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February 22, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 36
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION ONE
SIMPLY SHEEN:The character of true faithfulness
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".
"Faithfulness in great things is not uncommon; faithfulness in little things is rare but most indicative of true character."
The final days of Jesus' public ministry
Meditative Lessons on the Sorrowful Mysteries
Today we begin Lesson 2 on the Mysteries of the Rosary. The first part is a prophetic "intuition" to the Hidden Flower's spiritual director before beginning her interior vision of Jesus on his way to the House of Lazarus. For part one of Lesson 2 of this series we will continue to bring you daily throughout Lent, click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"
Meditative Lesson 2:
FAREWELL TO THE HOLY WOMEN AND THE MOTHER
Dear Father, Our Heavenly Mother asks me to write again, desiring me, calling me to be one with the Divine Will. She speaks to me with such love, but also with grave urgency. She comforts me, while at the same time warning me that persecution shall grow even more fierce against me. This persecution shall, as it has always done in the past, serve as a means of purification, of strengthening in faith, hope and love. The persecution, in Godís plan, separates the wheat from the chaff. She asks me to write here that all I am given comes from God through interior vision and through interior locution. These lessons and meditations, as those previously given on the Divine Infancy, are not meant to be of great detail regarding specific descriptions of people, geography etc. Rather, I "see" what our Blessed Mother wants me to see, and write only that which she directs me to write. She gives the meditation in order to keep her little ones fully focused on the Divine Will, which is all that we shall have to rely on in the Time of Great Darkness. Having tested the Voice, I write as I am given to see:
"He said to them, 'Did you not know that I must be about my Fatherís
business?' And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them."
Luke 2: 49-50
It is late afternoon, for the shadows have grown long. The weather is warm and the flowers abound in this place where I see our Dear Lord sitting upon
a stone bench. Jesus is tall and of slender build. His garment today is clean and He appears almost emaciated by the gauntness of His holy face. Yet again I am drawn to His eyes. O! They cannot be described for to behold them is to behold the ardent gaze of Divine Love: so ardent as to make my poor, wretched heart feel as if it will burst, while I am instantly filled with holy remorse for all of my sins, failings and weaknesses. In this brief moment while I gaze upon My Jesus, I am overcome with hope and trust, and I want to run and throw myself into His arms never, ever to move!
Now there is a sound of footsteps and I turn to see an elderly man, nicely dressed, approach this quiet place where Jesus has withdrawn to pray and be with His Father.
"Master," the servant whispers respectfully.
"Yes?" answers our Lord who stirs, moves and rises, allowing by His movements the servant to approach.
"The household has quieted. The women have retired to their quarters with your Holy Mother. Lazarus has prepared a room where you may meet with those whom you desire. Afterwards, Master, the meal will be served." The servant looks intently at our Lord, no doubt noting the physical fatigue, and does not say that having the meal first would seem more prudent.
"Thank you, Jonathan. Go now and tell Lazarus and his sisters that I shall come. I will see the women first, one at a time, and then My Blessed Mother."
Jonathan bows and hurried off while Jesus steps into the sunshine and lifts His face toward Heaven. He prays - silently - and not even a breeze
disturbs His communication with His Father. All of nature responds with respect to the Divine Will. Then Jesus comes forward and I see Him so at peace. I am filled with His peace. It is unshakable. Nothing of the world can describe it or compare to it.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two of Lesson 2: FAREWELL TO THE HOLY WOMEN AND THE MOTHER
Columbia's Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos heads the Congregation for the Clergy
Our twenty-second red hat we feature, in alphabetical order is Cardinal Dario Hoyos Castrillon current President of the Congregation for the Clergy and one of the newest cardinals. For more on Cardinal Castrillon, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
22. Cardinal Dario Hoyos Castrillon
One of the oldest of the newest cardinals, Colombia's 70 year-old Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (note many Spanish surnames are juxtaposed) is the Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy. Born in Medellin, Columbia on July 4, 1929, he was ordained to the priesthood on October 26, 1952 whereafter he served as an associate pastor in two parishes while directing the diocesan Cursillo Movement in Medellin as well as serving as a delegate for Catholic Action. He was assigned to teach Canon Law at the Free Civil University in Columbia and ad served as the General Secretary of the Colombian Bishops' Conference. On June 2, 1971 Pope Paul VI chose him to be ordained Bishop as co-adjutor of Pereira and elevated to Bishop of Pereira where he served faithfully from 1976 to 1992. From 1983 to 1987 he was the General Secretary of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM), being promoted to President of that same body of Bishops for the next four years until 1991. The next year he was named Archbishop of Bucaramanga until 1996 when Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to join the Curia as Pro-Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy. Two years later he was among the 23 named in the February 21, 1998 Consistory last year in which he received his red-hat as a cardinal-deacon with the titular church of the Holy Name of Mary on the Forum Traiani and the appointment as President of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Besides heading the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Castrillon also holds curial membership in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Congregation for Catholic Education, as well as the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. As President of the Congregation for the Clergy, he oversees the life, discipline, rights and duties of the clergy, assuring compliance in the preaching of the Word, catechetics and the norms for religious education of both children and adults as well as the preservation and administration of temporal goods of the Church. He also is responsible for the International Council for Catechetics which Pope Paul VI added in 1973 and the Institute John Paul II established in 1992 through his Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis - the Institute "Sacrum Ministerium" which deals with the permanent formation of the clergy. He governs a staff of twenty one persons, plus forty-five members and fifty-five consultors.
The Congregation for the Clergy was first established as a Curial Office on August 2, 1564 by Pope Pius IV with his Apostolic Constitution Alias Nos. It was first called the Congregation of the Cardinals Interp;reters of the Council of Trent. With further tinkering by Pope Gregory XIII and then Pope Sixtus V it was renamed the Congregation of the Council. It remained that until Paul VI titled it with its current nomenclature and redefined its responsibilities and then, on June 28, 1988, the Holy Father pronounced the additional assignments to be carried out by this Congregation. Because of his age and limited curial experience, it is doubtful this Colombian cardinal would seriously be considered papal material in the event of an unforeseen election in the near future.
Today is the Feast of the CHAIR OF SAINT PETER, one of three feasts celebrated in white vestments during Lent. The other two will be the Feast of Saint Joseph on March 19th and the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th. Other than that the next time we see white vestments will be on Holy Thursday. Tomorrow we return to Lenten time shared with the optional commemoration of the martyred bishop Saint Polycarp. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes on these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Monday, February 22, 1999
First Reading: 1 Peter 5: 1-4
Psalms: Psalm 23: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16: 13-19
Feast of THE CHAIR OF SAINT PETER
This feast, designated for February 22, commemorates the first service in Rome by the first Pope in Rome - Saint Peter who established the see of Antioch. He is said to have sat on a portable chair that ultimately became the "chair of Peter" and which is a liturgical emphasis on the apostolic succession, the episcopacy within Holy Mother Church and the unbroken line of pontiffs since Peter. The chair is preserved in the Vatican with evidence of this being the authentic chair dating back to the second century. It was officially made a feast day in the Roman Calendar in 394 to coincide with the day the Romans commemorated their deceased. It was first celebrated at the old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome during the middle of the fifth century, preceded by an all night vigil with the Holy Father present. In the eighth century the Franks moved the feast to January 18 while the rest of Europe virtually ignored the feast altogether. However, in the eleventh century it was revived and observed on February 22 where it has been fixed ever since.
Tuesday, February 23, 1999
Tuesday February 23:
Lenten Weekday and
Feast of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr
Purple or violet vestments
First Reading: Isaiah 55: 10-11
Psalms: Psalm 34: 4-7, 16-19
Gospel Reading: Matthew 6: 7-15
Feast of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr
Consecrated bishop of Smyrna by Saint John the Apostle, the holy Saint Polycarp staunchly defended the faith in the face of heresy, particularly Valentinianism and Marcionism. Born around 69 A.D. he dedicated his life to upholding the new Christian faith and preaching everywhere he went. Towards the end of his life when he was in his eighties, he traveled to Rome during the papacy of Pope Anicetus, the eleventh in the line of Peter. There Pope and bishop discussed a mutual date for Easter but could not come to an agreement and parted ways deciding each should celebrate it the way they had been doing it. Before he left Rome Polycarp was captured by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and thrown into prison. Refusing to sacrifice to the gods, acknowledge the divinity of Aurelius and reject his faith, Polycarp was ordered to be burned at the stake. But as they flames seared up and around him, they miraculously did not touch him. Furious, the Emperor ordered the soldiers to spear him to death. There in Rome on February 23, he gave up the ghost. Historians gage his death anywhere between 155 and 165, because of his association with Anicetus who was pontiff during those years. Many regard Polycarp as the chief link between the apostolic age, when he knew some of the apostles such as John, to the age of the great Christian Writers in Roman Asia which evolved late in the second century. They consider his Martyrium Polycarpi the first and oldest authentic example of the Acts of the Martyrs.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today we honor the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter with the Preface for today's Mass:
It is truly right and just to give You thanks, Almighty and Everlasting God, and to admire Your greatness, especially in the saints that You raised up fosr the support of Your Church. With remarkable wisdom the Church was prefigured in the Old Testament, and when the time was fulfilled, You established it on the foundation of the apostles. From among them You chose Peter, who was the first to recognize the Divinity of Christ, and You made him the solid rock on which Your Church would be built. You have constituted him as guide and custodian of Your entire flock so that throughout the centuries he could strengthen his brethren. Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, gave him the keys of the kingdom so that whatever he decided on earth, You, O Father, would ratify in Heaven. Today we devoutly celebrate the singular and provident charge that was committed to the head of the apostles, as we join the choirs of angels and sing a hymn to Your glory.
"I weep because the offenses of my children against God daily multiply."
It was on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows that the Blessed Mother conveyed those words to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in Message 404 in which she urged all to pray and not to wait for the signs to convert. She prefaces this with Message #403 where she extolls all that the Father's Justice is coming and to stay the course in our faith. For these two Messages from Our Lady, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Four-Hundred-three and Four-Hundred-four
Message Four-Hundred-three, September 13, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of Saint John Chrysostom)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I give to you my Divine Son's Peace.
O! Dear little children, do not cease your prayers, for they keep alive the flame of pure faith. Do not be deceived by worldly matters, which one day appear bright and glorious and the next day are tarnished by strife.
God alone is Peace, True and Everlasting.
Dear children, how long have I spoken to you? I, your Heavenly Mother, call all to my Divine Son. I beseech all my children: Listen to Him. Do whatever He tells you. My Divine Son's Sacred Heart is true refuge, and you must be within His Heart if you are to remain faithful.
Many are the signs of God's just anger which daily grows because of the abominations committed against Him. These signs are recognized by the soul, not by the mind. Yet I solemnly tell you the day is at hand when, in His Mercy, the signs shall become so intense as to be seen by the eye and recognized by the mind, that many may yet be saved.
Come to refuge. Surround and adore my Divine Son in the Most Holy Eucharist. I love and bless you! Pray! Pray! Pray!
Message Four-Hundred-four, September 15, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
(Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows)
Beloved Hidden Flower, peace. Know the True Peace of my Divine Son by seeking only His Will.
O! On this my feast I come to all of my children as their Sorrowful Mother. You do not desire to understand how gravely I suffered in my life to be for you your Heavenly Mother. I desire only to bring all of you back to my Divine Son. I beseech you, do not spare yourselves, but give God everything. It is He Who has given you all. Can you not return love to Him Who has known you from all time?
I weep because the offenses of my children against God daily multiply. I beseech you to pray for a deep, strong faith. Do not wait for signs - either of God's glory or of His Divine Justice. Let the eyes of your faith lead you on the path of Truth. Work hard to become holy through daily Mass, the Sacraments and realize you are called to be apostles of the end times, that the world may be purified. Join with me, your Mother of Sorrow in fervent prayer, that my Heart may triumph.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
THE DAILY WORD
"...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16: 18
January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
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
Click here to go to SECTION THREE or return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
February 22, 1999 volume 10, no. 36 DAILY CATHOLIC