DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY    January 7, 1999   vol. 10, no. 4


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 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.
Installment Ninety

The Fortieth Clarion:

part one

"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 sins.

          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, deep trouble!

          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.

January 7, 1999       volume 10, no. 4


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