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August 3, 1999
SECTION ONE vol 10, no. 144
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
93. TOP 100 CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY: Alan Keyes - His wake-up call is meant to tweak America's conscience
The voters were making a moral political statement with their selection of the 93rd TOP CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY: presidential candidate Alan L. Keyes. Beginning with the 1996 presidential race he gained a higher profile and has continued that exposure with a popular conservative radio show entitled "The Alan Keyes Show" in which his main purpose is to tweak the conscience of Americans and 'Wake-up America!' as well as authoring "Our Character, Our Future." His message is the secular equivalent to the Blessed Virgin Mary's call to return to God and repent. For more on the 93rd selection, click on ALAN KEYES
93. Alan Keyes
The voters were making a moral political statement with their selection of the 93rd TOP CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY when they chose presidential candidate Alan L. Keyes. Beginning with the 1996 presidential race he gained a higher profile and has continued that exposure with a popular conservative radio show entitled "The Alan Keyes Show" in which his main purpose is to tweak the conscience of Americans and 'Wake-up America!'
He was born on August 7, 1950 in New York City, but did not stay there long for he was the son of an Army Sergeant so the family traveled extensively, affording him a Catholic education. After High School he enrolled at Harvard University where he received a B.A. in 1976 and a PhD in Government three years later, the same time he met and married his wife Jocelyn. Two years out of college President Ronald Reagan was so impressed with this young African-American visionary that he appointed him Ambassador to the U.N. Economic and Social Council where he remained until 1985 when he was made Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations and a key member of the Reagan Administration. The Keyes family settled down in Baltimore, Maryland raising three children, who, today are of school age - two teens - Francis, 16 and Maya, 13, and Andrew, now ten years-old. Alan resigned his post as Assistant Secretary in 1987 to run as the Republican nominee for Maryland's U.S. Senate seat in 1988. He was unsuccessful in his attempt, but, like getting back on that horse, launched a campaign again in 1992 which ended just a bit short.
Many might think losing those elections would have deterred him from pursuing such lofty ambitions as President of the United States, but Alan has a purpose rooted in his faith.
After appearing as a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas in 1992, he began writing and examining where America was. His views translated into a radio show that has become quite popular and the listeners urged him to run for President in the 1996 campaign because of his strong moral views as opposed to the amorality in the Clinton Administration. He published his first book "Masters of the Dream: The Strength and Betrayal of Black America" which the media downplayed and it never caught on with the African-American community who were so brainwashed by the Democrat promises. His second book was more succinct and incorporated America's greatest problem: its soul in his book, "Our Character, Our Future" which was 'a clear and persuasive voice offering fresh ideas on restoring moral issues to the center of political debate for it was about reclaiming America's Moral Destiny.' Throughout his campaign he would join pro-life groups praying the Rosary in front of abortuaries, speaking out strongly on Catholic ideals and moral values without patronizing the people. In short, with Alan Keyes one knew they were getting a man with principles who would never compromise his ideals or values. While others spouted the party line or said what the people wanted to hear, often doublespeaking to win votes with no conviction to truth, Alan has never waivered. His position is quite clear and in total accord with the Holy Father and the Church's teaching. As an example, he states unequivocably, on abortion and euthanasia, "If human beings can decide who is human and who is not, the doctrine of God-given rights is utterly corrupted. Abortion is the unjust taking of a human life and a breach of the fundamental principles our public moral creed...we usurp the authority that belongs solely to the Creator, and deny the basis of our claim to human rights." He also sees sex education as greatly contaminating America's moral compass, "Human sexuality is primarily a matter of moral and not physical health...They too often encourage adolescents to consider sexual activity apart from marrriage and family life...Sex education is, as a rule, the private responsibility of the parents...I strongly support abstinence-based approaches for young adults." On the controversial subject of homosexuality, Keyes pulls no punches, "In terms of civil rights discrimination, it is wrong to treat sexual orientation like race. Race is a condition beyond the individual's control. Sexual orientation involves behavior, especially in response to passion...The effort to equate homosexual and lesbian relations with legal marriage represents a destructive assault on the heterosexual, marriage-based family...I oppose any efforts to use government power to impose views that contravene religious conscience on matters such as homosexuality and abortion." His strongest argument for America's woes can be found in his statement, "We will go bankrupt as a nation if we continue trying to pay the ever-increasing costs of our society's moral disintegration...Our first priority should be restoring the moral and material support for the marriage-based two-parent family. The disintegration of the family is the major contributing factor in poverty, crime, violence, the decline in educational performance, and a host of other expensive social problems."
Except for references to Scripture and Vatican documents, his words echo the Holy Father in style and content.
The outspoken conservative syndicated radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has said of Keyes, "There's nobody out there right now who is doing a better job of articulating the moral concerns than Alan Keyes." For more on Keyes, you can go to his site at Alan Keyes Show and Keyes 2000. Because of the anti-Catholic sentiment among the media and other denominations, Keyes' candidacy is not expected to receive much support for the 2000 campaign similar to the way he was shunned in the 1996 campaign especially in Atlanta where he was arrested outside a television studio where he was to participate in a debate with a panel of candidates. Because of prejudice both for his race and because he wasn't among the "big three" he was treated shabbily and rudely. Any one else and there would have been such outrage both by the African-American community and the media that it would have made headlines everywhere. But because of his conservative, moral stance it was merely a footnote. In God's eyes, however, his efforts to educate the masses on returning to a moral path and respecting all the laws and boundaries that the Almighty has established are gaining dividends that will only be known in Heaven.
Catholic PewPoint helps put things in perspective and clear up the tunnels of confusion!
This summer we present all the editorials to date from 1999 for you to review. Take a ride on the twists and turns of humanity in past installments of Catholic PewPoint. In this wild ride of life, through the tunnels of doubt we need to cling to the rails of hope and trust that God will guide us safely over the whirls and swirls, dips and blips, highs and lows that affect us daily in this rollercoaster called life. These commentaries help keep things on a more even keel, slowing the turns so that all can better navigate the dangerous curves and stay on track in heading towards the light at the end of the tunnel. During the summer we will present this archive feature on Tuesdays and a new commentary every Friday. To read any of the forty-six installments presently available for 1999, click on the Archives of CATHOLIC PewPOINT.
Retroactive articles on Church history available from 1150 to 1515 A.D. for summer review
This summer we present a review of the period from the time of Charlemagne and Pope Saint Stephen IV, the 97th successor of Peter in the early ninth century to the time of the Reformation and Pope Leo X, the 217th in the Petrus line early in the sixteenth century. These are installments 25 through 106. We will resume our original series in September with installment 107 on Pope Hadrian VI. To read any of the eighty-one installments presently available in this long on-going series, click on the Archives of THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.
SIMPLY SHEEN:The Mercy of Prayer!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"The second advantage of prayer is not only to void our bad moods, but to replace them with good feelings. As we pray, the sense of God's presence and law becomes more intimate; instead of wanting to 'get even with our enemy,' we take on God's attitude toward them, which is loving forgiveness and mercy."
"Come quickly to the Font of Divine Mercy and mystically plunge all the world into the abyss of My Mercy!"
Those words from Our Lord were imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on Divine Mercy Sunday on April 23, 1995 in which Jesus assures that only through His Divine Mercy will His Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart triumph ushering in the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart. He entreats all to partake of His abundant Font of Mercy and pray. His Blessed Mother confirms this and laments how we have been so duped by our society and the media. She encourages her little ones to stay the course and turn away from hate and prejudice through prayer and asking for a clean heart. Only by living the Gospel will we be able to fend off the temptations that are to come. For Messages #614 and #615 from Jesus and Mary, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages 614 and 615
Message Six-Hundred-fourteen, April 23, 1995
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
(DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY)
Beloved Hidden Flower of My Mother's Immaculate Heart, I bless you as you enter the final trial. How I, your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, desire that this Sunday be proclaimed as the Feast of Divine Mercy in My One True Church!
Let all of My children come to Me on this day in unity of mind and heart to plead in confidence for My Mercy!
O! Children of My Sacred and Merciful Heart, I implore you, do not be afraid! Call out for My Mercy and turn a deaf ear to the scorn of the world.
Do you yet doubt how much all men need My Mercy? Do you still remain unbelieving? Have there not been signs given which fulfill Scripture? Do you seek to mitigate the horrors of evil on every continent?
Then come! Come quickly to the Font of Divine Mercy and mystically plunge all the world into the abyss of My Mercy!
Only in this way shall the chastisements be mitigated. Only through the outpouring of My Divine Mercy shall the Triumph of My Mother's Immaculate Heart be fulfilled. Only then shall the world be renewed through the Reign of My Sacred Heart.
Pray, My children, daily! Pray and seek Divine Mercy! Live Divine Mercy! Prepare well, for I Come!
Message Six-Hundred-fifteen, April 27, 1995
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower of my Immaculate Heart, I am with you.
O! My children! Do you not see how easily your fragile, finite security is taken from you by the evilness of men's hearts and satan's wiles?
I do solemnly tell you: This is because you fail to convert your hearts and seek my Divine Son alone. And now my Immaculate Heart grows sadder still. Have I counseled you all these years only to have your ears deaf, your lips mute, and, above all, your hearts of stone?
Your nation has been a victim. Now the powers of your country cry aloud for vengeance. O, they shall call it justice, but there is beneath their clever words a thirst for even more violence. Your news media mocks at the stony hearts you possess and those whose jobs are to ceaselessly talk stirring up your base emotions and instead of mercy, you seek vengeance.
I solemnly say unto you: Read Sacred Scripture and recall the words "for in those times, brother shall turn against brother." This is being fulfilled, but you fail to see it, and you hasten the evil one's plan because your hearts know neither sacrifice or mercy!
O! Pray much in these sad and dark hours as you keep vigil. Pray for all who are victims, but pray also for your enemies. Pray so that in you can be found no trace of hate. Only when you are able to pray in this manner have you truly believed and have you begun to live my Divine Son's Gospel.
Therefore, I beseech all of my little children, pray more than ever for Divine Mercy upon all the world. If you do not, then these tragedies in your land and throughout the world will only increase.
I love and bless you all. Pray! Pray! Pray! Thank you for responding to my Call!
Finally the long-awaited book "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." is NOW available!
The much-anticipated 224-page book of ALL the messages to the world imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary over five years is finally here! You can finally acquire your own handsome, coffee-table top copy of "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." containing all 632 messages. To find out how, click on Book
Today is the Eighteenth Tuesday in Ordinary Time with tomorrow being the Feast of that beloved Cure d'Ars of France, Saint John Baptist Marie Vianney. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignette on St. John Vianney, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Tuesday, August 3, 1999
First Reading: Numbers 12: 1-13
Psalms: Psalm 51: 3-7, 12-13
Gospel Reading: Matthew 15: 1-2, 10-14
Wednesday, August 4, 1999
First Reading: Numbers 13: 1-2, 25-33; 14: 1,26-29, 34-35
Psalms: Psalm 106: 4, 6-7, 13-14, 21-23
Gospel Reading: Matthew 15: 21-28
SAINT JOHN MARIE BAPTIST VIANNEY, CURE OF ARS
This humble parish priest was born on May 8, 1786 in Dardilly near Lyons, France three years before the French
Revolution. Few realized this young John Baptist Vianney would stage his own revolution within the Church - one which would set the model for the importance of the parish priest and foster numerous vocations to the priesthood at a time when the Church was greatly persecuted and misunderstood. He saw first hand the
slaughter of the clergy and exile of many of the priests who he longed for. Thus at age 20, with a fervent desire
to rebuild the Church in France he began studying for the priesthood under the saintly Abbe Balley at Ecully.
Because he was not a learned man, young John had great difficulty with his studies and struggled greatly,
particularly with the Latin. Because of his grades he was not protected from the military draft and was called to
Napoleon's army in 1808. Less than a year later, realizing the folly of war, he deserted and returned home in
hiding. In 1810, the little French general, realizing how the populace was turning against him, granted amnesty
to all deserters. This freed Vianney to pursue his studies where he was tonsured. Though he continued to
struggle with his studies, the Abbe saw the qualities of holiness in John and interceded for his ordination. Thus
John became a priest in 1815 despite his poor grades. His first assignment was under the Abbe as curate
where he remained until the Abbe's death in 1817. The next year the bishop assigned Fr. Vianney as the Cure
d'Ars where he remained for the rest of his life - 42 years - as a humble, parish priest. His first priority was to
reinstill the reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and then reignite the flame of involvement in a parish that had
become exceedingly indifferent. He waged a constant war on immorality and over-spending, eventually winning
over the entire village though not before impassioned bouts with enemies who wanted to cling to the good life.
But Fr. Vianney won out, opening a school for girls, a shelter for orphans and a shrine to Saint Philomena which drew enormous throngs as a place of pilgrimage. Many believe it was not the shrine they were being attracted to, but rather this simple, holy priest who spent sixteen to eighteen hours a day in the confessional counseling through spiritual direction, and giving absolution. Though he was laughed at by many of his peers and some of the villagers for his ignorance in things of the world, he had the unique gift of reading souls and the confessional became his classroom where he was the master teacher. As befits a holy man, the more one strives for sanctity the more satan assaults. Such was the case with Fr. Vianney who was subjected to demonic attacks for over thirty years. Though he was not an intellectual, the wisdom which he spoke told volumes. One such pearls of wisdom was on "Whom the devil torments most?" in "Beware if you have no temptations". Every time the bishop sought to transfer him, his parishioners stormed the ordinary with protests, causing the bishop to back down. Fr. Vianney himself longed to leave, not for another parish, but rather for the life of a Carthusian monk. Three times he sought the contemplative life but each time his parishioners brought him back and he finally realized his life would always be healing sinners and tending to the desolate. His fame
spread throughout Europe and in 1843 he was awarded the medal of the Legion of Honor. He promptly sold it
for the value it brought and gave the money to the poor. Exhausted from a life-long dedication to his
parishioners and pilgrims, he died peacefully on August 4, 1859 a year after Our Lady, whom he had a deep devotion to, had appeared at Lourdes affirming the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This holy saint truly believed in the power of prayer, saying "Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there, if you set it on fire it makes a long of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that." Such was the power of Mass, the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Holy Rosary and this devotion is still evident today in this tiny village which has become the shrine of St. John Vianney who was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and four years later proclaimed "patron of parish priests."
Events Today in Church History
On this date 507 years ago Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain with a fleet of three ships - the Santa Maria, Pinta and Nina, commissioned by Queen Isabella of Spain who provided Franciscan missionaries to accompany the Genoan skipper. After two months at sea, the crew would sight land and, as they say, the rest is history. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for August 3:
The relics of Saint Stephen are discovered in Rome and would be taken to Jerusalem twenty-four years later before being transferred back to Rome permanently a century later where today they are enshrined in the Church of St. Lawrence-Outside-the-Walls.
Christopher Columbus, having received a blessing from Queen Isabella leads the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and Nina following course as they set out from Spain in search of the Indies.
Death of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, priest and founder of the Priest's Eucharistic League. He had a deep love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament and devoted his life to fostering reverence among his fellow priests and the laity.
Pope Leo XIII ushers his eighth encyclical to the bishops of Belgium on the Catholics of that land in with Licet multa.
July 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Also today I rejoice with you and I call you all to prayer with the heart. I call all of you, little children, to give thanks to God here with me for the graces which He gives to you through me. I desire for you to comprehend that I want to realize here, not only a place of prayer but also a meeting of hearts. I desire for my, Jesus' and your heart to become one heart of love and peace. That is why, little children, pray and rejoice over everything that God does here, despite that satan provokes quarrels and unrest. I am with you and I lead you all on the way of love. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
The DAILY WORD
"Then He called the crowd to Him, and said to them, 'Hear, and understand. What goes into the mouth does not defile a man; but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man.'"
Matthew 15: 10-11
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
August 3, 1999 volume 10, no. 144 DAILY CATHOLIC