WEDNESDAY     May 3, 2000    vol. 11, no. 86    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Installment 162 - Sanctifying Grace part one
  • Events that occurred this day in Church History
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • April 25th Medjugorje Message
  • Be an angel! Whatever you can send will be most appreciated for donations are our only means of support.

  • Appreciation
    of Sanctifying Grace

        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 Sanctifying Grace as explained in My Catholic Faith and the fact that without it we cannot share in God's eternal glory for Sanctifying Grace is the armor that protects us from the perils of mortal sin. For part one in the 163rd installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 163: Sanctifying Grace part one

          A soul in the state of grace is very beautiful in the sight of God. Then we are friends and children of God and heirs of Heaven; then we are like the very angels. We must always try to avoid sin.

          But when the soul has lost the grace of God by mortal sin, nothing on earth can be uglier in God's sight. If we are so careful about our personal appearance before mortals, how much ore should we be careful about the appearance of our immortal soul, that God may be pleased with us.

          Grace is a supernatural give of God bestowed on us through themerits of Jesus Christ for our salvation. "And He said: 'This is why I said to you, 'No one can come to Me unless he is enabled to do so by My Father''" (John 6:66).

          Grace is a favor, a free gift, granted to us though we have no claim to it. God grants us graces because He is good, not because we deserve them. God grants us graces for the sake of His Son, Who died on the cross to earn for us these graces; we men can never merit these graces. "All have sinned and have need of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ" (Romans 3:23-24).

          The Holy Spirit dispenses the graces of God merited by Our Lord Jesus Christ; He bestows and perfects what is already earned. In a similar manner the sun does not make the plants, but develops what is already planted; without the sun plants would die and be useless to man.

          The supernatural is that which is beyond natural powers. It is of two kinds:

    • (a) When the fact is beyond natural powers in the manner of occurrence: as when a blind man instantly can see; and
    • (b) When the fact fundamentally and entirely surpasses all powers of the natural order: as when God imparts a part of His life to man through the gift of sanctifying grace.

          The assistance of the Holy Spirit is necessary. Without the help of the graces that He dispenses, with merely natural powers, we cannot do the least work to merit salvtion. Without God, we are nothing.

          In order to reach Heaven, we need God's grace; so we say with the Apostles: "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Corinthians 3-5); "By the grace of God I am what I am...I have labored more than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me" (1 Corinthians 15:10).

      Tomorrow: Sanctifying Grace part two

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    Events that happened Today in Church History

        On this date 1,672 years ago in 328 A.D., the mother of Constantine the Great and the woman who found the true Cross of Christ in Jerusalem - Saint Helena died after returning to Rome. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history on this date, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for May 3:

    • 328 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine and founder of the True Cross of Christ.

    • 495 A.D.
    • Pope Saint Gelasius I decrees that his spiritual power as supreme pontiff is superior to the temporal power of the Emperor Anastasius. It was called the Gelasian Decree.

    • 1074 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Theodosius Pechersky, Abbot and founder of Russian monasticism who died in the Caves of Kiev.

    • 1241 A.D.
    • The Papal/Genoese fleet is captured by Imperial ships of Emperor Frederick and Pope Gregory IX, near death, is helpless to come to their aid.

    • 1512 A.D.
    • The Fifth Lateran Council, known as the 18th Ecumenical Council, is convened by Pope Julius II in Rome with reforms on the agenda which would be rebuked by Martin Luther and others spawning the Protestant Reformation.
    • 1858 A.D.
    • Pope Pius IX releases his 16th encyclical universally on priests and the care of souls called Amantissimi Redemptoris

    • 1932 A.D.
    • Pope Pius XI ushered his 32nd encyclical Caritate Christi compulsi which was centered on the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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    April Showers bring May flowers that can bloom in our souls

       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".

    "Rainy days do make some people sad, but the author remembers saying once to a resident of Killarney: 'Too bad it's raining.' He answered: 'But it's a good day to save your soul.' Come to think about it, it may be easier to do that on rainy days than on sunny days. Our humor and disposition are no so much the reflection of the weather or the wrong side of bed, as they are the reflections of the state of our soul. "

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       Today is the Feast of the Apostles Saints Philip and James. Tomorrow is an Easter Weekday. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profiles on these two Apostles, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8
        Psalms: Psalm 19: 2-5
        Gospel Reading: John 14: 6-14


         These two saints were both Apostles hand chosen by Jesus. Sacred Scripture records that when Saint Philip first met Jesus, he went to Nathaniel - "We have found Him of Whom Moses wrote in the Law and the Prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Joseph." Nathaniel's famous reply: "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Philip, Nathaniel, James and all the other Apostles and disciples would soon discover the answer: YES! After Our Lord ascended, Philip preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and was horribly crucified there in 80 AD. Saint James, known as James the Less to distinguish himself from James the Greater was a cousin of Jesus and a brother of the Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus. James was also known as James the Just to depict the austere, chaste life he led of penance and prayer. He was one of the first to see Jesus after His Resurrection. Like Philip, he preached the Gospel but was also appointed Bishop of Jerusalem and sat beside Saint Peter and Saint Paul during the Council of Jerusalem. Later, after Paul had escaped the wrath of the Jews by appealing to Caesar the angry Jews turned on James and stoned him, driving him to a tower where he was thrown off and struck his head, dying instantly of a massive concussion. The sword he holds represents his martyrdom, while the cross Philip clutches represents his death.

    Thursday, May 4, 2000

        First Reading: Acts 5: 27-33
        Psalms: Psalm 34: 2, 9, 17-20
        Gospel Reading: John 3: 31-36

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    "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would also have known My Father. And henceforth you do know Him and you have seen Him."

    John 14: 6-7

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    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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    May 3, 2000     volume 11, no. 86
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