WEDNESDAY     April 26, 2000    vol. 11, no. 82    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • NEW: April 25th Medjugorje Message
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Installment 159 - The Ascension part one
  • Events that occurred today in Church History

  • JUST RELEASED: April 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    NOTE: We respectfully recognize and accept the final authority regarding apparitions, locutions and prophecies presently being reported around the world rests with the Holy See of Rome and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to whose judjment we humbly and obediently submit.

    "Dear children! Also today I call you to conversion. You are concerned too much about material things and little about spiritual ones. Open your hearts and start again to work more on your personal conversion. Decide everyday to dedicate time to God and to prayer until prayer becomes a joyful meeting with God for you. Only in this way will your life have meaning and with joy you will contemplate eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call."

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    "Today bring Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My Mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence."

       Today we bring you the sixth day of the Novena of Divine Mercy which will conclude with DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY the end of tis week. This Novena was imparted to Blessed Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun of the 1930's who is known as the "Apostle of Mercy" and who will be honored with sainthood on Sunday. For this sixth day of the Novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, see DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

    Wednesday, April 26th, 2000

        "Today bring Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My Mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence."
       Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all Heaven into ecstasy and they are the Heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

        Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of Mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your Mercy for endless ages. Amen.

    It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

    (All material taken from Divine Mercy Devotions, copyright Marians of the Immaculate Conception)


          Devotion to Divine Mercy is conveyed through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as Jesus imparted to Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska when He relayed, as recorded in her diary "Divine Mercy in my soul", "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you (1541)...Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687)...When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541)...Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy (687)...Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (1731).

          Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320).

            The Chaplet begins with the OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, and the APOSTLES' CREED. Then on the large bead before each decade one recites:
        Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

        On each decade of the small beads, pray the following:
        For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

        At the end of the Chaplet recite three times the following prayer:
        Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

        Some conclude with the following prayer said three times also:
        O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as Font of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

          It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.

          The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).

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       Today is Wednesday in Easter Week or the Easter Octave with tomorrow being the same for Thursday where white vestments are the norm, alleluias and Easter lillies are in vogue, the Regina Coeli replaces the Angelus and the Paschal Candle, assembled and lit at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening is lit for every Mass until the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Wednesday, April 26, 2000

        First Reading: Acts 3: 1-10
        Psalms: Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
        Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 13-35

    Thursday, April 27, 2000

        First Reading: Acts 3: 11-26
        Psalms: Psalm 8:2, 5-9
        Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 35-48

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    "Peace to you! It is I, do not be afraid...Why are you disturbed, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and feet, that it is I Myself. Feel Me and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

    Luke 24: 36, 38-39

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    Appreciation of the Ascension of Our Lord

        Today we continue our series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We present the first part of the catechesis on The Ascension as explained in My Catholic Faith and the mystery of His returning to His Heavenly Father while not leaving His flock alone, but promising to send the Holy Spirit to guide His Church and her people. For part one in the 159th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 159: The Ascension part one

          On Mount Olivet, a hill outside Jerusalem, forty days after His Resurrection, Our Lord spoke to the disciples, telling them how the Holy Spirit would descend upon them. "And when He had said this, He was lifted up before their eyes, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing up to Heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white garments, and said to them, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to Heaven? This Jesus Who has been taken from you into Heaven, will come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to Heaven'" (Acts 1:9-11).

          Christ ascended, body and soul, into Heaven on Ascension day, forty days after His Resurrection. The Ascension took place from the Mount of Olives. Christ's Apostles and disciples were present. It was full daylight.

          He gave His followers His last instructions. Then He raised His hands and blessed them. He told them to preach the Gospel to all nations, and promised to be with them to the end of the world. While all looked on, He was raised up, by His own power, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. "Now He led them out towards Bethany, and...was carried up into Heaven" (Luke 24:50-51).

          The disciples returned to Jerusalem with great joy. Their Master had returned to Heaven in glory, and His arrival there had opened to His followers the Heavenly gates. He had earned for men infinite grace, so that they were now able to attain the friendship of God Himself. Christ the King had gone home to prepare a place for men in Heaven (cf. John 14:16; 2 Cor. 1:7). We celebrate the feast of the Ascension forty days after Easter, on Ascension Thursday.

          Christ remained on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove that He had truly risen from the dead, and to complete the instruction of the Apostles. Christ's resurrection is an undoubted fact on which rests the Christian faith. St. Paul says: "If Christ has not risen, vain then is our preaching, vain too is your faith" (1 Corinthians 15:14). And according to Saint John, an eyewitness; "Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (John 20: 30-31).

          In the first place, Christ really died. His death was witnessed by many, both friends and enemies. It was proved by the soldier who plunged his spear into His side. It was communicated officially to Pilate. His bones were not broken, because He was found already dead. His Mother and disciples would never have buried Him had they suspected the least chance of life.

      Tomorrow: The Ascension part two

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    Events that happened Today in Church History

      On this date 1,243 years ago in 757 the 92nd Sovereign Pontiff in the line of Peter - Pope Stephen II passed away. His pontificate lasted five years and one month and he is best remembered for the custom of the sedia gestoria which is the chariot-like chair to carry the Pope while he is seated. This has just recently given way to a rolling sedia which is being used by His Holiness John Paul II because of his various infirmities that make it extremely difficult for mobility. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for April 26:

    • 757 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Stephen II, the 92nd successor of Peter. His election generated so much enthusiasm from the citizens of Rome that they hoisted him on their shoulders and that gave rise to the sedia gestatoria.

    • 1228 A.D.
    • Birth of Conrad IV to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Like his father, Conrad was a ward of the Vatican and would go on to become a real thorn in the side of Holy Mother Church as king of Germany. Thanks to Saint Louis IX King of France, Conrad was unable to gain total control.

    • 1478 A.D.
    • A plot to murder one of the most powerful Roman family heads Lorenzo de Medici is foiled but some family members are felled including Guillano de Medici.

    • 1564 A.D.
    • Famous bard William Shakespeare is baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-the-Avon.

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    April 26, 2000     volume 11, no. 82
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