Volume 11 No. 2 OF THE CHURCH OF MAN WITH GOD February, 2001 A.D.



Reunification Efforts:

Pope Names First Eastern Rite Roman Patriarch To Head Office 8 A

Ecumenical Liturgy Marks Closing of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 8 B

Anglicans and Romans Continue Ecumenical Dialogue 9 A

Armenian and Roman Church Continue Dialogue, Catholicos Visits Pope 9 B

Pope Places St. Theodore at Disposition of Patriarch 13


Children's Pages:

Bible History 10

Catechism 11

Letter from + Paul, S.S.B., The Problem Of Evil Leaders 1 A

The Old and New Covenants: Error is Joyless but Love Remains 1 B

Happiness In Life With and Without Direction 1 C

The Motive of Love Never Misses God's Mark, But Almost Every Other Motive Does 1 D

Stem Cell Research and God Does Not Just Say "Thou Shall Not" 14

Use Your Intellect As Well As Your Heart 15

More Garbage Goes On In Christ's Name Than You Can Shake A Stick At 16 A

How do We Hope? 16 B

Faith and Miracles, NO. Love and Miracles! Yes! . . . The Miracle of You 18

Publication Notice
S.S.B. News
Divine Liturgy Cards
Products Request Form


From + Paul, S.S.B.

To the flock entrusted into my care:

Saint Paul said his times were evil. The times are also evil today, and it appears many of the leaders of today are also evil. This does not apply to just the obvious, which is government leaders. It also applies to those in positions of authority in all forms of organizations. Can you think of even one member of the Executive branch of any government on this planet who would go to Christ and ask Christ to cure his child? Can you think of one mayor of a major city; one judge or justice of a major court; one legislator? Perhaps you can think of one or two, but the problem is severe.

The problem of evil leaders exists in religion. When religious leaders condone, or, as some have done, promote homosexual unions which they term marriages, or approve of abortion, or of warring against any other group because of that group's religion or ethnic origins, then such leaders are evil.

When a person attends Church on Sunday, and leads a life which is opposed to the teachings of Christ, then that person teaches evil to everyone with whom they have contact.

Parents are leaders of their families, and of their children. When parents abrogate their responsibilities, allow their children to do what the children wish even though it is wrong, do not pay attention to what their children watch on TV, do not monitor their music, do not review their friends, do not maintain their children's religious education, and do not give good example, then the parents engage in evil.

When business owners and managers force or even allow their employees to work on Sunday, they engage in violating the commandment to honor the Lord's day, and thus engage in evil. When these same owners and managers cite the necessities of the marketplace, then these individuals become evil for they put money ahead of God.

How many of these individuals would even think of asking Christ for help in anything? If they did think of asking Our Lord for help, would they have the moral fortitude to so do, or would they be so ashamed of their general conduct that they just could not face God - or worse, would they be so dulled of conscience that they would be unaware that they should be ashamed to face God for any reason?

Each of us can have a tremendous effect on changing this world from an evil one to a holy one, but the beginning has to start with each of us and will require all of us for there to be success. The alternative is an ever increasingly evil word which will be doomed to eternally continual destruction.

We can begin by acting morally in every aspect of our lives, even if we are not properly moral within ourselves. Eventually, with continued practice and habit, our proper morality will induce our immoral aspects to move over to the moral.

We have an opportunity during every election to publicly exercise a moral choice in voting for the individual we believe to be the most moral of the candidates, the proposition we believe to be the most moral.

As an example: Candidate One is in favor of murdering unborn children whenever the child's mother desires to so do. He is in favor of homosexuals "marrying", which is an impossibility by definition; and is in favor of allowing homosexuals and lesbians to adopt children - he obviously believes that what every child needs is to be brought up by a sexual deviant and taught sexual deviancy. Candidate Two is against abortions, against homosexual marriages - he prefers the traditional kind where the husband is a male and the wife is a female, and he believes children should be brought up in a traditional family, with parents of opposite genders. Candidate Two obviously is the moral choice, and Candidate One obviously is the immoral choice. This is true to the extent that anyone who votes for Candidate One should be banned from receiving the Sacred Elements unless they can make a compelling moral argument for that vote, or until they repent for taking the side of evil against the side of good.

If you are a business owner or manager, you can engage in the moral practice of seeing to it that every one of your employees has the opportunity to attend Church on Sunday. Unless your business provides a potentially life saving service or product, you should also close on Sundays. If you can not do this because you will lose market share or your job, then you value money more than you value morality, more than you value God and His Commandment, or perhaps you fear loss of money more than you fear God. It would be best were you to fear God more than loss of money.

There is a great difference between being morally imperfect, and being evil. Moral imperfection is the state of most living persons. Even a newly born baby is morally imperfect, at least in that he has not yet learned to pay homage to God. Moral imperfection is that against which we fight, and attaining moral perfection is that for which we struggle - all of us - unless we have decided to abandon God and to embrace evil. If you have not yet died and gone to heaven and you believe your are not morally imperfect, then you have a problem which you had best resolve by consulting with your spiritual director.

+ Paul, S.S.B.

Return to contents


". . . To no man rendering evil for evil," (Rom 12:17) are words which unambiguously state one of the main foundation principles of the New Covenant between God and man, for these words replace the standard of, "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." (Exodus 21:24-25)

Imagine the hardness which is required to follow the Old Covenant, then imagine that same standard being applied to you yourself. Have you ever failed to be totally good, even though it was a slight failure such as failing to be courteous. Probably. If nothing else you probably have failed to let someone in front of you in heavy traffic, or have broken in line ahead of where you would have been had you followed protocol, or failed to open a door or hold a door open for someone, or bumped into someone in your haste to get somewhere. It is also likely you have not been totally honest at all times, either in failing to answer someone with total truth when total truth was called for or in being inartful in a response which withheld the truth even though it was done to avoid hurting someone. It also is likely you have found a coin and have kept it without attempting to find the one who lost it. How would you like to have the "eye for an eye" standard apply to you in this type of situation? Conversely, if some of these minor things have been done to you, how would you like to have to do them to the ones who did them to you so that justice would be fulfilled?

When Our Lord cured the leper He had not yet established the New Covenant, but He foretold its coming. He made it obvious that the New Covenant was not yet established when He told the leper, "go, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them," (Mat 8:4) for this was a command to continue following the Old Covenant. He foretold the establishment of the New Covenant, its acceptance by the Gentiles and its rejection by the Jews, when He told the crowd and the Centurion, ". . . many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

When the Jews rejected Our Lord, they rejected their salvation through His being The Sacrifice, and they rejected the Messiah, and their inheritance as the chosen people. And though the Jews, as a people, have been without joy ever since, God still loves them.

There are three important lessons to remember from this:

First: God still loves the Jews, just as He loves each of us; but that love will not prevent each person, Jew and Gentile, from receiving Eternity in accordance with their individual following of The Way.

Second: God loves those in Heaven and those in Hell, for God does not change and once He loves, He continues to love in full perfection; but that love will not get one who is in Hell out of Hell for each resident of Hell has chosen Hell instead of Heaven and God will honor that choice.

Third: We must follow God's leadership and love those who are in error, and at the same time we must oppose their error and attempt to correct their error, for as members of the Body of Christ and of the Communion of Saints we must be in accord with God and this is what all three Persons of the Holy Trinity do: They love those in error and attempt to have them replace the error with The Eternal Truth.

Have you ever noticed that those who are not Christians have less joy in their lives than Christians? They may have material wealth, and may do good things, but they have little joy. They may be happy over making an arrangement with legal prosecutors and in that arrangement avoid serving time in jail, but there is no joy in that, just relief.

Have you ever noticed how little joy there is in those who call themselves Christians, but who are not members of The Holy Catholic and Apostlic Church, be it the Roman or Orthodox or Coptic or Assyrian or some other part of the True Church? These almost Christians must constantly shift their positions and constantly re-interpret the Bible, even omitting and re-writing parts of it, to support their erroneous positions. In their constant struggle to convince themselves and others that they are right, they ignore the peace which comes from consenting to be humble (Rom 12:16)

But those who have truly surrendered to Jesus Christ do not try to find loop holes for their own wishes in God's requests. They just follow His direction as expressed in the Dogma He has caused to be proclaimed by His Church, the one, Holy Catholic and Apostlic Church. And in so following they find the Peace which accompanies Joy based in God, without regard to material wealth.

References: Rom 12:16-21, Mat 8:1-13


Return to contents


When you find a person who is happy, who seems contented even in adversity, who can not abide unjust and intolerable situations especially when those situations effect persons other than themselves but who maintains joy even in adversity which effects themselves and others, you will find that person has goals, direction, and purpose in life.

But if you look at a person who is really not happy, who bemoans most situations and finds fault even with the best of what is part of their life, the you will find that person lacks direction, purpose, and goals.

The unhappy ones constantly blame someone other than themselves for the ills of life, while the happy ones may have had adversity dumped upon them, but express concern for the "dumper" and can not fathom anything which would cause one person to inflict evil upon another.

However, not everyone who has direction, purpose, and goals in life is happy. Since direction, goals, and purpose are necessary for happiness, why are some who have these qualities happy and others who have these qualities not happy?

The happiness becomes activated when one's directions, goals, and purpose are directed towards others and not towards one's self. Very simply, a selfish person can not be happy. Only a selfless person can be happy.

That is because happiness comes from God. It is based in love, which originates with God. Since God is not selfish, that which God provides can not be received by those who are selfish.

That is why the clothing of God is Love for others. Not a intellectual, inactive, uninvolved, thing which is a very faint ghost which once resembled Love, but a full blooded, passionate, force which is active in its involvement in the lives of others without interfering with the free will of each individual with whom the lover interacts.

The truly happy person therefore is: the one who visits the sick, imprisoned, the lonely; who tends to the poor, whether it be poor in material goods or goods of the Spirit; the one who practices the Beatitudes; the one who not only avoids what the Commandments prohibit, but who embraces the positive of the Commanded prohibitions and follows the positive Commandments - the one who not only does not steal but who attempts to return that thing which is found.

God's focus is not on Himself, and if we are to be truly happy we must emulate God.

But, you protest, you do not have TIME to go to the hospital and visit the sick people. Besides, you do not know them, and how do you do it - do you just go in there and say, "Hello, I'am here visiting the sick, and I know you are sick because you are in the hospital in one of those undignified gowns. So, let's visit!"

No, but if you could do that, then, instead, join one of the numerous volunteer groups at your nearest hospital, and learn how to visit and work with hospitalized people who do not know you.

But you do not even have to begin with visiting prisons or hospitals, or even looking for poor people or volunteering with the food for the needy programs. You can start at home.

Be interested in your family and in what is happening with and to them. Focus on them, and not on yourself and your own woes - BUT ! be willing to express your woes and your joys with others. Learn to know by body language and the other signals we all give to each other, whether or not you are imposing on someone else both in sharing your life and in seeking to have them share their life with you. Once you begin having interest in those closest to you, you begin to really love them, and from thence it is a natural progression to interest in and love of others not in your immediate family or circle of friends.

You will find the love you express for others outlasts any love of self which you have, and you will experience ongoing happiness from your love of others, all because the goals, direction, and purpose in your life have changed from you, to others.

Think of some thing you have received or obtained which made you happy at the time you got it. Do you still have it? Before you obtained that thing, you probably thought it would bring you great joy. Did it make you as happy as you thought it would? Did the joy you experienced remain or increase? Now think of the joy, the happiness you experienced by doing something for someone else. You still experience that joy in its fullness just from the memory of it.

The weeds and tares look out only for themselves, and are bundled and burned; but the fruit of the good seed both grows anew and sustains the lives of others, and is gathered into the House of the Lord.

References: Col 3:12-17, Mat 13:24-30


Return to contents


"Be not wise in your own conceits," is very good advice. Some people consult with fortune tellers in an attempt to control that which creatures, the created ones, can not control. Other people seek to obtain the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and some even claim to invoke them at will, again, in an attempt to control that which created entitles can not control, and also in an attempt to attain fame and acclaim. When a person seeks to exercise that power which is God's and God's alone, he always fails; and he fails because his motive is himself.

If you really want to exercise God's power, if you really want the miracle working Gifts of the Holy Spirit, then you will never obtain them.

How do mere humans work miracles; how do we exercise God's power; how do we obtain use of the miracle working Gifts of the Holy Spirit? The answer is found in every miracle Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ worked, and the miracle He worked at the marriage in Cana of Galilee is a two fold example of the answer. The answer is Love: Our Lord's Love for us, and His Love for His Mother, the Blessed and Ever Virgin Mary.

We know that Our Lord was born of the Blessed Virgin solely for the purpose of making salvation available to mankind, and that His coming to us was based in His Love for us, but he obviously had no intention of beginning the public miracle working and teaching part of His life at that instant in time. But He did begin the public miracle working and teaching part of His life at that instant in time, because the person He loves most in the whole of creation asked Him to work a miracle in public.

So we have two miracles at Cana: that of the Theotokos having her request, that God change His plans, be granted; and that of God changing water into wine.

Again, what was the motive of the Blessed Virgin Mary? It was kindness based in Love.

And how were these miracles worked? Were there trumpets, people jumping up and down, waving of hands and chanting so-called magic words; were the town criers called (town criers were that time's version of TV cameras), and the elders and scientists of the day brought in to witness the event? No.

The first miracle was worked with these words to the waiters, "Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye." The second miracle was worked with these words to the same waiters, "Fill the waterpots with water," and, "Draw out now and carry to the chief steward of the feast."

The awesome power of God just simply happens in the course of Loving. There is no secret, no formula, no means of creating or making a miracle or of controlling or even exercising God's power outside of Love, and Love can not exist at the same time the selfish, self-seeking, quest for power is being followed.

Most of the time we do not see the miracles which occur every day because we are looking for something physically dramatic such as the blind seeing, the lame healed, the lost limb restored, the ocean parted, the torrent of lava turned. We ignore that which does not fulfill the obvious request of a payer, and therefore say that God answered, "No," to the prayers that a town be saved from an earthquake, because we are unaware of the all the people in that town and elsewhere who changed their lives into moral lives because of the earthquake.

If you want to make miracles, if you want to have fame and acclaim, if you want to set the world right, take your wishes and throw them away because the only thing you have even a slim chance of having is fame and acclaim, and fame and acclaim disappear like dust in the rain. Now you understand why "Be not wise in your own conceits," is very good advice.

But if you Love God and your neighbor, then miracles will happen in that Love, and while those miracles will be proportionate to the strength of that Love, those miracles will probably not be seen on TV.

It is not the miracle which is important. It is the Love.

References: Rom 12:6-16, John 2:1-11


Return to contents


First Appointment of Eastern Rite Roman Patriarch Seen As Overture To Orthodox

In late November of 2000 A.D., Pope John Paul II named (Roman) Antioch Patriarch Ignace Moussa I Daoud, who heads the church of the Syrians, to lead the Congregation for Eastern Churches. He replaces Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, a 77-year-old Italian who retired from the position because of age.

The appointment of the Syrian-born, Daoud, 70, was described as the first time a Roman Catholic patriarch from an Eastern rite church was chosen for the honor.

Eastern Rite Churches in full Communion with Rome usually are not truly self governing as are Orthodox Churches, for most of those Churches must receive approval or confirmation of the election of their patriarchs from the Roman Pope, and their formation was usually at the direction of Rome hundreds of years ago in opposition an already existing Orthodox Church.

Roman Eastern rite churches are loyal to the Roman Pope, their ceremonies often are very similar to those of Orthodox rites, and the appointment may indicate John Paul's determination to improve relations with Orthodox Christianity.

Some of the pope's more recent overseas trips, such as pilgrimages to Romania and the Middle East, have taken him to places where there are Eastern rite communities.

Recently, the Vatican said the pope would go in June to Ukraine, where there is tension between Romans of the Eastern rite and Orthodox over property and Roman proselytizing of Orthodox Catholics.


Return to contents


Suggestion made to celebrate the Resurrection on the same day, as will occur in this the year 2001 A.D.

Representatives of numerous Orthodox Catholic Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, and numerous ecclesial communities, presided over an ecumenical celebration of the Word marking the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, whose theme was: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Participating in the liturgical ceremony on 25 January 2001 A.D., were representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the Patriarchate of Serbia, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Romania, the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, the Orthodox Church of Greece, the Orthodox Church of Poland, the Orthodox Church of Albania, the Coptic-Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Ethiopia, the Syro-Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Catholicosate of Cilicia of the Armenians, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Anglican Communion, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World Methodist Council, World Baptist Alliance, and the World Council of Churches.

After the "statio" in front of the central door of the basilica, the procession advanced to the altar of the confession where the Book of Gospels was enthroned. Various representatives of the Churches and ecclesial communities began the proclamation of the Word of God.

Afterward, Pope John Paul II gave a homily in which he affirmed that "true ecumenical commitment does not seek compromises and does not make concessions with regard to the Truth. It knows that separations among Christians are contrary to the will of Christ; it knows that these are a scandal, which weakens the voice of Christ. Its strength lies not in ignoring these separations, but overcoming them. At the same time, awareness of what is lacking for full communion makes us better appreciate how much we already share."

"Outside of the Catholic Church," the Holy Father continued, "there is not an ecclesial void. Many fruits of the Spirit exist, such as, for example, sanctity and witness to Christ, at times to the point of shedding blood, which lead to admiration and gratitude."

After emphasizing that the dialogues developed by Vatican Council II "have had

very significant results," the Holy Father stated: "We certainly have not reached the half-way point, but we have taken important steps forward. From the strangers - and often adversaries - which we were, we are becoming neighbors and friends."

Pope John Paul II recalled several significant moments of ecumenical commitment during the Jubilee Year, among which was the January 18, 2000 meeting, in the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, "when I was able to cross the

threshold of that door, symbol of Christ, side by side with representatives of my Eastern Brother, Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as the Primate of the Anglican Communion. For a distance - a distance all too brief! - we walked together," he exclaimed.

"The pain of incomprehensions or misunderstandings must be overcome with prayer and penance, with gestures of love, with theological research. Unresolved questions must not be seen as an obstacle to dialogue, but as an invitation to an honest and charitable encounter."

Referring to the duty of purification of memory, the Holy Father said: "We must forget the shadows and wounds of the past." He reaffirmed that this "also means building a spirituality of communion (koionia), in the image of the Trinity.... The dialogue of charity, nevertheless, would not be sincere without the dialogue of truth. ... We cannot pass over differences; we cannot change the deposit of faith. ... Still, it is not given to us to 'make unity.' This is the gift of the Lord. We must therefore pray, as we have during this week, in order that the Spirit of unity is given to us.

"The new year just begun is a time as favorable as ever to witness together that Christ is 'the Way, the Truth, and the Life.' ... In 2001, for example, all Christians will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on the same date. This must encourage us to find a consensus for a shared date for this feast."

John Paul II ended the homily by expressing the hope that his upcoming travels to Syria and Ukraine will "contribute to reconciliation and peace among Christians."

Afterwards, the profession of faith took place, followed by an exchange of the sign of peace, a hymn of charity, a prayer to the Father for communion in unity, and, lastly, the blessing of Aaron.

Before returning to the Vatican, John Paul II had lunch in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls with the participants of the ecumenical celebration.

[Based on Vatican Information Service Press Release]


Return to contents


VIS-Press releases


VATICAN CITY, JAN 25, 2001 (VIS) - A communique published this morning

announced that a new high-level working group has been set up by the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church to further relations between the two.

"Comprising prominent Church leaders from a variety of countries, assisted by specialists, the Anglican-Roman Catholic Working Group will have the task of reviewing the relationship between Catholics and Anglicans worldwide, consolidating the results of more than 30 years of ecumenical contact and

dialogue, and charting a course for the future.

"The Working Group has been set up as a direct result of a special international meeting of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops, held in Mississauga, Canada in May 2000. That meeting, chaired by the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spent a week in prayer, worship and discussion, and surveying relationships in different parts of the world. In a concluding statement, "Communion in Mission," the bishops spoke of their belief that Anglicans and Catholics share a degree of common faith 'such that greater cooperation and mission is possible than is currently the case'. They called for a new commission to be put in place to help bring this about, suggesting that the preparation of a joint affirmation of faith be at the top of the agenda."

The communique listed the names of both the Anglican and Roman Catholic members and concluded: "Since 1970, the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church have been engaged in theological dialogue through a special commission, ARCIC - The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission - which continues this work."


Return to contents





On November 9, 2000, Pope John Paul welcomed to the Vatican His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, together with prelates, priests and lay people representing the Apostolic Armenian Church, and the minister for religious Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.

In his discourse, Pope John Paul II spoke of the Catholicos' predecessor, Karekin I, recalling that he was a guest in the Vatican in March 1999, shortly before his death several months later, and adding that his ties with him "were deep, and I very much wanted to visit Armenia."

Pointing out that Karekin II's visit to the Vatican and Rome is taking place during the Jubilee Year 2000, the Pope observed that "soon there will be another Jubilee, the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the Baptism of Armenia." He went on to say that "the history of the Armenian people and the Armenian Church ... is a history in which grandeur and persecution, joy and sorrow are intermingled."

"The Armenian Church has paid dearly for its fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!" said the Pope. "At the Ecumenical Commemoration of the Witnesses of

Faith of the 20th Century on May 7 this year, we recalled in a special way the immense sufferings of the Armenian people." Then, quoting "Tertio Millennio Adveniente," he said: "Perhaps the most convincing form of ecumenism is the ecumenism of the saints and of the martyrs. The 'communio' speaks louder than the things which divide us'."

"By God's grace," said John Paul II, in concluding remarks, "Armenia has found new freedom and independence. Yet Armenia still faces enormous challenges. ... On the cultural and religious level there is still much to be done to fill the spiritual void left behind by a godless and collectivist ideology. ... The Catholic Church wants to stand with the Apostolic Armenian Church, to support its spiritual and pastoral ministry to the Armenian people, in complete respect for its way of life and characteristic identity."

In his talk, Catholicos Karekin II said "it is our pleasure to renew our invitation to you to visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenia, and to participate in the celebrations of the 1700th anniversary of the conversion of the Armenian people to Christianity."

On the morning of NOvember 10, 2000 A.D., Pope John Paul II and His Holiness Karekin II, presided at an ecumenical celebration in St. Peter's Basilica.

All the hymns and chants of today's ceremony were of the liturgical tradition of the Armenian Church. After listening to the words of the Catholicos Karekin II, the Holy Father pronounced a homily.


The Pope affirmed that "in the year 2001, the Armenian Church will celebrate the seventeenth centenary of the Baptism of Armenia through the ministry of St. Gregory the Illuminator." He also expressed his happiness at being able to return a relic of that saint "which has been kept in the Convent of St. Gregory the Armenian in Naples, and venerated there for many centuries. The relic will be placed in the new cathedral now being built in Yerevan as a symbol of hope and of the Church's mission in Armenia after so many years of oppression and silence."

"Through history," he continued, "there have been many contacts between the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church; and there have been various attempts to restore full communion. Now we must pray and work fervently that the day will soon come when our sees and the bishops will be in full communion once more, when we can celebrate together, at the same altar, the Eucharist as the supreme sign and source of unity in Christ. Until that day dawns, each of our Eucharistic celebrations will suffer the absence of the brother who is not yet there."

Addressing His Holiness Karekin II, John Paul II said: "May the Spirit inspire

and guide you in your pastoral ministry to the Armenian people, both in the land of your birth and throughout the world. To your fraternal prayer I entrust my own ministry as Bishop of Rome: that I may be able to exercise this ministry more and more as a 'service of love recognized by all concerned,' so that all will at last be one."


His Holiness John Paul II, and His Holiness Karekin II, also signed and issued a joint communique on November 9th. The communique stated in part:

"Together we confess our faith in the Triune God and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who became man for our salvation. We also believe in One, Catholic, Apostolic and Holy Church. ... We acknowledge furthermore that both the Catholic Church and the Armenian Church have true sacraments, above all [by apostolic succession of bishops] the priesthood and the Eucharist. We continue to pray for full and visible communion between us."

"The Catholic Church and the Armenian Church share a long history of mutual respect, considering their various theological, liturgical and canonical traditions as complementary, rather than conflicting. Today, too, we have much to receive from one another."

"As to the past, we thank God for the many blessings we have received from His infinite bounty. ... Many times, however, both the Catholic Church and the Armenian Church have lived through dark and difficult periods. ... For both of

us, the 20th century was marked by extreme violence. The Armenian genocide,

which began the century, was a prologue to horrors that would follow."

"We now look to the future with hope and confidence. ... We seek the intercession of ... all Saintly Pastors of the Catholic Church and the Armenian Church, and pray the Lord to guide our communities so that, with one voice, we

may give witness to the Lord and proclaim the truth of salvation."

"Finally, we seek the intercession of the Holy Mother of God for the sake of peace. May the Lord grant wisdom to the leaders of nations, so that justice and

peace may prevail throughout the world. In these days in particular, we pray for peace in the Middle East. May all the children of Abraham grow in mutual respect and find appropriate ways for living peacefully together in this sacred

part of the world."

Before his election in October 1999 to succeed Karekin I, who died in June of that year, Karekin II, baptized Ktrij Nersissian, was archbishop of Ararat and vicar general of the see of Etchmiadzin. He is now the leader of seven million apostolic Armenian Christians in Armenia and the diaspora.

[From VIS-Press releases]


Return to contents


4. The Birth of Jesus Christ

IN those days a decree went forth from the Roman emperor Augustus, commanding that all the subjects of his empire should be enrolled. Each tribe to be enrolled in the city to which they belonged.

2. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, the city of David, because they belonged to the tribe of David. But there was no room for them in the inn. Therefore they left the town, and took shelter in a stable. There, in that poor stable, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born. Mary wrapped the child in swaddling-clothes, and laid Him in a manger.


1. What decree went forth?

2. Why did Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem?

Why did they leave the town?

Where was the Savior born?

5. An Angel Announces to the Shepherds the Birth of Christ

IN THE same night some shepherds kept watch over their flocks. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and said: "Fear not. I bring you good tidings of great joy. This night is born to you, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This shall be a sign to you: You shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes and lying in a manger."

2. And immediately there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts. They praised the Lord and sang: "Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will." Then the angels returned into heaven, and the shepherds said to one another: "Let us go over to Bethlehem, and see what the Lord has told us."

3. They went in haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. Then they adored the child, and returned home praising and glorifying God. Eight days after the child was circumcised, and His name was called Jesus, as the angel had commanded.


1. Who were keeping watch that same night?

2. Who were suddenly with the angel?

What did the shepherds say after the angels had returned into heaven?

3. Whom did they find?

What happened eight days after?

Return to contents

11 Catechism

LESSON FIRST: On the End of Man.

Q. 126. What do we mean by the "end of man"?

A. By the "end of man" we mean the purpose for which he was created: namely, to know, love, and serve God.

Q. 127. How do you know that man was created for God alone?

A. I know that man was created for God alone because everything in the world was created for something more perfect than itself: but there is nothing in the world more perfect than man; therefore, he was created for something outside this world, and since he was not created for the Angels, he must have been created for God.

Q. 128. In what respect are all men equal?

A. All men are equal in whatever is necessary for their nature and end. They are all composed of a body and soul and spirit; they are all created to the image and likeness of God; they are all gifted with understanding and free will; and they have all been created for the same end -- God. They should all be treated equally and have the same opportunities commensurate with their talents and abilities.

Some people think of men as being composed of body and soul, and not of body and soul and spirit. They think of the soul as being the upper reaches of the spirit. Both ways of thinking are proper, but thinking of men as being composed of body and soul and spirit makes it easier to contemplate man's relationship to the Holy Trinity.

Q. 129. Do not men differ in many things?

A. Men differ in many things, such as learning, wealth, power, etc.; but these things belong to the world and not man's nature. He came into this world without them and he will leave it without them. Only the consequences of good or evil done in this world will accompany men to the next.

Q. 130. Who made the world?

A. God made the world.

Q. 131. What does "world" mean in this question?

A. In this question "world" means the universe; that is, the whole creation; all that we now see or may hereafter see.

Q. 132. Who is God?

A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

Q. 133. What is man?

A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul and spirit, and made to the image and likeness of God.

Q. 134. Does "man" in the Catechism mean all human beings?

A. "Man" in the Catechism means all human beings, either men or women, boys, girls, children, babies, and unborn babies from the instant of conception.

Q. 135. What is a creature?

A. A creature is anything created, whether it has life or not; body or no body. Every being, person, or thing except God Himself may be called a creature.

Q. 136. Is this likeness in the body or in the soul or in the spirit?

A. This likeness is chiefly in the soul and in the spirit.

Q. 137. How are the soul and spirit like to God?

A. The soul is like to God because it is a spirit that will never die, and has understanding and free will. The spirit is where the "spark" of the Holy Spirit resides.

Q. 138. Is every invisible thing a spirit?

A. Every spirit is invisible -- which means can not be seen; but every invisible thing is not a spirit. The wind is invisible, and it is not a spirit.

Q. 139. Has a spirit any other quality?

A. A spirit is also indivisible; that is, it can not be divided into parts, as we divide material things.

Q. 140. What do the words "will never die" mean?

A. By the words "will never die" we mean that the soul, when once created, will never cease to exist, whatever be its condition in the next world. Hence we say the soul is immortal or gifted with immortality.

Q. 141. Why then do we say a soul is dead while in a state of mortal sin?

A. We say a soul is dead while in a state of mortal sin, because in that state it is as helpless as a dead body, and can merit nothing for itself.

Q. 142. What does our "understanding" mean?

A. Our "understanding" means the "gift of reason," by which man is distinguished from all other animals, and by which he is enabled to think and thus acquire knowledge and regulate his actions.

Q. 143. Can we learn all truths by our reason alone?

A. We can not learn all truths by our reason alone, for some truths are beyond the power of our reason and must be taught to us by God.

Q. 144. What do we call the truths God teaches us?

A. Taken together, we call the truths God teaches us revelation, and we call the manner by which He teaches them also revelation.

Q. 145. What is "Free Will"?

A. "Free Will" is that gift of God by which we are enabled to choose between one thing and another; and to do good or evil in spite of reward or punishment.


Return to contents


The annual message by Pope John Paul II was delivered by Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to His Holiness Bartholomew I, archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, on the occasion of the celebrations in Fanar, Turkey, of today's feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Church of Constantinople.

Cardinal Edward Cassidy, led the Holy See delegation to the celebrations and gave the message to Patriarch Bartholomew. A similar delegation from the Church of Constantinople attends the celebrations in the Vatican each year on the June 29 feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The Pope wrote that the mission common to both Churches of "transmitting to future generations and to the world the salvation brought by the One Mediator, Jesus Christ, ... charges us to embrace the cause of the reestablishment of full unity of faith and life."

He recalled that, during the Jubilee Year 2000 "after a long suspension of its work, the Mixed International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches was able to meet in Baltimore for its eighth plenary session. Such a meeting is in itself an important event and was an occasion to underline the complexity of the questions being studied; however, we must note, to our great regret, that it did not allow real progress to be made in our dialogue."

John Paul II reiterated his "resolute intention of continuing the dialogue of truth and charity" and he appealed to Catholics and Orthodox everywhere "to intensify and affirm their fraternal relations."

"With a pure and free heart," the Message concluded, "in obedience to the will of the one Lord, we must therefore continue our sincere, fraternal and loving search for full communion. It is in this perspective that I am happy to have been able to place at the disposition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate the ancient and beautiful church of St. Theodore on the Palatine Hill in Rome, so that it might be used for the worship and pastoral activities of the Greek orthodox community of the city, which will have the spiritual assistance necessary for its growth and for the dialogue with all Christians living in Rome."


Return to contents


Our Lord tells us, "Mat. 6:33. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. 6:34. Be not therefore solicitous for to morrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof."

When we follow these instructions, there are many things which we are to avoid, for we can not serve God and disobey Him at the same time.

But as Saint Paul tells us, there is no law against "Gal. 5:22. . . . charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, 5:23. Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity."

In fact, there is no law against anything which is good, and there is a very strong suggestion from God that we actually engage in these things, and many others - that we actively do our utmost to do good.

With this in mind, how can Michael J. Fox reconcile his recommendation that stem cell research proceed in an attempt to find a cure for his illness - when he knows stem cells come from babies, and that virtually all of the stem cells which will be used in this research will come from murdered babies. It once came exclusively from the birth of babies, but that most imaginative of murderers of babies, United States President William Jefferson Clinton, has seen to it that stem cells from babies murdered in abortion will now be used in this research.

Michael J. Fox seems to be such a nice guy: but his stance in favor of using stem cells from aborted - murdered - babies for research, just proves looks have no relevance to morality, character, and doing those things against which God has made law. It also strongly indicates the character he played in his TV show, which character regularly violated God's law against fornication, and rarely engaged in activities which God has approved and promoted, is an expression of Mr. Fox's personal character. He and others like him have used their public positions and their TV characters to promote opposition to God's law, which is evil, and to abandon those things which God has encouraged.

In short, they have abandoned good, and they probably have not given any thought within the Judeo-Christian Law of God.

It sometimes is difficult to follow the "Thou Shalt nots", but it is surprisingly easy to do the things against which there is no law. Even atheist (there really are no atheist, just people who wish there were no God so they would not have to worry about His "tally sheet") regularly do things against which there is no law. They support free hospitals for children, social programs that actually do help people, and things like that, but many of them also support social programs which are designed to enslave the recipients.

Is there, then, any difference between doing good things when an evil person does them and when a good person does them?

Of course there is.

When an evil person does good things, it generally is for their own purposes, for their own acclaim and aggrandizement, and often is an attempt to slap God in the face by trying to show God is not needed for good things to happen to people, and that people can take care of their own problems without God.

When a person who is attempting to be good does good things, it is because they are trying to work with the Holy Spirit, and to be pleasing to God by doing things which are pleasing to God.

So when a pro-choice, pro-abortionist, pro-murderer, gives a child a candy, it is for the pro-murderer's purposes and not God's. But when a pro-life person gives a child a candy, it is because it is pleasing to the giver in a Holy manner, and because it brings Holy pleasure to the child, and is pleasing to God.

And when a stem cell researcher refuses to use stem cells which are obtained from abortions, and restricts his research to stem cells obtained from births, the researcher is doubly pleasing to God.

You can carry this holy attitude and practice of doing things against which God has made no law, into everything you do in your daily life, whether you are a student, employed, member of a family, or even an orphan who is a hermit. You may wonder what the reaction will be from others, but you will never have to wonder what God's reaction will be. He will always look favorably upon you when you are doing good for His sake.

Ref: Gal 5:16-24, Mat 6:24-34


Return to contents


When Our Lord challenged the Pharisees and lawyers as to the propriety of curing a man with the dropsy on the Sabbath, the Pharisees and lawyers kept silent, waiting to see what Our Lord said and did. Our Lord cured the man, telling those present, "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit and will not immediately draw him out, on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him to these things." Our Lord then gave sage advice for the ages, that one not sit at the place of honor, but sit lower, so-as-to not be embarrassed if another, more prominent person arrives, and so-as-to-be open to greater honor should the host bring you to a higher place.

If you function only in the emotional level of understanding, you will lose virtually all of what Our Lord is telling us in these passages. You must use your intellect. Not only are we bring advised to not seek the place of honor because we might be moved to a lower place and be embarrassed; we are being told to not seek the place of honor, to not seek celebrity, to not seek to be in the forefront, but rather to let God decide where we will be. We are not to seek the powers of the Holy Spirit; we are only to accept them if they are offered to us - and that offering will always be a temporary matter.

Using your intellect in your quest for Holiness does not mean you lose or neglect your heart. Using your intellect results in exactly the opposite of losing your heart; it results in a deepening of your heart in The Sacred Heart.

Using your intellect in your quest for Holiness brings forth the emotions in full tears of Love, in anguish of Love over your unworthiness; and tears of joy because Our Lord has made you worthy.

When you use your intellect, you think. Thinking is not an activity in which humans are known to indulge, even though humans are the only Earthly creatures which have the capacity to think.

If a person emotes, acts at the natural level which is to react to circumstances, and seeks for his or her self, then that person is not thinking and that person will always receive less than if he or she used thought, used intellect. This is true of everything in which a person is involved, not just in the pursuit of Holiness.

In giving Honor to God, Saint Paul says in part, "him who is able to do all things more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that worketh in us . . ." Use your intellect. What is Saint Paul telling us in his inspired writing? He is telling us that all we desire is nothing compared to what God will do for us - but in order to receive that which God has for us, we must stop seeking to have God's power, stop seeking to receive recognition, stop seeking to be in a position of authority, stop seeking celebrity, and only seek to do God's Will.

Of course, there will always be someone who says, "I believe it is God's Will that I work miracles and exercise the Power of the Holy Spirit. I just have to study the subject and then I will be able to do all those things." Such people are operating at the emotional level, and are not thinking, not using their intellect. In effect, Saint Paul just said, stop seeking what you want, and let God take care of what you will be, by seeking His will - if God wants you to exercise the Power of the Holy Spirit, if God wants you to work miracles, He alone will make these things happen. Nothing you do will ever enable you to work miracles. Nothing you do will ever enable you to exercise the Power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing you do will ever enable you to control God, and when you seek to work miracles, when you seek the Power of the Holy Spirit, you seek to control God - you seek that which will never happen.

Let's take a look at an example of thought in a miracle seeking situation. Two exceptionally precious, beautiful, and intelligent children are on their way to school, crossing the street in a school zone, when a driver races through the school zone. The children's Guardian Angels pull the children to safety (it takes but an Angelic "nudge"), and they attend school unharmed and really unaware of what has happened. That weekend, one of the children slips, falls into the other child, and both fall off the front porch and are killed in a two foot fall. If you had the power to bring those children back to life at your own discretion, would you? What if you could do so, so quickly, that no one would even know they had died, would you? Would you really what that kind of power? If you do want that kind of power, you are a fool, for it just may be that if the children live, they will turn evil and go to hell, but that in dying at such a young age, they join Our Lord.

Why, then, you may ask, did God allow the Guardian Angels to save the children when the car sped through the school zone? Perhaps the driver had enough problems, and was actually on the way to resolving them, but killing two children would have have caused the driver irreparable harm. So God let the children live, and then let them die a few days later, to save the driver and the children.

Think, use your intellect, for this will deepen your heart in The Sacred Heart. Then the Love you seek and the Love you will receive, will enable you to seek God's Will and not your own aggrandizement. Then, because you used and continue to use your intellect, and because your heart has finally been opened to God because you are thinking, you will be able to accept how God operates in our lives. You will understand and you will accept the fact that no creature has the intellect to exercise God's power or to work a miracle, because only God knows all the factors and possibilities involved in every potential course of action and the results from each course of action.

What ever you do, whether it be important such as in employment, family relationships, or mundane, such as brushing your teeth, do to the best of your capabilities, and let God worry about your reward.

Open your hearts to God. Let Him be the one who works the miracles. He will be the only one to work them no matter what you do or learn, so open your hearts to Him and let Him be your God. He is better at being God than you would ever be.

References: Ephes 3:13-21, Luke 14:1-11


Return to contents



More garbage goes on in Christ's Name than you can shake a stick at, and that garbage gives scandal, it is blasphemy, and it endangers the perpetrators' immortal souls.

God has given us everything we need for salvation - but an irrational per centage of people pick only some of what God gives us through Jesus Christ, and ignore the rest. They chose to follow The Way taught by Our Savior only if it happens to follow the paths they wish to follow.

There are more lying, thieving, self adoration practicing, self seeking, so called charismatic miracle workers preachers and enlightened, know more than God, propagandist of Satan, of both genders, in more guises and disguises, than any sane person can began to comprehend.

There is a man close approaching 80 years, who was a Roman Catholic. He was born with a hunchback. He was persuaded to join one of the "I promise you a miracle cure" "churches" more than 40 years ago, enticed with the promise of a cure. Well, during the past 40 years, he has not received the Body and Blood of Our Savior, and he has not been cured. In fact, if he gets any more bent over, he will be looking at where he can from rather than where he is going - yet he still believes he will receive a miraculous cure through his "pastor's" manipulating God. If this crippled man were to be cured today, he would have spent at least 40 and probably 80 years of not offering his suffering in union with Our Lord - a missed golden opportunity. If he were cured today, he probably would die of the shock.

Well, Jesus forgave the crippled man's sins, and then He cured the man as a means of proving His own identity. Even then the people of His own town did not recognize Him as being what He said He is, as the Son of God. They only recognized Him as being a man to whom God had given special power. Their thinking was goofy too - just as goofy as the hunchback man. Their thinking was goofy because Jesus said He is the Son of God, but the people of Our Lord's town ignored what He said and only considered Him as a man. If He were a man claiming to be God, would God confirm the claim by granting a liar the ability to prove the lie? God has never operated in that manner, and we have reason to expect the Unchanging One, God, will be consistent, and not give His seal of approval to a lie. Therefore, Jesus must have been telling the truth when He said He is the Son of God, but still the people did not believe. They did not believe, because they did not want what Jesus told them He had to offer, and neither does the hunchback man.

The progenitors of stupidity and the progenitors of the anti-Christ do not restrict their activities to so called religious broadcast programs and "churches". They are very active in all phases of life. In a recent episode of The West Wing, Martin Sheen, who plays a Roman Catholic who is the President of the United States of America, attacked those who oppose homosexual activity as being immoral, by attacking a surrogate Dr. Laura; in comparing the ancient Jewish custom of tolerating selling into slavery and other abominable tolerations, with the positive admonition against homosexuality. In effect, Martin Sheen, who actually is a Roman Catholic, publicly stated those who are against homosexual activity are wrong, and that homosexual activity should be encouraged. This must be Mr. Sheen's position because, if you are not with Christ, you are against Him, and if you propound ignoring His commands, including those against homosexual activity, then you are not with Him. Incidentally, just in case Mr. Sheen has not noticed, men and women naturally accommodate each other in intimacy, as is God's Divine Plan, but men and men, and women and women, do not naturally accommodate each other in intimacy - and that non-accommodation is also God's Divine Plan.

Then there are those who are always waiting for a sign from God. Look in the Heavenly Yellow Pages all you want, and you will never find a listing under God's Neon Sign Works. You will find a listing under, Trust In Jesus. Our Lord gives all that we need. If He gives you a horse, don't wait for a neon sign to flash saying, "I just gave you this horse - signed, God." And don't look in its mouth to see its age and condition. If He gives you a sound horse, then that is what you need; and if he gives you one that needs care and can do very little work, then that is what you need - or perhaps you waited too long to accept the horse and that is all that you are going to get. In any event, it is a gift from God, and only a fool turns down a gift from God. How do you know if it is a gift from God? You know. You just have to trust God.

And that last, trusting God, seems to be the most difficult thing for people to do. People will trust charlatans who could not possibly deliver any promise they intimate, and they will trust actors who look scholarly but know nothing other than their own desires, and they will trust anyone who says God does not care if they engage in sensual deprivation; but people seem to have difficulty in trusting that God means exactly what He says.

Accept this life as being temporary, and the next life as being permanent. Accept what God the Father has provided us through His Son for our salvation - accept His Church and that which it provides.

References: 1 Cor 1:4-8, Mat 9:1-8


Return to contents


Our Lord asked the Pharisees how could the Messiah be the son of David when David called the Messiah Lord, when he said, "The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool" That is a promise from God which creates hope.

How do we approach hope?

Do we hope the calvary will ride over the horizon and trample our enemies? Or do we use the Grace which God has given to us, and hope for eternal life in God? Trampling our enemies might give us a respite from one immediate situation, but it will neither grant respite from the eternal struggle, nor will it grant victory in the eternal struggle.

If you hope for temporal things, then what you will receive will be temporary: your spouse will be temporary, your wealth will be temporary, and you will lose everything you value in your eternity. But if you hope for eternal union with God, then your spouse will be twofold eternal, for you will have the permanent human spouse who will be the love of your life, and that marriage will be in God; and your wealth will be eternal, for without regard to what ever wealth you may also have of a temporal nature you will value the eternal wealth you will have in ever increasing measure; and you will not just keep everything in eternity, but will actually increase in everything which is of God in ever increasing measure, eternally.

So, it makes sense to hope for victory over that which attacks our eternal happiness. But it makes more sense to Hope for even more than victory.

Do you just hope your relatives will behave? Or are you spiritually smart and Hope your relatives follow God's will and instructions?

Do you hope the Jews and Arabs will stop fighting and make peace, or do you Hope the Jews and Arabs will live the Golden rule?

Do you hope a cure is found for AIDS, or do you Hope people seek and follow God's Morality and therefore cease engaging in immoral activity which ultimately is the cause of and means of spreading AIDS?

These are examples of opposing forms of hope: temporal hope, and eternal Hope; hope based in mankind and mankind's behavior, versus Hope based in God and in prayer which induces mankind to accept God's rule.

We must remember that no hope in mankind has ever been fulfilled, nor will it ever be fulfilled, for such hope is based in faith in mankind, and mankind has never and will never be faithful.

But Hope based in God is based in Faith in God. Since God has always been faithful to those who Hope in Him, it is reasonable to believe He, the Unchanging One, will continue to fulfill our Faith and our Hope.

If your focus of life is in this world, then none of this is meaningful to you.

If you are not a Christian, if you do not believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah, then very little of this is meaningful to you.

If your faith has no fear, then it is a false hope. Hope contains within it an acknowledgment that we may ruin our own receipt of eternal salvation, and therefore Hope contains an element of fear. If your hope does not contain this element of fear, then your hope is not true hope, but rather is arrogant presumption founded in erroneous faith, not in true Faith.

But if you do, really, believe that Jesus Christ is God, the Son of God who is the eternal Sacrifice to God the Father, and acknowledge that you must actively participate in your salvation, then this makes sense to you for you do have Faith, and your Hope is well founded.

Hope for the eternal, so that your temporal life will be as full as possible; and pray for Faith, so that your Hope will be well founded.

Reference: Ephes 4:1-6, Mat 22:34-46


Return to contents




There are many different types of miracles, but most people consider a miracle to be something which has no possibility given the pathology of the situation. An example of a miracle which is based on the pathology of the situation is that of a person who has lost their eyesight and whose eyes are physically incapable of seeing, who then regains their eyesight without mechanical intervention even though their eyes remain incapable of seeing. At least one such miracle has occurred, in a then young man, who had his eyesight restored at Lourdes even though the scarring of his eyes and the nerve damage remains and is of a nature that physicians have stated that based on the physical damage to and condition of his eyes, it is impossible for this man to see. Yet he can see. This particular man did not believe in God prior to his injury, and did not believe in God prior to his cure, and only slowly began to believe in God after his cure.

From this we can deduce that Faith is not necessary for God to work a miracle for and in you. If we restrict ourselves to this kind of miracle, the ones based on pathology of the situation, we can also state that even though a person has Faith, he will not necessarily have a miracle happen to him.

We do not know all the reasons God makes miracles. Some of the reasons we do know are, to confirm or prove that something is true: such as His healing the person who could not speak as a proof that He is God, or having a person be cured of a disease through intercessory prayer, as a proof that the intercessor is a Saint in Heaven. He also makes miracles just to be nice, to help the one helped and to give Faith to those who learn about the miracle. Sometimes a miracle occurs because it it the natural outcome of God's love for us. In fact, every miracle is a result of God's love for us, but sometimes it happens not because it is designed to strengthen Faith, or to serve as proof of something, but only because God loves us so much that the miracle happens.

And this last reason is the reason for the miracle of our own creation and existence. Prior to your conception you did not exist, but even though you did not exist, God loved you so much that the miracle of you happened.

There are some people who do not care about God. There are some who do not care that God loves them so much that His love for them created them and maintains their existence. There are some who have not given this or God much thought, who do not make God an important part of their lives, who do not make God any part of their lives. There are others who do not contemplate their own existence, or, who in contemplating their own existence, refuse to consider God as having any meaningful part in their existence. Still others acknowledge God, and His necessitous participation in all aspects of their existence, yet only give Him a form of "nodding acknowledgment" similar to that given by two members of the nobility who happen to pass each other in a hallway of a palace - their acknowledgment of God should be that which a blind and crippled beggar would owe to someone who takes the beggar into His home and treats the beggar as the most honored member of the family.

Such a beggar would best acknowledge he has a duty to behave according the rules of the House. So too would it be best for each of us to acknowledge we each have the duty to behave according to the Rule of the House of God, for the Rule of the House of God exists not just in Heaven, but in all of creation: here on Earth, on Mars, Venus, the Moon, the closest and farthest stars and all in between, and even in Hell.

God is not just another Person with Whom we somehow share a form of equality or even near equality, yet we often live in a manner that would make a disinterested observer think we think we are God's equal or near equal. Until a creature makes something from nothing, not just converts some from of energy or matter into something else, but actually creates something from absolutely nothing - until that happens, no creature should discount God, for until that happens there will be no creature who is capable of self perpetuation. And if that were ever to happen, even then that creature would be incapable of self perpetuation and of self elimination. And if a creature ever were able to self perpetuate or self eliminate, even then there would be no creature who were God's equal, for the Absolute Ultimate, Whom we call God, is by very definition, unique.

It is this Unique, this One and Only, the One Who Is, the only One who can say of Himself, I Am Who Am, He it is who loves us so much that we came into existence and did so in a manner and form which will remain in existence forever, without ever ending.

When we consider this, it would seem reasonable to do our best to be what God wants us to be, and if that sometimes is contrary to what we want, for us to give in to God and do and be what He wants. If we have to struggle to accomplish this for some aspects of our lives, that is OK, for God's love for us will sustain us if we allow it - and God's love does not depend on our wealth, attractiveness, social standing, or anything. His love is just like Him . . . it Is.

References: 1 Cor 15:1-10, Marc 7:31-37


Return to contents


REUNION is a religious publication with offices at the address given below. Circulation is approximately . All contents are copyright ©, February 8, 2001 A.D., REUNION, unless separately copyrighted, and may be reproduced without permission provided credit is given. All by-lined articles may be used by the author without permission at any time. Literary contributions are welcome; no fee will be paid for same; editorial control will be maintained by REUNION. All submissions for publication are made subject to these provisions, and must bear the name, address, telephone number, and signature of the contributor.
The sole purpose of this publication is to comply with the teachings and instructions of Jesus Christ, second person of the Trinity God, and to further His kingdom.

*** SUBSCRIPTIONS: REUNION is published in both print and electronic (computer/BBS) format. Publication dates are irregular. It is available free for downloading from REUNION NETWORK (see information below), or by e-mail mailing list subscription (which is free) to REU_PUB@REU.ORG with the message SUBSCRIBE REU_PUB YOUR NAME. Just because an issue is published in REUNION BBS does not mean it will be print published also. Print publication distribution is to (in order of prefernce): financially contributing parishioners of Holy Innocents Orthodox Church (Harahan / New Orleans) or of St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church (Waveland, Miss.); publication swaps; those who pick up a copy and those who request a "free" subscription (if any are left); **** those who make a donation of $30.00 (or more) to Holy Innocents Orthodox Church will be mailed each print published issue of REUNION for one calendar year from the date the donation is received. A donation does not create an obligation for us to publish.
We try to publish between four and twelve issues per year, and to print publish each electronically published issue, but do not guarantee to do so due to staffing and finances.
Telephones / electronic addresses:
Holy Innocents (504) 738-3502;
311 Hickory Avenue
Harahan, Louisiana 70123 USA
FAX C/O (504) 737-7707 (9-5 M-F)
BBS (504) 738-2681
Changes regarding receipt of REUNION, including cancellation, should be noted on the form opposite and sent in with your address label.
+ Paul, S.S.B.
Publisher .

+ The Basilians - The Basilian Fathers +

return to contents

(The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil)

(Donations should bent to:)
The Basilian Fathers
Most Rev. Andres Giron, S.S.B.
Parcela # B 105, Calle del Banco
Nueva Concepcion, Escuintla
Guatemala CA
Archbishop Andres has established a Seminary, regular schools, convents, and in 1998-99 alone, created between 800 and 1,000 family farms which support the extended family.
The family farms Archbishop Andres created are not "share cropper" farms - Archbishop Andres fully turned each farm over to the people who live on them.
You never have to wonder if your charitable donations are being properly used. You can SEE their use.
Archbishop Andres has been the one of the leaders of those who seek moral treatment of the Mayan People in Guatemala, even leading a march seeking promise the Mayans will no longer be killed at whim. For this Guatemalans call him "The Martin Luther King of Guatemala".

Your assistance is desperately needed for these good works to continue.
(Donations should bent to:)
Saint Basil Orthodox Church
Very Rev. Fr. James (George Bowles), S.S.B.
512 A Sydney Road
Coburg, Melburn 3058

Archpriest James has been the leader of all the religious communities in Melburn, in providing food and the necessities of life to the poor. He established the first food kitchen, and operates on a "shoe string budget" that should make most Americans ashamed of purchasing an extra order of French fries.


(Donations should bent to:)
Holy Innocents Orthodox Church
311 Hickory Ave.
Harahan, Louisiana 70123
Voice (504) 738-3502
FAX (504) 737-7707
HIOC BBS (504) 738-2681

The Church (Chapel) is usually open from 9:00 AM to Noon Sundays, 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday - Friday, as schedules permit, closed Saturdays except for special occasions like weddings. Saturday Vespers are usually at St. Mary Madgalene.
These schedules are kept unless something extraordinary occurs. Last minute notices are posted on the marque by the front door.
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM, Confessions
9:45 AM Prothesis
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy (Mass)
Western Rite
11:00 AM - Noon, Coffee - Fellowship Hour
All who have been Baptized and Chrismated (Confirmed) are encouraged to receive The Eucharist (Holy Communion).
Weekday Divine Liturgy is at 8:00 AM. Some days we do not have weekday Divine Liturgy due to scheduling problems. Check the Bulletin
When we have weekday Divine Liturgy, Confessions are available immediately before Divine Liturgy, from 7:30 AM - 7:45 AM.
There is no socializing after weekday Divine Liturgy. Social telephone calls should be limited to between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM.
Copies of Holy Innocents weekly parish bulletin can be FAXed to you (local calls only). Just send us a FAX request. You can also obtain a copy on HIOC BBS or at the chapel, or on our web site.
Holy Innocents is a Western Rite Orthodox Church affiliated with The Orthodox Catholic Archdiocese of Louisiana, and the Archdiocese of Orleans, of the Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas operated by the Basilian Fathers. Its lineage is Russian Orthodox, and Eastern Rite Liturgy is observed in special schedules as an accommodation.
Most Rev. John (John J. Lehman), S.S.B., (Retired)
Most Rev. Paul (Lee S. McColloster), S.S.B., Metropolitan Archbishop of Orleans.
Baptisms and Chrismation (Confirmat-ion) may be scheduled two or more weeks in advance, for children and adults who have never received these Sacraments, and who desire to join the Church.
Reception of Converts, for those who have been Baptized and Confirmed in another Jurisdiction of The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, may be scheduled two or more weeks in advance.
Holy Matrimony should be scheduled at least three months in advance, but may be arranged in less time depending on the circumstances. We are not a marriage mill, and will not marry just anyone - interviews are required for those with whom we are not very familiar.
Absolution/Confession, is available from 9:30 AM to 9:45 AM, Sundays, and on request at virtually all times.
Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction, Holy Anointing) is available after Sunday Divine Liturgy, and with visitation of the sick, is available on request. Please notify us if you, family, or a friend, become ill, are hospitalized, or desire a visit. You need not be ill to request a visit.
Blessing of a Home is usually done on the Feast of The Epiphany (January 6), or when a family moves into a new home. It should be scheduled a week or
so in advance. The house need not be all "in order".


(Donations should be sent to:)
St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church
125 Hartsie Drive - 150 Angell Lane
Waveland, Mississippi 39576

Voice (228) 466-4508
STMM BBS (228) 467-2002

Holy Innocents hosts a retreat on the first Saturday of each month, at St. Mary Magdalene. This is an "open" retreat, without the 'rule of silence'. Grounds open at 9 AM, Divine Liturgy is at 11:15 AM, grounds close between 1 PM and 4 PM. Bring your own food, though chicken noodle soup and coffee are provided.
St. Mary Magdalene is primarily a retreat house. Anyone wishing to conduct or participate in a one day retreat for a group or an individual should call either St. Mary Magdalene, Holy Innocents to schedule. We encourage everyone to go on a retreat at least once each year - more often if possible. Talks on various special subjects can be arranged for groups in retreat, and those on private retreat will be left alone as they desire. Overnight retreats are available with "dormitory style" facilities.
Directions: Take I-10 East through Slidell. Cross the Louisiana - Mississippi State line; pass up the truck scales and take the first exit after the truck scales. This is the scenic route to the beaches. (Some people call this the Hwy. 90 exit.) Stay on the highway, pass (and curse) the gambling casino exit until you arrive in Waveland (about 17 miles from I-10). Turn right at the first traffic light, go down the road towards the beach, cross over the rail road tracks and turn left on Central Ave. which is the first road over the rail road tracks. Stay on central until you reach Coleman Ave., which is located at the first stop sign you will come to. Turn right on Coleman and you will see the beach road ahead. Turn right on Beach Road., go two blocks to Hartsie, turn right on Hartsie, travel 550 feet until the bend in the road. St. Mary Magdalene is on the left.
Or, I-10 to Miss Hwy 603 (43), also known as Kiln Rd.., then South on Hwy 603 (43) (Kiln Rd.), cross over U. S. Hwy. 90 [Hwy 603 (43) changes its name to Nicholson Ave.], to the Beach, right on Beach Road, pass Coleman Ave., and proceed as above.

return to contents


Commonly called "Mass Cards", these 4 1/4" by 5 1/2 " (folded) Icon cards feature the above Icons, and open to reveal prayer intentions for the living and for those who have Fallen Asleep in The Lord.


For those who have Fallen Asleep in The Lord, Icon # 19 graces the cover, with the following text (reduced here to fit in this column) inside:

General Intentions For the Living, for weddings, illnesses, general need, and for the sake of prayer itself, etc., cards, have Icons nos. 4, 7, 11, and 26, and a photograph of the Icon of Our Lady of Soufanieh showing the olive oil dripping from the bottom of the Icon's frame, are available on the covers. All the Icons are full color printed cards, except Our Lady of Soufanieh, which is a color photograph.

The text on the inside of the cards for the living is given above, again reduced here to fit inside the column.

These cards are very beautiful, light gray or bamboo in color, but they are only a product - something to induce you to make a donation which we use to support the various works we provide, including publication of REUNION.

To have a person included in our prayers and at Divine Liturgy, send us a note, or fill out the form in the right column of this page and send it to us. There is no fee for the prayers and Masses, that would be Simony. These cards are also available without prayer intentions, and can be used for regular note or religiously oriented note stationery.

Consider obtaining a small supply, and send the prayer request slip which accompanies the cards when you actually use the card.

Like Monasteries which obtain donations for their Icons, or sell Icons and other items, the donations we receive from these cards are of great use to us. Your help is always appreciated.


If you wish someone to be included in our payer and Divine Liturgy intentions, please just fill in the form below and send it to us - but do not send any money. Prayers are free, the cards cost money.

Dear Fr. Paul,
Please include and remember
_____________________________________________ in
the Divine Liturgy and Prayers for the (living - dead) at Holy
Innocents Orthodox Church and its sister and mission places
of worship during the next thirty days, beginning
_____________________, 20_______, on the occasion of
Requested by (optional)
(City, State Zip)
Please mail this slip to:
Fr. Paul
Holy Innocents Orthodox Church
311 Hickory Avenue
Harahan, Louisiana 70123
or telephone (504) 738-3502
[Please note that prayer requests are also normally posted in REUNION BBS (504) 738-2681]
No charge for Divine Liturgy, just send the slip.

return to contents




Mass Cards: Each

Icon # 4 _________ $2.00 $____________

Icon #7 _________ $2.00 $____________

Icon #11 _________ $2.00 $____________

Icon #19 (Deceased) _________ $2.00 $____________

Icon #26 _________ $2.00 $____________

Soufanieh _________ $3.00 $____________

Icon Stationery Cards: (same as Mass cards but without inside inscription, packs of 10

cards and 11 envelopes)

Icon #4 _________ $15.00 $____________

Icon #7 _________ $15.00 $____________

Icon #11 _________ $15.00 $____________

Icon #19 _________ $15.00 $____________

Icon #26 _________ $15.00 $____________

Soufanieh _________ $22.00 $____________

Liturgical Calendars: (may contain errors, we try to correct them as we receive notice)

General Calendar _________ $6.00 for one $____________

(55 pages +/-) _________ $2.00 for each $____________

additional ordered

at same time

For Year 2000 _________ $6.00 for one $____________

(49 pages +/-) _________ $2.00 for each $____________

additional ordered

at same time

Western Rite Divine Liturgy with rubrics:

Pew Size _________ $5.00 for one $____________

_________ $2.00 for each $____________

additional ordered

at same time

8 1/2" x 11 " pages _________ $9.00 for one $____________

_________ $4.00 for each $____________

additional ordered

at same time







Total $_______________

There are no shipping charges. Propriety requires the total requested donation amount accompany your products request. Send product request with donation to:

Holy Innocents Orthodox Church
311 Hickory Ave.
Harahan, Louisiana 70123

return to contents

return to contents

End Vol. 11 No. 1, February 2001 A.D. REUNION