Why do so many get caught in the endless maze of thinking man has a better idea than God?
In his column today, Pat Ludwa addresses the rebellion currently going on at a parish in Rochester, New York where many liberal parishioners are so upset that their priest was suspended and then excommunicated for his disobedience that they are following his bad example by being just as disobedient in trying to form their own church. It never works as Pat points out in citing various examples of history. For Pat's column Mass Suicide in Rochester, New York, click on VIEW FROM THE PEW
In Lesson 8 THE TRIAL OF THE SANHEDRIN our Heavenly Mother further affirms these times and reinforces the importance of the Final Dogma which will signal the beginning of the transformation from our present era to the promised new Era of Peace. None of this could have been possible without Mary's Divine Son willingly humbling Himself and submitting to the Sanhedrin which He knew would condemn Him to death. In the first part of Lesson 8, Our Lady gives the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart a vivid vision of Christ's trial as we continue this special daily series during Lent. For part one of Lesson 8, click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"
Do we really trust in God?
Today we sound the forty-fourth clarion regarding the credo "In God we trust" found on our currency and courtrooms, but do we really believe that or are those mere shallow words? More than ever before God is being squeezed out today by anyone who can attract the attention of the ACLU or lobby for a bill that will negate God everywhere except in churches. After all, we must keep the separation between Church and state; something the founding fathers never intended. For the ninety-ninth installment of our on-going megaseries on the Church today, click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?
We can discard sadness if we face up to the facts!
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".
"When our own responsibility for our sadness has once been faced, prayer next leads us on to hope, because it shows us the real basis for our discontent: the knowledge that we could be quite different from the way we are."
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this date in 1227 Pope Honorius III died. He is the Roman Pontiff who at first turned down Saint Francis of Assisi in his request to begin his Order of Friars Minor, but in a dream the Pope realized the error of his ways and recalled the humble mystic back to Rome to officially approve the Franciscans. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
"Behold, I am the New Ark, the Immaculate Tabernacle."
This assertion was conveyed by the Blessed Mother, in her words to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December, 1993 in which Blessed Mary laments at the influx of abortions and how the main reason for her coming to the Americas in the 1500's was to stop human sacrifice, just as it is today. But she reminds her children that soon she will no longer be with us in this extraordinary way, her Divine Son Jesus's Divine Mercy will no longer be available for the Justice will come. She urges all to remain faithful and live the messages just as she prefaces in her message the day before. For Messages #439 and #440, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Italy helping unify ties between China and the Vatican during Chinese President Jiang Zemin's visit to Rome this week
Speculation is ripe around Rome that Chinese President Jiang Zemin may meet with Pope John Paul II later this week during the Oriental leader's five-day trip to Italy. The subject would be China's recognizing the Roman Catholic Church, allowing the vast underground Church there to practice their faith freely. The Italian government has gone to bat for the Holy See in helping this become a reality. For more, click on Opening doors.
Serious talks underway in Hanoi between Vatican and Vietnamese government
While talks are being planned between China and the Holy See, talks are well underway between the Vatican and Vietnam in establishing diplomatic relations between the two and recognizing the Vietnamese bishops appointed by the Holy Father. Meanwhile a UN envoy preparing a report on human rights in Vietnam cautions that the communist regime is opening up merely because of pressures from their own people and other governments and doubts the sincerity of the officials in Hanoi. For more, click on Vatican-Vietnam venue
Can Kosovo be saved? Religious leaders not readily optimistic while debating that issue during meetings in Vienna.
Kosovo religious leaders are not very optimistic that peace can be achieved in this Yugoslav region where ethnic fighting between Serbs and Albanians has garnered the world's attention. The conference in Vienna in which major religious luminaries of Kosovo including the Church's Bishop Marko Sopi have been meeting this week is one of the last ditch hopes to iron out an amicable treaty between Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics in the region where all can live in harmony. If not, violence and war are inevitable. More than 2,000 people have been killed and 600,000 displaced because of the ethnic conflict. For more, click on Working and praying for peace in Kosovo.
Ancient church discovered in Israel, dating back to sixth century and dedicated to St. John the Baptist
In the spirit of Indiana Jones, archeologists have uncovered an ancient edifice dating back to 550 that is believed to have been a Byzantine church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Experts surmise that it was abandoned in the early part of the seventh century when Saracens conquered the area, causing parishioners to abandon their church out and flee, leaving it in the hands of Arabs who could have turned it into a mosque around 630 since the Islam religion founded by Mohammed was gaining full steam at this time. For more, click on ancient sanctuary.
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Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church:
Today is the 1,268th anniversary of the election of Pope Saint Gregory III, the 90th successor of Peter who established that charitable donations to the Holy See be earmarked as "Peter's Pence." It was originally established as a tithing fund from all the dioceses of Europe and landowners who would pay their fair share to help defray the Church's costs. Many believe the practice began in Old England where a penny tax was assessed per year. A penny was worth much more than today but represented a fair share; hence the word "pence." This tax was collected once a year on the Feast of Saint Peter on June 29th. But this "Peter's Pence" was abused over the centuries by some Popes who used it to raise monies for things that were not in harmony with the needs of Holy Mother Church; other Popes tapped these funds to funnel money to the Crusades, or their own pet projects. This practice seemed to lapse during the Protestant Reformation and never really gained its prominence or prestige again until Pope Pius XI reinstituted it in the 1930's. Today it is in full force with bishops all over the world contributing from a percentage raised during their annual appeal to their flocks in their respective dioceses. Funds are allocated for Catholic charities authorized by the Vatican and for the maintenance of the Pope, helping to pay for his papal trips, daily living expenses, and entourage necessary to protect and assist the Vicar of Christ. For a more detailed background on "Peter's Pense" or "Peterspense", we recommend NEW ADVENT CATHOLIC SUPERSITE (sources: Cabinet of Catholic Information, Duggan Publishing Co.; 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor; Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon, SJ, Doubleday; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers).