DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY    February 25, 1999   vol. 10, no. 39


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-seventh installment of this on-going feature series, we continue 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-seven

The Forty-Third Clarion:

SACRIFICE part two

"Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it."

Mark 18: 17

          Our entire life on earth is a journey home to God the Father. God, the Creator of all the universe, sent His Only-begotten Son to earth to show us the Way, the Truth, and the Life, which we must take upon ourselves if we are to be heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus taught His Apostles that before they could begin their own mission to spread the Gospel, they, too, had to fast and pray in order to e full of the Life of God. The life of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the beginning to the end of mortal life was a total sacrifice. So also for His Blessed Mother. Jesus gave His life for us, that we might be saved. Are we, then, to do less if we are to imitate Jesus?

          Sacrifice is not so much giving up something like chocolate, television, etc. Oh, it is for the child who is learning and being conditioned to accept greater sacrifices. That's part of our conditioning and inheritance as Jesus says in Mark 18:17, "Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it." So we need to become like a little child in heart and soul but also take responsibility for our own actions as Saint Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away the things of a child." We need to put away the "little sacrifices" we offered meticulously as a child, and move up to the level He expects of us as responsible children of God for the real root of sacrifice must begin in our heart and soul. Yes, it is a total willingness to die to self, to literally, by God's grace, cross out the "I" and put on Christ. Isn't that what the Cross of Our Dear Lord is? Isn't it "I" crossed out, the ego denied, the spirit uplifted into celestial realms?

          Sacrifice is our interior disposition of heart and soul to become holy and pleasing to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - the Most Blessed Trinity. That is why Our Lady says consistently, "Pray from the Heart." Because if we don't have our heart and soul into it, we're just going through the motions and when the time comes to really sacrifice, we'll most probably fall miserably because we're not conditioned to die to self physically, mentally, and spiritually.

          Therefore, as we experience this Lenten season, first let us all concentrate through a thorough examination of conscience on how open we are to God, how much do we really want to be t transformed through a total conversion of heart by the grace of the Holy Spirit? Just how much are we willing to give back to God who has given All to us?

          After this examination of conscience, a good, holy Confession should follow, which disposes the soul to follow Jesus and ask Him: "What do you want me to do, Lord?" "Speak, Lord, for thy servant is listening" (1 Kings 3:9). In the silence of our being, Jesus will fill us with that supernatural knowledge of what He wishes of each one of us at that moment. Where and how do each one of us make sacrifice for Him? In what spirit of sacrifice to we commence our journey home to God? We know now that it's a life-long process, not just something we "have to do" during a mere 40 days of Lent. Now, when we prepare properly, we understand in our soul that "sacrifice" which incorporates prayer and penance is absolutely necessary every single day of our lives.

          The true spirit of sacrifice is to desire with our whole being to subdue the human ego, passions, desires, intellect, and senses. Only then can we permit the Holy Spirit to bring alive the intellect of the soul, which then predominates and keeps under control all the human weaknesses of which we are subject to due to Original Sin.

          Over and over in Holy Scripture, in the messages of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother to messengers and visionaries throughout the ages, the repeated phrase from Heaven is: "Pray, Pray, Pray!" Prayer is the link to God which keeps us focused, helps us to willingly submit to God's Perfect Will, to dismiss our will as nothing.

February 25, 1999       volume 10, no. 39


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