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September 28, 1998
SECTION ONE vol 9, no. 189
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
September 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today, I call you to become my witnesses by living
the faith of your fathers. Little children, you seek signs and
messages and do not see that, with every morning sunrise, God
calls you to convert and to return to the way of truth and salvation.
You speak much, little children, but you work little on your
conversion. That is why, convert and start to live my messages, not
with your words but with your life. In this way, little children, you
will have the strength to decide for the true conversion of the heart.
Thank you for having responded to my call
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
Pronouncements by Episcopal Conferences do not always contain the characteristics of the Universal Magisterium
We continue our multi part segment on the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter to the Bishops of the world on Episcopal Conferences entitled APOSTOLOS SUOS. In his Motu Proprio, Pope John Paul II defines the role of Episcopal Conferences, explaining their origins and importance in the overall governing of the Church. As he concludes this letter, he warns against one bishop interfering with the work of another bishop in another diocese if it does not involve faith and morals For the final part of Apostolos Suos, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.
HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II APOSTOLIC LETTER ISSUED MOTU PROPRIO
ON THE THEOLOGICAL AND JURIDICAL NATURE OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES (1)
Part Two of EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES in APOSTOLOS SUOS
21. The joint exercise of the episcopal ministry also involves the teaching office.
The Code of Canon Law establishes the fundamental norm in this regard:
"Although they do not enjoy infallible teaching authority, the Bishops in communion
with the head and members of the college, whether as individuals or gathered in
Conferences of Bishops or in particular councils, are authentic teachers and
instructors of the faith for the faithful entrusted to their care; the faithful must adhere
to the authentic teaching of their own Bishops with a sense of religious respect
(religioso animi obsequio)".(79) Apart from this general norm the Code also
establishes, more concretely, some areas of doctrinal competence of the
Conferences of Bishops, such as providing "that catechisms are issued for its own
territory if such seems useful, with the prior approval of the Apostolic See",(80) and
the approval of editions of the books of Sacred Scripture and their translations.(81)
The concerted voice of the Bishops of a determined territory, when, in communion
with the Roman Pontiff, they jointly proclaim the Catholic truth in matters of faith and
morals, can reach their people more effectively and can make it easier for their
faithful to adhere to the magisterium with a sense of religious respect. In faithfully
exercising their teaching office, the Bishops serve the word of God, to which their
teaching is subject, they listen to it devoutly, guard it scrupulously and explain it
faithfully in such a way that the faithful receive it in the best manner possible.(82)
Since the doctrine of the faith is a common good of the whole Church and a bond
of her communion, the Bishops, assembled in Episcopal Conference, must take
special care to follow the magisterium of the universal Church and to
communicate it opportunely to the people entrusted to them.
22. In dealing with new questions and in acting so that the message of Christ
enlightens and guides people's consciences in resolving new problems arising
from changes in society, the Bishops assembled in the Episcopal Conference and
jointly exercizing their teaching office are well aware of the limits of their
pronouncements. While being official and authentic and in communion with the
Apostolic See, these pronouncements do not have the characteristics of a
universal magisterium. For this reason the Bishops are to be careful to avoid
interfering with the doctrinal work of the Bishops of other territories, bearing in
mind the wider, even world-wide, resonance which the means of social
communication give to the events of a particular region.
Taking into account that the authentic magisterium of the Bishops, namely what
they teach insofar as they are invested with the authority of Christ, must always be
in communion with the Head of the College and its members,(83) when the
doctrinal declarations of Episcopal Conferences are approved unanimously, they
may certainly be issued in the name of the Conferences themselves, and the
faithful are obliged to adhere with a sense of religious respect to that authentic
magisterium of their own Bishops. However, if this unanimity is lacking, a majority
alone of the Bishops of a Conference cannot issue a declaration as authentic
teaching of the Conference to which all the faithful of the territory would have to
adhere, unless it obtains the recognitio of the Apostolic See, which will not give it if
the majority requesting it is not substantial. The intervention of the Apostolic See is
analogous to that required by the law in order for the Episcopal Conference to
issue general decrees.(84) The recognitio of the Holy See serves furthermore to
guarantee that, in dealing with new questions posed by the accelerated social and
cultural changes characteristic of present times, the doctrinal response will favour
communion and not harm it, and will rather prepare an eventual intervention of the
23. The very nature of the teaching office of Bishops requires that, when they
exercise it jointly through the Episcopal Conference, this be done in the plenary
assembly. Smaller bodies —the permanent council, a commission or other
offices—do not have the authority to carry out acts of authentic magisterium either
in their own name or in the name of the Conference, and not even as a task
assigned to them by the Conference.
24. At present, Episcopal Conferences fulfill many tasks for the good of the Church.
They are called to support, in a growing service, “the inalienable responsibility of
each Bishop in relation to the universal Church and to his particular Church” (85)
and, naturally, not to hinder it by substituting themselves inappropriately for him,
where the canonical legislation does not provide for a limitation of his episcopal
power in favour of the Episcopal Conference, or by acting as a filter or obstacle as
far as direct contact between the individual Bishops and the Apostolic See is
The clarifications thus far expressed, together with the normative adjustments
which follow, correspond to the wishes of the Extraordinary General Assembly of
the Synod of Bishops of 1985, and they aim at illuminating and making more
efficacious the action of Episcopal Conferences. The Conferences will opportunely
review their statutes in order to bring them into line with these clarifications and
norms, as called for by the Synod.
IV. COMPLEMENTARY NORMS REGARDING THE CONFERENCES OF BISHOPS
Art. 1. – In order that the doctrinal declarations of the Conference of Bishops
referred to in No. 22 of the present Letter may constitute authentic magisterium
and be published in the name of the Conference itself, they must be unanimously
approved by the Bishops who are members, or receive the recognitio of the
Apostolic See if approved in plenary assembly by at least two thirds of the Bishops
belonging to the Conference and having a deliberative vote.
Art. 2. – No body of the Episcopal Conference, outside of the plenary assembly,
has the power to carry out acts of authentic magisterium. The Episcopal
Conference cannot grant such power to its Commissions or other bodies set up by
Art. 3. – For statements of a different kind, different from those mentioned in article
2, the Doctrinal Commission of the Conference of Bishops must be authorized
explicitly by the Permanent Council of the Conference.
Art. 4. – The Episcopal Conferences are to review their statutes in order that they
may be consistent with the clarifications and norms of the present document as
well as the Code of Canon Law, and they should send them subsequently to the
Apostolic See for recognitio, in accordance with canon 451 of the Code of Canon
In order that the action of Episcopal Conferences be ever more fruitful in good
works, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 21 May, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord,
in the year 1998, the twentieth of my Pontificate.
NEXT WEEK: Part Six of Apostolos Suos
- (79) Code of Canon Law, Canon 753.
- (80) Code of Canon Law, Canon 775, 2.
- (81) Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 825.
- (82) Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine
Revelation Dei Verbum, 10.
- (83) Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Lumen Gentium, 25; Code of Canon Law, Canon 753.
- (84) Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 455.
- (85) Synod of Bishops of 1985, Final Report, II, C), 5: L'Osservatore Romano, 10
December 1985, p. 7.
We go wrong when we try to make sense of God's mind. Rather, let us surrender to His Heart.
Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. begins today with a short series on surrendering to the will of God through praying with and from our heart. He points out that this whole process got turned topsy turvy when satan lured the first parents away from God in the Garden of Eden. Now, he asserts, it is time to turn things back the way they were meant to be. For Father's column, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK
Our thrust into life is not to be with Thought, but with Surrender part one
Who is able to look into God's Mind? God as God is Infinite. His Mind is
Infinite. His "Thoughts" are Infinite. Only the Infinite, then, could
look into God's Mind. Since all creatures are finite, since we, as humans
are creatures, it is impossible for anyone of us to look into God's Mind,
much less to know His Mind.
It should be stated that it is not that God HAS an Infinite Mind, but
that He IS Infinite Mind. If He, as He is, IS Infinite Mind, He is also
Infinite Heart. It follows that, as it is impossible to understand God's
Mind, it is equally impossible to understand God's Heart.
Jesus revealed to us that God is our Father. God, as all mankind's
Father, has chosen by way of His Infinite Love to reveal to us, through the
Spirit and through Jesus, limited portions of the Infinite Mind and Heart.
As such, we are able to know of those Truths and expressions of Love, which
are revealed to us in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. It is by way of
these sources that we are able in a limited way to look into God'' Mind and
At Baptism, the human heart was gifted with Faith, Hope and Charity, with
belief and trust in, and love for God. At Baptism, these gifts were given
in seed form. At Conformation, these seeds were given a power to sprout
forth and through the exercise of these gifts, we, as limited human beings,
are capable of sharing in the Divine Life, to the exciting degree of being
able to believe truths revealed to us, trust in God's revelations, and love
Him Who is the Source of all truth and love.
We come now to the fruit of all these premises, namely that Adam and Eve,
our first parents were created in the state of obedience to their Creator,
created in the state of surrender to His Will. The baptized human heart is
capable of believing this as Divine Truth; the confirmed believer accepts
this as an absolute fact.
Equally revealed by God and equally accepted by the confirmed believer is
the fact that satan brought our first parents out of SURRENDER and into
THOUGHT. In Genesis 3:11 we read, "He said, "Who told you that you were
naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"
Satan tricked our first parents in leaving obedience, that is, surrender,
and enter into thought. They would not have known that they were naked
save for the fact that they looked at themselves, that is, with their mind,
they turned onto themselves rather than keeping mind and heart directed
Next week: part two of "Surrender"
Do not grow anxious over the signs but heed their meaning and seek refuge in the Immaculate and Sacred Hearts
That is the essence of the two messages brought to you today from the Blessed Mother Mary to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart, as Our Lady reiterates the need to realize the times are treacherous and we will survive only if we are rooted in the faith, obedient to her Divine Son's Church and securely tucked beneath her Immaculate Mantle. Our Lady also warns all not to worry about the needs of the body, but rather be concerned - very concerned - for the welfare of the soul. For messages number 205 and 206, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages Two Hundred-Five and Two Hundred-Six
Message Two Hundred-Five, July 14, 1992
(Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Fairfield, Connecticutt)
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, please give my words to all my children. My dear little ones great signs, greater than those already given, are coming and I do not want you to be caught slumbering. These signs shall give full witness to the reign of the evil one, and you who are hidden beneath my Immaculate Mantle shall know great sorrow of heart, for then shall you see my Divine Son rejected.
Pray, my little ones, lest these signs befall mankind more swiftly than the evil one already plans, and your Heavenly Father permits in fulfillment of all Scripture. Pray that you might be prepared for this day, being in perfect, humble obedience to God, and alive with absolute Trust in Him. Pray, too, that your faith be ever strong, ever nourished by my Divine Son whose Love is boundless, Whose Love is Mercy.
My children, for all who have willingly converted their hearts, I thank you. You give such joy unto God, and great shall be your everlasting joy in Heaven. Will you then make special effort to bring even more souls into the light of my Divine Son? Pray for all who are in darkness. Consecrate and dedicate them to me, the ever-Virgin Mother of God. Pray that by the good will of all men God might permit my Immaculate Heart to Triumph sooner.
I do not want you to fear, to grow anxious over the signs, nor of the Justice of God. Seek Him with your whole being and be at peace, for you have nothing to fear. Am I not your refuge? Am I not your mother?
How I love you, my children. Do not neglect your souls, and be unafraid about your body. Remain children of God, united to His Will, and all will become for you a great joy, a great peace and holiness. This is what you are called to. This is what you must seek first, before you seek for worldly things. I, your mother, will help you.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message Two Hundred-Six, July 15, 1992
(My Father's House Retreat Center, Moodus, Connecticutt)
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I say now to all my children: Dear children, the moment of great trial and great darkness is already upon you, yet you live as if the sun shone brilliantly, as if you possessed security. God alone is safety, and He has given to me the role as your secure Refuge. But so few come. So few look up toward God and are lifted up.
Dear children, beware satan's plots. He, the evil one would take your eyes from my Divine Son and focus them upon the world and all of its sorrows, telling you to focus on correcting these human injustices. My children, if you are not one with God, totally abandoned to His will, you cannot be an instrument in God's plan for salvation. To labor solely to cure the evils of mankind is inverted pride, and by this error satan leads you to the abyss.
Dear children, the darkness is universal. The chastisement grows in intensity. Events unfold rapidly which will bring to fulfillment the reign of the antichrist. Beware the false security of satan. Be faithful, little humble children and my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. Do not despair, for God shall not abandon those who seek and love Him.
Pray! Fast! Go to Holy Mass. Receive the Sacraments. Be vigilant, for my Divine Son's return is imminent.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today we celebrate the feasts of the Twenty-Sixth Monday in Ordinary Time and the commemoration of Saint Wenceslaus, Ruler and Martyr, and Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, first Filipino Martyrs. Tomorrow is the great feast of the Archangels - Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael. For the readings, liturgy, meditations, and vignettes on all of these saints, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, September 28, 1998
Monday September 28:
Twenty-Sixth Monday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Wenceslaus, Ruler and Marytr and
Feast of Saint Lawrence Ruiz, Martyr and Husband, and Martyred Companions
Green or red vestments
First Reading: Job 1: 6-22
Psalms: Psalm 17: 1-3, 6-7
Gospel Reading: Luke 9: 46-50
September 28: Feast of Saint Wenceslaus, Ruler and Martyr
Born in 907, Saint Wenceslaus of Prague was the first Slav to be canonized. His canonization was expedited because of his martyrdom at the hands of his brother who was jealous. Their father had died early in their life and they were educated and cared for by their grandmother Saint Ludmilla who also was martyred in a sinister family plot by their own mother who had grown bitter and jealous. At the tender age of 15 Wenceslaus ascended to the throne as king of his country where he ruled with wisdom and concern, stressing God's Will in all things, which angered the pagans of his land who mounted an underground opposition to overthrow him. Even though Wenceslaus knew his mother's heart was not pure, he prayed incessantly for her and would not exile her, hoping she would see the light of God's way. Even though he had all the proof in the world of her involvement in his grandmother's death, he rebuked those who urged him to take revenge with the words, "Why do you want to prevent me from applying the Divine Law of Jesus Christ and to obey His commandments? I reject your advice because I want to serve God with all my heart." A few years later, after Wenceslaus had married and bore a son, the opposition got to his brother Boleslaus who, realizing he was younger and would not be successor to the throne now that Wenceslaus had a heir, became embittered and was easy prey for their machinations. Thus, on September 26 Boleslaus invited Wenceslaus to attend Mass with him in celebrating the feast of Saint Cosmas and Damian. However it was a trap to lure Wenceslaus into a secluded area away from his entourage of guards where Boleslaus struck the holy king on the head from behind with his sword. The blow did not immediately kill Wenceslaus who struggled with his own flesh and blood for his very life as blood flowed profusely from his skull, but though the king was stronger, Boleslaus' accomplices lying in wait behind the pillars emerged and thrust their swords into Wenceslaus' back, felling the holy Slav ruler. Three years later his remains were transfered from the cemetary to the church of St. Vitus in Prague where he was greatly venerated and fifty years later the people were openly celebrating with great pomp and circumstance the feast of St. Wenceslaus for he had been so loved and so promoted the Catholic faith that many conversions had taken place.
September 28: Feast of Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs
This feast commemorates the first Filipino martyrs Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, a layman and his fifteen companions met their death in Nagasaki in 1637 at the hands of heathen Japanese warriors. Born in China, Lorenzo migrated to the Philippines where he settled in the Chinese section in Manila called Binondo. A father of four children, he was forced to flee with Dominican missionaries, who were enroute to Japan to spread the faith, because he had unjustly been accused of a crime being blackmailed because of his honesty and virtuous life. The companions were composed of all those somehow associated with the Dominicans either as clergy or lay order. Two days after Christmas of 1637 word finally reached Manila that Lorenzo and his Dominican companions had all been slayed. Immediately the people gathered at the church of Santo Domingo to sing a solemn Te Deum in honor of their fallen compadres. These saints were canonized 350 years later by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Manila on October 18, 1987.
Tuesday, September 29, 1998
Tuesday September 29:
FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS: Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael
First Reading: Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14 or Revelation/Apocalypse 12: 7-12
Psalms: Psalm 138: 1-5
Gospel Reading: John 1: 47-51
FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS SAINT MICHAEL, SAINT GABRIEL, AND SAINT RAPHAEL
This feast combines the three known Archangels. In past liturgical times Saint Gabriel's feast was fittingly celebrated on the eve of the Annunciation, March 24 and Saint Raphael's feast was observed on October 21. September 29 had always been Saint Michael's feast day until the revision after Vatican II. Since then poor St. Michael, which means in Hebrew "He who is like God", has been lumped with the other two who have been deprived of their previous feasts. Be that as it may, it is still a glorious day when we celebrate the greatness and august majesty God granted to these winged warriors so close and loyal to the Almighty. St. Michael has the most biblical references, specifically chapters 10 and 11 of Daniel and Apocalypse/Revelation 12:7-9 as well as the very brief St. Jude 1:9. Devotion and the "legend"of this mightiest of Angels took root after the Saracens were defeated by the prayerful Lombards. Later the Benedictines spread devotion to St. Michael with the magnificent "Seventh wonder of the world" Mont-Saint-Michel Monastery in Normandy on the French coast. There have been many reports of St. Michael appearing to numerous visionaries throughout the centuries, specifically at Fatima and Garabandal, but the most famous appearance seems to be the vision Pope Leo XIII had of St. Michael. On October 13, 1884 while the Holy Father was descending the steps at St. Peter's after saying Mass for a group of Cardinals, he suddenly collapsed in ecstacy. A doctor was summoned immediately to assist the frail Pope but he couldn't even get a heart beat. To all present the pontiff was dead and just as they were to pronounce such Leo awoke as if in a deep sleep. He sat up terribly distressed in a "frightful agony of spirit." The cause of this was the prophetic vision he had while in this ecstasy between Jesus and the devil who was bargaining with the Lord for more time in which to destroy His Church. Leo was given to understand that, though God had granted satan the next 100 years or so, in the end he would be crushed and defeated. Leo was mystically given the role St. Michael would play in this conflict and inspired to pen the beautiful Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel which he and all the pontiffs up through Vatican II decreed be said by the celebrant at the end of each Mass. Because the modernists sacked the rich Latin liturgy and watered down so much, the prayer was phased out giving satan an open door to enter into the sanctuary as Pope Paul VI so stated on his deathbed.
Saint Gabriel, of course, is the archangel who appeared to Mary announcing that she had been chosen most blessed among all women as the Mother of God. This is documented in the first chapter of Luke as well as Gabriel's prophecy to Zecharia or Zachary about the birth of his son Saint John the Baptist. There is also mention of Gabriel in Daniel 8: 16 and 9: 21. Gabriel in Hebrew means "Power of God". In the Syriac Church Gabriel is placed highest among the angels. Gabriel is considered the patron of couriers and communication workers.
The least known of the three, Saint Raphael is mentioned in the Book of Tobit 12:12-15 where the Archangel identifies himself with the "seven archangels who stand before the Lord." In Hebrew his name translates to "God heals." He is the angel who "healed" the earth from defilement of the sins wrought by the fallen angels. He is considered the patron of the blind and of travelers.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is taken from the Opening Prayers for Masses honoring the martyrs Saint Wenceslaus and Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companion Martyrs:
Lord, You taught your martyr Wenceslaus to prefer the kingdom of Heaven to all that the earth has to offer. May his prayers free us from our self-seeking and help us to serve You with all our hearts.
Lord God, in our service to You and to our neighbor give us the patience of the holy martyrs Lawrence and his companions; for those who suffer persecution for justice' sake are blessed in the kingdom of Heaven..
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September 28, 1998 volume 9, no. 189 DAILY CATHOLIC