December 19-21
volume 8, no. 56    
FRI-SAT-SUN Dec 19,20,21, 1997

Charles DickensLess than a week until the Messiah Arrives
"Great Expectations"
      As the countdown to Christmas continues with "Great Expectations" we are reminded that today is the 154th anniversary of the publishing of the book "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. Since that time this master British author has given the world so many interesting and unforgettable characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, Old Fezziwig, David Copperfield, Uriah Heep, Edwin Drood, Martin Chezzlewit, Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, the Artful Dodger, and on and on. But God has given us so much more!!! Even though the simple name of John hadn't even been announced yet, the future Baptist leapt in Elizabeth's womb when she first saw her cousin - the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Visitation. The great expectations of Mary, Elizabeth and the world for the Messiah is something to reflect on in today's Reflections on Sacred Scripture by Cyndi Cain on the Gospel passage for this Sunday. Click on "COME UNTO ME"
"Bah Humbug!"
Sister Mary Lucy      That is the infamous refrain echoed by Ebenezer Scrooge to all who wished him a "Merry Christmas." Today the politically correct pundits take his place in doing all they can to promote a "holiday" spirit by cleverly omitting the name "Christ" in Christmas. Because they can't just say "mas" as in "more" they opt for "no mas" by pushing other icons that take away from the true spirit and meaning of Christmas. After all, we wouldn't want to offend those who deny the Son of God! Sister Mary Lucy Astuto gets to the heart of the reason for the season with Please say: "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" in her weekly column in giving us tips on how to put "Christ" back in "Christmas." Click on GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Less than a week until the Messiah Arrives
"All-over Twist"
      Actually the title is "Oliver Twist" by Dickens, but can you imagine the dickens of a time the media would have had had they been there in force on that piercing cold night in Bethlehem nearly 2000 years ago? In this week's editorial we give you an "all-over twist" of events with the equation: The "C" of Christmas + "C" of Cyberspace = the Holy See's Sea of Evangelization. Click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT
The Light of Christ will enlighten us
"The Olde Curiosity Shoppe"
      Though that was the title of another of Charles Dicken's many works, it could also be the title of the Vatican II documents which collect dust on the shelves if we don't take them down, open them up, and, out of curiosity, look up the facts. If we don't seek the truth we may forever be duped by the modernists who would like us to believe that Vatican II changed so many things, throwing out such staples as indulgences. The facts are that the Council Fathers have not eliminated or downgraded indulgences as many liberals spout. The actual documents from Vatican II are included in this first of two parts on Indulgences which we will tie in with our Catechism Capsules daily series next week. Click on VATICAN II VERIFICATIONS
Less than a week until the Messiah Arrives
"God bless us all everyone"
      Those were the words of Tiny Tim Cratchit in Dicken's classic "Christmas Carol" and we echo the same words as we celebrate the liturgy on the final weekend before His birthday. The Readings for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are all included in this issue. Also, the Nine Day Christmas Novena continues with the fourth, fifth and sixth day:

"O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry."
(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)

"O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death."
(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)

"O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!"
(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)
Less than a week until the Messiah Arrives
"The Pickwick Papers"
      Though the Instructions handed down by the Holy See last month on curbing abuses of the lay role in assisting the priest are not called "The Pickwick Papers" after another of Dicken's novels, many radicals are calling his document from all members of the curia (a first in the history of the Vatican!) - the "Picky Papers" because their agenda of watering down the liturgy has been exposed by the Holy See with these explicit instructions. As we near the completion of bringing you this complete document, we present the twenty first installment of these instructions with PRACTICAL PROVISIONS Article 12 Leading the Celebration at Funerals. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
Prayers & DevotionLess than one week until the Messiah Arrives


For the Advent Novena Prayer and all prayers up until today, click on ADVENT Novena Prayers

December 19, 1997
      Blessed Mother, the Baby stirs in your womb and you smile, knowing how near Heaven is to all the earth. You desired to share your joy with all, but kept silent, knowing the time had not yet come. Blessed Mother, through your intercession help us in these final days before the Feast of Christmas, to ponder in our hearts all of God's benevolence for us, and to proclaim proudly His Name and that we are His children in every aspect of our lives.

December 20, 1997
      Heavenly Father, the angels trembled in anticipation of the great event which was but a few days away. You beheld your servants Joseph and Mary, and knew the difficulties they faced, and would face. Yet Your grace sheltered them, and You led them along the sure path. Help us to walk in the sure way which is always Your Way, that we may arrive at the Heavenly Bethlehem to adore the tiny Good Shepherd.

December 21, 1997
      Dear Mother of God, the day is almost upon us and somehow we have not done all that we intended through this novena . Yet we renew again this day our desire to be one with Jesus. We desire to be present at the stable in Bethlehem, there to kneel and offer homage and praise with you and St. Joseph, interced for us, obtaining these graces of which we are not worthy, but of which we trust in God's love and mercy. Take us by the hand and help us walk beside you and Joseph as you set out from Nazareth on the road to Bethlehem.

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with a Catholic slant

    Padre PioPope pushes Padre Pio closer to sainthood!
          Going through the normal Church procedures for canonization, the Holy Father approved Padre Pio's candidacy, making him eligible for beatification and a closer step to sainthood. He is presently in the venerable stage and many around the world have attested to miracles attributed to him, which are required for asserting sanctity by Holy Mother Church. Click on Padre Pio to read more.

    Signs that we are closer to the need for the Triumph!
          Abortion and the culture of death once again take center stage in the news today. Again, the good and bad; first the bad: In Australia an admitted Lesbian has taken Holy Mother Church to task and won the first round through secular authorities to teach in a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Sydney. The Church is not going to take this lying down, realizing her agenda is to water down the faith in order to tolerate this abnormal lifestyle. Meanwhile in Michigan, Dr. Death is at it again with two more suicides reported as he tries to find a loop-hole to the legislation passed against him the week before. For these first two stories, click on the CWN logo below. Now the good news: The demarcation line between the Republicans and the Democrats is going to take a pro-life slant as the GOP party girds to push cutting off all funding to any pro-abort candidate. For this story, also click the CWN tag below. Finally, a day after a Brazilian judge okayed an abortion for an 11-year old pre-teen, her doctor and a priest talked her out of it. Click on Brazil to read more.

    For B.B. King, the Thrill is not gone as he gives "Lucille" to Pope

    B.B. King      Known as the "Ambassador of Blues," B. B. King not only sang for the Holy Father at the Vatican Christmas Concert, but presented the supreme pontiff with his most prized possession - his life-long famous guitar "Lucille" which he named his museum in Memphis after. But the real thrill for this son of an Indianola, Mississippi sharecropper was meeting John Paul II in person. Click on B.B. King to read more.

Catholic World News ServiceTo subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click on the CWN icon .

Medjugorje Monthly Message for November 25th
The Gospa     Dear children: Today I invite you to comprehend your Christian vocation. Little children, I led and am leading you through this time of grace, that you may become conscious of your Christian vocation. Holy martyrs died witnessing: I am a Christian and love God over everything. Little children, today also I invite you to rejoice and be joyful Christians, responsible and conscious that God called you in a special way to be joyfully extended hands toward those who do not believe, and that through the example of your life, they may receive faith and love for God. Therefore, pray, pray, pray that your heart may open and be sensitive for the Word of God. Thank you for having responded to my call!

For more on Medjugorje, Click on MEDJUGORJE

"Hold fast to instruction, never let her go; keep her, for she is your life."

Proverbs 4: 13


To review past articles, click on Archives to read text or the following articles in graphics for November are available if you click on NOVEMBER ISSUES

To read the graphics version of the December issues, click on DECEMBER ISSUES

  • We present our weekly Golden Chalice Award to a Significant Site of the Week
  • Catechism Capsules focuses on Indulgences
  • More Advent prayers and devotion leading up to Christmas
  • Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. brings us Hearts to Heart Talk
  • 22nd installment of Vatican Document for the Laity and Clergy - Article 13: Necessary Selection and Adequate Formation
  • ...and much, much more!

December 19-21, 1997       volume 8, no. 56
Front Page

December 1997