WEDNESDAY

December 31, 1997   vol 8, no.64

SECTION ONE



Final Issue for 1997!

     We wish all a Holy and Happy New Year as we conclude two months of the Daily CATHOLIC on this our maiden voyage with the new flagship publication of the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK. After seven years in print and two years on the internet we have placed the good ship A Call To Peace publication in drydock as we set sail in 1998 with the Daily CATHOLIC over uncharted seas of cyberspace for Our Lord and Our Lady, guided by the pillars of the Holy Eucharist and the Immaculate Heart as described by Saint John Bosco in his vision. New ventures are on the horizon for 1998 for the Daily CATHOLIC and we're just about ready to push out from the harbor on New Year's day and head out to new destinations in spreading the Gospel and the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith to all who surf the seas of cyberspace. If you have not signed on for the cruise yet, there's still time. Just click on Sign Me Up for this great voyage toward the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. To catch the liturgy for the final day of 1997 and get a glimpse of tomorrow's special feast, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

WEDNESDAY, December 31, 1997


THURSDAY, January 1, 1998

SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD: January 1

     Pope Paul VI pronounced this special feast in 1970 to supercede the Feast of the Circumcision, which had been in vogue since early in the 6th Century. The Holy Father changed the feast to bring the Latin Calendar more into accord with Eastern tradition in the Byzantine Church which emphasizes the Marian character of this feast as the octave of Christmas. This is, however, not a new feast for it had been celebrated as early as the 5th Century on the Sunday before Christmas. Late in the 7th Century Pope Saint Sergius I introduced four new Marian feasts into the Church calendar with the Birth of Mary, the Annunciation, the Purification of Mary and the Assumption as well as celebrating the Maternity of Mary on the Octave of Christmas. It wasn't until the 14th Century that the Feast of the Circumcision was introduced and eventually squeezed out, so to speak, the Marian celebration. His Holiness Pope Paul VI stated in his encyclical Marialis Cultus, issued in 1974 "is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the 'holy Mother...through whom we were found worthy...to receive the Author of life." The Holy Father took this occasion to also institute that a World Day of Peace be celebrated on this same day "bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many." Seven years later Our Lady herself confirmed this union of her solemnity as the Mother of God and the fruits of peace when she began appearing in Medjugorje, proclaiming herself the "Queen of Peace."

Today is the Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

     We begin the last half of the symbols of the Christmas Carol "Twelve Days of Christmas" with the seventh day and it's hidden meaning passed down from persecuted Catholics during the Reformation and French Revolution when they could not practice their faith openly.

Wednesday, December 31

"On the seventh day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, seven swans a-swimming."

The seven swans a-swimming represent the Seven Sacraments established by Jesus Christ as well as the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. With the Sacraments and Gifts Catholics could sustain themselves through the dark times and encourage others at this holy time of the year with this Christmas song, reminding each other of the wondrous glory of God and His munificence on the seventh day of the octave of Christmas.

No matter the persecution and hardships, the grass is not always greener on the other side!

     That's the moral of today's lighter side in which we present a whimsical diary of trying to find the best place to live. The only place we shall find true satisfaction and be at home is in Heaven when we are reunited with the Beatific Vision. For now, we're stuck in these frail human bodies and destined to live in such places as God so deigns. Such is the story of Minnesota Diary in our humor section as we complete the year. Click on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven!

      Since we are now in winter and many regions around the world are knee-deep in the white stuff, we thought you might enjoy this little ditty called the Minnesota Diary. No, that's "Diary" not "Dairy." If you are one of those who wields a shovel during this time of the year, you'll appreciate the humor and at the same time give thanks to God for His majesty...and maybe a few petitions to "let up already!"

Minnesota Diary
or
"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...that keeps getting whiter and whiter and whiter. Oh, that's not a dream - it's a nightmare!"
or
Why the grass is never greener on the other side: Cause it's covered with snow!

Aug. 12: Moved to our new home in Minnesota. Beautiful here. The northern woods are so majestic. Can hardly wait for snow. I love it here.

Oct. 14: Minnesota is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned colors - shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the country and saw some deer. They are so gracefulÖcertainly they are the most beautiful animals on earth. I really love it here.

Nov. 11: Deer season will start soon. I canít imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. What a beautiful place.

Dec. 12: Snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard! We went outside had cleared the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I won), and when the snow plow came by we got to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. I love Minnesota.

Dec. 14: More snow last night. I love it. The snow plow did his trick to the driveway again. Itís so great here.

Dec. 19: More snow last night. Couldnít get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. And here comes that ##%%@!$#~#% snow plow.

Dec. 22: More of that white %!#~&^# fell last night. I have blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snow plow hides around the curves and waits until Iím done shoveling the driveway. #%*!#

Dec. 25: Merry %#%&*!~*#& Christmas! More #%!^&%#% snow. If I ever get my hands on that !~#~%&^*^# who drives that snow plow, I swear Iíll kill the &%#%@#^%&. Donít know why they donít use more salt on the roads to melt the *&%#!#%^# ice.

Dec. 26: More white &%#%&!*~# fell last night. Been inside for three days-except for shoveling the driveway after that snow plow goes through. Canít go anywhere, the carís stuck in a mountain of white #%#^&*!~%#!. The weatherman says to expect 19 inches of the #!~#%^&%## stuff again tonight. Do you know how many shovels of snow 10 inches is?

Dec. 28: The #%@^!&~*&#% weatherman was wrong. We got 34 inches of that white #%@#!!&%*# this time. At this rate it wonít melt before next summer. The snow plow got stuck up the road and that %#@!%^&^~# came to the door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him I had broken six shovels already shoveling all the *^#%@%# snow he pushed into my driveway, I broke my last shovel over his *&%#@~#~!%^# head.

Jan 4: Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back a %#%@!~#%^&## deer ran in front of my car and I hit it. Did $3,000 damage to the car. Those &%#%@~!~%# beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed them all last November!

May 3: Took the car to the garage downtown in the cities. Would you believe, the thing is rusting out from all that &*#%@!#~#^ salt they put all over the road?

May 10: Bought a new car and moved to Florida. I canít imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever live in that godforsaken state of Minnesota. Weather here is so delightful. Folks down this way say it'll really get hot, but we're not worried. Can't get that hot, can it? Say the same about the mosquitoes and bugs. They're not bothering us...at least for now. Heard about the sink holes. Can't be that bad. Alligators are fascinating basking on the shore in the sun. Folks tryin' to scare us about stories of flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes...oh, and that thing about the heat again. But at least it aint' snow!"

June 15:Been raining for the last five days. Don't know if the sun will ever shine. Sure is humid! Those &##%&!~#!@#% BUGS!!! Can't they keep those gators contained, one keeps snooping around the door. Ain't safe going outdoors!

July 20:Air conditioning out and it's hotter than hades!!! Part of the backyard is a big sinkhole and snakes in the pit aren't real friendly. Too many tourists. Why don't they go home! Place is crawlin' with those #@##!~~%#^&!# bugs of every kind. Never saw such big #%%@!~#^ SPIDERS!!!

August 15:Looking into buying a condo in Hawaii. Weather there delightful and no snakes!!!

September 15: Greetings from the land of pineapples. Have a beautiful view on the side of this inactive volcano on Maui. Life's great. No sinkholes, soft ocean breezes and beautiful waves. Florida was too flat and hot. Very few bugs here and no snakes!!! Love it here.

October 15:Nobody told us the volcano was rumbling. Keeps us awake every night. Getting pretty sticky outside. Rain is beautiful, but everyday!!! Didn't realize scorpions grew that big!!!

November 25: Well, said goodbye to our condo as it flowed with the lava down the hillside. We're staying at a hotel on Waikiki right now, not sure where we'll go. Sure is expensive here!!!

December 25: Greetings from Minnesota. Snow is beautiful. We're truly having a white Christmas. Can't imagine why anyone would ever leave this beautiful area...


PROVERB OF THE DAY

"Come, eat of My food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake, foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding."

Proverbs 9: 5-6

Medjugorje Monthly Message for December 25th

    Dear children! Also today I rejoice with you and I call you to the good. I desire that each of you reflect and carry peace in your heart and say: I want God in the first place in my life. In this way, little children, each of you will become holy. Little children, tell everyone, I want the good for you and he will respond with the good and, little children, good will come to dwell in the heart of each man. Little children, tonight I bring to you the good of my Son Who gave His life to save you. That is why, little children, rejoice and extend your hands to Jesus Who is only good. Thank you for having responded to my call!
For more on Medjugorje, Click on MEDJUGORJE

Holy of Holies

On New Year's Eve take advantage of the greatest celebration you can participate in. Go before the Tabernacle and spend time with Jesus. What better way to welcome in the New Year...a year that will be pivotal in the history of civilization.


NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

HEADLINES:

CUBA CHURCH EXPLOSION ONLY FIRECRACKER

      HAVANA (CWN) - The explosion reported outside a Cuban church over the weekend was caused by a large firecracker set off by a Mexican tourist celebrating Christmas, the government said on Monday.

      The Interior Ministry said Alejandro Rivera Jimenez, 48, set off a small rocket outside the La Merced church at 3:15 am on Saturday and that it accidentally hit the side of the church. The small explosive caused no damage to the 17th century church.

      The incident had initially alarmed some church officials who thought the blast might have been aimed as a protest against Pope John Paul's visit to the island next month. The Cuban Communist government promised heavy security for the papal visit.


PROTESTERS ARRESTED OUTSIDE DISNEY WORLD

     KISSIMMEE, Florida (CWN) - About 75 protesters gathered outside Disney World on Monday to protest the Walt Disney Co.'s pro-homosexual, anti-Christian policies and entertainment products.

      Three people were arrested during the protest along a tourist strip leading into Disney World as the group carried signs and handed out leaflets. The Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Rescue and two others were detained by police for obstructing traffic. The protest caused mile-long traffic jams.

      Most of the protesters came from a Christian youth conference in nearby Palm Bay and carried signs protesting Disney's recognition of employee same-sex partner benefits, supporting "Gay Days" at theme parks, airing the TV show "Ellen" in which the main character is an active lesbian on its ABC network, and producing movies and shows with anti-Christian themes such as "Nothing Sacred" and "Priest." Benham said the next phase of the protest will be to buy tickets for the theme park during the Gay Days next June and pass out literature and read Biblical passages.


WORLDWIDE MUSLIMS BEGIN HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN

      CAIRO (CWN) - Most of the world's Muslims began the holy month of fasting from dawn to dusk called Ramadan on Tuesday after Islamic leaders spotted a new moon on Monday. In some countries, Ramadan will begin on Wednesday.

      The world's 1 billion Muslims will observe Ramadan by abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and marital relations during daylight hours during the 30-day long period of abstinence and purification. The holy month marks God's revelation of the holy book, the Koran, to the Prophet Mohammed 1,400 years ago, according to Islamic belief.

      The starting date of Ramadan changes each year and is begun with the sighting of the new moon. It ends 29 or 30 days later when the next new moon is seen and culminates with the three-day feast of Eid al-Fitr.


PRAYERS & DEVOTION

Joyous Psalm for today's Mass

Let Heaven and earth exult in joy!

      Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; announce His salvation day after day!

     Let the Heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound. Let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the Lord.

     The Lord comes, He comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with His constancy.

For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives

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December 31, 1997 volume 8, no. 64         DAILY CATHOLIC


December 1997