Author: Lisa Graas
•3/30/2003 01:26:00 AM
IN THE NEWS

Expert: Smart insanity plea would be tough defense


Insanity Defense May Elude Smart Suspect


Is Smiling a Girl Thing?


OHSU Researchers Discover New Brain Region Involved In Alcoholism


Role of Head Injury in Schizophrenia


Author: Lisa Graas
•3/30/2003 01:16:00 AM
Click here for Today's Saint
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/30/2003 01:12:00 AM
Click here for today's readings

Today's readings are VERY fascinating to me, and I think they will be
to you, as well, especially considering the war in Babylonia. Whoa,
you say, "Babylonia?" We are at war with Iraq, right? Well, yes, we
are, but the ancient kingdom of Babylonia stretched from Baghdad to
the Persian Gulf.

There was a time in Babylonia when there were many Jews living
there. Perhaps you have heard mention of "The Babylonian Captivity"
or something along those lines. The Jews were held captive in
Babylonia until Cyrus the Great became ruler in Babylon after what is
believed to be a bloodless takeover.

Cyrus is what we might call a "type" of Christ. He pre-figures
Christ. Read today's first reading (from 2 Chronicles) and you will
see what I mean. Cyrus not only released the captives, but he also
re-built the temple. Interesting, eh?

Go ----->> here to find out more interesting historical stuff about Cyrus.

Now today there are again captives in Babylon. Our fighting troops,
our P.O.W.s, the innocent Iraqi people...etc. Fear not! Read in the
Psalm, the Epistle and the Gospel and know what awaits those of us
who put our trust in the Lord.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/29/2003 09:05:00 AM
A Boston Globe Letter to the Editor speaks out about Medicaid coverage of drugs for the mentally ill.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/29/2003 08:52:00 AM
Neurontin an example of falsely advertised drug.
A Boston Globe editorial on "Drug Distortions"
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/29/2003 08:45:00 AM
Fewer referrals to specialists for depression as physicians become more familiar with antidepressants
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/29/2003 08:28:00 AM
Support our Bipolar Troops? Pill-popping soldiers run out of drugs
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/29/2003 08:12:00 AM
Today's Saint is Blessed Ludovico of Casoria

Read his Testament here

Biography from americancatholic.org

Born in Casoria (near Naples), Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years.
In 1847 he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence and Assisi. He once said, "Christ’s love has wounded my heart." This love prompted him to great acts of charity.

To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.

Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as "light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion and life amid death." The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico’s death. He was beatified in 1993.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/29/2003 08:11:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings

Compassion is at the heart of today's readings. One way or another, each of us will be brought low. When we humble ourselves, God's compassion is poured out to us. The less compassion we are shown by men, the more will be poured out to us by God.

As a parent, I can relate to the parable in today's Gospel reading. It is very difficult to teach a child humility. Children can be very self-absorbed. My children often want me to grade their behavior on a curve -- comparing it to the behavior of their siblings. This gives rise to a lot of tattle-taling.

How often do we adults do this? Perhaps it is not so pronounced in us, but do we really think that God grades on a curve? And do we really think that we can know what is going on in the hearts and minds of others to the extent that we could know what that person's "grade" is with God?

My niece is a preschool teacher and she has what she calls a "tattle-tale rock" in her classroom. If one of her students tattle-tales, she points to the rock and says, "Tell it to the rock." This is to teach her students that she is indifferent to tattle-taling. We would do well to learn that this is what God is telling us today.

God is omnipotent!! He knows everything! He knows what is in each person's heart and mind. He is the judge and He does not grade on a curve. When we judge others, we are spinning our wheels in the mud. When we exalt ourselves at the expense of others, we are spinning our wheels in the mud. When we humble ourselves, God's compassion is poured out to us.

God bless you.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/28/2003 12:29:00 AM
St. Gunthramnus was quite a man. Please read about him by clicking here. You will not be disappointed.

Dear St. Gunthramnus, peacemaker and convert, pray for us all during this time of war. Intercede for all of the troops on the battlefield, on both sides, that there will be minimal bloodshed, especially among the innocent. Pray for all of those who have been taken captive, that they may return safely to their loved ones. Intercede for those who will be responsible for the food, water and other aid coming into Iraq, that these may enter into the country as quickly as possible.

O Lord, please hear the prayers of your servant St. Gunthramnus, that by his intercession we may soon know peace around the world, and that the Iraqi people may soon know freedom, health and especially your love.

In Jesus precious name we pray.

Amen.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/28/2003 12:16:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings

As I finished today's readings, I just sat back in my chair and said, "Wow." Again we see the big picture of the Incarnation in these readings. Can any of us ever fully grasp it? It is so awesome that God has become one of us so that we could each partake of the Divine Nature. In the Old Testament, you see, before God humbled Himself to become a man (the Incarnation), there were burnt offerings and sacrifices given from the flock. Now, our sacrifices are in our hearts. Love is sacrifice, and it is in our hearts that we make these sacrifices.

Please take the time to read today's readings, especially the reading from Hosea. You will find great comfort in them.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/27/2003 11:53:00 PM
Click here for all of today's saints


A Litany with prayers to today's saints.

St. Alexander, pray for us!

St. Alkeld, pray for us!

St. Amator, pray for us!

St. Augusta of Treviso, pray for us!

St. Gelasius, pray for us!

St. John Damascene, pray for us!

St. John of Egypt, pray for us!

St. John of Lycopolis, pray for us!

St. Matthew of Beauvais, pray for us!

St. Rupert, pray for us!

St. William Tempier, pray for us!
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/27/2003 11:49:00 PM
Click here for Today's Saint

St. John Damascene
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/27/2003 11:46:00 PM
Click Here for Today's Readings

Gee, I'm a bit late with today's readings. Please forgive. :-)

Today's response in the Responsorial Psalm is one of my favorites...

"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."

Is there something that you are battling with? Something that is
causing you particular worry? Read today's readings and see that all
good things come from and are fulfilled in God. When we place our
hope in Him alone, we cannot lose. In any battle that we face, if we
are not working for the glory of God, we are destined to lose.
Remember that God is all-just. Everything will be fine as long as we
keep our priorities straight. It is soooo tough sometimes to remember
that, but He is there waiting for you to catch you when you fall, if
you let Him. Weary not yourself with troubles that only serve to tear
away at your relationship with God. Listen for His voice and if you
really do listen, His voice will drown out all the others. Remember
His power and know that you have a share in that power.

God Bless You.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/26/2003 02:16:00 AM
Find today's readings at
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/032603.htm

Tomorrow, everything will change. A bolt of lightning will come out
of the sky and annihilate all my problems and suddenly everything will
all be working fine and I can be happy then, right? HA! Not!!!

Today's readings reflect a great lesson that we must learn as
Christians. The road ain't easy. In fact, we are guaranteed that
life will be most difficult for those who love God the most.

There are many wolves out there in sheep's clothing who would have us
believe that with the coming of Jesus, everything CHANGED. Everything
suddenly went from black to white, they would have us believe. Jesus
assures us in today's Gospel reading that this is not the case. This
is why, for instance, our liturgy resembles the Jewish liturgy so
much. The one plan of God is growing into fruition even as I write.
The truth did not "change" with the coming of Christ. Truth cannot
change. What happened is that the truth was fulfilled, and is
continuing to be fulfilled, in Christ.

God lives in the eternal "now", so to speak. We, however, are limited
by time. Our lives are limited and we shouldn't waste our lives
waiting for that bolt of lightning to come out of the sky and change
things for us. We have to take the initiative and allow God's
strength to be made perfect in this weakness in our lives. I think
the readings of today speak particularly to me as a parent, as my
children will only be young for a short time. It is a short amount of
time that I have available to me in which I can teach them what it
means to be a Christian. Do I whine and complain and wait for that
bolt of lightning? or do I take the initiative and show them how to
properly deal with adversity? It has been proven that children will
mimic your behavior rather than listen to your commands.

The Lord says:

"However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children's children."

Yes, we have a responsibility to take this moment and allow God to do
His work through us in this very moment. Let us meet God in this
moment. Let us thank Him for giving us the choice to love Him even
when life is hard. Let us allow ourselves to experience the
fulfillment of a love that abides in time of trial, and let our
children see this love and seek to know it for themselves.

God Bless You.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/26/2003 02:16:00 AM
> Read more about today's saints at
>
> http://users.erols.com/saintpat/ss/0326.htm
>
> Below are some prayers that I have put together for the benefit of
> all who wish to pray. These include all of today's saints and the
> Litany of the Passion.
>
> St. Basil the Younger, you had the gift of prophecy and inspired
> even those who would lay violent hands upon you. Grant that we may
> be an inspiration to those who do not yet know Christ.
>
> Blessed Bertillo of Dijon, pray for us!
>
> St. Braulio of Saragossa, fervent preacher, pray for us!
>
> St. Castulus, Roman convert and martyr, pray for us!
>
> St. Eutychius, defender of the faith, pray for us!
>
> St. Felicitas of Padua, pray for us!
>
> St. Felix of Trier, pray for us that we may learn humility and
> generosity toward the poor.
>
> St. Garbhan, pray for us!
>
> St. Ludger, pray for us that we may remain strong in our faith in
> spite of the New Age culture.
>
> St. Macartin, beloved miracle worker of God, pray for us that we
may
> have healing of our afflictions, if this is agreeable to God.
>
> Blessed Maddalena Caterina Morano, teacher and mother, pray for
all
> homeschoolers and for all parents and caregivers, that we may pass
on
> the faith to the new generation in a capable and holy manner.
>
> Blessed Melior, priest and monk, pray for us that we may give
> ourselves to contemplation and know the true joy which springs from
> our happiness in Christ.
>
> St. Mochelloc, pray for us!
>
> SS. Montanus and Maximus, married couple and martyrs, pray for us!
>
> Blessed Peter Marginet, prodigal son, pray for us that we may learn
> to repent and do penance in a holy manner.
>
> SS. Peter, Marcian, Jovinus, Thecla, Cassian and Companions, Roman
> martyrs, pray for us!
>
> St. Quadratus, Theodosius, Emmanuel and Companions, holy martyrs,
> pray for us!
>
> St. Sincheall of Killeigh, Roman convert of St. Patrick, pray for
us!
>
> SS. Theodore, Irenaeus, Serapion and Armonius, suffering servants,
> pray for us!
>
Litany of the Passion

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercyLord, have mercy
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.God the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, the eternal Wisdom,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, conversing with men,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, hated by the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, sold for thirty pieces of silver,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, prostrate in prayer,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, strengthened by an angel,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, agonizing in a bloody sweat,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, betrayed by Judas with a kiss,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, bound by the soldiers,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, forsaken by your disciples,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, before Annas and Caiaphas,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, struck by a servant on the face,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, accused by false witnesses,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, declared worthy of death,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, spit upon in the face,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, blindfolded,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, smitten on the cheek,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, thrice denied by Peter,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, delivered up to Pilate,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, despised and mocked by Herod,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, clothed in a white garment,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, rejected for Barabbas,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, torn by sources,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, bruised for our sins,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, regarded as a leper,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, covered with a purple robe,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, crowned with thorns,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, struck with a reed,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, demanded for crucifixion,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, condemned to death,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, given up to your enemies,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, laden with the Cross,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, led as a lamb to the slaughter,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, stripped of your garmenets,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, fastened with nails to the Cross,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, wounded for our iniquities,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, praying for your murderers,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, reputed with the wicked,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, blasphemed on the Cross,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, reviled by the malefactor,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, giving Paradise to the thief,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, commending Saint John to your Mother as her son,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, forsaken by your Father,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, given fall and vinegar to drink,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, testifying that all things written concerning you were
accomplished,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, commending your spirit into the hands of your Father,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, obedient even unto death,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, made a propiation for us,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, taken down from the Cross,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, laid in a sepulcher,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, rising gloriously from the dead,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, ascending into heaven,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, our Advocate with the Father,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, sending down the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, exalting your Mother,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, who shall come to judge the living and the dead,
Have mercy on us.

Be merciful,
spare us, O Lord.Be merciful,
graciously hear us, O Lord.

From all evil,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From all sin,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From anger, hatred, and every evil will,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From war, famine, and pestilence,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From all dangers of mind and body,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From everlasting death,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your most pure conception,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your miraculous nativity,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your humble circumcision,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your baptism and fasting,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your labors and watchings,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your cruel scourging and crowning,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your thirst, and tears, and nakedness,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your precious death and Cross,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your glorious resurrection and ascension,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through your sending forth the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
deliver us, O Jesus.

On the day of judgment, we sinners,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would spare us,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would pardon us,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would bring us to true penance,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would pour into our hearts the grace of the Holy Spirit,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would defend and propagate your Church,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would preserve and increase all societies assembled in your
holy Name,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would bestow upon us true peace, humility, and charity,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would give us perseverance in grace and in your holy
service,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deliver us from unclean thoughts, the temptations of
the devil, and everlasting damnation,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would unite us to the company of your Saints,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would graciously hear us,
we beseech you, hear us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
have mercy on us.

Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy Cross
you have redeemed the world.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/23/2003 11:25:00 PM
A Just War


I've seen the pictures of the dead soldiers on the website of al-Jazeera, and I have seen a grisly picture of a seven yr old child that was reportedly killed by American guns. I weep for his mother and for all the mothers of children in battle-torn countries around the world. America is also battle-torn. I am angered by all of this death. At first I was angered that we had gone to war. I was firmly against it, but when I saw Iraqi civilians cheering on our soldiers and helping to take down pictures of Saddam Hussein, that opposition melted away. I do believe that this is an operation to liberate the Iraqi people. This became clear to me when they expressed themselves this way with the arrival of our troops. This is also a war to liberate the world from the fear of biological warfare.


It is apparent to me that our country's former leaders are to blame for initially providing Saddam Hussein with the building blocks for biological weapons. That is old and virtually irrelevant news. The U.S. believes that Libya, North Korea, Syria, Iran and Sudan have chemical weapons and we are not waging war with those countries, nor do I believe we have plans to do so. The issue here is terrorism. More specifically, the issue is al-Qaeda.


This is a just war. It is clear that many thousands, if not millions, more lives will be saved due to this war than will be lost in the war, provided, of course, that we accomplish our objective. It is one thing to protest the execution of a convicted murderer in an American death chamber. It is quite another to protest self-defense against a murderer. This is a just war.


I have supported and will continue to support an autonomous state for the Palestinian people and I ache with hope for the day that it can be possible for Palestinian children to have the same opportunities that my own children have, but that is another topic.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/21/2003 08:54:00 PM
New cannabis studies confirm danger to users. Five recent studies published in the medical literature report substantial harmful effects of cannabis use in relation to development of schizophenia; depression, especially in adolescent girls; progression to drug abuse/dependence and respiratory diseases, including lung cancer.

DRUGS: Quit Marijuana an effective program in New South Wales. The use of marijuana in Australia rates amongst the highest in the world. This should be particularly concerning as the links of marijuana use with depression and mental illness becomes clearer. The commonly held myth, particularly with young people, that this drug is harmless is now being exposed.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/21/2003 08:44:00 PM
Sign up for The Lighthouse Newsletter for news about Catholic websites and more. It's free!
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/21/2003 08:53:00 AM
Click here for the saint of the day
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/21/2003 08:43:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings
Today we see the parallel between Joseph and Jesus. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery for twenty pieces of silver. Although Joseph's brothers abandoned him, God did not. He used this horrible situation to bring about great good as Joseph ended up being Pharaoh's right-hand man in Egypt.


The chief priests and the elders of Jesus' time would have done well to "remember the marvels the Lord has done" with Joseph when they encountered Christ. Jesus was rejected by them just as Joseph was rejected by his brothers. He was rejected by the very people who should have known better.


Jesus mentions the rejection of the cornerstone by the builders. It's one thing for a meter maid or a chef to fail to recognize a proper cornerstone for a building project, but another for the builders to do so. They should know better, you see? When those who should know better are rejecting the truth, they are letting other issues -- like pride -- get in the way of what is clearly the right thing.


If I had a nickel for all the times that I made decisions based on my own pride, I would be wealthy indeed, but true wealth is not found when we sell out for silver. It is found when we learn to let go of our pride and encounter Christ in every relationship we have. With Christ as the cornerstone, we cannot fail in the end.


God bless you.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/20/2003 04:43:00 PM
[Bipolar] Prostitute takes stand in former mayor's child sex trial

[Bipolar] Girl impregnated in custody
Woman worries about health of daughter in juvenile hall

$1.1 million awarded for lost leg
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/20/2003 10:21:00 AM
You are invited to pray this brief litany for the mentally ill, but especially for those who are so very sick that they are unable to pray.
Love from Lisa




Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, you had a great love for prayer. Obtain for us the grace of persevering prayer, especially adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.


Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, poor in the eyes of men but rich in the eyes of God, pray for us. Amen.


Saint Bibiana, patroness of torture victims and the mentally ill, pray for us.


Saint Christina the Astonishing, patroness of the mentally ill, pray for us.


Saint Druon, patron of the sick and mentally ill, pray for us.


O virgin and heroic Martyr, St. Dymphna, we know very little about your origin, but many have learned to invoke you and several have claimed to have been helped. It is said that you remained faithful to your Divine Bridegroom to the end, resisting the lusts of your pagan father and preferring a martyr's death. Please intercede for the mentally ill, and we recommend to you in particular those who are unable to pray, that we may give glory to God. Amen.


Saint Eustochium of Padua, helper of the mentally ill, pray for us!


Saint Fillan, patron of the mentally ill, pray for us!


Saint Giles, patron of the mentally ill, pray for us!


St. Job, patron for the mentally ill and for all who suffer greatly, pray for us!


St. Margaret of Cortona, patroness of the mentally ill, pray for us!


St. Maria Fortunata Viti, patroness of the mentally ill and against temptations, pray for us!


St. Michelina, patroness of the mentally ill, against in-law problems and for widows, pray for us!!


St. Edmund, patron of the mentally ill, pray for us!


Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners. We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God," we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies. We recommend to you in particular those who are unable to pray, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Saint Raphael of the glorious seven who stand before the throne of Him who lives and reigns, angel of health, the Lord has filled your hand with balm from heaven to soothe or cure our pains. Heal or cure these victims of disease, if this is agreeable to God, and guide our steps when doubtful of our ways.


Saint Romanus, patron of the mentally ill, pray for us!


Saint Veran, patron of the mentally ill, pray for us!


Lord God, Who has graciously chosen these saints to be the patrons of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders, and has caused them to be an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the millions who invoke their intercession, grant through the prayers of these pure and holy saints, relief and consolation to all who suffer from these
disturbances, and especially for those who are unable to pray.


We beg You to accept and grant the prayers of these saints on our behalf. Grant to those we have particularly recommended patience in their sufferings and resignation to Your Divine Will. Fill us with hope and, if it is according to Your Divine Plan, bestow upon us the cure we so earnestly desire.

Grant this through Christ Our Lord.

Amen.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/20/2003 10:17:00 AM
Bookmark this site and visit daily for commentary on the each day's readings and for links to articles about mental illness.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/20/2003 10:14:00 AM
Mental Health News

The pain that kills

Click here for more articles

These are old articles but still very relevant.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/20/2003 10:07:00 AM
Click here for the saint of the day

Click here for Today's Readings

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

I think it is interesting that Jesus used the name "Lazarus" for the parable of the rich man and the poor man. At the end of the story, the rich man is told by God that even if someone were raised from the dead, people would not believe. And yet Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. Will you believe?

The name of the town where Lazarus was raised from the dead is called Bethany which means "house of dates". I know this because I researched names when I was naming my youngest daughter and I chose the name Bethany because of the problems in my marriage. Bethany can also mean "to plant on new and fertile soil". You see, when an attacking army would come into a city to overtake it, one of the first things they would do would be to burn the vegetation so the people would starve. This was a bad thing, to be sure, but after the harsh time of starvation, the soil would be more fertile for growing new trees. I saw my pregnancy as a chance to plant on new soil in more ways than one.

Throughout the readings today, we have references to hope in suffering. A man who hopes in the Lord is like a tree who, in years of drought , shows no distress but bears fruit. Those who are not spiritiually prepared for hard times will have trouble hoping in the Lord when the armies come in and burn all of their date trees. He who is spiritually prepared knows that the burning will leave the soil more fertile. It is an opportunity to start again! To plant on new soil! It is a time to experience hope to its fullest degree for how can one know hope without experiencing suffering?

Lazarus was raised from the dead. Will you believe? Will you see your sufferings as an opportunity to experience hope in the Lord? Or will you have spiritual starvation? Will you be consumed spiritually by the fires of the enemy? Or will you show no distress and bear fruit in the new, fertile soil?

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

God bless you all.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/20/2003 01:49:00 AM
I am so glad that I'm good at Math!! I did the math and I have learned that I am more likely to die from one of the following than to die from Zyprexa:
Cancer
Unintentional Injury
Heart Disease
Suicide
Liver Disease
Homicide
Cerebro-vascular condition
Diabetes
Influenza and Pneumonia.
SHEESH!!!!!
I was all worked up over that but now I see things more clearly. I will continue to take my Zyprexa.
Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/19/2003 10:22:00 PM
Bipolar Disorder News

I haven't even read this whole story yet, I'm crying so much. Zyprexa has been my lifeline to sanity.

Risks from mental illness drug not adequately noted, some say
Studies link Zyprexa to diabetes deaths
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/19/2003 01:51:00 AM
School [for kids with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses] hopes to reassure neighbors its students aren't dangerous
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/18/2003 08:48:00 AM
Click here for Today's Saint : St. Cyril of Jerusalem



Click here for the writings of St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/18/2003 07:48:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings
In today's readings we have a lesson in the evil of hypocrisy. We see that it is not the deeds that we perform that are pleasing to God but rather the act of love in our hearts. Hyprocrisy is often a matter of our not being able to see the forest because the trees are in our way. It is not the deed of Mass attendance, for instance, that God finds pleasing in us. It is rather when we rejoice in attending Mass that is pleasing to God.

In the Gospel reading we have a passage that is often quoted by Protestants in their arguments against Catholic use of the term "Father" when addressing priests. Here, the Protestants cannot see the forest because the trees get in their way. Christ is telling us not to model the hypocrisy of those in authority over us. Note that He says that "they have taken their seat on the chair of Moses, therefore do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you." Christ quoted Sacred Tradition when He mentioned "the chair of Moses". This can be found nowhere in the Old Testament because the term is from Tradition. He endorses use of Sacred Tradition and also obedience to a hierarchy. It is hypocrisy that gets in the way of things and not the existence of and obedience to a hierarchy and adherence to Tradition.

May God help us to be properly scrupulous in this time of individual spiritual renewal. May He allow us to see things as they really are despite our desire for them to be otherwise. May we learn self-discipline and obedience to those who are properly in authority over us. May the Lord bless all priests, most especially our beloved Pope. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

God bless you all.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/17/2003 04:54:00 PM
Click here for Today's Saint
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/17/2003 04:46:00 PM
Click here for Today's Readings

Today is a day of lamentation. We cry out to the Lord for mercy. "Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins." Indeed, none of us deserve eternal happiness with God. We are entirely dependent upon His mercy to free us from condemnation. Let us cry out to Him for mercy. Let us repent of our sins and ask forgiveness. Let us be merciful to each other so that God will be merciful to us.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/17/2003 04:37:00 PM
Private providers sought for mentally ill
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/17/2003 04:36:00 PM
Beard trial: Prosecutors respond to defense before final arguments
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 03:14:00 PM
Man accused of molesting 2 children ordered to have psychiatric evaluation
This is very interesting. This man claims to have bipolar disorder and says that it makes him have "trouble understanding stuff". It is true that Bipolar Disorder can cause much confusion. This confusion, coupled with irritability and other symptoms of bipolar disorder, can cause a person to act out in a negative way, but it seems to me that this behavior is always defensive in nature, not aggressive. Sometimes the defensiveness can be violent, but the objective is always to defend ones self from the attack of another person -- rationally or not. Bipolar disorder is not, in other words, an excuse for molesting a child.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 03:03:00 PM
Parents concerned about use of Lithium for children with bipolar disorder may be interested in this article from the Sydney Morning Herald
Not tested on children
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 01:47:00 PM
I've decided that I so enjoyed giving a free book away in my contest that I'm going to do it every month. Sign up for the Lighthouse Newsletter. It's FREE. Each month I will have a question for subscribers. Whomever is the first to email the correct answer will receive a free book. I will even pay for the shipping.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 01:37:00 PM
A notice to anyone interested, I will be out of town visiting my cousin this weekend. I should be back online Tuesday, March 18.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 01:33:00 PM
Today's saint: St. Christina.

There are actually many saints who share this day. On AmericanCatholic.org, today's saint is listed as St. Leander of Seville, but I chose St. Christina for my post on the saint of the day. The only information that I could find about St. Christina is that she is a Persian martyr who was scourged to death. Considering that Queen Esther, from today's readings, was married to the King of Persia, I thought it best to honor St. Christina and ask for her intercession today.

St. Christina of Persia, you were scourged to death for the Faith you held dear in the land of Persia, the land of Queen Esther. We ask for your help as we endure our trials, to plead for us to God, our Father, that we may have mercy and be saved from the wiles of Satan.

O Lord, we humbly ask that you grant the prayers of St. Christina for all those who turn to her for help. In Jesus' precious name we pray.
Amen.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 01:27:00 PM
Click here for Today's Readings

Queen Esther was a Jewish woman who was married to the King of Persia. When the king's right-hand-man Aman became jealous of Queen Esther's father, Aman convinced the king to massacre all Jews in the kingdom. It was up to Queen Esther to convince her husband the king to change his mind. Risking her own life, she asked the king to spare the Jews. Not only did he spare them, but he also punished Aman by hanging him on the gallows Aman had prepared for the father of Queen Esther.

Queen Esther is revered among the Jewish people as something of a co-redemptrix, as we believe Mary to be. Through her "yes" to risk her life in order to save her people, the Jews were redeemed from destruction and Aman was destroyed on the gallows instead. Through Mary's "yes" to God, we are redeemed and Satan ends up hanging on the gallows.

Queen Esther knew that she would fail without God's help, and so she turned to Him in her distress, and called upon Him for help.

from the Book of Esther:

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the Lord. She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said:
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life in my hand. As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O Lord, always free those who are pleasing to you. Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O Lord, my God.


From the Psalm for today:

When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.


And from the Gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


We can recall that Jesus also said that HE stands at the door and knocks. Today, in the reading, He is saying that we need only knock on the door and it shall be opened. Come to Him, and He will come to you. Say "yes" to God, and He will say "yes" to you. Find peace in knowing that He has already defeated Satan, and to be saved from Satan, you need only say "yes" and knock on the door.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 01:25:00 PM
Congratulations to Ann Gee who correctly guessed that the large item over my desk is a crucifix. Ann won a free copy of
The Catholic Church & the Bible
by Fr. Peter Stravinskas, for being the first to email the correct answer.

Author: Lisa Graas
•3/13/2003 01:22:00 PM
Visit Ignatius Press for the best in Catholic Reading!
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/12/2003 01:21:00 PM
Click here for Today's Readings

We all know the story of Jonah and the whale and the evangelization of the city of Nineveh, but what happened with the people of Nineveh AFTER Jonah convinced them to repent? Did they stick to the program? or did they buckle under the pressures of Muslim influence? I was very curious about this, so I did a little research and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

Nineveh is at the very heart of what was once the Assyrian Empire. This empire, during it's greatest period (699-627 BC) covered most of Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria and even engulfed Israel and stretched into Egypt. Wow! Click here for a map!

The Assyrians today speak a language very similar to that of Jesus (Neo-Aramaic). They are faithful CHRISTIANS, primarily CATHOLIC. Did you know that? I didn't. Over the centuries, because of their proximity to radical Muslims (especially during the time of the Ottoman Empire) the Assyrians have suffered much persecution. I encourage you to read about this great people and their struggles. Thanks be to God for their conversion centuries ago with the warning of Jonah. May God continue to bless the Assyrian people with strong faith, especially during this difficult time of preparations for war. I am humbled by the courage and faith of the Assyrian people.

God bless you all.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/12/2003 01:19:00 PM
From Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society

March 12

ST. FINA (SERAPHINA)


Fina was born in a little Italian town called San Geminiano. Her parents had once been well off, but misfortune had left them poor. Seraphina, or Fina, as her family called her, was their daughter. Fina was pretty and lively. She had a generous nature. Each day she saved half of her dinner for someone in the town poorer than she. During the day she sewed and spun cloth to help pay the family debts. At night, she usually spent a long time praying to Jesus and Mary.
When she was still quite young, her father died. Fina was struck with an illness that deformed and paralyzed her. Movement became almost impossible and Fina lay for six years on wooden planks. Pain rushed through her whole body. The only way she could bear it was to concentrate on Jesus as he was nailed to the cross. "I unite my sufferings to yours, Jesus," she would whisper. Sometimes, when the pain was horrible, she would say, "It is not my wounds but yours, O Christ, that hurt me." Fina was left alone for many hours every day because her mother had to go out to work or beg. The neighbors knew about Fina, but her sores had become so foul-smelling that people made excuses for not going to visit her.
Unexpectedly, Fina's mother passed away. Now the girl was left alone. Only one neighbor, her good friend Beldia, came to care for her. Beldia tried to give Fina as much attention as she could, but Fina was usually left alone. It was obvious that she could not live much longer. She refused to lose heart. Someone mentioned to her about the tremendous sufferings St. Gregory the Great had endured. Fina became devoted to him. It is said that one day, as she groaned in pain, St. Gregory appeared to her. He said kindly, "Child, on my feast day God will grant you rest." His feast day in older calendars had been celebrated on March 12, because he had died on March 12, 604. So on March 12, 1253, St. Gregory came to take Fina home to heaven.

St. Fina helps us appreciate the Christian meaning and value of suffering. We can also realize the value of visiting shut-ins, the elderly, the ill. We can ask St. Fina to give us a sensitive heart for people who are lonely or suffering.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/11/2003 10:05:00 AM
Pope steps up peace efforts, sends envoy to meet Bush

In the Carmel of Cologne By George Weigel

Take teen depression seriously

Depression may be bipolar II
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/11/2003 09:54:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings

If you are having a particularly difficult time with depression, you cannot pass up today's readings. They are highly readable today and have much to say about the hope that we have in God.

God's word shall not return to Him void. He has provided that life shall spring from the barren soil through His Word (Jesus Christ) because His Word makes the barren soil fertile and fruitful. Christ has achieved the end for which God sent Him, making each of us fertile soil.

The Psalm says in part:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.

Be not afraid because it is when we are in our deepest sufferings that we are closest to God.

The Gospel reading includes the Lord's Prayer. Many times I pray the Lord's Prayer when I am unable to think clearly due to my illness. It is a reminder of the relationship we must have toward each other as well as a plea to God for His divine help.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

There is a direct relationship here between our forgiveness of others and God's forgiveness of us. May we all learn to be fertile soil by forgiving each other and by doing God's will in all aspects of our lives.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/11/2003 09:53:00 AM
Today's saint was a martyr. His story is one that you should remember when Protestants speak of the Inquisition and other such things.

St. John Ogilvie, pray for us!

March 11, 2003
St. John Ogilvie
(c. 1579-1615)
from www.americancatholic.org

John Ogilvie's noble Scottish family was partly Catholic and partly Presbyterian. His father raised him as a Calvinist, sending him to the continent to be educated. There John became interested in the popular debates going on between Catholic and Calvinist scholars. Confused by the arguments of Catholic scholars whom he sought out, he turned to Scripture. Two texts particularly struck him: "God wills all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth," and "Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you."

Slowly, John came to see that the Catholic Church could embrace all kinds of people. Among these, he noted, were many martyrs. He decided to become Catholic and was received into the Church at Louvain, Belgium, in 1596 at the age of 17.

John continued his studies, first with the Benedictines, then as a student at the Jesuit College at Olmutz. He joined the Jesuits and for the next 10 years underwent their rigorous intellectual and spiritual training. Ordained a priest in France in 1610, he met two Jesuits who had just returned from Scotland after suffering arrest and imprisonment. They saw little hope for any successful work there in view of the tightening of the penal laws. But a fire had been lit within John. For the next two and a half years he pleaded to be missioned there.

Sent by his superiors, he secretly entered Scotland posing as a horse trader or a soldier returning from the wars in Europe. Unable to do significant work among the relatively few Catholics in Scotland, John made his way back to Paris to consult his superiors. Rebuked for having left his assignment in Scotland, he was sent back. He warmed to the task before him and had some success in making converts and in secretly serving Scottish Catholics. But he was soon betrayed, arrested and brought before the court. His trial dragged on until he had been without food for 26 hours. He was imprisoned and deprived of sleep. For eight days and nights he was dragged around, prodded with sharp sticks, his hair pulled out. Still, he refused to reveal the names of Catholics or to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the king in spiritual affairs. He underwent a second and third trial but held firm. At his final trial he assured his judges: "In all that concerns the king, I will be slavishly obedient; if any attack his temporal power, I will shed my last drop of blood for him. But in the things of spiritual jurisdiction which a king unjustly seizes I cannot and must not obey."

Condemned to death as a traitor, he was faithful to the end, even when on the scaffold he was offered his freedom and a fine living if he would deny his faith. His courage in prison and in his martyrdom was reported throughout Scotland.

John Ogilvie was canonized in 1976, becoming the first Scottish saint since 1250.


Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 02:05:00 PM
Age of restraint
Study renews concerns of using 'chemical straitjackets' to control elderly patients
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 02:04:00 PM
Study Pinpoints Regulator Of Imprinted Gene Expression
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 02:02:00 PM
Suspect in brutal assault suffers bipolar disorder
Mother says son had sought help
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 10:20:00 AM
Prayer for the Mentally Ill

O God, we humbly beseech You through Your servant, St Dymphna, who sealed with her blood the love she bore You, to grant relief to those who suffer from mental afflictions and nervous disorders.

Saint Dymphna, helper of the mentally afflicted, pray for us!
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 10:09:00 AM
Lower Saucon manager's arrest a shock to many
His work paints him an intelligent, ambitious man. Police report exposes claims of mental illness.
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 10:07:00 AM
Kuwaiti government psychiatrists testify that al-Shimmiri -- charged with wounding two Marines in Kuwait -- has bipolar disorder, but that he was "responsible for his actions".
Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 09:56:00 AM
Today's Saint: Saint Dominic Savio


Prayer to St. Dominic Savio
Dear Saint Dominic, you spent your short life totally for love of Jesus and His Mother. Help youth today to realize the importance of God in their lives. You became a saint through fervent participation in the sacraments, enlighten parents and children to the importance of frequent confession and Holy Communion. At a young age you meditated on the sorrowful Passion of Our Lord. Obtain for us the grace of a fervent desire to suffer for love of Him.
We desperately need your intercession to protect today's children from the snares of the world. Watch over them and lead them on the narrow road to Heaven. Ask God to give us the grace to sanctify our daily duties by performing them perfectly out of love for Him. Remind us of the necessity of practicing virtue especially in times of trial.

Saint Dominic Savio, you who preserved your Baptismal innocence of heart, pray for us.

Author: Lisa Graas
•3/10/2003 09:50:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings


Will you see Jesus today? According to today's Gospel reading, you will probably see Jesus today. You will see Him in all who are in need of some kind. Yet again, Jesus shows us that we are all connected with Him and with each other. To minister to one of "the least ones" is to minister to Christ Himself. There is no room for the rejection of any person.



In the reading from Leviticus we can see that God made His requirements known before Christ was born. The difference is in the Incarnation. The precepts of God were already in place. In Leviticus, it says, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." With Christ, though, we find that in loving our neighbor, we are now loving God Incarnate.


This is almost always a difficult thing to do -- to love your neighbor as yourself, and yet, this is precisely what the saints have done. Once, when I was discussing holiness with a friend, she kind of winced at the mention of becoming a saint. I said, "Don't you want to become a saint?" Her reply indicated that sainthood is for the few, so it would be futile to even try. But you see, each one of us is called to be a saint. To say that we cannot be saints is to deny the promises of Christ. It is like saying to Jesus, "Love my neighbor?!? But that's impossible! That is WAY too hard for me!" And in this, we contradict the words of today's Psalm which tells us that the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul! It is not too hard. The precepts of God are like a drink of water for a thirsty soul. Without the precepts of God, we would be languishing in confusion and doubt and sorrow with no hope of redemption. What an ugly thing to consider. It is His precepts which make Him our rock.



O Lord, grant that we may find refreshment in ministering to the least of your people. Grant that we may find joy in doing your will at times when it might otherwise seem too difficult for us. Strengthen us and enlighten us with your words, that we may also be rocks and redeemers in this fallen world. We ask in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.