FRI-SAT-SUN     February 25-27, 2000    vol. 11, no. 40    SECTION ONE

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


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

SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial: Caution on the "Jubilee Journey"
  • THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS: First address in Egypt
  • Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's column on the circus that mocked marriage
  • Be an angel! Help keep the DailyCATHOLIC on-line in reaching countless more souls worldwide
  • Monthly Message from Medjugorje for February

  • Egyptian sands of time echo a warning for the angels to protect the Pope in this land of unrest

       In this weekend's editorial, we face up to the fact that not since the Holy Father's trip to India has the Pope faced possible problems from fundamentalists as he does in Egypt where history has not been kind to those who followed the One, True God. We give a brief history of this land of sand and rock that was so pivotal in Old Testament times and where the Almighty chose to deliver the Decalogue - the Ten Commandments - as the everlasting law all men should follow. The problem is, not all men do follow these universal laws and though the Pope is hoping to increase dialogue between Christian and Muslim, there are those fundamentalists in the latter who would like to silence him. We repeat the need to pray for his safety. For this weekend's editorial Danger always lurks in this land of enigma called Egypt, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    Danger always lurks in this land of enigma called Egypt

    Michael Cain, editor

    Back to Top of Page

    Holy Father's First Address in Egypt

      Today we bring you a special edition of the VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS with the Holy Father's first address on Thursday after his arrival in Egypt, the first Roman Pontiff to ever step on Egyptian soil even though it is Cardinal Karol Wojtyla's second visit to this land. Thursday he arrived in Egypt to walk in the footsteps of Moses and bridge relations between Christian and Muslim as the true Apostle of Peace in addressing multiple leaders of Egypt which has known civilization for over 5,000 years. See THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

    The Holy Father's Address on his arrival in Egypt

      Mr President,

      Your Holiness Pope Shenouda,

      Your Beatitude Patriarch Stephanos,

      Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi,

      Dear People of Egypt,

         As-salám 'aláikum -- Peace be with you!

      1. For many years I have been looking forward to celebrating the 2000th anniversary of the Birth of Jesus Christ by visiting and praying at the places specially linked to God's interventions in history. My Jubilee pilgrimage brings me today to Egypt. Thank you, Mr President, for making it possible for me to come here and to go to where God revealed his name to Moses and gave his Law as a sign of his great mercy and kindness towards his creatures. I greatly appreciate your kind words of welcome.

          This is the land of a five thousand-year-old civilization known throughout the world for its monuments and for its knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. This is the land where different cultures met and mingled, making Egypt famous for its wisdom and learning.

      2. In Christian times, the City of Alexandria ­ where the Church was established by the disciple of Peter and Paul, the Evangelist Mark ­ nurtured renowned ecclesiastical writers like Clement and Origen, and great Fathers of the Church such as Athanasius and Cyril. The fame of Saint Catherine of Alexandria lives on in Christian devotion and in the name of many churches in all parts of the world. Egypt, with Saints Anthony and Pachomius, was the birthplace of monasticism, which has played an essential part in preserving the spiritual and cultural traditions of the Church.

          The advent of Islam brought splendours of art and learning which have had a determining influence on the Arab world and on Africa. The people of Egypt have for centuries pursued the ideal of national unity. Differences of religion were never barriers, but a form of mutual enrichment in the service of the one national community. I well remember the words of Pope Shenouda III: "Egypt is not the native land in which we live, but the native land which lives in us".

      3. The unity and harmony of the nation are a precious value which all citizens should cherish, and which political and religious leaders must continually promote in justice and respect for the rights of all. Mr President, your own commitment to peace at home and throughout the Middle East is well known. You have been instrumental in advancing the peace process in the region. All reasonable men and women appreciate the efforts made so far, and hope that goodwill and justice will prevail, so that all the peoples of this unique area of the world will see their rights respected and their legitimate aspirations fulfilled.

          My visit to Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai will be a moment of intense prayer for peace and for interreligious harmony. To do harm, to promote violence and conflict in the name of religion is a terrible contradiction and a great offence against God. But past and present history give us many examples of such a misuse of religion. We must all work to strengthen the growing commitment to interreligious dialogue, a great sign of hope for the peoples of the world.

          As-salám 'aláikum -- Peace be with you!

          This is my greeting to you all. This is the prayer I offer up for Egypt and all her people.

          May the Most High God bless your land with harmony, peace and prosperity.

    Back to Top of Page

    "For better or worse...until the truth comes out!"

       In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto questions how we can be suckered into such a mockery of the Sacrament of Matrimony by the ratings shill of a program such as that travesty "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire" that garnered boffo ratings for the champion network of sleaze - Fox. Though Sister expresses admiration for the chosen bride, we have to also ask if Darva Conger truly had the values she expresses or integrity would she have allowed herself to be drawn into the foray? Consider what the groom-who-wished-to-be and who she rejected - Rick Rockwell said, "I learned through all this to be careful what you wish for, you may get it." Sister wraps it up by emphasizing the need to keep the sacrament holy and sacred. Television programs like that never will! For her column, Who wants to marry who? see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER


          Millions watched the show. Fifty beautiful women were contestants on a program "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" When I heard about the program (I did not see it), I shook my head in disbelief. The entertainment business had brought itself to a new low. "I can't believe how stupid people can be!" I said outloud to myself.

          In first grade I learned that love is based on knowledge. How, then, could someone marry a person he or she had never met? How could anyone marry someone he or she hardly knew? How could anyone marry someone he or she did not really love?

          A wise old Jesuit once said to me: "A man marries for lust; a woman for security!" If the statement is true, I could understand why people could be foolish enough to marry on a TV program such as the one mentioned. As the groom selected the bride of his choice (the bride had no chance for choosing), I noticed (on the replays) that she looked shocked and nervous. On "Good Morning, America", the bride was interviewed. She mentioned that she never dreamed she would be chosen and that she entered the contest for the vacation promised to the contestants in Las Vegas and for time away from her stressful job as an emergency room nurse. Actually, listening to her explanation, I came to respect and admire her.

          She confessed that she had made a mistake in entering such a contest. She said that legally she was married, but she did not believe in her heart that she was married before God. She said she was embarrassed to be kissed by the groom on stage, as she did not KNOW him. She wished he would have given her a gentle kiss on the cheek, instead, as they had just met.

          Perhaps, the groom had made one of the best choices that he could have made. I really think the bride reflected integrity and honesty. Why did she go through with the onstage wedding? She claimed that being on TV; being onstage; knowing that the producers had spent umpteen bucks (my words) had produced a pressure, that was incredible. She really didn't know what else to do. All of the women had signed agreements to divorce, if they were not happy with the "marriage." The bride will seek a legal divorce.

          I, personally, hope the whole program will be divorced from television. It's a disaster for producers to think they can "arrange" marriages based on money or sex without knowledge and love.

          Would some people marry just for money or sex? I'm sure there would be those who would, but I am very glad this bride saw through the sham and stupidity, albeit awhile late.

          Let us pray every day that true wisdom would reign among us. Human beings have dignity given by God. It is evil to degrade that nature. It is Godly to raise it to its noblest heights.

          God bless you!

    Back to Top of Page

    Appreciation of God's graces in fending off Temptations

       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 power of 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 Temptation as outlined in My Catholic Faith. For the 118th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 118: Temptation

          Some temptations come from the bad angels; but other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things about us. This is what we mean when we say that temptations come to us from the flesh, the world, and the devil.

          The evil inclinations of our weak and corrupted nature tempt us to sin. The world, with its sinful wants and vanities, tempts us to sin. The devil goes about continually tempting us, making use of both our nature and the world for his evil purposes.

          In itself, temptation is not a sin. It becomes sinful only when:

        (a) we bring it upon ourselves by carelessness or over-confidence;
        (b) we play with, take pleasure in, or yield to it.
      The greatest saints have often been most strongly tempted. Our Lord even permitted Himself to be tempted. Thus we see that temptation is not a sin, because we are not responsible for it.

          God permits us to be tempted in order to try us, to let us win an eternal reward. God subjected the angels to a test. Those who passed it are now enjoying Him in Heaven, their reward. "Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee" (Tobias 12:13). God permitted the devil to tempt our first parents. Temptations serve to keep us humble. God permits all mankind to have temptations, but never temptation beyond their strength to resist. "God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength."

          The stronger the temptation, the greater the graces God gives for its conquest. The conquest by the saints of wicked temptations have made them greater saints. Christ Himself was tempted by the devil, to gluttony, to avarice, and to pride. He wanted to show us that by resisting we may rise to greater love of God. Good men who are worried because so many temptations assail them should remember that ants quickly gather over a jar of honey; the devil strives to catch the good, because he is already sure of the wicked.

          We can always resist temptations, because no temptation can force us into sin, and God will always help us if we ask Him. The length of time during which a temptation persists does not make it sinful, if we continue resisting it. A temptation may attack us all our lives, but as long as we fight it, or pay no attention to it, as long as we do not yield, we commit no sin. We have not been conquered, and God will reward us for the good fight.

          No temptation can do us harm if we obey God's laws and keep away from sin. If we resist, temptation will flee from us. Our lot for all eternity depends entirely on ourselves. God votes for Heaven; the devil votes for hell. The deciding vote is ours. Shall we vote for Heaven or for hell? "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

          When assailed by temptation, one must at once resist. It is easier to conquer temptation at the beginning than later on, just as a fire is easier to put out at the outset. Since nothing can be done without divine grace, one must pray. One must imitate the Apostles who had recourse to Jesus when a storm arose. Let him say at once, "Lord, make haste to help me!"

          Some remedies against temptation are:

      • (a) Watchfulness and prayer.
        "Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation" (Matthew 26:41). Avoid idleness, keeping always occupied, either by work, or by wholesome recreation. If evil thoughts enter the mind,think of other things, in this way ignoring the temptation.
      • (b) Frequent confession and Holy Communion.
      • (c) Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Guardian Angels.

          With these to safeguard us we should be able to fend off temptations and if they persist, take them to the foot of the Cross and ask Jesus to wash them in the Font of Divine Mercy from His Sacred and Merciful Heart.

    Monday: An Image of God

    Back to Top of Page

    The blind we see, but the deaf we do not hear

        They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Archbishop 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".

    "One of life's greatest joys comes from loving those whom no one else loves. Thus do we imitate Our Heavenly Father Who certainly cannot see much in any of us creatures that is very attractive. It is curious that most people are more kind to the blind than they are to the deaf. Aristotle commented upon this fact, saying that sight is the most spiritual of all the senses and hearing the most material. For that reason we are moved by sympathy towards those who are afflicted in the most spiritual way."

    Back to Top of Page

    Be an angel!

        Through the stewardship of Catholic Journalism you can help us reach more souls by sending whatever you can to help keep the DailyCATHOLIC going strong since it is the only daily publication of its kind for Catholics anywhere in the world in daily promoting the truths of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    Click here!

    Back to Top of Page

    February 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! Wake up from the sleep of unbelief and sin, because this is a time of grace which God gives you. Use this time and seek the grace of healing of your heart from God, so that you may see God and man with the heart. Pray in a special way for those who have not come to know God's love, and witness with your life so that they also can come to know God and His immeasurable love. Thank you for having responded to my call."

    Back to Top of Page

    Click here to go to SECTION TWO or SECTION THREE or SECTION FOUR 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 25-27, 2000     volume 11, no. 40
    The DailyCATHOLIC is available Monday thru Friday at