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February 10, 1998
SECTION ONE   vol 9, no. 29
On the wings of a pure, white dove!
Those are the lyrics of a popular country western classic, but they could better be attributed to the saint whose feast we honor today - Saint Scholastica, twin sister of the great Saint Benedict. Both founded Religious Orders based on the Rule of Saint Benedict that have lasted the test of time, though some Benedictine abbeys today have strayed far from the ideals established by both Benedict and Scholastica. For her story, the liturgy of the day, meditations and preparations for tomorrow's feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY
TUESDAY, February 10, 1998
First Reading: 1 Kings 8: 22-23, 27-30
Psalms: Psalm 84: 2-5, 10-11
Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 1-13
Feast of Saint Scholastica, Virgin and Religious Foundress
The foundress of the Benedictine Nuns - Saint Scholastica, whose feast has always been celebrated on February 10th, was Saint Benedict's twin sister. Both were born in 480 near Umbria and Sabina in Norcia, Italy. Close from birth, both dedicated themselves to God from an early age. When Benedict went off to become a monk, Scholastica became a nun. When Benedict built Subiaco, Scholastica was at a monastery nearby also establishing convents for
Benedictine nuns. She later followed her brother to Montecassino where she entered a monastery at Piumarola, Italy. It was there she died in 547 at the age of 67 with Benedict by her side. After a short visit with his sister, Benedict had intended to leave, but the weather was so fierce he had to stay. It was then he realized she was dying and that God had prevented him from going back to his monastery for this reason. He prayed with her by her bedside for three straight days. On the third day she succumbed and Benedict writes that he saw her soul rise to Heaven in the form of a pure, white dove.
WEDNESDAY, February 11, 1998
First Reading: 1 Kings 10: 1-10
Psalms: Psalm 37: 5-6, 30-31, 39-40
Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 14-23
Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
The Commemoration of Our Lady's first of 18 apparitions at Lourdes, France on February 11, 1844 is pivotal in
advancing the Blessed Mother's plans toward the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart which will usher in the glorious Reign of her Divine Son's Sacred Heart. This feast is one of the favorite feasts of Our Blessed Mother for it was in her appearances to visionary Saint Bernadette Soubirous at the grotto of Massabielle that signaled the resurgence of Marian devotion to her Immaculate Heart for she confirmed to Bernadette that she was truly the Immaculate Conception. Since that time there have been countless miracles at the healing waters of Lourdes. Probably the most miraculous is the fact that those who bathe there are, in a sense, returning to the font of their baptism to wash away their old sins and put on the pure robe of grace and a new life in God. Lourdes was approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1890 and Pope Saint Pius X made it an official feast in 1908.
Man worships the antichrist in the depths of depravity
Today's hard-hitting editorial continues the thread begun yesterday with the theme that America has sunk to a new low. Today we illustrate how the first sin haunts man today not in the sense of only disobedience but also in the depraved manner we have lowered and leveled one of God's most beautiful gifts intended solely for the procreation of His creatures, made in His image and likeness. For the commentary, "The shiny, sexy apple is truly rotten to the core!", click on Today's CATHOLIC PewPOINT
The shiny, sexy apple is truly rotten to the core!
We spoke yesterday of the "Phantom of the False Peace" and how we have all been bamboozled by the evil one into thinking America is so superior. The Blessed Mother has warned that we will have our "come-uppance" - that our country will experience the travails many around the globe have felt. "You've gotta be kidding," is the normal response from most Americans when they hear this. They'll reply, "the economy is great, we're on top, don't you dare rock the boat. Don't worry about the president. What he does in his own time is none of our business!" Ahh, but it is God's business! And that effects each one of us! For that is the major malaise in America, if not the world. His laws, His gifts, even His Mercy have been shunned in favor of the new "god" - sexual gratification in every way possible! It is an idol that surfaces in every phase of everyone's life unless you are a cloistered nun or monk.
We have a theory that lends credence to this. Call it a theory or inspiration from the Holy Spirit, but it makes sense when we look at the entire tableau. Consider the first sin. Many believe it was disobedience. It was, but it was also the fact satan, through the "apple," tempted Adam and Eve into carnal knowledge that deviated from the purpose the Creator intended for the procreation of His children as God ordained. Consequently, sex became perverted and to this day, and at this time in the history of mankind, sex has become thee "god" - a god of perversion, of lust, of adultery, rape, abortion, sodomy, and every prurient desire that embodies the basest of all human emotions. Sex is worshipped and is therefore the precursor of the embodiment of the antichrist. And it is here! The antichrist is here!
So many have gotten wrapped up in trying to tab just who the antichrist is without realizing he is so visible we can't see the proverbial forest through the trees. The antichrist is on most every billboard, television or radio commercial, the movies, newspapers, magazines, the internet, telephones, video games, television sit-coms, news, drama, talk shows, in the schools at every level, and on so many lips. Consequently he is in every home as well! Because of this total saturation our hearts have become hardened and our minds softened to the dangers inherent to our own souls and those of our children whom we have a responsibility to God to protect. But we are not. We have become a jaded people, immune to the shock of a dirty joke, a nude scene, immodest dress, derogatory comments about something so beautiful that satan has managed to turn into a mockery. But that's his modus operandi. He mimics God. He tries to mirror the Trinity Whose perfect number is 3 with the number 6. We've seen this in the revealing message Our Lady imparted to Father Don Stefano Gobbi on June 17, 1989 in Milan, Italy regarding the number of the beast. Consider that the number of the beast "666" times three = 1998 and we should be alarmed! The antichrist is here and very visible! Satan deceived the first parents and he has successfully deceived today's parents in the billions with his clever manipulation of sex for personal gratification rather than fulfillment of God's Holy Will. We have let him in the back door and lately, without even guarding the front door, he's entered there as well, including the sanctuary of Jesus' One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. He feeds the false prophets with illusions of grandeur and they feed off that with a frenzy that produces even more smut that passes as "family fare."
Look at the reverence in the Church in the fifties; look at the mores of the nation in the fifties when sit-coms never showed any semblance of sex, separate beds were always shown, and on "I Love Lucy" censors would not allow the word "pregnant" to be uttered. Wow, have things changed. Oh, how we have sunk to the depths of depravity! Today words that have always been considered obscene are commonplace. Jokes and stories that would make a sailor blush are not told brazenly not only in mixed company, but in front of and by children. No wonder Our Lady has warned her little ones over and over that she can no longer hold back the hand of the Father for she has conveyed countless times that even Sodom and Gomorrah were not as bad as our civilization today. For today in 1998 our nation has sunk so low as to wink at the corrupt morals of the highest leader of our land, for to indict him is to indict ourselves. That is the truth we don't want to face and satan knows it so he keeps up the facade, peppering us even more with the god and goddess of sex until man has forgotten the True God and given himself up totally to lucifer. The abyss is waiting if we continue on this path. As satan polishes the apple to make it look even more tempting, we must remember the scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in which the Nazi officer and Gestapo bad guy looked into the ark as a mist swirled up presenting the illusion of a beatiful woman only to expose itself for what it truly was - evil and ugly, but only when it was too late. Are we going to wait until it's too late? The malignant malaise of America is really a rotten apple disguised as a polished plum. Are we going to bite on that? If so, then we have lost our appetite for everlasting life because we didn't practice self-control and fasting. On this feast of the pure chaste dove Saint Scholastica and on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes who proclaimed herself the Immaculate Conception, let's all resign ourselves to work harder for all that is pure and pleasing to God and let others know that, in the big picture, satan's "prize" isn't worth it because the "apple" is truly rotten to the core!
Michael Cain, editor
A Powerful Pope points the Church in the right direction!
We could be talking about our present pontiff, but in actuality we're referring to our trilogy segment on Pope Innocent III who bridged the twelfth and thirteenth century. Today we deal with the manuevers in which he was able to bring the kings of Europe to their knees as vassals of the Holy See. We also will discover the accomplishments of this spiritual leader who led the charge to rid the world of the Albigensian heresy in convening the Fourth Lateran Council. For the fifty-sixth installment entitled, "Pope Innocent III: a new century - the "Century of Saints" dawns with the Holy See seen in a new light." of our on-going megaseries, click on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH
Pope Innocent III: a new century - the "Century of Saints" dawns with the Holy See seen in a new light.
In our last installment we introduced the reader to Pope Innocent III a young pontiff who led Holy Mother Church into the thirteenth century - the "Century of Saints." At the turn of the century Innocent had already secured the Holy See, reestablish respect for papal authority over much of Europe. In his own papal court was the young Frederick II, son of the late king of Sicily Henry VI and his wife Constance who had entrusted her young son personally to Pope Innocent III before her death. There inside the Vatican young Frederick was groomed in affairs of the Church and state. In France King Philip II sat on the throne. In England King John who would be forced to sign the landmark Magna Carta in 1215. Leopold VI - the "glorious" was in charge in Austria; Poland was ruled by Lesko the "White;" Spain governed by Alfonso IX and in Germany Otto of Brunswick had wrestled control from Philip of Suabia in a bitter struggle. Europe looked more to the Vatican for guidance as the new century held great promise. Two such examples were, first, in France where Philip remarried without Church sanction. When the Pope ordered Philip to separate from his new spouse whom he was living in sin with, he refused. Innocent placed all of France under interdict, denying the sacraments to all Catholics in France. This drastic measure provoked the people to rebel and Philip came crawling to the Holy Father in compliance. The same type of situation occurred in England where King John would not allow Innocent's appointment of Archbishop Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. Rather than dicker with the monarch, the supreme pontiff placed all of England under a similar interdict, excommunicating John and offering England to France. The people, following in the behavior of their French neighbors, rose up as one demanding John reinstate Langton and submit to the Pope. He not only asked for forgiveness from the Pope, but offered England as a fiefdom by agreeing to pay the Holy See an annual tribute which, in truth, established John as a vassal of the Pope. Two years after this agreement John signed another pact which would go down in historical annals as much more significant - the Magna Carta forced on him by English barons who got him to decree English liberty through this landmark charter in 1215. Though it seemed like the King had lost all control and power and was a vassal to the Pope, the loophole showed that because of this pact with the Holy See the Holy Father had to defend England against all comers - including France. This, as history showed, proved a victory for the English monarchs and much consternation to both Rome and France. Yet, in the early part of the thirteenth century the authority, clout and prestige of Rome had been strengthened greatly through Innocent's no-holds barred approach to compliance with Holy Mother Church. Though Innocent enjoyed great success, he also was faced with adversity, chief among them the Fourth Crusade tabbed the "Children's Crusade" which met with ultimate disaster. So full of zeal were the young of France and Germany that 50,000 youths set out in 1212 to win back the Jerusalem and the Holy Lands from the infidels through their humility, innocence and prayer. But the Saracens were not moved by this pious show of force and slaughtered all of the young soldiers of Christ in a massacre of massive proportions. When word reached Innocent he was devastated and took this sorrow to his grave. But before He passed to his Heavenly reward, Innocent convened the Twelfth Ecumenical Council, which was actually the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 for the purpose of planning another Crusade, one that would revenge the deaths of the young innocents and end the Moslem threat once and for all. It was also called so that further truths of the Church could be more widely distributed such as all Catholics who had reached the age of reason were required to go to confession and receive Holy Communion during Easter time, from henceforth called "Easter Duty." At this council, the Council Fathers and Innocent III first instituted the word for confecting the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That word, of course, was "Transubstantiation." Probably the most important mark of this council was to condemn Albigensianism. Innocent, long a crusader against the Manichean heresy was determined to put an end to the Albigensian heresy that had sprouted out of Bulgaria and spread throughout much of Southern Italy. Albigensians taught that the sacraments were invalid and therefore opened the door for sexual promiscuity. They tried to teach that the Holy Trinity did not exist, but rather a dualistic force of good - God and evil - satan, borrowing liberally from Zoroasterism. The Albigensians, fueled by Abbot Joachim waged an undermining war against the Church. Therefore condemnation of this heresy was again unanimous as it had been at Third Lateran Council. The ban was truly effective, for all traces of these heretics had completely disappeared by the fourteenth century. Innocent played a major role in bringing the Armenian Catholics and Marionite Catholics, both of which had separated with the Eastern Churches in the tenth century. His spirituality was always at the forefront and his example moved many. He was a staunch defender of the Church and a fierce inquisitor towards the heretics and those who would seek to destroy Christ's One True Church. He had a special place in his heart for those who were poor and loyal to Christ and His Vicar on earth. Because of this Innocent was a conveyor of several movements within the Church that would forever strengthen her. In the next installment we will complete this section on Pope Innocent III with his contributions to promoting the saints and getting the "Century of Saints" off on the right foot. We will cover two of the great giants of the Church in Saint Dominic and Saint Francis of Assisi as well as other saints who, through the help and guidance of Innocent III flourished for the honor and glory of God. In covering these saints we will bridge the reign of Innocent III with his successor Pope Honorius III, who, like Innocent would enjoy an extended papacy of over ten years. These men laid the foundation for the "Century of Saints."
To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.
The Holy Spirit animates the Corporal Works of Mercy!
Today's Lesson/Meditation #72, imparted by the Mother of God to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart concentrates on how, by living the Corporal Works of Mercy, we continue to live God's Will for it is all part of His Master Plan for His people, orchestrated by the Holy Spirit in accord with the Father and Son. For today's lesson/meditation, click on THE HIDDEN WAY
Lessons/Meditations from Our Lord and Our Lady to
the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart
THE HOLY SPIRIT ANIMATES THE CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY!
(Imparted on February 3, 1995 to the Hidden Flower by Our Lady)
Feast of Saint Blase
Beloved Hidden Flower of my Immaculate Heart, I am here with you as I guide you ever closer to the refuge of my Divine Sonís Sacred Heart. On this day may all my little ones give honor, praise and worship to my Divine Sonís Sacred Heart, and may all make reparation for all abuses committed against Him.
Today, I will speak to all my children on that corporal work of Mercy which tells you to give drink to the thirsty.
My little ones all of the corporal works of Mercy tend toward the care of your mortal body, according to Godís Perfect Will. Therefore, I say again that before you can fulfill a corporal act of Mercy itís origin must come from the heart and soul animated by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Little children, when you in loving charity give to the poor so that they might eat you also procure for them drink which also nourishes and sustains the body. When you offer hospitality in your home, community meeting place or place of work, you are to refresh your neighbor and quench his physical thirst. All of the corporal works or acts of Mercy are an aid to fulfilling the Spiritual Works of Mercy, which are of much greater merit for all.
Remember, too, to make sacrifices in your daily life. In many parts of the world there is scant water for millions of my children. Yet, if God in His Wisdom has blessed you with an abundance of water, do not waste this gift. Be prudent in its use to not only quench your thirst. Water prepares the food grown where sufficient rainfall permits the growth of crops. Water bathes, cleanses, soothes, cools. You must, then, in Mercy for all who have little or none of this precious gift, contain your use to what you truly need, wasting not one drop upon yourself. Godís Infinite Merits will then supply to those who lack what He Wills to give them, blessing your sacrifice.
Therefore, little children, wisely use what God has given to you, and pray and sacrifice daily for those less fortunate. God shall bless you and them, both now and in Eternity.
When it comes to faith, looky-loos just won't do!
Continuing his treatise on primary and secondary faith in his weekly column from his work "Faith: Key to the Heart of God," Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. deals today with Measuring Maturity and how we have to buy into our faith, not just shop around. It is all part of his insight into defining our faith in everyday life. For his weekly column, click on KEYS TO LIVING GOD'S WILL
Twenty-fifth Installment: Measuring Maturity do we shop around or do we fully buy into our faith?
Letís try this little experiment for a moment. Imagine yourself walking out the door of a supermarket when someone comes along behind you and you hold the door for that person as an act of courtesy. Suddenly that person disappears and Jesus is standing there instead. How would you feel? What a privilege to hold the door open for Him! And yet he said as you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Him (Matthew 25:40)! Why do we have to gave an apparition of Jesus to realize what a privilege it is to help another human being?
Hereís a housewife who cooks a meal, slaps it on a plate and shoves it in front of her husband and says, "There!" Her attitude is, "Iíve done what I
have to do. Iíve cooked you a meal. Iím supposed to cook, so I did it.
"Suddenly the husband disappears and Jesus is there. Itís a little different situation then, isnít it? Later on sheís washing the dishes and realizes Jesus is coming to the next meal and is going to eat off that plate in her hands. What a difference that is going to make in the way she washes the dishes! The ordinary, prosaic, pedestrian activities of everyday life come alive when our secondary faith is alive, believing, "You have done it unto me."
At a supermarket counter, you allow someone with a smaller purchase to get ahead of you in line as an act of courtesy. Suppose That person turned out to be an angel in disguise? In Hebrews 13:2 it says to be kind to strangers, for many without knowing it have entertained angels. There are many angels in human disguise as strangers all around us all the time.
Secondary faith in Godís Word enables us to believe that we might be dealing with someone from another world in our everyday activities. Our
secondary faith in this truth, in itself, should make us more respectful to strangers.
Do you believe you have a guardian angel? Read Psalm 91:11, Psalm 34:7 or the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:10. If you really believe in your
guardian angel, you know you always have a companion. Would you ever commit a sin if you could see your guardian angel? Would you ever feel lonely if you could see your guardian angel? The loneliest widow in the world would not be lonely if she truly believed in her guardian angel, not to mention the Emanuel concept of God "(I am with you always, even to the end of the world"). Loneliness would be impossible if we really lived even one aspect of secondary faith.
But itís usually not realized, not experienced. For most Christians, secondary faith is weak because our primary faith is proportionally weak. We donít actually believe in God and His love for us, except in the most remote, abstract way. Again, it is a matter of degree, not a matter of either-or.
Next Installment: Measuring Maturity Forgive so that you may be forgiven
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"My son, to My wisdom be attentive, to My knowledge incline your ear, that discretion may watch over you and understanding may guard you."
Proverbs 5: 1-2
Medjugorje Monthly Message for January 25th
Dear children! Today again I call all of you to prayer. Only with prayer, dear children, will your heart change, become better, and be more sensitive to the Word of God. Little children, do not permit satan to pull you apart and to do with you what he wants. I call you to be responsible and determined and to consecrate each day to God in prayer. May Holy Mass, little children, not be a habit for you, but life. By living Holy Mass each day, you will feel the need for holiness and you will grow in holiness. I am close to you and intercede before God for each of you, so that He may give you strength to change your heart. Thank you for having responded to my call! For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE
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February 10, 1998 volume 9, no. 29   DAILY CATHOLIC
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