DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY    February 18, 1999   vol. 10, no. 34


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
      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 ninety-sixth installment of this on-going feature series, we begin a series on the meaning of sacrifice. We are now in the season of Lent, a time for sacrifice which we exhibit through penance, fasting and surrendering our wills for the sake of the Divine Will. It is not easy, but the Church, in her wisdom, provides the perfect platform for us to be "practicing penitents." Unfortunately, too many have become spoiled by the good life and don't want to let go, don't want to sacrifice things and ways that make them comfortable. We must remember the addage, if we are standing still, we're going backwards and the only way to make progress in God's court is to embrace Lent in the true spirit of sacrifice as we focus on today. As always this column is meant 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 second coming of Christ and the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Second Pentecost, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Advent of Peace.
Installment Ninety-six

The Forty-Third Clarion:

SACRIFICE part one

"Behold, I come to do Thy will, O God...It is in this 'will' that we have been sanctified through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Hebrews 10: 9-10

          The immediate human reaction to the word "sacrifice" is all too typical of our world today, even in Holy Mother Church where so many of our Traditions, Doctrines and Dogmas are no longer preached, or are watered down to an "acceptable" level for all so "it won't be too hard on the faithful."

          What if Jesus Christ, Who offered Himself up as the Sacrificial Lamb for the salvation of sinners for all generations had been as soft on sacrifice as we are today? "No, Father, I think I'll take the easy way out. Put the cross away. I wouldn't want to get those people upset or offend anyone. Let's try another way that will be easier." We guarantee those words never came out of the Son of God's mouth! Yet today the word "sacrifice" is an anathema to our comfort zones. We rationalize that "times are different, Jesus lived in another era - He would understand we have different standards and cultures today - the Church and the Pope are out of touch with what the people really need." etc. More ad nauseam excuses to justify the world. However, didn't Jesus say, "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 and for the gospel's sake will save 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 whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation. of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes with the holy angels in the glory of His Father" (Mark 8:34-38)?

          One of the central themes of Sacred Scripture is sacrifice. From the customs of the Old Covenant to the carryover to the New, God has asked man to sacrifice. But in our modern times, that seems such a 'sacrifice'!

          We hear the word and at once, the mind conjures up all types of "things" we can do, or not do, that will constitute our personal sacrifice to God during the season of Lent.

          What will it be this year? Giving up desert? Except on Sunday, of course. How about watching a little less TV. Sure, we can give up those sit-coms or even the docu-dramas that whittle time into a state of non-existence. Maybe we'll cut down on "March Madness" - which is what the NCAA Tournament has become - madness, bringing out the beast and worst in family togetherness. If we smoke, maybe we can cut back. If we overindulge in eating, we'll just eat a little less. Fasting? Sure we can do that. After all the Church only requires we do it on Ash Wednesdays and Good Friday, while Fridays during Lent are for abstinence from meat. Hey, it's a chance to sample the fish diners at the Red Lobster! Oh, it's a sacrifice because that restaurant is farther away, but hey, it's Lent.

          What else can we do? Be more charitable? Go to Mass more often? How about an extra confession during Lent? That seems like a good sacrifice, especially since we might not like going and it takes up our time. After all, it can be humiliating and God wants us to be humble. We'll try it. Extra prayers? Gee, we don't know if we can fit them in. We're so busy as it is, running hither and yon with work, taking the kids to whatever practice or game they've got scheduled, plus grocery shopping, cleaning the house, the daily pressures of the office, and getting the proper rest we need. Well, okay, we'll promise to say at least one rosary (five decades) a day. There! We can pick and choose among a hundred things to make "sacrifice" and after all, it's only forty days and then we don't have to do it anymore! Yep, once we get to Easter, we can put "sacrifice" back on the shelf for another year and go on with our lives.

          If you think we have been facetious in al this, you're right. Sorry, but we've all got the wrong attitude and a misunderstanding of what it really means to make a sacrifice so that our soul grows in holiness and continues on the right path to Eternal Life with God in Heaven. In the next installment next week we will begin to delve into that in more specifics.

    Next Installment: SACRIFICE part two

February 18, 1999       volume 10, no. 34


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