DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY    February 25, 1999   vol. 10, no. 44


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 ninety-eigth installment of this on-going feature series, we complete our series on the meaning of sacrifice. We are now in the season of Lent, a time for sacrifice which we exhibit through penance, fasting and surrendering our wills for the sake of the Divine Will. It is not easy, but the Church, in her wisdom, provides the perfect platform for us to be "practicing penitents." Unfortunately, too many have become spoiled by the good life and don't want to let go, don't want to sacrifice things and ways that make them comfortable. We must remember the addage, if we are standing still, we're going backwards and the only way to make progress in God's court is to embrace Lent in the true spirit of sacrifice as we focus on today. As always this column is meant 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-eight

The Forty-Third Clarion:

SACRIFICE part three

"And all things, whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive"

Matthew 21: 22

          Sacrifice is a living act of the soul that does not begin and then cease in a few days. True sacrifice is a desire to continually grow in the spiritual life, no matter the cost. It is to amend one's life, to change course if necessary, so that the straight and narrow path is made possible by the Cross of Christ. Therefore, before we make those Lenten resolutions to sacrifice, it would be wise to seek a full conversion of heart that places God as the very center and all of our lives. We need to cling to Him at all times, and be conscious of His Presence with us as we go through our daily tasks. We need to make each task a total prayer just as Jesus, His Blessed Mother, and the Saints have done.

          If we're not sure what God wants of us, all we need to do is ask - "And all things, whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive" (Matthew 21:22). The best place to "ask in prayer" is where we are closest to Jesus and He is closest to our hearts - in the Blessed Sacrament residing in the Tabernacle, or if some of us are fortunate to have Adoration in our parishes - in the Monstrance. Go before Him and listen. He will answer. Maybe not immediately because we need first to be able to hear Him and we can't if we have too much worldly "noise" blocking the ears of our hearts and souls. That is why He asks us for prayer, penance, and sacrifice - to condition us to hear and respond.

          When we practice this, we can understand better that sacrifice is not merely giving something up that we like; it goes far beyond that. It's seeking to live in the Will of God at all times, in all ways. For all of us, one of the greatest sacrifices we could give to God is to speak less, so as to grow in interior silence so we might hear Him speak to us…not just in the Blessed Sacrament, but wherever we are and whatever we are doing. If giving up something is going to help us grow in virtue, then pray, and seek that virtue. Again we need to examine our conscience and discover what our vices are, our temptations, our trials, our persecutions and then with the Holy Spirit discern which virtue is the opposite of these and pray for that virtue to blossom in our soul. That dying to self is the one true mark of total sacrifice that Jesus asks of everyone. How we go about it and to what measure is the measure Jesus asks of each person individually. The way to discern this is to converse openly with Him, imitate Our Lord in everything we undertake, and invite Him to participate in all that we do, every second of the day.

          It can't hurt to invite our guardian angels to pray with us and for us in order to keep us constantly focused on our heavenly goal. Above all we must have trust in God and seek to live the Theological Virtues. Faith lifts us up that we, in our finite minds, can believe. Hope (trust) anchors that faith in the Cross of Jesus Christ and seeks for us to annihilate self, so that we are transformed into the likeness of Our Lord and Savior by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Love (charity) enables us, no matter the trials, temptations and persecutions, to remain crucified with Him who was crucified so as to redeem us through His Most Precious Blood.

          Let us all hope and pray that this season of Lent be for each one of us a total commitment to God, to the Dogmas, Doctrines and Traditions of Holy Mother Chute, to the Magisterium of the Chute, keeping us humble, obedient, little children tucked in the Father's sleeve and willingly nailed to the Cross of Christ. Only then will we accelerate the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart, which will usher in the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, our one, and only safe, secure Refuge!

          Let us therefore do as He asks, and pray, pray, pray for through our prayer we will learn the true meaning of sacrifice, seek every opportunity to make sacrifice, and will dismiss as nothing the cost of the sacrifice, for our eyes, our heart and soul will be on Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, Who is the Perfect Sacrifice and He has left us the Perfect Sacrifice: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

March 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 44


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