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January 14, 1999
SECTION ONE vol 10, no. 9
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Hope springs eternal!
Today we continue our segment on the Theological virtues, focusing on Hope, the second of the virtues and what it means. Too often we fail to plant the anchor of hope deeply into the solid soil of faith and our "hope" drifts from its intent, the waves of the world, the flesh and the devil thrash our finite ship to and fro until we become thrust onto the rocks of despair - the opposite of hope. It is only through the Cross of Jesus Christ that we can hope to have a solid foundation for Hope for He is the Anchor of Hope. It is in Him Whom we trust! For the ninety-first installment of this on-going megaseries, click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?.
The Forty-First Clarion:
THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUE OF HOPE
Christ's Mercy is our HOPE and anchor to keep us from drifting in a sinking world
"He that puts his trust in Me shall inherit the land, and shall possess My holy mountain."
Isaiah 57: 13
Next Installment: Part Two The vertical beam of the Cross represents Hope and on the horizontal beam Love surrendered Himself for us.
The psalmist and prophet David says it so many times throughout his psalms, "For You are my Hope, O Lord." and "Lord, Your Mercy is my hope." HOPE! It is another word for trust. It is another word for good expectations. Webster's defines the word as "1. Desire with expectation of obtaining what is desired, or belief that it is obtainable" and "2. Trust; reliance." But, we hope, the definition is more than that. And it is! One of our favorite ejaculations is "Jesus, I trust in You." If that is not expressing hope in His Divine Mercy, then nothing is. And through His infinite Mercy He extends hope to all like a solid anchor to keep us afloat and stabilized in a sea of confusion and and the threatening waves of disillusionment. There is the age-old saying, "Hope springs eternal." The anchor is the symbol for hope, hope that springs eternal, because God is eternal and God is Hope. God promised to give man eternal life, and the means to obtain it. In this promise is our hope. We can never forget that Hope is necessary for our salvation. Therefore, our hope must be firmly founded in God.
In every one of our Blessed Motherís Messages, whether from Medjugorje or other purported apparition sites around the world from visionaries and locutionists alike, her works are meant to strengthen not only our faith, but to give us HOPE!
Hope is not merely a passive human emotion, and certainly, the Hope, which Our Lady speaks of, does not pertain to ourhuman, mortal life. As her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, taught when He was on earth and left us the gospels, and the True Church, with the Dogmas, Doctrines and Traditions, this supernatural virtue of HOPE, transcends the human mind, will and heart, for it must ignore the world and look upward in order to be of value to any who call upon the name of the Lord in the time of tribulation.
We have entered this time of great trial. If you donít believe it, look at our world. Every nation and particularly our own country and its leadership are at great odds with God, the Creator and Author of all life. Are we not, therefore, in a time of great suffering, persecution, and in danger of being swept along the wide and easy path to perdition? Only those who have opened their hearts to the graces of the Holy Spirit, and who see with the eyes of their soul, can visually perceive the clarity of this. They realize now, as never before, that we must have hope.
The Mother of God is now calling us ever more urgently to have faith as strong as an anchor, and that anchor, she says, is made of wood - the wood of the Cross of her Divine Son. In this Cross, the symbol of our redemption is love represented in all its perfection.
As we travel the way of Calvary during the upcoming Holy Season of Lent one month away, we all need to look at the Cross and consider how our hope measures up to that of Our Lord in all of His agony, and to His Most Blessed Mother, the Co-Redemptrix of the world, who also suffered agonies of the heart in order to correspond perfectly to the Divine Will. These agones will only be known in eternity. Hope is intricately inseparable from the Divine Will. Hope is that facet of the diamond of our soul which allows us, against all human reasoning, rationalizing and intellectualizing to hold fast to that which we be. Without hope being alive and burning brightly within us, our anchor of faith will quickly be snapped in half by the evil one in this time of universal spiritual darkness, apostasy, heresy, and schism within the Roman Catholic Church.
"Our help is in the name of the Lord," Sacred Scripture says in Psalms 124:8, and that word "help" means also hope. We who are still in our earthly exile, upon the journey of coming back to the Father, must hold fast to the Hope given us in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the face of the rage of all the demons of hell unleashed upon Jersulaem at the appointed time of Our Lordís Passion and Death, it was the Blessed Mother alone who held fast to Hope, who lifted up her heard and HOPED in God to bring to pass all that the Scripture contained for the redemption of all mankind from Adam and Eve, to the last person who will be upon the face of the earth at God's appointed time. And we, too, must share in that same hope, lifting up our hearts and souls to the realm of God in the face of a pagan world, a godless world which constantly barrages us with its secular, demonic messages of materialism, lust, perversion and the mounting sins of men against men.
Hope allows us to go beyond our weak human nature and hold fast to Godís Almighty Hand, seeing Him as a Father who desires only what will assist us to come home to Him for all eternity.
CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church:
The anchor as a symbol of Hope
In our megafeature on the Church today and the Theological Virtue of Hope, we refer to it with the imagery of an anchor, which was used by Saint Paul in Hebrews 6: 19, "This hope we have, as a sure and firm anchor of the soul" The image of the anchor was used as prevalently as was the symbol of the fish in the catacombs for it represents not only Hope but the trunk and arm of the cross as well. Throughout Church iconography the anchor has been used to represent saints who embodied this Virtue of Hope and the anchor has long represented the our eternal salvation through Christ. This same reasoning caused the early hermits to become known as "anchorites" because they set down anchor in one place to carry on their spiritual life through prayer and penance so they would not drift back into the world. The anchorites were the forerunner of monastic living. (sources: 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor, Publisher; My Catholic Faith, My Mission House, Publishers, and Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
"I solemnly tell you, my children, that Love is not loved."
In those words from the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on the Solemnity of Pentecost in late May 1993, Our Lady reveals how we have lost the concept of love for love is not sensual or sexual, but rather a supernatural experience and the greatest Love is her Divine Son Jesus Who we have, for the most part, ignored in favor of the world, the flesh and the devil. She bemoans the fact that so few turn to her Divine Spouse the Holy Spirit for guidance and asks on this day for all her little ones to begin anew. She repeats this plea in her succeeding message of May 25th in asking all to "pray from the heart" and not to look "to the world for solutions" for there are no solutions where lucifer reigns. For messages 349 and 350, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred-Forty-nine and Three Hundred-Fifty
Message Three Hundred-Forty-nine, May 23, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, soon my Divine Son's Church will celebrate Pentecost. O! How I desire that this be an on-going feast, a daily feast between all of my children and the Holy Spirit, the Divine Gift and Guest of the soul!
I solemnly tell you, my children, that Love is not loved. Rather love of
Love has become trivial, a surface, outward sham that gravely offends God. Daily you reject His Graces because you do not wish to be possessed by the Holy Spirit, Who is the Sanctifier.
I beseech all of my children, even my beloved priest-sons, to examine their lives and ponder the presence of the Holy Spirit within them. If you truly possess and are possessed by the Holy Spirit then you will find each day that all thoughts center only upon God. You are aware of Him amidst all your tasks, and not one thing is undertaken without Him. This, my children, is the way to perfection. It is the sure path to unity of mind and heart through the Holy Spirit.
Heed my words all who would persevere. Open your hearts willingly and bow before God in humility. Only then can the Holy Spirit transform you into the very likeness of my Divine Son.
Cease offending God. Do not pretend to love "Love," when you do not know Love. Only by giving all reverence, respect and worship to my Divine Son shall you grow in sanctity, enjoying now heavenly peace and joy. You do not have peace because you have taken Jesus from the center and placed yourselves there.
Woe, triple woe to all who knowingly and willingly lead my little ones in the way of false peace, and idle lip-service to God. I solemnly tell you that soon all the earth shall tremble before the Perfect Justice of God. Be reconciled. Return to a deep, sincere ardent love of God through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, worthy reception of Him in Communion by frequent confession.
Become living prayers. Be filled with peace, for God does not abandon His own, all who are marked by His Son's Cross.
I love each of you. I bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-Fifty, May 25, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
Beloved Hidden Flower, today I come as Queen of Peace to beg of all my children to return to God. I have shown you the path. You must pray from your heart. You must make sacrifice, and do penance. You must increase your faith and be reconciled with God and with each other. Only in this way will the world find peace. I beseech all of you on this day to begin leading a life filled with prayer and love. Pray the rosary. Love God and do not look to the world for solutions. Satan rules the world.
If all of my children would pray and fast, giving their lives to God, there would be peace throughout the world.
Therefore, Pray! Pray! Pray! Thank you for responding to my Call!
SIMPLY SHEEN: A gift is a present for the present.
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".
"Often those who complain that they receive 'no breaks' in life are the very ones who have not utilized their God-given gifts."
Events that happened this day in Church History
Since we are on the web it's appropriate to feature a saint often portrayed with a web - Saint Felix of Nola who died on this date in 260 A.D. Many times he was on the verge of being captured by the Romans because of his Christianity, but, through the grace of God, managed to escape; one time aided by a spider who spun an instant cobweb to hide him from his captors. 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 14:
Death of Saint Felix of Nola, a humble priest who did not feel worthy of being a bishop. He escaped martyrdom many times through the grace of God and sheltered many Christians, nursing them back to health. He is often depicted with a spider spinning its web for legend has it the arachnid did this quickly while the Romans were searching him out to put him to death but passed by the doorway where Felix was because of the cobweb.
Martyrdom of 38 monks at Mount Sinai, who were attacked by Syrian arabs who had a vendetta against Christians.
Death of Saint Macrina the Elder, mother of Saint Basil the Elder, and grandmother of a slew of holy offspring from Cappodocia including Saint Basil, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Macrina the Younger and Saint Peter of Sebastea. She died in Neocaesarea.
Death of Saint Datius, Bishop of Milan who, having fled from northern Italy to Constantinople during the invasion of the Ostrogoths, defended doctrinal attacks against Pope Vigilius, the 59th successor of Peter.
Death of Blessed Amadeus of Clermont at Bonnevaux, France. This Benedictine monk and abbot founded four monasteries after studying at the famous Cluny Abbey. A rich man before his conversion, he brought 16 vassals and family members with him to Bonnevaux' Cistercian Abbey, renouncing the world.
Death of Saint Sabas of Serbia, Abbot who was the son of Stephen I, founder of the Serbian dynasty who abdicated when Sabas was 22 and sought refuge in the monastery they founded on Mount Athos. When Sabas was 33 he returned to Serbia to settle a dispute between his two brothers and discovered his homeland was in turmoil with few knowing the faith. He thus dispatched his fellow monks as missionaries to evangelize to the masses, preserving the faith in Bulgaria where he died on this date in 1237. To this date Sabas or Sava in Serbian, is considered the patron saint of Serbia.
Today and tomorrow we concentrate on the weekdays of the First Week in Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies and meditations for these two days, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Thursday, January 14, 1999
First Reading: Hebrews 3: 7-14
Psalms: Psalm 95: 6-11
Gospel Reading: Mark 1: 40-45
Friday, January 15, 1999
First Reading: Hebrews 4: 1-5, 11
Psalms: Psalm 78: 2, 4, 6-8
Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 1-12
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Even though liturgically we celebrated the feast of Saint Hilary yesterday, today has actually been his feast day for centuries. Thus, we present a special prayer to him in today's Prayer & Devotions:
O God, Who didst give Blessed Hilary unto Thy people, to be a minister of eternal salvation; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him as an intercessor in Heaven, whom we have had as a teacher of life on earth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
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.
WORD OF THE DAY
"For whatever things have been written for our instruction, that through the patience and the consolation afforded by the Scriptures we may have hope."
Romans 15: 4
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
January 14, 1999 volume 10, no. 9 DAILY CATHOLIC