FRIDAY-SATURDAY-SUNDAY

January 30 - February 1, 1998   vol 9, no. 22    

SECTION ONE



EWTN's Mother Angelica testifies to Power of the Rosary with a most powerful and miraculous healing!

      It's TRUE! Praise God! Mother Angelica, head of EWTN's vast international evangelical network, was miraculously healed of her forty-year affliction on Wednesday night, the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Mother broke the news on Jeff Cavins' Life on the Rock youth program on EWTN Thursday night when she appeared for the first time in years without her crutches, leg braces and back brace. Praise God! The miraculous healing happened while an unnamed Italian lady was praying with and for Mother in her offices at EWTN after her Wednesday night show "Mother Angelica Live." They were reciting the Rosary together in Latin and then Italian when Mother first felt a "radiant heat" in her ankles. She attributed her healing to God's Love, saying "I think it's a witness to the power of the Rosary." She emphasized that "People forget today that the Rosary is powerful for healing; the Rosary is powerful for inner strength." She claims that she never asked for healing, " I didn't ask to be healed, but He did it out of love." Whatever has happened in this dynamic and visionary nun's life she has always accepted it as God's will. She and others likened it to the passage in John 9: 25, when the blind man proclaimed under scruitiny from the pharisees, "One thing I do know, that whereas I was blind, now I see." Mother echoed the same as she gleefully expressed on the show, "I don't know, but I was crippled in braces, now I walk. I think that's awesome!" The show will be rebroadcast on Saturday, January 31 at 1 pm ET, and again Sunday night, February 1, at 11 pm ET. In Monday's issue we will detail the story with quotes and the significance of this miraculous and meaningful event which truly signifies God's Merciful Love and His promise to mankind!

A Visionary Saint has left us a legacy to learn and live our Faith

      We conclude "Catholic Schools Week" and the month of January with the feast of Saint John Bosco on Saturday. His legacy he left through his order the Salesians and the educational standards he established throughout Italy and America today stand as a tribute to this great saint who is the patron saint of students, editors, journalists and laborers. Today's commentary deals with the vision he received and the significance of the saints celebrated during January and their tie-in with "Catholic Schools Week." Click on TODAY'S CATHOLIC PewPOINT

Through education of all that is Catholic, we will attain sanctity sooner, rather than later!

     Everyday we give thanks for the rich treasury of the Catholic Liturgy. What other faith has the opportunity to celebrate on a daily basis their faith with so many great feasts? None! Only the Catholic Church has a daily feast of the Word of God that compliments the greatest gift Jesus could give us here on this earth - Himself in the bread and wine, confected at the Consecration during daily Mass to become truly His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. This is something Saint John Bosco stressed because he believed and because the Blessed Mother conveyed this and more to him in messages and visions, the most famous being the one he received in 1862 which we detail on our homeport front page about the Barque of Peter and the vital need for devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, especially in these last years of the second millennium. We celebrate St. John Bosco's feast Saturday and it is fitting that his feast climaxes "Catholic Schools Week" for he was one of the most energetic and devoted teachers and promoters of solid Catholic education the Church has ever known. His mark is stamped on countless Catholic schools throughout the United States and carried on by the Order he founded the Salesians.

     We began this month with the feast of Mary, Mother of God who the Almighty has sent to guide us, console us and teach us by reminding us of all her Divine Son's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church professes. The following day we celebrated the feast of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, both early Doctors of the Church. A few days later was the feast of Saint John Neumann whose blueprint of Catholic education at the higher level was adopted in most Catholic institutions of higher learning throughout America. The legacy to this great American saint are the Neumann Clubs on practically every campus - Catholic and non-Catholic - in the land. A week later we commemorated the feast of another Doctor of the Church, Saint Hilary. The following week we commemorated the feast of four early martyrs of the Church in a three-day consecutive span - Saints Fabian, Sebastian, Agnes, and Vincent. Though they were not "teachers" per se, they taught everyone of us what the True Faith means and a fulfillment of Christ's words in Matthew 10: 20, "...he who loses his life for My sake, will find it." and John 15: 13, "Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends.". In their totally unselfish action they fostered education of Catholicism for all generations to come. The week of "Catholic Schools Week" officially began on the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, another great Doctor of the Church and the exemplification St. John Bosco followed in founding and dedicating his Order to St. Francis de Sales. During this past week we celebrated the feasts of Saints Timothy and Titus, two close disciples of Saint Paul who, through their obedience and epistles, taught us much. Tuesday we acknowledged the feast of Saint Angela Merici, another pioneer religious who founded the Ursulines a teaching order of great prominence in America. Wednesday, of course, we celebrated the feast of probably the most intelligent Doctor of the Church - Saint Thomas Aquinas who contributed more to the sacred liturgy than probably any other saint. His teaching is the benchmark of true Catholic education. So it is fitting that we finish "Catholic Schools Week" with the feast of St. John Bosco because the prophecy he was given deals with the immediate future. We are less than a month into 1998. Many realize the time is very short before the great "cleansing" - the refurbishing of the earth that, through the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart, which has already begun, the anticipated Reign of the Sacred Heart of her Divine Son will burst forth in glory. The prophecy to St. John Bosco says "one year before the end of the century." The century Our Lady was referring to is ours and 1999 will see the fulfillment of this prophecy. We are that close. When one takes into account other prophecies, especially those to Father Don Stefano Gobbi regarding her Immaculate Heart triumphing before the turn of the century, we can better realize just how close we are.

     Sunday ushers in the month of February which begins with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on Monday and culminates with the first week of Lent. Yes, it is a time to prepare. It is a time to learn. Let's not leave "Catholic Schools Week" behind, but rather carry the lessons learned into the rest of the year - during the Sacred Liturgy of each Mass, going to school on each saint we celebrate, each Scripture passage we read and meditate on all the Holy Spirit instills in each one of us and collectively as members of the Communion of Saints. No, we're not saints yet, but if we strive to learn - to be educated in all that is Catholic we will will achieve sanctity sooner, rather than later!

Michael Cain, editor

February's Present: the Presentation

      No sooner do we enter the month of February, then we celebrate a glorious feast of Our Lord - the Presentation of Our Lord on Monday along with Candlemass which we preview in this weekend's liturgy section. For the story and background on the meanings of these special feasts, and a biography of Saint John Bosco above, as well as all the liturgical readings for this weekend, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

FRIDAY, January 30, 1998


SATURDAY, January 31, 1998

Saint John Bosco, Priest, Religious Founder, and Educator

     Born on the feast of the Assumption just outside Turin, Italy in 1815, Saint John Bosco or Dom Bosco grew to become the "Apostle of the youth." By showing love and care for the young, he was able to shape thousands of lives. Raised by a very pious mother, John, in his own youth, had a dream vision of boys cursing, fighting, punching and cajoling others to do the same. In this dream he was told to show these youths the evils of sin and the beauty of virtue.

     Our Blessed Mother appeared to him, placing her hands on John. This was a sign he was to be a priest. He paid his own way through school and the seminary, working as a baker, a tailor, a farmer, shoemaker and carpenter. Ordained in 1841, his grandiose dreams to help the young seemed to take a detour when he was assigned to the ghettos of Turin. Undaunted, he worked tirelessly using the talents he had acquired moonlighting throughout his seminary training. Those talents paid off in recruiting a number of priests which led to forming the Religious Society of Salesians, thus named for their patron Saint Francis de Sales whose feast we celebrated one week ago. It was not easy for John. His life was threatened often, but his faith in God pulled his new Order and this dedicated saint through the rough times. In 1859 Pope Pius IX gave general approval for the Salesians. His fame as an educator spread across the continent and over the seas to America. John Bosco became on of the greatest pioneers of modern vocational education.

     He was totally devoted to the Pope and demanded the same of his brother priests and the youth they taught. This, in large part stemmed from a spectacular and prophetic vision he received in 1962 from Our Lady in which he was given to see the Barque of Peter, a large boat, with the supreme pontiff standing afront on the bow and all around was a naval battle with ships being tossed and fro, but not the Barque of Peter for it was guided by two pillars which acted as beacons. On top of one pillar was the Holy Eucharist and on top of the other was the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady imparted the message to St. John, "There will be chaos in the Church. Tranquility will not return until the Pope succeeds in anchoring the boat of Peter between the twin pillars of Eucharistic Devotion and Devotion to Our Lady. This will come about one year before the end of the century."

     When he died on January 31, 1888 at the age of 73 in Turin he he was responsible for over 800 Salesian priests with over sixty Salesian foundations established as well as the Daughters of Our Lady, Help of Christians which he founded in 1872 in order to provide for the poor and neglected young girls. On Easter Sunday in 1934 Pope Pius XI canonized this crusader of vocations.


SUNDAY, February 1, 1998


MONDAY, February 2, 1998

FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

     The Presentation of Jesus is also called the Purification, or Candlemass Day, since on this day the Church blesses the candles used in the procession (if there is one) and which will be used to bless throats on the next day - the feast of Saint Blase. The main focus of course is on the Presentation of Jesus which is in accordance with the old Jewish Law given from God to Moses for the Jewish women after childbirth. A mother was still considered unclean and not to appear in public for 40 days after the birth of a son, and 80 days after the birth of a daughter. At the end of this period, the first place she was to go with her husband was to the temple. There, at the door of the tabernacle she was to present a young pigeon or a turtle dove as a sin-offering. The ideal offering was a lamb, the highest immolation one could offer, as documented throughout the Old Testament - specifically with Abraham and Isaac and culminating with the Sacrifice of the Lamb - Jesus Christ on the Cross. However, very few could afford to donate a lamb for the altar. Therefore, they were allowed to substitute a second turtle-dove in lieu of a lamb. Once the high priest sacrificed these gifts to Almighty God, the woman was cleansed of the legal impurity and free to return to a normal life with all its privileges. In accordance with all this, the Blessed Mother, accompanied by her chaste husband Saint Joseph, complied, bringing Jesus with them since there was also a Hebrew code commanding the first-born be brought to the temple and presented to God. Hence, the Presentation. The Gospel Reading in Luke 2: 22-40 relates all that happened in the temple. Though the Virgin Mary was always pure she still was obedient to the law and humble in all she was asked to do by God and by man. There was also present in the mysteries of the Purification and the Presentation, a third "mystery", that of the prophecies of the holy Simeon and the prophetess Anna. Simeon knew immediately that this child was the Messiah. This was foretold by the prophet Malachi in his book of the Old Covenant and selected as the first reading in this feast's celebration of the Mass. He was also charged by God to reveal further the sorrows Mary would undergo by her fiat to God. The second reading in Hebrews 2: 14-18 reveals much of what Our Lady understood, especially verse 18 where Paul writes: "For in that He Himself has suffered and has been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted." Yes, Jesus walked in our shoes, so to speak, which allows us to follow in His footsteps.

Presence of Our Lord in Eucharist is paramount to our Faith

     We complete our two-part treatise on the Second Vatican Council documents as to the vital importance of the Eucharist as "par excellence" above all other modes where Jesus is truly present such as in the Word, the people of God (Mystical Body of Christ), and the priest. Today we focus on the people and the celebration they participate in - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Click on VATICAN II VERIFICATIONS

The Par Excellence of the Eucharist over other modes which Christ is Present in the Sacred Liturgy

part two

     There have many misconceptions that Vatican II changed many things in the Church and "we don't do it that way anymore" has become the refrain in all too many parishes throughout the world. However, surprise! It hasn't changed that much! To prove this, we go to the source: the Vatican Council Postconciliar Documents, expertly compiled by the revered Dominican Austin P. Flannery in two volumes.

      Today we continue to address a complexing question that many are in a quandary about. Is Jesus equally present in the Word as He is in the Eucharist. He is present in both, just as He is present in the priest as the celebrant and the body of the faithful - the Mystical Body of Christ. But in all those He is present in Spirit, but He is not present corporally. For the Eucharist is a sacrament instituted by Christ at the Last Supper and the Word, while necessary to complement the sacrament, is not a sacrament in itself. Vatican II teaches that the Word is vital in fulfilling the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but the encyclical Mysterium Fidei by Pope Paul VI singles out the Eucharist as being above the others in the sense that this "presence of Christ under the species 'is called real' not in an exclusive sense, as if the other kinds of presence were not real, but par excellence." The Vatican II documents stress that the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass come first above everything else in the life of the Mystical Body of Christ - the people - the Church. The following is taken from VATICAN COUNCIL II, VOLUME II, More Postconciliar Documents; General Editor Austin Flannery, O.P. Costello Publishing Company, Part Six, pages 111-112 on the SACRED LITURGY, Chapter 9, INSTRUCTION ON THE WORSHIP OF THE EUCHARISTIC MYSTERY, Articles 12 and 13.

12. The Nature of Active Participation in the Mass

     

      It should be made clear that all who gather for the Eucharist constitute that holy people which, together with the ministers, plays its part in the sacred action. It is indeed the priest alone, who, acting in the person of Christ, consecrates the bread and wine, but the role of the faithful in the Eucharist is to recall the passion, resurrection and glorification of the Lord, to give thanks to God, and to offer the immaculate Victim not only through the hands of the priest, but also together with him; and finally, by receiving the Body of the Lord, to perfect taht communion with God and among themselves which should be the product of participation in the sacrifice of the Mass.(55)

For the faithful achieve a more perfect participation in the Mass when, with proper dispositions, they receive the Body of the Lord sacramentally in the Mass itself, in obedience to His words "take and eat."(56).

     Like the passion of Christ itself, this sacrifice, though offered for all, "has no effect except in those united to the passion of Christ by faith and charity...To these things it brings a greater or less benefit in proportion to their devotion."(57).

     All these things should be explained to the faithful, so that they may take an active part in the celebration of the Mass both by their personal devotion and by joining in the external rites, according to the principles laid down in the Constitution on the Liturgy, (58) which have been further determined by the Instruction Inter Oecumenici of 26 September 1964 and the Instruction Musicam Sacram of 5 March 1967, (59) and through the Instruction Tres abhinc annos of 4 May 1967.

13. The Influence of the Eucharist on the Daily Lives of the Faithful

      What the faithful have received by faith and sacrament in the celebration of the Eucharist should have its effect on their way of life. They should seek to live joyfully and gratefully by the strength of this heavenly food, sharing in the death and resurrection of the Lord. And so everyone who has participated in the Mass should be "eager to do good works, to please God, and to live honestly, devoted to good works, to please God, and to live honestly, devoted to the Church, putting into practice what he has learnt, and growing in piety."(60) He will seek to fill the world with the Spirit of Christ and "in all things, in the very midst of human affairs" to become a witness of Christ.(61)

      For no "Christian community can be built up unless it has as its basis and pivot the celebration of the holy Eucharist. It is from this therefore that any attempt to form a community must begin."(62)


God is Present everywhere - He knows our hearts and souls!

      That is the point Sister Mary Lucy Astuto makes as she says "Enough is enough" regarding the lurid details emanating from the president's pranks. She reminds us of the beautiful gift we have been given in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and we shouldn't take it for granted in "Confession is good for the soul!" Click on GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Confession is good for the soul!

     Several years ago, publicly and frequently, Jimmy Swaggert criticized and condemned the Catholic Church for its teaching on Confession. We can go directly to God, he would indicate; we don’t have to "confess" to another human being.

      However, when he was "caught" committing adultery, he openly wept and "confessed" his sins to the WORLD via television. Hmmm! Interesting!

      Now it seems with the alleged misbehavior of President Clinton, we hear news reporters urging the President to just "own up" to the American people honestly what his association and behavior has been with regard to the former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Whether or not the news reporters give the nomenclature of "confession" to what they are asking the President to do, it remains a reality that that is exactly what they are requesting.

      For Catholics we know that the “confession” the news media is asking for is not of a sacramental nature. But it is interesting that they ARE asking the President to "confess" his behavior and to the world.

      I do wish our President that he would come to know the value and help that SACRAMENTAL confession would have for him and frankly for any and all involved in all of the allegations.

      Jesus gave us the Sacrament of confession to heal us, and for sure, everyone of us needs to be healed. I, personally, have always felt strengthened and encouraged by this Sacrament.

      Have you noticed, however, how readily people across our nation are ready to condone or tolerate alleged bad behavior of Clinton, whether it relates to adultery or lying? Our country has become so de-moralized that it the possible ill behavior is a ready excuse for other people for their possible bad behavior.

      The conscience of Americans has been darkened. Right and wrong are not judged by God’s Commandments but by the need to excuse immorality in their own lives. Twenty years ago, the alleged behavior of Clinton would not have been tolerated by our society, but it seems that the American people are too ready to conclude that what the President does in his private life is his business as long as he does a good job as President.

      Well, folks, a human being cannot be one person privately and another in his workplace. He cannot separate the principles by which he lives from one place to the other. He cannot lead with principles, if he doesn’t believe in them and exercise them in his private life. Our President either knows right from wrong, or he doesn’t. As the leader goes, so go his followers. Sodom and Gomorrah, are we better than you?

     God bless you!



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January 30 - February 1, 1998 volume 9, no. 22          DAILY CATHOLIC


January 1998