THURSDAY

December 18, 1997   vol 8, no.55

     SECTION TWO     
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Starlight, Starbright - such a Star the world has never seen!

     From Moses until now there had never been a star so bright and poignant in the annals of astronomy. This mystical star, placed by the Almighty, signaled to all the arrival of the Messiah. In the east a small group of intellectual rulers, known as the Magi, knew in their hearts what the star meant. They saw it in the distance and made plans to travel in search of where it led. They did not know exactly what they would find, but they knew they would know when they found it. History records they did indeed find "It" - the grace of God in the person of the Son of God on Whom they lavished priceless gifts. As we near His birthday, let us all lavish the one gift we have - a total fiat to His Will through prayer and compliance to all His Church teaches. The Liturgy of the Mass helps us fulfill this. Following are today and tomorrow's liturgy and the third prayer of the nine day novena before Christmas. THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS NOVENA: "O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!" (Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be) Click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

THURSDAY, December 18, 1997


FRIDAY, December 19, 1997

Friday, December 19:
Third Friday of Advent


PRAYERS & DEVOTION


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

December 18, 1997

      St. Joseph, your work has brought barely enough income for you and Mary, and you have made what you can from your carpenter's shop to provide for the care of the Child Jesus. You see that Mary is in good health and you are relieved, yet you, too, desired to provide for her. Help us, St. Joseph, to realize that God is our Father and desires also to provide for us His children, if only we allow Him. By our obedience may we shun the wickedness of the world, all its glitter and false promises, and rely only on our Heavenly Father for our every need.

NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

HEADLINES:

POLAND READY TO MAKE ABORTION ILLEGAL AGAIN

      WARSAW (CWN) - Poland's new center-right parliament began debate on Wednesday over the repeal of a law that allowed most abortions for almost any reasons including economic hardship.

      The pro-abortion law was passed in 1993 while the parliament was controlled by the ex-Communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), but elections last September swept the pro-Catholic, pro-life Solidarity Election Alliance (AWS) into power again. AWS is seeking to return to the old law that allowed abortion only when there is serious danger to the life or health of the mother, when the pregnancy is the result of a crime, or when there is irreparable damage to the unborn child.

      The 1993 law, which was further liberalized in 1996 to allow even more abortions, was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Tribunal which said the amended law clashed with the guarantee of the right to life. The lower house of parliament can reject the tribunal ruling by a two-thirds majority, but that was unlikely to happen since only 164 members of the 460-seat house opposed it.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, or to go to other articles on abortion click here .

RUSSIAN PATRIARCH OFFERS CRITICISM OF TELEVISION, SEX EDUCATION

      MOSCOW (CWN) - The Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow struck out at television for its moral bankruptcy and at plans to introduce sex education in schools during a Tuesday meeting with parish priests and patriarchate officials.

      Patriarch Aleksey II said Russian television has taken advantage of new freedoms after the fall of Communism to broadcasts increasing levels of morally offensive material -- singling out the NTV network's broadcast of Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" -- while also increasing its attacks on the church. "After decades of persecution, the church is now rising from the ashes," he said. "But we should not deceive ourselves by this new dawn, we should not forget that in this world the church has been, still is and always will be persecuted."

      The patriarch also included criticism of the government's plans to spend millions of dollars on a new sex education program in schools. "In sermons, we should pay attention not only to doctrinal truths but to the fight against drunkenness, smoking, drugs, and other vices ... The orthodox conscience, still less that of a cleric, cannot accept legalizing pornography, prostitution, and the sexual 'education' of schoolchildren," he said. He added the government had raised its allocation for sex education in next year's budget to 240 billion rubles ($40 million) from 40 billion -- "and this at a time when the country is dying of poverty and destitution."


CROATIAN ARCHBISHOP SLAMS INCREASING SPLIT BETWEEN RICH, POOR

     ZAGREB (CWN) - The new president of the Croatian bishops' conference used his Christmas address released on Wednesday to speak out on growing corruption and the growth of poverty.

      "Due to sudden changes of the political and economic system some individuals quickly got rich, while more and more citizens are getting poorer," said Archbishop Josip Bozanic. "What we are seeing at work are the sins of the political structures, made possible by laws whose primary aim was not the common good of man and society." Croatia gained its independence from Communist Yugoslavia in 1991 and then became embroiled in war with Serbians who opposed the split. In 1994, the government instituted an economic austerity program to bring inflation under control, but many people subsequently fell into poverty.

      "Our society, which carried out its transition at times when attention was focused on the wars ... is called upon to reconsider the difficult conditions in which most of the population, especially in the cities, has found itself," Archbishop Bozanic said. "The new name for reconciliation in today's Croatia is dialogue, tolerance, respect for democratic procedures ... the preference of the common good over various party, group, and local interests," he said.


Medjugorje Monthly Message for November 25th

    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

PROVERB OF THE DAY

"A newsmonger reveals secrets, but a trustworthy man keeps a confidence."

Proverbs 12: 13

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December 18, 1997 volume 8, no. 55         DAILY CATHOLIC


December 1997