DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY    October 8, 1998   vol. 9, no. 197


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
          The Feature Article, begun in the inaugural issue two years ago, deals with the state of the Church. 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 Blessed Mother 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 and adhered to by the faithful who will not compromise, the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward the conservative side. In the seventy-ninth installment of this on-going feature series, we bring you part four of our series on the "Signs of these times" and how these signs serve as our guide along the path to Heaven as we continue to sound the clarion as a wake-up call to all Catholics, especially bringing to the attention of all Catholics the evident signs God has placed on our path to salvation. They are so obvious but too often we either have tunnel vision with blinders on and can't see the signs on the road, or our eyes and minds are wandering from what we truly need to see. If we don't pay attention, we shall pay dearly as the third millennium dawns. We continue to alert the reader to what is happening and sound the call to arms, to enlist in Mary's army and take up the battle cry. God said it, we believe it, that settles it! Too many Catholics are going their own way with little regard to what their spiritual shepherd - the Vicar of Christ says. Sin is whitewashed. If we're not careful there will be a tremendous backwash and who among us wants to get caught in the vortex of that swirling whirlpool of Justice? This series is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event.
Installment Seventy-ninth

part four:

"Enter by the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter that way. How narrow the gate and close the way that leads to life! And few there are who find it."

Matthew 7: 13-14
          We have the SIGNS of the Church, the Sacraments, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the liturgical seasons, Sacred Scripture, and the rich Deposit of Faith to focus on, rather than the material signs of this world. Sacraments are "outward signs" instituted by Christ; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a sign of Jesus' ultimate love for us in the unbloody sacrifice of His Body and Blood for our salvation; the Word of God is a continuing sign of His love and law that confirms we are His children and, as members of the family of God, must be obedient to the Father in all things…not just those we choose. Even the liturgical seasons are a sign. Just as spring ushers in the flowers and the sound of "Play Ball" so also the fall season, is embodied in gentle waves fluttering to earth of falling leaves of every color while the thud of pigskin and the refrain tolls: "Are you ready for some football?" in symphony with the marching bands echoing across the land highlights autumn time. The melodic refrain of Alleluia! signals the time of Easter season and white vestments while the purple chasuble and stole indicate a time of fasting preparation and retrospection for Lent and Advent; red vestments revere those saints who have died to the world for Christ and literally given their lives while traveling the narrow and difficult path; and the green garments of Ordinary Time reflect God's graces of lush green grass in the height of the summer. These are all signs in our Church that we often take for granted. Fr. John Hardon, SJ explains that, "The whole of the Church liturgy is built on the function of word, action and object signs as symbols of the sacred." Sign is derived from the Latin signum meaning mark, sign, or characteristic of the Sacraments that make them sacred and holy, conferring the grace they manifest. When we cross ourselves in honoring the Blessed Trinity, we don't call it "the Cross" but rather the "Sign of the Cross". Sign is derived from the Latin signum meaning mark, sign, or characteristic. It is the sacred characteristic of the Sacraments that make them sacred and holy, conferring the grace they manifest. When we cross ourselves in honoring the Blessed Trinity we don't call it "the Cross" but rather the "Sign of the Cross" for it is an expression, an outward sign to all of our faith, our belief in the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

          All of these special signs are there for a reason for God plans nothing without a method. And His methods are mysterious in many ways such as in conveying His Will through His Blessed Mother to "children" everywhere whom He has chosen as special messengers - those prophets of the end times spoken of in Joel 2:28 and the Acts of the Apostles 2:17 which Peter addressed immediately after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday. Yet, with the plethora of messages abounding globally from approved apparitions such as LaSalette and Fatima, to those still being studied by the Church, it is astounding that the world is worse off than it ever was. Take a look around. On any given Sunday, are the pews in the Church full of devout faithful pouring out their hearts to God? A few, yes, for the fruits are there, but the harvest is great but not all are reaping the fruits of the harvest distracted, if you will, by the lures of other activities that take us further off the direct avenue to God, such things as movie houses are packed, concerts blare at a hideous pitch, football stadiums and the and the life of a "couch potato" becomes the mecca for sabbath activities. Family time is at a premium. When, then, does the family come together to pray? When is there time for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Fr. Patrick Payton, C.S.C. the devoted priest who headed the Family Rosary Crusade and who had a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, striving to fulfill all Mary asked there, is best remembered for his wise proverb: "the family that prays together, stays together."

          From the state of things today in our families, in the state of a nation that plays down the traditional God-fearing family in favor of an existential extended family that includes same-sex marriages and other illicit conduct as equal in importance, no wonder there is so much divorce, so much hate, so much prevision, so much suicide and despair. Hope has been thrown out the window because man has placed his bet on finite things governed by finite beings. O what mortal fools we be! Without a doubt we've brought this all on ourselves by not adhering to God's signs manifested through Public Revelation and through private revelation. Yes, private revelations, which are given specifically as SIGNS - signs to guide us along the narrow highway to Heaven. They are nothing more than that for all that God has spoken is contained in Public Revelation. Anything after that is considered private revelation, which includes devotions, novenas, prayers, etc. from Zaragosa to Medjugorje and beyond. There is nothing new in private revelation, but rather a reminder, an emphasis on those aspects of Public Revelation we may have forgotten. God is therefore reminding us in a special way through the gift of private revelation, which He communicates to us through His chosen messengers.

          In the next installment we will feature the Signs evident through private revelation - Signs we can't ignore.

October 8, 1998       volume 9, no. 197


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