January 27, 1998   vol 9, no. 19    


Seven-Course Spiritual Meal to digest Today

The Appetizer:

Pope once again shows 'em all how sturdy and strong he is despite the media snubs and undermining agenda

      This past week in Cuba that "frail and feeble" 77-year old Pope John Paul II made a mockery of the media's and modernists' claims that he can't keep up anymore by enduring a grueling five day stint throughout the steaming island of Cuba. For the latest on the Holy Father's last day in Havana, click on the first news feature under News & Views to the right. The Pope, wherever he went, made himself available to millions always under the scrutinous eye of Fidel Castro and his cronies; not always under the scrutiny of the media for he got bumped to the back pages, to mere sound bites because of the aberration of the Clinton folly that has become an atrocity before God in deed and coverage. Today we bring you a special commentary on all of this "junk food garbage" and the conclusion that it's time to go on a diet. Click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT


Enough with all the junk-food garbage we're being fed by the media!

      Did we all overindulge on news this past week or what? Might better be called manipulation by the media and their master - ol' satan himself. How else can one explain all the promised coverage of Pope John Paul II's historic trip to Cuba being replaced by the nauseating, endless saccharine drivel about the lurid possibilities of President Bill Clinton's illicit affairs? Whether he did it or not, and his track record does not favor this Arkansas playboy, the media ran it into the mud like so much ground-round beef gone bad, (whoops - could get called into court for that one al a Oprah!) giving lip service only ever so often to the Holy Father in Cuba. The false prophets of today - the liberal media - know that prurient keeps viewers, sells papers, etc. Like a bolt of caffeine they grab the viewers. So, like a pack of hungry hyenas, they feasted on every nuance of the Clinton capers. Even the Super Bowl took a back seat to the recent D.C. fiasco. It was not the media's main course meal. And the proceedings of the March for Life celebration of life on the Ellipse in the nation's capitol didn't even make it to the four major food groups, relegated to the back pages, though "a-disaster-waiting-to-happen-vice-pres" Al Gore garnered plenty of headlines for calling on Congress and the people to legislate even more abortion! Pure poison pablum! And to think this man is only a heartbeat or a scandal away from taking over!

     Earlier this week it looked like the media was going to take over the airwaves with coverage of the Pope in Cuba, but we suspect the only reason many of the networks set up shop in Cuba in the first place was not so much to cover the Pope and record what he had to say, but their rare opportunity to get inside Cuba - the first time in 39 years and report on political and social aspects. Perhaps they didn't cover the Pope once he let it be known America had better let up on their embargo - that it was dehumanizing and not in keeping with God's Will. One of the problems is that it is a group of Cubans in Miami who, politically motivated and out of an intense hatred for Fidel Castro and his communist regime, continue to maintain a strong lobby in Washington, D.C. The group is known as the Cuban American National Foundation, the same group who pressured Archbishop John Favalora to cancel a planned pilgrimage cruise to Havana. The Archbishop countered by sponsoring a one-day pilgrimage one-day flight for the Holy Father's final Mass in Plaza de Revolution Sunday. There, before over 300,000 Cubans, including Castro himself, John Paul II hammered home the need for freedom of religion as the Communist dictator sat in the first row looking somewhat sheepishly, but trying to smile through it all. As he bid his farewells to the Pope on the tarmac before John Paul II boarded Air Italia for his return to Rome, there was almost a hint of regret he was leaving and a touch of humility on the part of Castro. But looks can be deceiving. Now prayer has to take over. It was at this same Plaza, where atheism had been spewed countless times over the last thirty some years, that the last Mass was held - in 1959 with Castro promoting it and the people solidly behind him. After all, he had conquered the vile Batista who had suppressed so many. But it would be only a matter of time before the blood-red sickle would cover this island and stifle any further progress. Thousands would flee to the closest port - Miami. Much like what we have been told how the antichrist will take power, so did Castro. We should learn from history so that it doesn't repeat itself.

     The beauty of our present pontiff is he will not compromise, but always speak out what Christ truly wants. No matter the country, no matter the political intrigue or consequences, the Holy Father is probably the only man in the world who cannot be censored. Praise God. Another interesting fact: when most senior citizens over 70 travel, which is usually infrequently, it is in the lap of luxury most often on a cruiseship where, after a game or two of shuffleboard, they're bushed and retire to a deck chair for the day, then supper and retire early. Contrast that to another senior citizen at 77 years old who is truly a globetrotter. He doesn't play shuffleboard, that we know of, doesn't lounge in a deck chair, or opt for the easy life of a cruise. Instead he challenges the time zones and jet lags, is on his feet for innumerable hours from morning to night, always in the magnifying glass of the media scrutiny, composing, writing, consulting, and praying. He is constantly in demand with very little time to rest, yet always finding time for prayer. Does anyone know of any 77-year old who can maintain this pace day-in-day-out? Only one that we know of - John Paul II. Yet the media - fueled by Catholic bashers and modernists - will jump on his case that he is too feeble, his voice wavering, his left hand shaking. Well, excuse us, but get a life!!! We challenge any of them - from Morley Safer to David Brinkley to Mike Wallace, even that curmudgeon Peter Jennings to try to keep up that kind of pace. We doubt even Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw, let alone younger telejournalists like Wolf Blitzer, Katie Couric, et al could keep up with that type of rigorous schedule. This editor, in four trips overseas over the last seven years (three to Medjugorje, one to Rome) felt the jet-lag and was less than up-to-par the day after trying to get the ol' body clock movin'. Yet this jet-setting saint of a pontiff does it constantly, powered by the nourishment of the Holy Spirit and the encouragement of the Blessed Mother of God. It's the only way anyone could keep up that pace.

     Maybe if we all relied more on the fuel from above and less on our own stubborn temporal diets, we could all perform better, find more time for prayer, and live healthier, longer lives. Let's quit worrying so much about the body and the fact this food item or that could cause cancer, and start worrying more about the salvation of souls. Let's start buy into the fact that the more we pray, the greater our chances of living forever no matter what we eat because a soul cannot consume or digest edibles - only intangibles...like eternity! Maybe if we start living healthy lives in that manner, our example will contribute to more souls realizing that America has finally had it with all the junk-food garbage we're being fed by the media!

Michael Cain, editor

The Salad Course:

An Elderly Pope of Patience and Moderation guides Holy Mother Church to the brink of the thirteenth century

      Our fifty-fourth installment of our on-going megaseries on the annals of the Church through nearly 2000 years brings us to the late twelfth century - 800 years ago. That is when Pope Celestine III, one of the oldest pontiffs to ever be elevated to the chair of Peter, became the one hundred and seventy fifth supreme pontiff, guiding the Church to the horizon of the next century. Click on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH


     Many in history look at Pope Celestine III as one of the oldest pontiffs to ever be elected. His lack of military acumen hampered him greatly in his problems with King Henry IV but he made up for this lack by outlasting the German/Sicilian emperor, allowing patience and moderation to dictate the course history would take. His tactics proved successful as those who stood in his way died before him, allowing him to end his papacy in peace, reinforce and realign the papal coffers and accounting system, and approve the Order of the Teutonic Knights whose principal duty was to defend the pilgrims in the Holy Land. He began the recruiting for the fourth crusade which would be fulfilled by his successor. Celestine served seven years on the papal throne, dying at 94 years young, one of the oldest pontiffs ever to assume the chair of Peter.

Pope Celestine III Outlasts them all as God grants him a long life.

Installment Fifty-four

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 Entree:

Getting to the meat of the matter of faith

      As we grow in our faith we gain a greater understanding of spiritual nutrition and what can and won't hurt us. We learn we can digest greater fibers of truth and be healthier for it. This is the result of faith as Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. illustrates in his column - "Faith: Key to the Heart of God." Today he extends on the concept of "Steak and Potatoes Faith - stage three - graduating to higher spiritual cuisine." Click on KEYS TO LIVING GOD'S WILL


by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F.

Faith: Key to the Heart of God

Twenty-Third Installment: Steak and Potatoes Faith stage three- graduating to higher spiritual cuisine

      How person-oriented is your faith? How much of this affinity do you have for God? We can measure how much the wife believes in the husband by how much she believes in what he says. Take any of the truths that God has revealed. How much do you believe in them? That will measure how much you believe in the God who revealed them (through Jesus).

     How about heaven and hell? If you could really see hell in all its horror with the eyes of your face and not the eyes of your faith, you wouldn’t go anywhere near sin for the rest of your life. Hell is mentioned 57 times in the Bible; we know the reality of it, but do we have to see it to believe it? How much do you believe in hell? What chances do you take with your salvation? That will tell you something about how much you believe what God has revealed.

     Heaven, hell; the sheep, the goats; the right, the left; the split. In Matthew 25, Jesus says that if you do not feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the invalid, then "Depart from me ye cursed into the everlasting flames of hell…" If we neglect to do it to one of the least of these, we neglect to do it unto Him. We say we believe all that, but what do we do in terms of living that belief? Do I believe it? Do I really believe it? Do I act as if I believe it? These three questions in sequence of intensity can be asked about any revealed truth (doctrine).

     Let’s look at heaven, a more positive focus. In Colossians 1:5 we have a statement of secondary faith: "You are looking forward to the joys of heaven and you have been ever since the gospel was first preached to you." In Colossians 3:1-4 Paul says "since you’ve become alive again—been born again—now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where He sits beside God in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts, let your conversation be in heaven. Don’t spend your time worrying about things down here." That last sentence alone, from Scripture, could really transform our lives!

     Now listen to the next sentence. "You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person has. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God. When Christ, who is our real life, comes back to earth, you will shine with him and share in all his glories." What does money mean to a dead millionaire? There are no pockets in a shroud. He looks back on all that money and it’s like ashes. I don’t care where he is on the other side of eternity, that money is useless to him. People may he fighting for it here and now but in his mind and for the rest of eternity that money is trash. And most of the things it buys are trash unless he used it to help the poor, feed the hungry. As a tool, as a means for helping people and to sustain life on earth for himself, it had worth. Paul says don’t worry about things down here, and have as little desire for the things of the world as a dead person does. That statement carries a secondary faith content.

     Do we do that in our lives? Paul says that anyone who clings to this life as if it were the only thing that matters is a person that needs to be pitied (I Corinthians 15:19). The worldly person is really a twisted and warped individual. But how easy it is to become worldly! We wouldn’t think of giving up that favorite television program. We must have that new car. It is very easy to get caught up in materialism to the point where we become ungenerouswith the missions, the poor, the starving. It doesn’t make much impression on some that there are 40,000 people dying of starvation every day, as long as they get their three square meals a day. It is frightfully easy to lose perspective through materialism. Thus, if we have a weak secondary faith in the revealed Word of God about worldliness, it would reflect a weak primary faith in God who revealed it.

Next Installment: Measuring Maturity it does no good to worry!

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January 27, 1998 volume 9, no. 19          DAILY CATHOLIC

January 1998