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January 25, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 16
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION ONE
Saul's self-assurance became God's chosen Paul because he clung to truth.
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 event, but to truth. In fact, there is often the greatest faith when there is the least prosperity."
LITURGY OF THE DAY
We begin a succession of four straight feast days with today being the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul while tomorrow we celebrate the Feasts of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, Bishops, evangelists and early disciples of the Church. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes of these feasts and saints, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, January 25, 1999
First Reading: Acts 22: 3-16
Psalms: Psalm 117: 1-2 and Mark 16: 15
Gospel Reading: Mark 16: 15-18
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul
So important was the Conversion of the Apostle Paul in the development of the Church that she has set aside a special day to honor this miraculous conversion. Detailed in Acts 9: 1-30 and retold from Paul's point of view in Acts 22:1-21, the story of the Christian persecutor Saul to the zealous and holy instrument of evangelization Paul shows the strength of God's power in our lives and how He canchange anything. One thing Paul always was was sincere. Though a Roman citizen by privilege, he was first and foremost a Jew. Even as a Jew he sincerely felt his cause on behalf of the Jewish Law was just in persecuting Christians. He believed God belonged only to the Jews. The first martyr Saint Stephen was slain at Saul's command. His power and zealousness to put this Christian "fad" down drove him to more frenzied heights. It was his personal mission to round up all the Jews in Damascus who professed their
belief in the man Who had been crucified. God works in strange and mystical ways. On Saul's journey to
Damascus he was struck by a bolt from Heaven as he heard Our Lord say, "Saul, Saul, why doest
thou persecute Me?" Because Saul was an honest and sincere man, though misguided in his zeal,
God saw in him a tremendous instrument for all that He wanted to accomplish. Once Saul realized the
error of his ways, his admission opened the floodgates for powerful interior graces and an infusion of the
Holy Spirit which, as we know, Paul used wisely in his mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and play a vital role in bringing the "baby" Church from its weaning period into infancy and ultimately the
conversion of the world. The lesson here is to remember how important the grace of God is in our lives
and that we should cherish this gift always...never taking it for granted, and striving to nourish it daily
through using the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit to strengthen grace in our souls.
Tuesday, January 26, 1999
First Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8 or Titus 1: 1-5
Psalms: Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-11
Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 31-35
Feast of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, Bishops and Disciples of the early Church
The disciple Saint Timothy was a prized pupil of Saint Paul.
Timothy's father had been Greek, his mother Eunice Jewish. Both
converted to Christianity and Eunice tutored Timothy in the faith.
On Paul's first missionary journey Timothy was converted and
baptized, accompanying the Apostle on his second and third
journeys. As the Acts of the Apostles affirms, Paul sent Timothy
to minister to the Greeks in Macedonia, Thessalonica, and
Corinth. From all reports Timothy became a bishop in Ephesus
and there he died a natural death.
The other bishop whose feast we celebrate today - Saint Titus
was converted with Timothy, but unlike Timothy, was pagan born
and not tutored by his parents in the faith. Titus was invited to join
Paul and Saint Barnabas to the Council of Jerusalem with the
other Apostles. Paul, as is confirmed in his Second Letter to the
Corinthians, had great trust in Titus and appointed him bishop of
the Church in Crete. There he died at an old age, also a peaceful
death. Both, along with Saint John, were a few of the only ones
not martyred for their faith. Titus holds a special place in the
hearts of Croatians.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's Prayer is taken from the Preface for the Mass commemorating the Conversion of Saint Paul:
Father, in order to reveal to the apostle Paul the marvels of Your grace, You chose him with loving providence from his mother's womb so that he would announce to the nations redemption by Your Son. First an unbeliever and persecutor, he later became such an intrepid and faithful apostle that Jesus Christ was able to manifest in him the fulfillment of His Passion for the benefit of believers. Now from Heaven Paul, the untiring messenger of salvation, exhorts and impels us to proclaim Your mercy, O Father, and with the angels and the saints we unite our hymn of praise.
"You cannot let fear of popular opinion keep you from living the full Truth of your Faith."
Those words above were spoken by Our Lord on the feast of His beloved cousin John the Baptist to His chosen messenger the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in Message #364 in which He implores for all to shun the world, the flesh and the devil and return to Him before it is too late. His Blessed Mother Mary prefaces this in Message #363 three days earlier on June 21, 1993. Our Lady reminds all her little ones from the lay to the religious to return to her Divine Son and to heed her messages for her time of being among her children is nearing an end. She reaffirms that her little army can bring about the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart sooner through living her messages and giving all praise and honor to God. For these two messages, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Three Hundred-Sixty-three and Three Hundred-Sixty-four
Message Three Hundred-Sixty-three, June 21, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I wish to say to all of my little ones: Peace! I have been among you for many months, but this is God's mercy to you.
He has sent me as Mother to prepare you for many things. He has given to me the role of announcing the end times, that your hearts may truly desire conversion and your faith might be restored. Therefore, I solemnly tell you that I come to announce the coming of my Divine Son. I come to prepare the way, to keep the ember of true faith alive in my little army, the faithful remnant.
I solemnly tell you that still the world is plunged into spiritual darkness. This darkness has entered the very sanctuary of my Divine Son's Church, as I have often told you, ever since LaSalette.
This must be the time of great faith. You must not look to the world for approval, nor flee when there is disapproval of your faithful stance for the Truth. God alone is Truth. He will send His warrior angels to keep watch over His faithful ones, and the evil one and all his cohorts will quickly be dispelled.
But still your faith is weak. Your soul, your heart prompts you to acknowledge that my Divine Son is God, the Savior of the world, the King of Kings. Yet you tremble at the reproofs of those whose hearts have been lulled to lukewarmness by the evil one.
Therefore, I solemnly tell you that I, your Mother, ask for all religious to return to their true roots and to live their consecrated lives in a holy manner for all the world to see. I call upon all my beloved priest-sons to examine their anointed office, to wear their clerical garb and become once again true shepherds whose only concern is the soul, and not the material world. For I solemnly assure you God's Justice shall destroy all of your material world, which has become your god.
Awaken and hear the pleas of your Mother, whose Immaculate Heart will triumph sooner only if you live my messages and are of one mind and heart through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Soon I will no longer be among you. Therefore, grow strong in your faith by being humble, obedient little children. Trust in your Heavenly Father and be not afraid. I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Three Hundred-Sixty-four, June 24, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
(Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist and
12th Anniversary of the First Apparition at Medjugorje)
Beloved Hidden Flower of My Mother's Immaculate Heart, I bless you and all who truly seek Me, their God.
I solemnly tell everyone that this Feast day is of great significance in the Eternal Father's Plan of Salvation.
Behold, as My precursor, John the Baptizer was ordained by God to prepare the way for My coming into their midst. Thus, in these the end times, I have sent My own Mother to prepare you for that which must come in order that all Scripture might be fulfilled. I desire all of My children who desire to dwell in My Sacred Heart to listen to My Mother's words, and to return fully to Me.
You cannot come to Me by half-measures. You cannot let fear of popular opinion keep you from living the full Truth of your Faith.
Know that the chastisements have already begun and unless you turn back to Me, the full weight of punishment will inflict all of mankind. I have sent you My Mother, and still you refuse to listen, convert and become a holy people.
Therefore, as John the Baptizer warned those of his own day, so now My Mother has worked ceaselessly to prepare you, warn you, and lead you to My Sacred Heart. But she will not remain among you but for a short period of time. Therefore, be attentive and return Me to My rightful place in your lives, and you will always have Refuge in Me, your God. I love you with Infinite Love. Pray, and return to Me now!
Events Today in Church History
On this date in 336 Pope Saint Mark became the 34th successor of Peter. Born in Rome, he benefited greatly from the decrees passed by Constantine as the Church began to expand rapidly. He instituted the first liturgy of religious feastdays, publishing a calendar as well as introducing the "Pallium." 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 25:
Death of Saint Juventinus and Saint Maximinus, both infantrymen under Julian the Apostate. Because they would not abandon their faith or oppose Rome and not follow the heresies of Julian, the Eastern emperor had them whipped and decapitated in Antioch.
Death of Saint Bretannion, Bishop of Tomi in Scythia on the Black Sea. Because of his undying loyalty to Rome and belief in Christ's Divinity, the Arian Emperor Valens stripped St. Bretannion of his rightful bishopric and exiled him, but the total revolt of the people of his diocese forced Valens to reinstall him.
Death of Saint Apollo, an Egyptian anchorite who attracted over 500 monks to his hermitage outside of Hermopolis in Greece. He was elected abbot and intended to stay on, but the great threat posed by Julian the Apostate prompted Apollo to vacate his role as abbot to go back into the world to combat the heresies being spread about the Divinity of Jesus.
Death of Saint Donwenna, a virgin from Wales whose smile and loving spirituality moved many to consider her the patron saint of lovers in her region with many legends attributed to her, but they remain just that, legends and her cult really only exists in Welsh circles.
Death of Saint Eochod, who was a disciple of Saint Columba and was dispatched to northern Britain. He is considered the Apostle of the Picts of Galloway.
Death of Saint Praejectus, Bishop of Clermont, France. This eloquent and wise preacher founded numerous monasteries, churches and hospitals throughout his see in Auvergne.
Death of Saint Ragnobert, first Frankish Bishop of the Diocese of Autun.
Death of Pope Gregory IV, 101st successor of Peter. This Roman-born pontiff was elected on September 20, 827. During his seventeen year pontificate Gregory organized a powerful army under the command of the Duke of Tuscany which defeated the Saracens in Africa five times. These however, having landed in Italy, destroyed Civitavechia and Ostia and threatened Rome. He died as the Saracens stormed the gates.
Death of Saint Poppo, Benedictine abbot of Stavelot. After repenting of his wayward life in the military by making pilgrimages to Rome and Jerusalem in penitence for his sins, he became a Benedictine monk and played a significant role in reviving monastic life throughout Flanders.
King Henry VIII seals his fate and the fate of the Church throughout England by marrying Anne Boleyn after divorcing his wife Catherine of Aragon.
Pope John XXIII, less than three months after having been chosen the 261st successor of Peter, made the startling announcement outside St. Paul outside-the-walls Church that he was going to convene the Second Vatican Council as well as a diocesan synod of Bishops for Rome, and revise Canon Law. He held the synod a year later at St. John Lateran, the first such synod of Bishops in Rome's long history.
SITE OF THE DAY
Today we feature a site, closely aligned with the Pontifical Council for the Laity at the Vatican and which provides both a source for Church News and the entire text of the Holy Father's Post-Synodal Document Ecclesia in America by clicking on "Resources." The site is Christian Life Movement web site also called New Evangelization and ably operated by Paul Zink. The theme of this entire site coincides with the Pope's vision of what the Americas should be.
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.
January 25, 1999 volume 10, no. 16 DAILY CATHOLIC