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MONDAY             August 3, 1998             SECTION ONE              vol 9, no. 150

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Every era of history has always and will always be sustained by hope

     In the fifteenth installment of the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter DIES DOMINI, Pope John Paul II begins Chapter Five, illustrating that time was always destined by God. There is no time frame in God's mind as the Holy Father indicates in referencing the beginning of creation and the Crucifixion and Resurrection of His Divine Son for Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. To read the entire document, you can go to Dies Domini. For Chapter Five: DIES DIERUM Sunday: the Primordial Feast, Revealing the Meaning of Time part one, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.

Christ the Alpha and Omega of time

74. "In Christianity time has a fundamental importance. Within the dimension of time the world was created; within it the history of salvation unfolds, finding its culmination in the 'fullness of time' of the Incarnation, and its goal in the glorious return of the Son of God at the end of time. In Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, time becomes a dimension of God, who is himself eternal". (118)

In the light of the New Testament, the years of Christ's earthly life truly constitute the centre of time; this centre reaches its apex in the Resurrection. It is true that Jesus is God made man from the very moment of his conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, but only in the Resurrection is his humanity wholly transfigured and glorified, thus revealing the fullness of his divine identity and glory. In his speech in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia (cf. Acts 13:33), Paul applies the words of Psalm 2 to the Resurrection of Christ: "You are My Son, this day I have begotten you" (v. 7). It is precisely for this reason that, in celebrating the Easter Vigil, the Church acclaims the Risen Christ as "the Beginning and End, the Alpha and Omega". These are the words spoken by the celebrant as he prepares the Paschal candle, which bears the number of the current year. These words clearly attest that "Christ is the Lord of time; he is its beginning and its end; every year, every day and every moment are embraced by his Incarnation and Resurrection, and thus become part of the 'fullness of time'". (119)

75. Since Sunday is the weekly Easter, recalling and making present the day upon which Christ rose from the dead, it is also the day which reveals the meaning of time. It has nothing in common with the cosmic cycles according to which natural religion and human culture tend to impose a structure on time, succumbing perhaps to the myth of eternal return. The Christian Sunday is wholly other! Springing from the Resurrection, it cuts through human time, the months, the years, the centuries, like a directional arrow which points them towards their target: Christ's Second Coming. Sunday foreshadows the last day, the day of the Parousia, which in a way is already anticipated by Christ's glory in the event of the Resurrection.

In fact, everything that will happen until the end of the world will be no more than an extension and unfolding of what happened on the day when the battered body of the Crucified Lord was raised by the power of the Spirit and became in turn the wellspring of the Spirit for all humanity. Christians know that there is no need to wait for another time of salvation, since, however long the world may last, they are already living in the last times. Not only the Church, but the cosmos itself and history are ceaselessly ruled and governed by the glorified Christ. It is this life-force which propels creation, "groaning in birth-pangs until now" (Rom 8:22), towards the goal of its full redemption. Mankind can have only a faint intuition of this process, but Christians have the key and the certainty. Keeping Sunday holy is the important witness which they are called to bear, so that every stage of human history will be upheld by hope.

TOMORROW: Part Sixteen of Dies Domini: Chapter Five, DIES DIERUM Sunday: the Primordial Feast, Revealing the Meaning of Time part two.

Satan encourages us to speed up with the mind while God advises us to slow down with the heart

     In his third part on The subtleties of satan in his weekly column, Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. gives a practical scenario of how clever the great deceiver is and how we can be hoodwinked in the blink of an eye unless we are aware of his constant presence and devote our lives to keeping him at bay through prayer and sacrifice. Father indicates the various ploys the evil one uses to confuse us further. For Father's column, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK

The subtleties of satan part three


     Today is the Eighteenth Monday in Ordinary Time before five consecutive days of feasts beginning tomorrow with the feast of Saint John Baptist Marie Vianney, the Cure of Ars. For the readings, liturgy, and meditations, and the click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

Monday, August 3, 1998

Tuesday, August 4, 1998



     Today is the anniversary in 415 when the relics of Saint Stephen were discovered. The prayer below commemorates the relics of this first Christian martyr below:

July 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

   Dear children! Today, little children, I invite you, through prayer, to be with Jesus, so that through a personal experience of prayer you may be able to discover the beauty of God's creatures. You cannot speak or witness about prayer, if you do not pray. That is why, little children, in the silence of the heart, remain with Jesus, so that He may change and transform you with His love. This, little children, is a time of grace for you. Make good use of it for your personal conversion, because when you have God, you have everything. Thank you for having responded to my call.

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

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August 3, 1998 volume 9, no. 150   DAILY CATHOLIC