WEDNESDAY

December 24, 1997   vol 8, no.59

SECTION ONE

To print out SECTION TWO, click here



Silent Night, Holy Night...

      Tonight is that special night all young and old look forward to. The young ones, as they've been conditioned, wait eagerly for Santa Claus (aka Saint Nick) while those who truly understand the reason for the season await in hopeful joy for the New-Born Son of God and look to the evening skies perchance to catch a glimpse of an extra bright star in the Heavenly galaxy. Today we bring you a special commentary from Cyndi in CATHOLIC PewPOINT Tooon this night of nights. Click on HIS PRICELESS GIFT OF PEACE

Peace is more than a word, it is a way of life when you have "faith-vision"

     
      ‘Tis Christmas Eve leading to that glorious morn! Christ is born to us this night. No, not just the historical birth 2,000 years ago. Spiritually, mystically, really - Christ is born to us this eve.

      Christ is not a fairy tale, a Being so far removed from us that we can only hope to grasp Him, realize Him, possess and be possessed by Him. In truth, we are called each and every day to "see" Him. No, not with our human eyes, for our human eyes are veiled because of Original Sin. However, we are granted by God’s Mercy the grace of "faith-vision". It’s a term that, more simply put, means "seeing" with the eyes of our souls and hearts.

      O! Do not doubt this is possible. It is the "norm", not the exception. It requires faith, hope, trust and love. It also requires us to be still and silent within, to pray from our hearts and to ask for the grace to "see".

      Pray, ask, and then, with all the openness of your heart behold! The angels shall be there, announcing the Birth of the Savior. They are there. They are always there in all their Heavenly splendor. The Virgin Mother is there, as is Saint Joseph. Jesus is there, in all His glory. The choirs of angels sing...can you hear? Oh, listen with your heart, not your ears!

      Go, as the Shepherds went. See Him, the Babe, born in poverty, yet possessing the entire universe. Kneel before Him with all reverence. No gift you have? Nonsense. He seeks your heart! Give Him your heart, and from there the rest follows. Tell Him "thank you," for the Love Sublime in His Birth. Thank God for the "gift" of His Most Holy Mother and for the example, faith and love shown to us through our Beloved St. Joseph.

      Let the Glory of Heaven be in your heart and in your soul. It shall shine through your eyes, and radiate to all the world. Put behind you the materialistic aspect of Christmas. It is done! Christ is born! Let Him possess you - and then you shall "see" the splendor of God given to mankind today and everyday. The angels sang, "Peace on earth to men of goodwill." Peace is what He gives us! Today and everyday!

Cyndi Cain

The Blessed Virgin Mary braved it all!

      For Our Lady the piercing cold and the uncomfort of being ready to give birth after a grueling journey from Nazareth with her beloved spouse Joseph was just one of the many hardships she would accept willingly throughout her life. She asks us today to do the same, for when we don't her sorrows mount and sin abides. This is the essence of the next-to-last installment by author Wilmott Brown. Click on THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LOURDES, FATIMA, AND MEDJUGORJE AS EXPLAINED IN SCRIPTURE

Chapter Seven: An Angel's View part two: CONCLUSION

      Mary's Seven Sorrows or Dolors are traditionally the prophecy of Simeon (Presentation of Jesus in the Temple), the flight into Egypt, the loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross (including the piercing of the side of Jesus), and the burial of Jesus. If Mary saw the world today as Mother, she might experience the following seven sorrows of mankind which this author offers: Abortion, AIDS, drugs, not believing in her messages, not praying, not spreading the Kingdom of God, and hypocrisy. These are the tragedies of today's world and you can think of them when you meditate on the sword that pierces Mary's heart.

      The Rosary is a great and powerful prayer and should be prayed daily. The Rosary in its present and traditional form consists of five Joyful Mysteries, five Sorrowful Mysteries, and five Glorious Mysteries. It concentrates on the essential aspects of our Faith: the Incarnation, the Passion, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Descent of the Holy Spirit. One thought of this author is that since we are in the latter times, an additional five mysteries could be contemplated on which I call the "Triumphant Mysteries", corresponding to the second coming of Jesus Christ in power and glory. These five, in the opinion of this author, might consist of the declaration of the Immaculate Conception from Heaven (Lourdes), Warnings from Heaven (Fatima), the restoration of the nation of Israel, the spirit and power of Elijah (Medjugorje), and the second coming of Jesus Christ in all His glory and mystery. Since the Church has not authorized these additional mysteries it is left for private prayer, but remember, the Rosary is a weapon against evil as Saint Louis De Montfort asserts in his work "The Secret of The Rosary."

      But most important, one should have a vision of these future events, and be instructed by Mary to a life of prayer and mortification. This should include, if possible, daily Mass and Communion, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, daily Rosary, other meditation, praying from the heart, study of Sacred Scripture, and fasting (in various forms, food being only one form). Become a saint today; love God with your whole heart, mind and soul. Know and love Jesus Christ. Remember that your goal is to go to Heaven, where you will see GOD. In concluding, prayer makes a big difference. Consequently, never neglect prayer. Please pray the following prayer when needed:


And so the time has come...

      The time for Christ's glorious birth and the time to complete our month-long daily installments of the pertinent "Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding The Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest". Today we conclude this 37-page document with the second half of the conclusion and the signees of this Vatican decree, which, for the first time ever, was signed by all Curial departments. All past installments can be accessed through Archives. 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-fourth installment: CONCLUSION
part two

The impassioned appeal which the Apostle to the nations addresses to Timothy:" I charge thee in the sight of God and Jesus Christ, (...) to preach the Word, be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke (...) Be watchful in all things, fulfill thy ministry" (2 Tim 4, 1-5) which applies in a special way to the sacred pastors who are called by office, "to foster the discipline which is common to the whole Church (...) pressing for the observance of all ecclesiastical laws". (119)

This grave duty constitutes a necessary means by which the richness present in every state of ecclesial life can be correctly conformed to the promptings of the Spirit and by which communion becomes an effective reality in the daily journeying of the entire Community.

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to whose intercession this document is commended, assist all in understanding its purpose, and bring to fruitful completion those efforts, made in apostolic concern, to apply it faithfully.

All particular laws, customs and faculties conceded by the Holy See ad experimentum or other ecclesiastical authorities which are contrary to the foregoing norms are hereby revoked.

Vatican City 15 August 1997, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Signed by:
Congregation for the Clergy
Darío Castrillón Hoyos, Pro-Prefect
Crescenzio Sepe,Secretary

Pontifical Council for the Laity
James Francis Stafford, President
Stanislaw Rylko, Secretary

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect
Tarcisio Bertone, SDB,Secretary

Congregation for Divine Warship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, Pro-Prefect
Geraldo Majella Agnelo, Secretary

Congregation for Bishops
Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, Prefect
Jorge María Mejía,Secretary

Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Jozef Cardinal Tomko, Prefect
Giuseppe Uhac, Secretary

Congregation for Institutes of Consecretated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Eduardo Cardinal Martínez Somalo, Prefect
Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti, CP, Secretary

Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts
Julián Herranz, President
Bruno Bertagna, Secretary

NOTE: This is the first Vatican document ever to be signed unanimously by all departments of the Curia. This concludes the entire document released by the Holy See on November 13. For review, see archives.


Star of Bethlehem

      It will shine even brighter in our hearts and souls if we have truly used this Advent to prepare for His Coming. The readings for today reflect this as well as today's CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYER.

NINTH AND FINAL DAY OF CHRISTMAS NOVENA:

"O Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved."


(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be)

For today's Liturgy for the last day of Advent and the Christmas Vigil tonight, as well as the complete reading schedule for all three Christmas Masses, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

WEDNESDAY, December 24, 1997


December 24: CHRISTMAS VIGIL


THURSDAY, December 25, 1997
SOLEMNITY OF THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD

With the Vigil of Christmas begins the Christmas Season in the Liturgical calendar. It officially ends with the Feast of the Epiphany. The Feast of the Nativity, or the Incarnation, or Christmas is a holy day of obligation and one of the most joyous in the Church. In celebrating this glorious event we commemorate the birth of the Christ child as related in Luke 2: 1-20. It was the culmination of the long-awaited coming of the Messiah foretold throughout Scripture. Such as Isaiah 7:14 where the prophet foretold the Coming of Emmanuel; from Abraham to the Root of Jesse, father of David who continued the line as the Key of David - the Savior's lineage which came all the way down to Jacob, father of Joseph as transcribed in Matthew 1: 1-16. The story of a child born of a virgin in a poor, run-down stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem while lowly shepherds tended their flocks because there was no room at the inn is well-known by all detailed in Matthew 1:24-25, Luke 2: 1-20, and John 1: 14 wherein the beloved Apostle says it so eloquently: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." The feast, originally celebrated on the Feast of Epiphany in the East, was transfered to December 25 in 354 by Pope Liberius for the universal Church in the West where it was called "Christmas." Many believe this date was set to observe this wondrous feast to offset the observance of pagan ceremonies held simultaneously. These pagan feasts celebrated the winter solstice. There is credence for this supposition because at the time Liberius instituted Christmas on December 25 he was embroiled in debate with Julian the Apostate who, as Emperor, was trying to establish a universal pagan church. A special privilege of allowing the priests to say three Masses on Christmas day reverts back to around the 4th Century when the Holy Father celebrated Midnight Mass in the Basilica where the original Bethlehem manger was preserved. He then said a second in the church of St. Anastasia at dawn for her feast day was on December 25th as well, and followed that up with a day Mass at the Basilica in the Vatican. Today there are three different texts/readings for the three Masses on Christmas. The etimology of "Christmas" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Cristes Maesse which means "Christ's Mass." In fact, most of the present customs in many countries evolved over the centuries as a result of Holy Mother Church's "Christianizing" of pagan celebrations during that time of year.

Thursday, December 25:
CHRISTMAS

December 25: CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT MASS

December 25: CHRISTMAS DAWN MASS

December 25: CHRISTMAS DAY MASS


PRAYERS & DEVOTION

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

December 24, 1997


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


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December 24, 1997 volume 8, no. 59         DAILY CATHOLIC


December 1997