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Today is the Sixth Tuesday in Ordinary Time, also known as Shrove Tuesday while tomorrow we begin the Final Lent of the Millennium with Ash Wednesday For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
In preparation for Lent which begins tomorrow, it is a good time to remind all of the Act of Contrition which does not have to be said only at confession time but should be encouraged to be prayed every single day. There are various versions from the traditional pre-Vatican one to the most recent. The first is the traditional version, the second is the one most learned, the third is the most modern one which most of our children learned. The Act of Contrition carries an indulgence of three years according to article 36 of the Raccolta:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to confess my sins, do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
Medjugorje Monthly Message for JANUARY 25th
Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You Whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy.
Events in Church History
There have been those who have criticized the Church for not speaking out against Naziism in its earlier stages but we have proof that on this date in 1933, six years before Adolf Hitler invaded Poland and concocted the horrible holocaust, the German Catholic newspaper Germania strongly warned the faithful of the atrocities that were to come if they followed the man who would become "der Fuhrer." For other pertinent events that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
THE DAILY WORD"It is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou worship, and Him only shalt thou serve." Luke 4: 12
318 and counting,
hoping and praying...
- Seventh part of the Apparitions at El Escorial, Spain in our on-going series THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS
- Biography on Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, the 20th Prince of the Church we feature in COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
- Ash Wednesday LENTEN MEDITATIONS
- Time Capsules in Church History with MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES focusing on February 17th.
- More words of wisdom from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in SIMPLY SHEEN
- Another interesting fact of the Church laid out on the CATHOLIC CANVAS
- DAILY LITURGY for Ash Wednesday and Thursday's observance of Lenten Weekday.
- ...and much more in our 33rd issue and first for Lent 1999!
To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.
To read the front page graphics versions click on the desired Year below
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"Life is Beautiful"
A film that will touch your heart and soul like no other for it is truly Bellisima!|
In today's editorial we bare our heart and soul just as that Italian master thespian Roberto Benigni has done in his masterpiece classic for the ages - "Life is Beautiful", known in Italian circles as "La Vita e Bella". Here's one Lenten resolution that will edify and educate, and leave you a better person for seeing it. We must warn you though - you'll never be the same again after seeing this classic movie so highly recommended by the Holy Father. For today's commentary entitled The international language of love!, click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT.
- Romania wins right to be first Orthodox country Pope will visit with official invite for May this year followed by a September trip to Slovenia
- Doctrinal Conference in San Francisco reaffirms Church's firm stance on homosexuality
- Week-long inter-American Conference of Bishops opens in Fidel Castro's backyard
- St. Louis Archbishop confirms Pope's visit was meant to stir consciences and controversy for a special purpose
These headlines and more are featured in today's NEWS & VIEWS below.
The struggle between Council and Pope hinders the papacy of Pope Martin V in his bid to reform the Church and her hierarchy
Intimidation can go a long way in curtailing the results of accomplishments and this was Pope Martin V's fate after the Council of Constance ruled that they were superior to the Sovereign Pontiff in determining policy. This could have been disastrous for a Church that had just settled a four decade-long schism that split Europe. But Martin was a strong military leader who was able to recoup much of the lost papal territories lost during the schism and replenish the badly depleted papal coffers. Though intimidated by the Council, Martin managed to evade their interference by enacting reforms. Yet, because of the Council's power, they could not be followed through and, because of this, it opened the door for dissent among those who turned their back on Rome in favor of the new rationalism of the day. For the ninety-third installment titled Pope Martin V: The struggle to begin anew , click on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.
Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church: SHROVE
Today is the last day before Lent, referred to as "Shrove Tuesday." The name is derived from the Anglo Saxon word scrifan which was translated to "shrive" meaning to hear one's confession and give absolution in the Sacrament of Penance. It is part of the three day preparation for Lent prior to Ash Wednesday, referred to as "Shrovetide" which incorporated "Shrove Sunday," "Shrove Monday" and "Shrove Tuesday." In 130 A.D. Pope Saint Telesphorus instituted Quinquagesima Sunday which is also Shrove Sunday or the Sunday immediately before Lent in order to impress on the faithful the need for preparation to do penance and fast. Over the centuries Quinquagesima Sunday has been incorporated into the Sunday of Ordinary Time and Shrove Tuesday is the only day remembered in the concept intended by Telesphorus. It became customary during medieval times for the citizens to exhaust the excess of fruits and vegetables they had accrued over the winter so they would not go to waste during the strict fasting period of Lent. Therefore they would hold a carnival of sorts to share the food and drink with others which became a social fest for all to celebrate over the years. Unfortunately this time of preparation, of depleting excess supplies and eliminating sin from the soul through confession, bowed to more emphasis on the celebratory "make hay while the sun shines" philosophy and Christian festivals gave way to the pagan ritual of Carnival and Mardi Gras which began in France during the French Revolution. It was a direct assault against the Church and in mockery this once-Christian festival of pardon and sharing became a garish display of all the wanton vices the Church condemned. Over the centuries this debauchery has grown worse where the false belief has arisen that one can sin all they want on Shrove Tuesday and then confess their sins the next day and be totally forgiven. They forget to realize this is not the purpose of the Sacrament of Reconciliation which they mock with this false belief for absolution is conditioned on the sincere contrition of the individual to avoid the occasions of sin. Partaking in the orgy-like atmosphere of Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations is definitely not in concert with what God or His Church direct. Today this festival atmosphere has grown so large in Rio de Janiero and New Orleans respectively that sin is the watchword and confession the farthest thing from most. It wouldn't be a bad idea to offer Lent in reparation for the sins committed by so many out of either ignorance to God's law or the downright rejection of His statutes.
(sources: The Glories and Triumphs of the Catholic Church, Benziger Brothers; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers; Webster's Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Publishers).
"Empty yourself of self and God shall fill you with all good."
Even though those words were conveyed by the Blessed Mother to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in late August 1993, they apply to today as we prepare tomorrow for Lent. Our Lady, in both Message #393 and #394 implores her children to turn our backs on the world, to pray and fast and do penance in order that her Immaculate Heart may triumph sooner and we will have the Reign of the Sacred Heart. For these two Messages, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
The Hidden Way series now in book form
Though we have completed the 100 Lessons/Meditations of THE HIDDEN WAY previously carried on Tuesdays, you may now acquire your own copy of the just-released book THE HIDDEN WAY which contains all 100. To find out how, click on Book
Suffering and penance are rewarded only when we allow God to steer us
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".
"God breathes on us in our joys; He whispers in our conscience; He speaks in our troubles; and He shouts in our pains. Suffering is too great a mystery for reason to fully comprehend its meaning; its understanding demands a loftiness of soul and surrender of spirit which few are prepared to make."
with a Catholic slant
NEWS & VIEWS
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News
Vatican confirms official invite from Romania as Pope prepares for first papal visit to Orthodox country
After months of speculation and fears an invite from the head of the Orthodox Church in Romania would not be forthcoming, it did, thus paving the way for the Holy Father to be the first Pope to visit an Eastern Orthodox country. The Holy Father has done much over the years in striving to bring reconciliation between Rome and the Eastern Church which has been in schism since 1054. In two related stories the Pope met with the head of the Anglican Church Saturday in hopes of patching up differences of faith and the Vatican announced the Pope will visit Slovenia in September. For more, click on Romanian invite
Church leaders reaffirm strong stance against homosexuality during Doctrinal Conference
Meeting at the Doctrinal Conference last week in the seat of homosexuality, the gay capitol of the world - San Francisco, Catholic bishops from the Americas and Oceania strongly confirmed Church teaching against homosexuality, labeling it injurious to the human person and opposed to God's Holy will for procreation. Other matters the English-speaking bishops were deliberating over involve common theological issues with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger personally presiding over the conference which ended this weekend. For more, click on Doctrinal Conference.
Unprecedented New World Conference of Bishops opens in Havana as another fruit of Pope's visit
Just over a year after the Holy Father opened up new vistas in Cuba, the fruits are greatly manifesting themselves, especially in light of the fact that the bishops from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Carribean are all meeting in Havana for the first conference that includes all the bishops of the New World. Begun on Valentine's Day, it is to run through Ash Wednesday with many common issues to be hashed out in preparation for the third millennium. For more, click on Bishops' Conference.
St. Louis Archbishop urges patience in nurturing the fruits of Holy Father's visit
The Archbishop of St. Louis Archbishop Justin Rigali, whom many think will be included in the next Consistory, was questioned intensely by an Italian publication recently and he did not back down. Assuring all that the Holy Father had stirred consciences and controversy with his remarks and stance on issues such as capitol punishment, abortion, euthanasia and helping the poor because the Holy Father will never compromise. The archbishop explained that just as it is difficult to follow Jesus, so also it is difficult to follow His Vicar on earth for what he asks is not easy but with faith and reason great fruits will be forthcoming. For more, click on St. Louis visit.
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