December 22, 1997 vol 8,
We Begin Christmas Week...
Since this is Christmas week, we are abbreviating the issues this week and next in order to spend quality family time. Yet you will still receive each issue of the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday right here on the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK. Because of the Christmas vacation schedule we are suspending the daily CATECHISM CAPSULES until the beginning of the year as well as our three mega-series features - THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH, AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS, and WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?, plus the Lighter Side - A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN and VATICAN II VERIFICATIONS. We will continue each day bringing you, of course, the LITURGY OF THE DAY, PRAYERS & DEVOTIONS, PROVERB OF THE DAY, our regular COLUMNS, and NEWS & VIEWS of the day (except from Christmas/New Year's Eve through the weekend following the respective Holy Days). We will definitely finish up our installment series on the Instructions to the Laity on assisting the priests as directed by Rome in THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS. In addition, we will bring you more "Christmas Card" graphics, such as you see above, in keeping with the spirit of the season. All series and daily features will resume the first of the year.
Today's 21st installment on the Instructions handed down by the Holy See last month is the completion of the twelve articles in the PRACTICAL PROVISIONS section, entitled Necessary Selection and Adequate Formation of this document as we near the end of the entire 37-page instructions this week. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest
Twenty-second installment: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS
Necessary Selection and Adequate Formation
Should it become necessary to provide for "supplementary" assistance in any of the
cases mentioned above, the competent Authority is bound to select lay faithful of sound
doctrine and exemplary moral life. Catholics who do not live worthy lives or who do not
enjoy good reputations or whose family situations do not conform to the teaching of the
Church may not be admitted to the exercise of such functions. In addition, those chosen
should possess that level of formation necessary for the discharge of the responsibilities
entrusted to them.
In accordance with the norms of particular law, they should perfect their knowledge
particularly by attending, in so far as possible, those formation courses organized for
them by the competent ecclesiastical Authority in the particular Churches, (112) (in
enviornments other than that of the Seminary, as this is reserved solely for those
preparing for the priest hood). (113) Great care must be exercised so that these courses conform absolutely to the teaching of the ecclesiastical magisterium and they must be imbued with a true spirituality.
NEXT ISSUE: Conclusion part one
To understand our lives we must recognize the Holy Spirit
That is the crux of today's column on "How to Pray with the Heart" by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. which highlights thirteenth chapter and the need to give recognition to the Sanctifier dwelling within us. Click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK
How to Pray with the
Part Thirteen: Understanding the vital role of the Holy Spirit in our life
If I really want to take Mary's wishes to heart, I must first give RECOGNITION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT dwelling within me. Even this in itself already needs His help. I cannot even express a belief in His presence unless, He in His goodness and His love for Jesus, prompts me to do so. Once this recognition is made, it is needed for me, and again with His help, to give Him reverence for Who He is and for the reason that He abides within me. It is expected of me to do this at the time of my Confirmation and most certainly along the road of life I come to a spritual maturity with enough composure and enough freedom to extend a loving welcome to Him and, again, with His help, to let Him know that I want His indwelling and I want sincerely for Him to do within me what it is that I need anywhere along the road of life to remain faithful to my vocation as a follower of Jesus. When He first entered my spirit at the time of my Baptism, He brought with Him gifts that, through my acceptance of , and His use of them, together, we can travel along that new road of the fullness of life wherein, though having entered life darkened in mind and weakened in will, I can avail myself of all that is offered to me for my salvation and sanctification.
However, and this is a big however, though freed from the stain of Original Sin, I still have within me its effects. I find myself offering resistance to the Spirit in doing His work within me, some of this being deliberate, and some of it coming forth from my formed personality. Once I came into self-realization, I found that I have within me qualities, some good and some not so good, which I did not choose, but which were placed within me by those who helped to form me - parents, friends, culture and the like - as also elements which I inherited. My Father Creator, as He envisioned me from all eternity, set within me specific inclinations, potentials, and even limitations long before my creation took place, all in favor of my finally being able to accomplish, within my life on earth, all those things which were within His plans for me. In my next installment I will treat the "spiritual cholesterol" that blocks us from truly praying from and with the heart.
To review Father Valenta's previous columns in this series,
go to Archives beginning with the August 18, 1997 issue
of A CALL TO PEACE: volume 8, no. 16.
Where to go for the Answers? Try CATHOLIC ANSWERS.
The glut of holiday parties and get-togethers gives Catholics an excellent opportunity to evangelize their faith. But all too often too many Catholics remain silent, letting others bash their faith; many Catholics even ashamed to admit they are Catholic. Don't let this happen to you. Today we review a site that can help you in the trenches with non-Catholics and others. Check it out. Any question you may have, chances are CATHOLIC ANSWERS has the answers! To them we present our Golden Chalice Award for the week. Click on SIGNIFICANT SITE OF THE WEEK
SIGNIFICANT SITE OF THE WEEK:
The one place to go for the Answers: CATHOLIC ANSWERS!
With the Christmas holidays upon us, many of us will be getting together with friends and relatives. At these gatherings, many will be non-Catholics, fallen-away Catholics or lukewarm Catholics. As often is the case, after a bit of the bubbly the conversation can often turn to religion. When this occurs, inevitably the Roman Catholic Church is always brought up. Will you sit there like a lump nodding, or will you know what to say, how to counter false and subtle attacks they may make, or questions they may have? There is an ideal site on the world-wide web called CATHOLIC ANSWERS at www.catholic.com. This site, specializes in Apologetics and Evangelization and it is not only an excellent reference point and resource, but an interactive site where one can e-mail any question on a number of subjects from God, Creation, Gospel, Sin, Salvation, Last Things, Scripture, Church, Saints, Sacraments, Morals and on non-Catholic sects or Groups. Headed by the respected founder of "Catholic Answers" and Editor of This Rock magazine - Karl Keating. He, along with a staff of three other apologists, will answer any question you might have. But before you e-mail in your question, check out the built-in search engine right on the home page. It's easy to navigate and whatever your question, there's liable to be just the right answer with the proper tract you can print out and know before you go to that party or get-together. Know your faith and you'll be able to better serve Jesus Christ as a loyal disciple. CATHOLIC ANSWERS provides the perfect vehicle for knowing that faith and being able to defend the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith to any and all. The answers are simple and easy to read in lay terms that don't take a Rhodes scholar to understand. Yet the answers are profound and complete. This site lists documentation from various Church Fathers, Saints and Councils to verify the facts. In addition, they offer the browser to order books, booklets, audio and video tapes, printed tracts and This Rock magazine. They also offer an entire Catholic Answers Collection software CD which includes the text of multiple Bibles, certain words in Greek that better define the text, as well as a set of biblical time maps. Though this is probably the most complete work available on CD, it doesn't come cheap. They offer it for $189.95, but if you're truly serious about your faith and the importance of evangelizing than it is well worth the price. The simplicity and functionality of this site is what overwhelms the browser, making it so easy to browse and to find the answers you need. Therefore, we present the Golden Chalice Award to CATHOLIC ANSWERS, conferring SIX Hail Mary's on this informative site necessary for all to help evangelize the One, True Faith.
The Last Days of Late Advent
The King of Glory is near; just a few days until His glorious birth. The readings for today and tomorrow reflect this as well as today's CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYER.
SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS NOVENA:
"O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!"
(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be)
For today's Liturgy for Late Advent, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY
MONDAY, December 22, 1997
First Reading: 1 Samuel 1: 24
Psalms: Psalm 1 Samuel 2: 1, 4-8
Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 46-65
TUESDAY, December 23, 1997Tuesday, December 23:
Final Tuesday of Advent
First Reading: Malachi 3: 1-4, 23-24
Psalms: Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-10, 14
Gospel Reading: Luke 1: 57-66
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
For the Advent Novena Prayer and all prayers up until today, click on ADVENT Novena Prayers
Prayer for December 22, 1997
More and more people crowded the road. The nights were cold, and the days long. Riding on a donkey was a lot different than riding in a comfortable, heated automobile. Help us, Mary, to recognize that we are often lazy and spoiled, unwilling to make any sacrifice for God, Who lowered Himself to become Man, to be born in an impoverished stable. We are in need of your help, Blessed Mother, to overcome the weakness which is inherent in our characters, that instead we might be strengthened in our faith, made ardent in our love and fervent in our trust.
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!
NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
For more on Medjugorje, Click on MEDJUGORJE
Bishops find Fidel receptive, but Miami Archbishop might not so sure
Last Thursday the Cuban Roman Catholic Bishops, headed by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, finally met with Communist leader Fidel Castro in preparation for the Holy Father's visit to this tiny island a month away, while 90 miles away Miami's Archbishop John Favalora is having second thoughts. Click on Cuba to read more.
CASTRO MEETS WITH CUBAN BISHOPS AS MIAMI ARCHBISHOP MAY CANCEL CUBAN PILGRIMAGE
HAVANA (CWN) - Cuban Communist President Fidel Castro met
with the country's Catholic leaders on Thursday, marking
another historic milestone in church-state relations that
began with last year's announcement of Pope John Paul's
visit in January 1998.
The Cuban Bishops' Conference met with Castro at the Palace
of the Revolution, but government spokesmen declined to
discuss the content of the meeting. Castro had told the
parliament last weekend that he would be meeting with the
Catholic leaders. The event is the first meeting between a
high-level government official and Cuba's Catholic bishops
in more than ten years, except for planning meetings with
Vatican representatives for the Holy Father's visit.
Other historic changes in the officially atheist
government's policies include allowing the celebration of
Christmas as a public holiday this year as well as outdoor
Masses. The permanent Catholic church committee that met
with Castro is headed by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, and
includes the Archbishop Pedro Meurice of Santiago, Bishop
Adolfo Rodriguez of Camaguey, and Bishop Emilio Aranguren
In a related story, the archbishop of Miami said on Thursday that
he is now thinking of canceling a planned pilgrimage to Cuba
next month that would have coincided with a papal visit to
Archbishop John Favalora made the decision to reconsider
after meeting with a group of Cuban exiles who told him
that it was morally wrong and offensive for him to plan
such a trip. The Archdiocese of Miami is organizing a
pilgrimage for US Catholics to travel to Communist Cuba for
the papal visit on a chartered cruise ship next month. "The
world must witness the pain and division created by an
intransigent regime, not a fleeting moment of unity and
togetherness portrayed by the cruise," the group of
prominent Cuban-Americans said in a letter to Archbishop
Favalora published in Thursday's Miami Herald.
More than 400 people have signed up for the pilgrimage but
several hundred spaces are still available. Organizers say
sales have been slow because of exile opposition to the
trip and uncertainty over whether the Cuban government will
issue visas to the pilgrims or allow the ship to dock. The
controversy has been complicated by the 35-year-old US
embargo of Cuba, along with recently strengthened
restrictions, that the exile group said should be honored
by America's bishops.
"The American Church, especially in south Florida, should
decry the atrocities committed by the oppressive and
intolerant Cuban regime," the group said. They added,
however, that they see Pope John Paul's visit to their
homeland as a sign of hope for change in Cuba.
Liberals lash out in Austria...
The retired bishop of Innsbruck, Austria flamed the fires of rebellion with a vitrolic letter to his fellow bishops lambasting the Holy Father and the Holy See's recent document on the Instructions to the Laity on assisting the priest, which we have been publishing daily in installments. This radical prelate held nothing back in trying to turn his cohorts of the cloth against the Vicar of Christ. Click on Austria to read more.
RETIRED AUSTRIAN BISHOP CRITICIZES VATICAN DOCUMENT
VIENNA (CWN) - The retired bishop of Innsbruck sent a
private letter virulently attacking a new Vatican document
to his brother bishops in Austria last week, and the
missive was then leaked to the media where it was widely
Bishop Reinhold Stecher took issue with a new document that
reaffirms the separate roles of clergy and lay workers,
defining areas where laity have usurped clerical duties.
Bishop Stecher charged that the decree is limited to the
defense of "clerical authority, splendor, and professional
rights." He also criticized the Church hierarchy for its
lack of leadership. "The truly dismaying
aspect of all of this ... involves the astonishing
theological and pastoral inadequacy of current Church
leadership," he said. Addressing the specific directives of
the Vatican decree, the bishop said the decreasing numbers
of priests requires the laity to play an increasing role in
the Church, including preaching homilies during Communion
services and administering sacraments such as the Anointing
of the Sick.
Bishop Stecher also singled out Pope John Paul for
criticism, saying the Holy Father should be criticized for
failing to welcome home priests who have abandoned their
vows to be married. He added that the Pontiff has shown a
lack of mercy and forgiveness. "All of those who emphasize
their love for the Pope and let themselves be praised for
their loyalty to the Pope," he said, "should they not be
terrified by the words of the Judge of the Worlds when a
Pope dies with thousands of rejected applications and
petitions for reconciliation?"
The bishop's letter was obtained by Austrian state
television ORF and made public last Friday. Bishop Stecher
said the communication was not meant to be made public, but
that he stands by his statements. The Holy Father is due to
visit Austria next June.
...And down-under in Australia modernists meddle
Attacking the Holy Father and his appointed bishops seems to be the pasttime for many modernists and dissidents who are growing more and more frustrated that their radical agendas are not catching on. To counter this, like satan in these desperate times, they lash out at anything and anyone who they don't agree with. Such is the case of a dissident nun down-under who has made the Archbishop of Melbourne her target. Click on Australia to read more.
DISSIDENT NUN SLAMS AUSTRALIAN ARCHBISHOP
MELBOURNE, Australia (CWN) - An Australian nun connected to
a European dissident movement on Thursday predicted that
Archbishop George Pell of Melbourne was headed for disaster
because of his traditional view of the Church.
Sister Roberta Hakendorf of Australians Networking for
Reform is on a tour of Australian parishes trying to drum
up support for her group that seeks to change Church rules
on the ordination of women, married priests, and the
ecclesiastical leadership. Hakendorf singled out Archbishop
Pell for attention in an address on Thursday, saying the
archbishop's opposition to active homosexuality and
overhaul of Catholic education has alienated many people.
"Pell to me is just an anachronism," she said. "This
authoritarian thing is wearisome because it has no future.
It's just another nail in the institution."
The nun said her group represents several thousand
Australians and is connected to a European "reform"
movement that claims to have collected 2 million signatures
on petitions calling for change in the Church. The similar
US group, Call To Action, began a petition drive in the US
two years ago seeking a million signatures, but ended with
only 35,000 total last November.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click here .
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"Forsake Wisdom not, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will safeguard you; extol her, and she will exalt you; she will bring you honors if you embrace her; she will put on your head a graceful diadem; a glorious crown will she bestow on you."
Proverbs 4: 6-9
For all other standard
features, articles and
columns, click on Archives
Click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue of the Daily CATHOLIC.
December 22, 1997 volume 8, no. 57   DAILY CATHOLIC