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We are now going on our sixth month of publishing daily and the response has been most encouraging. We garnered 43,000 plus hits in our first month of publishing the Daily CATHOLIC in November and upped that to 55,000 plus in December despite missing a week because of UNIX problems. We doubled that in January and in March we more than tripled November's tally and are averaging over 120,000 hits a month in 1998. Not bad considering we were plodding along with 5,000 hits a month range as late as last July! So the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK has grown tremendously over the last several months and continues to grow. But with growth always come growing pains and we are experiencing some of these such as the problems outlined above with our UNIX server. Never thought we'd run into the problem of too many cramming the network where it creates a problem but that is evidently the case and the server, not equipped for such traffic, has had problems. We are consulting with our Internet Provider to seek out ways to remedy this so everyone can get in and not get error or busy messages or no data messages that you may have gotten over the weekend.
It is both encouraging and discouraging. It's Encouraging in that the numbers are growing and subscribers are happy, discouraging in the fact they can't get in or, if the server is cramped on Sunday, we can't do a thing about it because they're closed. We've thought about using a different server, but how can you not stay with a company that refuses to work on Sunday? More power to 'em. And maybe this is God's way of saying "Haven't I said keep holy the Lord's Day?" That's one of the great problems with society today, especially commerce. Everyone works on Sunday. It is no longer the Lord's Day. Gone are those times when everyone gathered as one with extended family for a Sunday dinner after a solemn Sunday Mass. Today one can attend Saturday evening Mass and sleep in Sunday morning or wake at the crack of dawn to either grab the clubs and head out to the links hoping your tee time is still secure as the grass still glistens with the morning dew, or grab a couple of buddies and head out to the closest fishing pond for a day of fishin' and relaxin', or, for some, going to work at Wal-Mart, Target, Lucky, Albertsons, Safeway, Sav-on, Walgreens, McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, or 7-11 to name a few of the countless places that are always open on Sundays. It is a reflection on society, it is a reflection on the moral decline of America - of the world. Ever since Sundays ceased being a day of rest, a day for family as God intended, and more of a day to "catch up" on things we couldn't do the rest of the week - such as mowing lawns, cleaning garages, etc., we have grown less and less dependent on God or family togetherness. This editor is one of the more guilty on this because of the fact we need to get the Monday issue on line and that takes time away from family. Therefore, we have made the pledge, beginning with the Monday issue after Divine Mercy Sunday, to produce a shorter version. We say the Monday after Divine Mercy Sunday because next Monday's issue will be grouped with the EASTER SUNDAY issue which will go on-line Holy Saturday evening. We will produce a special EASTER TRIDUUM issue on Holy Thursday that will include Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, then Easter Sunday-Monday issue with Tuesday, April 14 resuming our regular schedule. Beginning with the Easter Triduum issue we will introduce the Divine Mercy Novena which will continue to Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter. We will also carry special features for Holy Thursday and Good Friday to enhance your Holy Week experience.
We know you'll understand and appreciate that paring back the Monday issue is necessary for the welfare of family, for the welfare of our own souls so we can give back to God all He has given us. Yes, this work at the Daily CATHOLIC is all for God, but so often we can get wrapped up in deadlines, nerves can get rattled, and God doesn't want that. By having Sunday's free for family and God's time as He intended, it will make it more fruitful and productive for the rest of the week and the Daily CATHOLIC can only grow more if that is His Holy Will. If we can keep that in focus, we'll all grow in His Love and Mercy and devote His day to Him. But to work on Sunday, that is anathema to Him unless it is vital to the welfare of the family. If not, don't! We have decided we can work around the schedule, still provide a Monday issue, but not have to do it on Sunday. We know God will be pleased, we hope you will be, for our motto must be: Never on Sunday!
To all of the above, after you got over being nervous, you, with a quiver in your voice, would respond, "I didnít know that I was." Each of Them in Their Own way would let you know deep inside that they understood.
Nothing in all of Godís terrestrial creation resists Him, except humans. Nothing in all of Godís terrestrial creation is able to say "No" to God. Only man. God knew that this would be the case much before He created human beings and yet, He, despite this knowledge went right along and created them nonetheless. This is the price that Our Father Creator chose to pay. He could have created human beings who would always say "Yes" to whatever He wanted, but then they could not express love and give Him free service. The fact that He chose to make mankind free, that is, endowed with a free will, which free will could choose to resist Him, gives indication of how much value He put onto a free and loving act of obedience.
What is awesome and quite frightening is the fact that even if God knew beforehand that men would resist Him and say "No" to Him at any given time within the span of their life, He still chose to create them. What is even more awesome and more frightening is the fact that He has created billions upon billions of human beings despite the fact that He knew from all eternity that their resistance to His Will and a continuous "No" to Him during their lifetime, would ultimately cause them to live for an eternity without Him, without the joy of ever seeing Him "face to Face" and loving Him "heart to Heart."
What all this means on a practical level is that each of us has the distinct responsibility to make decisions upon decisions, not to resist Our Maker and conversely to make a decision upon decisions to do His Will on a day to day, on a moment to moment basis. Now, who of us can do this? I know that I canít. I know that I havenít. I know that I wonít. The very thought that I have given resistance to my loving Father, and what is worse, that till the day I die, I am capable of giving Him resistance, is saddening and when this thought comes forth from the heart, it is enough to bring me to tears.
In my next installment, I will continue on this talk about Zero Resistance, Zero Ego Drive with some introspective thoughts.
Death of Saint William of Ebelholt, canon regular who was renowned for miracles attributed to him and was canonized twenty one years after his death by Pope Honorius III.
Another great crusader Saint Louis (King Louis IX) is captured by the infidels but would survive and return to France.
The Holy Father met with the youth delegation at the basilica of St. John Lateran as they prepared for the celebration of the 13th annual World Youth Day, which will be Palm Sunday. Led by Cardinal Jean- Marie Lustiger of Paris, a French delegation transferred the ceremonial cross symbolic of World Youth Day to a delegation of Italians led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome. That transfer signaled the passing of the role of host from France, where the last World Youth Day celebration was held, to Rome, where the event will be held in 2000.
The cross was also the central theme in Pope John Paul's remarks. Every man must carry a cross in life, he said, and to ignore the reality of suffering is to ignore the truth about the human condition. "We are made to live," he said, "but we cannot eliminate suffering and trials from our personal stories."
The "ephemeral culture" seeks in vain to disregard this reality, the Pope warned. That culture, he continued, seeks to emphasize only what seems attractive, and concentrates solely on "a rapid career of self-affirmation at any price." He insisted that young people must recognize: "This is not the way that leads to joy and to life, but the path that plunges into sin and death."
The Pope contrasted the outlook of the "ephemeral culture" with the words of Christ: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." When one accepts one's own cross, the Holy Father concluded, pain and suffering can be transformed, and the Cross of Christ can become a source of strength and hope.
In his book, The Mission Toward the Year 2000, the cardinal underlines the fact that the Church has, from her inception, been involved in missionary work. This work is not a supplement to the ordinary life of the Church, he insists, but an intrinsic aspect of Christian existence. "The Church was born missionary," he writes.
Cardinal Tomko points to the continent of Asia as the greatest challenge for missionaries today, since that continent is home to 85 percent of the world's non-Christian population. Latin America poses a different problem, he notes, because although the culture is overwhelmingly Catholic, many people still do not know Christ. In Europe, he stressed the need for a "new evangelization" in the very cradle of Christian culture.
Africa is a particularly interesting continent today, the cardinal mentioned in an interview with the Italian daily Avvenire. He said that the high point of the Pope's recent trip to Nigeria was the beatification of Blessed Michael Tansi, who now serves as a model for African priests. Africa has shown a dramatic increase in the number of priestly and religious vocations in recent years, he observed, and inevitably these priests and religious will become missionaries to other countries on other continents.
The province is gripped with tension between republican Catholics and loyalist Protestants each year at the start of the marching season, when Protestants hold parades to commemorate historic victories and affirm their British identity. The Parades Commission, established by the British government last year to regulate the parades, banned the parade by the Apprentice Boys group which had been set to march through south Belfast on Easter Monday, April 13.
The chairman of the commission, Alistair Graham, said it had not been an easy decision. "In the final analysis, however, we have been most concerned about the impact that a parade along the Lower Ormeau Road at this time would have on relationships within the community," Graham told a news conference.
Although most parades are held without violence, there have been riots during some marches over the past three years. With multi-party peace talks approaching their deadline on April 13, the British and Irish governments have been counseling calm to avoid sparking increased tensions.
Father Gruner, who for 20 years has organized conferences on the messages of Fatima, has been suspended a divinis-- that is, forbidden to exercise his priestly powers. The open letter which appeared in the Italian press today called upon the Holy Father to restore the priest's faculties, and accused "Vatican bureaucrats" of undermining his work. The letter used the same accusation to explain why the appeal on behalf of Father Gruner was published in the secular media, rather than relayed through normal Church channels.
The letter was signed by 20 bishops-- 3 of them retired-- from India, Malaysia, Brazil, Honduras, China, Belgium, and Syria, all of whom indicated their desire to participate in conferences organized by the controversial Canadian priest. However, Vatican sources expressed some doubts that all these bishops knew that their names had appeared on the document, or that they understood Father Gruner's situation.
Father Gruner was suspended by his bishop in the Italian Diocese of Avellino in 1976. When he continued his public work, regardless of the ban, the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy finally issued a statement in 1992, announcing that his annual conferences on the Fatima message were organized without ecclesial approval. In January of this year Bishop Natalino Zagotto, an auxiliary of the Rome diocese, again reminded potential supporters that Father Gruner's conferences were unauthorized.