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March 30, 1998             SECTION ONE              vol 9, no. 63

The whole of EWTN only getting half attention on Satelite!

     The news that the Dish Network is cutting Mother Angelica's Global Catholic Network EWTN in half by forcing it to share a channel with America's Voice, thus paring back 24 hour programming to only 12 hours, is not going to sit well with loyal Catholics and it shouldn't. In today's editorial we provide the sources on who to write, e-mail or call to convince the powers that be at the Dish Network owned by EchoStar, and urge all to respond immediately and often in an effort to change their mind and keep EWTN going full strength! For our editorial If we sit silently by, we will be satan's accomplices!, click on today's CATHOLIC PewPOINT

If we sit silently by, we will be satan's accomplices!

     Yesterday was the Fifth Sunday of Lent. In times past it was always considered Passion Sunday with the following week Palm Sunday leading into Holy Week and Easter Sunday. It was sort of a "countdown" in Lent to gage our progress. After Vatican II, Passion Sunday was bumped from the Fifth Sunday to Palm Sunday where the two were forced to share one day. This piggy backing has confused some, but more may be yet confused when they learn of another "piggy backing" that will take effect beginning Wednesday. We're talking about EchoStar's decision to cut Mother Angelica's EWTN programming in half, forcing it to share a channel with America's Voice - whatever that is! EchoStar is the parent company of the Dish Network which was co-founded by Charles Ergan whose headquarters are just northwest of Denver in Littleton and Northglenn, Colorado. The Dish Network boasts 180 channels but can't find a single clear channel for Mother Angelica's station? Something is afoot here and we intend to get to the bottom of it.

     We first learned of this demotion through an e-mail from one of our subscribers and then contacted the Dish Network to get the skivvy. As with most companies, it is nigh unto impossible to get through to the decision makers as we were put off by a representative named Sheryl who claimed she was in charge of promotions for the company, but when we asked her how many channels the Dish Network carried, she couldn't give us a number. Not too knowledgable for someone promoting a product. But we can give you a number, the toll-free number to call and register your complaint: 888-621-2078 or 800-333-DISH (3474). We also asked her why EWTN was being "cut in half," and she could only say, "they decided on it." We asked who "they" were and finally got her to admit it came from the top, the powers-to-be in the person of Mr. Ergan, the CEO. We were able to coax his e-mail out of her and proceeded to e-mail Mr. Ergan, or "Charlie" as he's referred to at charliechat@dishnetwork.com. We include his e-mail address here so you, too, can flood him with posts protesting his decision to pare back EWTN. Hopefully the numbers will impress him and he will reconsider. Anyway, we inquired of Mr. Ergan on why a corporation boasting 180 channels needs to double-up two stations, especially in light of the fact they carry East and West Coast time versions of the same channel on different channels such as Nickolodeon, sports, etc. which are basically repeats but more for the convenience of time zones. That is all well and good, but not at the expense of another channel's full capabilities and especially the caliber of programming offered by EWTN! For a full listing of the channels offered you can go to their webpage at www.dishnetwork.com because there is also a box you can fill out asking for a specific channel to be added. We recommend you go there and write in EWTN with the words 24 hours full time after it. We also asked Ergan if he realized he was biting the hand that feeds him in so far as Mother actively promoted the Dish on her programs, encouraging viewers to subscribe to the Dish Network so they could be assured of receiving EWTN in their area where cable did not carry it, or, as in the case with our cable company, where it is piggy backed with another network (such as the Discovery Channel here) and we only can get EWTN from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily. Many purchased the dish at Mother's urging and now, they, too are about to be betrayed. As we reminded Ergan, is this anyway to reward loyalty? Will he buy back the dish from all those promised 24 hours of EWTN programming? For those with the dish network, we understand Ergan has his own program on Monday evening, April 6 on Channel 100 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. Why not flood him with calls on this EWTN situation. If you don't speak up, who will?

     For those who don't have the dish, don't feel this doesn't affect you. It affects all loyal Catholics who treasure what Mother Angelica has done in spreading the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith to all over her global Catholic Network. We are quite aware that there are many liberal bishops out to curtail Mother's evangelization mission and we wouldn't even put it past them that they somehow have had a hand in this decision at EchoStar. Though we have no proof, we do know some bishops have put pressure on cable companies to influence them not to carry EWTN. There is a concentrated effort to silence Mother and the closer she comes to exposing the liberals and their true agenda of disobeying Rome, the more the attacks against her. Remember, we wrote in this column about a month ago that all the threats Cardinal Roger Mahony made against Mother has come to naught. Of course, because to go through proper channels would bring to the surface Mother's true loyalty and seriously question Mahony's and the others' intent on why they want to silence a voice which is echoing the Vicar of Christ. With over 200 million Catholics in North America, two thirds of that number in the United States, one has to ask if there are any other networks out there that can boast those kind of demographics. Even the big three, ABC, CBS and NBC have never come close to that plateau in numbers on a regular basis. Not that that many Catholics watch EWTN, let alone practice their faith, but the point is Mother has built up a loyal following over the sixteen to seventeen years she has been on the air which began in 1981, the same year the Medjugorje apparitions began and the same year Cyndi and yours truly tied the knot. The point is we cannot sit idly by and let others dictate what we watch and when, we cannot sit idly by and let others influence our faith and water it down be it in the pulpit or by curtailing the hours excellent Roman Catholic programming is aired. We pointed out emphatically to Ergan that EWTN is the ONLY full-time programming available anywhere in the contiguous United States with an estimated 75 million Catholics tuning in at various times of the day. To cut this excellent and needed programming in half is not only a disservice to them, but a tremendous slap in the face of the Catholic Church. We consider it one more attack by satan to curtail God's work on earth. Please flood Ergan's office and e-mail today and often with your concerns. We can make a difference for God's sake, but, if we sit silently by, we will be satan's accomplices!

Michael Cain, editor

Here's the full set of numbers to contact Dish Network to lodge your protest:

Phone: 888-621-2078 or 800-333-DISH (3474)
e-mail: charliechat@dishnetwork.com
Charles Ergan, CEO
PO Box 33577
Northglenn, CO 80233

Dish Network URL: www.dishnetwork.com

Half Measures won't cut it in reconciling with God and neighbor!

   &nsp; To quote the old axiom, there's no such thing as half pregnant. You either are or aren't. The same with reconciliation, it cannot be half-hearted. You have to give fully of yourself from the heart to forgive and be forgiven. In his final installment on Reconciliation, Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. pinpoints this and we, too, like God, must learn to forget after we forgive just as He does after He forgives our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is what Our Lady reiterates and Fr. Stephen emphasizes this as a reason Mary has said all she can. To find out more, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK

How to Pray with the Heart

Column Twenty-Six: Reconciliation

      Reconciliation is attained when there is an act of forgiveness on the part of the one hurt, and the acceptance of forgiveness on the part of one having done the hurting. For true reconciliation to be accomplished, one must forgive with oneís whole heart as well as accepting forgiveness from oneís whole heart. True reconciliation cannot be achieved if one says, "I forgive you, but I will never forget what you did to me." Our forgiveness or accepting forgiveness must be patterned after Godís. He never remembers our hurts after He has forgiven us. It can be noted that in Godís case, He never has to accept forgiveness from us because it is against His very nature to hurt anyone.

      The price of reconciliation is very high. It needs that all pride must be squeezed out of each heart. No reconciliation is possible when one refuses to find guilt in oneís behavior. In todayís world when there is the craze to rationalize in order to justify oneself for any and every action, reconciliation is not even sought after. Anger and hatred surface as a result. It is no wonder that we have families and nations torn apart. Prayer with the heart is a must! Without it, no one can find humility enough to apologize and ask for forgiveness either from God, from neighbor, or even from self. Special graces are needed from God for reconciliation, graces which cannot be received unless we have a heart to Heart relationship with Him. Yes, the price of reconciliation is very high, but we only get what we pay for. If we wish to live a life of peace and joy, the highest quality of life known to God and man, we must be ready to humble ourselves before God and our fellowman at any price. Reconciliation is that experience of heart which the world today needs more than ever!

      Those of us of the Fold, those of us who claim to be Maryís children, have every grace available to us, most certainly, the grace of total reconciliation. How Our Lady pleads for reconciliationís amongst all of Her children. It is no wonder that we hear of her apparitions beginning to come to an end. There is nothing else She can do. She has most assuredly outdone Herself in our day. Let us all fulfill what She is asking and be reconciled with one another.

In my next installment, I will talk about Zero Resistance, Zero Ego Drive.

What if Jesus had given up?

     What if Christ, after the demoralizing trial and inhumane scourging called out and said, "Enough, alright, what do you want. I'll do it."? We all know the answer to that one: satan would have won! But Jesus is the Son of God and such nonsense as the above theory is just that - nonsense! Though He was also Man, He persevered and the scene we see in part two of Lesson 10 THE SCOURGING AND CROWNING WITH THORNS not only bears out His resolve but should reinforce our commitment to follow and be obedient to Him no matter what persecutions come our way. These meditative lessons, imparted by Our Lady to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart during Lent of 1993, are meant to inspire and prompt a greater understanding of the season of Lent in helping us all prepare for His Passion and Death, and ultimately the glorious Resurrection. These lessons help us realize that we, too, must suffer with Mary and Jesus in reparation for the countless souls who scourge Him with their sins. Click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"

Meditative Lesson 10:


part two

      I look steadily toward a pillar which is set in the courtyard. It is not exactly in the center, because there is more ground between the gate from the street to the pillar, and less from the pillar to the cloister where the soldiers move about, avoiding the hot sun of Palestine.

      And I see them - demons - around the pillar, and around the Roman soldiers. Hundreds upon hundreds of grotesque beings who can best, I feel, be described as "hate with form." These demons move among the soldiers and constantly whisper to them. The soldiers grow agitated even though, as of yet, nothing is happening.

      Suddenly many of these demons rush past me and mingle with the common people and the same agitation stirs in them. I hear them hiss as they pass by me, a sound of fire sizzling with unvented energy.

      The soldiers move. There is a shout. A command. And Jesus, our Lord and God, is brought out from a small doorway into the courtyard.

      I see Him and my heart weeps for already He is barely recognizable, so much has He endured. His garments are stained, His once beautiful honey-colored hair darkened by blood, sweat and the filth people have battered Him with.

      He moves slowly, already fatigued and in pain, and His footsteps are unsteady. There are two burly Roman soldiers, one on each side who, by keeping a hand on each elbow, move Jesus to the pillar. There they remove the ropes around His wrists and waist as well as the heavy chain which is wrapped around His neck and which crisscrosses His chest.

      The soldier in charge, a youngish man a year, maybe two younger than our Lord, orders the prisoner to strip. Jesus meekly obeys, but he has difficulty pulling the long tunic over His head for the binding of His wrists has stopped proper circulation in His arms.

      Impatiently the garment is yanked over His head, and because the hundreds upon hundreds of demons still harass the soldiers, they all but rip the shorter tunic off. Jesus, the Sinless One, the Pure Lamb of God, is naked except for His undergarment which surrounds His loins.

      The captain gives another command and the two soldiers attach a chain again to Jesusí wrists and they pull Him to the pillar. There is an iron ring near the top of the pillar, and through this ring the soldiers run the length of the chain until Jesus is stretched completely. Our Lord is on tip-toe and His torso and limbs are elongated as far as possible.

      He says nothing but I can hear Him praying; to His Father the prayer of His Divine Heart and Soul rises. It is a continual prayer of forgiveness and it is united with Infinite Love, and also Infinite Sadness.

      Another order, and the men come from under the porch where they have waited in the shade. I understand they are professional torturers in the hire of the Roman government. They are brawny men, bare-chested with muscles that bulge as each flexes the scourge or whip he holds. The three men take up their position.

      The first steps forward, eyes fixed upon his victim and the whip is tested several times for accuracy and strength as it lands only inches from our Lord'í feet, sand the hard ground is cut to pieces as dirt flies. The Roman captain nods and now the whip flies forward. Now, it is not hard ground, but soft, tender flesh that it rips.

      Over and over and over again in a rhythmic motion, the whip finds our Lordís back and curves around to his torso, chest, ribs. The head, neck, shoulders, buttocks, legs, knees, and feet are not left unscathed, and the whip bites deeply. Large, horrid long welts are raised and appear scarlet against Jesusí white flesh.


Without the Spirit we are lost!

     Jesus promised His Apostles He would send His Spirit and the Holy Spirit would be with us always. True to His promise He has and we are reminded of this at the site we review today. That site is Et cum Spiritu Tuo, a multi-faceted web site that offers something for everyone in simple, easy-to-find fashion with some of the best Q & A retorts we can all use in refuting attacks and criticisms from non-Catholic sects who love to bait Catholics. Too often too many Catholics are not well-versed enough in their faith to counter these clever verbal assaults and cower in ignorance, thus further depleting the ranks of Catholic evangelists. Catholics are no exception. This site pinpoints the arguments and gives all a logical and easy explanation that all loyal Catholics can use in their arsenal, aided by the Holy Spirit. For this week's review, click on SIGNIFICANT SITE OF THE WEEK


The Spirit comes alive at Et Cum Spiritu Tuo

     With the call of the Daily CATHOLIC's mission towards true loyalty to the Magisterium and adherence to the Catholic teachings, traditions and doctrines, we want to share a site that mirrors this. It is appropriately called Et cum Spiritu Tuo, which of course is taken from the common refrain of the Latin Mass when the celebrant would say "Dominus Vobiscum" and the altar server and/or congregation would answer "Et cum Spiritu Tuo which, translated means "The Lord be with you" for the latter, and "And with your Spirit" for the responsive refrain. This site is full of the Spirit of Holy Mother Church with a compendium of Apologetics, Church chronology, a full complement of excellent Catholic Prayers, and a Spiritual Growth section that is simple, yet most comprehensive. No other site, that we know of, is as thorough in covering "how to deal with questions and circumstances with other faiths in relation to Catholic beliefs" than this site. They list the topics and site Scripture in helping Catholics combat attacks, through simple apologetics, from various Protestant sects such as mainstream as well as Seventh Day Adventists, Fundamentalists, etc. in addition to cults such as Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Scientologists, Gnostics, and New Agers.

      In summary, the webmaster David Pentrack stays on track by providing a cornucopia of material, gathered from excellent sources on the net, in succinct and simple one, two, three bulleted items that the browser can easily follow. There are so many wonderful surprises at this site that is totally loyal to the Magisterium and features the Monthly Medjugorje Message at the top of their home page. The site is music-optional that adds to the atmosphere of the experience at Et Cum Spiritu Tuo. There are some fascinating pages that are thought and soul-provoking in deciphering the difference between self-love and holy love as well as a diagrammed syllogism on the journey to being Spirit-filled. Speaking of the latter, this site offers an excellent traditional explanation of the Charismatic movement as it is meant to be, with examples and scriptural backup. The site loads very quickly and, while there are few graphics, the layout of each page is easy to follow and interesting with good use of color and a minimum of words as well as offering a links section that is broken down into categories. Therefore, we are pleased to award the "Golden Chalice Award" and confer SEVEN Hail Mary's to this site, where, no matter how staunch a Catholic a person may be, one can always learn more and enhance one's spirituality and practicality of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

Holy Father lays down the gauntlet for Lay Catholics

     In the final installment on Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter on the Role of the Laity, entitled Christifideles Laici, the Pope challenges the laity to get involved, to help recruit others for we are all members of God's Holy Church. These writings of the Pope are expertly analyzed by Dr. Joseph Bagiackas, who gives an adept and simplified summary of the Holy Father's writings for lay men and women. Today the final topic is "Formation of the Laity." For the thirteenth and final installment, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

thirteenth installment:

CHAPTER FIVE: 19. Formation of the Laity

     The basic goal of formation for lay ministry is to discover oneís vocation and to grow in willingness to live out oneís call. "To be able to discover the actual will of the Lord in our lives always involves the following: a receptive listening to the Word of God and the Church, fervent and constant prayer, recourse to a wise and loving spiritual guide, and a faithful discernment of the gifts and talents given by God, as well as the diverse social and historical situations in which one lives" (p. 149).

      Among the various aspects of lay formation, building oneís spiritual life comes first, with special emphasis on oneís Eucharistic life and participation in the Liturgy. One also needs sound doctrinal formation, and training in the Churchís social teaching.

      Who forms the laity? In the Church, papal teaching is a primary part of formation. Bishops, through media and diocesan programs, also forms individuals. Most formation should occur in the parish for adult laity. In addition, there are many small Church communities which freely arise. These can be powerful centers of formation. Also, the family is a basic context for formation, as are Catholic schools at various levels, from grade schools to universities.

      The Apostolic Exhortation ends with a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. She is the greatest lay person, the lay person who is the perfect model and intercessor for the rest of us.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: In commemoration of Holy Week and because of the timing of the document, we will bring you the Vatican's statement on the Holocaust: "We Remember. A Reflection on the Shoah."


Today's prayer is for Fasting and Giving Alms during Lent

      Blessed are You, Lord, God of all creation: You make us hunger and thirst for holiness. Blessed are You, Lord, God of all creation; You call us to true fasting: to set free the oppressed, to share our bread with the hungry, to shelter the homeless and to clothe the naked. No one lives on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God..

For more devotions of Lent, click on WAY OF THE CROSS

For the readings, meditations and liturgy of the first two weekdays of the Fifth Week of Lent, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

MONDAY, March 30, 1998

TUESDAY, March 31, 1998

Medjugorje Monthly Message for March 25th

     Dear children! Also today I call you to fasting and renunciation. Little children, renounce that which hinders you from being closer to Jesus. In a special way I call you: Pray, because only through prayer will you be able to overcome your will and discover the will of God even in the smallest things. By your daily life, little children, you will become an example and witness that you live for Jesus or against Him and His will. Little children, I desire that you become apostles of love. By loving, little children, it will be recognized that you are mine. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE


Events today in Church History

      For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history, click on ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Historical Events in Church Annals for March 30:

641 and counting, hoping and praying..

Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

March 30, 1998 volume 9, no. 63         DAILY CATHOLIC