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July 27, 1998
SECTION ONE   vol 9, no. 145
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
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
The Essence of the Medjugorje Message
A Call To Peace from
the Queen of Peace
According to the testimony of the visionaries in
Medjugorje, Our Lady introduced herself: "I am the
Queen of Peace" Mary is calling all of humanity to
PEACE, PEACE, PEACE - for it is necessary to save all
humanity. We have to begin by first creating peace
within our hearts, then in our families and then in this
war-threatened world. This can be done in the following
COMMITMENT TO GOD
Turn to Him and communicate with Him. He is
our Eternal Father. Let Him rule your life. Begin
by turning away from sin.
Through our trust in the Lord and our total belief
that Mary is the Mother of all God's children on
earth. Faith is our lifeline to God. So live it.
Our Lady specifically calls for daily prayer
consisting of the Apostles' Creed, 7 Our Father's, 7
Hail Mary's, and 7 Glory Be's which incorporate the
"Peace Rosary"; then the whole Rosary and, if
possible, all 15 Decades meditating on the
Mysteries; daily reading of the Word of God in
Sacred Scripture; and personal communication
with God throughout our active daily duties and
during quiet time with your own special prayers
between you and God.
Mary asks us to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays
and, if possible, on only bread and water. If this is
unfeasible, then restraining from various activities
is encouraged so that we may begin to abandon
our worthless worldly values, denying the flesh,
the world, and the devil. These sacrifices will help
assure eternal bliss for ourselves and others.
Our Blessed Mother asks us to receive the Holy
Sacraments as often as possible. She requests
monthly Confession or even more frequently for the
Sacrament of Reconciliation and asks that we
worthily and reverently receive her Divine Son in
the Holy Eucharist as often as possible at the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass.
The many faces of the Sunday Liturgy
In the tenth installment of the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter DIES DOMINI, Pope John Paul II lists the various areas of the Liturgy - from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to the music liturgy, from Vespers to the Radio and Television medium of Mass. To read the entire document, you can go to Dies Domini. For Chapter Three: DIES ECCLESIAE The Eucharistic Assembly: Heart of Sunday part five, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.
A joyful celebration in song
50. Given the nature of Sunday Mass and its importance in the lives of the faithful, it must be prepared with
special care. In ways dictated by pastoral experience and local custom in keeping with liturgical norms, efforts
must be made to ensure that the celebration has the festive character appropriate to the day commemorating
the Lord's Resurrection. To this end, it is important to devote attention to the songs used by the assembly, since
singing is a particularly apt way to express a joyful heart, accentuating the solemnity of the celebration and
fostering the sense of a common faith and a shared love. Care must be taken to ensure the quality, both of the
texts and of the melodies, so that what is proposed today as new and creative will conform to liturgical
requirements and be worthy of the Church's tradition which, in the field of sacred music, boasts a priceless
A celebration involving all
51. There is a need too to ensure that all those present, children and adults, take an active interest, by
encouraging their involvement at those points where the liturgy suggests and recommends it.(90) Of course, it
falls only to those who exercise the priestly ministry to effect the Eucharistic Sacrifice and to offer it to God in the
name of the whole people.(91) This is the basis of the distinction, which is much more than a matter of
discipline, between the task proper to the celebrant and that which belongs to deacons and the non-ordained
faithful.(92) Yet the faithful must realize that, because of the common priesthood received in Baptism, "they
participate in the offering of the Eucharist".(93) Although there is a distinction of roles, they still "offer to God the
divine victim and themselves with him. Offering the sacrifice and receiving holy communion, they take part
actively in the liturgy",(94) finding in it light and strength to live their baptismal priesthood and the witness of a
Other moments of the Christian Sunday
52. Sharing in the Eucharist is the heart of Sunday, but the duty to keep Sunday holy cannot be reduced to this.
In fact, the Lord's Day is lived well if it is marked from beginning to end by grateful and active remembrance of
God's saving work. This commits each of Christ's disciples to shape the other moments of the day - those
outside the liturgical context: family life, social relationships, moments of relaxation - in such a way that the
peace and joy of the Risen Lord will emerge in the ordinary events of life. For example, the relaxed gathering of
parents and children can be an opportunity not only to listen to one another but also to share a few formative
and more reflective moments. Even in lay life, when possible, why not make provision for special times of prayer
- especially the solemn celebration of Vespers, for example - or moments of catechesis, which on the eve of
Sunday or on Sunday afternoon might prepare for or complete the gift of the Eucharist in people's hearts?
This rather traditional way of keeping Sunday holy has perhaps become more difficult for many people; but the
Church shows her faith in the strength of the Risen Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit by making it known
that, today more than ever, she is unwilling to settle for minimalism and mediocrity at the level of faith. She
wants to help Christians to do what is most correct and pleasing to the Lord. And despite the difficulties, there
are positive and encouraging signs. In many parts of the Church, a new need for prayer in its many forms is
being felt; and this is a gift of the Holy Spirit. There is also a rediscovery of ancient religious practices, such as
pilgrimages; and often the faithful take advantage of Sunday rest to visit a Shrine where, with the whole family
perhaps, they can spend time in a more intense experience of faith. These are moments of grace which must
be fostered through evangelization and guided by genuine pastoral wisdom.
Sunday assemblies without a priest
53. There remains the problem of parishes which do not have the ministry of a priest for the celebration of the
Sunday Eucharist. This is often the case in young Churches, where one priest has pastoral responsibility for
faithful scattered over a vast area. However, emergency situations can also arise in countries of long-standing
Christian tradition, where diminishing numbers of clergy make it impossible to guarantee the presence of a
priest in every parish community. In situations where the Eucharist cannot be celebrated, the Church
recommends that the Sunday assembly come together even without a priest,(95) in keeping with the indications
and directives of the Holy See which have been entrusted to the Episcopal Conferences for implementation.(96)
Yet the objective must always remain the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass, the one way in which the
Passover of the Lord becomes truly present, the only full realization of the Eucharistic assembly over which the
priest presides in persona Christi, breaking the bread of the word and the Eucharist. At the pastoral level,
therefore, everything has to be done to ensure that the Sacrifice of the Mass is made available as often as
possible to the faithful who are regularly deprived of it, either by arranging the presence of a priest from time to
time, or by taking every opportunity to organize a gathering in a central location accessible to scattered groups.
Radio and television
54. Finally, the faithful who, because of sickness, disability or some other serious cause, are prevented from
taking part, should as best they can unite themselves with the celebration of Sunday Mass from afar, preferably
by means of the readings and prayers for that day from the Missal, as well as through their desire for the
Eucharist.(97) In many countries, radio and television make it possible to join in the Eucharistic celebration
broadcast from some sacred place.(98) Clearly, this kind of broadcast does not in itself fulfil the Sunday
obligation, which requires participation in the fraternal assembly gathered in one place, where Eucharistic
communion can be received. But for those who cannot take part in the Eucharist and who are therefore excused
from the obligation, radio and television are a precious help, especially if accompanied by the generous service
of extraordinary ministers who bring the Eucharist to the sick, also bringing them the greeting and solidarity of
the whole community. Sunday Mass thus produces rich fruits for these Christians too, and they are truly enabled
to experience Sunday as "the Lord's Day" and "the Church's day".
TOMORROW: Part Eleven of Dies Domini: Chapter Four, DIES HOMINIS Sunday: Day of Joy, Rest and Solidarity part one.
- (90) Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14;
26; John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Vicesimus Quintus Annus (4 December 1988), 4; 6; 12: AAS 81 (1989),
900-901; 902; 909-910.
- (91) Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 10.
- (92) Cf. Interdicasterial Instruction on Certain Questions concerning the Collaboration of Lay Faithful in the
Ministry of Priests Ecclesiae de Mysterio (15 August 1997), 6; 8: AAS 89 (1997), 869; 870-872.
- (93) Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 10: "in
oblationem Eucharistiae concurrunt".
- (94) Ibid., 11.
- (95) Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 1248, 2.
- (96) Cf. Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest
Christi Ecclesia (2 June 1988): Enchiridion Vaticanum 11, 442-468; Interdicasterial Instruction on Certain
Questions concerning the Collaboration of Lay Faithful in the Ministry of Priests Ecclesiae de Mysterio (15
August 1997): AAS 89 (1997), 852-877.
- (97) Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 1248, 2; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Sacerdotium
Ministeriale (6 August 1983), III: AAS 75 (1983), 1007.
- (98) Cf. Pontifical Commission for Social Communications, Instruction Communio et Progressio (23 May 1971),
150-152; 157: AAS 63 (1971), 645-646; 647.
As a fallen angel, satan can be more powerful than mankind gives him credit
In his second 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. For Father's column, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK
The subtleties of satan part two
With all of this said, let us now turn attentively to the means that satan
uses to bring about the damnation of every human being. Let us remember
that satan still has his angelic nature - not that he is angelic. In
addition, we are told that he held a very high position in the court of
heaven. His intellective qualities were of the highest calibre; the power
coming forth from his angelic will was exceedingly great. He is assuredly
well equipped to carry out his heinous objective of bringing every human
being to an eternal ruin. He is no match for any mere human being. In
fact, putting to use the perfection's given to him in his creation, he can
readily outsmart and cunningly overpower all human beings put together with
the exception of her, who is the Immaculate one. He can neither outsmart
her nor has the slightest power over her.
As the great deceiver, satan is very clever. He can run circles around
anyone of us. He can influence our thinking without our knowing it. He is
able to manipulate our minds in such a way that we are led to behave in
opposition to the Will of God. He can so jam the network of our intellect
that the very notion of God can be blotted out. He can - and does - keep
our minds so stimulated with new incoming thoughts that there can be not
even one thought left of God and goodness in them. As the prince of this
world, and, with the angelic powers which are his, satan has easily led
mankind to a culture which wholly centers around intellection, to the
degree that there is no room for the activities of the will. Not only can
he do this, as has been said, but also he has already done it.
Satan cannot tamper with our wills. This is off limits to him by God's
command. God has made the will to act freely and only He can work with it,
move it, and yet, it remains free to act. Satan can get to the will,
though. H can do it indirectly. How? He can and does enter into the
mind. Through the mind he gets into the emotions and through the emotions,
when we act emotionally, he enters into our behavior. His power is great
over the person who lives by his/her feelings. Satan knows that emotions,
by and large, can control our everyday behavior especially in those
individuals who are ignorant of the gift of the will and act only by how
they feel. One FEELS like or does not FEEL like doing something. When one
allows himself/herself to be governed by feelings, it is not the same as
positing behavior with a clarity of mind and a freedom of the will. Satan
has so worked things in today's lifestyle of people that he pretty well
dominates what is done in our present day world.
NEXT WEEK: Part Three of the sublteties of satan
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today and tomorrow are weekdays in Ordinary Time before four consecutive days of saints beginning Wednesday. For the readings, liturgy, and meditations, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, July 27, 1998
First Reading: Jeremiah 13: 1-11
Psalms: Deuteronomy 32: 18-21
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 31-35
Tuesday, July 28, 1998
First Reading: Jeremiah 14: 17-22
Psalms: Psalm 79: 8,9,11,13
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 36-43
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
MONTH OF THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD
July is the month of the PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS and it is the last week of July so therefore, we bring you the prayer of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, below:
Almighty, everlasting God, Who didst appoint Thine only-begotten Son Redeemer of the world, and didst deign to be appeased by the shedding of His Blood; grant, we beseech Thee, that by our solemn service we may so honor what He paid as the price our Redemption, and by Its virtue be so defended here on earth from the evils of this present life, that we may forevermore enjoy Its fruit in Heaven. Throught the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.
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July 27, 1998 volume 9, no. 145 DAILY CATHOLIC