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We kick off the month of February today with the Fourth Monday in Ordinary Time before celebrating tomorrow's joyful Feast of the Presentation of Jesus. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes of the feast of the Presentation, click on DAILY LITURGY.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
In the old liturgy February 1 was dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr. His feast has been moved to October 17th in the revised Liturgy. Nevertheless, today's prayer is in honor of him, taken from My Daily Prayer, from the Confraternity of the Precious Blood:
Behold our weakness, almighty God; and since the weight of our misdeeds is heavy upon us, grant that the glorious intercession of Blessed Ignatius, Thy Martyr and Bishop, may be our protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
THE DAILY WORD
"For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those men who in wickedness hold back the truth of God, seeing that what may be known about God is manifest to them. For God has manifested it to them."
Romans 1: 18-19
- Another pertinent editorial in CATHOLIC PewPOINT
- Installment ninety-one in our on-going megaseries on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH
- Messages 375 and 376 in "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
- Time Capsules in Church History with MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES focusing on events that occurred on February 2nd.
- DAILY LITURGY for the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Wednesday's feast of Saint Blase, Bishop and Martyr.
- More gems from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in SIMPLY SHEEN
- Another useful fact on something regarding the Church in CATHOLIC CANVAS
- And much more in our 22nd issue for 1999!
To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.
The true meaning of life can only be found in Jesus
On the feast of one of the first women Doctors of the Church Saint Teresa of Jesus, the Holy Father issued his 13th encyclical on the foundations of faith and reason entitled Fides et Ratio. Today we continue with the sixteenth part of this lengthy and important encyclical in installments spread out over several issues. The sixteenth installment begins the seventh chapter Current Requirements and Tasks focusing on part one of The indispensable requirements of the word of God in which the Holy Father explains that the meaning of life is laid out beautifully in Sacred Scripture which proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that God not only exists, but that He is the beginning and end of our search for all meaning. For those wanting to read the entire encyclical, go to Fides et Ratio For the sixteenth installment, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.
No Pain, No Gain!
By his own admission, the long labors of redecorating one's home took its toll on Pat Ludwa's back as well as well as other muscles rarely used. One of those "muscles" in great shape, though, is his mind which he exercises daily in the heart of the Holy Spirit's special "gym" as you will discover in his column today entitled, This is hard work! For more, click on VIEW FROM THE PEW
From immigrant roots Cardinal Bevilaqua helped fashion pastoral care for immigrants and refugees from Brooklyn to Rome to Philadelphia.
Today's featured Prince of the Church is 76 year-old American Cardinal Anthony Joseph Bevilaqua, a Brooklyn-born Cradle Catholic from a large immigrant family who used his God-given talents to remember his roots and establish pastoral councils for migrants and refugees. His input was invaluable in this prototype being established in Rome as the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. His expertise in law - from Canon to Civil - makes him a great asset to the NCCB where he has served many committees while he remains the head of a flock of one and a half million Catholics in Philadelphia as their Archbishop. For more on Cardinal Bevilaqua, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
"Spiritual refuge must be for all who would persevere in the True Faith."
That is the theme of both the Blessed Virgin Mary's Messages of July 12 and 13 that she imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in 1993. While she talks about physical refuges, she emphasizes the need to have our spiritual abodes in order before worrying about our physical dwellings or needs. She asks us to trust in her Divine Son Jesus and give Him all reverence in the Blessed Sacrament which satan furiously tries to destroy. Our Lady urges all to pray for her beloved Pope-son John Paul II, God's bearer of truth, life and the way. Many want to silence him in these times when His Justice is so near, but Divine Mercy is still available and we must use this gift now and spread it...before Mercy is no more. For Messages 373 and 374, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Events Today in Church History
On this date in 772, Pope Hadrian I was elected the 95th successor of Peter. Hadrian was the pontiff who called the Second Council of Nicaea which condemned Iconoclasm. Because of its impact it is considered one of the more important Ecumenical Councils. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church: Iconoclasm
As mentioned above, on this day 1,227 years ago Pope Hadrian I began his 23-year pontificate, during which he called the Seventh Ecumenical Council renowned for condemning Iconoclasm. Just what is Iconoclasm? It is derived from the Greek eicon meaning "image" and klaein meaning to break; thus "image-breaking." This was the the heresy first put forth by the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian in 727 when he forbade all veneration to images on the ground that such veneration was idolatry. Thus he set off a barrage of terrible and senseless destruction of statues and icons of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all saints, many priceless works of art. This heresy was promulgated by those who did not believe in Jesus or those saints who Catholics prayed to for intercession - groups such as the Paulinians, Jews and Moslims. Christians were in a quandary, confusion reigned as the state disagreed with the Church. Thus, at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 Iconoclasm was condemned and the delineation was spelled out between adoration and veneration. The latter could only be reserved to God; the former to saints as intercessors. This kind of homage was lauded and the distinction made that prayers were not to an "image" but to the person who represented that image, statue or icon. The Iconoclasts would return with a vengeance less than a century later with Emperor Leo V, the Armenian who tried to reignite the controversy but, thanks to men like Saint John Damascene it died with the Empress Theodora declaring the Feast of Orthodoxy in 842. (sources: My Catholic Faith, My Mission House Publishers; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers; Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon, SJ, Doubleday).
SIMPLY SHEEN: Hoard not, want not.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"Misers may fill their wallets, but never their hearts, for they cannot obtain all the wealth they are able to imagine and desire. But the poor in heart are rich in happiness. God gave us love enough to spend in getting back to Him so that we could find Infinity there; He did not give us love enough to hoard."
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Holy Father grateful for stay of execution by Missouri Governor, prays for more to be spared
The news was encouraging for Pope John Paul II when his plane taxied into Fiumicino Airport in Rome. He had just been notified that Governor Mel Carnahan had taken the Pontiff's words to heart and granted clemency to convicted death row murderer Darrell Mease. Perhaps Carnahan, who served as diplomat to Sierra Leone in the sixties under President John F. Kennedy could see what has happened in that country today and that violence for violence is not the answer. He says he's still for the death penalty but prayer and prudence may sway him to the Sanctity of Life because of the Holy Father's urging. For more, click on Pope grateful.
Palestinians get support from over a thousand religious leaders in America
The concern for Palestinians living along the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank intensified this past week when over one thousand religious leaders, including Catholic bishops, petitioned to the Clinton Administration to hold the governments of Israel and Palestine accountable for their human rights policies. They called for an investigation into alleged violations that are alarming if true. For more, click on Palestinian human rights.
Catholic-bashing gays forbidden to continue sacriligeous charade in Sydney
The Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia finally got through to the morons who wanted to promote a Catholic-bashing group of gays and lesbians who had intended to reprieve the sacriligeous stunt they performed last year by dressing as blatantly gay nuns from the fictional and highly defamatory "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" to give tours during the obscene homosexual festivities being passed off as a Mardi Gras celebration. Though the board and organizers of this travesty pushed for it, the director of the famous Opera House Trust realized what a travesty this would be and canceled plans. For more, click on No gay habit.
Idea of Independence ignites insurrection in Indonesia
Float the idea of freedom to the masses and the masses react in hysteria - some in favor of it, others against it. Such was the case in East Timor - still part of Indonesia late last week when those for independence - which are mostly Catholics, and those against - Muslims clashed again, driving many Catholics to cover in the churches as their homes were burned. For more, click on East Timor Terror
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January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE