THUR-FRI-SAT-SUN     May 4-7, 2000    vol. 11, no. 87    SECTION ONE

     Beginning Monday for the next three weeks the Daily CATHOLIC will be going in "May Mode" or abbreviated issues while the editor is on pilgrimage

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


SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial
  • Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's column on the importance of May as Mary's month
  • Significant events that occurred this weekend in Church History


  • Wherever God leads us, we will go...and this month it is on Pilgrimage to some of the major holy sites of Europe as we go into "May Mode"

        This weekend we begin our three-day weekend issues as we go into "May Mode" during our pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Siena, Lourdes, Rue de Bac and Lisieux that will incorporate three weeks. During this time the issues will be abbreviated with no News & Views teasers since we will not be available to upload the latest news. We will provide the links to the major Catholic news organizations who provide the news so you can keep up with the latest happenings and we remind you we will continue to carry CWN's News Ticker. In addition, providing we can access the net in Europe, we will be providing updates of our pilgrimage, which we have dubbed the "Jubilee Journey for Jesus". For this weekend's editorial, our last until we return after the 25th of May, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    God works in mysterious and wondrous ways

    Michael Cain, editor

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    Whatever happened to that beautiful tradition of the May Crowning of Our Lady?

       In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto remembers times past when May was special because of the May Crowning honoring the Blessed Mother Mary during her special month. She laments how this has gone by the wayside in many parishes for whatever reasons and not only reminds us of the beautiful hymns dedicated to Our Lady, but is offering half-off on a cassette or CD of these lovely hymns that harken back to more reverent, devout times. We have heard the tape and it is truly a treasure to treasure. We encourage you, if you long for the old hymns and the essence of what Mary's month means, don't pass this offer by. Sadly, too many have passed by the traditions of the May crownings that marked the importance of May. For her column, 'Tis the month of our Mother see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

    'TIS THE MONTH OF OUR MOTHER
          May is such a beautiful time of the year. Here in the Mid-west some flowers are beginning to bloom; the weather is warming; the grass is turning green; and the robins are singing. It makes one rejoice that nature continues to renew itself. The inhalation of warm spring air makes one delight in being alive and grateful that the gloomy days of winter are over.

          The month of May moves one to recall the beautiful May Crownings we used to have years ago. Perhaps, in some schools and in some parishes this lovely devotion continues, but in so many places a statue of Our Lady is no longer crowned by child or adult as once was.

          With the "dying" of the May Crownings has also passed the hearing of the songs we used to sing at them. Do you remember them? "Tis the Month of Our Mother, On This Day, O Beautiful Mother, Bring Flowers of the Rarest," and "Mother, Dear, O Pray for Me" were among the most loved.

          Though many schools and parishes no longer honor Our Blessed Mother by a May Crowning, there is nothing to stop individual families from having their own right at home.

          Surely, you have a statue or picture of Our Lady. Surely, you can make a crown or spray of fresh flowers from the garden or a crown of silk flowers. Perhaps, the youngest in the family can do the crowning or names can be placed in a hat and randomly selected for this honor. Begin with a hymn to Our Blessed Mother. If you do not know the songs we used to sing, surely you know the Hail, Holy Queen or Immaculate Mary that is in most Church missalettes. Following the first song, the honoree can crown the statue or picture and then make an Act of Consecration of oneself to Our Lady. Again, if one does not have a prayer of Consecration memorized, one can simply say: "Dear Blessed Mother, I consecrate to you my whole being. Please keep me and guard me throughout my life and bring me to Jesus. Amen." One more song to Our Lady could then be sung.

          There it is! It would be simple and beautiful and pleasing to Our Blessed Mother.

          I had the privilege a few years ago to produce a music album containing several of the old May Crowning hymns. The album is entitles "MOTHERS DEAREST" and the songs on it are: "Ave Maria" by Coulombe; "St. Ann in Love Unites Us;" "Mother Dear, O Pray for Me;" "Bring Flowers of the Rarest;" "To the Mother and Queen of Peace" (Croatian Hymn); "As I Kneel Before You;" "'Tis the Month of Our Mother;" "On This Day, O Beautiful Mother;" "Memorare; Queen of the Rosary;" "Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest;" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

          In honor of Our Heavenly Mother in this her month of May, I've decided to offer either cassette or CD at half price. The cassette then would be $5.00 (usual price is $10.00) and the CD would be $7.50 (usual price is $15.00). Please add $2.00 for postage and handling. There is no limit to a request.

          You can contact me at PO Box 9094 Station C, Omaha, NE 68109. Fax #: 402-342-9094. Visa or Mastercard accepted.

          God bless you!

      Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

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    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. This is the final installment for three weeks while we are on pilgrimage and will resume the end of May. For part two in the 164th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 164: Sanctifying Grace part two

          There are two kinds of frace: sanctifying grace and actual grace. Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life, that is, a sharing in the life of God Himself. By sanctifying grace, our souls are made holy and pleasing to God. It is an abiding or permanent grace, which we gain by baptism, and lose only by mortal sin. By Adam's sin all mankind lost the friendfship of God; that is, we are born in original sin, without sanctifying grace. Our Lord's death won back sanctifying grace for us; it is granted freely at baptism.

          A soul to whom God grants sanctifying grace receives not merely a gift from God, but God Himself. The Holy Spirit lives in him and becomes united with him, so that he receivbes a new life, a new nature. St. Paul refers to this acquisition of sanctifying grace as the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new. It is as if an old and worn man were suddenly to become a handsome young man full of the vigor of life. The beauty of a soul in the state of sancitfying grace is too great for human eyes to bear. As a child said, when asked how his soul would look immediately after his confirmation, if it could be photographed, "Why, it would look like God!"

          The chief effects of sanctifying grace are first, that it makes us holy and pleasing to God. When we are in possession of sanctifying grace, we are free from mortal sin; the two cannot dwell together. The fire of the Holy Spirit sears away all that God abhors, so that we acquire God's friendship.

          However, although free from mortal sin, we do not, with sanctifying grace, become free from the remains of sin. So even saints feel the human inclination to sin, against which the struggle is lifelong, and from which we should gain merit. This human frailty is imbedded in our flesh, and is present in our souls as a result of original sin.

          Sanctifying grace, however, although it does not cure us of the weakness of the flesh, strengthens our will, so that for us the war against sin becomes easier. The charity accompanying sanctifying grace makes us more prone to good works, more attracted to God, with minds illumined as to the folly of sin.

          Second, it makes us adopted children of God. With sanctifying grace, the Holy Spirit enters our soul; we are led by His Spirit, and are therefore His children: "For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).

          "Now you have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be again in fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by virtue of which we cry, 'Abba! Father!' The Spirit Himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are sons of God" (Romans 8:15-16).

          Third, it makes us temples of the Holy Ghost. Sanctifying grace brings the Holy Spirit to dwell in us as in a temple. St. Paul says, "For you are the temple of the Living God" (2 Corinthians 6:16).

          "Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, him will God destroy; for holy is the temple of God and this temple you are" (1 Corinthians 16,17).

          Fourth, it gives us the right to Heaven. When we are in sanctifying grace, we are inspired to do good works. The Holy Spirit does not sleep within us, but expands our heart with His grace, and urges our will to do good. And as we are adopted children of God, such actions become meritorious for Heaven.

          If we are children of God, we are at the same time heirs, and therefore have a right to His Kingdom. "We are the sons of God. But if we are sons, we are heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:16-17).

          Sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation because it is the supernatural life, which alone enables us to attain the supernatural happiness of Heaven.

          The presence of God in the soul give it life. When the Holy Spirit is dwelling in the soul, it is enabled to know and love God, to do supernatural works. Speaking of the "gift of God", Our Lod said it "shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up unto life everlasting" (John 4:14). Without sanctifying grace, the soul is without God; and without God, the soul becomes the devil's.

          One cannot gain any merit for Heaven as long as he is not in sanctifying grace, what is termed "in the state of grace". For without sanctifying grace one is an enemy of God, and cannot enter His kingdom.

          Mortal sin makes the soul displeasing to God, and thus deprives it of sanctifying grace.

      Tuesday, May 30th: Actual Grace part one

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    Events that happened this weekend in Church History

      On Friday we commemorate the death 1613 years ago in 387 of Saint Monica, the devoted and persevering mother of the great Doctor of the Church Saint Augustine. Though she passed on to her Heavenly reward on May 4th, her feast is celebrated in the universal Church on August 27 in conjunction with Augustine's feast on August 28th. After years of prayers for her wayward son who had embraced the Arian heresy, her perseverance paid off when he converted and became one of the greatest saints of the Church. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history during this period of four days in May, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for May 4:

    • 387 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine. Her feast used to be celebrated on this day, the day before her son converted. Today it is liturgically celebrated on August 27, the day before her son's feast day. Monica, a patient woman, is the patron saint of wives and mothers with troubled or wayward children.

    • 1038 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Gothard, also known as Godehard. Born in 962, he became a Benedictine monk and then bishop of Bavaria. St. Gothard Pass in the Swiss Alps derives its name from the chapel built there to honor this saint who was canonized in 1131 by Pope Innocent II.

    • 1471 A.D.
    • Death of Prince Edward of England when Queen Margaret, also of England, is defeated at Tewkesbury Edward IV in the War of Roses. Twelve years later on the same date Edward's son Edward V would march into London and a new regime would begin in the British Isles. Both sides were loyal to the Church so Rome showed no favorites.

    • 1493 A.D.
    • In honor of his great discovery, Christopher Columbus is granted an official Spanish Coat of Arms by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. On this same day Pope Alexander VI, a Spanish native, sets a line of demarcation 100 leagues west of the Azores between Spanish and Portuguese interests of exploration. Since it naturally favored Spain, it would be altered at the Treaty of Tordesillas a year later.

    • 1997 A.D.
    • Pope John Paul II beatifies the first gypsy Ceferino Gimenez Malla along with Bishop Florentino Ascensio Barroso, Sr. Maria Encarnacion Rosal of the Sacred Heart, Fr. Gaetano Catanoso, and Father Enrico Rebuschini during ceremonies in St. Peter's Square.


    Historical Events in Church Annals for May 5:

    • 449 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Hilary, Archbishop of Arles and Confessor. He was converted by his close friend and relative Saint Honoratus whom Hilary succeeded as head of the See of Arles.

    • 614 A.D.
    • The Persians seize Jerusalem and capture the True Holy Cross that Saint Helena had placed there after finding it. It would be years before the Christians would recapture it.

    • 1045 A.D.
    • Pope Gregory VI is elected the 148th successor of Peter. He is credited with forming the first pontifical army. Born in Rome, he would die a year and a half later on December 20, 1046. His pontificate was a breath of fresh air after the shameful corruption that had preceded him. He personally led his army in protecting himself from invasion and, like his predecessor Benedict IX, was forced by the people to abdicate.

    • 1474 A.D.
    • The cornerstone is laid in Oxford, England for Magdalen College, named after Mary Magdalene.

    • 1494 A.D.
    • Two years after discovering America, Christopher Columbus returns and arrives on the shores of Jamaica.

    • 1749 A.D.
    • Pope Benedict XIV issues his sixth encyclical to all the faithful proclaiming the Holy Year of 1750 in Peregrinantes. While that would indeed be a holy year, other events later in that century, specifically the French Revolution would tear the Church asunder in parts of Europe, especially France.

    • 1824 A.D.
    • Pope Leo XII releases his first encyclical to all the bishops on his assuming the pontificate half a year earlier on September 23, 1823 in succeeding Pope Pius VII.

    • 1888 A.D.
    • Pope Leo XIII publishes his 26th encyclical titled In plurimis to the Bishops of Brazil on the call the abolish slavery.


    Historical Events in Church Annals for May 6:

    • 1491 B.C.
    • It was around this time that Moses begins his ascent up Mount Sinai and his inevitable appointment with the Lord to receive the Ten Commandments.

    • 973 A.D.
    • Birth of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II son of Otto II during the reign of Pope Benedict VI.

    • 1210 A.D.
    • The magnificent Cathedral of Rheims in France is destroyed by fire. Arson is suspected but never proven. One year later to the day in 1211 the cornerstone would be laid on complete reconstruction of the new Cathedral of Rheims.

    • 1312 A.D.
    • Pope Clement V closes the Fifteenth General Council or the Council of Vienne begun in October 1311 in which the Church abolishes the Knights Templar and that all their property be turned over to the Hospitallers who were the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.

    • 1527 A.D.
    • The Lutheran army led by the German emperor Charles V sacks Rome, kills 147 of the elite Swiss Guard protecting the pontiff, and captures Pope Clement VII, imprisoning him for six months. Clement, though favored by Charles, opted to throw his support behind Francis I of France and that irked Charles to no end whose conquest ended the High Renaissance in Italy.

    • 1542 A.D.
    • Saint Francis Xavier arrives in Goa, India in his quest to bring the faith to the Far East.

    • 1998 A.D.
    • Alois Estermann, his wife Gladys and their purported murderer Cedric Tornay are laid to rest in the second worst catastrophe in Swiss Guard history when there is murder in the Vatican two days prior and the funeral was held on this day last year.

    • 1990 A.D.
    • His Holiness John Paul II beatifies the Child Martyrs Cristobal, Antonio and Juan along with Fr. Jose Maria de Yermo y Parres during ceremonies at the Vatican.


    Historical Events in Church Annals for May 7:

    • 973 A.D.
    • Death of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, known as "the Great" and son of Henry I. Otto had made Rome his capitol.

    • 1574 A.D.
    • Birth of Pope Innocent X, born Giambattista Pamfili in Rome. He would go on to become a cardinal and succeed Pope Urban VIII as the 236th successor of Peter. He would advise the Czar of Russia Alexis I to emancipate the servants of the glebe and would disapprove of the Treaty of Westphalia because a large number of cities would pass under Protestant control.

    • 1995 A.D.
    • Pope John Paul II beatifies six blesseds: Maria Helena Stollenwerk, Maria Alvarado Cordozo, Giuseppina Bonino, Maria Domenica, Burn Barbantini and Agostino Roscelli.

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    May 4-7, 2000     volume 11, no. 87
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