January 9-11, 1998 vol 9, no. 7
"This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased."
Luke 3: 22
This weekend we transition from the Days of Christmas to Ordinary Time with the connecting link being the special feast of the BAPTISM OF THE LORD, the first thing on His agenda for His public ministry. It was also the first time the Holy Spirit is brought into the picture in the way we have come to know the Third Person of the Trinity - "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit..." - and - "...the Holy Spirit descended on Him in visible form like a dove." Click on LITURGY OF THE DAY
FRIDAY, January 9, 1998
First Reading: 1 John 5: 5-13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20
Gospel Reading: Luke 5: 12-16
SATURDAY, January 10, 1998
First Reading: 1 John 5: 14-21; 5: 1-4
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 149: 1-6, 9
Gospel Reading: John 3: 22-30
SUNDAY, January 11, 1998
First Reading: Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 29: 1-4, 9-10
Second Reading:Acts 10: 34-38
Gospel Reading: Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22
It is fitting that the First Week in Ordinary Time for the new year begins with the Feast of Baptism of Our Lord for He began His three year ministry by humbling Himself as He waded into the River Jordan to institute the Sacrament of Baptism administered by the one who made "ready the way of the Lord"(Luke 3:4). That was, of course, His friend and cousin Saint John the Baptizer son of Zachary and Elizabeth. John knew he wasn't worthy to perform this task for he knew who Jesus truly was. After all, it was John who "leapt for joy" in his mother's womb and John had said to the crowds in today's Gospel Reading of Matthew 3:11: "I indeed baptize you with water, for repentance. But He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to bear. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." God also chose this time to give a sign to all present, a manifestation of Himself in endorsing His Divine Son with the words recorded in today's Gospel: "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." Isn't this what we seek? To have God approve of our lives? Jesus gave us a head start with the Sacrament of Baptism, initiating us into His Holy Church where, if we follow her directives obediently, we too will someday join Jesus and all His Saints in Heaven.
MONDAY, January 12, 1998
First Reading: 1 Samuel 1: 1-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147: 12, 15
Gospel Reading: Mark 1: 14-20
The Holy Spirit can touch us in many ways...
One of the ways is through spiritual reading - a point Sister Mary Lucy Astuto makes in her column, which resumes today after a two week Christmas vacation hiatus. Her words, like the Holy Spirit, will touch you in a way that will reach the heart and make you think...and pick up the nearest spiritual reading. After all, it's time to catch up on all that reading you've missed. But before you do that, read her words in "Spiritual Reading is a Must on your Resolutions List!" Click on Getting to the Heart of the Matter
Spiritual Reading is a Must on your Resolutions list!
Sometimes people say to me: "Sister, it is so hard for me to pray. Iíve had a busy day; I have so many distractions; itís so difficult for me to concentrate; I get discouraged about praying because I donít seem to to succeed very well in it."
Everyone has trouble praying at times. And for some people - a lot of the times. That is, they
donít FEEL like they are doing a very good job of praying because they are beset with distractions and donít seem to reap consolation in their prayer which usually brings the desire to pray more.
We should first of all remember that the most frequently used tool of the devil is discouragement. If he can create an attitude of discouragement, he can open the door to other great temptations.
First of all, we should remember that if we DESIRE to pray, we are already pleasing to God.
Actually, it is God Himself Who has placed the desire to pray on our hearts.
Also, the above mentioned complaints make me think of something St. Teresa of Avila once
wrote. She said that when we find it hard to pray, we should READ. She meant SPIRITUAL reading, of course. She was a very wise saint. Her advice is excellent.
To pick up and read, perhaps from an autobiography of a saint, or Our Lordís purported words to a mystic, or the Scriptures themselves can be a great door-opener to lifting up our minds and hearts to God which is what prayer is.
One does not have to read a lot either. Sometimes, a sentence or two, or a paragraph can be used by God to inspire us in such a way that we can speak to God words of gratitude or praise, contrition or petition.
One should STICK to a sentence or so that leads to prayer until all that the soul wishes to say to God or HEAR from God is completed. God DOES speak to us every day in many ways. He speaks to us through nature, through Scripture, through interpersonal relationships and
through good spiritual reading.
In everything that is good, God wishes to say to us that He loves us. Good spiritual reading helps us HEAR God say that. We all need to be reminded that we are loved, especially by God. When our souls comes in tune with a truth that touches our hearts, the natural response
on our part is to say back to God: "I love you, Lord! Bring me closer to you!" Voila!!! We are praying!
If you go to Church to make a holy hour, donít hesitate to bring a good spiritual reading book
with you. You may be surprised at the powerful holy hour you may have when trying to pray with the help of good spiritual reading material.
And let us not forget. God loves prayer that comes simply from our hearts. Sincere prayer that is unpretentious and honest like that of a child.
Happy praying with good spiritual reading! God bless you!
Something else is touching us these days more than we may like: the flu bug!
Yes, it's that time of year again when the flu bug bites and where the editor lives it has reached epidemic proportions. Keeping things in proportion is the goal of the Daily CATHOLIC as we launch into 1998, but it takes teamwork - a crew all rowing in the same direction - to make this endeavor successful. That is where you come in as we illustrate in "Praise the Lord and pass the Advil!" in our weekly editorial. Click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT
Praise the Lord and pass the Advil!
We could have titled this "New Year's Resolutions that flu away in a matter of days!" No sooner had this editor written a column on that subject last week, than everything planned went astray. This time we can't blame it on ol' satan or even El Nino. No, the culprit is the flu bug that has been permeating the systems of hundreds of thousands in our area. Hospitals are overflowing, ER and out-patient rooms can't handle any more. Getting a doctor's appointment is nigh unto impossible. God has been good to this trooper so far and not allowed the pesky and debilitating virus to hit him square on, but the rest of the family - ah, that's another story! Sadly the third son came down with it today and that makes three down and one to go, but I fight it with all the vitamins and juices I can muster to stay out of harm's way while playing Mr. Mom to our sons and nursemaid to my wife. Even the dog's been under the weather the past week. No umphhh to his bark, just a whimper as he lies listlessly near my pillow during the day and at the foot of the bed sighing at night. You haven't lived until you hear a dog sigh in the middle of the night! It's been somewhat of a miracle to have been able to get an issue out each day with all the bedlam and bedpans in the mix. Mixed in the fray have been a few bugs in the password systems as we transition to the new format of ANNUAL PASSPORTS as well as Monthly Passes and Quarterly Portals available to the subscriber. If you are having problems with your password, just e-mail the Webmaster with your current password and if we discover the problem is on our end we will immediately issue you a new one so you don't miss a beat. Praise the Lord.
In a similar vein, we have received feedback that the articles should be shorter in each issue, keeping in the style of USA Today...small doses each day so it doesn't take forever to read through everything. People with computers are busy people and we realize we are not the only URL out there. In fact, we encourage you to surf many other Catholic URL's. That is one reason we feature our "Golden Chalice Award" in each Monday's issue presented to the Significant Site of the Week to alert you to the plethora of other great Catholic sites out there in cyberspace. As long as we all realize we're in this together for the sake of Our Lord and Our Lady, how can any of us go wrong?!? We have also expanded our links section with more in the coming months including more departmentalization for easier referencing. Soon you'll be able to link to every major Church doctrine, teaching, and tradition, not to mention being able to click on the Church Fathers and all the approved versions of Sacred Scripture from the traditional Douay-Rheims to the Confraternity to the more modern NAB. Sorry, we won't be connecting you to the King James! That is the other aspect we are emphasizing. The Daily CATHOLIC is intended as an evangelization tool, but also a news organ where you can find out the latest in news and trends in the Church, about the Church and vignettes on world/national news from a Catholic perspective. Since the title of the publication is the Daily CATHOLIC the audience we are aiming at is not the non-Catholics, though they are welcome to tune in. Our major audience is, plain and simple, CATHOLICS because there are so many who need to hear what is happening, who need to realize some of what they are hearing is heresy leading to schism within the American Church. So many are lukewarm because no one has lit the spark to ignite their souls to a hunger for the truth. The Holy Father has been trying, many bishops and priests are trying, and many Catholic evangelizists from Mother Angelica to countless web sites, print publications, and parishes are doing the same...but there is much, much work to be done and so little time as we stressed last week in this column. The great majority of Catholics don't understand their faith. They truly don't get it. They're lost and they don't know it. That's the saddest part. It's this lukewarm syndrome we are trying to penetrate with the Daily CATHOLIC. The facts are that a lukewarm Catholic is not going to sign up for a daily Catholic publication without some prodding and that prompting has to come from you at the word-of-mouth level. That's one reason we instituted two offers: (1) the Two-for-One ANNUAL PASSPORT special at $50 a year so you could share an ANNUAL PASSPORT with a fellow Catholic that needs it. (2) We've also instituted a special which many are familiar with from the e-mail they have received: If your pastor or parish has the internet, ask him if he can mention that the
Daily CATHOLIC is now available Monday through Friday at http://www.catholic-internet.org. The first and only regular daily Catholic publication anywhere! It's the "USA Today for CATHOLICS!
If you can implement this and send a copy of the bulletin to: Daily CATHOLIC, 1585 Green Oak Road, Vista, CA 92083, we will not only give the pastor/church a free ANNUAL PASSPORT, but also you. If you have an ANNUAL PASSPORT already, we'll extend it another year at no charge. So now it's up to you to pass the word. Ask your pastor if he's interested in keeping up with Rome on a daily basis, keeping informed on what the bishops are saying on a daily basis, keeping current on world events from a Catholic perspective on a daily basis, staying in touch with other parishes around the world on a daily basis, and have instant accessibility to the Douay-Rheims bible, the Latin Vulgate edition, the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Baltimore Catechism, the Code of Canon Law, L'Osservatore Romano, the encyclicals, Apostolic Letters and Exhortations of the Popes, works of Saint Thomas, Saint Augustine, Saint John Vianni, and many other saints and Doctors of the Church, the Catholic encyclopedia, devotions, and countless other sources all available through their passport to the Daily CATHOLIC. We doubt he'll say no and be grateful to you for informing him of this valuable new, informative, and frequent Roman Catholic outlet. The only reason we can think he might say 'no ' is if he is a modernist, set on the new agenda of the American Church. If so, start searching for another parish! After all, if you don't have a good, traditional Catholic church in your neighborhood, the best solution is to Move!...move to a parish that is loyal to the Holy Father, that preserves the sacred in the sanctuary, that is dedicated to fulfilling God's Will. Praise the Lord.
As this editor shakes another thermometer and heats up the kettle for some more chicken soup and broth for the family, I leave you with the thought that we're all in this together. Our ultimate goal is to be able to offer the Daily CATHOLIC to all at no charge - FREE to ALL. But to do this we need angels - generous benefactors to be able to finance the mounting costs of publishing Monday through Friday and storing the massive files in Unix servers. Another eventual goal is to be able to offer the Daily CATHOLIC in Spanish as well as other languages to truly become international. We have had many letters and e-mails of interest from South America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, even the U.S. for a Spanish daily edition. It takes money - lots of it - to bring this to a reality. If you know of any great Catholic philanthropist who is willing to help a non-profit Catholic organization dedicated totally to all the Roman Catholic Church teaches and totally in accord with IRS regulations for charitable organizations, please let them know about the Daily CATHOLIC and its objectives. With God's help these goals will become a reality. After all that's how Saint Francis of Assisi began - asking for alms and praying! We're doing both and place ourselves at your mercy. Praise the Lord.
Speaking of mercy, have mercy on all those who are suffering with the annual flu bug, say a little prayer all recover their strength and resume their resolutions as God wills. Now, once again, Praise the Lord and pass the Advil.
Michael Cain, editor
Keeping in touch with what Vatican II really proclaimed
Finally, we resume our weekly take on what the Council Fathers at the Second Vatican Council truly decreed in the face of the false claims that they did away with so many things. When we study the facts, we discover they did nothing of the kind. In fact, if anything, they reaffirmed and strengthened the doctrines and teachings, as well as the ceremonies and traditions. But you wouldn't know it from the drivel we hear today from so many who say "The Church doesn't do that any more" or "they threw that rule out." We're here to refute that as we present the second of three parts on Indulgences. Click on VATICAN II VERIFICATIONS
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.
We continue our three part sixth "bone to pick" with dissenters on the subject of Indulgences, tying in with our topic which we will continue to cover next week in "Catechism Capsules." There has been a misconception that Vatican II threw out indulgences because they were "superstitious" and out-moded. Wrong! In fact the Vatican II documents make it very clear that indulgences are still very much in vogue as we highlight just what was decreed at the Second Vatican Council below and continue next week in this same column taken from VATICAN COUNCIL II, VOLUME II, More Postconciliar Documents; General Editor Austin Flannery, O.P. Costello Publishing Company, Part Six, pages 62-79 on the APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION ON THE REVISION OF INDULGENCES (Paul VI, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 1 January, 1967).
THE BENEFITS OF INDULGENCES
9. We recall briefly the most important considerations. First, the
practice of indulgences is beneficial because it teaches us to "know and
see that it is evil and bitter for us to forsake...the Lord our God." (44)
Really, when they gain indulgences the faithful understand that by their
own powers they could not remedy the harm they have done to themselves and
to the whole community by their sin. They are therefore moved to a salutary
10. Moreover, the religious practice of indulgences arouses again
confidence and hope that we can be fully reconciled with the Father. But it
does not do this in a way which would justify negligence of any kind or in
the slightest manner lessen the effort one has to make to acquire the
dispositions that are needed for full communion with God. While it is true
that indulgences are free gifts, they are granted only on fixed conditions
for the living as well as for the dead. To gain indulgences the work
prescribed must be done. But that is not all. The faithful must have the
dispositions that are necessary. These are that they must love God, hate
sin, trust in Christís merits, and believe firmly in the great help they
obtain from the Communion of saints.
INDULGENCES DO NOT LESSEN THE IMPORTANCE AND VALUE OF SACRAMENTS
11. Supported by these truths, holy Mother Church again recommends the
practice of indulgences to the faithful. It has been very dear to Christian
people for many centuries as well as in our own day. Experience proves
this. Still, the Church does not intend in any way to lessen the value of
other means of holiness and purification. First and foremost among these
are the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament
of Penance. Neither does the Church reduce the importance of the many helps
which are called sacramentals nor of the works of piety, penitence and
charity. All these things have one thing in common: they make people holy
and purify them all the ore effectively according to the closeness of their
union with Christ the Head and with the Body of the Church by charity.
Indulgences also confirm the preeminence of charity in the Christian life.
This is because indulgences cannot be gained without a sincere conversion
of outlook and unity with God. The doing of the prescribed works is added
to these things. The order of charity is preserved in this way. The
remission of punishment by distribution from the Churchís treasury is
incorporated into it.
Next week we will complete this three-part series on Indulgences with a short treatise on New Rules and Norms.
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
721 days and counting...
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January 9-11, 1998 volume 9, no. 7   DAILY CATHOLIC