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August 27, 1998
SECTION ONE   vol 9, no. 168
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
August 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I invite you to come still closer to me through prayer. Little children, I am your mother, I love you and I desire that each of you be saved and thus be with me in Heaven. That is why, little children, pray, pray, pray until your life becomes prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on Medjugorje
"By their fruits you shall know them."
As part of our summer service to readers who may not have had the opportunity to read the earliest chapters of our on-going megaseries on the Church today, we repeat the early installments bringing you the eighth installment in which we discuss the parallels of the parable of the sower and how it applies within the Church today in many facets, delving into the new-age threats that have infiltrated the sanctuary and how Jesus will fulfill all He has spoken in Sacred Scripture including separating the wheat from the chaff. For the eighth installment entitled Sowing the fruits of our labors , click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?.
Sowing the fruits of our labors
In the last issue we touched on the conspiracy, within the Church, to forge paths that do not lead to Heaven.
What keeps nurturing this wicked weed that threatens to choke Holy Mother Church? In this installment we
delve into why this conspiratorial menace surrounds the faithful today as many go about their daily lives
oblivious of the gnawing disease that saps the bark and strong trunk of the True Tree Christ planted - His One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.
The parable of the sower is evident today within Holy Mother Church
Matthew's account in chapter 13 parallels what is happening today in the Church and what we must do. Jesus
says in Matthew 13:4, "...some seeds fell by the wayside, and the birds came and ate them up." These seeds represent those who were raised in the faith, but as time went on they succumbed to the "fly-by-night" lures of the world and were devoured. In Matthew 13:5-6, He talks about those who were shaky from the start in their faith with no true foundation and when the day of opportunity dawned that they could grow stronger in their faith, they wilted. Unable to be nourished, the heat of committing themselves totally to the Cross scorched their resolve and they melted under worldly pressures. "And other seeds fell upon rocky ground, where they had not much earth; and they sprang up at once, because they had no depth of earth; but when the sun rose they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away." In the next verse Christ tells about those seeds who "...fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked them." Here Jesus is referring to those who, though they might have been strong in their faith, succumbed to the world, the flesh and the devil - the thorns that prevent us from smelling the roses of salvation. Jesus affirms this in Matthew 13: 19-22.
All of these were given the riches of the faith, but abused their God-given graces bestowed. Jesus warned them
a few verses later, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not
given. For to him who has shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him who does not have,
even that which he has shall be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they
do not see, and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand." Jesus told us that to those who have been given much, much is expected. To those who have been given the tremendous treasure of the Catholic
faith, much more is expected than those who were not as fortunate to inherit the true faith. Therefore, those who
abuse this privilege, who discard this gift, aren't they literally slapping Christ in the face? They are telling Him
they have a better idea, that God's ideas are out-dated and out-of-touch. They're telling God they know better
than the Almighty Triune Divinity. That's how Adam and Eve got into all this trouble and that's how so many of today's Catholics are following in their path. Their hearts have become hardened as Jesus reveals in repeating the passage of Isaiah 6: 10, (Matthew 13: 15) "For the heart of this people has been hardened, and with their ears they have been hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their mind, and be converted, and I heal them."
The New Age philosophy that chokes Catholicism today stresses the unimportance of suffering, penance,
making reparation and praying. New Age gurus promote that we can have everything without really working for it,
in essence that we can have the glory of salvation without the Cross. This can never be for Jesus Himself said
in Luke 14: 27, "And he who does not carry his cross and follow Me, cannot be My disciple." This false philosophy has permeated the sanctuaries of our churches where the Crucifix has been replaced by the
"Resurrecix", thereby denying that Jesus suffered and died for our sins and set the example for all to follow - a
blueprint of God's Will. Yet New Ageism preaches the superiority of man's will over a supreme being,
supplanting the latter by creating a plethora of little gods, spewing the same heresy the evil one hissed to our
first parents that they could be "like" God. We can never be like God, but we can strive to be God-like.
That is the difference between the New Agers and true Catholics. True Catholics, those who listen (cf. Matthew
13:9) to the authority Christ established on earth - the Vicar of Christ, realize that, though we have a free will, we
can never be truly free unless we are totally dependent on God for everything. They put away the things of a
child, leaving childishness and embrace being child-like in their faith and trust in God's Providence. These are
the Catholics who Jesus refers to in Matthew 13: 8 and 23: "And the one sown upon good ground, that is he who hears the word and understands it; he bears fruit and yields in one case a hundredfold, in another
sixtyfold, and in another thirtyfold." They listen to Christ's representative Pope John Paul II and heed his counsel. They respect the Magisterium of the Church Jesus established and they adhere to the Doctrines, Dogmas and Teachings of His Church.
Separating the wheat from the chaff
The biggest problem today between loyal Catholics, albeit "conservatives" as they have been labeled, and
cafeteria Catholics, those "liberals" who seek to change what Jesus set down is the struggle for power. It is no
secret the liberals would like to wrest the papacy from the conservatives and openly tout their candidates (in
particular Cardinal Martini of Milan), promulgating stories that our present Holy Father will die soon or be forced to step down because of age, health or mental state. The secular media as well as, sadly, a good portion of the Catholic press grab these campaigns and run with them as if they are gospel. This is how the liberals were
able to infiltrate after Vatican II, imposing their agendas as if they were dictated by the Holy See, which in fact
they were not. Yet the scapegoat has always been Vatican II. "Since Vatican II, we don't do that anymore" or
"Vatican II changed that" or "Vatican II did away with that devotion or that saint,etc." The facts are that Vatican II did not alter much at all. In fact, if one would read the documents of Vatican II, one would find that mainly they
reaffirmed the Dogmas, Doctrines and Teachings of the Church and re-emphasized Our Lady's vital role as
Mother of the Church. Yet to hear the liberals speak today, Mary is passe, the saints out-moded, and
Benediction, the Rosary and Perpetual Adoration are things of the past. Wrong!!! They are just as vital today as
they were hundreds of years ago, if not more so.
On the other side, the conservative element ask why His Holiness John Paul II hasn't spoken out stronger, why
he hasn't put down these heresies and asserted his authority as the head of the Church in regard to these
radical groups of lay organizations, priests and bishops who openly defy the Pope. The answer is also found in
Matthew 13 in the parable of the weeds about the enemy planting weeds in the fields of good seed. Like
concerned conservatives today, the servants asked the owner why they couldn't just gather up the weeds and
destroy them. The owner of the field replies, "'No...'lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along
with them." Like Jesus in His wisdom and guided by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father knows the right procedure to separate the wheat from the chaff as depicted in Matthew 13: 30, "Let both grow together until the harvest; and at the harvest time I will say to the reapers: Gather up the weeds first and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
The Holy Father is biding his time, never compromising but always showing love in the vein of the Good
Shepherd (cf. John 10: 1-18 and Matthew 18: 10-14). True, many of the weeds need to be eradicated before they
choke even more of the good wheat, yet to wield the plough now would bruise the fruit and damage the good
wheat - those who are still striving to do God's will but are weak. When the fruit has fully blossomed, when the
good wheat is firmly rooted, then the Pope will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff without destroying
the good wheat for he will know, as we will know the good fruit, just as Jesus says in Matthew 8: 16-20, "By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore,
by their fruits you will know them." When this comes to fruition, the weeds will be eradicated in an
"unquenchable fire" and the wheat will be gathered together at the harvest. So many complain today about the
dwindling vocations, the lack of priests. This is the main harbinger of those liberal voices crying for married
priests or women priests. The answer is not that, but for harvesters to toil and nurture vocations so that we will
have a plethora of good priests in the days ahead. Yes, it takes work. But nothing worthwhile is attained without
the sweat of our brow. This work ethic is sorely lacking today as Christ confirms in Matthew 9: 37-38, "The
harvest is indeed great, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest."
Prayer is the primary fabric of the work ethic of the laborer for God. Without prayer, we don't stand a chance to
grow. Prayer fertilizes the fruit; prayer is the repellant that keeps the weeds at bay.
In the next installment we will see how God is calling us today, how He opens the door for all His faithful ones to
become laborers for the harvest - a harvest that is imminent as we near the millennium. Will it be an abundant
harvest in which we can rejoice in its fruits forever, or will it be but a sampling of wheat salvaged from all the
chaff? The results of this harvest lie in our hands. It's time to put our shoulder to the wheel and our hands on the
plow and start furrowing God's fertile fields. "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 20: 16). Yes, God is calling. Will we answer the call of Christ and His Blessed Mother and pass muster as one of Their chosen ones? Prayer and perseverance are the only way to sow the fruits of our labors.
The Hour of Justice is coming! Our Lady invites all to take refuge in the Font of Divine Mercy while they still can
That is the essence of the Blessed Mother Mary's words in her 179th and 180th messages to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart, which we bring you today. Our Lady urges her children to take advantage of this wonderful invitation to seek Divine Mercy and pray for others to do the same while evangelizing through spreading the truth of her Divine Son Jesus. Click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages One Hundred Seventy-Nine and Eighty
Message One Hundred Seventy-Nine, April 20, 1992
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I am here. Do you doubt. I have come with special blessing upon all of you during this week of Mercy.
Say now to all my children that this week is one when Divine Mercy is showered down abundantly upon the world. Be attentive to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Hold up all the world in humble petition and sincere belief. Be not unbelieving, but have absolute faith and trust in God.
Yes, my little ones, the world suffers greatly. Its sufferings shall only increase and the spiritual darkness of which I have warned shall cover the earth, concealing the Truth, which is God.
I desire again true conversion of heart. Be simple and humble children, eager to love God and give all to Him. Only then shall you be enlightened and strengthened. Only then will True Love become a flame in your heart.
I weep, my little ones, because so many of my children are in total darkness. How many signs of Love God gives to all the world. How few see them. How few of these believe and convert their hearts.
Soon will come the moment when, by a supernatural event, all men shall see themselves as they are before God. I want you to prepare for this moment by ardent prayer, steadfast love and total commitment to God.
Pray! Pray! Pray! For I solemnly tell you many shall see only His Justice and not His Merciful Face. Yet He shall give to the world yet another sign of His Merciful Love, and this, too, will come quickly when you least expect it. Those who remain alive to witness this event shall quickly become humble repentant sinners saved by my Divine Son, while all who have willingly chosen the beast of darkness shall have him as master.
Woe! Woe, my children, to all who do not convert now! I do not speak with anger, but with utmost anxiety for my children led astray. Oh! Children of my Immaculate Heart, please come back to your Father. God loves you. He is. He will always be. Now is the time, my children, to begin and remain steadfast in your faith.
Pray, my children! Pray, pray, pray for I, the mother of God, have come to prepare the world for the glorious return of my Son. I give you God's peace. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message One Hundred Eighty, April 25, 1992
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, say to all of my children how I love them. I speak to them and give them God's peace. I invite all into my Son's Heart, but so very few desire to come. Pray! This is what I ask but still you do not comprehend what prayer is. Oh! My children, prayer must become your life, it is the taste of pure sweetness, not dull and boring. Little children, without prayer from your heart you shall not be prepared for all that is now to unfold in your world. If you remain unprepared you are easy prey to the evil one's deceit.
Beloved children of my Immaculate Heart, please know that I am among you to prepare you for my Divine Son's return. When He comes it shall be quick and He shall come as judge in order to fulfill all scripture.
Pray, my little ones, that my Heart shall triumph soon and then you shall witness the binding of satan where he, the prince of darkness, belongs.
I am asking you to open your hearts, to believe as little, humble children and to work tirelessly to spread my messages which are the very doctrine of my Son Jesus Christ.
The hour of justice is coming. I can no longer hold back the hand of God for the evilness of mankind has progressed too far. All that is transpiring in your world is the fulfillment of the prophecies made to man by God for centuries. Yet your hearts remain closed, your eyes blind.
Beloved children, my Divine Son's Heart is grievously wounded. The blasphemy of the world reaches to His Heart as the lance which pierced it upon Calvary. Therefore, know that there is but a short time of mercy before the Great Warning and the Miracle which shall follow.
Heed your Heavenly Mother's words and do not cease to pray, for then you have nothing to fear.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today we all have the opportunity to restore reverence to the name "Monica" which has taken quite a beating lately due to rather prurient deeds by another one with that moniker who has badly demeaned the beautiful name of Monica, taken from the saint we honor today: the feast of Saint Monica, devoted and persistent mother of Saint Augustine whose feast we celebrate tomorrow in honoring one of the great Doctors of the Church. We can't help but believe that Saint Monica continues to pray for all those who have yet to find the truth, to see the Light. We, too, need to join her in this crusade of prayer for others. For the liturgy, readings and meditations and vignettes on these feasts, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Thursday, August 27, 1998
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 1-9
Psalms: Psalm 145: 1-7
Gospel Reading: Matthew 24: 42-51
Saint Monica, Mother of Saint Augustine
Born into a Christian family in the village of Tagaste, Northern Africa in 332, Saint Monica learned at an early age the virtues of patience and obedience which she exhibited throughout her lifetime. When she reached
womanhood her parents married her off to a nobleman by the name of Patricius who was a kind husband, but possessed a terrible temper and a wanderlust which Monica tolerated because of her marriage vows. She tried
to calm and win him over through her obedience and patience, always praying that he would realize the error of
his ways and come to see the only answer was God. Her prayers were answered in 371 when Patricius
received Baptism as he lay dying. This patient love and total faith in God's Providence was transfered from
Patricius to their son Augustine who was 17 when his father died, leaving Monica a widow. Though Augustine had begun studying as a catechumen his father's genes took hold and her son opted for the world, also being led down the wrong path by Manichean heresy rationalizing that he wasn't responsible for his own free will. Oh, how wrong he was and Monica knew it, but rather than alienating her son she opened her arms to him using
the psychology of catching more flies with honey than vinegar. But her loving protection backfired as Augustine
fled to Italy to do his own thing. Monica would not see her son for 15 more years when, under the influence of
Saint Ambrose, Augustine's heart and mind finally discovered the truth and invited his mother to Ostia, Italy in 387 where, on Easter Sunday at the age of 33, Augustine was finally baptized into the true faith and a mother's patient prayers were finally answered. It had been her dying wish to see him come back to the Church and shortly after she passed on to her heavenly reward in the same year. Little did Monica realize how powerful were her prayers and what a gift her son would give back to Holy Mother Church as a great Doctor who had been
tutored by another great Doctor of the Church St. Ambrose. Monica has become the role model for mothers
everywhere especially mothers who have wayward children or offspring that have fallen away. Persevering
prayer does indeed pay off, not necessarily in our timetable but in God's time. That is where patience and
obedience play such a vital role. In 1586 St. Monica was officially added to the Roman Calendar by Pope Sixtus V and her relics were moved from Ostia to the church of St. Augustine where her son's relics rested and once again mother and son were reunited on earth as they were reunited in Heaven on Augustine's death in 430 AD.
Friday, August 28, 1998
Friday August 28:
Feast of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 17-25
Psalms: Psalm 33: 1-2, 4-5, 10-11
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25: 1-13
Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
It was the combined efforts of two saints who had the greatest effects on the life of one of the great Doctors of
the Church Saint Augustine of Hippo. As we saw from the previous day, Augustine's mother Saint Monica played a major behind the scenes role in his conversion, while Saint Ambrose was on the front line with Augustine, who had become a great skeptic, teaching, influencing and converting him. Augustine was born in Tagaste in what is today Algeria on November 13, 354. By the time he was 30 he was preaching rhetoric, interspersed with Manichean heresy, at the university of Milan. It was there he met St. Ambrose and sat in on his lectures where he was enthralled with Ambrose's explanation of Sacred Scripture. In 356 Augustine heard a voice while he was embroiled in abandoned tears of helplessness searching for answers. The child-like voice chanted, "Take and read." Without thinking Augustine opened the Bible to the words of Saint Paul in Romans 13:13-14 which said, "Let us walk becomingly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in
debauchery and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and as for the
flesh, take no thought for its lusts." He was so moved that he asked Ambrose if he could be baptized and then immediately told his mother Monica that he wanted to be baptized. Both she and Ambrose were delighted
beyond belief. Monica firmly insisted that in order to be in full union with the Church he had to abandon his
Manichean beliefs and forsake living with his girl friend and their three children illegitimately conceived.
Augustine agreed, was baptized and then buried his mother the same year. Shortly after Monica's death he
returned to Africa and was ordained a priest at the age of 36. During this time he dedicated full time to righting
and writing the wrongs he had wrought to so many through his Manichean ideas. At the young age of 41
Augustine was consecrated the Bishop of Hippo where he preached and served the people for the rest of his
life, defending the Church against all types of heresies. Even though a bishop, he still lived in community with
fellow priests and wrote constantly beginning with his major works Confessions which was basically a
catechism for all catechumens along with his great work Christian Doctrine. In 410, as the Goth Alaric was laying siege to Rome Augustine wrote his most famous opus - City of God. His great words, "Too late have I loved You, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in You" show how God became the end-all and be-all in his life which ended at the age of 76 on August 28, 430 as the Vandals were storming the gates of Hippo. To preserve his body from the Vandals, the Augustinians stole him away to Sardinia where he was laid to rest, and later transferred to Pavia. Though
Augustine's works were appreciated during his lifetime, it wasn't until after his death that his words really took
root and was celebrated as a Doctor of the Church from the eighth century on, becoming official in the eleventh
century. Today St. Augustine is revered as one of the greatest and learned scholars of the Church. His
conversion proves the power of God's love and the power of the Word of God.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is the Preface for the Mass in honor of Saint Monica taken from the Augustinian Missal:
It is especially fitting for us on the feast of the saintly mother Monica to praise You for Your gifts. Reborn in Christ, she lived in such a way that her faith and her conduct were praise to Your name and she felt Your presence in her heart. She entrusted her husband to You and she nurtured her children spiritually, being in labor again as often as she saw them stray from You. And because of her daily heartfelt tears, You granted that her son Augustine should not be lost.
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August 27, 1998 volume 9, no. 168 DAILY CATHOLIC