TUESDAY     April 11, 2000    vol. 11, no. 72    SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial on reaching into Russia
  • THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS - part one: LETTER TO PRIESTS
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH - Installment 150: The Hidden Life of Jesus - part two
  • Daily LITURGY


  • Rushin' into Russia!

    We are delighted to be part of an effort to bring the Light of the World where previously there was only darkness in the former Soviet Union

        In today's editorial, we share the wonderful news and background on the DailyCATHOLIC's latest exciting venture with the debut yesterday of the publication in Russian. 83 years after the Blessed Virgin Mary asked the children of Fatima for the conversion of Russia through prayer and evangelization, we are blessed to be able to do our small part in this important Heavenly mission. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit and the tremendous generosity of Paul and Solveiga Knight from England who are experts in translation from English to Russian, we can offer this publication daily to all parts of Russia in bringing the Light of the world where before there was darkness. For today's editorial To Russia with love...God's love! , click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    To Russia with love...God's love!

    Michael Cain, editor

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    Holy Father shares his austere thoughts on the priesthood with the universal Church's priests in his annual LETTER TO PRIESTS for Holy Thursday 2000

       Today we bring you the first of three parts of the Holy Father's special LETTER TO PRIESTS for Holy Thursday 2000. He completed this touching letter, signing it in ceremonies during celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on Thursday morning, March 23rd during his historic "Jubilee Journey" in search of Salvation History. In this first part, the Pope greets every priest throughout the world, reminding them of their august privilege and the tremendous feelings he himself felt in this most holy place where the Blessed Sacrament was first instituted. Pope John Paul II also reminds them of John's emphasis on Christ's call for humility in the washing of the feet to remind all priests that as alter Christis they are servants to the flock. See THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

    Holy Father's Annual LETTER TO PRIESTS for Holy Thursday 2000
    part one

    My Dear Brother Priests!

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    Appreciation of the Hidden Life of Jesus Christ

        Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. Today we present the second part of the catechesis on The Hidden Life of Jesus of which little is really known from Sacred Scripture but which laid the foundation for Our Lord's public ministry as He obediently learned from Mary and His foster father Joseph as explained in My Catholic Faith. For the 150th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    Installment 150: The Hidden Life of Jesus Christ part two

          The hidden life of Jesus Christ lasted from His return to Nazaraeth at the age of twelve until He entered into public life, at the age of thirty. Of this part of Christ's life all we directly read from Holy Scripture are two statements: "And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them...And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men" (Luke 2:51, 52). In these two sentences is contained the history of eighteen years of the life of Jesus Christ, the God-Man.

          In the Temple at the early age of twelve, Jesus had proved His wisdom before the doctors of the law. As St. Luke writes, "And all who were listening to Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers" (Luke 2:47). But did He continue after this unusual and favorable beginning; did He stay on to preach His doctrine? No; instead, He meekly followed His parents as a young child of that age, and went to live with them in obscurity in Nazareth.

          The actions of Jesus Christ are intended for us as examples and instructions, as much as His words. As He said, "I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you also should do" (John 13:15). The hidden life of Jesus is for us a perfect model of humility. He lived in poverty and lowliness: the Mother He chose was a poor woman; His foster-father was a carpenter; the town in which He spent the greatest part of His life was an obscure place despised by the Jews: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46).

          By His hidden life Jesus Christ teaches us to learn holiness and wisdom before we presume to teach others. He teaches us, by living in obscurity, to fifht against our vanity, which makes us desire to be doing only what seems great and important, which makes us desire to be praised and noticed. By His hidden life Our Lord teaches us to subdue our pride, to live day after day without impatience or complaint, unknown to the world, and even despised, if that is the will of God for us; then we shall have true peace of heart. And so Jesus said, "Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (Matthew 11:29). For long years of obscurity in Nazareth, He was just "a carpenter's son."

          The hidden life of Jesus Christ is for us a perfect model of obedience: "And He was subject to them." The God of all created things, almighty and infinite, was subject to two poor and unknown mortals. He obeyed them in all things, promptly, constantly, cheerfully, and with great love.

          Let us model our obedience on this perfect pattern. Let us obey our superiors as representatives of God, giving them due respect and prompt obedience. When our parents command us, and we go about doing what they want, but with murmuring and without spirit, is that the obedience that the Child Jesus gave in Nazareth? When we have to do some unpleasant or difficult task, let us imitate Jesus in His very words: "Yes, Father, for such was Thy good pleasure" (Matthew 11:26).

          In this way our obedience will be like that of Jesus, supernatural; we shall obey human beings for the love of God; we shall really be obeying God Himself, in the persons of those He has placed over us. By the example of His hidden life our Lord set the principle for the religious life, particularly for that in contemplative orders.

          Jesus "advanced in wisdom and grace before God and men." Although He possessed all wisdom and grace from the first moment of His mortal life, He manifested them only gradually and in a way that was in keeping with His years. We can obtain much merit before God without doing any striking actions, by merely being humble and obedient in the place of life in which it has pleased God to put us. If Christ the Son of God, God Himself, was content to be humble, poor, and unknown, to do common tasks day by day for the greater part of His earthly life, is there any reason why we should be ever trying to exalt ourselves, to attract admiration, ever to feed our vanity? Remember another who practiced this virtue with her Little Way - Saint Therese of Lisieux.

      Tomorrow: The Public Life of Jesus Christ part one

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    DAILY LITURGY

       Today's and tomorrow's liturgy are both Lenten Weekdays plus the Optional Feast today of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profiles on this Polish saint, see DAILY LITURGY .

    Tuesday, April 11, 2000

      Tuesday April 11:
      Tuesday in Lent and
      Optional Feast of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

      Purple vestments

        First Reading: Numbers 21: 4-9
        Responsorial: Psalm 102: 2-3, 16-21
        Gospel Reading: John 8: 21-30

    SAINT STANISLAUS, BISHOP AND MARTYR

            The principal patron saint of Cracow in Poland is Saint Stanislaus who was born near that city in 1030. Because he had been born of noble parents they could afford to send him to Paris in France where, while studying there, the fruits of a vocation to the priesthood came to full flower. Returning to Poland he became a priest and was designated to be a preacher and canon by the bishop of Cracow at that time, Bishop Lampert Zula. The fame of Stanislaus' sanctity and preaching prowess spread throughout the city and beyond and he was sought out by many for spiritual direction. In 1072 Bishop Zula died and Stanislaus was appointed his successor at the age of 42. Though he did not want this office, he humbly accepted it with a special emphasis on the poor. Stanislaus angered the King of Poland at that time - King Boleslaus II who had just been victorious over the Russians at Kiev. Though Boleslaus was a great king militarily, his morals left much to be desired and Stanislaus rebuked him for his way of life, threatening excommunication if the king did not mend his ways as a role model of the people in the highest office of the land. Rather than repenting, Boleslaus called for Bishop Stanislaus' head by ordering his assassination. However three times the soldiers the king had commissioned to do this dastardly deed failed. So incensed was Boleslaus that he took it upon himself to silence good Stanislaus, bursting into the church where the Bishop was celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on April 11, 1079 and the evil king became the vehicle by which Stanislaus attained martyrdom in the Church. He was buried in St. Michael's church in Kalka, Poland and canonized two centuries later by Pope Innocent IV in 1253, when the Holy Father declared him the first Polish saint to be officially recognized as a martyr. To this day Stanislaus is looked upon by the Polish people as the symbol of Polish nationhood.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2000

        First Reading: Daniel 3: 14-20, 91-92, 95
        Responsorial: Daniel 3: 52-56
        Gospel Reading: John 8: 31-42

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    April 11, 2000     volume 11, no. 72
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