February 5, 1998 vol 9, no. 26
Offer your life to God and He will protect you forever
That is what Saint Agatha did and He sent Saint Peter to miraculously heal her when she was submitted to unspeakable torture. Yet, satan didn't give up and, through the Romans, subjected her to even more humiliating and painful torture. But God never abandoned her and, despite the sheer pain, Agatha didn't abandon Him. There is a great lesson we can all grasp in Agatha's story as well as the martyrs who we celebrate tomorrow - Saint Paul Miki and companions which you'll find by, clicking on LITURGY OF THE DAY
THURSDAY, February 5, 1998
First Reading: 1 Kings 2: 1-4, 10-12
Responsorial Psalm: 1 Chronicles 29: 10-12
Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 7-13
Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
The virgin martyr Saint Agatha was born in Sicily into a rich and noble family. Her parents consecrated her to the Trinity before she was born as a result of the promise from God that she would indeed be born despite incredible odds. As she grew into the flower of her teens, the beauty of her soul was somewhat overshadowed by her physical attractiveness which drew raves throughout Sicily; so much so that Quintanus, governor of Sicily under the Emperor Decius, enforced laws against the Christians as a pretext for seducing this beautiful flower of God. Praying for purity and the fortitude to withstand his advances, she prevailed, much to Quintanus' wrath who ordered vile mutilations on this faithful virgin who bore all for the love of her one true Love - Jesus Christ. Having cut off her breasts, they were miraculously healed when Our Lord sent Saint Peter to heal her. So incensed was Quintanus that he stripped her and subjected her to cruel humiliation, rolling her naked through the streets and over broken shards before her Spouse heard her pleas and called her Home. In testimony to her purity, it is believed that her body is still incorrupt and her intercessory prayer has proved victorious for many young women subjected to sexual harassment. She was truly a temple of the Holy Spirit.
FRIDAY, February 6, 1998
First Reading: Sirach 47: 2-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18: 31, 47, 50-51
Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 14-29
Saint Paul Miki, Missionary, and companions, Martyrs
Like His Savior Jesus Christ, Japanese-born Saint Paul Miki, a Jesuit catechist, was crucified at the age of 33 with 25 other Catholics near Nagasaki, Japan at the hands of ruthless Samurai warriors. Along with two other catechists, six Franciscan priests from Spain, Mexico and India, and 17 lay Catholics from Japan, St. Paul Miki had sought to convert the people of Japan. Fearing the pagan influence and Samurai power would be harmed, some of the Samurai leaders riled up their fellow tribesman and captured the 26 missionaries on February 5, 1897, stringing them up on crude crosses by ropes and chains. As if this wasn't harsh enough, they were then murdered by the quick slash of the sword or the thrust of a sharp lance. Pope Gregory XVI canonized all 26 in 1862 and their martyrdom is commemorated on February 6th.
If we don't obey, we'll pay...sooner or later!
Two columns in the secular newspaper from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (aka, San Francisco and Los Angeles) provoke a response by the editor - one a yay, one a nay. They deal with the time-worn problem of obeying God's Will by acknowledging His laws - both the Ten Commandments in the first instance, and abiding by the teachings of the Church in the second instance. For today's editorial entitled, "To those who think they know more than God: Obey Him or you'll pay dearly! That's not a threat from us, that's from God Himself!" Click on Today's CATHOLIC PewPOINT
To those who think they know more than God: Obey Him or you'll pay dearly! That's not a threat from us, that's from God Himself!
In our local daily "rag" today - you know the secular daily newspaper - in the editorial page there were two columns that were on entirely different ends of the spectrum. One, by Los Angeles Times columnist Cal Thomas was right on target. Entitled "It's mourning time in America," he spoke of the moral fiber of our country, and how far we have fallen and are continuing to fall with the rash of immorality that permeates our land, fed through the media and encouraged by those who should know better - beginning with the President of the United States. Thomas cited what the prophet Hosea, also known as Osee, admonished the Israelites on - basically the same problems faced in the U.S. today only much worse in our times. He wrote the Lord's words, "Woe to them, they have strayed from Me! Ruin to them, they have sinned against Me! Though I wished to redeem them, they spoke lies against Me!" (Osee, 7: 13). Thomas likens the situation in America today to those times and, speaking of leaders, writes, "At the extremes, nations insensitive to their moral foundation get a Hitler or a Stalin. Short of dictatorship, they get sexually transmitted diseases, broken homes, abandoned children, overflowing prisons and dysfuncstional lives." He was of course talking about our country and the sorry excuse of leadership exhibited by Bill Clinton and his ilk in Washington. Thomas completes his excellent piece with the summation, "Hosea pronounced a verdict on another nation that lived like this: 'a people without understanding will come to ruin.' It's mourning time in America." Thomas is not the first nor the last to write about this or to pinpoint the problem. We have been reiterating this in our pages for years. Yet, rather than repenting, Clinton, the media, yeah even the people, flaunt their transgressions and approve of them - reflected in the highest popularity poll ever for Clinton. You figure it out. Thomas did by reminding us what President Ronald Reagan once said when asked what the people saw in him, "Would you laugh if I told you they see themselves?" Thomas points out that in the present administration "Bill Clinton reflects who we really are. To indict him is to indict ourselves. His is a mirror that reflects our darkened souls." No, Clinton has proved he is no moral leader, but he is leading us...leading us to the abyss as the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart was warned numerous times in messages since 1992. One message Our Lady likened our country to a runaway train with Clinton as the engineer as the train careened at breakneck speed toward the abyss. Another occurred on the night he was elected when the bells rang out. Our Lord told Cyndi, "You hear the bells? They toll for thee. Woe to America." Yes, it truly is mourning time in America because we have failed to obey God's laws, failed to admonish those who transgress against Him, failed to realize only God has the answers and man's agenda is doomed to failure. Cal Thomas points out that we need to obey Him or we'll all pay dearly! That's not a threat from him or us, that's from God Himself!
The other article was equally alarming for it was written in a secular paper by a professed "Catholic" writer by the name of Stephanie Salter, a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. She identified herself as a "Roman Catholic feminist" on the first line and you just knew where she was headed after that. First of all, how can a "feminist" be Catholic? Afterall, to be Catholic means to be united to Christ and obedient to Him and the Church He established. Ah, there's that "obedience" tag again - something feminists hate with a passion. They want their own way and they don't want to be obedient to men - men whom Christ designated. She rambles on, of course, about how unfair it is that women cannot be priests, attacking the Church for "sins" of the past committed by "men," specifically the Inquisition and some of the facts recently revealed when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger officially opened the Inquisition files to the public. Leave it to a feminist to find a needle in a haystack. By that we mean of all the good, she went looking for the bad and found it in the "Galileo event" which the Church has since apologized for. But this isn't good enough for Ms. Salter, rather she had to rub it in and dare hint that it would have been different had the other gender ruled. She rails at having to say the Nicene Creed which calls for her to say "for us men and our salvation," totally missing the point of the word "men" as referring to all mankind - men, women and children. If she doesn't like it or agree with it, there are always other churches she can go to. They're called Protestant and they came about because of this same attitude in which "man" - oops, we better add "and woman" knew more than God and decided to follow their own agenda. That's what Ms. Salter is doing and urging so many readers to do the same today. No wonder Our Lady is weeping so, no wonder she has said she can no longer hold back the hand of the Father. In Sodom - erh, San Francisco it would seem there is only one steady voice we can trust - Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. head of Ignatius Press; In Gomorrah - better referred to as Lost Angeles, there is one voice which speaks the truth - columnist Cal Thomas. In fact, he has a better bead on God's Will - and what we as Americans, as Roman Catholics, as people of God need to do - more than the cardinal of the Archdiocese. The latter might be in agreement with Ms. Salter when she complains that the Church censored the bible in the middle ages through enforcement of the Inquisition by not allowing Catholics to read the translated Bible other than the Latin Vulgate edition, which was reserved for the clergy. She failed to mention that - one, they weren't mass-produced on web presses back then - in fact, printed by hand through the tireless time and talent of the monks - and two, that only the Latin Vulgate was loyal to the Word of God. Afterall, it had been translated by a saint - Saint Jerome a thousand years before the question even came up. In light of the watering down of the true doctrine that was changed to suit their own purposes once other versions came into prominence from the King James version to Gideon's to today's ICEL editions, is it any wonder Holy Mother Church wasn't being protective of something so precious as the Word of God?
Finally, Ms. Salter finishes her diatribe by exclaiming, "I must confront, each day, my second-class citizenship as a woman in my church. For all the hierarchy's insistence on the equal value of women and men, females are prohibited from performing the most fundamental and holy duties of the church, among them consecrating the host and preaching the gospel during Mass." We wonder if the Blessed Mother felt that way, Ms. Salter. After all, she was present during the institution of the Holy Eucharist; she was present when her Divine Son and, later, the Apostles preached. Do you think she felt like a "second-class citizen?" Not in the least for she endeavored always to obey God's Will. Do you think you know better than God? Think about it, Ms. Salter. It's called obedience. Obey Him or you'll pay dearly! That's not a threat from us, that's from God Himself!
Michael Cain, editor
"Do not permit satan to discourage you."
Those are the words of our Blessed Mother in her messages to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart. Our Lady encourages all to keep our eye on the Prize for loyalty to her Divine Son Jesus and heeding all He asks for through His Church and His Blessed Mother's words to visionaries and messengers in these latter times. We bring you two more messages of pertinence in this on-going set in the A Call To Peace section of the Daily CATHOLIC. Click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages One Hundred Nineteen and Twenty
Message One Hundred Nineteen: October 26, 1991
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, tell all my children of my deep sorrow. Can they not hear me weep? O! Pray! I beg of you, will to pray. You do not yet understand the power of prayer, nor do you realize that by failing to pray you bring ever closer the hour of justice.
Dear little ones, you must put aside all worldly concerns. You must be detached from them. Only in this way can you grasp hold of my Divine Son and persevere against all trials.
Look about you. Do the demons not work harder against you with every passing day? Do you fail to clearly see the signs written in the great changes of your world? Little ones, pick up your rosaries and assist me in chaining satan by the Father's power. Use holy water frequently, and keep the holy name of Jesus ever on your lips. Become alert to God's infinite love and mercy and satan's deceits.
I am pleading before the throne of the Trinity that even yet more mercy may be given. Do not become angry militants, but rather faith-filled people empowered by the Holy Spirit. Open your hearts that God's light may transform the earth.
Prepare, my little ones, for my Son's Coming. Beg God's Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Live for my Son and receive my blessing upon you. Consecrate all your family to me and be not afraid.
Pray! Pray! Pray! I love you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Message One Hundred Twenty: October 28, 1991
(Feast of Saints Simon and Jude)
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Beloved Hidden Flower, say to all my children. Help me, for I am truly your mother, who weeps unceasingly for her little ones. Pray! Pray! Pray! Make atonement for all sins and for the sins of the world.
Beware false prophets who proclaim exact events and precise dates. No! In your heart you will know their words come not from God, but from satan. There will quickly come to pass many events which I have foretold to many, even now at Medjugorje. These events shall happen quickly. They shall appear to the world to be events which occur in a matter of hours and days, but in reality, are events long-planned by the evil one. So sudden, so devastating shall these events be that my little ones will cry out loud in fear and horror. They will realize how attached they are to the world and how distant they are from God. Even then God lends mercy. He does not want anyone to perish, and will give to each that final moment of choosing God, or eternal darkness.
The demons of hell rage throughout the world. No nation is spared. Even my chosen army will suffer. Yes, many will suffer greatly but you must persevere. I will remain with my little ones and lead you to eternal joy.
I, your Heavenly Mother, say now that God has chosen Denver as a sight of apparitions. I am there with my Divine Son, who pours out blessings upon the whole world. Yes, Mother Cabrini is there, and a multitude of heavenly host to praise the Triune Divinity and to establish the power of God through many graces. My little ones, this, too, shall become a place of refuge, a sight of many conversions and healings. The shepherds will be distant, non-believing and a source of great trial. Love them and pray for them and come to me there as I call each one of you. Yes, I have desired to show myself to my children here, and the conference will bear witness to my presence and to the power and majesty of God.
Persevere. Believe with absolute faith and send forth the announcement to all my children. God allows me to choose my little ones and my places of visitation. For the glory of God to save my little ones I came among you. Mother Cabrini is my chosen one to walk among you now. Learn from her life and prepare that my Divine Son and I may walk among you too in peace and love.
God allows me to touch the world. I am the woman clothed with the sun. I bring to you the Son. How blessed are they who believe even though they have not seen. Carry forth all plans and let no one prevent the people from coming, for this is a blessed place of many graces.
I will assist all my little ones. The Holy Spirit moves and through Him hearts open and blossom with love, charity and understanding. I beg all my children to be generous in their prayers and in their material wealth, for I call all to renunciation of man's world, and to absolute consecration to my Son through my Immaculate Heart.
Be always my little humble ones and do not permit satan to discourage you.
I love and bless you. I give you God's peace. Thank you for responding to my Call!
NEXT WEEK: Messages One Hundred Twenty-one and One Hundred Twenty-two
Sounding the clarion for calling Catholics back to their Faith through solid, true Catholic education
In today's feature megaseries on the Church today, we bring you the second part on Catholic education in which we outline the problems and provide solutions that will bring the caliber and intent back to the level of what it once was. It is not an easy process and takes dedication, hard work, and much, much prayer. But it is possible with God and that is the key - for by putting God and His Church back into our Catholic schools, back into the Catholic education curriculum, future generations will have the opportunity to be good, solid Catholics who know their faith and can pass it on to others as we assert in the fifty-seventh installment: part seventeen: Restoring Faith in our Faith through Education - part two "Even so, it is not the will of your Father in Heaven that a single one of these little ones should perish."" as we continue to sound the thirtieth clarion in this on-going megaseries. Click on WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?
Wake-up Call to all Catholics the thirtieth clarion
Beware of False Prophets in the American Church - part seventeen: Restoring Faith in our Faith through Education - part two
"Even so, it is not the will of your Father in Heaven that a single one of these little ones should perish."
Matthew 18: 14
In honor of "Catholic Schools Week" last week we continue the thread begun last installment with the second of two parts of our "state-of-the-system" report as to what's right and what's wrong with our Catholic Schools system. As we indicated last week, government weaseled into the picture offering grants and exemptions which were enticing to money-starved schoools and diocese in the seventies and eighties. But with the outpouring of federal funds came stipulations that the receiver must follow. Without truly analyzing the consequences and because of the money issue, many bishops signed on the dotted line. Sex education was introduced into the schools, questionable books regarding history and science that denigrated the Church and altered events according to the "political correctness" of the times filtered into the curriculums. At the high school level Latin, which had been a requirement at most Catholic schools with the annual incentive of the prestigious Auxilium Latinum awards, was phased out. In its place came more secular subjects, moving farther and farther away from a Catholic education as we once knew it. Oh, lip service was paid to Catholic services on Holy Days of Obligation or important liturgical functions in some schools, but for the most part it was a no-no to bring up anything "Catholic" for fear it would offend the many non-Catholics attending a presumably Catholic institution. Religion classes became a joke as the CCD curriculums from various sources infiltrated the system promoting more and more liberal agendas, emphasizing peace and justice from a human point of view, giving little play to the spiritual and even less to the traditions and teachings of Holy Mother Church. Little by little CCD classes in each parish became a mish-mosh of the same. Children attended who didn't want to be there.
As the years have passed it has become only too evident that the reforms in Catholic education enacted since Vatican II are not working. Ask any grade school child to tell you the Ten Commandments, recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, or list the Seven Sacraments and you're in for a big surprise. Most will go "duh!" in their best Bart Simpson imitation. They don't know what our faith is all about because it isn't important to them. That's a sad fact. It's also a sad fact that many parishes and parents have become partners in this crime. They don't emphasize the faith or the teachings, watering down everything and placing Catholicism on the back burner, so-to-speak. Programs such as Total Catholic Education have become a joke because the diocese, strapped for funds are relying heavily on government funding and grants, thus being dictated to what goes in the curriculum. Yet this program proposes to take education away from the parish level and spread it across the board including adult education. It may work in some incidences, but in the parish school our boys attended for two years in Dallas it wouldn't work because the parish school was so excellent and the pastor a strong advocate of a solid, traditional Catholic education. But this was the exception rather than the rule. No wonder so many concerned Catholic parents have turned to home schooling, enrolling in such stellar curriculums as Seton Home Study and Our Lady of the Rosary programs. They provide what the nuns used to provide: a solid, well-rounded Catholic education with the emphasis on "Catholic." As we described in our editorial last week during "Catholic Schools Week," the theme of "Catholic Schools Week" this year is "Restoring Faith in Education." If we're talking about the education standards in Catholic schools today, folks, we're in big trouble. The emphasis should be in "Restoring Faith in our Faith through Education."...in other words, "Put Faith back into Education. For only by re-emphasizing our Catholic Faith, by re-teaching our Faith to the generations - including many parents - can we truly restore faith in the Catholic education system. We can do this by disgarding the government programs and appealing to parishioners to help perpetuate the Faith by donating to the cause. We can do this by fostering vocations with an emphasis on sacrifice and commitment. To paraphrase a President, "Ask not what your Church can do for you, but ask what you can do for your Church." For by helping Holy Mother Church, Christ will greatly reward our efforts. That is the only way we can once again have total confidence in our Catholic education system. Without trusting in God and doing as He wants the education standards will drop to an all-time low. Gaging from the status of Catholic education today, it can't fall much lower, but it will unless we take the bull by the horns and say "enough" let's put Faith back in education. Then Faith will work for education and that education will sire Faith. It is a responsibility we cannot take lightly. It is a mission that we will be held accountable for. Afterall, as Catholics we have made a commitment to Christ to uphold His words in Matthew 18: 14, "Even so, it is not the will of your Father in Heaven that a single one of these little ones should perish."
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.
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
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
February 5, 1998 volume 9, no. 26   DAILY CATHOLIC
Textonly Vistors to date in 1998