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May 4, 1998             SECTION ONE              vol 9, no. 86

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Say "YES" to Jesus by saying "YES" to His Church on earth

      In these trying times, when Modernists claim the Pope is out of touch with the 20th century, the Holy Father answers his critics with a logical explanation that Christ's Church has not changed and when one rejects His Church they are also rejecting Mary's Divine Son. For as Christ was human and divine, so also are the dimensions of the Church. This was the essence of a discourse His Holiness gave in Italian in Rome on July 24, 1991 which is even more relevant today. We are grateful to Father Ken Tietjen, O.S.C.O. of New Melleray Abbey for providing the Pontiff's discourse in answer to the critics who, more than ever, reject his teachings and ultimately Christ's teachings - the Word (Parola) of God. Below is the first part of this discourse by Pope John Paul II.

Part One

      The profession of the truth in the Creed has a specific character, inasmuch as the Church is not only an object of faith, but also its subject: we ourselves are the Church in which we profess our faith; we believe in the Church, while at the same time being the Church which believes and prays. We are the Church in her visible dimension, which expresses her faith in her own reality as Church, a reality which is divine and human: two dimensions that are so inseparable that, if one is missing, the entire reality of the Church, as willed and founded by Christ, is canceled.

      This divine and human reality of the Church is organically joined to the divine and human reality of Christ Himself. The Church is in a certain sense the continuation of the mystery of the Incarnation. The Apostle Paul actually spoke of the Church as the Body of Christ, (Cor 12:27; Eph 1:23; Col 1:24), just as Jesus compared the Christic-ecclesial "whole" to the unity of a vine with its branches (John 15: 1-5).

      From this premise it follows that believing in the Church, stating in regard to her the "yes" of acceptance in faith, is a logical consequence of the entire Creed, and particularly of our profession of faith in Christ, the God-man. It is a demand resulting from the internal logic of the Creed and should be kept in mind, especially in our time, when we feel that many are separating, and even opposing the Church and Christ, when they say, for example, "Christ - yes, the Church- no!" This opposition is not entirely new, but has been proposed again in certain parts of the contemporary world. And so it is good to devote today's catechesis to a calm and accurate examination of the meaning of our yes to the Church even in reference to the opposition just mentioned.

      We can admit that this opposition to the Church originates within the particular complexity belonging to our act of faith, by which we say: "I believe in the Church." One could ask whether it is legitimate to include among the divine truths to be believed a human, historical, visible reality such as the Church; a reality which like any human thing, has limitations, imperfections, sinfulness on the part of the persons who belong to every level of her institutional structure: lay people as well as ecclesiastics, even among us Pastors of the Church, without anyone being excluded from this sad inheritance of Adam.

      We must note, however, that Jesus Christ Himself wanted our faith in the Church to face and overcome this difficulty, when he chose Peter as "the rock upon which I will build My Church" (Mt. 16:18). We know from the Gospel, which reports the very words of Jesus, how humanly imperfect and weak the chosen rock was, as Peter demonstrated at the time of his great test. The Gospel itself, nevertheless, testifies that Peter's triple denial, shortly after he had assured the Master of his fidelity, did not cancel his selection by Christ (Luke 22:23; John 21: 15-17). Rather, one notices that peter acquires a new maturity through contrition for his sin, so that after Christ's resurrection he can balance his triple denial with a triple confession: "Yes, Lord, you know that I love You" (John 21: 15), and he is able to receive from the risen Christ the triple confirmation of his mandate as pastor of the Church: "Feed my lambs" (John 21: 15-17). Peter then proved that he loved Christ "more than these" (John 21: 15), by serving in the Church, according to his mandate of apostleship and governance, until his death by martyrdom, his definitive witness for building the Church.

Next installment: part two.

April 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message for

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE

When shortcuts are helpful!

      It is an exciting part of our human nature to look for shortcuts in all that we do. This is true in every facet of our life whether it be in work, play, travel, problem solving, and the like. Once we have realized, perhaps after many years of attempts made, many tears shed, many prayers said, that the better part of life takes place in the heart, we want to find the shortest, the quickest way, to get there.

      The material in this article is based especially on many years that I have personally spent in seeking the shortest way to the heart. What I have found through prayer, hard work, failures, setbacks and sprints ahead, I take courage in sharing with you in the very best of my findings.

      Before we begin, it should be understood that we of today, are a damaged generation, damaged enough, perhaps that we find ourselves a crippled people. So many of us have bee taught that if we would ever hope to achieve success in this, the only life we have, we must cultivate the mind and make the best use of it every inch of the way as we pass through the years from achieving the age of reason till we arrive at death'' gate.

      I have no doubt that Satan has had a great part in convincing those who seem to be in charge of this generation that, that is the only way to go, i.e. live in such a way that the mind, its powers and what it contains, are the chief tools at our disposal as we make our way on our own private journey. He had tricked our First Parents into believing this and down through the centuries, he has made and to this day, makes every effort to trick every human being in the same way. It seems that in our present day, he has won one of the greatest victories. We are indeed a mentally orientated generation, we are a people imprisoned ion our minds.

      It is always a bit dangerous to make things simple. On the one hand, presenting something in its simplest way, may cause many to turn away in favor of that which may be more challenging to the mind. On the other hand, presenting material which is absolutely helpful, presenting it in a way which is not tedious to the mind already drowning in complexities, may be the better way to go. Nonetheless, here it is, here is a formula, simple and sweet, which when made use of, will bring one to a richer and more rewarding life, a life lived in the heart:

It is just that simple!

     In the next installment I will continue to impart valuable tips on "Shortcuts to the Heart."

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World
News Service



      GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - Guatemalan police have arrested a man suspected of killing Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedra last Sunday, the Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.

      Interior Minister Rodolfo Mendoza said Carlos Enrique Vielman, 24, is the prime suspect in the murder of Bishop Gerardi by crushing his head with a cement block. The bishop was killed just two days after releasing a report critical of the Guatemalan army, saying it had committed numerous human rights atrocities during the country's 36-year civil war. His death was followed by four days of protest by outraged Guatemalans.

      Mendoza carefully avoided speculating on whether the murder was part of a conspiracy to silence the bishop, but noted Vielman's criminal record which includes arrests for rape, battery, and public drunkenness. Two witnesses picked Vielman's photograph out of police archives, Mendoza said. One witness was a church worker from the downtown Guatemala City parish where Bishop Gerardi lived, and where he was killed as he got out of his car in his garage. The other witness was a man who slept in the park across the street from the parish.



      BEIJING (CWNews.com) - Communist Chinese officials said on Thursday that Pope John Paul II should not have invited two Chinese bishops to attend the month-long Synod on Asia because they are members of the state-run Catholic association and do not recognize the Pope's authority.

      China expresses regret over the Vatican's unauthorized appointment of two people as members of the Asian bishops' conference," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told a news briefing. He would not confirm that the government had refused to allow Bishop Matthias Duan Yinming and Bishop Joseph Xu Zhixuan permission to attend. The Italian news agency ANSA on Monday quoted Bishop Duan as saying the two bishops had been denied passports to attend the meeting because the Vatican had no diplomatic ties with China and had not discussed the issue with the state-run church.

      The two bishops are part of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association which eschews any relationship with the universal Catholic Church, including such doctrines as papal authority and the collegiality of bishops. The association, which appoints its own bishops without approval from the Holy Father, claims four million members, but the underground Church which remains loyal to Rome has as many as eight million members.


      VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In a talk to chaplains studying at the University of Rome, Pope John Paul II said that Western society-- although rich in material goods-- betrays a real spiritual poverty.

      The Holy Father stressed the importance of pastoral work among university students, pointing out that when there are no spiritual principles to guide the work of the affluent and educated-- in "a culture which exalts the individual to an absolute degree, and does not encourage solidarity"-- there is a risk that authority and power will be abused, so that they lead to "domination of the weak by the strong."

      "The university chapel is called to be the vital center of the promotion of a renewal in Christian culture," the Pope said. He urged the chaplains to redouble their efforts to instill a sense of Christian purpose in the midst of academic training.


      SAN DIEGO (CWNews.com) - Darrell Issa, a Republican candidate for the US Senate in California, came under fire on Thursday for apparently exaggerating his claims of working with the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

      Issa, a self-made millionaire, responded last month to a question about how he's fighting drug abuse by saying: "I've been very active at St. Vincent de Paul." However, Father Joe Carroll, who heads the San Diego chapter of the group, said Issa has only given small amounts of money and time. Issa's spokesman Lisa Gimbel said the controversy over her boss's remark, made after a speech in Sacramento on April 7, was one of semantics and dirty politics. "I think it's not what you meant, it's what you said that everybody puts under the magnifying glass," Gimbel said. "He's not a liar, he's honest and he's sincere."

      Gimbel said Issa meant that he makes small gifts to St. Vincent de Paul and is a close friend of Father Carroll. But Father Carroll denies even that claim, saying he's only met with Issa a few times. "He is a small donor, but has not really given time to us," Carroll said. "It would not be considered active with us." Issa is leading his only close rival for the Republican nomination in the June primary to oppose Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer in November.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


     After a string of saints' feast days, today and tomorrow are observed as a Weekdays in the Fourth Week of Easter. For the liturgy, readings, and meditations for today and tomorrow's Mass, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

Monday, May 4, 1998

Tuesday, May 5, 1998

Events today in Church History

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

Historical Events in Church Annals for May 4:


Though it is not celebrated on this day since Vatican II, it is still a day to honor Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine. She is considered the Patron Saint of wives, widows, and for mothers of children in trouble or spiritually lost. For the countless mothers out there who pray constantly for their own children to be true to Jesus and His Church, we present this prayer to St. Monica from the Confraternity of the Precious Blood booklet, "My Daily Prayer."

     O God, the Comforter of those who mourn and the Salvation of all who hope in Thee, Who didst mercifully regard the loving tears of Blessed Monica by willing the conversion of Augustine, her son, grant us, through their united intercession, grace to deplore our sins and so to find Thy pardon and favor. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


"The words from a man's mouth are deep waters, but the source of wisdom is a flowing brook."

Proverbs 18: 4

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May 4, 1998 volume 9, no. 86   DAILY CATHOLIC