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Today is the feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort and the last feast day before Sunday's feast of the Baptism of the Lord which introduces Ordinary Time. St. Raymond, co-founder of the Mercedarians was not only a Catalan monk but a lawyer as well. He evidently lived right, dying at the ripe old age of 100. Tomorrow we celebrate the final Friday in the Weekdays of Christmas. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and story on St. Raymond, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's Prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer for the Mass honoring Saint Raymond of Penyafort:
Lord, You gave St. Raymond the gift of compassion in his ministry to sinners. May his prayers free us from the slavery of sin and help us to love and serve You in liberty.
December 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! In this Christmas joy I desire to bless you with my blessing. In a special way, little
children, I give you the blessing of little Jesus. May He fill you with His peace. Today, little children, you do not have peace and yet you yearn for it. That is why, with my Son Jesus, on this day I call you to pray, pray, pray, because without prayer you do not have joy or peace or a future. Yearn for peace and seek it, for God is true peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.
WORD OF THE DAY
"For we walk by faith and not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5: 7
Coming This Weekend:
Another pertinent, timely editorial in CATHOLIC PewPOINT
Heart-filled words from Sister Mary Lucy Astuto in her column GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Time Capsules in Church History with MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES focusing on January 8th through January 10th.
LITURGY of the Day for the final two weekdays of Christmas, Sunday's Feast of The Baptism of Our Lord and the First Monday in Ordinary Time.
Another gem from SIMPLY SHEEN and we highlight another Prince of the Church in COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
...and much more in our 5th issue for 1999!
To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.
How great is your faith?
Today we begin a segment on the Theological virtues, beginning with Faith and how we perceive this virtue today. Too many have forgotten that faith is a virtue and something that needs to be practiced or we can lose it very, very quickly. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, when talking about the martyrs and about the faithful today, "Dying for our faith really isn't as hard as living up to our faith." That takes on-going commitment and that is what we address as we begin the third year of this on-going series as we sound the fortieth clarion (subject matter) on the Church today. For the ninetieth installment of this on-going megaseries, click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?.
CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church
Faith! What is it? Faith is the first of Theological virtues by which we firmly believe all truths God has revealed, on the word of God revealing them, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. as Jesus says in John 20:29, "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed."
- 1. Faith is belief in a truth on the word of another, though that truth may not be fully understood.
- 2.Divine faith is belief in a truth or mystery known only because God revealed it. It is grace that helps us to attain faith and to persevere in it, to take God's word for whatever He has revealed. Faith is supernatural because we cannot acquire it ourselves. It is a God-given gift.
3. Without faith, it is impossible to be saved. Our faith must be firm and complete; that is, both certain and all-encompassing for Paul says in Hebrews 11: 6, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." (source: My Catholic Faith, My Mission House, Publishers)
The saints of Assisi embody the reverence due God
While kneeling at the tomb of Saint Francis of Assisi the Blessed Virgin Mary conveyed to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart how Francis and Saint Clare set the example and ensured that all reverence be given to her Divine Son Jesus. These two saints embodied the way to perfection that we should all strive for. Our Lady prefaced this message with one enroute to Assisi on the same day, imploring that we return the crucifixes to the altar to remind everyone that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not a meal per se, but rather the reenactment of the Passion and Death of Our Lord and we must remember why He suffered and died for us. She also encourages the priests to return her Divine Son to where He belongs - front and center by way of placing the tabernacle back at the main altar for over the past 30 years man has replaced God in the sanctuary. For messages 338 and 339, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
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".
"Faith is related not to self-assurance but to God; not to an even, but to truth. In fact, there is often the greatest faith when there is the least prosperity."
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Congo fatalities reach 500 in senseless massacre of innocent victims on New Year's Day
All hell has literally broken loose in the Congo with the news that 500 innocent citizens were slaughtered in the village of Makobola in the eastern side of the Congo. The dastardly barbarian killers are believed to be the Banyamulenge ethnic Tutsis who struck back blindly in retaliation for an attack on them. Why they chose innocent men, women and children of all ages rather than target the culprit Mai-Mai tribes who attacked them is still a question mark, but one thing is for sure, those 500 victims cannot answer and the Congo is in dire straits with priests and nuns there forced into hiding even though they need to be with the people to shepherd in these terrible times. For more, click on Congo massacre.
Ambitious two-week Polish pilgrimage in June preliminarily planned for Pope
The Polish cardinals have released a preliminary itinerary for the Holy Father's papal trip to Poland scheduled for June 5th through the 17th this year. The schedule calls for Pope John Paul II to visit 19 to 20 cities throughout his beloved homeland and will include visits to many of his childhood haunts as well as praying at Holocaust sites and celebrating the millennial occasion of the Diocese of Wadowice where Karol Wojtoyla was born and grew up. For more, click on Polish Pilgrimage.
Conjecture arises on when the Pope will canonize Blessed Juan Diego as ticket scams in Mexico for the Papal Mass crop up
It's only inevitable that some will exploit others even if the occasion is one that evokes high reverence. Such is the case with the announcement that unauthorized tickets are being sold for the Papal Mass even though the event is free and should not be considered a "box-office" event but rather a solemn, holy occasion. Meanwhile, it's inevitable that the venerable visionary of Guadalupe Blessed Juan Diego will be canonized; the question is "when?" That is left to conjecture though documents dating back to the time Juan lived give impetus that it will be soon. Whether it will be during the Holy Father's papal visit to officially close the Synod of the Americas in Mexico City is still not determined. For more, click on Mexico papal visit
Holy Father adds nine new bishops to the ranks of the successors of the apostles
Pope John Paul II joyfully embraced all nine new bishops after ordaining them at St. Peter's Basilica yesterday. This annual tradition on the traditional feast of the Epiphany brings to 277 the number the Holy Father has personally ordained. The new members include three papal nuncios, two curia members as well as one from Vietnam, one from India, and one from the Sudan - three countries where Catholics are being harassed and persecuted. For more, click on ordinations.
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the
CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this date in 1566 the holy Cardinal Michele Ghislieri from Bosco, Italy was chosen as the 225th successor of Peter and became Pope Pius V and eventually Saint Pius V when Pope Clement XI canonized him in 1712. It was Pius V who led the reform and enforced all that was passed at the Council of Trent including the Roman Missal which is often called the St. Pius V Missal. He also promoted devotion to the Rosary and attributed Our Lady's intercession for the implausible victory over the Turks at Lepanto. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES