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March 23, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 57
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
SIMPLY SHEEN: The joy of discovering joy
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".
"It is one thing to discover one's nothingness, and to rest there - that is sadness. It is quite another thing to discover that one is nothing, and from there to make use of the Divine Energies - that is joy."
Events Today in Church History
On this date in 1555 Pope Julius III died. This 221st successor of Peter reopened the Council of Trent in his attempt to foster the counter-reformation and to reestablish the Catholic Faith in England. For other pertinent events that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for March 23:
Pope John XXII excommunicates the Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV for conspiracy.
Pope Clement VII upholds the marriage of Catherine of Aragon to England's King Henry VIII, further infuriating the British monarch.
Henry VIII confiscates the last remaining Roman Catholic monastery in England - Waltham Abbey.
Death of Pope Julius III, 221st successor of Peter. Born in Rome, he was elected on February 8, 1550. During his five year pontificate he reopened the Council of Trent and continued to oppose the Lutheran doctrine. When Mary Tudor ascended the throne of England, he sent a legate to reestablish the Catholic Faith there. He also celebrated the Tenth Jubilee in the year he was elected.
Death of Saint Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo on his way back to Lima, Peru after a mission in a Peruvian Indian village. For more see DAILY LITURGY.
One who misjudged what greatness truly is
In the first part of Lesson 9, THE ISCARIOT IN THE AFTERMATH OF BETRAYAL we see despair eat away at Judas Iscariot who misunderstood what Jesus truly taught and allowed the serpent to slither into his psyche and turn him against his own Master - indelibly writing forever the term "Judas" for anyone who was a betrayer. We see first hand his regret, but he is too proud, too far gone, to ask forgiveness. It is a lesson that no matter what we may do, God will always forgive if we but ask Him. These meditative lessons, imparted by Our Lady to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart during Lent of 1993, 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. By reading these meditative lessons, it is hoped we can be properly prepared and not be tempted to turn our backs on Jesus, or worse, betray Him and ourselves. For part one of Lesson 9, click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"
Meditative Lesson 9:
THE ISCARIOT IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE BETRAYAL
Dear Father, it is Sunday morning and eagerly do I prepare for the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass. Our Blessed Mother says that when we go to Mass
well-disposed and well-prepared we are truly present on Calvary with her,
St. John and the Holy Women. We are there to comfort, thank and adore
Jesus Our Savior and that by our reverent reception of Him in the Blessed
Sacrament, we truly enter His Sacred Heart. We must seek and want this
unity; we must ask for It, for it is a gift from God.
"And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple he departed and went
and hanged himself with a halter." Matthew 27: 5
I am no longer in the Court of Caiphas. I am in Jerusalem, upon a street,
but there is nothing which helps me to know the exact location. It is
still dark. But I hear movement, sporadic steps that run, stop, run and
I am seized with terror and I don’t understand why. It paralyses me and
though I want to run, I find I am rooted to this spot where two small
alley-like streets join. Far in the distance there can be heard a rumble.
It grows. I turn in that direction and realize it is the ever-growing
crowd near the Temple area which has heard of Jesus’ arrest. There is even
a faint reddish glow visible - the bonfires and torches.
But here, this lower street, is one of poverty and the residents are not
about. Yet one must be because I hear the running steps, the pause, the
footsteps along the rough street.
And from around the corner comes a figure, mantle flying out behind him;
he runs haphazardly, constantly looking over his shoulder, trying to keep
moving but hesitation as if he can hear his pursuers.
As he comes into the street where I stand pressed against a wall of thick
stone, he pauses with his back to me. He pants. His hair is damp with
perspiration, his clothing muddied and ripped where he has apparently
fallen during his flight. He cocks his head. What is it he hears? The
rumble of the distant crows? Does he know of Jesus’ arrest?
He turns and now I see his face. The face of the betrayer - Judas Iscariot.
I want to melt into the wall, so wild does he look. His eyes roll.
Saliva drips from his mouth like a mad, rabid dog. He presses his hands,
which are dirty, scraped and bleeding in places and, shaking his head back
and forth, moans in a hoarse, beastly cry: "No! Stop. The words burn me."
And then I am able to hear what he is hearing. Not from anyone standing
beside him, but the very last vestiges of conscience and soul in their
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two of Lesson 9: THE ISCARIOT IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE BETRAYAL
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
All systems go for Pope's pilgrimage to Holy Land in March of 1999
The Vatican announced this past weekend that the Holy Father has received a formal invitation from the Israeli government Tourism Department extending an invitation for the Pope to walk in the footsteps of Jesus next March during the Jubilee year. Negotiations are on-going in working out particulars and clearance from Palestinian authorities. For more, click on paving the way
POPE TO VISIT HOLY LAND IN 2000
JERUSALEM (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II will visit the
Holy Land in a historic trip next March, the Israeli
Tourism Ministry announced on Monday.
A ministry spokesman said the Holy Father will visit Israel
and areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority
under agreements reached by Tourism Minister Moshe Katzav
and Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. The Pontiff has repeatedly
expressed a desire to visit the Holy Land to open the third
Christian millennium by visiting the sites of Christ's
birth, life, death, and resurrection.
"The Great Jubilee of the year 2000 is the celebration of
the birth of Christ and of his life here in this land. It
is more than normal that the Pope come here," Cardinal
Etchegaray told reporters after meeting Katzav. Israeli
media said the Holy Father would visit Jerusalem, Nazareth,
and Bethlehem. The cardinal is scheduled to hold talks with
Palestinian leaders on Tuesday to finalize plans to visit
areas under their control.
A papal visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas have
faced political obstacles until now, including the ongoing
Middle East peace process and questions on the status of
Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as
Peace must be the only priority Pope pleads after Sunday Angelus
With the situation in Kosovo looking dimmer and grimmer, his Holiness Pope John Paul II used the occasion of his Sunday Angeles to make an impassioned plea for peace in this Yugoslav region where ethnic killing has reached massive proportions by the Serbs. The Kosovo religious leaders who met in Vienna last week are in agreement with the Pope that peace is the only priority, but the Serbs continued resistance to any kind of peaceful talks makes reconciliation and a lasting peace pact a longshot. For more, click on Kosovo crisis .
NEW PAPAL CALL FOR PEACEFUL KOSOVO SOLUTION
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II has issued an urgent new
appeal for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Kosovo.
Speaking from the balcony of the papal apartments on Sunday, March 21,
after he had led the faithful in St. Peter's Square in reciting the Angelus, the
Pope ask for special prayers that leaders in the region "will have the courage
to make initiatives inspired by the true common good."
The Holy Father added that the people of the Kosovo region have already
traveled "down a long 'way of the cross,' and they are waiting for solutions
respectful of history and of what is right."
March is the month of Saint Joseph - a father figure to emulate in this year dedicated to God the Father
Also at his Angeles prayers Sunday the Holy Father equated the importance of this final year before the Jubilee dedicated to God the Father in conjunction with the Feast of Saint Joseph who is the Patron Saint of the Universal Church and a true father-figure role model for all in his integral role of redemption. The Pope also reminded all that Palm Sunday will be the occasion for celebrating World Youth Day globally. For more, click on St. Joseph.
POPE HIGHLIGHTS ST. JOSEPH IN YEAR DEDICATED TO GOD THE FATHER
VATICAN CITY, 22 (NE) Upon commencing his address before the
Angelus Sunday prayer, Pope John Paul talked Sunday about
Saint Joseph, to whom Christian popular tradition dedicates the
month of March. The Holy Father underlined the special
veneration that the People of God have toward the Patron Saint
of the Universal Church.
"Toward his figure and his mission as the Guardian of the
Redeemer," he affirmed, "I have dedicated, 10 years ago, an
Apostolic Exhortation, that I wish to put under everyone's
attention in the context of this last year of preparation for
the Great Jubilee, dedicated to God the Father." The Pope also
manifested that "by means of the exercise of his paternity,
Joseph cooperates, in the completion of times, with the great
mystery of redemption."
On the other hand, the Pope remembered the celebration of the
World Youth Day, which this year will be carried out in each
diocese on the 28th of March. The Holy Father invited all the
youth of Rome to an encounter "of celebration and prayer" that
will take place this Thursday in preparation for the World Youth
Death to the death penalty is crusade of Massachusetts bishops headed by Cardinal Bernard Law
In a show of solidarity the Massachusetts bishops, headed by Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law are standing united behind the Holy Father in passing a resolution and are urging their flocks to unite behind the effort to uphold the culture of life and stop pending legislation that would legalize the death penalty in New England's most populous state and become the 38th state to accept capital punishment. For more, click on Death Penalty.
BISHOPS OF MASSACHUSETTS ISSUE STATEMENT AGAINST DEATH PENALTY
DENVER, 22 (NE) A bill filed to institute capital punishment has
originated a strong movement of opposition in Massachusetts. If
it were approved, Massachusetts would become the 38th State to
employ death penalty since it was recognized as constitutional
The Bishops of Massachusetts, Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop
of Boston, among them, have issued a statement affirming that
"death penalty is simply wrong… It solves no problem. We live
in a violent culture…. To counter this violence, all of us and
especially our political leaders, should be concerned with
fostering and strengthening the support of human life. This
extends to every aspect of our civil life, even to the just
punishment of serious criminals."
Recalling the message of life given by Pope John Paul II in
Saint Louis, the bishops qualified death penalty as "cruel and
unnecessary," for "the dignity of human life must never be taken
away. Modern society has the means of protecting itself,
without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform."
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.
CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church
In today's editorial we mention the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Why are they called "evangelical?" First of all, the title means they are contained in the Gospels as the counsels of perfection clearly set forth in Sacred Scripture. They are termed "counsels" because they are an invitation and not a command; all are invited, but no one is forced. They are totally voluntary. Good works are mild remedies for the evil tendencies of the seven deadly sins. Prayer can cure pride; fasting can cure sensuality and lust; almsgiving and tithing cures greed and avarice. But the evangelical counsels are a radical remedy for obedience subdues pride; chastity destroys sensuality and lust; and poverty blots out greed and avarice. However these three evangelical counsels are not in themselves perfection, only the best means for attaining perfection. Therefore, voluntary poverty is the renunciation of all earthly possessions for the love of God. Perpetual chastity consists in abstaining from marriage and all unclean desire. Perfect obedience is the complete subjection of one's will to that of a superior. Believe it or not, the most difficult of the evangelical counsels to follow is the latter: obedience. By truly vowing to uphold the evangelical counsels one gives up the pleasures of the world in order to serve and love God more fully. Those consecrated ones put into practice Christ's words in "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?". For more, we suggest you check out Evangelical Counsels at New Advent Catholic Supersite. (sources: The Glories and Triumphs of the Catholic Church, Benziger Brothers; My Catholic Faith, Mission House).
SITE OF THE DAY
Today we present the ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON website which details the statement made by the combined bishops of Massachusetts, spearheaded by Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston. Also at this site is the on-line edition of The Pilot, the oldest Catholic newspaper in the nation.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
March 23, 1999 volume 10, no. 57 DAILY CATHOLIC