted with the great questions posed by death and ... the beyond. Faced with these questions, the Church must speak about the ultimate realities: judgment, hell, purgatory, heaven. "Heaven fascinates people today. They search out opportunities to be with their loved ones in peace and happiness. This longing is fertile soil for the Gospel. Can we again affirm that we are made, ultimately, for happiness, and that this final happiness is indeed attainable?"


Through Gianna Talone Sullivan (Bishop's Statement)
at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Emmitsburg, MD October 7, 1999

My dear little children, praise be Jesus!

Pray, little children, with all your hearts for prayer does not make you weak but strong. If you do not pay attention to My words, it will be difficult for you to focus on Jesus in times of difficulty and confusion. The soul needs and desires God's light to refresh it with the truth of His love. Please let Jesus reveal Himself to you. There is a rising number of strained relationships and difficulties and the souls are searching for faith and love. People desire consolation but are faced with desolation.

Children, you all need God in your lives and it is necessary to take a positive stance for the truth of God's word and voice His love with a courage. He will not abandon you in your time of need. Do not be afraid to be the beautiful light of His love to the world. The child-like and simplistic souls will confound the proud and do powerful things for God.

My Son hears the cry of His people. Their souls desire to be free and cry out to Him. Join Me, little children, in prayer. Be the uniting voice of His love. Peace be with you.

I take your petitions to the Father. Thank you for responding to My call. AD DEUM.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

101. Bread is food for the body and holiness is food for the soul; spiritual prayer is food for the intellect.

October 11, 1999

(Gal 1:6-8) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!


Blessed are the rich for they have a pastor who believes that God wants us all to drive Beemers. Pastor J. Stephen Alessi is his congregation's irrepressible agent, negotiating their needs -- a better job, a new car, a soul-cleansing -- on his hot line to heaven and collecting his usual 10 percent.

Hoping to grab God's attention, the nimble-footed pastor in sky-blue shirt-sleeve prances on his toes and points to the heavens, leading his flock of born-agains in a mantra for an abundant blessing of wealth and prosperity in their lives: Money cometh to me now!

At church, they celebrate Jesus -- and their unabashed materialism. As long as they obey His word, it's OK to want to be wealthy. It's OK to have a big house.

Says the pastor: ``We as Christians need God to move us to a new level of living and take off the cap so we can live big huge lives. What you need is inside of you. Why not try God?''

(Phil 4:12-13) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

The more a man hath unity and simplicity in himself, the more things and the deeper things he understandeth; and that without labour, because he receiveth the light of understanding from above. The spirit which is pure, sincere and steadfast, is not distracted though it hath many works to do, because it doth all things to the honour of God, and striveth to be free from all thoughts of self-seeking.

... Thomas a Kempis, Of the Imitation of Christ

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

100. When you stand in prayer before God the Almighty, who created all things and takes thought for all, why are you so foolish to forget the fear of God and to be scared of mosquitoes and cockroaches? Have you not heard it said, 'You shall fear the Lord your God' (Deut. 6:13); or again 'Fear and dread shall fall upon them' (Exod. 15:16)?

October 10, 1999


(Reuters) - The Philippines' top church leader Saturday slammed proposed laws that would legalize abortion, divorce and gay marriages in the largely Roman Catholic country.

Cardinal Jaime Sin urged Filipinos to oppose the bills now pending in Congress which he said were being endorsed by "the powerful, influential and rich." Sin said the proposed laws would destroy the traditionally closely-knit Filipino family, "thereby placing also our society at risk... The church and our nation will pay dearly."


(AP) -- Teachers in New Mexico no longer have to teach creationism along with the theory of evolution in their classrooms.

In a 14-1 vote Friday, the board decided against requiring instruction on creationism or other alternative theories about how life forms came to be. "The action we took clarifies, so there is no equivocation, that the leading theory of how the Earth was created has to do with evolution," board president Flora Sanchez said. "Other ideas may be part of classroom discussion and inquiry, but (the state) does not require their teaching."

(Rom 5:1-5) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

"The profound conversion Christianity proposes is a real experience of God. Christianity is not an ideology; it is a personal encounter with Christ. The most consoling effect of this encounter is, precisely, the certainty that, this everlasting and overwhelming love with which God loves us (means) he will never abandon us."-- Pope John Paul II

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

99. If the demons suddenly threaten to appear out of the air, to make you panic and to take possession of your intellect, do not be frightened and pay no attention to their threats. For they are trying to terrify you, to see if you take notice of them or scorn them utterly.

October 9, 1999

(Mat 5:10) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


(Reuters) - A man found in possession of video cassettes on the life of Christ was sentenced to prison in Grand Comore island Friday for breach of Islam and peace.

A Moroni Court condemned 22-year old Taki Islam to serve 10 months in jail, with another eight months under suspended sentence. "Islam is here the state religion and the freedom of worship is not recognized by any legal texts in this country," state prosecutor Ben Ali Omar told Reuters. "Therefore, propagating another religion is illegal. We have to protect ourselves from this threat."


(ZENIT).- "While politicians carry out their propaganda campaigns, we carry out campaigns of prayer and the offering of sacrifices to move the heart of Christ, King of Peace and Love." These were Sister Erminia Cazzaniga's words, written in her last letter to the parish priest of a village in the Italian region of Tuscany.

The letter arrived at its destination after the Canossian Sister was killed on September 26, together with two orphan girls she was looking after in East Timor. The letter can be considered the Sister's spiritual testament.

"Today our mission consists not only in helping but, as St. Paul says, in weeping with those who weep, sharing with those in need, and giving much hope and confidence in God the Father who does not abandon his children."

(Mat 24:9-13) "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 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 Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

97. He who practises pure prayer will hear the demons crashing and banging, shouting and cursing; yet he will not be overwhelmed or go out of his mind. But he will say to God; 'I will feer no evil, for Thou art with me' (Ps. 23:4), and other words of this kind.

98. At the time of such trials, use a brief but intense prayer.

October 8, 1999

(Eph 6:12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.



A full summary in English of the Catholic Church's February 25, 1978 Norms for Judging Private Revelations can be found on the University of Dayton Marian Library Web Site at: Some excerpts follow:

1) The first norm for evaluating miraculous events is that there be moral certainty, or at least great probability, that something miraculous has occurred. The commission may interview the visionaries, call other witnesses, visit the site of the events.

2) The second norm deals with the personal qualities of the subjects who claim to have had the apparition; they must be mentally sound, honest, sincere, of upright conduct, obedient to ecclesiastical authorities, able to return to the normal practices of the faith (such as participation in communal worship, reception of the sacraments).

3) A third category deals with the content of the revelation or message: it must be theologically acceptable and morally sound and free of error.

4) The fourth positive criterion is that the apparition must result in positive spiritual assets which endure (prayer, conversion, increase of charity).

"These four criteria may also be restated in a negative way. There must be no doubt that what is occurring is truly exceptional and beyond human explanation. There must be no doctrinal error attributed to God or to the Blessed Virgin Mary or some other saint. The third negative criterion is that there must be no hint of financial advantage to anyone connected with the apparitions, nor must any of the visionaries be accused of serious moral improprieties at the time when the visions were being received, nor may there be evidence of mental illness or psychopathic tendencies."

(Eph 6:13) Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

96. Cultivate great humility and courage, and you will escape the power of the demons; 'no plague shall come near your dwelling, for He shall give His angels charge over you' (Ps. 91:10-11). And they will invisibly repel all the energy of the enemy.

October 7, 1999

(Gen 11:5 -8) But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.


(AP) _ Taiwan's earthquake caused an estimated $320 million in losses to microchip makers at the island's high-tech industrial park, officials said Tuesday.

Taiwan's high-tech companies build 10 percent of the world's chips and 80 percent of the "motherboards" used to run personal computers. Most of the companies are based at the industrial park in the northern city of Hsinchu, Taiwan's answer to Silicon Valley.


God's chastisements have begun to increase in severity and intensity. Have you noticed the unmistakable increase in "natural" disasters? Earthquakes (Turkey, Taiwan, Mexico), storms (hurricanes and typhoons), floods (Mexico, Honduras, Nigeria), and most interesting, failures in technology, man's new god, are being reported so quickly it is hard to keep up.

Keep your eyes on the news for technology failures. Recently we have had numerous failed rocket launches, a lost Mars probe, airplane/train accidents and two nuclear plant disasters. God is apparently starting to bring down the modern god of technology. This may be capped off by Y2K, though the scope of the effects of the "millenium bug" remains to be seen. It may be, however, that God is allowing us to spend billions on repairing this problem only to have our efforts fail in an unforeseen way.

Please join me in praying that America, particularly our vulnerable West Coast (home to Silicon Valley), will continue to be spared from a terrible earthquake!


One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. They picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."

God listened patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well! How about this? Let's have a man making contest."

To which the man replied, "OK, great!"

But God added, "Now we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."

The scientist said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

95. You should be aware of this trick: at times the demons split into two groups; and when you call for help against one group, the others will come in the guise of angels and drive away the first, so that you are deceived into believing that they are truly angels.

October 6, 1999


(Reuters) - From Washington to Moscow to Beijing, governments are developing contingency plans for a wide range of security nightmares to prevent anything more dangerous than champagne corks from exploding on New Year's Eve.

Fears inspired by the Year 2000, or Y2K, technology problem include nuclear reactor shutdowns, missile false alarms and computer-generated strikes on electronic lifelines timed to coincide with what may be heightened high-tech confusion.


(CNET Malicious changes to computer code under the guise of Year 2000 software fixes have begun to surface in some U.S. work undertaken by foreign contractors."A tremendous amount of remediation of software has been done overseas or by foreign companies operating within the United States," said Michael Vatis of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He said it was "quite easy" for an outsider to code in ways of gaining future access or causing something to "detonate" down the road. This could expose a company to future "denial of service attacks," open it to economic espionage, or leave it vulnerable to malicious altering of data, Vatis said.


(AP) All trains in France will stop briefly on New Year's Eve to reassure travelers worried about possible Year 2000 technology problems, the national train company said today.


The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

94. Take care that the crafty demons do not deceive you with some vision; be on your guard, turn to prayer and ask God to show you if the intellection comes from Him and, if it does not, to dispel the illusion at once. Do not be afraid, for if you pray fervently to God, the demons will retreat, lashed by His unseen power.

October 5, 1999

(Deu 18:10-12) Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.


(Reuters) - A New York travel agency is booking guests for NowAge 2000, a cruise aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line vessel Norwegian Sky to be hosted by Suzane Northrop, author of "The Seance: Healing Messages from Beyond."

Northrop will lead cruise guests -- who will pay $1,300 to $1,775 for a weeklong cruise to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and the Bahamas -- through a seminar in which she will invite dead people to make themselves known.

"At some point she says 'OK, we're going to say a prayer and we're going to let all the DPs in.' She calls them DPs," Cindy Clifford of Gotta Go Cruises said.


(AP) --One of the exhibit's paintings, "The Holy Virgin Mary," has been at the center of the simmering dispute. It depicts a Madonna and features a clump of elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is withholding the city's October payment of the museum's $7 million annual subsidy on the grounds that it cannot charge admission in a city-owned building. The museum has sued to get the funding restored, claiming the mayor is violating the First Amendment.

The museum -- which usually gets little notice from either tourists or the media -- has been basking in all the attention. Lines snaked around the museum all weekend as people tried to get a glimpse of the exhibit. More than 9,200 people viewed the exhibit -- aptly titled "Sensation" -- on Saturday, its first day. It was the largest opening in the museum's 175-year history.


(Reuters) - President and Mrs. Clinton agree they don't like a controversial art exhibit in New York and both say they disagree with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's withholding of city funds, a spokesman said Monday.

"The President has indicated that he supports the first lady's position. My understanding of the first lady's position (is) while she would find this objectionable, wouldn't see it, she doesn't agree with the action that the mayor's taken," White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said.

"In many fields of art there are those who are offended, but we do have a grand tradition of freedom of expression in this country, and a rich cultural art and humanities history that I think should not become part of, or be attacked in the political context," Lockhart said.

(2 Tim 3:1-5) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

93. He who bears distress patiently will attain joy, and he who endures the repulsive will know delight.

October 4, 1999

(Zec 12:3) On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.


(Reuters) - Prime Minister Ehud Barak, voicing Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem, officially opened new archaeological excavations on Sunday near the Temple Mount, a flashpoint of Arab-Israeli enmity.

The step was seen as the latest signal by Barak that he would brook no compromise on the core issue of sovereignty over the holy city in peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

"We...are dutybound to turn these places surrounding us -- sacred to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism -- into a bridge and a symbol of freedom of access and worship, coexistence in peace...under the sovereignty of Israel," Barak said.

Related news: Israel, Palestinians fail to clinch passage deal


(AP) Salman Abu Ahmed, the head of the Islamic Movement in Nazareth, demanded Saturday that the Vatican stay out of a dispute between Muslims and Christians in the city of Jesus' boyhood.

The Vatican opposes the construction of a mosque near the Church of The Annunciation, and unconfirmed Israeli media reports said Pope John Paul II would not visit Nazareth during millennium celebrations if the mosque is built.

The dispute in Nazareth broke out after Israel announced plans to build a Venetian-style plaza outside the church, where Roman Catholic tradition holds that the Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary and told her she would give birth to Jesus.

The plaza was to accommodate huge numbers of Christian pilgrims expected in the Holy Land during the Millennium year. But Muslims in Nazareth claim the site belongs to them and want to build a mosque there.


Beatifying five Italians and a Belgian during a ceremony in St. Peter's Square, John Paul raised to 938 the number of faithful to whom he has accorded that honor since he became pope in 1978.

The pontiff, who has declared 284 Catholics to be saints, is intent on singling out exemplary Catholics of the past as models for the faithful as the Church moves toward its third millennium.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

92. Prepare yourself like an experienced fighter, and even if you see a sudden apparition do not be shaken; and should you see a sword drawn against you, or a torch thrust into your face, do not be alarmed. Should you see even some loathsome and bloody figure, do not panic; but stand fast, boldly affirming your faith, and you will be more resolute in confronting your enemies.

October 3, 1999


Through Gianna Talone Sullivan (Bishop's Statement)
at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Emmitsburg, MD September 30, 1999

My dear little children, praise be Jesus!

Little ones, please do not be afraid! Fear is not from God. Jesus will give you the strength each day to do what is necessary. You must trust God an rely on His promise as you face difficulties. The angel of God always delivers His message by proclaiming good news of joy by saying "Do not be afraid!" Do not be motivated by fear. Perfect love casts out fear.

You are called to be the light and love of Jesus. My Son is coming and He will be looking to find those with child-like and "little" hearts, those not preoccupied with the sensationalism and complexities of life. He will be looking for those who live a humble, modest life and who strive to love, who are honest, who are not filled with malice or guile, and who have been faithful to His word and who trust in His promise with childlike, filial confidence.

It is My Son, as the child Jesus, who will usher in the new era of peace, to give you hope and invite all the world to be enthroned in His virtues. It is not the end of the world as you know it but hope for a new beginning. In the end My Son, the righteous, glorified Savior, will come as your just judge. Therefore, do not be afraid. Await His arrival with great anticipation and joy. There is tremendous evil in the world and My little Jesus will be looking to find those with little and pure hearts. Those with pure hearts trust in Him and are not afraid. They are the light of Jesus and are filled with hope.

I take your petitions, little ones, this night to My Son and in gratitude. I thank Him for His sacrificial love. Peace to you. Thank you for responding to My call. AD DEUM.


(Luke 21:10-11) 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.

Russian troops mass on Chechen border, occupy border town
China says U.S. making Taiwan war inevitable
Power and unease on display on communist China's 50th birthday
China, Russia to hold first joint naval exercise
Mediator says regrets violation of Congo truce
Israeli warplanes attack south Lebanon
Adams says Good Friday deal could be 'finished'
Ethiopia and Eritrea accuse each other of blocking peace

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

91. If you cultivate prayer, be ready for the attacks of demons and endure them resolutely; for they will come at you like wild beasts and maltreat your whole body.

October 2, 1999


The pontificate of Pope John Paul II has been one of the most important in centuries, for the Roman Catholic Church and the world. Some would argue that John Paul II has been the most consequential pope since the late 16th century. As that period defined the church's relationship to an emerging modern world, so the Second Vatican Council of 1962-1965–the great meeting in Rome of all the world's Catholic bishops–and the pontificate of John Paul II have laid down a set of markers that will likely determine Catholicism's course into the third millennium.


When news of the 7.5 mag earthquake affecting Mexico City came across the internet, I was given a very personal glance of the effects of this tragedy on families.  My sister and her husband are currently missionaries in Mexico City where they have lived for the past year with my two nephews and niece.  Shortly after reading of the quake, my mother called with a trembling voice, asking if I had heard about the quake and worrying aloud about my sister and her family.  Soon afterwards my teary eyed wife entered the room asking if I had yet received an email from Mexico.  Shortly thereafter we were able to successfully communicate with my brother-in-law and were reassured that all was well.

But I couldn't help wondering, "what if".  I realized how blessed we personally had been in this incident but my heart reached out to those who had lost loved ones and had their lives greatly disrupted by this new tragedy.  As I recalled the tone of my mom's voice and the look of panic in my wife's eyes, I could only imagine their subsequent reaction had my sister's family somehow been seriously affected.  Yet some mothers and sister-in-laws in Mexico, Taiwan, and Turkey have experienced the pain and agony of such loss.

Reading and writing about the cascade of tragedies that are occuring in these times can harden one to their personal effects.  I pray that all readers of this page will use each news item as an opportunity to pray for those who are affected. I resolve to do the same.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have Mercy on us and on the whole world.

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

90. Even if you think you are with God, be on your guard against the demon of unchastity. For he is very wily and jealous; he tries to outwit the activity and watchfulness of your intellect and draw it away from God, when it stands before Him with reverence and fear.

October 1, 1999



October 3-11, 1999- Please mark your calenders!


(AllPolitics, September 29) -- Members of the Christian Coalition will blanket Capitol Hill on Thursday to push for passage of a bill that would make it a federal offense to harm a fetus during commission of a federal crime.

While the measure, called the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, specifically exempts abortion, advocates of abortion rights say the bill -- similar to laws on the books in 24 states -- is a backhanded attempt to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the court case that legalized abortion.


(AP) -- With three months remaining, 1999 already is the deadliest year on America's death row in almost half a century. Eighteen states have executed 76 killers, and the total could reach 100 by year's end.

Many countries have abolished the death penalty, including Canada, Australia, France and Germany. Amnesty International said it received reports of 1,067 executions in China in 1998, more than 100 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 66 in Iran. The organization said it also has unconfirmed reports of hundreds of executions in Iraq.


The incomparable value of the human person

The Church, faithfully contemplating the mystery of the Redemption, acknowledges this value with ever new wonder. She feels called to proclaim to the people of all times this "Gospel", the source of invincible hope and true joy for every period of history. The Gospel of God's love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel.

Related link:


Paolo Albertini - Instrument of God's healing touch and devotee to the Blessed Mother under title of Queen of Guardian Angels will be in South Florida Oct 1 - 3. Paolo was the person instrumental in the healing of Mother Angelica from her paralysis on Jan 28, 1998.


Friday - Oct 1, 6:00 p.m. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Ft.Lauderdale
Saturday - Oct 2, 6:00 p.m. Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Miami
Sunday - Oct 3, 7:15 p.m. St. Jude Catholic Church, Boca Raton

For further information:

Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, call Roy Tenn at 305-386-3880
Boca call John Sause at 954-428-6522

The Philokalia excerpt: Evagrios the Solitary "On Prayer"

89. You should wish for your affairs to turn out, not as you think best, but according to God's will. Then you will be undisturbed and thankful in yur prayer.

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