DAILY CATHOLIC   FRI-SAT-SUN   April 30 - May 2, 1999   vol. 10, no. 85

CATHOLIC PewPOINT

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It wouldn't hurt to invoke the help of Blessed Padre Pio!

          Earlier this week we ran an article about the secular media's total blackout of the Vatican's involvement in seeking peace in the Balkans. Now we have the ridiculous with the secular media ballyhooing the fact that Jesse Jackson is heading to Belgrade to turn it all around and establish peace. Oh, please, give us a break. Here's a man who will talk incessantly all the time, a man who is a purported minister merely so he can use the title "The Reverend" before his name even though there is absolutely no spirituality to his rhetoric, only political doublespeak. Here is a man who says he is religious, yets embraces Bill Clinton and his abortion policies. Ol' Jess is doing nothing but looking for publicity and he's using the world stage of Kosovo to prance about as if he is the great savior. To try to give this PR push some legitimacy, it has been announced that "a committee of Religious leaders" have left on a Peace Trip to Belgrade. They announced that this would include representatives from various faiths including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox and Muslim. You can bet the Catholic rep accompanying Jackson is a liberal leaning prelate or priest who will give the credit to Jackson as his 'yes man' and overlook the real influence that has preceded Jackson's entourage - the Vatican delegates who have been working behind the scenes for the past several months.

          But you won't hear about that. You won't hear about the Holy See's efforts to help the refugees in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. You won't hear about Caritas, or about Archbishop Paul Cordes special trip to Macedonia this past week to express to the people that the Holy Father understands and is with them. He was personally sent to Skopje, the birthplace of Mother Teresa to assure that the supplies and humanitarian provisions being dispensed are being distributed accordingly to the proper people and not being abused. You won't hear about Cardinal Camillo Ruini president of the Episcopal Conference in Italy, or Bishop Benito Cocchi, president of Caritas, or Bishop Elvio Damoli, director of the Italian Caritas of Bishop Diego Bona, head of Pax Christi. These are all humanitarian efforts originated by the Church to help victims and refugees with no regard to ethnic background, culture or creed. You won't hear about Archbishop Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and his efforts to call on leaders of world medical and pharmaceutical organizations to pitch in and provide medical assistance to those who are in need in the Balkans. You won't hear about the Salesian emergency refugee camp in Tirana, called the "Don Bosco Camp" which are taking care of 750 refugees, including 312 children, 132 of which are school age and being taught by thirteen teachers from Kosovo. You won't hear about Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, top foreign-affairs official for the Vatican and his around-the-clock efforts to effect a cease-fire, including the Easter Truce which was first offered by Tauran and the Holy See but the secular media gave credit to both Slobodan Milosevic and/or Madeleine Albright. You won't hear about the behind-the-scenes negotiating with the UN by Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, president of the Council of European Catholic Episcopal Conferences. These countless Catholic efforts have gone largely unnoticed except being reported by L'Osservatore Romano as well as reliable Catholic news services such as ZENIT International News Agency, Catholic World News and Church News - all of which the DAILY CATHOLIC is proud to be associated with and carry regularly.

          Longtime respected Vatican writer Antonio Gaspari railed earlier this week about the snub the secular media has perpetrated on the world by omitting Rome's influence on the peace process even though no sovereign nation has done more to bring an end to the bombing and ethnic cleansing than Vatican City. Gaspari asked, "Where are all the correspondents now who flocked to Cuba to report on the Pope's trip to the island? The same ones who spoke about the importance that must be given to John Paul's opionion in world affairs. The Pope's calls for peace aren't politically correct. Since they don't like what the Pope is saying - essentially, stop the bombing - they simply ignore it. There is an 'unspoken veto' being exercised against any news that comes out of the Vatican about the Kosovo wrar. Now, how can you call that objective journalism?' The bottom line is you can't and even more reason to doubt what you read or hear on the evening news because it is all carefully orchestrated as propaganda, not news you can use. That is another reason we began the DAILY CATHOLIC two years ago, to be able to bring you the world news from a Catholic perspective. Hey, if Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch can do it, why can't we? True, we're a few cents short of their budget...wayyyyy short, but the truth doesn't have to cost a cent. It's the lies that are being fostered that cost so much. The world still thinks the Iron curtain fell because of the United States and Ronald Reagan. How dense can they be? It fell because of the prayers Our Lady asked for at Fatima and Pope John Paul II's behind the scenes efforts directly with Reagan and Mikael Gorbachev, but you didn't hear anything about that. Pope Pius XII went out of his way and behind the scenes to shelter and protect thousands and thousands of Jews during World War II, and up until recently you hadn't heard anything about that until some liberal Jewish factions accused him of not helping enough, of ignoring the Jews and then, Katie bar the door, proof came out of the woodwork on Pius' behalf proving without a shadow of a doubt of Pius' involvement. The difference is that the Holy See during the time of Pius and the current pontificate of John Paul II operate in silence, striving to decrease so God can increase.

          Speaking of silence, this weekend we celebrate the feast of one of the most silent of saints, yet most effective and truly most obedient: Saint Joseph the Worker. The significance of this feast, unfortunately, has been lost on the last generation or two as well as many in the secular media since many do not fully comprehend the word "worker" or what truly constitutes work ethics. Ever since God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden with the edict, "In the sweat of your brow..." (Genesis 3: 19) man has worked and toiled to eat and provide for himself and his family. For centuries this work ethic was a proud tribute to the determination and fortitude of countless generations, leaving behind memorials of their labors from the proud cathedrals of Europe to the writings and teachings of the saints and doctors of the Church. Only in the last quarter of this century has the work ethic slagged. This, in turn, eroded our concept of common sense and decency. We've become soft and lazy especially in America where convenience has replaced ingenuity; where the ACLU has created an atmosphere of skating and sue someone to get ahead, where laziness is the goal and where love and the sanctity of procreation has become lust and "anything-goes"; where man's dogged self-will has replaced God's Divine Will.

          It's time to return to the values and virtues exemplified by the foster father of Jesus and chaste protector of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Too often, in our daily hustle and bustle coupled with the streamlined liturgy of today, we have lost the concept of the saints and their importance in our daily lives. No saint is more misunderstood yet more effective than St. Joseph. With his feast always falling inside of Lent and lost amidst the fasting of that season, it is fitting that Holy Mother Church has given him another feast day to celebrate his attributes. How many realize that St. Joseph is the "Patron of the Universal Roman Catholic Church," "Safeguard of Families," "Patron of a Happy Death," "Hope of the Sick," "Consolation of the Poor," "Rescuer of Sinners," "Model of Righteousness," "Solace of the Afflicted," "Patron of Priests and Seminarians," "Model of Single Men and Married Men," "Guardian of Virgins," "Protector of Children," and, of course, "Model of Christian Workers?" In the Litany to St. Joseph there are even more titles, but those are the main ones. Many have attested to his intercession in selling their homes by praying to him and burying a statue of this treasured saint upsidedown in their yard. Sellers claim within days, even hours and minutes, they have sold their real estate. Others might consider this superstitious, but when you combine all the miraculous phenomena associated with this holy saint, it makes perfect sense. And the work ethics he instilled in his young foster Son are the same we should emulate today if we truly hope to attain Heavenly retirement. No gold watches, rather a gold-mine of graces. But those graces are harder to attain if we succumb to the slothful ways of the 90's where walking to the corner store is a chore and if something doesn't cook in 30 seconds why bother. Service, the watchword of so many companies in the forties and fifties, has become a dinosaur. For young people, getting a job such as a grocery clerk, lawn mower, paper carrier, or fast-food server during the summer or after school used to be a rite of initiation into adulthood. Today these jobs are looked upon begrudgingly. "Why do I have to work?" and "What's in it for me?" have become the watchword. Gimme, gimme, gimme is the cry with nary a thought to giving to others. Slackards posing as sloven, wretched homeless, covet busy intersections holding up hand-scribbled signs depicting their plight. Yet, investigators have revealed that so many pass half-a-dozen Help Wanted signs in walking from their out-of-sight parked car without once applying for a job. Why? Because reliable estimates have set their daily take at $100. to $200. a day tax-free for maybe three to four hours of prime-time rush-hour begging. Christ said in Mark 14: 7, "For the poor you have always with you" but the manner in which so many have misrepresented those truly unfortunate and the way they have bilked the government and generous passers-by are truly ridiculous and shameful. Teaching young people to work is a task in itself as those who teach and mold the youth have been supplanted by the more-than ever arrogant movie, rock and sports idols who seldom do anything to contribute positively to society. Yet it's their example and lifestyles that are glorified by the false prophets of today, giving the past few generations a totally wrong impression of values, common sense, decency and priorities. Parents and teachers are curtailed today from carrying out discipline because of liberal laws that protect the guilty, the lazy, those not old enough to vote, our innocent children who won't stay innocent long if we can't help them through loving discipline.

          It is no coincidence that Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina is going to be beatified this weekend. First of all it is the month of May, the month dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Our Lady has said so often that "Obedience bears the greatest fruit." and few saints in the annals of the Church were more known for obedience than St. Joseph and the newest addition Padre Pio. The latter, because of the political climate of his order and jealousies, was forbidden from saying Holy Mass or ministering to the people. For someone with his gifts and great love for God and His Church, this had to be the ultimate sacrifice. But, like Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, this mystical Capuchin monk loved God that much to be humble and obedient and now he is being rewarded this weekend when nearly a million people convene in Rome to celebrate his elevation to the ranks of the beatified. He couldn't have done it without prayer, hard work, dedication, sacrifice and fortitude and it is only through prayer, hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and fortitude that we can reinstate these values of human life to our own life, our family, our society and our world. Joseph and many great saints throughout Church history have set the bar for running the good race. Padre Pio is known to bilocate mystically, appearing to two people at the same time thousands and thousands miles apart. You see, he gets around a lot. And the answer to this is the same answer we seek in life. The answer lies not in riches, conveniences and lax living, but in peace of mind and contentment with all that God grants. If we could but return to this mentality, the Tabernacle of Our Lord would have many, many more frequent visitors and the tabernacle of satan would be properly turned away in a corner collecting cobwebs. This then is the answer to true happiness. But it is a utopia few can fathom or long for after they have experienced the times we currently live in - the era of the Seven Deadly Sins. Only through prayer and a dedication to emulate St. Joseph can we entertain any hope of reversing the trend toward self-destruction and revive the pulse of hard work, common sense, decency and honest reporting. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to invoke the help of Blessed Padre Pio!

Michael Cain, editor


April 30 - May 2, 1999      volume 10, no. 85
Today's Catholic PewPoint Editorial

DAILY CATHOLIC

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