Milestones are much better than millstones!
Midweek, Millstones, Milestones and Millions! That could be the title of today's editorial as we firmly entrench the midweek editorial on Wednesdays from now on. Speaking of entrenched we are grateful to the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary - Queen of Heaven - Queen of Peace, and our loyal readers for on this past Saturday, the feast of the Queenship of Mary, we officially surpassed the million mark for the year in hits. It is quite a milestone for this ministry which was founded in August 1990 on the Solemnity of the Assumption and drafted its first charter on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, and had its by-laws approved on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It took over seven years to reach that "million copies" milestone in printing one million issues of our regular publication A Call To Peace and mucho beaucoup dollars, whereas it took only seven months and twenty-two days to reach the same milestone on a "shoe-string budget" with our on-line publication of the DAILY CATHOLIC. Are people still wondering why we phased out the printing side of our apostolate in favor of venturing into cyberspace?
Back to midweek, millions and millstones: Like entrenched. We're talking war, folks. No, not necessarily in Africa and Afghanistan...yet, but right here in our offices in Southern California. My bride has always claimed San Diego is built on a giant anthill and if the ants ever separated, the county would slip into the Pacific! Well, it might not be that bad, but El Nino sure hasn't helped. With all the moisture and then the humid conditions which are normally foreign to our region here, the ants are surfacing in what could represent a sequel to that 50's psy-fi "Them". They may not be as big as those giant bugs that ravaged Los Angeles in that Black and White classic, but they're doing about as much damage! We've entreated good Saint Francis to call off the troops, to bid them to retreat back to the good earth where they are welcome to populate and feast on termites underground but they refuse to cooperate - even with the mercy offered them.. They have no fear, they continue coming right at you whether in the shower, at the dinner table, the dishwasher, the cupboards or even roaming unabashedly over the keyboard. So, after much deliberation and consultation with our war counsel exterminators it is time to retaliate. Yes it's time for justice! We've always considered ourselves as the type who wouldn't hurt a flea or an ant, but afraid after this week that our reputation will be sullied. This first began showing cracks when our pet Shi-Tsu Sir Smidgeons underwent the flea dip. Now the mass invasion of ants has proven too much. We even contemplated trading in Sir Smidge for a seasoned anteater, but thought better of such a dastardly swap. Afterall anteaters make terrible watch dogs. Yet this calls for desperate measures for it is truly a massive investation of the six-legged Hymenoptera, and, in the words of the late Peter Finch, who portrayed a frustrated anchorman in the movie "Network", "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!" Thus, this afternoon those pesky miscreants will meet their Waterloo as the exterminators man the front lines. We won't play taps, just be able to run the tap without those crawly little things scurring around the faucets. We've cajoled, compromised and catered to those little formidable Formidicae to vacate the premises before we resort to these drastic tactics, but they have rejected every overture of peace. So be it! Let the dirge begin. We can take solace that in a few days it will be "All Quiet on the Western Front" and the consolation that those little pests are harmless compared with the fireants we encountered in our front yard for two years in Dallas or the roaches that invaded uninvited several years ago when we were staying in Florida. While we don't advocate killing anything, it is a matter of survival of the fit - if we don't get rid of them we'll have a fit!
Finally, speaking of "fit" the only way to stay fit spiritually is by heeding all our Dear Lord has instructed us through Sacred Scripture, His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and His Blessed Mother's messages from Rue de Bac onward. We are less than a week from that pivotal month of September 1998, the time when the ten year period of Grace will expire according to Our Lady's messages to that respected messenger Father Don Stefano Gobbi. Just a few months ago people might have dissed this as all "superstition" since the economy was "so good," America had put ol' Saddam in his place and Bill Clinton, you know that cat with nine lives, looked like he had pulled the wool over a gullible nation. Fast-forward to today when support for the latter is fast slipping as America reawakens to the concept of decency, the economy is showing signs of cracking with tremendous slides in the Orient which will create the anticipated domino effect in the West, and the Iraqi despot has been replaced by a greater threat who goes by the name of Osama bin Laden. Could he be the next antichrist threat? That's doubtful since he doesn't masquerade as a "good guy." Nevertheless, we should be on the watch and on our knees. The modernists in America are also digging in for a last stand against the conservative trend the Holy Father has established in the United States with the appointment of bishops. But the Vatican can't do it all. As much as the Holy See pleads for evangelization, it's difficult when some of his bishops fight him at every front. We're speaking of Milwaukee's Archbishop Rembert Weakland, poster boy for the liberals, who railed that Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., founder of Ignatius Press and the biggest promoter of the new nation-wide Catholic Radio network, dared to establish a station within his diocese. Not in his territory, he'd see to that, exposing his prejudice by rebuking Fr. Fessio chiefly because of his association with another thorn in his modernistic side - Mother Angelica of EWTN. With enemies like that, he definitely needs friends! But friends within the radical left are proving fair weather ones as the Vatican begins to crack down and parishioners wake up. Case in point the removal of the Rochester, New York priest because of his liberal policies and actions in a very liberal diocese with an equally modernist bishop - Matthew Clark. Does that tell you the Pope is set on separating the wheat from the chaff? Especially with the harvest so close at hand as we near the millennium and the much-anticipated Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart promised at Fatima. There are other dioceses who could have complied, could have followed the will of God but opted to remain rutted in their own agenda. But that's another entire editorial. Suffice it to say there are enough problems in the world and in many dioceses to warrant an intensive crusade of prayers through the rest of this year and beyond. But there's hope for them all because, even though we may all look like tiny ants from God's viewpoint above, we are human beings created in the image and likeness of Him. That alone should prompt us to pray the harder. Afterall, tomorrow and Friday we celebrate the feasts of two saints who exemplify that miracles can happen: Saint Monica and her son Saint Augustine. The former never gave up her prayerful hope that her wayward son would see the Light, and the latter did not disappoint. It took some time, but the fruits of her devotion and faith paid off handsomely for her son and Holy Mother Church. So, too with all of us late in 1998; we must persevere and pray for these liberal prelates, clerics and cafeteria "Catholics" who have yet to truly understand God's role for them in the overall scope of His creation. But we need to expedite our prayer life for them now, or they could face the Great Exterminator that would rub them out for all eternity. God's Mercy is wonderful and we can assist this through our prayers, but if they don't respond, then His Justice must be the alternative. Like the ants, they have their chance to cooperate. If not, it's curtains. Unlike the ants, we would love to be a part of the encore that calls for a curtain call for all God's wayward ones in Heaven. The choice is theirs, but through our prayers we can help tilt the scales toward Eternity rather than Extermination. It would be a celestial milestone worth millions in graces for millenniums to come and, after all, milestones are much better than millstones!