My little one, do you see how cruel such sorrow is? Do you see now how such sorrow, such a sense of total abandonment mirrors that of my Son? And do you also realize how, without God's support, such sorrow would crush man, who could not endure?
I ask you to endure, to persevere and to know that this inner sorrow and your true physical pains shall intensify as you are led through the Passion of my Son in order that your own soul may be purified, and many souls shall be saved.
Thank you for responding to my Call.
My dear children, I am asking each of you to ponder anew the Way of the Cross. I need you to meditate upon the Way of Salvation in order that your thirst for Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass may not be diminished, as the spiritual darkness of your world changes the True Sacrifice into a mockery.
Ponder well the words I speak to you: Behold the Cross which has wrought your salvation. This is the Cross of greatest suffering consumed by the Greatest Love. Only in prayer can the Holy Spirit truly enlighten you to the wondrous mystery of the Cross. Only through the working of the Holy Spirit will Mass become for you a treasure, a joy and not a burden performed out of grudging obedience.
Many, many souls are at risk because they do not understand the dignity of Mass, nor the real presence of my Divine Son in the Holy Eucharist. It is far from a show, my little ones. The Mass is truly the greatest prayer you can give to God, and the time is fast approaching when the evil one will seek to divest you of so great a privilege. Even now the demon's forces are at work to dilute and diminish the Mass, and the Blessed Sacrament. Many of my priest-sons no longer consider it a joyful duty and privilege to celebrate daily Mass, for they have centered their lives too much on social concerns and human justice. Never forget that all good proceeds from God and thus through the Infinite Merits of my Divine Son in the Mass are to be found the answers to all men's ills. If you truly seek to convert your heart and live my messages, come before the Triune Divinity in Holy Mass and do not stay away. Come often!
Come daily all who can. My Son's churches should be over-flowing, but many remain empty. I weep for all who neglect so great a gift as the Holy Mass, for it is a true, direct road to my Son's Heart. Seek my Son's Heart, my children. Comfort this Heart so torn and wounded for you, and there you will find peace and joy. Will you begin now to honor God as He deserves? So many, many souls can be saved if my little ones will only heed my words. Follow my Son's footsteps and believe, for eternal life is the reward of those who persevere.
I love and bless you. I give you God's Peace. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Death of Pope John XII. In one of the more embarassing times of the papacy, this pontiff is said to have had a stroke while bedding his mistress, a married woman. A week later he was dead. It was this pope who reconstituted the Holy Roman Empire, crown Otto I of Germany who later would depose John XII.
Henry II is crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Sylvester II who had ushered in the Second Millennium for the Church as the 139th successor of Peter.
Death of Saint Giles of Portugal, who had dabbled in the black arts early in life but was converted and became first a physician and then a Dominican. Because of his past ties to the satanic sciences, he was constantly tormented by the devil until Our Lady appeared to him, setting him at peace. He went on to become prior general of the Dominicans in Portugal and retired to Santarem where he received many prophecies and experienced mystical ecstacies.
Christopher Columbus discovers the island of Jamaica on one of his return trips, proclaiming it for Spain and Holy Mother Church.
On specifically religious matter, the bishops' message pays homage to the spiritual value of Asia's traditional religions, and cites "the urgent need to take local cultures into account," especially in the design of the liturgy. Inter-religious dialogue, the bishops proclaim, is a clear necessity for Asia.
Published at the formal closing of the synod, which had opened on April 19, the six-page final message will be conveyed to the Pope, to serve as the basis for his apostolic exhortation summarizing the conclusions of the bishops' deliberations.
The meeting of bishops from different broad geographical regions was part of Pope John Paul's plan of preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000. The Asian synod faced a particularly daunting task, since Asia embraces not only the Far East, but also regions as disparate as Siberia and the countries of the Middle East. The synod did not include the countries of Oceania, whose bishops will gather for their own special synod in October.
The bishops' final statement opens with a statement of solidarity among the Catholics of Asia, and an expression of "regret" that two bishops from mainland China were denied government permission to participate in the deliberations. The assembled bishops promised their prayers for the Church in China.
In their statement, the bishops offered their thanks to the many missionaries who had brought the faith to their continent. The history of religious persecution in Asia-- and the continued reality of oppression there-- prompted them to recognize explicitly that many Christians in the region still live in difficult and dangerous situations, suffering for their faith. And they add that "the Christians of Asia need zealous pastors and spiritual guides, not simply efficient administrators."
In addressing the question of liturgy, the bishops emphasize that :the liturgy plays a key role in evangelization." The much-discussed question of "inculturation"-- the adaptation of the liturgy to fit predominant cultural patterns-- is addressed only indirectly in the final statement. While emphasizing the need for inter-religious dialogue, the bishops did not answer the question of how far the Church should go to adapt to local customs.
In an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, expressed regret that the Chinese government had not allowed bishops to travel to Rome for the special Synod of Bishops for Asia. "We are touching a problem of religious liberty," he said.
However, the archbishop pointed out that because there are no direct relations between China and the Holy See, Vatican officials are at a loss to explain the logic of the Chinese refusal.
In a wide-ranging interview, Archbishop Tauran was also questioned about the results of Pope John Paul's January trip to Cuba. "The Pope has opened doors," he said. While it may be too optimistic to think of "a radical change in just three months," he pointed to positive developments since the trip, and said "the time has come" for a new relationship between the Catholic Church and the Castro government. He also repeated the Vatican opposition to the US-led embargo on Cuba, saying "it is still difficult to justify such an embargo on moral ground."
As the conversation turned to the Middle East, the archbishop said that the Vatican felt frustration at the stalled peace talks, and worried about the problems of the Palestinian people-- whose frustrations, he said, made them subject to the temptations of extremism. He warned that if the peace process is blocked today, it will be difficult to persuade moderate Arab leaders to back any peace initiatives in the future.
The Holy Father cannot travel to the Holy Land as long as the current conditions exist, the archbishop said. He insisted on the points that have been emphasized by the Vatican for years: the need for a just and stable peace between Israel and the Palestinian people, and the need for international safeguards on full access to Jerusalem.
Archbishop Tauran said that Vatican diplomats are especially concerned today about developments in Africa: "the inter-ethnic warfare, the lack of authority, the corruption of leadership, the poverty and the inefficient effort to combat it"-- all of which, he said, "are pushing entire peoples toward the edge of despair."
The chief Vatican diplomat accentuated the role of the United States as a world leader. "It's a bit like a family," he said; "The biggest, the strongest, has the duty to help the weakest member of the family."
Judie Brown, president of ALL, said the difference is basic. "Pregnancy is not a disease," she said. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which met in New Orleans on Tuesday, urged Congress to pass a bill requiring insurers who pay for prescription drugs to also cover birth control. The group said covering Viagra, a drug to treat impotence in men, shows a bias by those who refuse to cover another "medical necessity" -- birth control.
While nine out of 10 employer-based health insurance plans cover prescription drugs, most don't cover prescription contraceptives, the doctors' group said. Last month, Maryland became the first state to require insurers cover the cost of birth control if they also cover prescription drugs. US Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine this week proposed legislation to mandate coverage by insurers.
ALL said the difference between birth control and impotence is that the latter is a medical dysfunction. "The decision to use artificial birth control is elective," said Brown. Most insurers offer plans that cover contraception, but employers often don't choose to pay for it, said Health Insurance Association of America spokesman Richard Coorsh. The industry group opposes requiring contraceptive coverage and mandated benefits in general because they drive up insurance costs, he said.
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor John Shattuck told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that while the administration remains committed to the promotion of religious freedom the proposed legislation would tie their hands in all situations. The bill sponsored by Sens. Don Nickles, R-Oklahoma, and Joseph Lieberman, D-Connecticut, that would set up an annual review and sanctions programs for countries deemed to practice religious discrimination.
The measure would also create a special White House adviser on religious persecution and establish in the State Department the post of ambassador-at-large for religious liberty. It also would establish a US Commission on International Religious Liberty. It is similar to a bill being considered in the US House, but doesn't include automatic sanctions against countries that persecute religions.
But Shattuck told the panel the administration was concerned that even the Senate bill's "sanctions-oriented approach" could undermine efforts to bring about improvements voluntarily. "We also believe that sanctions could have an adverse impact on our diplomacy in places like the Middle East and South Asia," he said.