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July 23, 1998
SECTION ONE   vol 9, no. 143
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
"Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil..."
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 third installment in which we speak of preparation in girding for battle with those forces that oppose Christ and His Holy Church. Without proper preparation through prayer and fasting, we will not be able to deflect the artillery of deceit, modern rationalization and worldly venues of the evil one. For the first installment, click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?.
The Feature Article, begun in the inaugural issue, deals with the state of the Church. In this third installment, 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 Mother Mary 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 by the faithful who will not compromise, the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward the conservative side, paralleling the same recent shift in American politics. In this third installment of this on-going feature series, we continue to explore these roots and what cannot and should not be changed within the sacred halls of her gloried traditions.
Continuing in our multi-part feature on the direction we as Catholics, as the mystical Body of Christ, are heading as the clock ticks down on the twentieth century, we will begin to delve on what avenues are available to us in our task of "road maintenance" on the way to Heaven on the greatest of all vehicles - the Roman Catholic
PREPARATION IS PARAMOUNT
The first step is to want to be holy. Achieving holiness does not come easy; one has to work at it and work hard
for the more one strives to submit their own will totally to God's Will, the more they become a prime target of
satan's wrath for their commitment to sanctity is a threat to all that the evil one is after. That is why we need to
pray. Only prayer can buffer us from the slings and arrows the demon will hurl at us. Prayer will strengthen our
resolve and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, help us gain wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is power! Not worldly power, but the power of the Word of God, which, if we truly know our faith, we will not only stay on the straight and narrow but be better able to help others through the detours and landmines of life.
Yes, we need to be prepared. We must realize that these truths of God's protection do not necessarily mean
we're not in for some serious times ahead. Au contraire, mes amis. We're in for the battle of our life and the life (souls) of others! We are coming into a time when we truly will fulfill our role in the Communion of Saints,
comprising the Church Triumphant (souls in Heaven), the Church Suffering (souls in Purgatory) [Yes, Virginia,
there is a Purgatory!] and the Church Militant.
GIRDING FOR BATTLE
In order to be worthy and useful "soldiers of Christ" we need to don our battle armor as Saint Paul said in
Ephesians 6:11-17, "Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil...
Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of justice, and having your
feet shod with the readiness of the gospel of peace, in all things taking up the shield of faith, with which you may
be able to quench all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation and the
sword of the spirit, that is, the word of God."
There it is, the spiritual fashion-plate for our battle fatigues. But before we can go into battle, we must be
molded into "lean, clean machines." This means we must shed ourselves of the excess weight of vices, and,
through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) we become "clean" and restored to Sanctifying Grace.
Then we must exercise spiritually to build our resistance to the enemy. It is also vital, during this "basic training
boot camp" to go back to the basics of our faith and, if necessary, re-learn our faith through arduous study of the
Catechism, be it the new updated Catechism of the Catholic Church, or for those who have a copy, the old
Baltimore Catechism. After all, as we mentioned prior in this article, the teachings have not changed. The old, standard and comfortable Baltimore Catechism stood the test of time and why not? It was solid and simple to understand and act upon. No wonder the allies of the wicked one targeted this gem to minimize!
Through studying and knowing Catholic Doctrine we can better persevere and preserve the Truths which have
been given to us by Christ, and through the succession of the Popes since Saint Peter.
If we do not know our faith, then it is all too easy to become a "lukewarm Catholic" who takes his/her place in the
pew on Sunday Morning, heedless of what is being said at Mass, how the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being
said, and nodding off during the homily which should be the time when we are "taught" about our faith from the
pulpit, and not a place for the celebrant or deacon to be an "entertainer" telling stories, cracking jokes, or
otherwise regale us with cute anecdotes about some funny happening in their life experience. We are there to
get dogma and doctrine and the true meaning of the Liturgy of the Word. We are there to become saints, in
union with Christ, and we can't do that if all we ever talk about is how human we all are. We need to talk about
and be talked to about higher things...spiritual thoughts that will elevate our souls and our resolve to do God's
It may seem like we're criticizing priests with these last comments. That is never the intention, rather we are
reminding them of what they were called to do in their calling as a servant of God in the sacred life of one given
Holy Orders. We will have much more on this in a future issue.
Knowing our faith feeds us in our hunger to become more holy which will enable everyone of us to be constantly
vigilant over any corrupt doctrine that might infiltrate into the Church. Impossible you say? Hardly. Heresy has
been rampant since Christ's time, and in the Jewish faith long before His birth. Today, as the Mother of God has
reported to visionaries and locutionists alike, every heresy that has ever existed abides today in the Church. It's
everywhere, and we need to look it straight in the eye, clothed with the truth of our faith and denounce it as such,
if we are to persevere, and in our persevering, help bring the Holy Roman Catholic Church gloriously into the
We need also to be aware how clever heresy is: It is one thing to espouse satanic worship, which is clearly
heresy and one so obvious that anyone who's striving to be God's child will oppose point blank. But it's quite
another to be indoctrinated ever so slowly, so gradually, with half-truths that cover up the half-lie in the "new age" "humanist" and"liberation theology" of today's growing number of "Cafeteria Catholics" who predominate the
media and make headway into the classrooms via books that become "best sellers" because they appeal to
the mass-thinking appeal of "if it feels good it must be right" churchgoers.
In the next installment, we will study how preparation through prayer and faith can help us gird for battle and
guide us along the path toward true holiness. As true members of the One, True, Holy and Apostolic Church we
need to make a decision to follow the right path. It won't be a popular one, but it will be the right one.
The altar is the table where we gather as one to be nourished by the Word and the Body of the Lord through the Ultimate Sacrifice of the Mass
We continue with our marathon of installments on the Apostolic Letter Dies Domini released two weeks ago in order to bring the readers the entire document over the next several weeks, including footnotes at the end of each installment. Today we bring you Chapter Three - DIES ECCLESIAE - "The Eucharistic Assembly: Heart of Sunday" part three For the seventh installment on keeping the Lord's day holy, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
The table of the word
39. As in every Eucharistic celebration, the Risen Lord is encountered in the Sunday assembly at the twofold
table of the word and of the Bread of Life. The table of the word offers the same understanding of the history of
salvation and especially of the Paschal Mystery which the Risen Jesus himself gave to his disciples: it is Christ
who speaks, present as he is in his word "when Sacred Scripture is read in the Church".(60) At the table of the
Bread of Life, the Risen Lord becomes really, substantially and enduringly present through the memorial of his
Passion and Resurrection, and the Bread of Life is offered as a pledge of future glory. The Second Vatican
Council recalled that "the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist are so closely joined together that
they form a single act of worship".(61) The Council also urged that "the table of the word of God be more lavishly
prepared for the faithful, opening to them more abundantly the treasures of the Bible".(62) It then decreed that, in
Masses of Sunday and holy days of obligation, the homily should not be omitted except for serious reasons.(63)
These timely decrees were faithfully embodied in the liturgical reform, about which Paul VI wrote, commenting
upon the richer offering of biblical readings on Sunday and holy days: "All this has been decreed so as to foster
more and more in the faithful 'that hunger for hearing the word of the Lord' (Am 8:11) which, under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit, spurs the People of the New Covenant on towards the perfect unity of the Church".(64)
40. In considering the Sunday Eucharist more than thirty years after the Council, we need to assess how well
the word of God is being proclaimed and how effectively the People of God have grown in knowledge and love of
Sacred Scripture.(65) There are two aspects of this — that of celebration and that of personal appropriation —
and they are very closely related. At the level of celebration, the fact that the Council made it possible to proclaim
the word of God in the language of the community taking part in the celebration must awaken a new sense of
responsibility towards the word, allowing "the distinctive character of the sacred text" to shine forth "even in the
mode of reading or singing".(66) At the level of personal appropriation, the hearing of the word of God
proclaimed must be well prepared in the souls of the faithful by an apt knowledge of Scripture and, where
pastorally possible, by special initiatives designed to deepen understanding of the biblical readings, particularly
those used on Sundays and holy days. If Christian individuals and families are not regularly drawing new life
from the reading of the sacred text in a spirit of prayer and docility to the Church's interpretation,(67) then it is
difficult for the liturgical proclamation of the word of God alone to produce the fruit we might expect. This is the
value of initiatives in parish communities which bring together during the week those who take part in the
Eucharist - priest, ministers and faithful(68) - in order to prepare the Sunday liturgy, reflecting beforehand
upon the word of God which will be proclaimed. The objective sought here is that the entire celebration —
praying, singing, listening, and not just the preaching — should express in some way the theme of the Sunday
liturgy, so that all those taking part may be penetrated more powerfully by it. Clearly, much depends on those
who exercise the ministry of the word. It is their duty to prepare the reflection on the word of the Lord by prayer
and study of the sacred text, so that they may then express its contents faithfully and apply them to people's
concerns and to their daily lives.
41. It should also be borne in mind that the liturgical proclamation of the word of God, especially in the
Eucharistic assembly, is not so much a time for meditation and catechesis as a dialogue between God and his
People, a dialogue in which the wonders of salvation are proclaimed and the demands of the Covenant are
continually restated. On their part, the People of God are drawn to respond to this dialogue of love by giving
thanks and praise, also by demonstrating their fidelity to the task of continual "conversion". The Sunday
assembly commits us therefore to an inner renewal of our baptismal promises, which are in a sense implicit in
the recitation of the Creed, and are an explicit part of the liturgy of the Easter Vigil and whenever Baptism is
celebrated during Mass. In this context, the proclamation of the word in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration takes
on the solemn tone found in the Old Testament at moments when the Covenant was renewed, when the Law
was proclaimed and the community of Israel was called - like the People in the desert at the foot of Sinai (cf.
Ex 19:7-8; 24:3,7) - to repeats its "yes", renewing its decision to be faithful to God and to obey his
commandments. In speaking his word, God awaits our response: a response which Christ has already made
for us with his "Amen" (cf. 2 Cor 1:20-22), and which echoes in us through the Holy Spirit so that what we hear
may involve us at the deepest level.(69)
The table of the Body of Christ
42. The table of the word leads naturally to the table of the Eucharistic Bread and prepares the community to live
its many aspects, which in the Sunday Eucharist assume an especially solemn character. As the whole
community gathers to celebrate "the Lord's Day", the Eucharist appears more clearly than on other days as the
great "thanksgiving" in which the Spirit-filled Church turns to the Father, becoming one with Christ and speaking
in the name of all humanity. The rhythm of the week prompts us to gather up in grateful memory the events of
the days which have just passed, to review them in the light of God and to thank him for his countless gifts,
glorifying him "through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit". The Christian community thus comes to a renewed awareness of the fact that all things were created through Christ (cf. Col 1:16; Jn 1:3), and that in Christ, who came in the form of a slave to take on and redeem our human condition, all things have been restored (cf. Eph 1:10), in order to be handed over to God the Father, from whom all things come to be and draw their life. Then, giving assent to the Eucharistic doxology with their "Amen", the People of God look in faith and hope towards the eschatological end, when Christ "will deliver the kingdom to God the Father ... so that God may be everything to everyone" (1 Cor 15:24, 28).
43. This "ascending" movement is inherent in every Eucharistic celebration and makes it a joyous event,
overflowing with gratitude and hope. But it emerges particularly at Sunday Mass because of its special link with
the commemoration of the Resurrection. By contrast, this "Eucharistic" rejoicing which "lifts up our hearts" is the
fruit of God's "descending" movement towards us, which remains for ever etched in the essential sacrificial
element of the Eucharist, the supreme expression and celebration of the mystery of the kenosis, the descent by
which Christ "humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross" (Phil 2:8).
The Mass in fact truly makes present the sacrifice of the Cross. Under the species of bread and wine, upon
which has been invoked the outpouring of the Spirit who works with absolutely unique power in the words of
consecration, Christ offers himself to the Father in the same act of sacrifice by which he offered himself on the
Cross. "In this divine sacrifice which is accomplished in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once
and for all in a bloody manner on the altar of the Cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner".(70)
To his sacrifice Christ unites the sacrifice of the Church: "In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also
the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer and work, are
united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value".(71) The truth that the whole
community shares in Christ's sacrifice is especially evident in the Sunday gathering, which makes it possible to
bring to the altar the week that has passed, with all its human burdens.
TOMORROW: Part Nine of Dies Domini: Chapter Three, DIES ECCLESIAE The Eucharistic Assembly: Heart of Sunday part four.
- (60) Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7; cf. 33.
- (61) Ibid., 56; cf. Ordo Lectionum Missae, Praenotanda, No. 10.
- (62) Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, 51.
- (63) Cf. ibid., 52; Code of Canon Law, Canon 767, 2; Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Canon 614.
- (64) Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum (3 April 1969): AAS 61 (1969), 220.
- (65) The Council's Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium speaks of "suavis et vivus Sacrae Scripturae affectus" (No. 24).
- (66) John Paul II, Letter Dominicae Cenae (24 February 1980), 10: AAS 72 (1980), 135.
- (67) Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 25.
- (68) Cf. Ordo Lectionum Missae, Praenotanda, Chap. III.
- (69) Cf. Ordo Lectionum Missae, Praenotanda, Chap. I, No. 6.
- (70) Ecumenical Council of Trent, Session XXII, Doctrine and Canons on the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, II: DS 1743; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1366.
- (71) Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1368.
Become flames of living prayer to illuminate the way for the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart
That is the essence of the Blessed Mother Mary's words in her 169th and 170th messages to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart, which we bring you today. Our Lady urges her children to use the tools we have been given to "Pray! Pray! Pray!" Only by praying and uniting as one can we work together against the wiles of the evil one and help expedite the glorious Triumph. Click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages One Hundred Sixty-Nine and Seventy
Message One Hundred Sixty-Nine, March 22, 1992
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I am with you. I, your Heavenly Mother shall intercede for you and guide you. Say now to all my children. The words I speak are meant for the whole world. They do not come to only a few, nor do I give words for only a small area of your world.
I, the Mother of God, have come to prepare all the world, for I announce the coming of my Divine Son. I love you beyond measure. I desire each one of you to give glory to God for all eternity. I intercede for each of you before the Trinity. Please thank and praise the Most Blessed Trinity for sending me to you.
But still I am sorrowful. I see my Divine Son's passion, endured so that all men might live, suffered in my children and borne in my Son's Sacred Heart. You cannot fathom the perilous dangers of your world. There shall be no refuge for you anywhere if you do not renounce the world and be united to my Son.
Dear children of the world, now you walk the Way of the Cross. The crucifixion is before you and your hearts grow faint. No, do not weep! Do not despair. God shall assist those who love Him. I shall intercede and obtain even more strength for you. For I solemnly tell you that the moment of the Glorious Resurrection has come.
Pray for the Triumph of my Heart. Be reconciled! Be loving, obedient servants and you shall be saved for all eternity. The moment is at hand for a great battle, yet you do not understand my words.
Therefore, Pray! Pray from the heart that you might understand, for your minds are clouded, even weak.
Pray, my little ones, as never before. Unite all you do to my Son and become a flame of living prayer. Pray and read Sacred Scripture. Receive the Sacraments and treasure them as gifts from Almighty God. Pray and watch, wait and listen. The signs shall be in the heavens. All the earth shall know the reign of the Antichrist. But my Heart shall triumph and God's victory shall bring forth a chorus of unending praise.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message One Hundred Seventy, March 23, 1992
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I send you and my dear earthly archangel Michael forth. You must say to those of great faith that I ask now their help for you to fulfill all that I have required of you. Ask them to be your eyes, your ears, the labor of heart to maintain MIR-A-CALL while you go forth under Heavenly direction. Tell them I promise my help in all things to those who can give of their time to assist me, their Heavenly Mother. There is much that you must accomplish for me, and I have heard your Yes from your heart. I love you, I bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today is the feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden, Married Woman, Religious, and Mystic, while tomorrow is the Sixteenth Friday in Ordinary Time. For the liturgy, readings and meditations and vignette on St. Bridget, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
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.
Friday, July 24, 1998
First Reading: Jeremiah 3: 14-17
Psalms: Jeremiah 31: 10-13
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 18-23
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer of the Mass honoring Saint Bridget of Sweden:
Lord, our God, You revealed the secrets of Heaven to Saint Bridget as she meditated on the suffering and death of Your Son. May Your people rejoice in the revelation of Your glory.
June 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I desire to thank you for living my messages. I bless you all with my motherly blessing and I bring you all before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
July 23, 1998 volume 9, no. 143 DAILY CATHOLIC