But so many of us are weak and fail to persevere because the road ahead is too tough. We make up every excuse in the book and procrastinate in really putting our nose to the grindstone in getting out of those ruts. After awhile we become so embedded in the ruts that we give up. Why push on through the thorns toward Heaven's path when the road to Hell is paved with the roses of good intention? Only prayer and faith will pull us through that "dark night of the soul" and bring us into the Light of Jesus' Graces through the Sacraments. If we don't do it now, it will become that much more difficult as time winds down. The motor is running, but the fuel will last only so long and then sputter and conk out. The soul works the same way.
Grace is the substance that fuels the soul. When we are fully refueled, we can race with anybody. Call it a "spiritual drag race" if you will but we can be assured of one thing. There's fierce competition out there for souls. On one side is Jesus and His Blessed Mother Mary backed by the Heavenly Choir of Angels and all the Saints; on the other is lucifer, satan, beelzebub, whatever you want to call the devil - and all the other fallen angels composing the legion of horrific evil. The battle lines are drawn. There's no common ground. There's no compromise. It's a fight to the finish. Fortunately we know the ending, we've read the book...the Bible.
Though we can take comfort in knowing in the end Our Lady will crush the evil one's head with her heel and the Reign of the Sacred Heart will be upon us in a glorious new era, before this happens satan will launch one final all-out assault. Are we ready?
Yes, we're serious because the millennium is going to see an armageddon of sorts, whether it be the Apocalyptic Armageddon God alone knows. But for all of us, the time is now to gather about ourselves every grace and blessing of Almighty God and to thwart satan's hold upon Holy Mother Church, so that for ourselves and our families, and the generations to come, the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, confected at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass might remain intact Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
We have to buckle down and get back to the basics of prayer, fasting, sacrifice, penance, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and frequent reception of Confession and the Holy Eucharist. Without these essentials to the spiritual life, we might as well concede to those who would swiftly deal the Church a death blow, and hide this death blow under the guise of "socially" acceptable religious pablum, while annihilating the life of grace in our souls as we become pawns of satan.
If you've been away from the Church for a while, or lax in your duties as a Catholic, or picking and choosing what you think is okay despite what the Church and the Holy Father say, then you need to realize these pages are for you so that you'll once again regain trust in a wondrous and treasured faith that has been handed directly down by Jesus Christ Himself nearly 2000 years ago. The Church has not changed, only our perception that it has. We've changed...all of us; some for the better, others for the worst. But there is hope for all God's children and, as the loving Good Shepherd He is, He's calling all His sheep to follow Him.
As His humble servants and instruments, we at the DAILY CATHOLIC are here to help guide any of His lost sheep back into the true fold so that they will achieve true happiness and be with God forever in Heaven. Okay, it's not an easy journey. Nobody said it would be. But if we can be your guide in helping you out of those ruts and patiently help you step by step to see the True Light, then we shout a hearty "Deo Gratias" and "Te Deum" in thanksgiving for "one who was lost is now found" (Luke 15:24).
We stand on the edge of a new era in the Church, an era the Blessed Mother has spoken about for many years now all over the world. This new era can be, as God Wills it to be, the Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. It can be a time of spiritual unity as foretold in the Scriptures, where there is but one flock and One Shepherd. It can be a time of spiritual unity with the Most Holy Trinity, the Garden of Eden, Heaven on Earth.
Or it can turn into the most hideous disaster since the Death of Our Lord on the Cross at the hands of dissidents. If we are not attuned to our faith, and we do not seek to have a lively faith, then the millennium could well hold out for us the instruments of our own demise as Catholics.
Those who seek to destroy Catholicism are only too eager to hand us whatever it will take to destroy the life of Grace in our souls, to darken our minds and our consciences into accepting whatever we're told because it "fits into the societal plans" of the day. We can be lax, or we can be "soldiers of Christ." The choice is ours, and the teachings of the Church, examples and advice of the saints, and the messages of the Mother of God would have us stand firm in our faith, grow daily in this faith, and learn above all to Love as her Divine Son loves us, and to have such absolute Trust in Him, that, as He taught Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska in "Divine Mercy in my Soul", we might say daily,"My Jesus, I trust in You!"
In the fifth installment we will discuss in more detail the various threats that have already entered into the sanctuary of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as discussing where these "threats" might easily lead to Catholic "spiritual-suicide" in the next millennium if we are not prayerfully prepared and heed God's watchful warnings for all His sheep.
It would therefore be wrong to see in this legislation of the rhythm of the week a mere historical circumstance with no special significance for the Church and which she could simply set aside. Even after the fall of the Empire, the Councils did not cease to insist upon the arrangements regarding Sunday rest. In countries where Christians are in the minority and where the festive days of the calendar do not coincide with Sunday, it is still Sunday which remains the Lord's Day, the day on which the faithful come together for the Eucharistic assembly. But this involves real sacrifices. For Christians it is not normal that Sunday, the day of joyful celebration, should not also be a day of rest, and it is difficult for them to keep Sunday holy if they do not have enough free time.
65. By contrast, the link between the Lord's Day and the day of rest in civil society has a meaning and importance which go beyond the distinctly Christian point of view. The alternation between work and rest, built into human nature, is willed by God himself, as appears in the creation story in the Book of Genesis (cf. 2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11): rest is something "sacred", because it is man's way of withdrawing from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew his awareness that everything is the work of God. There is a risk that the prodigious power over creation which God gives to man can lead him to forget that God is the Creator upon whom everything depends. It is all the more urgent to recognize this dependence in our own time, when science and technology have so incredibly increased the power which man exercises through his work.
66. Finally, it should not be forgotten that even in our own day work is very oppressive for many people, either because of miserable working conditions and long hours - especially in the poorer regions of the world - or because of the persistence in economically more developed societies of too many cases of injustice and exploitation of man by man. When, through the centuries, she has made laws concerning Sunday rest, (109) the Church has had in mind above all the work of servants and workers, certainly not because this work was any less worthy when compared to the spiritual requirements of Sunday observance, but rather because it needed greater regulation to lighten its burden and thus enable everyone to keep the Lord's Day holy. In this matter, my predecessor Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical Rerum Novarum spoke of Sunday rest as a worker's right which the State must guarantee. (110)
In our own historical context there remains the obligation to ensure that everyone can enjoy the freedom, rest and relaxation which human dignity requires, together with the associated religious, family, cultural and interpersonal needs which are difficult to meet if there is no guarantee of at least one day of the week on which people can both rest and celebrate. Naturally, this right of workers to rest presupposes their right to work and, as we reflect on the question of the Christian understanding of Sunday, we cannot but recall with a deep sense of solidarity the hardship of countless men and women who, because of the lack of jobs, are forced to remain inactive on workdays as well.
67. Through Sunday rest, daily concerns and tasks can find their proper perspective: the material things about which we worry give way to spiritual values; in a moment of encounter and less pressured exchange, we see the true face of the people with whom we live. Even the beauties of nature - too often marred by the desire to exploit, which turns against man himself - can be rediscovered and enjoyed to the full. As the day on which man is at peace with God, with himself and with others, Sunday becomes a moment when people can look anew upon the wonders of nature, allowing themselves to be caught up in that marvellous and mysterious harmony which, in the words of Saint Ambrose, weds the many elements of the cosmos in a "bond of communion and peace" by "an inviolable law of concord and love". (111) Men and women then come to a deeper sense, as the Apostle says, that "everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim 4:4-5). If after six days of work - reduced in fact to five for many people - people look for time to relax and to pay more attention to other aspects of their lives, this corresponds to an authentic need which is in full harmony with the vision of the Gospel message. Believers are therefore called to satisfy this need in a way consistent with the manifestation of their personal and community faith, as expressed in the celebration and sanctification of the Lord's Day.
Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy. In any case, they are obliged in conscience to arrange their Sunday rest in a way which allows them to take part in the Eucharist, refraining from work and activities which are incompatible with the sanctification of the Lord's Day, with its characteristic joy and necessary rest for spirit and body. (112)
68. In order that rest may not degenerate into emptiness or boredom, it must offer spiritual enrichment, greater freedom, opportunities for contemplation and fraternal communion. Therefore, among the forms of culture and entertainment which society offers, the faithful should choose those which are most in keeping with a life lived in obedience to the precepts of the Gospel. Sunday rest then becomes "prophetic", affirming not only the absolute primacy of God, but also the primacy and dignity of the person with respect to the demands of social and economic life, and anticipating in a certain sense the "new Heavens" and the "new earth", in which liberation from slavery to needs will be final and complete. In short, the Lord's Day thus becomes in the truest sense the day of man as well.
TOMORROW: Part Fourteen of Dies Domini: Chapter Four, DIES HOMINIS Sunday: Day of Joy, Rest and Solidarity part five.
Now, also on this feast of joyful news I come to give words to all my children.
My precious little ones, I thank you for all your prayers and sacrifices given to my Son through my Immaculate Heart. Your faith and obedience cause all Heaven to rejoice. Little ones, your Heavenly Mother, by God's authority, knows how insidiously the evil one works and he has sown seeds of darkness, clouds of confusion upon my little children. He, the father of half-truths has seduced so many of my children and is leading you away from my Son, from the Truth, by his clever attack upon "Poem of the Man God!"
Yes, my children, to my chosen ones in my cherished Medjugorje I have confirmed the supernatural origin of this most valuable work. I have said it may be read, should be read, because my Son desired for all of His little ones to come to an intimate relationship with Him.
The many angry voices which deride any who have found spiritual nourishment in this work are being deceived, and do not see clearly the purity of this work.
I ask each of you then to pray to Almighty God that He may cause the confusion to abate. Yet I solemnly tell you there will yet be many angry words, accusations hurled against this blessed work given to the world by my Divine Son, and all who defend it shall bear their part in my Son's crucifixion for they defend the Truth.
Do not be deceived. Pray ardently to the Holy Spirit for true discernment and enlightenment. Pray that satan's cohorts will fall mute before the rushing tide of graces which this work is intended to bring to all mankind.
I warn you that satan works cleverly. He can blind many, even within my Son's Church. Dear children, you are the good fruit which this work has borne by God's loving mercy. Will you then permit the evil one to destroy what my Divine Son has given to the world for these last days?
Raise your voices and above all your hearts in prayer and be not afraid. Do not become ensnared by the evil one. Ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit. Go to St. Joseph, my beloved chaste spouse for guidance, for to him was given the holy duty of guiding the Holy Family. He shall not fail to obtain for you sufficient light upon the path to eternity.
From this work, my children, you shall then perceive the Sacred Scriptures with renewed faith and open hearts.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Little ones, do not be afraid. I, your Mother, lead all to my Son Who is the Redeemer of the World. Place your hand in mine, give me your heart. Only when it is steeped in my Son's Sacred Heart shall you be strengthened and renewed.
My dear children, Lent moves forward and you have not yet begun to prepare for the Glory beyond the crucifixion. I solemnly tell you that soon, very soon, all mankind shall witness great signs and miracles which are to be an instrument for man's conversion. Please open your hearts now that you might be prepared for God's power and victory. I call each of you by name to be part of my army of little ones. I weep because many stubbornly refuse to answer my urgent call.
Therefore, my dear children. I ask again for sacrifices given to Jesus through my Immaculate Heart that in His Mercy many shall convert and be saved.
Pray! The time of fulfillment has come. The time of darkness, the time beyond to the Triumph. Pray! Pray! Pray! You do not comprehend what is coming, yet I solemnly tell you that the time is urgent and short. Thank you for responding to my Call!