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March 10, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 48
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The Cup of Suffering is offered for all in the Garden of Gethsemane
In Meditative Lesson 6 today, we begin the First Sorrowful Mystery - the Agony in the Garden as we see Jesus enter, knowing full well that His mission is almost complete. Though Divine in nature, He is also human in nature and the fears, pain and sorrow of so many souls turning from His Father pains Him deeply. It is a study in fortitude. These lessons are meant to inspire and prompt a greater understanding of the season of Lent in helping us all prepare for His Passion and Death, and ultimately the glorious Resurrection. For part one of Lesson 6, click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"
Meditative Lesson 6:
IN THE GARDEN AT GETHSEMANE
Dear Father, Our Blessed Mother is so sad because so few of her children honor Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She says we must return to reverence for Jesus Truly Present in the Eucharist, for it alone shall be our True
Refuge in the days of chastisement, at the moment of Godís Justice. I feel
I have so inadequately described the Last Supper, the sublime mystery and
miracle of Jesusí Everlasting Presence for us. But my own human
wretchedness cannot find words, yet, peace comes and I again am urged to
write, knowing that with each stroke of the pen by Godís Will my own
earthly crucifixion takes place.
"Watch ye and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh weak."
Matthew 20: 41
I find myself in a very quiet spot and I feel that I am totally alone. There is only darkness for me, and an overwhelming sense of abandonment.
O! It is truly dreadful, for there is no sound, neither of nature nor of
human beings. I try to pray, begging for understanding but it is as if I
have been plunged into a deep abyss where I am concealed even from God. It
is desolation beyond words. Tears flow and I cannot stop them.
It is then that our Heavenly Mother speaks. Her voice so soft and gentle.
She tells me I am in the Garden of Gethsemane, and that I have felt a
minute amount of the dreadful torture of Jesus as He prayed and prayed
before going to meet his enemies - His betrayer.
I understand much more why Jesus asked Peter, James and John to pray and
keep watch with Him. As his hour drew nigh His Father, exacting His
infinite justice, withdrew His presence from His Only Begotten Son,
allowing in His Divine Will that all of mankindís evils, weaknesses, and
frailties should gather as one and belong to Jesus, the Man, who felt in
His humanity the full burden of every soul that has been, is now and will
be until the end of time. In our finite minds we cannot grasp this, yet we
must believe it, for each of us has caused Jesus to sweat bloodósacred
blood. Each of us is a drop of that sacred blood, the flail of the
scourge, the terrible penetrating pain of the thorns, the humiliation of
our Dear Lord, each of us is part of the weight of the Cross, the spittle
and beating, each one of us is a pounding of the nail, the terrible
dropping of the cross into place, and the slow agonizing death.
Now I see my Jesus as He kneels in prayer, His head resting upon a rock
over which an olive tree bends low its branches, as if it wished to give
comfort to the Divine Lamb of God, but in obedience remains mute,
motionless. And I find that I move forward, closer, until, if I dared to
reach out, I could touch my Savior.
But I dare not and I fall to my knees. I pray. Not with words for there
are none, but with all my heart, calling upon my Father to have mercy, to
forgive me, and, yes, to thank Him for all He has done. Even in this place
of dreadful anguish and sorrow, I, the sinner, recognize Godís mercy, and
my soul shouts for joy for salvation is close at hand.
Jesus raises His head and now that there has risen the moon and is sheds
light into this spot, I see clearly that every pore upon His most sacred
body oozes blood. His tunic, so Immaculate at the Last Supper, is damp,
stained by His blood. His hair is damp, as is His face, and His eyes have,
for the moment, become dulled by the agony of sweating blood.
"Father," Jesus implores, His voice audible to me but reaching no further.
"If it be possible, allow this chalice to pass from Me. But, Father, not
My will, but Yours be done."
And He remains as a statue, so wrapped is He in prayer, and I see Him
shudder as if feverish. But then I am directed to look where Jesus is
looking and I behold a nightmare beyond words. Jesus sees the sins of the
world. Every soul, in infinite detail which by the free will of man,
rejects the Divine Will. From the slightest offense to the most atrocious
sins, all parade before Jesus and with each one satan howls in triumph and
sneers at Jesus in His Sacred Agony. Then, by Godís Will alone, does satan
have the power to show to Jesus, Godís own Son, every soul from all time
who will disown Him and freely choose by his own free will to spend
eternity in Hell! Jesus must watch as these souls, which I see as dying
embers, pass before Him and are lost in a dark abyss. And each soul, which
has chosen this path, shouts such blasphemy at our Lord that I, too,
shudder and wish the dreadful vision to end. And I understand that for
each one of these soulsóthese dying embers falling into Hell, Jesus sweats
yet more blood and prays for them with a love we cannot fathom, but which
is always there for us.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two of Lesson 6: IN THE GARDEN AT GETHSEMANE
Today is the Third Wednesday of Lent while tomorrow we commemorate the Third Thursday of Lent. For the readings, liturgies and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Wednesday, March 10, 1999
Purple or violet vestments
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4: 1, 5-9
Psalms: Psalm 147: 12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 17-19
Thursday, March 11, 1999
Purple or violet vestments
First Reading: Jeremiah 7: 23-28
Psalms: Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9
Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 14-23
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Below is a special prayer in increments for Fasting and Giving Alms from the USCC:
Blessed are You, Lord, God of all creation;
You make us hunger and thirst for holiness.
On the Way to Calvary
Romanian Orthodox leaders putting up roadblocks to Papal visit
Problems have surfaced that could put a serious crimp in John Paul II's possible visit to Romania in May. Romanian Orthodox leaders are placing every obstacle they can to curtail the first ever visit of a Roman Pontiff to an Orthodox country. Orthodox leaders want to restrict the papal visit to only Bucharest while Vatican authorities and the Pope want to extend it to other regions of Romania including Transylvania. For more, click on Romanian resistance.
ROMANIA CATHOLICS, ORTHODOX CLASH OVER POPE VISIT PLANS
BUCHAREST (CWNews.com) - Romania's bishops' conference said
in a statement on Monday that Orthodox leaders are trying to
restrict a proposed visit by Pope John Paul II to the former
"We ask the Orthodox church in brotherly fashion not to
limit the areas and duration of the pope's visit so that we
Catholics may enjoy his presence in Transylvania and
Moldova," the Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a
statement. The initial plans for the May visit included
trips to regions of the country where there are large
number of Catholics. But the bishops said if Orthodox
leaders were successful in limiting the Pope to Bucharest,
they ask Catholics to converge on the city for the visit.
The office of Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist had earlier
issued a statement saying the papal itinerary was set and
that the Catholic bishops were "trying to put pressure on
the Orthodox church and submit it to humiliating
criticism." The papal visit would be the first by the
Pontiff to a primarily Orthodox country. Orthodox leaders
had long opposed such a visit, especially as Catholics and
Orthodox continue to dispute the ownership of properties
taken from Catholics by the former Communist government and
given to the Orthodox in 1946.
Texas Governor George Bush declares his pro-life stance in bid for presidency in 2000
hile he has not outright declared his candidacy for president in 2000 and while he is not as conservative and staunch a pro-lifer as Alan Keyes or perennial candidate Pat Buchanan, the frontrunner for the presidential bid George W. Bush, current governor of Texas, declared he is pro-life and urged all to work on reducing abortions through legislation because it is highly unlikely the Roe vs. Wade decision will be overturned. He clarified that he is against abortion in all three trimesters and stressed that the Republican ticket must have a "pro-life tenor" regardless of the fact America's heart is not where it should be. For more, click on Pro-life Bush.
BUSH SPEAKS OUT ON PRO-LIFE STANCE
AUSTIN (CWNews.com) - Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the
leading potential Republican contender for the presidency
in 2000, on Monday said he would support a constitutional
amendment to ban abortions if more voters supported the
idea, according to The Associated Press.
In an interview with AP, Bush called himself a "pro-life
person," but added: "America is not ready to overturn Roe
v. Wade because America's hearts are not right. And so, in
the meantime, instead of arguing over Roe v. Wade, what we
ought to do is promote policies that reduce abortions." The
US Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized most
abortions on demand.
Bush announced this week the formation of an exploratory
committee for a potential run for the White House next
year. He has been criticized by some pro-life groups for
failing to take a strong stance against abortion. At a
Sunday news conference, Bush would only say there should be
a "pro-life tenor" in the Republican Party and avoided
questions on first-trimesters abortions as hypothetical.
In the AP interview on Monday, Bush clarified his position
by saying that all abortions -- except in circumstances
regarding the life of the mother, incest, or rape -- should
be banned in all three trimesters. But he added that there
is not the political will in America to accomplish that so
shorter goals must be pursued, including parental consent
laws and a ban on partial-birth abortions.
Deja vu on death row! Missouri Governor hears from Vatican again concerning another death penalty convict
Six weeks after the Holy Father and Vatican authorities made successful impassioned pleas to Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan to spare the life of a convicted killer, the Holy See has contacted the gov again over another case of a killer who still claims he is innocent. Carnahan, a moderate Democrat, has gone on record as saying he is for capital punishment but is open to listening to the Vatican's pleas and will take each case individually. For more, click on Carnahan and clemency.
VATICAN APPEALS TO MISSOURI GOVERNOR ON ANOTHER EXECUTION
ST. LOUIS (CWNews.com) - The Vatican on Monday asked
Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan to commute the death sentence of
another convicted murderer, six weeks after he commuted a
death sentence following a papal plea and then refused to
do so again.
Carnahan reduced the death sentence for Darrell Mease to
life in prison after Pope John Paul II issued a personal
plea during the papal visit to St. Louis. He later refused
to halt the execution of James Rodden. Ray Roberts, 46, is
scheduled to die just after midnight on Tuesday by lethal
injection for the 1983 murder of a prison guard during a
riot. A spokesman for the governor said he is considering
the clemency request.
Roberts has claimed that he was nowhere near guard Tom
Jackson when he was killed, and defense attorneys say there
are unanswered questions such as why initial incident
reports didn't mention Roberts and why there was no blood
on his clothes.
Carnahan was criticized by political opponents when he
acceded to papal pleas for clemency on Mease's behalf. The
governor said he remains a supporter of the death penalty,
but will consider the merits of each clemency request as he
Asia to stage first Asian Youth Day in Southeast Asia this August
Hua Hin on the Malaysian peninsula about 150 miles southwest of Bangkok, Thailand will be the site for the first Asian Youth Day event in Asia this coming August 7 through 12th the Vatican announced yesterday. The site was selected by consensus during meetings in Hong Kong that ended last Monday. Speculation has already arisen that if the Holy Father were able to visit Vietnam in August as the Vietnamese bishops are hoping, that the Pope could make a stop over at the Asian Youth Day before or after. For more, see Asian Youth Day
FIRST ASIAN YOUTH DAY TO BE HELD IN AUGUST
ROME, 9 (NE) The Church in the Asian continent is preparing the
first Asian Youth Day. The event will take place in Thailand in
August. A planning meeting recently held in Hong Kong finalized
major points of the program for this first meeting of Asian
This meeting, carried out from February 26th to the 1st of
March, was organized by the Youth Desk of the Federation of
Asian Bishops' Conferences Office of Laity. Delegates from Hong
Kong, India, Japan, and Taiwan, among others, defined the
fundamental points of the event under the theme Asian Youth
Journeying with Jesus toward the New Millennium.
The first Asian Youth Day will be carried out from the 7th to
the 12th of August in the city of Hua Hin, 150 miles southwest
of Bangkok. The event is expected to draw approximately 700
youth delegates of different Asian countries.
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the
CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
SITE OF THE DAY
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March 10, 1999 volume 10, no. 48 DAILY CATHOLIC