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April 7, 1999
SECTION ONE vol 10, no. 68
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
The rock-solid establishment of the Blessed Sacrament
We continue today with the abridged History of the Mass and Holy Mother Church over a 2000 year span called 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER. Today we bring you the second installment this week with the third tomorrow on the Establishment of the Blessed Sacrament - the cornerstone of our faith. For Installment two, click on BARQUE OF PETER
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Many mistake the Mass for a meal by just thinking of the events of the
Last Supper, when in reality Jesus Christ consummated the sacrifice of His Body
and Blood the next day by freely willing to die on the Cross. For the two
acts (the Last Supper and the Cross) were only two parts of the one supreme
sacrifice that the Son offered to the Father. The Mass is a real sacrifice
for in this ritual a Victim is offered up for the purpose of reconciling
man with God. Jesus allowed His Passion and Death in ordered to enter into
the Institution of the Mass and therefore join them as one.
The only difference between the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice
of the Mass is that on the former Jesus physically shed His Blood, while in
the latter there is no physical shedding of blood nor physical death
because Christ has already been immolated once. By His death He gained for
us the merit and, through the Mass, applies to us that merit and reward of
His Bloody Death through the unbloody oblation of His Body and Blood during
It is very similar to what one would see on video tape. What was taped
happened at the moment it was being filmed. When it is being played over
and over, no matter how many times, it is a re-enactment of the event. It
is and cannot be happening again. But we are reliving it. So also the
Mass for Jesus continues to offer Himself as a Sacrifice in order to unite
us with Him, to give us a gift worthy to be offered to God (cf. Mal 1:11),
"a clean oblation" and allow us the opportunity to share in the merits of
His eternal sacrifice on the Cross.
Fr. O'Sullivan states that "The Mass is the birth of Jesus Christ. He is
really born on the Altar each time that Mass is said, as He was born in
Bethlehem." St. John Damascene is attributed with saying: If anyone wishes
to know how the bread is changed into the Body of Jesus Christ, I will tell
him. The Holy Ghost overshadows the priest and acts on him as He acted on
the Blessed Virgin Mary", while St. Bonaventure assures us that "God, when
He descends upon the altar, does no less than He did when He became man the
first time in the womb of the Virgin Mary." St. Alphonsus states: "Even
God Himself could no nothing holier, better, or greater than the Mass " St.
Timothy gives one of the greatest accolades when he says: "The world would
have been destroyed long ago because of the sins of men, had it not been
for the Mass. There is nothing that obtains for us so many blessings as
Those are powerful words from great saints who understood the real purpose
of the Mass. The four main purposes for which the Mass is offered are
Adoration, Thanksgiving, Petition, and Atonement. We adore God as our
Creator and this is the worthiest gift from Him and to Him. We thank God
for His graces and favors to us for this greatest of gifts. We ask God to
hear our prayers through petition and various parts of the liturgy.
Through the most perfect vehicle of the Mass, our petitions have a clear
channel to Heaven. Finally, through the Mass we atone for the justice of
God for the sins committed against Him and reconcile ourselves with Him as
Christ said that His Blood is being shed "for many unto the forgiveness of
sin" (Matt 26:28). Through the priest Christ's sacrifice is renewed and
continued until the end of the world and therefore, in itself, becomes His
very Sacrifice every time Mass is said. For united with Him in this
Sacrifice we continue to be members of His Mystical Body, which we entered
into at Baptism. The fruits are many from Our Lord's heavenly vineyard.
The fruit of the vine becomes the fruits of Redemption, made possible by
Christ's death, a death which totally made it possible for every one of
God's children to be redeemed. Through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we
live in continuous and intimate communion with Jesus, as well as the Father
and the Holy Spirit. The fruits obtained from the Mass are a cornucopia of
graces through the Sacrifice on the Altar and prayers. We specifically
obtain the grace of Forgiveness for venial sins for all those who are not
in mortal sin, and we receive Remission of sin regarding the temporal
penalty due to sin. All we need do is remember the Good Thief whose sins
Christ forgave instantly on the Cross. He does the same for us.
The proof that our prayers are heard in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
comes from the very fact that Jesus Himself prays for us. The fruits of
attending Mass worthily and in the state of grace are that He not only
answers our heartfelt prayers, but we gain even more of the merits of
Christ for our souls as well as gaining temporal blessings. All, who
participate in the Mass, both here on earth and in Purgatory, reap the
general fruits since the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered for
everyone. This not only includes all who are present, or assist,
especially the priest who represents Christ, but also the person for whom
it is being offered as well as the souls in Purgatory --the Church Suffering.
TOMORROW: Installment Three
Cardinal Jose Freire: Providing the Pastoral pattern throughout Brazil in embodying his motto of "serving in humility"
Today we feature our fortieth red hat in alphabetical order. He is the 74 year-old Cardinal Jose Freire of Brazil who is the Archbishop of Brazilia. This prolific writer has written extensively for the two largest Brazil daily papers. For more on this youngest of the five Brazilian cardinals appointed by Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of June 28, 1988, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
40. Cardinal Jose Freire
The youngest of the five Brazilian cardinals by 32 days, Cardinal Jose Freire Falcao was born on October 23, 1925 in Erere, Brazil. At the age of 24 he became a priest on June 19, 1949. After eighteen years of pastoral work within his diocese he was tabbed by Pope Paul VI to become titular Bishop of Vardimissa on April 24, 1967 and two months later appointed coadjutor bishop of Limoeiro do Norte on June 17th. Two months later he became the acting Bishop of Limoeiro do Norte. on August 19, 1967 where he remained until he was named Archbishop of Teresina on November 25, 1971. After twelve and a half years of loyal service to his flock in Teresina Pope John Paul II promoted him to Archbishop of Brasilia on February 15, 1984, a position he still holds today at the age of 74.
He, along with fellow Brazilian prelate Cardinal Neves Lucas Moriera, 32 days his senior, were named by the Holy Father to receive the red-hat in the Consistory of June 28, 1988 in Rome. Cardinal Falcao was given the titular church of St. Luke on Via Prenestina. He enjoys limited curial membership in the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
Over the years Cardinal Falcao has written several articles for the two daily newspapers in Brazil - the Journal de Brazil and the Brazilian Courier and has consistently striven to uphold his motto of serving in humility, working in the establishment of ecclesiastical communities. He has held down numerous responsibilities for the Brazilian Episcopal Conference over the years. Getting on in age and because of his limited international experience, he would not be considered a contender were there to be a papal election in the near future.
April Apologues applied to Food for Thought Appeteasers
Lent is over and that means the return of our Food for Thought Appeteasers. Today we bring you two short vignettes that Catholics can appreciate and should provoke a smile or two, maybe even a chuckle. For these two short vignettes, What a way to start the day! and the Alarm clock Prayer, click on APRIL APOLOGUES: FOOD FOR THOUGHT APPETEASERS
With Lent over, we can now resume our weekly Appeteasers providing a chuckle for all as well as Food for Thought. Today we present two vignettes Catholics can appreciate, the first was sent by both NH and LS on definitions for Catholics which we call "Tongue-in-cheek Daffinitions for Catholics". The second also comes from LS, - a short prayer that we can all relate to called the "Alarm clock Prayer." Enjoy.
TONGUE IN CHEEK CATHOLIC DAFFINITIONS
- AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
BULLETIN: 1. Parish information, read only during the homily.
2. Catholic air conditioning. 3. Your receipt for attending Mass.
CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the
congregation to lip-sync.
HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.
HYMN: A song of praise, usually sung in a key three octaves higher than
that of the congregation's range.
RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass, often sung a little more
quietly, since most of the people have already left.
INCENSE: Holy Smoke!
JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to found colleges
with good basketball teams.
JONAH: The original "Jaws" story.
JUSTICE: When kids have kids of their own.
KYRIE ELIEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize
besides gyros and baklava.
MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.
MANGER: 1. Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn't covered
by an HMO.
2. The Bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has
always been rough.
PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic Churches.
PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass,
consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners
looking for seats.
RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass - led
by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.
RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually
know when to sit, kneel, and stand.
TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David
USHERS: The only people in the parish who don't know the seating
capacity of a pew.
Alarm clock prayer!
So far today, God, I've done all right. I haven't gossipped or lost my temper. I haven't been greedy, nasty, selfish or indulgent. I haven't cussed or given in to impure thoughts. All of this I'm really proud of, but in a few minutes, God, I'm probably going to need a lot more help because I'll be getting out of bed for the day!
Thank you and Amen.
Today is Easter Wednesday while tomorrow we continue the celebration with Easter Thusday. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Wednesday, April 7, 1999
First Reading: Acts 3: 1-10
Psalms: Psalm 33: 5; 105: 1-4, 6-9
Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 13-35
Thursday, April 8, 1999
First Reading: Acts 3: 11-26
Psalms: Psalm 8: 2, 5-9
Gospel Reading: Luke 24: 35-48
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today is the Sixth Day of the Divine Mercy Novena. See DIVINE MERCY NOVENA
SIXTH DAY OF THE NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY: EASTER WEDNESDAY, April 7, 1999
"Today bring Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My Mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence."
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all Heaven into ecstasy and they are the Heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of Mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your Mercy for endless ages. Amen.
It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
(All material taken from Divine Mercy Devotions, copyright Marians of the Immaculate Conception)
CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY
Devotion to Divine Mercy is conveyed through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as Jesus imparted to Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska when He relayed, as recorded in her diary "Divine Mercy in my soul", "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you (1541)...Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687)...When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541)...Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy (687)...Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (1731).
Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy,
especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.
The Chaplet begins with the OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, and the APOSTLES' CREED. Then on the large bead before each decade one recites:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On each decade of the small beads, pray the following:
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.
At the end of the Chaplet recite three times the following prayer:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Then conclude with the following prayer said three times also:
O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as Font of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.
The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).
"I ask you to beseech God to allow Divine Mercy to flood this sorrowful earth, as I speak about my Son's coming."
In the Blessed Mother's 467th and 468th Messages to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on March 7th and 8th, 1984 during a speaking tour in the heart of Texas, Our Lady's theme is Divine Mercy which fits so perfectly with this week and which we need to take to heart that God's Mercy is there for the asking but we need to ask and respond. She also affirms that hell does indeed exist and, to quote Blessed-to-be Padre Pio, "if you don't believe there's a hell, you will when you get there!" Our Lady doesn't want this fate for any of her children and like a loving Mother calls all back to her Divine Son. For these two Messages on Mercy, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages 467 and 468
Message Four Hundred-sixty-seven, March 7, 1994
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(University of Dallas in Irving, Texas)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I love you. Do not be afraid, for I will help you. Be always humble and obedient in all things, and in this way the Holy Spirit shall fill you.
I say now to all my little ones: You are very much afraid and when you are afraid you cannot open your heart to my Divine Son. O! What torrents of Divine Graces does my Divine Son wish to bestow upon you, yet these graces remain unwanted for you fear them.
Dear children, your Heavenly Father desires your eternal salvation. That is why He created you and bestows upon you such Infinite Mercy. Behold in this Holy Season of Lent, I solemnly tell you that oceans of Mercy pour forth for poor sinners. I am calling upon all whose hearts are opened to receive these torrents of Mercy for all who would otherwise reject these graces. Offer, then, these graces, these rays of Mercy, to the Father in union with my Son's Sacred Passion, and beg God to save sinners. O! How great is the Mercy of God. So great, so limitless that He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to suffer and die for all men. Do not allow yourselves to be seduced by those who deny the Passion of my Son. Do not be seduced by those who say there is no Hell.
I solemnly tell you: As Heaven exists, so does Hell. For all who are not perfectly pure in the eyes of God, they shall suffer in Purgatory before being admitted into eternal joy. Now is the time to pray and sacrifice, to make reparation and expiation for your own sins and the sins of all the world. Offer your Masses for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and be merciful to all, for in this way God shall judge you with Mercy.
Pray very much. Concentrate on the Holy Mass, the Sacraments, and the Holy Spirit. Then shall God's Holy Will be made clear to you, and it shall be your delight.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Four Hundred-sixty-eight, March 8, 1994
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I am here with you and I bless you.
I ask you to call my little children beneath my Immaculate Mantle by their humility, which grows from obedience. In this way, all who come beneath my mantle realize that the Divine Mercy of my Divine Son is unquenchable, and it is necessary to receive His Mercy if you are to remain on the sure path.
I ask all of my children to pray very much for the sake of Divine Mercy. I ask you to beseech God to allow Divine Mercy to flood this sorrowful earth, as I speak about my Son's coming.
Pray! Pray for Mercy. Be mercy, that mercy might be yours.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
March 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! I call you to prayer with the heart. In a special way, little children, I call you to pray for conversion of sinners, for those who pierce my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus with the sword of hatred and daily blasphemies. Let us pray, little children, for all those who do not desire to come to know the love of God, even though they are in the Church. Let us pray that they convert, so that the Church may resurrect in love. Only with love and prayer, little children, can you live this time which is given to you for conversion. Place God in the first place, then the risen Jesus will become your friend. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
THE DAILY WORD
"O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things before entering into His glory?"
Luke 24: 24-25
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
April 7, 1999 volume 10, no. 68 DAILY CATHOLIC