Volume 11 No. 2 OF THE CHURCH OF MAN WITH GOD February, 2001 A.D.
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
Bible History 10
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
1 A~ THE PROBLEM OF EVIL LEADERS ~
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
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
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.
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1 BTHE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS: ERROR IS JOYLESS BUT LOVE REMAINS
". . . 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
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
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
References: Rom 12:16-21, Mat 8:1-13
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1 CHAPPINESS IN LIFE WITH AND WITHOUT DIRECTION
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
References: Col 3:12-17, Mat 13:24-30
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1 DTHE MOTIVE OF LOVE NEVER MISSES GOD'S MARK, BUT ALMOST EVERY OTHER MOTIVE DOES
"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
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8 APOPE NAMES EASTERN RITE ROMAN PATRIARCH TO HEAD MAJOR VATICAN OFFICE
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
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8 BECUMENICAL LITURGICAL CEREMONY MARKS CLOSING OF WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
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]
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9 AANGLICANS AND ROMANS CONTINUE ECUMENICAL DIALOGUE
NEW WORKING GROUP TO FURTHER ANGLICAN-CATHOLIC RELATIONS
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
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."
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9 BAPOSTOLIC ARMENIAN CHURCH AND ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
CATHOLICOS KAREKIN II
INVITES POPE JOHN PAUL II TO VISIT ARMENIA
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
POPE RETURNS A RELIC OF ST. GREGORY TO KAREKIN II
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]
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10BIBLE HISTORY FOR CHILDREN
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
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?
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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
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
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
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
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.
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13POPE PLACES ROMAN CHURCH OF SAINT THEODORE ON PALATINE HILL AT DISPOSITION OF PATRIARCHATE
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
"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."
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14STEM CELL RESEARCH and GOD DOES NOT JUST SAY "THOU SHALT NOT"
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
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
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15USE YOUR INTELLECT AS WELL AS YOUR HEART
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
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
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
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16 AMORE GARBAGE GOES ON IN CHRIST'S NAME,
THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A STICK AT
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
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
References: 1 Cor 1:4-8, Mat 9:1-8
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16 BHOW DO WE HOPE?
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
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
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18FAITH AND MIRACLES? NO.
LOVE AND MIRACLES! YES!
. . . THE MIRACLE OF YOU
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
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,
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
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DIVINE LITURGY "MASS" CARDS
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
ICON # 4 ICON # 7 ICON # 11 ICON # 19 ICON # 26 SOUFANIEH
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.
ITEM QUANTITY REQUESTED TOTAL
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 $____________
at same time
For Year 2000 _________ $6.00 for one $____________
(49 pages +/-) _________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
Western Rite Divine Liturgy with rubrics:
Pew Size _________ $5.00 for one $____________
_________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
8 1/2" x 11 " pages _________ $9.00 for one $____________
_________ $4.00 for each $____________
at same time
PLEASE PRINT ! ! !
REQUEST PLACED BY:
There are no shipping charges. Propriety requires the total requested donation amount accompany your products request. Send product request with donation to:
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