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EASTER ISSUE: SUNDAY-MONDAY-TUESDAY

April 12-14, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 72

EASTER Alleluiah! He is Risen!



FOURTH DAY OF THE NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY: EASTER MONDAY, April 13, 1998

For the fourth day of the Novena and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, click on DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

      Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

      Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your Mercy for endless ages. Amen.

It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
(All material taken from Divine Mercy Devotions, copyright Marians of the Immaculate Conception)

CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY

      Devotion to Divine Mercy is conveyed through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as Jesus imparted to Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska when He relayed, as recorded in her diary "Divine Mercy in my soul", "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you (1541)...Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687)...When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541)...Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy (687)...Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (1731).

      Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320).

      It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.

      The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).

FIFTH DAY OF THE NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY: EASTER TUESDAY, April 14, 1998

For the fifth day of the Novena and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, click on DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

      Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You . Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your Mercy.

      Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great Mercy for endless ages. Amen

It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
(All material taken from Divine Mercy Devotions, copyright Marians of the Immaculate Conception)

CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY

      Devotion to Divine Mercy is conveyed through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as Jesus imparted to Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska when He relayed, as recorded in her diary "Divine Mercy in my soul", "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you (1541)...Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687)...When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541)...Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy (687)...Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (1731).

      Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320).

      It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.

      The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).


PROVERB OF THE DAY

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who make it a friend shall eat its fruit."

Proverbs 18: 21

Events over the next three days in Church History

     For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history, click on ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Historical Events in Church Annals for April 12:


Historical Events in Church Annals for April 13:


Historical Events in Church Annals for April 14:


We Remember

The second part of "A Reflection on the Shoah"

     In this issue we bring you the second of the three part installment on the landmark document issued by the Vatican last month on the Church's position and role regarding the Holocaust. It is a heartfelt admission that perhaps we - as a collective body of Christians - did not do enough to help, but it states in no uncertain terms that Pope Pius XII, whom the liberal Jewish factions have targeted as the culprit, is totally exonerated. For the second part on the Relationship between Jews and Christians, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.
INTRODUCTION: With all the controversy swirling over the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish community regarding the Holocaust, Pope John Paul II authorized Cardinal Edward Idris Cassady of Australia to draw up a document on the Church's response to the "Shoah" which the Jews refer to as the Holocaust. In the following installments we will include the entire text of this document but, because so many don't want all the footnotes included, we have eliminated those. If you want the full text with footnotes, please refer to the Vatican home page. BELOW: the second installment of We Remember.

The Vicar of Christ Speaks

We Remember. A Reflection on the Shoah

second installment:

From the Vatican, 12 March 1998.

COMMISSION FOR RELIGIOUS RELATIONS WITH THE JEWS

WE REMEMBER: A REFLECTION ON THE SHOAH

III. Relations between Jews and Christians

      The history of relations between Jews and Christians is a tormented one. His Holiness Pope John Paul II has recognized this fact in his repeated appeals to Catholics to see where we stand with regard to our relations with the Jewish people.(6) In effect, the balance of these relations over two thousand years has been quite negative.(7)

      At the dawn of Christianity, after the crucifixion of Jesus, there arose disputes between the early Church and the Jewish leaders and people who, in their devotion to the Law, on occasion violently opposed the preachers of the Gospel and the first Christians. In the pagan Roman Empire, Jews were legally protected by the privileges granted by the Emperor and the authorities at first made no distinction between Jewish and Christian communities. Soon however, Christians incurred the persecution of the State. Later, when the Emperors themselves converted to Christianity, they at first continued to guarantee Jewish privileges. But Christian mobs who attacked pagan temples sometimes did the same to synagogues, not without being influenced by certain interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people as a whole. "In the Christian world-I do not say on the part of the Church as such-erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people and their alleged culpability have circulated for too long, engendering feelings of hostility towards this people".(8) Such interpretations of the New Testament have been totally and definitively rejected by the Second Vatican Council.(9)

      Despite the Christian preaching of love for all, even for one's enemies, the prevailing mentality down the centuries penalized minorities and those who were in any way "different". Sentiments of anti-Judaism in some Christian quarters, and the gap which existed between the Church and the Jewish people, led to a generalized discrimination, which ended at times in expulsions or attempts at forced conversions. In a large part of the "Christian" world, until the end of the 18th century, those who were not Christian did not always enjoy a fully guaranteed juridical status. Despite that fact, Jews throughout Christendom held on to their religious traditions and communal customs. They were therefore looked upon with a certain suspicion and mistrust. In times of crisis such as famine, war, pestilence or social tensions, the Jewish minority was sometimes taken as a scapegoat and became the victim of violence, looting, even massacres.

      By the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, Jews generally had achieved an equal standing with other citizens in most States and a certain number of them held influential positions in society. But in that same historical context, notably in the 19th century, a false and exacerbated nationalism took hold. In a climate of eventful social change, Jews were often accused of exercising an influence disproportionate to their numbers. Thus there began to spread in varying degrees throughout most of Europe an anti-Judaism that was essentially more sociological and political than religious.

      At the same time, theories began to appear which denied the unity of the human race, affirming an original diversity of races. In the 20th century, National Socialism in Germany used these ideas as a pseudo-scientific basis for a distinction between so called Nordic-Aryan races and supposedly inferior races. Furthermore, an extremist form of nationalism was heightened in Germany by the defeat of 1918 and the demanding conditions imposed by the victors, with the consequence that many saw in National Socialism a solution to their country's problems and cooperated politically with this movement.

      The Church in Germany replied by condemning racism. The condemnation first appeared in the preaching of some of the clergy, in the public teaching of the Catholic Bishops, and in the writings of lay Catholic journalists. Already in February and March 1931, Cardinal Bertram of Breslau, Cardinal Faulhaber and the Bishops of Bavaria, the Bishops of the Province of Cologne and those of the Province of Freiburg published pastoral letters condemning National Socialism, with its idolatry of race and of the State.(10) The well-known Advent sermons of Cardinal Faulhaber in 1933, the very year in which National Socialism came to power, at which not just Catholics but also Protestants and Jews were present, clearly expressed rejection of the Nazi anti-semitic propaganda.(11) In the wake of the Kristallnacht, Bernhard Lichtenberg, Provost of Berlin Cathedral, offered public prayers for the Jews. He was later to die at Dachau and has been declared Blessed.

      Pope Pius XI too condemned Nazi racism in a solemn way in his Encyclical Letter Mit brennender Sorge,(12) which was read in German churches on Passion Sunday 1937, a step which resulted in attacks and sanctions against members of the clergy. Addressing a group of Belgian pilgrims on 6 September 1938, Pius XI asserted: "Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Spiritually, we are all Semites".(13) Pius XII, in his very first Encyclical, Summi Pontificatus,(14) of 20 October 1939, warned against theories which denied the unity of the human race and against the deification of the State, all of which he saw as leading to a real "hour of darkness".(15)

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Three of the Vatican's statement on the Holocaust: "We Remember. A Reflection on the Shoah": IV. Nazi anti-Semitism and the Shoah, and V. Looking together to a common future.



Click here to go to SECTION THREE or to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.


Apri1 12-14, 1998 volume 9, no. 72         DAILY CATHOLIC