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January 7, 1999
SECTION ONE vol 10, no. 4
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
How great is your faith?
Today we begin a segment on the Theological virtues, beginning with Faith and how we perceive this virtue today. Too many have forgotten that faith is a virtue and something that needs to be practiced or we can lose it very, very quickly. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, when talking about the martyrs and about the faithful today, "Dying for our faith really isn't as hard as living up to our faith." That takes on-going commitment and that is what we address as we begin the third year of this on-going series as we sound the fortieth clarion (subject matter) on the Church today. For the ninetieth installment of this on-going megaseries, click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?.
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 ninetieth installment of this on-going feature series, we focus on the first of the Theological Virtues - Faith and ask: Where is it? That is a question we broach in a follow-up to our first editorial for 1999 in our "State of the soul" address. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, when talking about the martyrs and about the faithful today, "Dying for our faith really isn't as hard as living up to our faith." That takes on-going commitment and that is what we address as we begin the third year of this on-going series as we continue 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.
The Fortieth Clarion:
"Yet when the Son of Man comes, will He find, do you think, faith on the earth?"
Luke 18: 8
In our Tuesday issue we wrote in our first editorial for 1999 our "State of the Soul" address in which we encouraged all to strengthen their faith and pray for the courage, the guts, if you will, to gut it out as we
swim upstream against the current of worldly opinion. To go against the grain takes not only guts but a strong faith and that faith will only be rewarded with victory if we stay the course. Too many have abandoned their faith in favor of the easier life. But Jesus never said it was supposed to be "easy" - rather He said, "Unless you take up your cross daily and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple." Pretty strong words. In other words, the price is more for something of great value and no earthly price can be placed on salvation.
As we head further into the New Year, Lent looms on the horizon just over a month
away. During this time of preparation for that period of Prayer, Fasting and Penance,
Jesus is asking if we are ready to answer His call - to take up our crosses willingly and follow Him no matter where it will lead us. His Blessed Mother Mary has been pleading with all of her children to heed the call and return to her Divine Son. In many of Our Blessed Mother's messages, Our Lady has been asking
with great sorrow, "Where are my children?"
It is worth noting that in these sorrowful times, the Blessed Mother
speaks with infinite sadness, with tears in her voice - the sorrow of a
true mother for her children. Through prayer, the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit directs us to
understand that this Heavenly Sorrow is caused by the lack of faith, which
is so evident among all the world today, and particularly for each one of
us. This is something we all need to consider, to meditate upon, to
examine ourselves upon seriously, to understand how each one of us, in one
way or another, contributes to the sadness of our Heavenly Mother, and to
the continuing darkening of our world by satan's lies and man's continued
Faith is the first of the three basic virtues God asks of each one of us.
We must have faith in God first, then faith in our Church and the Communion
of Saints. We must also have faith in ourselves to do His Will and faith
in our neighbors, our church community, to also do that which God deigns
right. Remember it took faith on Jesus' part to go into the desert for 40 days
and nights. It was no picnic, But it had to be done, not only in the overall picture of
redemption, but also to increase our faith - our faith as we should be living
it in 1999. Jesus prayed and fasted. Should we do less?
Faith does not rely upon human intelligence, our powers of reasoning,
thinking, etc. It is not something that requires a doctoral degree in any
science or "ology". God cannot be known by the powers of our reasoning
alone, nor can our mind grasp God. Instead, it is God who enlightens our
souls, giving unto us a great gift - FAITH. The Holy Father points this out in his
most recent encyclical Fides et Ratio. Faith is a gift, and if we are
awake and praying from our hearts, then our faith is alive and growing
stronger. But even with a faith full of life, it still has to be stronger than ever; especially in
an era when the True Faith, handed down by Our Lord Himself, is being
eroded by those who "have a better idea". Let us remind those who would
tinker with Christ's Own teachings that we are dealing with souls, not
"Fords." God is in charge, not man. If we think otherwise, we're in deep,
The hardened hearts of men cause Our Lady to weep countless tears of sorrow.
"Faith," Our Blessed Mother stresses in her messages, "must be as strong as
an anchor." And she is not using this analogy merely to give a visible
image we might use as a tool to strengthen us. Our Heavenly Mother means
exactly that, and thus she is in tears because she says we are all of very
weak faith. Let each of us pray in our hearts and on our lips: "Lord, Your
Mercy is my Hope." Let each of us be that anchor Mary asks us to be so
that we can be counted among her faithful remnant of children.
Too many have forsaken her messages, and become lukewarm in their zeal to do God's Will
because their faith is not as strong as it should. Why go to Daily Mass when all we have to really
do is be there on Sunday? Why pray the Rosary daily when the Church doesn't demand it?
Why fast and abstain from meat on Fridays when the Church has relaxed that rule except for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? Why worry about messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary when the Church says we do not have to believe? Why indeed. Maybe that's how we've found ourselves in this sorry mess of so much division within the Church and in the world - because few were willing to do more. Just get by seems to have been the buzzword for the nineties. But without a strong faith, we won't even "get by." Do we want to be among those Our Lord questions when He says, "Where is your faith? O ye of little faith."? Prayer is the first step toward assuring that when He comes again He will find faith on this earth.
CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church
Faith! What is it? Faith is the first of Theological virtues by which we firmly believe all truths God has revealed, on the word of God revealing them, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. as Jesus says in John 20:29, "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed."
- 1. Faith is belief in a truth on the word of another, though that truth may not be fully understood.
- 2.Divine faith is belief in a truth or mystery known only because God revealed it. It is grace that helps us to attain faith and to persevere in it, to take God's word for whatever He has revealed. Faith is supernatural because we cannot acquire it ourselves. It is a God-given gift.
3. Without faith, it is impossible to be saved. Our faith must be firm and complete; that is, both certain and all-encompassing for Paul says in Hebrews 11: 6, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." (source: My Catholic Faith, My Mission House, Publishers)
The saints of Assisi embody the reverence due God
While kneeling at the tomb of Saint Francis of Assisi the Blessed Virgin Mary conveyed to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart how Francis and Saint Clare set the example and ensured that all reverence be given to her Divine Son Jesus. These two saints embodied the way to perfection that we should all strive for. Our Lady prefaced this message with one enroute to Assisi on the same day, imploring that we return the crucifixes to the altar to remind everyone that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not a meal per se, but rather the reenactment of the Passion and Death of Our Lord and we must remember why He suffered and died for us. She also encourages the priests to return her Divine Son to where He belongs - front and center by way of placing the tabernacle back at the main altar for over the past 30 years man has replaced God in the sanctuary. For messages 338 and 339, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred-Thirty-eight and Three Hundred-Thirty-nine
Message Three Hundred-Thirty-eight, May 11, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(outside Spoleto en route to Assisi)
Give to Him, your God, all reverence for He alone has the right to be adored and worshipped. Place my Divine Son in the center of each sanctuary. Return the crucifix, that the Holy Sacrifice might be ever before you. Seek Him daily at Mass and go frequently to the Sacrament of Penance. Mortify yourselves. The Hour of Great Justice comes.
Dear children, God loves you. I, your Mother love you and intercede for you. Be no longer a proud people. Humble yourselves and return your lives to God. Strip yourselves of all the world, and only then will you
understand how close God is, how simple it is to love and serve Him always in the Divine Will.
I love you. I bless you. I give to you my Divine Son's Peace.
Pray! Dry my tears which I shed that Mercy may yet come to you.
Pray! Pray! Pray! Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-Thirty-nine, May 11, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
(At the tomb of St. Francis in the lower chapel at Assisi)
Beloved Hidden Flower, the abiding peace which you feel here, comes from the lives of reverence, humility and obedience lived by St. Francis and St. Clare.
Here the Gospel was lived, and in these hallowed places the Gospel is still lived, for all reverence is given to my Divine Son!
Here renunciation of self was the way to perfection. Through Francis and Clare my Divine Son's Church returned to reverence.
This I ask of all my children today, for this is the way of perfection! Follow my Divine Son. Be of perfect humility and obedience and love will flow forth. Pray and do penance for the Hour of Justice comes.
Thank you for responding to my Call!
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".
"Faith is related not to self-assurance but to God; not to an even, but to truth. In fact, there is often the greatest faith when there is the least prosperity."
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this date in 1566 the holy Cardinal Michele Ghislieri from Bosco, Italy was chosen as the 225th successor of Peter and became Pope Pius V and eventually Saint Pius V when Pope Clement XI canonized him in 1712. It was Pius V who led the reform and enforced all that was passed at the Council of Trent including the Roman Missal which is often called the St. Pius V Missal. He also promoted devotion to the Rosary and attributed Our Lady's intercession for the implausible victory over the Turks at Lepanto. 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 January 7:
Death of Saint Lucian of Antioch, a Syrian saint who was tortured on the rack and then a sword pierced through his heart for refusing to worship pagan gods. He was the one who prepared the Old and New Testaments so Saint Jerome could translate them into the Latin Vulgate edition.
Death of Amadeus III, Duke of Savoy who the Council of Basle selected as the antipope Felix V, after they had deposed the legitimate Sovereign Pontiff Pope Eugene IV. Felix V remained antipope for ten years from 1439 to 1449. He died at Geneva in on this date after having done penance and being reconciled to Rome through Pope Nicholas V.
Five years after King Henry VIII had divorced Catherine of Aragon in a move that would forever change the face of the Church in England, she died. If only he would have waited!
Cardinal Michele Ghislieri becomes the 225th successor of Peter, choosing the name Pope Pius V who would not only excommunicate Queen Elizabeth of England for her persecution of Catholics, inspire a Christian victory over the Saracens at Lepanto, and decree the use of the Roman Missal, but also become a saint. It was Saint Pius V who proclaimed that the Mass approved at the Council of Trent should be said "in perpetuity." That statement has caused much consternation between old-line and new-line Catholics over the Novus Ordo Mass since Vatican II. Pius' reign would last until May 1, 1572.
Death of Pope Innocent X, 236th successor of Peter. This Roman-born pontiff papacy lasted eleven years. He advised the Czar of Russia, Alexis I to emancipate the servants of the glebe. He disapproved of the Treaty of Westphalia because a large number of cities passed under Protestant control. He celebrated the 14th Jubilee in 1650.
December 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! In this Christmas joy I desire to bless you with my blessing. In a special way, little
children, I give you the blessing of little Jesus. May He fill you with His peace. Today, little children, you do not have peace and yet you yearn for it. That is why, with my Son Jesus, on this day I call you to pray, pray, pray, because without prayer you do not have joy or peace or a future. Yearn for peace and seek it, for God is true peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
January 7, 1999 volume 10, no. 4 DAILY CATHOLIC