THURSDAY     February 24, 2000    vol. 11, no. 39    SECTION ONE

     See why so many consider the Daily CATHOLIC as the "USA Today for CATHOLICS!"


To print out entire text of today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE

SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW column: We need to kneel!
  • THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS: The Holy Father's Sunday Angelus
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD

  • The Bishops' Directive is to kneel!
    Contrary to what you might think, the Bishops do NOT want the faithful to stand during the Consecration and Holy Communion! Instead they agree that every knee should bow during these most august moments of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

       In his column today, Pat Ludwa points out without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is truly present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity and, because of that, questions how parishes can eliminate kneelers and encourage the faithful to stand in defiance of what the Holy Father has mandated in the liturgical document released in 1980, Inaestimabile Donum. It is happening all too often in more churches throughout America and Pat exposes the myth that this comes from the bishops. Rather, it is more of the insidious infiltration of dissidents who are trying to demystify the Divine Mystery of Transubstantiation. For his column today, Every knee shall bend!, see VIEW FROM THE PEW

    Every knee shall bend!

          "Outside the Baptist church where the head of Mission to Catholics International was to speak there was a large table filled with Catholic artifacts...People were shaking their heads over what they saw, wondering how these pagan trinkets could be used by folks who called themselves Christians...Ruth Brewer, Bart's wife (head of Mission to Catholics International and a former Carmelite priest) stood behind the table...She pointed out holy cards, rosaries, medals, crucifixes. The main attractions were a chalice filled with small hosts and a large priest's host, all presumably unconsecrated. They were brittle with age, but quite serviceable - "Cookie Christ's", as some opponents of the Church call them." (Catholicism and Fundamentalism; The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians" by Karl Keating, pg. 51)

          Cookie Christ's, Jack Chick calls it the "Death Cookie", say what you will anti-Catholic's know the main target to attack the Church, the Eucharist. "As often as the sacrifice of the cross in which "Christ our Passover was sacrificed" is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried on, and, in the sacrament of the eucharistic bread, the unity of all believers who form one body in Christ is both expressed and brought about. All men are called to this union with Christ, Who is the light of the world, from Whom we go forth, through Whom we live, and toward Whom our whole life strains…..Really partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another. 'Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread'. In this way all of us are made members of His Body, 'but severally members one of another'."(Lumen Gentium; Vat. II; Chap 1, #3 & #7)

          Or as the Catechism says: "The Eucharist is 'the source and summit of the Christian life.' The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Sacrament is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself, our Pasch." (CCC #1324)

          We shouldn't be too upset with those who don't know the Eucharist. Many attack blindly, not what they attack. As Christ asked, so should we, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

          We know the Eucharist is Christ, Real and Truly present. "Christ said 'I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh...Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from Heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.' This He said in the synagogue, as He taught at Capernaum" (John 6: 51; 53-59).

          Then, as now, His disciples grumbled. Was what He said symbolic? Were they mistaken in what they thought He meant when they left Him? If it was symbolic, why didn't Christ ease their concerns by explaining what He said as He had before? "Jesus answered him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit'" (John 3:3-6).

          "But He said to them, 'I have food to eat of which you do not know.' So the disciples said to one another, 'Has any one brought Him food?' Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work'" (John 4:32-34).

          "Jesus said to them, 'Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.' And they discussed it among themselves, saying, 'We brought no bread.' But Jesus, aware of this, said, 'O men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to perceive that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.' Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16: 6-12).

          To actually eat His flesh and drink His blood would be something abhorrent to them, not perceiving that He was God, and He would and could, do it. So it was that they understood that that was exactly what He meant. Yet, Christ doesn't correct their error, because they perceived correctly. Just as He once said, "'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews then said, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But He spoke of the temple of His body" (John 2:19-21).

          None of the Apostles clarified Christ's teaching in John 6 as meaning something else, in fact, St. Paul is very clear; "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself" (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) Hardly the sort of admonition and judgment one would receive from a mere symbol.

          But through the error's of Wycliffe, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, as well as the heresies of the Docetae and the Gnostic-manichaean sects (who were the basis of the theologies of the Cathari and Albigenese), the truth was lost to them. But we have, not only the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, but of the Early Church Fathers, many who were taught by the Apostles themselves.

          St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of St. John the Apostle, wrote to the Smyrneaens; "They (those who hold heterodox opinions) abstain from the Eucharist ….because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again." (Letter to the Smyrneaens; 6,2; ca. 110 AD)

          And St. Justin Martyr wrote "For not as common bread or common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that incarnated Christ." (Apologia prima pro Christianis, 65; ca 150 AD) In fact, no writing of the Early Church Fathers can be found which says that the Eucharist is anything but the Real Presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

          So, where it is understandable that non-Catholics may not know or understand the Eucharist, it is amazing that Catholics would have any other reaction than love, honor and devotion to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Yet, that's what we're seeing more and more of. In fact, a recent poll showed that some 49% of American Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence, but rather, it's only a symbol.

          " the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth and under the earth" (Philippians 2:10). If this is true at just the mention of His name, what about His actual presence? Are we so bold as to stand in pride before God, are we so arrogant as to imply that we are equal to God?

          But in many churches today, kneeling before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, is not only not encouraged, it's attacked. "Kneeling benches continue to be removed from churches or not installed in new ones. Reports that worshippers who kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer have been publicly insulted, ordered to stand or get out, even refused Communion, are, sadly, not infrequent. Many Catholics have been told that they are being disobedient to 'the bishops' if they kneel during Mass." (Every Knee Should Bow - But When? Uncertainty Surrounds the Postures of the People During the Liturgy of the Eucharist by Helen Hull Hitchcock and Susan Benofy; Adoremus: Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy; Vol. V, No. 4: June 1999)

          The reality is that no such order, or teaching has come from the bishops. Rather, this posture has been thrust on us, not by the Council of Bishop's but by dissident Catholic groups. In fact, the bishops have reiterated that kneeling is the appropriate posture during the Eucharistic prayer.

          Kneeling, in the Old and New Testament, as well as the tradition of the Church, has always denoted a posture of repentance and adoration. Standing has always been an active posture of receptivity, respect and readiness for a mission. So, we stand for the reading of the Gospel, the Our Father, and the closing of the Mass. But when the priest holds up the Host and repeats Christ's words, "This IS My Body", what other stance can we have but one of repentance, adoration and awe?

          If you find yourself in a church with no kneelers, or are told the bishop(s) said we have to stand, this is false. "One who offers worship to God on the Church's behalf in a way contrary to that which is laid down by the Church with God-given authority and which is customary in the Church is guilty of falsification."…. The Second Vatican Council's admonition in this regard must be remembered: "No person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the Liturgy on his own authority." (Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery; Approved and Confirmed by Pope John Paul II INAESTIMABILE DONUM; April 17, 1980)

          "Every day He humbles Himself just as He did when He came from His heavenly throne" (cf. Wisdom 18:15) into the Virgin's womb; every day He comes to us and lets us see Him in abjection, when He descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar. He shows Himself to us in this sacred bread just as He once appeared to His Apostles in real flesh. With their own eyes they saw only His flesh, but they believed that He was God, because they contemplated Him with the eyes of the Spirit. We, too, with our own eyes, see only bread and wine, but we must see further and firmly believe that this is His most Holy Body and Blood, living and true." (Admonitions, #1, The Blessed Sacrament; St. Francis of Assisi)

          No saint can be shown who was so bold as to stand before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The angel of God who came before the children of Fatima knelt before the Sacred Host. I kneel before the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, not just because the Bishops have said we are to, but also because, without Him in the Blessed Sacrament, I, we, cannot stand. Without Him in the Eucharist, we have no life, without Him in the Eucharist, we have no hope.

          How can we adore the Lord of life, our Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords while we stand in pride instead of kneeling in humble adoration?

        "We adore Thee, O most blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, and we bless Thee; because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has redeemed the world."

      Pax Christi, Pat

    Back to Top of Page

    Holy Father celebrates the importance of the Permanent Diaconate and the Roman Curia's familial comparison to a 'permanent Cenacle'

      Today we bring you the Holy Father's Angelus message from this past Sunday in which he extolled the virtues and responsibilities of the deaconate while celebrating the Jubilee for Deacons over the weekend. He emphasized the importance of this singular vocation within Holy Mother Church and called upon all faithful to work in union with one another through the grace fo the Holy Spirit to fulfill Christ's words in Mark 16: 15, ..."to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth." During the same Angelus the Pope announced the immediate Jubilee celebration for the Roman Curia which John Paul II called a "family of Curia to Peter's Successor" and "a permanent Cenacle." See THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

    The Holy Father's Angelus Message from Sunday, February 20, 2000
    The Church's Permanent Deacons: Collaborators in the work of salvation

      Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

      1. The celebrations of the Jubilee of Permanent Deacons, organized by the Congregation for the Clergy, conclude today. First of all, I wish to greet warmly the numerous Deacons who have come to Rome from the whole world, together with their families, for this special event. I particularly greet you, dear brothers, who received the ordination to the diaconate this morning in the Vatican Basilica.

          The presence of all of you is very pleasing to me, because it also gives me the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the role that is proper to you: with the sacramental ordination, the Deacon assumes a singular "diakonía," which is expressed above all in service to the Gospel. During the rite, the consecrating Bishop pronounces these words: "Receive the Gospel of Christ, of which you now become a herald. Believe in what you read, teach what you believe, live what you teach." Here is your mission, dear brothers: to embrace the Gospel, to go deeper in faith into the message, to love it and give witness to it in words and works. The task of the new evangelization requires from you a contribution made with coherence and dedication, courage and generosity, in the daily service of the liturgy, the word, and charity. You deacons, called in celibacy to a life totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom, live your mission joyfully and faithfully! Married deacons, whom Christ calls to be models of real love in the heart of family life, live your mission! The Lord has chosen you and the others as His collaborators in the work of salvation.

      2. Next Tuesday, together with all my collaborators, I will have the joy of celebrating the Jubilee of the Roman Curia. This has been preceded by meetings of reflection and prayer, through which those who make up the Curia have prepared themselves to live this moment of grace, which invites them to a conversion of heart, with special intensity. How many give their services to the Holy See -- Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, priests, men and women religious and the laity! Together they will cross the Holy Door, which is a symbol of mercy and a call to the renewal of life.

          A very close tie links the family of the Curia to Peter's Successor, who makes use of its service in the exercise of the ministry entrusted to him by Christ for the benefit of the entire ecclesial community. Therefore, in addition to the capacity and efficiency of his collaborators, it is important that he be able to count on their communion in a love so profound so as to make of the Curia, as Pope Paul VI often said, "a permanent Cenacle," totally consecrated to the good of the Church. The purification that the Jubilee experience looks to will not fail to make its positive contribution in this respect.

      3. I entrust all my collaborators of the Curia to the Virgin Mary, as also the Permanent Deacons and other members of the ecclesial community: may Most Holy Mary intercede so that the harmonious fusion of all the energies present in the People of God may always make the work that the Church carries out in the world for the salvation of humanity more effective.

    Back to Top of Page

    Appreciation of God's graces in combatting devils

       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, concentrating today on the fallen angels and how powerful they are and not to underestimate them but call on God and His angels and saints for protection in this special catechesis on Devils as outlined in My Catholic Faith. For the 117th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 118: Devils

          It was the Archangel Michael who led the good angels: "And there was a great battle in Heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in Heaven" (Apocalypse/Revelation 12: 7 8).

          The angels who did not remain faithful to God were cast into hell, and these are called bad angels, or devils. "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).

          We also call them demons or fallen angels. Led by the most excellent of the angels created by God, lucifer or satan, the bad angels refused to obey God when He tested them. God did not give them a chance to repent, but cast them at once into hell. "How are thou fallen from Heaven, O lucifer… Thou saidst in thy heart: 'I will ascend into Heaven,…I will be like the Most High,'" (Isiah 14:12-14). Jesus said, "I was watching satan fall as lightning from Heaven" (Luke 10:18).

          2God did not create devils, but glorious angels. The rebel angels turned themselves into devils by their sin. By one grave sin against God these angels of light became vile demons, and were condemned to hell for all eternity. We should draw a lesson from this and determine never to sin. The chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us is by tempting us to sin.

          The bad angels tempt man and try to draw him away from God. Often the devil appears as an angel of light, and we are tempted by evil which appears good. Under this guise the devil is most dangerous. "Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5: 8-9).

          Without God's permission, the devil can do us no harm. God sometimes permits the devil to tempt just men, to cleanse them from imperfections. Our Lord Himself was tempted by the devil. God permitted Job to be harmed bodily by the devil. Saint Anthony, Saint Teresa, and many other saints suffered from the temptations of the evil one. But these temptations only drive the just to greater love of God. "The life of man is a warfare" (Job 7:11).

          Sometimes devils are permitted to enter the body of a man, exercising power over his faculties; this is called diabolic "possession." At other times devils torment one from without; and this state is called diabolic "obsession." When God permits diabolic obsession or possession, it is to show in some way His glory, or to punish sin, convert sinners, or provide some means for the practice of virtue.

          In cases of diabolic possessionor obsession, the aid of the Church should be sought; for the Church received from Christ the power of exorcism. This is the act of driving out or warding off evil spirits. It is only with the permission of his bishop that a priest is permitted to exorcise evil spirits.

          The Church forbids Catholics to have anything to do with spiritism. This is calling up the spirits of the dead. Some manifestations are spirit-rapping, table-lifting, slate-writing, apparitions, communications through mediums in a state of trance. Most of the spiritist seances are fraudulent, but sometimes the devil manifests himself. God can permit the souls of the dead to return to earth. But there is no indication that He permits Himself to obey mediums. The devil may sometimes impersonate the spirits of the dead. Satan is old and skillful in deceit, and can assume the appearance of an angel of light. This is another reason new-ageism is so dangerous.

      Tomorrow: Temptation

    Back to Top of Page


       Today and tomorrow we observe the liturgy of Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Thursday, February 24, 2000

        First Reading: James 5: 1-6
        Responsorial: Psalm 49: 14-20
        Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 41-50

    Friday, February 25, 2000

        First Reading: James 4: 9-12
        Responsorial: Psalm 103: 1-4, 8-9, 11-12
        Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 1-12

    Back to Top of Page


    "And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it were better for him if a great millstone were hung about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If thy hand is an occasion of sin to thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than, having two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 'Where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.'"

    Mark 9: 41-43

    Back to Top of Page

    Impressions are a reflection of behavior or image!

       They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "People are like a mirror which reflects back on us the kind of image we cast. The kind man bears with the infirmities of others, never magnifies trifles and avoids a spirit of fault finding. He knows that the trouble with most people in the world is that they are unloved. No one cares for them either because they are ugly or nasty, or troublesome, or so-called bores. To a great extent their character is made by the resentment they feel toward others who are unkind."

    Back to Top of Page

    Click here to go to SECTION TWO or SECTION THREE or click here to return to the front page of this issue.

    To research any of the past 500 plus issues in archives from November 1, 1997 to the present, see ARCHIVES

    February 24, 2000     volume 11, no. 39
    The DailyCATHOLIC is available Monday thru Friday at