Monday thru Friday on the
CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK at
See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"
June 1, 1998
SECTION ONE   vol 9, no. 105
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
June, the month of the Sacred Heart, is the perfect time to say "Yes" to Jesus and the Church
We conclude the three part discourse by Pope John Paul II on "Say 'Yes' to the Church and you say 'Yes' to Jesus" today as the Holy Father syllogizes how man's own free will taints their view and opinion of the Church and ultimately they reject Christ and His teaching by doing so. Even though this was delivered in 1991, the Pope's words are just as pertinent today, if not more so in this month of the Sacred and Immaculate Heart where obedience to Christ is synonymous with obedience to His Holy Church. To read the Holy Father's words, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.
In these trying times, when Modernists claim the Pope is out of
touch with the 20th century, the Holy Father answers his critics with a
logical explanation that Christ's Church has not changed and when one
rejects His Church they are also rejecting Mary's Divine Son. For as
Christ was human and divine, so also are the dimensions of the Church.
This is the essence of a discourse His Holiness gave in Italian in Rome on
July 24, 1991 which is even more relevant today. We are grateful to
Father Ken Tietjen, O.S.C.O. of New Melleray Abbey for providing
the Pontiff's discourse in answer to the critics who, more than ever, reject his
teachings and ultimately Christ's teachings - the Word (Parola) of God.
Below is the third and final part of this discourse by Pope John Paul II:
"SAY 'YES' TO THE CHURCH, AND YOU SAY 'YES' TO JESUS".
We must be careful for appreciation of conscience also lies at the heart of the
Church, which claims to be the representative of God for man'' good, both
in the moral order as well as on the more specifically religious level, and
so she gives light, formation and service to the human conscience. Her job
is to help human minds and consciences to have access to the truth of God
which is revealed to Christ, who entrusted to His apostles and to His
Church this ministry, this diakonia of preaching the truth in love. Every
conscience, motivated by a sincere love for the truth, cannot fail to want
to know, and so, to hear - at least the latter - what the Gospels preached
by the Church says to human beings for their own good.
But frequently the problem of yes or no to the Church becomes complicated
at this point, because it is the very mediation of Christ and His Gospel
which is rejected: this means a not to Christ, more than to the Church.
This fact must be taken into serious consideration by anyone who claims and
wants to be a Christian. He cannot ignore the mystery of the Incarnation,
by which God Himself granted man the possibility of establishing contact
with Him only through Christ, the Incarnate Word, of whom St. Paul says:
"There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"
(1 Tim 2:5). Since the Church's beginning, the apostles preached that "there is
no other name (besides Christ's) under heaven given to the human race by
which we are to be saved" (Acts 4:12). Christ instituted the Church as a
community of salvation, in which His saving mediation is continued to the
end of time in virtue of the Holy Spirit Whom He sent. The Christian,
therefore, knows that according to God's Will, man - who, because he is a
person, is a social being - is called to be in relationship with God
precisely in the community of the Church. It is impossible to separate
mediation from the Church which participates in Christ's function as
Mediator between God and men.
Finally, we cannot ignore the fact that the "not to the Church" frequently
has deeper roots, both in individual persons and in human groups and
contexts - especially in certain sectors of true or presumed culture -
where today, as before or perhaps more than before, it is not difficult to
find attitudes of rejection or even hostility. At the bottom of this there
is a psychology characterized by the will for total autonomy, originating
in a sense of personal or collective self-sufficiency, by which one
maintains independence from the superhuman Being which is proposed - or
interiorly discovered - as Author and Lord of life, of fundamental law, of
the moral order, and so, as the ground of the distinction between good and
evil. There are those who pretend to establish on their own what is good
or bad, and thus refuse to be directed by another, either by a transcendent
God or by a Church which represents Him on earth.
This position generally results from a great ignorance of reality. God is
conceived as an enemy of human freedom, as a tyrannical master, even though
He is actually the One Who created freedom and is its most authentic
friend. His commandments have no other purpose than to help men to avoid
the worst and most shameful form of slavery, that of immorality, and to
foster the development of true freedom. Without a trusting relationship
with God, it is not possible for the human person to achieve fully his own
We should not be surprised, then, when we see that an attitude of radical
autonomy easily produces a form of subjugation worse than the feared
"heteronomy": i.e., dependence on the opinions of others, on ideological
and political ties, on social pressures, or on one's own inclinations and
passions. Whenever one believes or boasts that this independent, a man
free from all servitude, he thus reveals that he is subject to public
opinion and to other old and new forms of domination over the human spirit!
IT is easy to see that the attempt to do without God, or the claim not to
need the mediation of Christ and His Church comes at a high price.
Today let us say once again: "YES to the Church", precisely because of our
"YES to Christ"!
Obedience bears the greatest fruit!
In his conclusion of his short series on "Let us clutch to our Faith and move on" Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. reiterates what the Holy Father emphasizes above on obedience to the Church. He also elaborates on the necessity to stop bickering and pull together to spread the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and allow the Holy Spirit to imbue us with His graces and gifts which is especially meaningful the day after Pentecost. To find out more, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK
It would seem that each one of the faithful in our present condition must
first identify himself/herself to establish within one's own heart as to
whether he/she is a weed or a blade of wheat. The clearest distinction
comes froth by attesting to myself that I am either indeed obedient to the
Holy Father and the bishops faithful to him, or that I am knowingly
following the drum beat of a leader not faithful to him. The distinction
between the weed and the wheat will become even more manifest once the new
Catechism and the recent encyclical, The Splendor of Truth, become
available to the faithful, and both laity and clergy have an opportunity to
study these and react to their content.
There is still something else that Jesus said which should be seriously
pondered: "...when the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?" (Luke
18:8) and, "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been
from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if
those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved, but for
the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24: 21-22).
What sort of father would the Heavenly Father be if He did not warn ahead
of time those children of His who are the wheat, of what to expect of us
who sincerely believe that we are in the END OF THE AGE and find ourselves
confused at the presence of a weedy environment within His Son's Church?
Whatever words Jesus spoke, came forth from the Father under the influence
o the Spirit. Our Father in heaven is surely concerned for each one of the
faithful as are also the Son and the Spirit, not leave unmentioned, the
most esteemed Daughter, the Mother of Jesus, the Spouse of the Spirit, our
It is to the advantage of the enemy to have the faithful beset by
confusion. It would be in this state that would make it difficult if not
impossible for them to recognize the wolves in sheep's clothing, the
hirelings, and the false prophets, the false christs.
We have been gifted with the Faith. We are asked to live our Faith.
Jesus often chided His disciples for their lack of faith. On the other
hand, He praised those who manifested a strong faith. Jesus and Mary in
our own day are making it so clear how important it is for each of us to
maintain ourselves in faith. We are asked to pray that our faith within us
be strengthened. Our Mother pleads that we pray with the heart so that our
prayer would be a prayer of faith. We are asked by her to turn to the Holy
Spirit for guidance. It is the Holy Spirit Who gives the increase of faith
when such an increase is sincerely requested.
Our Faith teaches us the importance of obedience. Obedience can be
genuine and complete only when we live a life fostered by a lively faith, a
living faith, and a vibrant faith. The enemy is making every effort to get
us out of the heart and into the head to introduce chances for confusion
and a weakening of faith.
In order to survive in faith, in order to remain faithful to Jesus and to
His Visible Head on earth, it is imperative that we remove ourselves
abruptly from all confusion, clutch to our faith and move on and not fall
victim to the condition as did Lot's wife. We must surge ahead, giving
loving service to the physically and spiritually needy, ever clinging to
the Vine as we are buffeted by strong amoral winds, and put ourselves into
the loving care of our Heavenly Father and envelop ourselves within the
mantle of our Blessed Mother. Thus we could walk step by step, day by day,
unafraid, enemies to the left and right of us, confidently making our way
along the pat set out for us - the path which leads to salvation.
May 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I call you, through prayer and sacrifice, to prepare
yourselves for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Little children, this is a time of grace and so, again, I call
you to decide for God the Creator. Allow Him to transform and change you. May your heart be
prepared to listen to, and live, everything which the Holy Spirit has in His plan for each of you. Little
children, allow the Holy Spirit to lead you on the way of truth and salvation towards eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE
LITURGY FOR MONDAY AND TUESDAY
Today, the first day of June is the Feast of Saint Justin, a martyr and patron saint of philosophers. For his story, the readings, liturgy and meditations as well as tomorrow's Mass for Ordinary Time and the feast of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, June 1, 1998
First Reading: 2 Peter 1: 2-7
Psalms: Psalm 91: 1-2, 14-16
Gospel Reading: Mark 12: 1-12
SAINT JUSTIN, APOLOGIST AND MARTYR
Born of pagan parents in 103 AD in the village of Neapolis in Samaria (today Sichem in Palestine), Saint Justin was afforded a good education and devoted his life to the study of philosophy with a growing hunger to know of this God these upstart Christians preached. Unsatisfied with the contending schools of philosophy, he relentlessly continued his search until God Himself quenched that thirst for knowledge which was Divinely inspired through an old Christian man who explained in the simplest, but most profound terms what Christianity was about. Convinced he had found what he had long been looking for, Justin enthusiastically embraced Christianity, realizing that Sacred Scripture and the zeal of the martyrs led to faith and it was in faith that one could come to know God. Once he was converted he threw himself into spreading this faith with the same zeal he had during his search for this faith. Justin carried the Gospel to Egypt, Greece and Italy, distributing his writings far and wide, eventually arriving in Rome where he established a school of Christian philosophy. In his efforts to defend the Jews against the Romans, Justin wrote the Dialogue of Trypho and, armed with the strength of the Spirit wrote two
special Apologies to the Roman Senate and Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The second Apology was more than Aurelius could stand. His pride and lack of control raging out of control, Aurelius ordered Justin be put to death. Brought before the Prefect of Rome to be sentenced, Justin and the disciples with him feared no earthly death. When the Prefect provoked Justin by mocking him with the question "Do you think that by dying you will enter this heaven you talk about and be rewarded by this God of yours?" Justin replied, "I do not think; I know!" As Justin was so certain, so also the faith he embraced is a certainty - that by striving to do God's Will through all that Jesus asks within the framework of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church we can be assured of joining Justin someday in our everlasting reward.
Tuesday, June 2, 1998
Tuesday, June 1:
Ninth Tuesday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs
Green or Red vestments
First Reading: 2 Peter 3: 12-15,17-18
Psalms: Psalm 90: 1-4, 10, 14,16
Gospel Reading: Mark 12: 13-17
SAINTS MARCELLINUS and PETER, Martyrs
These two saints were martyred for the faith in the early fourth century by beheading. Roman-born Saint Marcellinus died with his Egyptian-born counterpart Saint Peter who were both arrested and executed by the Emperor Maximin in Alexandria, the last to be martyred there by Roman authority. Peter was a learned scholar of the Scriptures and Catechism and fervently fought the Arians and followers of Origen who undermined the authority and teaching of Holy Mother Church. As Bishop of Alexandria Peter protected his flocks against the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian but was eventually forced into hiding where both he and Marcellinus were captured when Maximin came into power. Peter detailed how lapsed Christians could be received back into the Church and these instructions were adapted by the Eastern Church. Both saints were forced to first dig their own graves in an out-of-the-way place before they were beheaded somewhere between 303 and 311 A.D. There was an unusual account that began in the sixth century when both of their bodies miraculously appeared together with their heads intact. They were buried together in the Catacomb of St. Tiburtius. Their relics were sent to Frankfort, Germany in 827 by Pope Gregory IV as a gift to the Holy Roman Emperor Louis, son of Charlemagne.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is in honor of Saint Justin, and is taken from the Opening Prayer of the Mass
In the early days of Your Church You chose Justin the martyr so that by his writings he could expound to Jews and pagans the mysteries of the prophets and the teaching of the apostles. Fearlessly he defended the gospel of Christ before the rulers. He faithfully completed his ministry, after bearing witness to You before the people, and You gave him the privilege of shedding his blood in order to receive the crown of eternal glory in the luminous company of martyrs.
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"Wealth is useless on the day of wrath, but virtue saves from death."
Proverbs 11: 4
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
June 1, 1998 volume 9, no. 105 DAILY CATHOLIC