By Anna Von Reitz
How do we use your donations? Find out here.
By Anna Von Reitz
How do we use your donations? Find out here.
By Anna Von Reitz
How do we use your donations? Find out here.
1 Which of the following play important roles in obscuring the true agenda of the pandemic virus industrial complex?
2 While Pfizer claims a 100% efficacy rate in 12- to 15-year-olds, this conclusion is a statistical trick. Which of the following is actually correct?
3 Which of the following is the most likely reason why safe and effective COVID-19 treatments have been censored and vilified?
4 Which of the following statements is accurate?
5 If you’ve had COVID-19, recent research suggests you now likely have:
6 A landmark study was recently published showing that exposure to very low levels of fluoride during pregnancy:
7 If you have received the COVID shot, you:
After years of investigation about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, I wrote my book, “Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health,” and published it in 2006. Since then I’ve been warning about the ever-growing evidence that artificial sweeteners can damage your health in many ways. Now, new research finds that gut microbiome damage from artificial sweeteners is even greater than was previously thought.
Scientists have found that three of the most popular artificial sweeteners, including sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin) and saccharin (Sweet’n Low, Necta Sweet and Sweet Twin) have a pathogenic effect on two types of gut bacteria.1
Specifically, research using lab data was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences,2 which demonstrated these common sweeteners can trigger beneficial bacteria to become pathogenic and potentially increase your risk of serious health conditions. This is the first study that demonstrated how two types of beneficial bacteria can become diseased and invade the gut wall.
The bacteria studied were Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis). As early as 2008,3 researchers found that sucralose lowered your gut bacteria count by at least 47.4% and increased the pH level of your intestines. Another study found that sucralose had a metabolic effect on bacteria and could inhibit the growth of certain species.4
The current molecular research from Angelia Ruskin University5 found that when E. coli and E. faecalis became pathogenic, they killed Caco-2 cells that line the wall of the intestines. Much of the past research demonstrating a change in gut bacteria had used sucralose.
However, data from this study6 showed that a concentration from two cans of diet soft drinks, using any of the three artificial sweeteners, could significantly increase the ability of E. coli and E. faecalis to adhere to the Caco-2 cells and increase the development of bacterial biofilms.
When bacteria create a biofilm, it promotes the invasion of the intestinal cell wall. Biofilms make bacteria less sensitive to treatment and more likely to express virulence that causes disease. Each of the three sweeteners tested also triggered the bacteria to invade the Caco-2 cells, with one exception.
The researchers found that saccharin did not have a significant effect on E. coli invading the Caco-2 cells. Havovi Chichger, Ph.D., lead author and senior lecturer in Biomedical Science at Anglia Ruskin University, spoke about the results of the study in a press release:7
“There is a lot of concern about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, with some studies showing that sweeteners can affect the layer of bacteria which support the gut, known as the gut microbiota.
Our study is the first to show that some of the sweeteners most commonly found in food and drink — saccharin, sucralose and aspartame — can make normal and ‘healthy’ gut bacteria become pathogenic. These pathogenic changes include greater formation of biofilms and increased adhesion and invasion of bacteria into human gut cells.
These changes could lead to our own gut bacteria invading and causing damage to our intestine, which can be linked to infection, sepsis and multiple-organ failure.”
Unfortunately, for many people, their sweet tooth has become an addiction, fueled by a food industry that continues to develop highly palatable, inexpensive and ultraprocessed foods loaded with sugar as well as artificial sweeteners. As such, the diet industry has become a cash-cow market for lab-created, low-calorie foods manufacturers promote for weight loss.
One study8 from George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in 20179 found there was a 54% jump in adults who used low-calorie sweeteners from 1999 to 2012. This represented 41.4% of all adults in the U.S. at that time, or 129.5 million people.10 By 2020, the number had jumped to 141.18 million,11 which represented 42.6% of the population.12
It appears that the jump in adults using low-calorie sweeteners that occurred from 1999 to 2012 has remained steady through 2020. This may be due in part to the growing evidence that low-calorie sweeteners, such as Splenda, are a large contributor to the growing number of individuals who are overweight and obese.13
As the incidence of obesity14 and obesity-related health conditions15 continues to skyrocket, manufacturers seek out “perfectly engineered food”16 to drive sales and consumption.
Consequently, the obesity epidemic is one of the most important global public health challenges today, associated with 4.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2017.17 Recent research suggests artificial sweeteners may contribute to a greater range of health conditions than we have thus far identified.18
It is important to recognize that even though artificial sweeteners have very few or no calories, they are still metabolically active.19 The New York Times20 reported that the FDA announced it was banning saccharin in foods and beverages in 1977 because it was linked to the development of malignant bladder tumors in laboratory animals. However, saccharin is now approved for use by the FDA, which says:21
“In the early 1970s, saccharin was linked with the development of bladder cancer in laboratory rats, which led Congress to mandate additional studies of saccharin and the presence of a warning label on saccharin-containing products until such warning could be shown to be unnecessary.
Since then, more than 30 human studies demonstrated that the results found in rats were not relevant to humans, and that saccharin is safe for human consumption.”
But just because the FDA has approved something doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Scientists have explained that many studies have linked artificial sweeteners to an increased risk for obesity, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A paper published in Physiology and Behavior22 presented three mechanisms by which artificial sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction:
As past and recent research has demonstrated, artificial sweeteners have a significantly different effect on your gut microbiome than sugar. Sugar is detrimental because it tends to feed harmful microbes, yet the effects of artificial sweeteners may be worse, as they are downright toxic to gut bacteria.
One animal study23 published in the journal Molecules analyzed six artificial sweeteners including saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-K. The data showed they all caused DNA damage in, and interfered with, the normal and healthy activity of gut bacteria.
One 20-year, population-based study24 of 451,743 people from 10 European countries discovered there was also an association between artificially sweetened drinks and mortality. The researchers excluded participants who had previously had cancer, stroke or diabetes.
At the final tally, 71.1% of the participants in the study were women. The results showed that there was a higher all-cause mortality in people who drank two or more glasses each day of soft drinks, whether they were sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened.25
The researchers measured one glass as equivalent to 250 milliliters (8.4 ounces),26 which is less than the standard 330 milliliters (11.3 ounces) per can sold in Europe.27 In other words, the results of the study were based on less than two cans of soda each day.
The researchers found 43.2% of deaths were from cancers, 21.8% from circulatory disease and 2.9% from digestive disorders.28 Compared to those who drank fewer soft drinks (less than one per month) those drinking two or more per day were more likely to be young, smokers and physically active.
The data showed there was a link between artificially sweetened soft drinks and death from circulatory diseases and an association between sugar-sweetened soft drinks and death from digestive diseases.29 This suggests that policies aimed at cutting or reducing sugar consumption may have disastrous consequences when manufacturers reformulate their products using artificial sweeteners.
This same study also found a link between drinking soft drinks and Parkinson’s Disease30 “with positive nonsignificant associations found for sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks.”
Aspartame is another artificial sweetener that has been studied in the past decades. In one study,31 researchers asked healthy adults to consume a high aspartame diet for eight days, followed by a two-week washout and then a low aspartame diet for eight days.
During the high aspartame period, individuals suffered from depression, headache and poor mood. They performed worse on spatial orientation tests, which indicated aspartame had a significant effect on neurobehavioral health.
A second study32 evaluated whether people with diagnosed mood disorders were more vulnerable to the effects of aspartame. Researchers included 40 individuals with unipolar depression and those without any history of psychiatric disorder. The study was stopped after 13 completed the intervention because of the severity of the reactions.
Mice fed aspartame-laced drinking water developed symptoms of metabolic syndrome33 and another animal study34 found that aspartame had a negative effect on insulin tolerance and influenced gut microbial composition.
A further animal study35 determined that sucralose affected animal liver, “indicating toxic effects on regular ingestion.” The finding suggests “sucralose should be taken with caution to avoid hepatic damage.”36
Scientists have found a long list of symptoms associated with consuming sucralose. These have included migraine headaches,37 raised risk of Type 2 diabetes38 and enlargement of the liver and kidneys.39,40
There are several plant-based sugar substitutes, including Stevia, Lo Han Kuo and allulose. Stevia is a sweet herb from the South American stevia plant. It’s sold as a supplement and can be used to sweeten the most dishes and drinks.
Lo Han Kuo is similar to Stevia but a bit more expensive. Another natural option is allulose. Although the market in Japan is significant,41 it is relatively unknown in the West. Allulose is found in small quantities in some fruits and was given a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) food designation by the FDA.42
Researchers have said the compound has an energy value of “effectively zero,”43 which suggests this rare sugar may be useful as a sweetener for obese people to aid in weight reduction.
In addition to contributing little to no calories, allulose elicits a physiological response that may help to lower blood glucose, reduce abdominal fat and reduce fat accumulation around the liver. Read more about this natural compound in “Can This Natural Sweetener Lower Blood Sugar?”
If there were any reasonable safety standard in place, the COVID injection campaign would have been halted in early January 2021. The reported rate of death from COVID-19 shots now exceeds the reported death rate of more than 70 vaccines combined over the past 30 years, and it’s about 500 times deadlier than the seasonal flu vaccine,1 which historically has been the most hazardous.
The COVID shots are also five times more dangerous than the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, which had a 25-per-million severe side effect rate.2,3 In a June 24, 2021, peer-reviewed article4 in the medical journal Vaccines, titled, “The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccination — We Should Rethink the Policy,” an international team of scientists warns that we’re killing nearly as many with the shots as would die from COVID-19 itself.
UPDATE: This peer reviewed article was retracted. Please see twitter thread for details.
To compare the risks and benefits, they calculated the number needed to vaccinate (NNTV) to prevent one COVID-19 death. The data came from a large Israeli field study and two adverse drug reactions databases, one with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and one with the Dutch National Register.
To prevent one case of COVID-19 using the mRNA shot by Pfizer, the NNTV is between 200 and 700. The NNTV to prevent one death is between 9,000 and 50,000, with 16,000 as a point estimate.
Meanwhile, the number of people reporting adverse reactions from the shots is 700 per 100,000 vaccinations. For serious side effects, there are 16 reports per 100,000 vaccinations, and the number of fatal side effects is 4.11 per 100,000 vaccinations.
The final calculation suggests that for every three COVID-19 deaths prevented, two die from the shots. “This lack of clear benefit should cause governments to rethink their vaccination policy,” the authors state in conclusion.
Understand that doesn’t even factor in the anticipated far greater death toll from the COVID jab in the fall, as a result of paradoxical immune enhancement. These numbers will escalate to shocking ratios as the deaths start to increase in the fall.
Janci Chunn Lindsay, Ph.D., a prominent toxicologist and molecular biologist who works with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center-Houston, says the current COVID-19 injection campaign is a “massive clinical trial” using the general population as subjects, and is calling for the program to end.
Lindsay, described by investigative journalist Jennifer Margulis as having “extensive experience in analyzing the molecular profile of pharmacologic responses,”5 told the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that Pfizer’s and Moderna’s gene therapy injections have multiple safety concerns and should not be given to children or women of childbearing age.
You can hear her comment in the video above. A transcript of her three-minute comment can be found on Algora.com.6
She pointed out “there is a credible reason to believe that the COVID vaccines will cross-react with the syncytin and reproductive proteins in sperm, ova and placenta, leading to impaired fertility and impaired reproductive and gestational outcomes,” and that there are enough pregnancy losses reported thus far to warrant stopping the vaccines. Lindsay should know, seeing how she worked on a vaccine back in the ‘90s that unexpectedly ended up causing permanent sterility.
Margulis contacted Lindsay after the meeting to see what additional information she had that she was not allowed to present due to the three-minute time restriction. In a written response, Lindsay said:7
“There is strong evidence for immune escape and that inoculation under pandemic pressure with these leaky vaccines is driving the creation of more lethal mutants that are both newly infecting a younger age demographic, and causing more COVID-related deaths across the population than would have occurred without intervention. That is, there is evidence that the vaccines are making the pandemic worse.”
The podcast, A Shot in the Dark, also interviewed Lindsay for nearly an hour about her concerns, June 24, 2021, which you can listen to above.8 Importantly, she points out that regulatory agencies and vaccine makers feigning surprise that the COVID shots are causing heart inflammation is completely absurd, as there are “hundreds of studies” linking coronavirus spike proteins to this effect.
She also dismisses the claim that heart inflammation is somehow only affecting younger people. Heart attacks in adults are also a clear sign of this effect, she says. Additionally, clinical evidence given to her by health care professionals who are treating patients injured by these shots suggest the spike protein your body produces in response to them have toxic effects on your bone marrow.
Disturbingly, like many others, Lindsay says there’s evidence that the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is deleting reports of side effects, especially deaths, post-COVID injection. So, not only does VAERS generally capture only 1%9,10 to 10%11 of side effects, but they also appear to be manually wiping reports.
In related news, a peer-reviewed case report12 published June 15, 2021, reviews two neurosurgical cases in which patients developed new onset of neurological symptoms shortly after their COVID shots. The two patients were found to have two different types of brain tumors.
The authors point out that even though these processes are considered “unrelated to vaccination,” their hypothesis is that the COVID shots “may induce an inflammatory cascade with the ability to uncover underlying sinister pathology.”
For this reason, they strongly recommend “careful evaluation in the setting of new-onset neurologic symptoms after COVID-19 vaccination.” Of course, by then, it’s going to be too late, so in my view, people need to carefully consider these risks before they submit to these shots.
The first case was a 58-year-old woman who eight years previously had surgically removed melanoma on her right arm. Within two weeks of her second dose of a COVID-19 injection, she developed slurred speech, facial droop on the left side and left arm and leg weakness. Computed tomography (CT) of the head revealed a 3.4 centimeter intraparenchymal hemorrhage in her right lobe, causing a 3-millimeter shift in the midline of the two lobes.
No overt abnormalities were found in her bloodwork. Contrast-enhanced MRI of the woman’s brain further revealed a large hemorrhagic cavity in the right frontal lobe and a hemorrhagic mass. Surgical biopsy diagnosed it as a metastatic malignant melanoma.
The second case was a 52-year-old woman with a history of hypothyroidism and breast cancer. About four days after her first dose of COVID “vaccine,” she developed a severe headache, neck stiffness and intermittent high-grade fevers.
CT imaging and contrast-enhanced MRI of her head revealed a 5.8 cm mass in her corpus callosum. No obvious problems were detected in her blood work. Biopsy revealed the mass to be an IDH-wildtype Grade IV glioblastoma. According to the authors:13
“Administration of these vaccines was unrelated to the oncologic diagnoses themselves. However, these two independent processes both came to the clinical forefront following vaccination. We hypothesize that the inflammatory response to the COVID vaccine may have played a role in increasing clinical symptoms in these patients, potentially in relation to the COVID-19 spike protein …
Although the precise mechanism of post-vaccination inflammation is unknown, it is known that spike proteins can initiate inflammatory cascades and cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in COVID-19 infections.
It is possible that encoded spike proteins post-vaccination therefore cross the BBB and enhance inflammatory responses to nascent pathology within the brain following vaccine administration.
We believe that an augmented inflammatory response following vaccination called attention to these neuro-oncologic diseases by exacerbating peritumoral edema and worsening clinical symptoms.”
VAERS is not the only place where data are being manipulated to hide problems associated with the COVID shots. The CDC is also manipulating its data collection and reporting of breakthrough cases, meaning people who contract COVID-19 after being partially or fully “vaccinated,” to make the shots appear more effective than they really are. In a June 24, 2021, Trial Site News article, Joel Hirschhorn writes:14
“How well does the artificial immunity provided by experimental COVID vaccines really work to protect people from getting infected? The answer is revealed by how many ‘breakthrough’ infections develop two weeks or more after full vaccination. But can we trust the federal government to collect comprehensive data on them? Now, the answer is NO.”
Originally, the CDC recommended labs use a PCR cycle threshold (CT) of 4015 when testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection. This, despite CTs above 35 were known to create a false positive rate of 97% or more.16 By using an exaggerated CT, healthy people were deemed to have COVID-19. The pandemic fraud was further propped up by falsely claiming that asymptomatic carriers were responsible for a large portion of the spread.
Now, in what appears to be a clear effort to hide COVID-19 breakthrough cases, the CDC has lowered the CT considerably — from 40 to 28 or lower17 — when testing “vaccinated” individuals. So, as vaccinated individuals are contracting the illness, they’re now far less likely to register as positive cases.
But that’s not all. To boost the appearance of vaccine efficacy even further, the CDC also will no longer record mild or asymptomatic infections in vaccinated individuals as “COVID cases.”
The only cases that now count as COVID cases — if the patient has been vaccinated against COVID-19 — are those that result in hospitalization or death.18 Meanwhile, if you’re unvaccinated and come down with a mild case, or if you test positive at a higher CT and have no symptoms, you still count as a COVID case.
As of April 30, 2021, the CDC had received a total of 10,262 reports of vaccine breakthrough infections,19 which it admitted was a “substantial undercount,” as they’re using a passive surveillance system that relies on voluntary reporting from state health departments.20 May 17, 2021, that number was slashed to 1,949, as the new guidance took effect.
Alas, breakthrough cases continue to rapidly accumulate, even with the laxer reporting rules. By June 21, 2021, the CDC reported 4,115 breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization and/or death.21
As noted by Hirschhorn,22 several doctors are now reporting that the majority of COVID-19 cases they see are fully vaccinated individuals. Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale, for example, claims the fully vaccinated account for 60% of his COVID caseload.23 This clinical observation stands in stark contrast to what you’ll read in the mainstream news. Lately, a slew of articles has been published declaring that most COVID deaths are now occurring in unvaccinated people.
U.K. data also show vaccinated people are at significantly increased risk of dying from the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 than unvaccinated ones, which suggests antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) might be at play.
A June 11, 2021, report24 by Public Health England shows that as a hospital patient, you are nearly six times more likely to die of the COVID Delta variant if you are fully vaccinated, than if you got no COVID shots at all. The information shows up in Table 6 on page 15, which lists emergency care and deaths by vaccination status and confirmed Delta cases from February 1, 2021, to June 7, 2021.
Of 33,206 Delta variant cases admitted to the hospital, 19,573 were not vaccinated. Of those, 23 (0.1175%) died. But, of the 13,633 patients who were vaccinated with either one or two doses, 19 (0.1393%) died, which is an 18.6% higher death rate than for the unvaccinated patients.
Seven of the 5,393 patients who had received one dose 21 days or more before admission died (0.1297%). Of the 1,785 patients who had both vaccine doses 14 days or more before admission, 12 (0.6722%) died. This death rate is 5.72 times higher than that for unvaccinated patients. To put this into perspective, if all 33,206 patients had been fully vaccinated, there would have been 223 deaths instead of 42.
As noted in a June 22, 2021, Wall Street Journal article,25 while VAERS cannot tell us whether the shots were causative in any given side effect report, when you see clusters of reports that form a trend, it’s time to investigate.
Four serious adverse effects that are currently trending are thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), noninfectious myocarditis (heart inflammation), especially in those under 30, deep-vein thrombosis and death.26
For such effects to be tolerable, even if rare, the vaccine (or drug) would need to be absolutely crucial for survival. That is not the case for COVID-19 however, which has a lethality rate on par with the seasonal flu for all but the elderly and those most frail. The vaccine would also need to be an actual vaccine — something that provides immunity. COVID-19 gene therapy injections don’t do that either.
Overall, it’s clear that deaths and injuries from these shots are being swept under the rug, and we cannot allow that to continue. We must keep pushing for transparency, honesty and accountability.
If you missed my interview with Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, I encourage you to listen to it now. In it, we review protocols you can use to protect yourself, your family or those that you love who now regret getting the COVID jab.
If you’ve gotten the shot and are suffering side effects, please report it to VAERS. In the video below, National Vaccine Information Center cofounder Barbara Loe Fisher discusses the importance of filing a report if your doctor won’t, and the information you’ll need to provide.
Somewhere along the line this person’s approach to the CV19 vaqqine side effects situation came into my field. I’m not recalling any memories of his work, but I found the short video quite illuminating, and I feel others may find his approaches useful and helpful.
One simple tool he demonstrated was a sea salt saline spray to use to balance and cleanse one’s energies. Having lived where I could be in the ocean almost every day, I can strongly attest to the healing and balancing effects of the ocean waters.
See the video description for more about him and his products.
This poor guy doesn’t know that “lies” are inventions too! #Tesla But he is the one who said: “no free energy device will ever be allowed to reach the market”That is genius! Tells the whole future of energy! pic.twitter.com/ImUwP3Kk6c — Anas Alhajji (@anasalhajji) July 3, 2021
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year
The Introit of this day’s Mass is the prayer of a soul that trusts in God’s powerful and merciful protection:
INTROIT The Lord is the strength of his people, the protector of the salvation of his Anointed: save, O Lord, thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, and rule them for ever. Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord: O my God, be not Thou silent to me; lest if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. (Ps. XXVII.) Glory etc.
COLLECT O God of hosts, to whom belongeth all that is perfect: implant in our hearts the love of Thy name, and grant within us an increase of religion, that Thou mayest nourish in us what is good, and by the fervor of our devotion may preserve in us what Thou hast nourished. Through etc.
EPISTLE (Rom. VI. 3-11.) Brethren, All we who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death. For we are buried together with him by baptism unto death: that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer. For he that is dead is justified from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ. Knowing that Christ, rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have, dominion aver him. For in that he died to sin, he died once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. So do you also reckon that you are dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
EXPLANATION The apostle here teaches that in consequence of our baptism we are made members of Christ’s body, and must, therefore, die to sin; as Christ by His death died to physical life, but has risen again, so must we bury sin, by constant renewal of baptismal vows, and by self-mortification rise to a Christian life. As members of Christ’s body we should in a spiritual manner imitate Him. As He permitted His body to be nailed to the cross to atone for our sins, so should we crucify our corrupt nature by self-denial, and as He after His Resurrection lives always, because having risen He dieth no more, so we, risen from the death of sin, should lead a pious life conformable to that of Christ.
ASPIRATION I trust, O Lord Jesus, that by the merits of Thy passion I have risen from the death of sin: grant me Thy grace, that as Thou diest no more, so may I die no more by sin, but live for God, according to Thy law.
GOSPEL (Mark. VIII. 1-9.) At that time, When there was a great multitude with Jesus, and had nothing to eat, calling his disciples together, he saith to them: I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat; and if I shall send them away, fasting, to their ,home, they will faint in the way: for some of them came from afar off. And his disciples answered him: From whence can any one fill them here with bread in the wilderness? And he asked them: How many loaves have ye? Who said: Seven. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, he broke, and gave to his disciples to set before them: and they set them before the people. And they had a few little fishes, and he blessed them, and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat, and were filled, and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets: and, they that had eaten
were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
Why did Christ say: I have compassion on the multitude?
Because of His mercy and goodness to man, as well as to prove that which He taught on another occasion, (Matt. VI. 33.) that to those who seek first the kingdom of God and His justice all other things will be added, without asking; for none of the multitude asked Christ for food, and yet He provided for all.
REMARK. The instruction after the gospel for the fourth Sunday in Lent, where a similar miracle is mentioned, may be read to-day.
INSTRUCTION ON BLESSING
And He blessed them. (Mark VIII. 7.)
Seduced by Satan, the first man violated the holy is command of God, and by his sin brought upon himself and his habitation the curse of divine wrath. (Gen. III. 17.) Man was made by God, and therefore subject: to Him, but was himself master of all created things. .After the sin of disobedience, however, all creation revolted against him: the animals fled from him, the fields yielded only thorns and thistles, the herbs became poisonous to him, or refused him their former wholesome power. Innumerable evils followed, all men and even the whole earth suffered from them; the devil drew both into his sphere and made them his servants, and this evil spirit now made use of created ,things to divert man altogether from God and to cause his eternal ruin. But God decreed that man and earth should not remain in this condition: Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth, redeemed it from the bonds of Satan, and gave all men the power to become once more God’s children. The devil was conquered by the cross, but not slain; man and the, earth were indeed taken from his dominion, but not from his influence; for he even now, as the apostle Writes, goes about like a roaring lion, seeking ,whom he may devour, (I Peter V. 8.); and as he used the forbidden fruit in paradise to seduce man, he now uses the created things of the earth to tempt man, and, make him his servant. Man and all creation had to be drawn from this pernicious influence, to be liberated from the bondage of corruption and be brought to the freedom of the children of God. (Rom. VIII. 19.) This is done in the Church, to which Christ entrusted the power of binding and loosing, and gave the work of sanctifying through the Holy Ghost, by means of blessing and consecrating. By virtue of the merits of Christ, and with the assistance of the Holy Ghost, the Church, or the priest in her name, therefore blesses and consecrates persons as well as other created things which they are to use, or which she is to apply to the service of God. In this the Church follows the example of Christ and the Apostles. Jesus embraced children and laid His hands upon them, blessing them; (Mark X. 16.) He blessed bread and fishes, the food of thousands; blessed breed and wine at the last supper; (Matt. XXVI. 26.) was recognized by the disciples in the blessing of bread; (Luke XXIV. 30.) blessing the disciples He ascended into heaven; (Luke XXIV. 51.) by His command the apostles wished peace to every house into which they stepped; (Matt. X. 12, 13.) and St. Paul expressly says, that every living thing is sanctified by prayer and the word of God. (I Tim. IV. 5.) Following the example and command of Christ the Church also introduced blessings and benedictions which were prefigured in the Old Law. God commanded the priests to sanctify and to consecrate whatever was to belong to His service, (Levit. VIII.) and the Old Law is full of blessings and consecrations which had to be used by the priests; (Exod. XXIX. 36.; XXX. 25.; XI. 9.) and if persons and things used for God’s service were to be blessed, how much more so in the. New Law which in place of the type, contains the reality and truth The testimony of Scripture is confirmed by all the holy Fathers, and by the constant practice of the Church which has received from Christ, the power to bless and to consecrate.
The blessing or benediction of the Church is nothing more than a, prayer of intercession which the priest makes in the name of the Church, that for the sake of Christ (therefore the sign of the cross) and the prayers of the saints, God may give His blessings to a person or thing, and sanctify it. Through consecration, in which besides prayer and the sign of the cross, the anointing with holy oil is used, things required for divine service are separated from all other things and especially sanctified. Thus persons, fruits, bread, wine, houses, ships and fields, are blessed; churches, altars, bells, &c., are consecrated.
What virtue have these blessings?
The chief effects of the blessing of persons are: Preservation or liberation from the influence of Satan; preservation of the soul from his temptations and evil suggestions; reservation of the body and of the property from his ;pernicious malice; forgiveness of venial sins, and strength to suppress concupiscence; curing of sickness and physical evils, whether natural or supernatural; a blessing upon the person and his surroundings; the imparting of the grace of conversion; the advantage of the prayer of the Church and further grace for the remission of temporal and eternal punishment. The blessing of things withdraws them from the influence of the devil, so that he can no longer use them as a means of bringing us into sin, but that they rather serve us as a protection against the evil spirits and as a means for our salvation.
Whence do the blessings derive their force?
From the merits of Christ who by His death on the cross vanquished Satan. The Church asks God that He will through these merits and through the intercession of the saints bless a person or thing, and make that which is blessed profitable to us fox both body and soul. Whether or not the effects manifest themselves in the person who receives the blessing, or makes use of the object blessed, depends on his faith and moral condition, as also on the usefulness or profit of the blessing to him. We should not, then, place obstacles in its way by diffidence in God and the prayers of the Church or by a sinful life, but should always be convinced. that these benedictions will serve for our benefit, if according to God’s will they are used as the Church intends, as a means to overcome evil, to sanctify ourselves, and to honor God.
Why are salt and water blessed?
This is plainly shown in the prayer the priest says in blessing them; for he asks, in the name of the Church, that God may pour the virtue of His blessing over the water that it may conquer devils, prevent sickness, and that everything which is sprinkled with it, may be preserved from every injury, and that He may bless the salt, so that it may be salutary for the body and soul of all who use it. The salt which Eliseus sprinkled into the unwholesome waters of Jericho healed them, (IV King. II. 20. 21.) and is a type of blessed salt.
Why are the people sprinkled with holy water on Sundays?
To remind the people of the interior purity with which they should come to divine service, and fulfil the duties of their calling; and to exhort them to purify themselves from the stains of sin by tears of sorrow, and repentance. Hence the priest in sprinkling the faithful recites the words of the fiftieth psalm: Asperges me hyssopo, etc. Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed; to remind them to preserve the purity and innocence procured by the blood of the Lamb of God, and communicated to them in baptism. Finally, the people are sprinkled that the temptations of the devil may depart from them, enabling them to attend with great fervor and with more recollection to the holy service.
What else is to be remembered concerning the use of blessed things?
That they are to be used with faithful confidence for the purpose for which the Church blessed them, and are to be treated with great reverence, because they are blessed by the Church in the name of Jesus, a custom almost as old as Christianity itself. The Christian must not believe that blessed things which he possesses, carries, or uses, will make him holy, for he should always remember that things blessed are only a means of sanctification, and are only effectual when the faithful have the earnest will to die rather than sin, to fight with all fervor against the enemies of their salvation, to follow Christ, and be thereby received into the freedom of the children of God, and into heaven.