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November 12, 1998
SECTION ONE vol 9, no. 222
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
We Need a Hero!
We can all be heroes for Christ through our HEROIC ACTS OF CHARITY
There was a song in the sixties that, in part, said "Where have all the flowers gone?" We'd like to update that a bit and ask "Where have all the heroes gone?" We pose this question as we begin a short series entitled We Need a Hero! in which we examine the reasons we have so few true and worthy role models and heroes today and trace it to the fact that so few are willing to pay the price, the price Jesus asks of each one of us - to take up our cross and follow Him. For the Eighty-fourth installment of this on-going megaseries, click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?.
The Feature Article, begun in the inaugural issue two years ago, deals with the state of the Church. We continue probing the question that has perplexed the Magisterium and the laity for the past 30 years as the liberal element has left its mark, effecting changes that have seemingly watered down the "Roman Catholic" traditions. Yet, God in His Infinite Wisdom, has allowed this to happen for a specific purpose. He has been preparing us in a special way by sending His very Own Blessed Mother to guide us and remind us of our roots. Through perseverance, prayer and loyalty to Holy Mother Church headed by the Holy Father John Paul II and adhered to by the faithful who will not compromise, the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward the conservative side. In the eighty-fourth installment of this on-going feature series, we begin a short series on what is a true hero today and what is THE HEROIC ACT OF CHARITY in "WE NEED A HERO" which is a follow-up to our past three installments on the Communion of Saints and our role in helping the poor souls in Purgatory as we continue to alert the reader to what is happening and sound the call to arms, to enlist in Mary's army and take up the battle cry. God said it, we believe it, that settles it! Too many Catholics are going their own way with little regard to what their spiritual shepherd - the Vicar of Christ says. Sin is whitewashed. If we're not careful there will be a tremendous backwash and who among us wants to get caught in the vortex of that swirling whirlpool of Justice? This series is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event.
The Thirty-Eighth Clarion:
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
Matthew 16: 24-25
In our just-completed installments on the Communion of Saints, we alluded to "Heroic Acts of Charity." Now we would like to go more into detail on what this means for we can all be heroes for Jesus through Our Heroic Acts of Charity. November is truly a month to express thankfulness. Most of us think of November and our national holiday of Thanksgiving. Actually, the month began with two feasts that we have convered in depth in the previous installments - All Saints Day and All Souls Day. We also covered Purgatory and its definite existence because it is an undeniable teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet it has been so watered down today that few, sadly, give it any credence. It is completely lost on some, whose thinking has become so modern as to exclude the possibility that such a place of atonement could exist by a God Who is All-Loving. It is vital to remember that this quality of God as All-Loving, consists both in His Mercy and in His Justice. No one can come into the presence of Almighty God who has not been made pure through a life of suffering, good works and total giving of one's self in obedience to God.
We do not understand properly the reality of sin and its ramifications upon our souls, and upon our own mortal bodies. We are so weighed down with the prospects of getting through life the easy way and pain free as possible that we do not want to consider any other aspect. We must be very careful not to get caught up in the interpretations of Sacred Scripture, but rather to discern with the grace of the Holy Spirit. In this regard, consider the many who are eagerly awaiting the Rapture, believing they will not have to go through the chastisement but will be lifted up by God and preserved from this purification. Nowhere in Sacred Scripture does God indicate such an event. Sacred Scripture tells us very specifically that there is no other way except suffering, as Christ said in Matthew 16: 24-27, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will render to everyone according to his conduct."
Our society has become so taken up with the material things of life that we easily neglect our souls whil will live forever. Thus, in this month of November, it is prudent to reflect upon The Heroic Act of Charity, which we can make for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and this one Heroic Act consists in all of the good works which we have, or will ever make, in our earthly lives. In this Heroic Act of Charity we are asked to become so abandoned to God that we surrender to Him absolutely everything, the satisfactory value of our works of our life and of all the suffrages which shall be given to us after our death, without receiving anything. In this Heroic Act of Charity we give all into the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary to distribute them, according to her intentions, to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
To do that takes a real hero and there are so few left on this earth. Gone are so many of the priests and nuns, and yes parents and grandparents who emulated these virtues, who, despite the consequences, were not afraid to utilize "tough love" for the sake of the person's soul rather than their material wellbeing. They were not as concerned with how they themselves would be accepted or perceived by the ones they were helping as was the point that they wanted to instill the Will of God into their subjects so that it would become a "way of life" and not go "in one ear and out the other." They weren't concerned that they wouldn't be popular, but more concerned with turning out reliable, responsible Catholics who would repopulate the world with more good Catholics or enrich the Church with more priests, nuns and lay brothers. That took heroism, a heroism that is sadly lacking today. Today heroes are equated to movie, rock and sports stars. Guess what? They aren't heroes or role models, they are simply fallible humans with feet of clay who have cast their lot, for the most part, with satan, not with God. They've taken the easy way out, opting for fame and wealth without taking on the responsibility of truly giving back, of truly accepting suffering, of truly imparting values and virtues that will make today and tomorrow's generation stronger and more worthy to be called children of God.
That sad scenario leaves us terribly void of heroes today. Vocations are alarmingly down in wealthy, advanced nations in Europe and America while they are skyrocketing in poor, third world countries like Africa, India and South America. Why is that? Because we have not suffered, whereas those in impoverished countries have suffered greatly and grown from it. From suffering heroes are born, not from excess and smooth sailing. A very wise priest once told this editor "It takes a lot of wind and rain to make a tree grow strong and straight." So also in a person's life, the more adversity one experiences, the stronger that person will be for it and grow to be a mature, solid citizen both for their country and, primarily, for God. The problems today are that too many within the Church are trying to make things too easy, forgetting what Christ says about suffering and carrying our cross and being obedient to Him. Compromise and softness have replaced the tough faith of yesteryear in the minds of many Catholics and, were it not for our present sovereign pontiff Pope John Paul II who knows how soft the underbelly of the Church might be today. If it were up to the liberals and modernists, you can bet Catholicism would be totally "cafeteria" where the faithful could pick and choose as they pleased. But that is not what Our Lord intended when He established His Church in Matthew 16: 18-19. Nor did He beg and cajole those who walked away from Him when they realized it wouldn't be easy. Being the Son of God He could easily have called them back and explained further what He meant, but He did not compromise, He did not water anything down. And neither should we. In order to be genuine heroes today we must submit ourselves totally to the Divine Will. Then, and only then will we be able to generate the kind of attributes attributed to true heroes.
In the next installment we shall delve further on what The Heroic Act of Charity really is and the Formula for this Heroic Act.
"Let trust be your bulwark; allow your ship to sail into my Son's Sacred Heart!"
Those words from the Blessed Mother Mary in messages 275 and followed up in message 276 were imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart back in the early part of 1993, urging all God's children to set sail for salvation by steering the right course to the pillars of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. Our Lady warns of the obstacles along the way, the laxness of many and the disobedience of many who fail to heed her Divine Son's Vicar of Christ on earth. She alerts us to pay strict attention to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be sure it is still just that and not an aberration of what it is supposed to be. She also cautions us to be ready for we have entered the Great Hour of Sorrow, a time that will last until the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart which will usher in that glorious time foretold in which we will be safely harbored in Christ's Peace. For messages 275 and 276, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Two Hundred Seventy-five and Two Hundred Seventy-six
Message Two Hundred Seventy-five, January 9, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, write now my words for all my little ones.
Rejoice in your littleness. This alone causes Mercy to gaze upon you. Pray daily to remain little, humble children. Be of simple faith and steadfast
trust. Then shall the Holy Spirit anoint you with all the knowledge you need in these last days.
I urge again devotion to my Son in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and ask all to work for Adoration of Him in this Sacrament of Love. Let no one tell you that you can have too much reverence for my Son. Do not believe any who scoff or ridicule such devotion, nor the Adoration of Jesus Christ in the Monstrance. These voices are deceived, and try to turn you into a faith devoid of God, but a faith dependent on man. This is heresy!
Beloved, the signs already manifest themselves to you. Re-read my earlier words and see now how each begins its fulfillment. For I solemnly tell you this is truly the Hour of Great Sorrow and the Year of Tears.
O! Believe as a humble, obedient child and do not grow lax. Pick up your rosaries. Receive my Divine Son upon your tongue. Kneel before Him Who is God and, by your faith, many hearts shall be opened.
Love my Divine Son above all else and place yourselves in His Sacred Heart, which shall be your refuge. I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Two Hundred Seventy-six, January 10, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I come to my little ones frequently now for the time is critically short.
O! Open the eyes of your soul through faith. Let trust be your bulwark; allow your ship to sail into my Son's Sacred Heart!
How I weep at my lax, disobedient little ones who are led astray! How I mourn and plead for prayers before my Divine Son in the Blessed Sacrament for all my Son's shepherds who have taken the path to perdition!
Be not deceived by the lies of satan. Obey my beloved priest-son Pope John Paul II whose voice is Truth. Listen carefully to what is said at Holy Mass and be so firm in your faith that you shall be aware of the clever changes which have come to make the Holy Sacrifice both illicit and invalid.
Pray! I urge you: Pray! Love my Son and receive His Peace in the dreadful days which already unfold. Cling to Him. Suffer for Him. Soon my Heart shall triumph, but you must beseech the Triune Divinity for this moment every day.
I love you. I bless you. Come home NOW! Thank you for responding to my Call!
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Josaphat Kuncevic, the Polish-born martyred bishop who helped in bringing some Eastern Churches back in line with Rome, while tomorrow we observe the Feast of Saint Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin, religious founder and educator. For today and tomorrow's liturgies, and meditations, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Thursday, November 12, 1998
First Reading: Philemon 1: 7-20
Psalms: Psalm 146: 7-10
Gospel Reading: Luke 17: 20-25
Feast of Saint Josaphat, Bishop, Religious and Martyr
In 1580, during the papacy of Pope Gregory XIII- author of the Gregorian Calendar, Saint Josaphat was born as John Kuncevic to an Orthodox family in Vladimir, Poland. Though he was born into the Greek Orthodox Church and a Pole, he became a member of the Uniate Ruthenian Church in Vilna, Lithuania. In the 16th and 17th Centuries the Ruthenian followers were divided into three sects - the Catholic or Latin Church in total union with Rome, the Orthodox Greek Church which answered to the Patriarch of Constantinople and Moscow, and the Greek Uniate Church which the Polish people had discarded because of the lengthy liturgy and the ignorant clergy who were allowed to marry. In a word, respect was non-existent for the latter hierarchy. The Roman Catholic Church had become strong in Poland, but had failed to make headway into Lithuania or Russia, but a synod held by the Ruthenian Church in 1595 opted to be reunited with the Church of Rome pending approval by Pope Clement VIII. So excited with this proposition was John that he became a Basilian monk at the age of 24 at Holy Trinity Monastery at Vilna and was given the religious name of Josaphat. Along with a friend and fellow monk Jozef Rutski, he worked long and hard on bringing reform to the Basilians in anticipation of union with Rome. At the age of 37 Josaphat released an extensive thesis in the Slavic language on the natural roots of unity of the Ukranian Church with the Church of Rome. Through his efforts he started a Basilian monastery that was totally in union with the Catholic Church. When his friend Jozef became metropolitan of Kiev, Josaphat became archimandrite of the monastery which was the same as abbot in the Roman Church, before being appointed in 1617 Archbishop of Polotsk on the eastern border of Lithuania next to western Russia. Because of the state of disrepair in his new diocese and the strong opposition to Rome, Josaphat knew in his heart his mission was to reach out to the Ruthenians and convince them the Catholic Church was the true faith. He carried this out through synods, seminars, and catechesis studies. When some priests rebelled, he exacted sanctions on clergy who were not following the true teachings. This naturally caused dissension and resentment and many of the misguided clergy stirred up opposition to Josaphat, spreading fear among the Ruthenians that if the Latin rite were introduced into their land they would lose everything from their culture to their property. This caused the Ruthenians to rally against Josaphat. It turned to outright hatred when, in 1621 the Byzantine Patriarch of Jerusalem traveled to the Ukraine to consecrate a metropolitan and a handful of Orthodox bishops in the Ruthenian Church. This action further eroded support for Josaphat and the plotters, led by antiarchbishop Metetius Smotritsky, sought to seal his fate by stirring fear in the populace at a time when Poland was being threatened by the Turks from the South and Sweden to the north. In addition, Poland was cautious of coming to Josaphat's aid because Josphat, though in total union with Rome, still insisted on keeping the Byzantine rites and customs in the Ukranian Church as opposed to the Latin rite in Poland. To quell the opposition Josaphat decided to go to Vitebsk, Russia which was then known as "White Russia" and where he had first become an auxilary bishop, to meet face to face with his enemies in hopes of a peaceful dialog. However this was thwarted when a priest named Elias harassed Josaphat and was locked up. The people demanded Elias' release and as they assembled taunts of kill Josaphat rose to a fever pitch. As Josaphat held out his hands to quiet the crowd and speak reasonably to the maddening mob, they stormed the platform and began beating him. As the frenzied mob of Ruthenians roared its approval, one man cleared a path and leveled his rifle at Josaphat killing the saint instantly. They then dispatched of his body by hurling it into the Dvina River. Thus this Eastern saint became a martyred victim of the cruel persecution by the Slav-Ruthenian Church in Russia in 1623. Nearly 250 years later Pope Pius IX canonized Josaphat as the first Eastern saint to formally be canonized in such a process. The efforts begun by Josaphat are being carried out today by Pope John Paul II in uniting the Orthodox Churches with Rome and the Uniate Churches such as the Ukranian Rite and Byzantine Rite which are in union with the Pope, yet maintain an eastern culture in their liturgy and language.
Friday, November 13, 1998
Friday November 13:
Feast of Saint Mother Frances Cabrini, Virgin, Missionary, Educator and Religious Founder
First Reading: 2 John 4-9
Psalms: Psalm 119: 1-2, 10-11, 17-18
Gospel Reading: Luke 17: 26-37
Feast of Saint Mother Frances Cabrini, Virgin, Missionary, Educator and Religious Founder
This pioneering educator and missionary Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, better known to all her followers as Mother Cabrini is one of our most modern saints and yet the first American citizen to be canonized a saint. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII on June 7, 1947, only 30 years after her death in Chicago, Illinois in 1917. On November 13, 1950 the Holy Father proclaimed Mother Cabrini "Patroness of Immigrants." Maria Francesca, as she was christened at baptism, was born prematurely on July 15, 1850 as the youngest of 13 children to Augustine and Stella Oldini Cabrini at Sant' Angelo Lodigiano in Italy. She had always had the inborn desire to do something special for God. Though she was on her way to becoming a school teacher, her parents both died in 1868 and she decided to become a nun. After two communities turned her down, the bishop of her diocese Msgr. Serrati asked her to take over a poorly run orphanage in Codogno, Italy which was called House of Providence. Naturally resentment arose from the original foundress Antonia Tondini and the tension-filled conflict caused the bishop of Todi to shut it down. But he realized Frances' zeal and talents and invited her to found a religious organization of nuns devoted to teaching young girls. With seven other young women, Francis remodeled an abandoned Franciscan friary which served as the mother house for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart which the bishop approved in 1880. Vocations became plentiful and soon the order had spread to Milan, Rome and other parts of Italy. Soon word reached across the sea. Realizing the need to minister to the Italians who had immigrated to the United States, the bishop of New York Archbishop Corrigan invited Mother Cabrini to come to America to help the immigrants. She accepted and arrived at the portals of Ellis Island in 1889. For the next 27 years she would establish numerous schools, hospitals, convents and orphanages throughout the vast United States from New York to Denver despite great obstacles. In 1907 her congregation received papal approval. Two years later she became an American citizen. America was definitely the better for it as the Church grew rapidly through the works of those inspired by this Italian saint. Mother Cabrini founded over 65 charitable organizations and houses for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. While still alive she was able to obtain countless special favors through her prayerful intercession. Many accounts of spiritual phenomena accompanied Mother Cabrini. One such account relates to her founding a house just outside of Denver in what is today Golden, Colorado. Surveying the hilly and rocky land above Denver, the owner sold it to her dirt-cheap so-to-speak because there was no water on the land and nothing would grow there. This did not daunt the staunch saint. She took her wooden staff and trekking up the hill, poked at the earth and water gushed forth where it still flows freely today. Returning to Chicago, she fell ill and died on December 22 in the same year as the Fatima apparitions of 1917. Many who come to America's shores from all over the world invoke the intercession of Mother Cabrini today who is considered the "Patroness of Immigrants" as Pope Pius XII declared on November 13, 1950 when he established her feast day for the Church in the United States.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer commemorating the martyred Saint Josaphat:
Lord, fill Your Church with the Spirit that gave St. Josaphat courage to lay down his life for his people. By his prayers may Your Spirit make us strong and willing to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Events Today in Church History
For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for November 12:
Death of Saint Nilus the Elder, a disciple of the Doctor of the Church Saint John Chrysostom who became a monk who wrote many theological treatises against the Emperor Arcadius.
Death of Pope Boniface III, 66th successor of Peter who was elected on February 19th of the same year. He forbade arrangements for the election of the new Pope until three days had passed since the death of his predecessor. Boniface declared that the only universal bishop was that of Rome, that is, the Pope.
Death of Saint Josaphat, Bishop . For more on this Polish saint, see TODAY'S LITURGY
October 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I call you to come closer to my Immaculate Heart. I call you to renew in your families the fervor of the first days when I called you to fasting, prayer and conversion. Little children, you accepted my messages with open hearts, although you did not know what prayer was. Today, I call you to open yourselves completely to me so that I may transform you and lead you to the heart of my Son Jesus, so that He can fill you with His love. Only in this way, little children, will you find true peace - the peace that only God gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
November 12, 1998 volume 9, no. 222 DAILY CATHOLIC