Because today is the "Ides of March" and Friday is Saint Patrick's Day, we are juggling our regular series some. The 40th installment of the 2000 YEAR VOYAGE OF PETER will run tomorrow instead of today in place of Pat Ludwa's column which will be carried in the Friday issue replacing Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's column, for she is in the Holy Land on pilgrimage. Thus her column will be on hiatus for two weeks. In today's editorial, we take a page from Shakespeare in bringing home the significance of this day in March, looking at it from a Catholic point of view in remembering the lessons to be learned. For today's editorial Beware the Ides of March! , click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT
For yesterday the Word of Christ might have stood against the world. Now He is reviled. And none so poor to do Him reverence. O people, if we were disposed to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, we should do Judas wrong, and his master satan, who, the world doth perceive as honorable men. Rather than doing wrong, we wish to wrong the dead, to wrong ourselves, then to wrong what the world perceives as honorable men. But here's a testament with the seal of Christ. We found it in our faith. 'Tis His Will. Let but the commons hear this testament, which, pardon us, we do not mean to read for they would go and kiss dead Jesus' wounds, and dip their napkins in His sacred blood, Yea, beg a hair of Him for memory, and dying, mention it within their wills, bequeathing it as a rich legacy unto their issue.
Have patience, gentle friends, we must not read it. It is not meet you know how Jesus loved you. You are not wood, you are not stones, but men; and, being men, hearing the Will of God, it will inflame you, it will make you mad. For it is not your will, but His. 'Tis good you know not that you are His heirs, for if you should, O what would come of it? Would you convert? Would you comply? If say you 'yes' would you be patient? Will you stay with Him awhile for He is Present in the Blessed Sacrament? Yes, Alive and well! Yet we fear, we have o'ershot ourselves to tell you of it. We fear we wrong those the world perceives as honorable men whose sins have stabbed Jesus; we do fear it.
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. You all do know this mantle - this Sacred Host in which He dwells. We remember the first time we ever received Him in Holy Communion confected from the bread and the cup, where wine turned to His blood, rushing out into our hearts - pierced by a lance to pour forth blood and water as a font of Mercy for all. If Judas was so unkindly knocked or no - For Judas, as you know, was Jesus' Apostle. Judge, how dearly Jesus loved him! This was the most unkindest cut of all. For when the noble Christ saw him betray, ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, even at the base of Olivet to the parapet of Calvary, which all the while ran blood, and mankind fell. From the time of satan as the serpent to our present time, indeed, what a fall was there, our countrymen! Then we, and you, and all of us fell down, whilst bloody treason flourished over us. O now you weep, and we perceive you feel the dint of pity. These are gracious drops. Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold our Jesus' vesture wounded? Do you not now realize how His dear Mother felt and still so deeply feels when again o'er and o'er He is wounded by our sins? Our cold-hearted indifference to Him and His Church?
Good friends, sweet friends, let us not stir you up to such a sudden flood of mutiny. They that have done this deed are perceived by the world as honorable men. They who demean Him, His Heavenly Mother, and His Holy Church and her members are perceived by the world as honorable men. They who disregard His laws for worldly gains are perceived by the like as honorable men. For you on hearing this impatience doth rule, yet hasten not. What private griefs they have, alas, we know not, that made them do it. For in satan's eyes they are wise and honorable, and will no doubt with reasons answer you. We come not, friends, to steal away your hearts. We are not clever as satan is, but, as you know us all, plain simple disciples who strive to do His Will; to speak here of love for Him. For we have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, to stir men's blood. We only speak right on. We tell you that which you yourselves do know, show you sweet Jesus' wounds, and bid them speak for us from every scourged and bloody wound of Jesus that should move the stones of Rome to rise and mutiny. Alas, you rally, dear Church Militant.
Yet hear us, countrymen, yet hear us speak. Why, friends, you go to do you know not what. Wherein hath Christ thus deserved your loves? Alas, you know not. We must tell you then. You have forgot His Will we told you of. Here is His Will, and given by Christ to all. To every child of God He gives - to every several man - life everlasting!
Moreover, He hath left you all His Church, His Laws, His Sacraments, and new-planted orchards of the New Testament. On this side Tiber He hath left the Vicar of Christ to you. And to your heirs for ever - the promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail. Here was Jesus. When comes such another? Never, you shout, so be it. We wait for His Second Coming as the cup overflows from the deeds of those who the world perceives as honorable men. But His Holy Church knows the truth and the truth shall survive. Now let it work and be obedient, be alive. For satan lurks, mischief, thou art afoot. Take thou what course thou wilt.
The Ides of March bodes the warning knell to all that the evil one's time is growing short as is the promised Era of Peace - the New Advent - the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart - a time ushered in by the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart when satan will be bound and chained by the prayers and good deeds of all who stay the course. For those who wander, for those who neglect God's warning, for those who the world, not God, perceives as honorable men: Beware the Ides of March!
Today Dr. Frank Joseph pulls no punches in telling it like it truly is. Abortion, partial-birth abortion, third trimester abortions all fall into one category not covered or protected by Roe vs. Wade: Murder. He is appalled how few Catholics recognize this as a direct contradiction to the teachings and doctrines of the Church and by their silence, tacit approval or opposition to pro-life causes, are contributing to satan's agenda. Dr. Joseph points out that few of the politicians today are bold enough to speak out against the atrocities of the procedures used in abortuaries and equates this with America's rapid slide into depravity for it is all talk and no one's willing to walk on behalf of the innocent unborn who are treated with less regard than laboratory animals. For part two of his stark, frank column There's no other term for it: Abortion IS Murder! , see Pro-Life Prescriptions: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!
So what happened? When did he sell his soul to the devil? It is a sad state of affairs when the Democratic party offers only these two men to be their candidates for the presidency. Where is the choice for pro-life people in the Democratic party? The party once championed by Catholics has now turned on the Church's teachings. Because of that, I do not see how a true Godly Democrat could vote for either of these two. If Gore or Bradley want to sell their souls to satan for political gain, the decent Democrats do not have to follow suit.
If you believe in God then you must believe in satan. Jesus Christ was tempted by satan. Do you think satan is lying around on a sunny beach, somewhere, getting a tan? Why not permeate the minds of the leaders of one of the parties in the most powerful country on earth. This is exactly what satan is doing. To think otherwise, you would have to have your head in the sand or satan has blinded you, also. What other explanation, could there be when a group of people can see no evil in killing unborn babies, even while they are being born and suffer severe pain in the process -- who even boast that they are proud of it.
Why are not these murderers put in jail, when they kill a viable baby? Why does congress have to pass a law to ban this barbaric procedure, only to have someone who is morally bankrupt, veto the ban? We ALREADY have laws in the books for this -- it's called MURDER.
I have often wondered -- what if a partial-birth murderer was reported to the police by a concerned citizen? What would the police say or do? Would they say, he cannot be arrested, because he is doing abortions? And when it is pointed out to them, that they are NOT abortions -- that abortions are the expulsion of a non viable baby and the babies being killed are viable -- what would the police say or do?
Under the law, they would have every right to arrest the doctors. These brutal acts are NOT covered under Roe Vs Wade. The doctor cannot use the excuse that he had to kill the baby, to save the life of the mother, because it is NOT an emergency procedure. Other methods are and faster and by doctors, who are better qualified and in a more aseptic hospital environment. I might add, that there WAS a provision in the ban that it could be done to save the life of the mother, but still, Clinton vetoed it. I do not understand why these murderers cannot be prosecuted.
So, let us, not sit idly by and be seduced by satan, as others have. We must work hard to save these babies from a torturous death. If you believe that there is a God, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, you MUST vote for pro-life candidates. And you must urge others to do the same. There is no more important issue that faces our country than the killing of unborn babies -- it transcends politics. This is the least we can do for God, Who sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins. "BEHOLD, CHILDREN ARE HERITAGE OF THE LORD AND THE FRUIT OF THE WOMB IS HIS REWARD."
Why do those who claim to believe in God, continually want to strip Him of his reward and instead, hand it to satan on a silver platter? 35 million times God has been denied His reward and 35 million times satan has received his wish. God help us before it is too late!
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 first part of the catechesis on Venial sin, one that weakens us and eats away at sanctifying grace, making us sad and prey for satan to pounce in trying to drag us into mortal sin. This sin, while somewhat grievous still allows us to partake in the Sacraments and is pardonable through absolution, a good Act of Contrition, true penitence and good works. For part one in the 131st installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
Venial sin is a less serious offense against the law of God, which does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace, and which can be pardoned even without sacramental confession.
A sin can ve venial in two ways: (a) When the evil done is not seriously wrong. If we sin against God in matters of slight importance, we commit venial sin. Grumbling when told by your mother to open the window is not gravely wrong; it is a venial sin.
(b) When the evil done is seriously wrong, but the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong, or does it on the spur of the moment, without sufficient reflection, or without full consent of the will.
Stealing an expensive diamond ring is seriously wrong, but if the sinner took it in the belief that it was only a cheap imitation, the sin had not full consent, and is venial. If one eats meat on a day of abstinence, thinking it only a slight sin to do so; or of one in a sudden outburst of anger insults a companion seriously, he commits a venial sin for lack of sufficient reflection and consent.
Examples of venial sin are impatience, slight faultfinding, lies that harm nobody. The word "venial" comes from the Latin venialis, meaning "easily pardonable." Even the most just of mortals falls into venial sin again and again. God permits this to keep us humble. The most imperfect of mortals attains a very high degree of perfection as soon as he can avoid all deliberate venial sin: as soon as he does not commit any sin deliberately, with full advertence and consent.
If a person is in the state of grace, venial sins are forgiven in many ways without necessity of confession. Provided one has sorrow and a sincere resolution not to commit the sins again, they are forgiven not only by Confession, but also by Holy Communion, by acts of contrition, prayer, good works, etc.
A distinction exists between venial sins and imperfections. Imperfections are faults that arise from ignorance or weakness, not from a bad will. For instance involuntary distractions in prayer, "white lies" told while telling a story or in exaggerations or jokes, bad manners that hurt no one much, are imperfections. We should, however, try to avoid all imperfections, for they are not praiseworthy, are often a cause of irritation to others, and make us accustomed to doing what is not correct.
Tomorrow: Venial Sin part two
On this day in 1875 Pope Pius IX named Cardinal John McCloskey, the Archbishop of New York, as the very first American-born cardinal from the United States. Of Irish descent, Cardinal McCloskey was born during the pontificate of Pope Pius VII and ordained during the papacy of Pope Gregory XVI and created the first Bishop of Buffalo by Pius IX. He died on May 5, 1902 in New York City. Since then every Archbishop of New York has been declared a cardinal and that is why many believe Pope John Paul II will name Cardinal John O'Connor's successor Bishop Sean Patrick O'Malley to the Sacred Conclave during the next consistory expected some time this year. Cardinal O'Connor, now ineligible for the College of Cardinals, is the sixth consecutive archbishop of New York to be created a cardinal since Cardinal McCloskey on this day 125 years ago. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Death of Pope Saint Zachary, 91st successor of Peter. This Calabria-born Pontiff was elected on December 10, 741. During his eleven year pontificate he strongly opposed Rachis, Duke of Friuli who wanted to occupy all Italy. The latter afterwards became a monk. Zachary consecrated Pipin the Short as King of the Franks which made it the first ever investiture of a sovereign by a Roman Pontiff.
King Henry V of Germany, husband of Saint Matilda, defeats the Magyars opening more regions to receive the Holy Faith.
During the Second Crusade, King Alphonso I of Portugal captures the Moors fortress at Santarem to preserve the Holy Catholic Church in the southern regions in the West
Azzone Visconti, aligned with the antipope Nicholas V wrests control in Milan despite the protests of Pope John XXII 1493 A.D.
Christopher Columbus returns to Spain from Hispaniola 1561 A.D.
The Portuguese envoy and missionary to the Munhumutapa in southeast Africa Father da Silveira is martyred. 1660 A.D.
Death of Saint Louise de Marillac, co-founder with Saint Vincent de Paul of the Daughters of Charity. She was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI and in 1960 Pope John XXIII declared her Patroness of Social Workers.
Sister St. Stanislaus Hachard becomes the first United States citizen to take vows in New Orleans on this date as an Ursuline nun.
Cardinal John McCloskey becomes the first United States Cardinal. This American-born Irish prelate was ordained on January 12, 1834 and became the first Bishop of Albany, New York in 1847. He was appointed Archbishop of New York City in 1864 and on this date Pope Pius IX named him to the cardinalate.
An unfortunate and disastrous event occurred on this date when allied bombers, trying to flesh out the Nazi snipers and axis troops holed up at the famous Benedictine Montecassino Monastery, peppered the region with bombs, destroying the millennium-old edifice where Saint Benedict found refuge and began the monastery in the year 525. For 1,419 years it stood proudly as a bastion for the faith withstanding constant barrages from outside forces, but was demolished in one day due to the technology of explosives.
Historical Events in Church Annals for March 15:
Attila the Hun, the Scourge of Rome who was turned away at the gates of Rome when he met face to face with Pope Leo the Great, dies.
752 A.D. Death of Pope Saint Zachary, 91st successor of Peter. This Calabria-born Pontiff was elected on December 10, 741. During his eleven year pontificate he strongly opposed Rachis, Duke of Friuli who wanted to occupy all Italy. The latter afterwards became a monk. Zachary consecrated Pipin the Short as King of the Franks which made it the first ever investiture of a sovereign by a Roman Pontiff.
933 A.D. King Henry V of Germany, husband of Saint Matilda, defeats the Magyars opening more regions to receive the Holy Faith.
1147 A.D. During the Second Crusade, King Alphonso I of Portugal captures the Moors fortress at Santarem to preserve the Holy Catholic Church in the southern regions in the West
1330 A.D. Azzone Visconti, aligned with the antipope Nicholas V wrests control in Milan despite the protests of Pope John XXII
1493 A.D. Christopher Columbus returns to Spain from Hispaniola
1561 A.D. The Portuguese envoy and missionary to the Munhumutapa in southeast Africa Father da Silveira is martyred.
1660 A.D. Death of Saint Louise de Marillac, co-founder with Saint Vincent de Paul of the Daughters of Charity. She was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI and in 1960 Pope John XXIII declared her Patroness of Social Workers.
1729 A.D. Sister St. Stanislaus Hachard becomes the first United States citizen to take vows in New Orleans on this date as an Ursuline nun.
1875 A.D. Cardinal John McCloskey becomes the first United States Cardinal. This American-born Irish prelate was ordained on January 12, 1834 and became the first Bishop of Albany, New York in 1847. He was appointed Archbishop of New York City in 1864 and on this date Pope Pius IX named him to the cardinalate.
1944 A.D. An unfortunate and disastrous event occurred on this date when allied bombers, trying to flesh out the Nazi snipers and axis troops holed up at the famous Benedictine Montecassino Monastery, peppered the region with bombs, destroying the millennium-old edifice where Saint Benedict found refuge and began the monastery in the year 525. For 1,419 years it stood proudly as a bastion for the faith withstanding constant barrages from outside forces, but was demolished in one day due to the technology of explosives.
Today's and tomorrow's liturgy are both Lenten Weekdays For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, see DAILY LITURGY.
For the Daily LENTEN REFLECTION and STATIONS OF THE CROSS for Wednesday, March 15th, see LENTEN REFLECTION.
"This generation is an evil generation: it demands a sign, and no sign shall be given it but the sign of Jonas. For even as Jonas was a sign to the Ninevites, so will also the Son of Man be to this generation."