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June 23, 1999
SECTION ONE vol 10, no. 121
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
Reviewing the first six hundred years of the Church as we set sail on the Barque of Peter from the time of Christ to Saint Gregory the Great
With the summer mode in vogue, we suspend this series until August, allowing the reader to catch up on past articles they may have missed in archives, including the Establishment of the Blessed Sacrament and the early struggles of the Church in this on-going abridged History of the Mass and Holy Mother Church over a 2000 year span called 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER. For the first fifteen installments, click on BARQUE OF PETER
INSTALLMENTS TO DATE
Taking time to taste Food for Thought appeteasers over the past year
With summer upon us we follow the summer schedule and bring you retro vignettes from the past year of humorous and moving Food for Thought Appeteasers that could bring a chuckle, a tear or both but definitely will make you stop and think. For past Appeteasers, click on Archives for FOOD FOR THOUGHT APPETEASERS
NO FOOD FOR THOUGHT APPETEASERS DURING LENT
The island of Hispaniola, evangelized in the early 1500's expands its diocese thanks to its first bishop Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriquez
Today we feature our sixty-ninth red hat in alphabetical order. He is the 63 year-old Dominican Republic Archbishop of Santo Domingo Cardinal Nicholas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez who was the first bishop of the Dominican Republic's second diocese formed in 1978 as the Diocese of San Francisco de Macoris. As the only cardinal from Hispaniola, he is responsible for over eight million Catholics in a country of just over nine million. For more on this Dominican-born Prince of the Church, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
69. Cardinal Nicholas de Jesus Lopez Rodriquez
The Dominican Republic's only cardinal is Cardinal Nicholas de Jesus Lopez Rodriquez who was born on all Hallow's Even in 1936 in Barranca on the Island of the Dominican Republic. At the age of twenty-five he was ordained a priest in Hispaniola which had only one diocese at that time, the entire Dominican Republic. Shortly after ordination he was sent to Rome to take advanced studies at the Angelicum and Gregorian Universities. Upon receiving his degrees he returned to the Dominican Republic where he was assigned to an important position in pastoral work in the newly-formed Diocese of San Francisco de Macoris. It was here on February 25, 1978 that Pope Paul VI made him the first bishop of this diocese. On November 15, 1981 Pope John Paul II promoted him to Archbishop of Santo Domingo. Three years later he was appointed President of the Dominican Republic Episcopal Conference and was also named Military Ordinary for the Dominican Republic. In 1989 the Pope tabbed him as Counselor of the Pontifical Committee for Latin America, a position he held until 1994.
In the June 28, 1991 Consistory he was among those elevated to the cardinalate, receiving the titular church of St. Pius X at alla Balduina. Since then he has had an active membership in a number of Curial offices including the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life as well as the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The latter commission is meeting this week at the Vatican to review the past one hundred years and commemorate the centennial of the Latin Plenary Council.
The Dominican Republic is nearly ninety percent Roman Catholic in a country of eight million people. In fact, Catholicism is the state religion. Evangelization to this island nation that borders Haiti on the west first began after Christopher Columbus discovered this island he called Hispaniola. In fact, it was the first organized Christian movement in the new world, being established before the Protestant Reformation began during the pontificate of Pope Julius II and before the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego in Mexico. Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez was also instrumental in helping establish the Pontifical Catholic University "Mother and Teacher" on September 9, 1987.
He also hosted the Holy Father's visit there in 1992 to open the Latin American Conference in Santo Domingo and, because of his age and speculation that the next Pope could be a Latino, might be a darkhorse in the next conclave since he is only 63 and has hands-on international experience in various curia memberships. For the Cardinal, however, he is quite content to remain the Archbishop of the Dominican Republic's largest city shepherding over five million Catholics.
SIMPLY SHEEN: Time to put away child-like toys and tantrums
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".
"Today millions of men and women consider that their happiness is destroyed if they must get along without a few things of which their grandfathers had never dreamed.. Luxuries have become necessities to them; and the more things a man needs in order to be happy, the more he has increased his chances of disappointment and despair. Whim has become his master, trivia his tyrant; he no longer is self-possessed, but he has become possessed by outward objects, trumpery toys. "
" I solemnly say to My children in America: Awake now from your greed, your lethargy and sloth. Put off the evilness of your world and wear My Mantle, which is one of Suffering and Obedience, composed of threads of Divine Love. "
Those words come from Our Lord on Thanksgiving Day on November 24, 1994 in which Jesus imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in Message #568 the fate of America if she continues on her downward spiral away from God. He warns that we, too, shall experience want and suffering for no nation on earth will be spared, especially those nations who have so much for He reiterates what He said in Divine Revelation that to those who have been given much, much is expected. He expects us to respond in obedience to all His Church says and to heed the messages of His Blessed Mother. Jesus prefaces this two days prior on the Feast of Saint Cecilia by lambasting our desire to be entertained while ignoring the important things of salvation. He alerts us that we are merely paving the road for satan to sweep us into hell if we continue in this vein of being vain. For Messages #567 and #568, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages 567 and 568
Message Five-Hundred-sixty-seven, November 22, 1994
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred of Jesus)
(Feast of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr)
Beloved Hidden Flower of My Mother's Immaculate Heart, be at great peace for I am with you.
To all of My children I beseech you to awaken your faith. Stir up your will and make frequent acts of faith, hope and charity daily. In this way you grow strong by grace in that which you cannot see.
But I do solemnly tell you, My children, that those things which you now see, all worldly things of man's making and upon which you rely daily for pleasure, sustenance, amusement shall be swept from the face of this earth at the Hour of Great Justice. But even before that moment I solemnly tell you, you shall see signs and wonders both in the Heavens and on the earth. They are My signs, given in loving Mercy to awaken your soul. You shall see with your eyes that which is now hidden from you, and great shall be your awe and even fear.
But then, My children, it shall come to pass that so many of you will harden your heart and ignore My signs and fall slave again to satan.
Know then that the time of the Father's Justice is at hand and I come to reclaim all creation.
Dear little ones, do all My Mother seeks from you. Do it with a loving heart. Receive Me daily into your heart and cling to Me, for I Am the Anchor.
Be at peace for I bless all who love Me, and to everyone I call out your name. Will you respond?
Come quickly for the Good Shepherd calls and the sheep are gathered. Peace! Peace! Peace!
Message Five-Hundred-sixty-eight, November 24, 1994
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
Beloved Hidden Flower of My Mother's Immaculate Heart, I love and bless you and give you My Peace.
On this day I solemnly tell the world: In all things give thanks and praise to Me, Who alone is worthy of praise and honor. Be ever-mindful of all the blessings I have bestowed upon you and of My Divine Mercy which I desire to pour out upon you.
O! How little heart-felt thanks is given unto Me! How few of My children recognize Me in their joys as well as their sorrows.
Little children, hear Me! The ravages of man's sins fill the earth and its portents of suffering shall only increase.
Satan, My adversary, has squeezed the heart of My people and there is now only a few who live in My Light and Truth.
I love all mankind, for I alone Am He Who created all things. And I do solemnly say unto all upon the earth: Where there is now war it will only intensify. Where there appears to be peace, anarchy will come swiftly. Every nation shall be shaken, and all evil-doers shall be made known upon the face of the earth.
All who love Me and serve Me shall know ridicule, and all manner of persecution. But they who proclaim Me shall know My strength and they shall lack nothing in these end times.
I solemnly say to My children in America: Awake now from your greed, your lethargy and sloth. Put off the evilness of your world and wear My Mantle, which is one of Suffering and Obedience, composed of threads of Divine Love. Convert your hearts NOW! If you do not your nation shall be put to shame. Your bounty shall dry up and you will know extreme want. Your government shall collapse, and all the power and might you think you possess shall be taken from you, not by foreign powers, but by the evilness of hearts from within your own country.
Dear children, I reveal these things so that you may truly seek Me and obtain My Peace, for My Sacred Heart is the only Refuge you need. There is yet time. Come to Me, for I call you by name. My Mother will help you. Have recourse to Her, and heed Her words.
Let every heart be humble before Me, and lovingly give thanks to Me. When you do this I dwell in you and you have no fears. When you deny Me, there is no help Heaven can give, for you have given yourself up to satan.
Enter upon your feast of Thanksgiving with a contrite heart and love Me. Receive My Divine Mercy, for the time for My Mercy is NOW!
Peace to all. I love each of you!
Today is the Twelfth Wednesday in Ordinary Time while tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist. For the readings, liturgies and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Wednesday, June 23, 1999
First Reading: Genesis 15: 1-12, 17-18
Psalms: Psalm 105: 1-4, 6-9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 7: 15-20
Thursday, June 24, 1999
First Reading: Isaiah 49: 1-6
Psalms: Psalm 139: 1-3, 13-15
Second Reading: Acts 13: 22-26
Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 57-66, 80
SOLEMNITY OF THE BIRTH OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
As the account of Luke 1: 5-80 relates, Saint John the Baptist was the son of Elizabeth and Zachariah. Elizabeth of course was the cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary who came to help her cousin while both were pregnant. John, while in Elizabeth's womb, recognized the Divinity of the child in Mary's womb as "he leapt for joy". During this time his father Zachariah had been struck dumb because he doubted while in the temple where he beheld a vision from the Archangel Gabriel foretelling of John's role as preparing the way for the Savior. Still without voice at John's birth, the relatives and highpriests were arguing among themselves as to what this child's name should be when God gave voice back to Zachariah after he had written on a tablet for all to see: "John is his name." Indeed, as we all know, John went on to be "the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord." He became known as "the Baptist" or "Baptizer" because he baptized countless people, exhorting them to do penance and to amend their ways. Just as he was the precursor to Christ, his agenda was also the precursor for the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he proclaimed when he beheld Jesus at the shore of the River Jordan, "Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1: 29) John was the bridge between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. In Sirach 48: 1-10 we see that he is the new Elijah. John was born in the summer when the days begin to get shorter while Jesus was born in the winter when the days begin to grow longer. This symbolism was pointed out by Saint Augustine in his writings. Because of his role in salvation, the beloved St. John the Baptist is given two feast days in the Liturgical Calendar - today and August 29th when his martyrdom by beheading is commemorated.
Events Today in Church History
On this date in 1526 Pope Clement VII tried to corral the stallion after it had escaped the barn and found the coyotes throughout Germany in the person of powerful princes, ready to devour him and Catholic preachers for these wolves were buying time for Martin Luther to establish the Lutheran creed. The Roman Pontiff sent on of his top nuncios Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio to back the Edict of Worms which was anti-Luther, but it was the inefficiencies of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V that helped greatly to the strength of Germany and the adownfall of other cultures before it. 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 June 23:
Death of Saint Alban, first martyr of Britain who was beheaded for hiding a priest during the persecution of Diocletian. After being converted by the priest he exchanged identities with the priest so that the priest could go free.
On the same day as St. Alban, Saint Febronia, a nun who refused to take a pagan husband, was killed in Nisbis, Mesopotamia. Just before her death she was quoted as saying to her persecuting judge, "I have a marriage chamber in Heaven, not made with hands, and a wedding feast that will never come to an end has been prepared for me. I have as my dowry the entire kingdom of Heaven, and my Bridegroom is immortal, incorruptible, and unchangeable."
Death of Saint Audrey, also known as Etheldreda, daughter of the King of the East Anglo Saxons, who, after being forced to marry a young boy for political reasons, was submitted to humiliation and gave her life to God, refusing to consummate the marriage once the young boy came of age twelve years later. She fled and eventually became an abbess of a convent where she died on this day.
Pope Clement VII sends one of his top men Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio to the diet of Nuremberg to reassure the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of his backing for the edict of Worms which outlawed the teachings of Martin Luther. However, the powerful princes of Germany had stolen Luther away in hiding, allowing the former monk to formulate the Lutheran creed. It would come down to Charles' inability to control the protestant princes that would allow the Diet of Augsburg and force the emperor and the Catholic League into a bitter war with the Protestant forces for many years.
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June 23, 1999 volume 10, no. 121 DAILY CATHOLIC