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December 3, 1998
SECTION ONE vol 9, no. 235
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
We Need a Hero!
We must do our part as members of the Mystical Body of Christ
We complete our three part series on the Heroic Act of Charity and our questions of where have all the heroes gone with a reminder that there truly is a Purgatory and those souls who make up the Church Suffering expect us, as members of the Church Militant to do our part. This responsibility is also asked of us by the Church Triumphant who are helping us here on earth, but cannot help the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Therefore, we are front and center the ones charged to come through in the clutch. It is an opportunity for us to not only be heroes, but to ensure our time in Purgatory will be shortened or bypassed by our prayers, deeds and intentions here on this finite earth as "Soldiers of Christ." This responsibility grows ever more expedient in Advent when we prepare for the coming of Christ not just at Christmas but His Second coming, a very real possibility as we near the end of the millennium. For the Eighty-sixth installment of this on-going megaseries, click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?.
The Thirty-Eighth Clarion:
"Amen I say to you, as long as you did it for one of these, the least of My brethren, you did it for Me."
Matthew 25: 40
Completing our short series on "Heroic Acts of Charity" in WE NEED A HERO!, we pick up where we left off two weeks ago in reminding all that there is indeed a place called Purgatory and it is not just a concept but an undeniable truth of the Church incorporated within the Communion of Saints which composes the Mystical Body of Christ which Saint Paul refers to in Colossians 1: 18, 1 Corinthians 12: 27 and Romans 12:5 in the fact that Christ is the head, we are the body, the members of the body. Just as there is an interdependence of the individual functions of the body with other parts of the body for certain purposes, there is a dependence on the entire body for the entire body which includes the Church Militant here on earth, the Church Triumphant in Heaven, and the Church Suffering in Purgatory. This supernatural fellowship, this mystical union is presented to us in the Apostles' Creed in the doctrine of the Communion of Saints - all united in Christ as its Head. As we have emphasized in the last two installments, the an Heroic Act of Charity leaves us perfectly free to pray for those souls in whom we are most interested; the application of prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is subject to the disposition of the adorable Will of God. This Heroic Act does not oblige under pain of mortal sin and can at any time be revoked. It may be made without using any particular formula; it suffices to have the intention and to make it from the heart. In summation, the Heroic Act does not subject us to the direful consequences of having to undergo a long Purgatory ourselves; on the contrary, it allows us to rely with more assured confidence on the Mercy of God in our regard. We are rewarded for our cooperation in the Mystical Body of Christ by doing our part to help it function as God wills.
Very few of us have had a vision of Purgatory. Yet, through prayer, we can learn something of the sufferings of these Holy Souls in this place of expiation. We can learn that their sufferings are more intense than we can comprehend or imagine, and this suffering is of the spirit, of the soul, and is likened to a burning fire which might scorch and annihilate our human body. Unlike our human flesh, which, when burned, will shrivel and die, there is no relief, nor end to the pain of suffering. And this fire-like suffering comes from the knowledge the Holy Souls have of God, of having experienced for a fleeting second, as it were, that incredible Love which is God, and then being separated from that All-Consuming Love. If we recall when we were most homesick or lonesome and magnify it a million times, we would then arrive at some understanding of the suffering of these Holy Souls in Purgatory.
We might also consider that we, too, when we are called before God, might find ourselves escorted to Purgatory, knowing that unless we are remembered on earth by the Church Militant, our sufferings are without relief for the period consigned to us by the Almighty. And would we not, in that moment, desire with all of our soul, that someone would make this Heroic Act of Charity on our behalf that we might, as members of the Church Suffering, be freed from suffering and enter into Eternal Bliss? What we do for the least of our brothers, God shall do for us.
We can never outdo God in generosity. Let us, then, resolve to amend our own lives and become generous benefactors for our departed brothers and sisters, fully confident that at the moment of our death, this very Heroic Act of Charity will gain for us a speedy entry into Eternal Joy where we can finally unite with the Church Triumphant. This is the true "communion" of the Communion of Saints which is the very backbone of the Church and something we should be ever mindful as we prepare during Advent and this upcoming final year of the second millennium...as we prepare for His Coming, not just at Christmas but when He returns for the second time for we say every day at Holy Mass: "Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again!" After all it will be the ultimate Advent for the word comes from the Latin ad meaning "to" and veni which means "come." Yes, many things are yet to come but none more important as the reason for our very existence - Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. It is time for all of us to take our roles seriously as "soldiers of Christ" as members of the Church Militant and, as soldiers begin to attempt to do heroic acts for others beginning with the Heroic Act of Charity and to do unto others as we would have done unto us. Like any good soldier, we're going to fall often; but there is no shame in falling, only in failing to bounce back up. For the sake of the souls in Purgatory we all need to bounce back up, to pray and prepare during this season of Advent, which signals the beginning of the Church's liturgical year. Our Lady is preparing us in her boot camp of motherly love by reminding us of her Divine Son and of the realization that we are coming to the end of an era and that Christ is "to come" soon after God has recleansed the earth as He did during the time of Noah, 2000 years before sending His Only-begotten Son to redeem mankind. Now it is our turn to help redeem the Holy Souls.
In the next installment we shall begin a short series on indulgences in light of the fact Pope John Paul II has brought this to the forefront in his recent Papal Bull Incarnationis Mysterium.
"I solemnly tell all of my children: I am the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and it is He, the Sanctifier, Who has come to reveal to all open, consecrated hearts the Divine Will, that you might hasten the triumph of my Immaculate Heart."
Those words from the Blessed Mother Mary in messages 302 says it all! Supported by her Messages 300 and 301 imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart back in the early part of March in 1993, Our Lady reiterates the importance of all her faithful little ones being united in the Divine Will and to forego bickering and envy, rumor mongering and the like for these are all ploys by the devil to divide and conquer. She beseeches all to return to her Divine Son Jesus present in the Tabernacle and reminds all that the natural disasters, which since 1993 have intensified to biblical proportions, are all part of God's Mercy and Justice but at the same time are permitting the antichrist, whose days are numbered, to come to the forefront. She warns over and over to pray for unity and the grace of the Holy Spirit, her Divine Spouse during these times foretold in Sacred Scripture. For messages 300, 302 and 302, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred, Three Hundred-one and Three Hundred-two
Message Three Hundred, March 2, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, be not troubled. Have I not warned all of my little ones that the evil one's assaults would grow more fierce daily?
Therefore, I solemnly tell my little ones that you must all pray to be one with the Divine Will. Only in this way shall the evil one be defeated, for my Immaculate Heart shall crush the serpent.
Pray and fast. Convert your hearts. Strive for perfection by surrendering your will to the Divine Will.
This, my little ones, is not only your refuge, but your armor in the time
of great persecution.
Be steadfast. Be strong. Seek only God and His Will, and unto you shall be given wisdom, understanding and discernment.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-one, March 5, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
Beloved Hidden Flower, how I bless you. To all of my little ones I say: Peace! Hear my words given you in Love. Allow, will your heart to be open. There is very little time left and still only a very few have understood my words.
Have I not come among you by God's authority as a Mother? Have I not, in many messages, warned that mankind would suffer for its godlessness? Did I not tell you there would be natural disasters of every type, man-made disasters and all would pave the way for the antichrist? All I have foretold is being fulfilled.
Therefore, I am inviting all of my little ones to complete conversion of heart in this Holy Season of Lent! Now must be the time, because if you follow my Divine Son's Cross you will grow quickly in your conversion and
receive from God all necessary understanding, wisdom and knowledge of what you must do now in order to begin to live fully in the Divine Will.
Little ones, I solemnly tell you that soon I shall not be able to come among you in this extraordinary way. At this time then seek to become stronger in your faith. Pray to the Holy Spirit and be of one mind and heart, for even now satan has divided many of my little ones gathered beneath my Immaculate Mantle. Unless you come before my Son in the tabernacle willingly surrendering your full will, you shall remain divided and greater shall be your sorrow in these days ahead.
I invite you to the Way of the Cross. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-two, March 7, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
Beloved Hidden Flower, be at peace. I am with you.
O! How my Immaculate Heart suffers! I weep continuously, for so many of my little ones have not truly lived my messages. Now when time is so crucial, and it must be for all the faithful remnant a time of great strength and courage, you have allowed the evil one to subtly fill many with pride, and you are not of one mind and one heart through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
I solemnly tell all of my children: I am the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and it is He, the Sanctifier, Who has come to reveal to all open, consecrated hearts the Divine Will, that you might hasten the triumph of my Immaculate Heart.
Therefore, pray to the Holy Spirit and He will be with you, as my Divine Son and I are. Thank you for responding to my Call!
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier, Jesuit missionary priest to America, while tomorrow is the First Friday of Advent and the Feast of Saint John of Damascus, priest and Doctor of the Church. For today and tomorrow's liturgies, meditations, and story of St. Francis Xavier, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Thursday, December 3, 1998
Thursday December 3:
Feast of Saint Francis Xavier, priest, religious and missionary
First Reading: Isaiah 26: 1-6
Psalms: Psalm 118: 1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27
Gospel Reading: Matthew 7: 24-27
December 3: SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER, Religious and Missionary
One of the charter members of the Jesuit Order, Saint Francis Xavier was hand-picked by Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Born in the family castle of Xavier near Pamplona in the Basque country of the Spanish Navarre on April 7, 1506, Francis was sent to the prestigious University of Paris to receive his licentiate in 1528. While there he met Fr. Loyola. Though he rejected Ignatius' original plans, he was one over by his piety and became one of the original seven who took their vows as Jesuits, dedicated to the Pope, at Montmartre, France in 1534 on the feast of the Assumption. He became a Jesuit priest in 1537 in Venice, Italy and subsequently was sent to Rome along with four other Jesuits in 1538. After two years of "pestering the Pope" and keeping Pope Paul III abreast of the activities and ideals of the Society of Jesus, the Holy Father formally approved the Society. Once approval was official, Fr. Xavier and fellow Jesuit Fr. Simon Rodriquez were sent to the East Indies as the first missionaries. On their way they stopped off in Lisbon where King John II detained them. It was the king who had requested missionaries. When they were ready to head to the Orient again on April 7, 1541 the King felt Fr. Rodriquez was not healthy enough to go and other priests were assigned to join Francis, though not Jesuits. Thirteen months later Fr. Xavier arrived in Goa where he preached for five months to the children, ministered to the sick, and sought to correct the immorality factor - in particular the use of concubines so prevalent among the Portuguese community there, but frowned upon in Europe and by the Church. From there he traveled to the southern tip of India to Sri Lanka ministering to the natives. In 1544 he moved on to care for the Malaccans and a year later the Moluccas near New Guinea. In 1546 he landed on Morotai which was near the Philippines. In 1549 he reached his farthest destination - Japan where he preached until 1551. Whenever other missionaries joined him in these countries, Francis would turn over the duties to them and move on to new frontiers with a heart flaming with love for God and souls. Thus, he set out for China. On December 3, 1552 in sight of his life-long goal to evangelize to the Chinese, God took Francis home. Alone excepted for a Chinese youth named Antony, Francis, though only 46, died of exhaustion and fever on the island of Shangchwan just a short distance from the China mainland. No other missionary, with the exception of possibly Saint Paul, traveled more miles than Francis and in such a short span of time. He traveled to some of the most remote and inaccessible places then known to man under tremendous harrowing situations that a lesser man would have run from. But he persevered, despite the lack of cooperation from locals and the absence of funds, in converting over 30,000 people during his lifetime. In a time when thousands were fleeing from the faith in Europe as a result of the Protestant revolution, thousands were embracing the True Faith in the Far East thanks to the valiant, heroic deeds of St. Francis Xavier, the "Apostle of the Indies and Japan." It is all the more remarkable when one realizes he worked solely through interpreters and translators, not having the gift of tongues. He was credited with countless miracles and healings and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. Pope Saint Pius X proclaimed him patron of all foreign missions in 1927 along with the Little Flower of Lisieux- Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus.
Friday, December 4, 1998
Friday December 4:
First Friday of Advent
Feast of Saint John of Damascus, priest, religious and Doctor of the Church
Violet or White vestments
First Reading: Isaiah 29: 17-24
Psalms: Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9: 27-31
December 4: SAINT JOHN OF DAMASCUS, Priest, Religious and Doctor of the Church
In the year 675 as Mohammedanism was making its mark in the Holy Land, Saint John of Damascus was born into a wealthy Christian-Arab family. His mother was Catholic, his father Mansur a Moslem. Though John spent all his life under Mohammedan rule, he never wavered from the True Faith which was taught to him by a wise monk named Cosmas, a slave bought by John's father during a Moslem raid in Sicily. When John's father died, his inheritance included the position of chief revenue officer and counselor of the Caliph, the Mohammedan leader who was then Abdul Malek. In the early 700's the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian released a decree condemning the veneration of images. John knew it was a direct assault on Catholicism and he refuted all the Emperor had decreed which naturally drew the wrath of the Byzantine rulers who wanted to silence him, but they were prevented because John was under the Caliph's protection and rule. A year later, largely through the influence of Cosmas, he resigned the prestigious position of finance officer and became a monk at St. Sabas on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Even though Leo's successor, the Emperor Constantine Copronymus denounced John at a false synod he convened in Constantinople, the Patriarch John V still ordained John in 726. Now a priest, John returned to the monastery in Jerusalem to lead the defenders of the orthodox Catholic faith against the iconoclast movement of the Byzantine regime. Known as both a poet and theologian, John wrote his famous The Fount of Knowledge, translated into Latin with the title De Fide Orthodoxa. It had the most profound effect on theology for centuries. Teaming up with John V and Pope Gregory II, he defended the faith and the right to use images and icons of Our Lord, Our Lady and the saints with the beautiful rationale, "It is not the material that we honor but what it represents: the honor paid to images goes to the one who is represented by the image." He wrote countless works including poems still used in the Greek liturgy. The Greeks called him "Chrysoorhoas" which meant "pouring forth gold" since his words were a treasure so profound to those who heard them. John's peaceful death at the monastery at St. Sabas on December 4, 749 marked the end of the Greek Fathers of the Church. On the same date in 1890 Pope Leo XIII proclaimed John of Damascus a Doctor of the Church adding his feast to the Roman Calendar.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's Prayer is taken from the Preface of the Mass honoring Saint Francis Xavier:
Father, You inflamed St. Francis, son of sthe newborn Society of Jesus, with the ardor of charity and zeal for souls, so that, ignoring dangers, difficulties and fatigue, he would embark on numerous journeys and acquainting people with the mysteries of salvation, would make them members of Your Church.
For the special Novena Prayer for this day during this time of preparation during Advent, click on ADVENT
ADVENT NOVENA PRAYER
O Triune Divinity, we come to you through the intercession of Blessed Mary, ever-Virgin, and St. Joseph, her chaste, holy spouse. In this season of Advent we desire to obtain the grace of purity of intention, that through our obedience to Your Heavenly Will, we, too, can transform our poor, miserable lives into the resplendent stable at Bethlehem where You Only-begotten Son was born.
Through the intercession of Mary, and all the hosts of Heaven, we beseech You, through the merits gained for us by Jesus Christ, Your Only-begotten Son, to help us convert our hearts, to live the messages of Your Mother, and to ardently beseech You to bring about the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart now, that the Reign of the Sacred Heart might be upon the world.
Heavenly Father, we trust in Your goodness and beseech You to hear us, not because of our worthiness, but because of our willingness to be Your little children who kneel in adoration to their God. Come, let us adore Him!
PRAYER for December 3: First Thursday of Advent
The days pass, and you go about your daily tasks, always in a state of God's Peace. We lack that peace within ourselves, Mother, because we are so overwhelmed by the demands of our world, by preparations for a worldly Christmas. Pray for us, Heavenly Mother, that we might rid ourselves of inordinate desires, seeking only Jesus and His Kingdom, which came upon the earth through your Fiat to God.
November 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I call you to prepare yourselves for the coming of Jesus. In a special way, prepare your hearts. May holy Confession be the first act of conversion for you and then, dear children, decide for holiness. May your conversion and decision for holiness begin today and not tomorrow. Little children, I call you all to the way of salvation and I desire to show you the way to Heaven. That is why, little children, be mine and decide with me for holiness. Little children, accept prayer with seriousness and pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
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December 3, 1998 volume 9, no. 235 DAILY CATHOLIC