Monday thru Friday on the
CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK at
See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"
July 22, 1998
SECTION TWO   vol 9, no. 142
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
The prayer of faith is a prayer of intelligent commitment to God.
That is what Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. emphasizes today as he begins the section on "Intelligent Commitment" part one" in which he stresses in which he riddles us with a paradox of faith that makes perfect sense if we are intelligent enough to accept. For Father's forty-ninth installment of "Faith: Key to the Heart of God," click on KEYS TO LIVING GOD'S WILL
Forty-Ninth Installment: Intelligent Commitment part one
Faith is not a prerequisite to fellowship with God, it is a byproduct of
fellowship with God. The more you are united with the Lord, the greater
your faith, just as the more you are in love with your spouse, the greater
your trust in your spouse. So, in the prayer of faith, we trust in the
Person, not the prayer. I told a woman who had cancer that she did not
have to believe God would heal her, only that He loved her and would be
with her and do what is best for her under all circumstances. She needed
to believe in His love as a healing love.
She felt relief. "You mean it isn't necessary for me to believe that He
will heal me?"
"No," I answered, "just leave that with Him. But believe His healing love
is saturating you, and then trust Him."
The woman, with just weeks to live by all medical predictions, lived five
more pain-free years. She eventually died of cancer but enjoyed quite an
extension of her life beyond all human expectations.
The prayer of faith is a prayer of intelligent commitment to God. It's a
prayer that shares our heart's desires with God in perfect confidence.
This means that if there is actually that confidence and trust, then there
is no anxiety. Paul's advice from Philippians 4:7 is too often ignored.
"Don't' worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God
your needs and don't' forget to thank him for his answers. Present your
needs to the Lord."
The consequent peace that passes all understanding is not peace of mind;
it's peace of soul and heart (John 14:27) and 16:33). "My peace I give you
not as the world gives you..." It is the peace that operates without anxiety
and is far more effective. It is an outcropping of a faith-filled trust
referred to in Proverbs 3:6: "Trust the Lord completely. Don't ever trust
yourself. In everything you do, put God first and he will direct you and
crown your efforts with success."
Faith is dead, it's dumb, it's blind and it's ignorant. It is dead to
doubts, dumb to discouragement, blind to impossibilities and is ignorant of
everything but success. Yes, it's replete with paradoxes. But its
optimism is irrepressible. Faith lifts up its hands through the
threatening clouds and lays hold of the generous heart of Him who has all
power in Heaven and on earth (Acts 14:16). Faith makes the uplook good,
the outlook favorable, and the future glorious.
In the next installment, part two of "Intelligent Commitment."
Events Today in Church History
For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on TIME CAPSULES: ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME
Historical Events in Church Annals for July 22:
This is the approximate year historians believe Mary Magdalene, Disciple of the Lord,
died at Ephesus. Many accounts place her there, having traveled the first time to Ephesus with John the Evangelist and staying on after John left for Rome. For more, see TODAY'S LITURGY.
Pope Saint Denis becomes the 25th successor of Peter. Also called Dionysius, he reorganized the parishes of Rome and obtained liberty for the Christians from Gallienus.
Birth of Saint Philip Neri in Florence, Italy. He would go on to become a Dominican and go on to found the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity - a lay organization dedicated to ministering to needy pilgrims - and eventually he founded the Oratorians and is affectionately known in Italy as the "Apostle of Rome."
Birth of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in Burgundy, France. It would be to this French Visitation nun to whom Jesus would reveal Devotion to the Sacred Heart and First Fridays, which would lead to the establishment of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Death of Pope Clement X, 239th successor of Peter. It was Clement who intervened in the election of the King of Poland and obtained the nomination of John Sobiesky, beloved for his profound Christian convictions and because he had defeated the Turks at the battle of Chaezim. He celebrated the 15th Jubilee in 1675.
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Pope leaves refuge of Dolomites for one-day stop at Vatican before moving on to summer residence
After a much-deserved ten day vacation in the solitude of the Dolomite Mountains in the far northern regions of Italy, the Holy Father returned to Rome to conduct his regular Wednesday public audience at Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. We had thought he might stick around for the release tomorrow of the decree regulating Bishops' Conferences, but he is leaving that to Cardinal Josef Ratzinger as he escapes the heat of Rome to conduct business from his summer headquarters in the cooler regions of Castel Gondolfo. For more, click on Pope's summer residence
PAPAL VACATION ENDING
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II will end his two-week
vacation at a mountain chalet in Lorenzago di Cadore this afternoon.
Tomorrow, the Holy Father will have his usual Wednesday public audience at
the Vatican. After that audience, he will go to his summer residence in Castel
Gandalfo, south of Rome.
Catholic lay workers put Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to the test in ravaged Papua New Guinea
In the aftermath of the horrifying Tsunami caused by an earthquake in the Oceania island of Papua New Guinea a few days ago, Catholic lay workers in Australia, New Zealand and Europe are working furiously to help those who are still alive while helping give a proper burial to the thousands who have died from the devastation. No one knows how many have been lost, prompting some to speculate the only way is by counting survivors on this highly Catholic populated south sea island northeast of Australia. For more, click on Papua New Guinea
CATHOLICS OFFER AID TO TIDAL WAVE VICTIMS
AIPATE, Papua New Guinea (CWNews.com) - As the death toll
from a devastating series of tidal waves rises to near
3,000, Pacific-area Catholics extended their assistance
this week to help survivors and bury the dead.
The tidal waves, up to 30 feet high, hit the northern coast
of Papua New Guinea last Friday after an offshore
earthquake, erasing whole villages in this mainly Catholic
area which had a population between 8,000 and 10,000 before
the disaster. With so many dead and the tropical heat
accelerating decomposition, workers are burying the bodies
where they lay, contrary to the cultural norms of the
people. "It will be hard for them to come to terms with the
fact they cannot bury the dead," said Father Jim Croucher.
"Culturally they need to spend time with the bodies,
telling stories, weeping and crying over the bodies. I
don't know how they will cope."
Murray Greene, a native New Zealander working as diocesan
manager for the Diocese of Aitape, praised a concerted
effort of Catholic lay volunteers from Australia, New
Zealand, America, Germany, and England working with rescue
agencies. "People are in shock and hiding in the mangroves
and mountains," he told the New Zealand Catholic newspaper.
Greene added that the town of Aitape and the local church
were protected by a peninsula. "But in villages to the west
there is total devastation. Yesterday we buried 722 people,
out of a population of 6000." He said the mission hospital
in Aitape was full to overflowing with injured, mainly
fractures from falling and broken houses. "Bodies are
decomposing and it is a gruesome task. Identifying them is
becoming difficult and we are concerned about infection,"
said Greene. "We are short of food, water, and tools." Some
people were burying relatives themselves, and others were
lost at sea, so counting the survivors might be the only
means of knowing the total death toll, he said.
Tension intensifies with the shooting of another cleric in Guatamala
At a time when tensions are high in the aftermath of the subsequent investigation over Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi's murder nearly three months ago, another cleric - a 60-year old Italian parish priest who was also serving as an army chaplain - was shot Monday fueling speculation that the military might be responsible for the Auxiliary bishop's death as well as Father Sebastiano Crestan. For more, click on Guatamala tension.
ITALIAN PRIEST SHOT, WOUNDED IN GUATEMALA
GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - An Italian-born priest
serving a Guatemala church and as an army chaplain was shot
and wounded on Monday by unidentified gunmen in his church.
"The army was profoundly concerned to receive the news of
an attack on [Father] Sebastiano Crestani today at 1:40
[1940 GMT] inside San Juan de Borromeo Church," said a
faxed statement from the Guatemalan army's information
office. Media reports said the 60-year-old priest had been
shot five times.
The attack comes as officials continue to investigate the
murder of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi on April 26,
just two days after releasing a report on human rights
abuses during the country's 36-year-long civil war.
Mexican Cardinal lashes out at abortion while north of the border a Phoenix Abortionist is suspended
The struggle between the culture of death and those advocating life took on stronger measures this week when the head of the Mexico City Archdiocese Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera spoke out more forcefully than ever before in a political statement against abortion. Meanwhile in Arizona, an abortionist has had his licence suspended while an investigation is underway for the butchering he performed on a pregnant woman that left her dead and the baby mangled, but still alive - proving to all abortionists that a fetus is a human being. For more, click on attrocities of abortion.
CARDINAL SLAMS EFFORTS TO LEGALIZE ABORTION IN MEXICO
WHILE IN ARIZONA ABORTIONIST IS SUSPENDED DURING INVESTIGATION
MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) - Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera
of Mexico City on Monday strongly rejected government
efforts to legalize abortion and said "killing babies does
not solve economic and social problems."
In an interview in the newspaper "El Universal," Cardinal
Rivera criticized the statements of Health Secretary Juan
Ramon de la Fuente, who supported the legalization of
abortion. The archbishop said, "Mexicans should be ashamed
of having a government official that promotes baby-killing
without ever investing a penny in the promotion of natural
"The decision of some government officials to support the
legalization of abortion shows their inability to give
people what they need, because they think that by killing
innocent babies they will solve our social problems," said
De la Fuente said the legalization of abortion is needed to
reduce the number of women dying from illegal abortions. The
cardinal responded, "If the government really wants to
reduce female mortality, it should focus not in bogus
figures, but on facts: the need to support women during
their pregnancy and help them to avoid decisions that do
not solve their problems."
"I think that public health in Mexico has to be improved.
There are many basic needs that authorities do not address,
but they now try to cover with laws such as the one the
Church now and always opposes," he said. Cardinal Rivera
added that any effort to legalize abortion will meet with
"the strong, openly pro-life position of the Church." He
also said, "If the right to life is not respected, what
other right will survive?"
"We are ready to talk with political leaders and parties at
any time but we will always reject abortion and stand on the
side of life," he concluded.
In Phoenix, the Cardinal's point was brought home only too
clearly when an Arizona abortionist had his
medical license suspended on Monday while officials
investigate a botched abortion in June and the bleeding
death of a woman who had just undergone an abortion in
The Arizona Board of Medical Examiners voted unanimously to
suspend the license of Dr. John I. Biskind of Scottsdale. In
the April case, Louann Herron, 32, died from a ruptured
uterus caused by a medical instrument, which board members
said need not have been fatal if proper care had been
administered. A criminal investigation into the matter is
In June, Biskind tried to perform an abortion on a
17-year-old girl who he believed was 23 weeks pregnant. In
fact, the girl was 37 weeks pregnant and the baby survived
the abortion with a fractured skull and lacerations. "Dr.
Biskind is incompetent to tell a woman in the middle of her
pregnancy from a woman in the end of her pregnancy," Dr.
Edward Sattenspiel, a board member, said. "Anybody that
does this should not have the right to practice medicine."
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today is the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, devoted Disciple of the Lord, while tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden. For the readings, liturgy and meditations of both days, click on LITURGY
Wednesday, July 22, 1998
First Reading: Jeremiah 1: 1, 4-10
Psalms: Psalm 71: 1-6, 15, 17
Gospel Reading: John 20: 1-2, 11-18
FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, DISCIPLE OF THE LORD
One of the greatest examples of Jesus' claim that He came for sinners was hid dear, loyal disciple Saint Mary Magdalene from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. This beautiful Jewish woman was caught up in the world, the flesh and the devil until she met Jesus. He saw right into her soul and she knew instantly in her heart she needed to totally repent of her life of sin as a prostitute by following Our Lord into the house of a rich man, and, oblivious to the taunts and jeers from others, knelt at His feet and washed His precious feet with her tears and expensive ointment. Jesus was moved at her repentance and cast out seven devils (cf Mark 16: 9, Luke 8: 2) from her body. From that time on The Magdalen was one of the most loyal followers of Jesus. Aside from His Own Blessed Mother, no one stuck by Our Lord through thick and thin more than Mary Magdalene throughout His ministry and at the foot of the Cross. Christ Himself rewarded her for her devotion and persistence by being the first one He appeared to after His Resurrection (cf. John 20: 1-18). After the Ascension, there are some reports that Mary Magdalene retreated to the desert to live out her life in prayer and penance, while Eastern tradition claims Mary Magdalene accompanied the Blessed Mother and Saint John to Ephesus after Pentecost where The Magdalen died peacefully and was buried there. The latter bears believability since her relics were found in Ephesus, transfered to the Monastery of St. Lazarus in Constantinople in 899. Her feast was first celebrated in the 10th Century and spread to the entire Church in the 11th Century.
Thursday, July 23, 1998
Thursday July 23:
Sixteenth Thursday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden, Wife, Mother, Mystic and Religious
Green or White vestments
First Reading: Jeremiah 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Psalms: Psalm 36: 6-11
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 10-17
FEAST OF SAINT BRIDGET OF SWEDEN, WIFE, MOTHER, MYSTIC AND RELIGIOUS
Born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1303, Saint Bridget was married by her parents at the early age of 14 to 18 year-old Prince Ulf Gudmarsson in 1317. The couple had eight children, one of whom being Saint Karen, a Scandinavian derivation of Catherine. God blessed the family with great faith and wisdom and their reputation reached the court of King Magnus II, the young ruler of Sweden who summoned Bridget in 1335 to serve as the lady-in-waiting for Magnus' wife, Blanche of Namur the young queen of Sweden. However, Bridget was greatly distressed by the royals' extravagance and sought unsuccessfully to curb their excesses, but to no avail. It was during this time that she began receiving messages from God. Shortly after the death of Gudmar her youngest son, she and Ulf made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain where the relics of Saint James can be found. It so moved them that they decided to live the rest of their lives in monasteries and live the life of celibacy. Ulf died in a Cistercian monastery in 1344 at the age of 45. This prompted Bridget to put on the penitent garb and live an ascetic lifestyle, but the private revelations grew so intense that Bridget first feared she was being deceived by the evil one. However through prayer and the assurance of a learned Cistercian monk, she realized they were indeed from Heaven. Still befriended by Magnus, he offered financial assistance for her to begin two monasteries and found the Order of the Most Holy Savior which is almost non-existent today except for the Bridgettines. In the Holy Year of 1350 Bridget went to Rome where she remained until her death in 1373. She endeavored tirelessly to bring the Holy Father back to Rome from exile in Avignon and held nothing back in denouncing the wickedness of the nobility in Naples and Cyrus. It was in Rome where Bridget received the "Revelations of St. Bridget" which included the 15 Promises and Secrets and meditations on Christ's Passion, printed in the "Pieta" small booklet distributed everywhere. With one of her sons and her daughter Karen (Catherine) by her side, Bridget died peacefully at the age of 70. With great pomp and circumstance her body was transported back to Sweden and laid to rest at the monastery in Vadstena.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
Below is the Preface for today's Mass honoring Saint Mary Magdalene:
You enkindled in her heart the fire of an ardent love for Christ that endowed her with freedom of spirit, and you infused in her the courage to follow Christ faithfully, even to Calvary. After His death on the cross, she sought her Master so zealously that she merited to meet the risen Lord and to be the first to announce the Easter joy to the apostles.
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"The way of the sluggard is hemmed in as with thorns, but the path of the diligent is a highway."
Proverbs 15: 19
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
July 22, 1998 volume 9, no. 142 DAILY CATHOLIC