Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fr. Jozo, Legendary priest breaks lengthy silence

Legendary priest breaks lengthy silence

By Jakob Marschner on Jul 24, 2014
Fr. Jozo Zovko is back at writing commentaries on the Virgin Mary’s monthly message. Medjugorje’s charismatic parish priest by the time the apparitions began has been away from public spotlight for more than five years, asked to stay silent until the Vatican Commission had finished.
fr jozo zovko medjugorje autumn 2011
Among the few recent photos to emerge of Fr. Jozo Zovko, this one stems from the Autumn of 2011
Publically silent since early 2009, Fr. Jozo Zovko has now resumed his meditations or commentaries on the Virgin Mary’s monthly message given on every 25th day of the month to Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti.
Now 73 years old Fr. Jozo, the parish priest in Medjugorje when the apparitions began and quickly imprisoned by the communist regime for refusing to denounce the Virgin Mary’s appearances, has only met with very few pilgrims since February 2009. His most recent message commentary dated back even longer when he wrote the first of now three in April this year.
fr jozo zovko medjugorje seer visionary mirjana dragicevic 1983
Fr. Jozo with visionary Mirjana Dragicevic around 1983 when the priest had just been released from 18 months of prison for refusing to denounce the apparitions in Medjugorje
Fr. Jozo’s comeback as a writer coincided almost precisely with the Vatican Commission on Medjugorje finishing its work, as this took place in January this year. His Franciscan superiors had asked him not to speak about Medjugorje in public until the Commission had finished, an order Fr. Jozo obeyed without viewing it as a punishment.
Fr. Jozo was among the key figures the Commission called and questioned. According to Medjugorje Today’s informations, the Commission members were particularly impressed by Fr. Jozo, a well-known charismatic whose talks and writings have affected very many people throughout the years.
fr jozo zovko medjugorje
Recent photo of Fr. Jozo Zovko
In his most recent message commentary, Fr. Jozo calls his readers to true Christian apostleship, noting that only Christians have the tools and answers needed to solve contemporary problems:
“Our time of trials and troubles – like floods, earthquakes and wars – has shown who is a Christian, and who is a man-humanist. This is the time of those who have the heart and the time for prayer, the time for good deeds. Such Christians have the eyes to see the wounds and pains, the sufferings and needs of their neighbors. And today only love – Christian, Jesus’ love – saves and that is why we must stop interpreting and making new theories why and from where problems and troubles come”. Fr. Jozo Zovko states.
“So many live unwisely, and many have lost the joy of life and are fighting against the forces of evil and darkness losing the last hope. Everything is contrary to their wishes and dreams and they simply are losing the will to live. In that night of ignorance and trial man needs God. He is the light. He is a new day. He is our safety.”
1981 fr jozo zovko medjugorje visionaries
Taken in July 1981, shortly before he was arrested, this is one of the earliest known photos of Fr. Jozo with the Medjugorje visionaries. Left to right: Marija Pavlovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Jakov Colo, and Ivanka Ivankovic. Only Ivan Dragicevic is missing in this photo from the first summer of the apparitions
“Our generation seeks and needs its apostles. They are not the people who pride themselves on their diplomas and knowledge but the people who have changed their lives – converts. Today only true converts, or rather saints, have the opportunity to help neighbors. Today’s Samaritans watch how Levites and priests passing by the neighbors knowing they have nothing to give them because they have no time, because their time that should be devoted to the neighbor is lost” Fr. Jozo further notes.
“Such lost time makes man nervous and unhappy. Our wrong education makes the love for the neighbor difficult for us, and our conflicts make wounds on the body of the Church family. We are waiting for the good Samaritan, the Samaritan who wholeheartedly meets and helps the needy. He always has something to give and offer, and never walks without the indispensable oil and wine. He knows where the medical clinic is and to whom the patient should be taken to have his health restored.”
apostolic blessing pope john paul ii fr jozo zovko medjugorje priest
Fr. Jozo met Pope John Paul II in 1992. Ten years later, he was positively surprised upon receiving an apostolic blessing from the Pope in his mail. The text reads: “I grant from the heart a particular blessing to Father Jozo Zovko, o.f.m. and I invoke a new outpouring of graces and heavenly favors, and the continuous protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary”.
Since December 2011, Fr. Jozo Zovko has served in a Franciscan monastery in Zagreb, Croatia. Since he left Siroki Brijeg near Medjugorje in early 2009, the last place where he was available to pilgrims on a larger scale, he has also been in charge of rebuilding a Franciscan monastery on the Croatian island of Badija.
Published on the website of his organization “International God-Parenthood for the Herceg-Bosnian child”, dedicated to helping orphans of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Fr. Jozo’s message commentaries from April and May this year are also available in English.
Spirit Daily is circulating this article

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Approaching Alcohol and the Addict

Approaching Alcohol and the Addict

Summer heat and sun conjure images of laidback, outdoor fun enveloped in a carefree, capricious atmosphere, and it is not uncommon to envision or expect alcohol to be a central (or at the very least, peripheral) aspect of our annual summer fun.
While alcohol in and of itself is not evil, of course, it is prudent for us to examine our use of it.  I say this, because alcohol (and now marijuana in some states) is considered a legal substance in our American culture; therefore, most of us believe this means it is also a safe substance.  The truth is both alcohol and marijuana are classified as drugs, so they must be approached with caution and propriety.
Moderation may be a goal for some of us as we enjoy our gin and tonics or an ice-cold beer at a cookout, but for others of us, moderation is an abstract and futile goal, especially those of us who have a predisposition to alcoholism or addictions in general.  We can know this by being familiar with the disease itself: its neurological and biological origins and manifestations, the psychological aspect of compulsion, and also by acknowledging the pattern of substance abuse in our families of origin.  Finally, we need to be very self-aware and honest with ourselves if we have a tendency toward any sort of addiction, be it an illicit or legal substance or a compulsive behavior.
I have often heard my non-Catholic friends remark that their only experience with Catholicism is the hypocrisy that one can imbibe excessively on a Friday evening with the intention of confessing the sin of drunkenness on Saturday so that s/he can still receive Communion on Sunday morning with the majority of the congregation.  My heart is instantly immersed in a deep sorrow that this is the perception we offer to our modern culture. 
While it’s true that, as Catholics, most of us have justified our own – or someone else’s – excessive indulgence in food or drink at least occasionally, it’s only perpetuating the fallacy that we can engage in sinful behavior as long as we ease our guilty consciences with the misuse of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Confession must be approached with a sincere and authentic spirit of contrition and with the intent to change.  That is what the rest of the world does not witness when we do not exemplify one who is actively engaged in ongoing, personal transformation.
Approaching substance abuse with an open and humble heart extends beyond our personal understanding to how we respond to other people who suffer from various addictions.  As I was browsing my Facebook feed recently, I noticed a video posted by a friend; curious, I began to watch it, and I quickly realized it was an exploitation of a young woman who clearly suffered from substance abuse.  Most of the comments displayed were made in jest or a mockery of her obvious addiction.
That’s the temptation most of us face, isn’t it?  We may witness the embarrassment of someone whose speech is slurred from drunkenness or, even worse, a person who has developed substance-induced psychosis due to prolonged abuse of drugs and alcohol.  We find that laughter and jokes are the cover, the fa├žade, we carry in an attempt to conceal our discomfort or perhaps even to justify our own sins.  We tell ourselves that we are nothing like these people who are sloppy in speech and social graces, unkempt in appearance and humiliated as a direct consequence of a lifestyle choice; we put ourselves at least one tier above them, rationalizing that we, at least, have a good grip on our lives and would never lose control like that.
All of my life I have been surrounded by drugs and alcohol.  That is not to say I grew up in a sketchy neighborhood that was unsafe and riddled with overt addiction.  On the contrary, my childhood was filled with warmth, love, and security.  I grew up in a middle class family with both parents who loved my brother and me and each other.
Even so, somehow I have known, loved, and lost several people in my life to drugs and alcohol.  From family members to close friends, I have witnessed the demise and decay of good people’s bodies, hearts and souls because of substance abuse.  As a child, this (rightfully) frightened me and served as a powerful witness that I carried with me throughout high school and college.  I vowed silently and secretly to never, ever touch drugs and to be extremely cautious with alcohol.
But it wasn’t until more recently that I recognized the pain behind the addict and alcoholic.  The fear and trepidation of my childhood was replaced with empathy and a deep, deep sorrow.  I believe it is because I finally realized that substance abuse is a disease, and it can afflict virtually any of us.  It does not discriminate among socioeconomic status, age, race, or gender.  The stereotypes of addicts and alcoholics I subconsciously adopted for so many years – the dirty, homeless, toothless, jobless slobs talking to themselves on the street corners – vanished slowly and steadily over time.  I realized that good people with good hearts can develop this disease; I realized that could fit the demographic of a potential alcoholic, especially since it is pandemic in my family of origin.
God unveiled my intense aversion to the addicts and alcoholics with whom I came in contact so that, in an unprecedented humility, I saw for the first time theperson, the soul behind the disease.  I was able to separate the sickness from the dignity of the person, something I was incapable of achieving without Divine Grace.  What’s more is that I noticed that I had reacted to the addicts and alcoholics with misplaced fear.
I have come to believe that we fear what we do not understand.  The only way we will change our perception about those who suffer from addictions of various types is to respond to them with love instead of fear.  “Perfect love casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18).  This, I believe, is the key to self-mastery and to humility: the grace we receive by opening our hearts to truth in charity, in our awareness of self and others, and in embracing the reality that we can enjoy life with or without alcohol!


Jeannie Ewing has a Master of Science in Education and practiced high school counseling for one year before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom to Felicity, a preschooler, and Sarah, a toddler who was born with a rare chromosomal anomaly called Apert Syndrome.  Jeannie is a regular contributor at, a former freelancer for her diocesan newspaper, Today's Catholic, and currently maintains a personal blog,, where she writes about parenting children with special needs, faith in everyday life, and personal reflections.  Jeannie and her husband, Ben, live in northern Indiana.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

GUILTY: For Just Being Christian

GUILTY: For Just Being Christian

The Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, Kimberly Driscoll, is actively attempting to destroy Gordon College.
Dissatisfied with the Christian college, practicing its own beliefs, last week Driscoll began to take out her hostility against them. The angry tone of the actions taken against the school reveal a few things that are important for the rest of the nearly 6,400 Christian colleges in America to understand.
First and foremost--none of them are safe. Not a single one.
The activists--having lost the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court--are looking for a place to focus their vengeance. Christian schools now seem to be their target of choice.
Some backstory: Gordon's President Michael Lindsay signed a letter to President Obama asking for a waiver to be granted to Christian schools from his impending executive order. The President has pledged to compel Christian organizations that believe in biblical sexual practice--to be forced to violate that belief and hire people who violate those practices.
Almost universally across the spectrum Christian colleges and universities have "Behavioral Standards" codes that they ask employees and students to observe for the length of time they wish to be employed by or a student at said school.
The Christian school is desiring to advance and deepen the faith of the person attending. The school believes it is important to be consistent in moral worldview as well as moral practice so as to set a good example for the students. This is why when a professor at a state run university conducts themselves in immoral practices, no one knows nor cares. But if an instructor, faculty member, or President of a Christian college conducts an immoral choice--they are more often than not fired upon discovery.
From the Christian school's perspective, it is not wise to ask teachers to instruct something they themselves are not observing.
Almost universally across the spectrum Christian colleges also believe the Bible is the final authority on sexual practice. And the understanding of Biblically approved sexual practice is that it is reserved for man woman marriage, before God, for life. This is why students get kicked out of Christian colleges because they are discovered to be casually sexually involved with each other (and more than 99% of the time on the Christian college campus it is involvement in heterosexual behavior.)
To be clear Gordon College had not set up two different sets of rules--disallowing sex for students who wished to be involved in heterosexual behavior, and a different set of rules for those who wish to be involved in homosexual behavior. Nope--equal treatment under the Gordon College behavior standards was practiced. No sexual behavior by any student while a student outside of marriage period.
The only possible slight that might be able to be conceived was if the college had attempted to tell students who would claim they were married homosexuals. But those students likely would never have interest in studying at a school where core to the tenants of its belief system was rigorously observed biblical sexual standards.
Those who desire homosexual behavior do not simultaneously also desire biblical standards. The two are completely incompatible.
So the Mayor of Salem doesn't care for any of the standards of Gordon College. She doesn't like that they hold their students accountable to the student's own desires (they each agree to the behavioral code before attending.) And now she is attempting to destroy the school.
Which reveals something important to understand.
It is not enough to merely disagree with leftists. They will work with every bit of force they can muster to compel you into agreement with them.
In Driscoll's case she immediately tore up a contract with the school.
Gordon College had been caring for the town's Old Town Hall. They maintained it, had given tours to the community and visitors to the area. They had used it for Gordon events. And they had allowed outside groups to schedule events there as well--all part of the agreement with the town.
Never once has there been an accusation that the Christian college maintaining the Old Town Hall had ever prevented any single group from using the facility. Likewise there is no record of the college denying the use of the facility by people who disagree with their own behavioral standards.
But now the city will deny the school the opportunity to fulfill its contract, because the mayor disagrees with them.
In addition she is among those pushing hard to have Gordon College's accreditation stripped from their programs. Accreditation is one of the key attractions for people to attend colleges and universities, and in doing this the mayor is attempting to choke the very life out of an institution that has been part of it's community and the religious life of this nation for 125 years.
If successful in repealing Gordon's accreditation look for this strategy to be copied by endless numbers of activists against the 6400 Christian colleges across America. It's all part of an ugly and angry campaign to punish Christian colleges for being--in essence--Christian in what they believe, and what they practice.
The intolerance of the left and the ignorance of the faithless will only succeed if the faith-filled show complete indifference.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Healthy Vegan Lifestyle

Back to Basics

We journeyed back in time this past weekend.  Ok, we didn’t use one of those fancy time machines like Michael J. Fox used in his movie, but we did witness things that are lost concepts for all of us with our modern conveniences. Paul’s sister lives in a rural area of Tennessee where time seems to stand still and no one notices.
The extreme quiet of the area was one of the first things we noticed. It’s amazing how much ambient noise we are exposed to without ever realizing it. Then we saw first hand how she has set herself up as a modern day homesteader. From the stick built green house and hand dug, large root cellar to the reclaimed orchard and garden, we were reminded of the days gone by when people had to be more responsible for producing and preserving the foods they consumed. She showed us the fruits and vegetables that she had preserved for use later in the year when the growing season will be over.
She took us to an Amish community.  There, we met Willie who is the shoemaker for the community and anyone else who would like a pair.  What an incredible skill that is!  With a twinkle in his eye he told us he could “heal us, save our souls and that he would even die for us!”  More powerful words have never been spoken, and we were astonished at his passion!  As he reached over the table and showed us the true “souls, heels and dye” that he was talking about, we began to see that humor in this part of the country was readily available and brought out the best in everyone.
The produce at their market was unlike foods we had tasted since we were very young. The pure sweetness that comes from non-GMO, non-hybridized, organic seeds that are grown in virgin soil that has plenty of nutrients had grown foods with flavors that we hadn’t tasted in over 30 years.  It truly took us back to the days when we ran in our parents’ and grandparents’ gardens, grabbed food directly from the plant and popped them in our mouths. The cantaloupe was sweet, but not so sweet that you felt thirsty after you eat it.  The fresh corn was tender, sweet and crunchy—a combination that is addictive, even without the addition of butter or salt. We can’t wait to try the watermelon and beautiful okra we bought.
We also visited the community iridologist, who took one look into Ann’s eyes and told her she was severely chemically toxic.  Together, we determined that all of the years that my parents had used polyurethane on the hardwood floors, paneling and the shellac on the window frames and doors, had been soaked into my young little body and as I have aged, many of my symptoms can be traced to those toxins.
Paul and I were astonished how this 70 plus year old gentleman could so swiftly identify what we have been achingly searching to understand for decades of our own.  We knew I had a heavy metal issue, but no one identified the chemical toxicity and we never realized it could be so detrimental to the hormones, thyroid and adrenal.
The children ran around bare foot playing amongst themselves just as we did when we were kids. No computes, Xbox or Nintendo game machines or TV’s to keep them occupied.
The men in the community were lean and active.  You would see them riding their horses, working in the gardens or actively working in the many other facets of the community.
Although the bakery looked inviting with the cookies and pies, we never saw any of the community eating those types of foods.  Rather, we saw a man harvesting a wheelbarrow filled with cantaloupes, which we learned, would be canned for their winter food.
As we left, we realized that this community of truly happy people, who live simple lives, had created a world where clean living and supporting others in such unique ways is a form of servant hood that depicts the wisdom and intelligence of those who are well nourished.
The many facets of the Amish community are still unknown to us, but one thing is certain—their dedication to God, their family, their community and to their health is powerfully obvious as they spend much of their day ensuring that the foods they consume are natural, organic and nutritious.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Side Effects of Psychiatric Drugs, Deadly

Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Tags: Elliot RodgerXanaxpsychiatric drugs

(NaturalNews) Like nearly all mass murderers and psycho killers, Elliot Rodger is now confirmed to have been taking massive doses of psychiatric drugs. Law enforcement authorities have now confirmed Elliot Rodger, the "sorority girl" killer of Isla Vista, California, was taking massive doses of Xanax, a psychiatric drug belonging to a class of chemicals called benzodiazepines.

"Elliot had been taking Xanax for awhile, according to his parents ... there were fears he might have been addicted to it, or taking more than was prescribed," a law enforcement source told RadarOnline (1), which first broke the story.

"The Xanax had been prescribed to Elliot by a family doctor," the story continues.

A second story on RadarOnline (2) explores, "disturbing details about the community college student's dependence on Xanax."

That story goes on to report:

Based on interviews with Elliot's parents, Peter and Li Chen, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department "is being told that he was likely addicted to Xanax ... Peter and Li have been doing basic research on addiction to Xanax, and based on what they have read, they believe the tranquilizer made him more withdrawn, lonely, isolated, and anxious," a source told Radar. "It's their understanding that when Xanax is taken in large amounts, or more than the prescribed dosage, these are some of the side effects."

Time after time, mass murderers are found to have been taking psychiatric drugs

Elliot Rodger now joins a long and ever-expanding list of other killers who were either taking psychiatric drugs or withdrawing from them at the time they committed mass murder.

While the mainstream media predictably blames guns for all mass shootings, it rarely looks at the chemical drugging of the person who pulled the trigger on those guns. After all, guns don't operate by themselves. They require a person to make a decision to commit murder.

In case after case, mass murderers on psychotropic drugs describe themselves as feeling withdrawn, isolated, distant and almost living out a "video game" that isn't real. This is what psychiatric drugs to do you: they make you feel detached from reality.

Here's just some of the true history of psychiatric drugs and mass murder:

* Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold's medical records have never been made available to the public.

* Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather's girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

* Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

* Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

* Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

* Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

* Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

* Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

* A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

* Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

* A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

* Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

* TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

* Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

* James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

* Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

* Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

* Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

* Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

* Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic's file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

* Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

* Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

* Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

* Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

* Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family's Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

* Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara's parents said ".... the damn doctor wouldn't take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil...")

* Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002, (Gareth's father could not accept his son's death and killed himself.)

* Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family's detached garage.

* Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

* Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

* Woody, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

* A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

* Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and "other drugs for the conditions."

* Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

* Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

* Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.

* Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

* Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his New York high school.

Missing from list... 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds....

* What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21... killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az?

* What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24... killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado?

* What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or?

* What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct?

Sources for this article include:



About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month. 

In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to becontaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015. 

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profitConsumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories. 

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies. 

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggetsfake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics. 

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness. 

Kingdom of Heaven

Scripture Speaks: Kingdom of Heaven

Today, Jesus uses parables to teach about the kingdom of heaven. What do all three of them have in common?
Gospel (Read Mt 13:24-43)
In this chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus uses parables to teach the large crowd gathered to hear Him at the seashore. In the first one, He says, “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.” However, during the cover of night, “while everyone was asleep,” an enemy came and sowed weeds all through his field. The weed, sometimes called “darnel,” looks very much like wheat in its early growth. If it gets ground up later with the wheat and made into flour, it can cause sickness. In Jesus’ day, personal vengeance sometimes took the form of sowing this weed in an enemy’s wheat field, a punishable crime in Roman law. In the parable, the slaves ask the landowner if they should pull up the weeds, but they are told, “No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.” The plants will have to grow together until harvest time. By then, the weed will be easily recognizable; no wheat will be pulled up by mistake.
In the explanation He later gives the disciples, Jesus explains that the Sower is Jesus, the field is the world, and the seeds are either children of the kingdom or children of the evil one. In this, He makes it clear that goodness and wickedness will exist, side-by-side, until the end of time, when Jesus comes with His angels to execute justice. We might wonder why it will take so long to rid the world of evil. This question especially nags at us when we see evil in the Church, as well as the good. How we itch to clean up the field, as the servants in the parable did. The landowner cautions against this expediency, however, because he knows that sometimes it is hard to distinguish the good seed from the bad in its early growth. The danger of uprooting the wrong growth in a freshly sown field is high. Letting time lapse, waiting for the mature growth that signals harvest time, will avoid this danger. Because this parable teaches us about the kingdom of heaven, think about the mercy of God this story represents. How many of us have started out in life looking more like bad seed than good? Repentance and conversion made all the difference. Likewise, how many have started out looking like good seed but never bore good fruit? It takes a long time to know who we are. The great gift of time God gives to the world is to allow as many of us as possible an opportunity to be mature wheat. At St. Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slow about His promise [to return] as some count slowness, but He is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). In the meantime, we should not be shocked by the presence of evil in the world. We are assured of a future just judgment on it. Our work now is to pray and work for repentance and conversion, which leads us to the other two parables.
Jesus speaks of the kingdom of heaven as being like a mustard seed, tiny as it goes into the ground, but, in time, becoming “the largest of plants.” Here He gives us a picture of the Church, inauspicious at the beginning (only Twleve men) but growing to become universal. His reference to “birds of the sky” coming to rest in the mustard plant’s branches is not just nature talk. In the Old Testament, large empires, including Israel, were often described as great trees (Ezek 31:1-13; 17:22-24; Dan 4:12). There, “birds” represented the Gentiles. So, Jesus is describing a Church that will need time to grow from a coterie of Jewish disciples into a Church that would someday be home to Gentiles, as well as Jews, all over the world.
Finally, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to the yeast a woman uses in baking bread. It is small and hidden as it goes into the dough, but, in time, it has an effect on the whole batch, causing it to greatly increase in size and making it ready to bake. This helps us understand how the work of the Church in the salvation of the world is often hidden, unseen. Do we have the patience to wait for its ultimate effect?
We can’t miss the emphasis in these parables on time and on the danger of making judgments based on appearance, before the proper amount of time has passed. What a wonderful corrective for people like us, who live in a culture that has nearly declared war on time. Our technology has almost made an enemy out of time—fast is good, instant is better. We need to let these parables sink in and renew our minds about time, about avoiding premature judgment, about letting God work out His plan of salvation for the world in His own time. When we do this, we are better prepared to understand our other readings today.
Possible response: Lord, I confess that waiting for Your work to unfold is often hard for me. Please grant me patience.
First Reading (Read Wisdom 12:13, 16-19)
Here we have a beautiful description of why God is not in a hurry. He takes His time with His Creation, including His judgment on it, because He is kind: “…though You are the master of might, You judge with clemency, and with much lenience You govern us.” God’s perfect justice makes Him perfectly patient. As noted in St. Peter’s epistle, God’s “slowness” comes from His desire that all men repent and be saved. We see that here in this reading, too: “And You taught Your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; and You gave Your children good ground for hope that You would permit repentance for their sins.” Instant judgment of others (with the battle cry of “Let’s clear the field now!”) leaves little room for the kindness and mercy of God.
Possible response: Father, help me learn from Your kindness to be kind to others, especially when I only care about being right, not kind.
Psalm (Read Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16)
It should not surprise us that our psalm response today is, “LORD, You are good and forgiving.” The psalmist extols the kindness of God and so counts on the Him “to attend to the sound of my pleading.” Interestingly, the psalmist prophetically declares, “All the nations You have made shall come and worship You, O Lord, and glorify Your Name.” This is the very picture of a Church comprising “all the nations” that Jesus gave us in the parable of the mustard seed. The psalmist shows us that God’s patience and slowness to anger should lead us to prayer for help when we really need it: “Turn toward me, and have pity on me; give Your strength to Your servant.” A merciful God is eager to do this, as we shall see in our next reading.
Possible response: The psalm is, itself, a prayerful response to all the lectionary readings. Read it again as your own response to God’s Word.
Second Reading (Read Rom 8:26-27)
Can there be, anywhere, a more powerful statement of God’s kind mercy toward His people than what St. Paul writes here? Not only can we pray to God in our time of need, as the psalmist teaches us, but St. Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit “comes to the aid of our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” The Spirit prays “for the holy ones according to God’s will.” God invites us to prayer and then, by His Spirit, enables us to pray according to His will. What a beautiful description of His tender care of the “field” of the Church! He is like the Good Farmer, looking after the welfare of every tender shoot that springs up from the good seed He has sown. No wonder God is not afraid of time. St. Paul helps us see that God Himself is bringing His harvest to maturity, working in the hidden, unseen chambers of our hearts to unleash prayers that will save the world. What a sublime subversion!
Possible response: Holy Spirit, thank You for your prayers in me, wiser than my own.
Gayle Somers is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix and has been writing and leading parish Bible studies since 1996. She is the author of three bible studies, Galatians: A New Kind of Freedom Defended (Basilica Press), Genesis: God and His Creation and Genesis: God and His Family (Emmaus Road Publishing). Gayle and her husband Gary reside in Phoenix and have three grown children.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Is There Growing Confusion over Church Teaching?

L'Osservatore Romano
I begin with a piece, spotted by Fr Tim Finigan and reported in his indispensable blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity, which had been published in Sandro Magister’s blog—not his English one, Chiesa, but his Italian language blog for L’Espresso, Settimo Cielo.
A few days ago, Magister told the story of a parish priest in the Italian diocese of Novara, Fr Tarcisio Vicario, who recently discussed the question of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. This is how he explained the Church’s teaching on the matter: “For the Church, which acts in the name of the Son of God, marriage between the baptized is alone and always a sacrament. Civil marriage and cohabitation are not a sacrament. Therefore those who place themselves outside of the Sacrament by contracting civil marriage are living a continuing infidelity. One is not treating of sin committed on one occasion (for example a murder), nor an infidelity through carelessness or habit, where conscience in any case calls us back to the duty of reforming ourselves by means of sincere repentance and a true and firm purpose of distancing ourselves from sin and from the occasions which lead to it.”
Pretty unexceptionable, one would have thought.
His bishop, the Bishop of Novara, however, slapped down Fr Tarcisio’s “unacceptable equation, even though introduced as an example, between irregular cohabitation and murder. The use of the example, even if written in brackets, proves to be inappropriate and misleading, and therefore wrong.”
Fr Tim comments that “Fr Vicario did not ‘equate’ irregular cohabitation and murder. His whole point was that they are different—one is a permanent state where the person does not intend to change their situation, the other is a sin committed on a particular occasion where a properly formed conscience would call the person to repent and not commit the sin again.”
It was bad enough that Fr Tarcisio should be publicly attacked by his own bishop simply for propagating the teachings of the Church. Much more seriously, Fr Tarcisio was then slapped down from Rome itself, by no less a person than the curial Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who said that the words of Fr Tarcisio were “crazy [‘una pazzia’], a strictly personal opinion of a parish priest who does not represent anyone, not even himself.” Cardinal Baldisseri, it may be remembered, is the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and therefore of the forthcoming global extravaganza on the family. This does not exactly calm one’s fears about the forthcoming Synod: for, of course, it is absurd and theologically illiterate to say that Fr Tarcisio’s words were “a strictly personal opinion of a parish priest who does not represent anyone, not even himself” (whatever that means): for, on the contrary, they quite simply accurately represent the teaching of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.
Sandro Magister tellingly at this point quotes the words of Thomas, Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, who was appointed in January this year as one of the five members of the Commission of Cardinals Overseeing the Institute for the Works of Religion, and who at about the same time as Fr Tarcisio was being slapped down from the beating heart of curial Rome, was saying almost exactly the same thing as he had:
Many people who are divorced, and who are not free to marry, do enter into a second marriage. … The point is not that they have committed a sin; the mercy of God is abundantly granted to all sinners. Murder, adultery, and any other sins, no matter how serious, are forgiven by Jesus, especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the forgiven sinner receives communion. The issue in the matter of divorce and remarriage is one’s conscious decision (for whatever reason) to persist in a continuing situation of disconnection from the command of Jesus … it would not be right for them to receive the sacraments….
What exactly is going on, when Bishops and parish priests can so radically differ about the most elementary issues of faith and morals—about teachings which are quite clearly explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church—and when simultaneously one Cardinal describes such teachings as “crazy” and another simply expounds them as the immemorial teachings of the Church? Does nobodyknow what the Church believes any more?
The question brought me back powerfully, once more, to one of the most haunting blogs I have read for some time, one to which I have been returning repeatedly since I read it last Friday. It is very short, so here it is in full; I am tempted to call it Fr Blake’s last post (one can almost hear his bugle sounding over sad shires):
It is four months since Protect the Pope went into “a period of prayer and reflection” at the direction of Bishop Campbell, someone recently asked me why I tend not to post so often as I did, and I must say I have been asking the same question about other bloggers.
The reign of Benedict produced a real flourish of ‘citizen journalists’, the net was alive with discussion on what the Pope was saying or doing and how it affected the life of our own local Church. Looking at some of my old posts they invariably began with quote or picture followed by a comment, Benedict stimulated thought, reflection and dialogue, an open and free intellectual environment. There was a solidity and certainty in Benedict’s teaching which made discussion possible and stimulated intellectual honesty, one knew where the Church and the Pope stood. Today we are in less certain times, the intellectual life of the Church is thwart with uncertainty.
Most Catholics but especially clergy want to be loyal to the Pope in order to maintain the unity of the Church, today that loyalty is perhaps best expressed through silence.
I look at my own blogging, and see that I perfectly exemplify this. More and more, my heart just isn’t in it; and I blog less than I did. Now, increasingly, I feel that silence is all. Under Benedict, there was vigorously under way a glorious battle, an ongoing struggle, focused on and motivated by the pope himself, to get back to the Church the Council intended, a battle for the hermeneutic of continuity. It was a battle we felt we were winning. Then came the thunderbolt of Benedict’s resignation.
After an agonizing interregnum, a new pope was elected, a good and holy man with a pastoral heart. All seemed to be well, though he was not dogmatically inclined as Benedict had been: all that was left to the CDF. I found myself explaining that Francis was hermeneutically absolutely Benedictine, entirely orthodox, everything a pope should be, just with a different way of operating. I still believe all that. But here is increasingly a sense of uncertainty in the air, which cannot be ignored. “One knew where the Church and the Pope stood” says Fr Blake. Now, we have a Pope who can be adored by such enemies of the Catholic Church as the arch abortion supporter Jane Fonda, who tweeted last year “Gotta love new Pope. He cares about poor, hates dogma.”
In other words, for Fonda and her like, the Church is no longer a dogmatic entity, no longer a threat. That’s what the world now supposes: everything is in a state of flux. The remarried will soon, they think, be told they can receive Holy Communion as unthinkingly as everyone else: that’s what Cardinal Kasper implied at the consistory in February. Did the pope agree with him? There appears to be some uncertainty, despite the fact that the Holy Father had already backed Cardinal Mueller’s insistence that nothing has changed.
We shall see what we shall see at the Synod, which I increasingly dread. Once that is out of the way, we will be able to assess where we all stand. But whatever happens now, it seems, the glad confident morning of Benedict’s pontificate has gone, never again to return; and I (and it seems many others) have less we feel we can say.
Editor’s note: This column first appeared July 11, 2014 in the Catholic Herald of London and is reprinted with permission. (Photo credit: CNS / L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)