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THURSDAY

March 5, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 46



Battling the times of decline in America with evangelization

     That is what Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., head of the Archdiocese of Denver and evolving as the true spokesman in the U. S. for all Holy Mother Church conveys, tackles today in his talk given to the Mile Hi Club last week in which we bring you the second of four consecutive installments, provided by Catholic World News Service. The Archbishop, fast becoming the true spokesman in America for all Holy Mother Church wants to convey to her faithful, shows us how we must deal with the youth and all the distractions in THE TASK OF EVANGELIZATION IN SECULAR AMERICA. Click on MITERS THAT MATTER
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the second of four parts of the text of an address which Denver's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, delivered to the Mile Hi Congress last week. Although they were originally directed to Catholic educators from Colorado, the archbishop's words have obvious relevance for all Christians. They are reprinted here with permission and brought to you through the Catholic World News Service.]

THE TASK OF EVANGELIZATION IN SECULAR AMERICA
Part Two

     Over this past weekend I had the privilege of visiting Rome for the consistory where Archbishop Stafford became Cardinal Stafford. It was a wonderful moment, filled with a great deal of joy. But the red garments of a cardinal signify blood, and they're a constant reminder of the readiness the wearer must have to shed his blood for the faith.† Christian Rome is literally built on the bones of martyrs-- generations of women and men who shed their blood as witnesses for Jesus Christ. In shedding it, they became the seeds of the faith we inherit today.

      This is what I mean by "missionary realism." It's the readiness to put a burning heart-and-will for Christ behind our words, no matter what the price. Nothing good or holy is had without a cost, and how much would we be willing to pay? What is our faith really worth-- and are we willing to prove that with our lives? If we want to be good teachers, we must be good missionaries. And if we want to be good missionaries, we must be willing to be martyrs. And if the circumstances of our lives do not require a witness in blood, we can still give freely of ourselves in service.

      II. How do these thoughts apply to our vocation as Catholic educators, here and now? Well, we don't have to visit Africa or Asia to do the work of missionaries. Our mission territory is right in our own backyard, throughout the United States and here in northern Colorado. We find it in the families who send their children to our religious education programs and schools. It's true that we have a tremendous Christian heritage in this country, and obviously many millions of Americans still actively practice their faith. Many also witness their faith through charitable, social, and political action.†

      But I suspect it's also true that religious sentiment is fading as a force in our behavior. So often today, religious affiliation is just a veneer that covers up a practical unbelief. And we all know one or two young adults who have just enough formal religion to be vaccinated against real faith. They were educated in the Church, and they think they know everything about her-- but they really know nothing at all. At the same time, Colorado is the third least "churched" state in the union. Many Coloradans have no formal ties to any religious body. So as a culture, we have the memory of faith and a kind of nostalgia for God, but we're losing our moral vocabulary as we pull away from our religious tradition.

      None of this analysis, of course, should be classwork for your second or 4th or 7th graders. If you start rambling on about "alienation from our religious roots" and our "nostalgia for God", they'll look at you like you came from Mars. They may look at you that way already, but this would make it worse.† These observations are valuable, though, as background. It's important for us as adult Catholic educators to understand the terrain we're cultivating, so that we can cultivate it more fruitfully for the Lord. And in that regard, I want to briefly mention five main ideas or themes where we need to focus our special efforts as teachers.

      The first is silence. Silence is holy. It's where God talks to the soul. We don't have enough of it, and we need to help young people recover it.. How many times have you seen teen-agers drifting through Cherry Creek mall with headphones wired to their ears?† Don't you wonder why they need the noise? What is it about the world around them which is so empty that it needs to be filled up artificially with the latest CD?†

      I don't have any particular antagonism for rock music. Some of it sounds pretty good. I do think the lyrics are sometimes very disturbing, but that's not my point. You and I should be interested in what bores or frightens young people about the absence of noise. I have a fear that we've created a huge hole in the universe where the meaning of life used to be, and noise is the only thing now which keeps it from being completely empty. Noise is one of our drugs. It's how we avoid reflecting on important things too deeply.† Most you know C.S. Lewis, and many of you will remember his book, The Screwtape Letters. In that book, noise is the music of hell; it's what hell is filled with, and it's what the devil Screwtape wants to fill all creation with. I think if C.S. Lewis were alive today, he would say we've outdone Screwtape by our own free will. And the result is that we cannot hear God when He tries to speak to us.

TOMORROW: Part Three of this three parter by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap.


The Calm before the Storm

     It was truly a calming time when Jesus and His Mother Mary spent the last hours together, after the Apostles and Holy Women had departed. Our Lady describes the meaning in her meditation today on Meditative Lesson 4: THE TIMELESS ROLES OF LAZARUS AND THE HOLY WOMEN as imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart during Lent of 1995. It was truly the calm before the storm of activity that would begin with the Last Supper and extend through the sorrowful time of the Crucifixion. Now in Lent of 1998, the Blessed Mother asks us to be calm, to seek the calm, protective harbor of her Divine Son. Click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"
INTRODUCTION: These Meditative Lessons on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary which encompass the Passion and Death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ were imparted via both interior visions and interior locutions to Cyndi Cain, the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart from the Blessed Mother of God during Lent in 1993. Cyndi relates that, "while I saw many details in these interior visions, only certain details were to be written down. Therefore, these lessons are not meant to be a detailed geographical or historical account, nor are they meant to pinpoint all the intricate details one might wish to have knowledge of regarding the Passion of Our Lord...for the importance of each lesson lies not in the descriptive passage or dialogue, but in Our Lady's own meditations which follow each interior vision. These meditations are meant to strengthen us in our faith during this our exile - particularly in these end times when the Holy Catholic Church will be ripped apart by apostasy and schism...for Our Blessed Mother wants our faith to be as strong as an anchor. For our faith to be such, we must have the faith of a simple, little child." During Lent we bring these to you and ask the Holy Spirit to give all the enlightenment and discernment to learn and grow from these meditative lessons that all may persevere in the time of the Great Darkness which looms ever closer. For those who would like the complete works of "It is Consummated!, as well as the books on the Joyful Mysteries - "Come, Let us Adore Him", and the Glorious Mysteries - "My Lord and my God!", click on BOOKS.

Meditative Lesson 4:

THE TIMELESS ROLES OF LAZARUS AND THE HOLY WOMEN

part two - Our Lady's Meditation

     My Little Ones, these moments in Lazarusí house were for my Divine Son and I moments so similar to those spent in Annaís home in Bethlehem.† The goodness of Lazarus, his sisters and servants, matched the purity of Annaís soul.† Like Anna so many years before, they, too, would feel the evil come at them.† They would see the evil as it brought my Divine Son to Calvary. Meditate and contemplate on the Fatherís goodness in giving to us these sweet, holy hours to be immersed in prayer.

      Consider, my Little Ones, that in Bethlehem, because the hour had not yet come for my Divine Son, God warned Joseph and we, the Holy Family, fled into exile leaving Bethlehem to suffer Herod'í slaughter of the Holy Innocents.

      Now on this night we prayed, knowing that on the morrow we would leave, according to the Divine Will, not fleeing from the enemy, but embracing the cruelty of the enemy and his instruments - men.† It would be now the Slaughter of The InnocentóGod made Man, the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ.

      Here in Lazarusí home many would find comfort and spiritual strength. This was all according to the divine plan, for even though satanís power grew every hour and soon all of Jerusalem would be in his frenzied grasp, here at Lazarusí home a refuge was formed, and kept alight by the pure light of strong faith.

      And, my Little Ones, I ask you each now to recognize your own vital need of a secure refuge.† Before y Divine Sonís heart was pierced by a lance on Calvary and oceans of Divine mercy were poured forth, my Divine Son established a refuge in this place where he was so honored, loved and served.

      Thus, as you progress in your meditations I ask each of you to place yourselves willingly into the refuge of The Sacred Heart of Jesus through my Immaculate Heart.† Then, my Little Ones, you are each to become a place of refuge as Lazarus was.† It is not dependent upon a richly furnished home.† It is not a geographical location.† You are to be beacons of light guiding the lost flock back.† You are to open wide the doors of your loving hearts and by sharing your faith, strengthen both your own and that of your brother and sister.† When you do this, my Little Ones, you are at great peace.† And as the refuge of Lazarusí home remained untouched by all evil elements, so shall your souls remain pure and spotless in the time of great darkness.

      Then shall God, in His power and glory, reveal His care for His Little Ones, just as My Divine Son prepared and cared for His flock as the darkness approached.

      My Dear Children, my Divine Sonís passion, death and resurrection fulfilled the redemptive act.† But all mankind throughout all the ages must correspond, and unite with the redemptive act if salvation is to be won.

      Ponder well your readiness to stand firm against the modernism, heresy, blasphemy and chaos which surround you everywhere.† Ponder well your littleness, and cast yourself at the foot of my Sonís Cross.† There is the refuge, the mercy, the strength that will not fail you, but lead you into the eternal embrace of God.

      Pray! Meditate.† Walk with my Son in His holy passion.† The hour has come for all the world!† Heed my words which I give to you with immaculate love. Prepare!

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part One of Lesson 5: THE LAST SUPPER


Lent affords us valuable meditation time to ponder sacrifice

     The readings of today and tomorrow, both Lenten weekdays provides food for thought as to our purpose during Lent, a time to meditate on the meaning of this liturgical season and the sacrifices we must make in life for the purpose of eternal life. For the readings, liturgy, meditations today and tomorrow, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

THURSDAY, March 5, 1998



FRIDAY, March 6, 1998


Medjugorje Monthly Message for February 25th

      Dear children! Also today I am with you and I, again, call all of you to come closer to me through your prayers. In a special way, I call you to renunciation in this time of grace. Little children, meditate on and live, through your little sacrifices, the Passion and Death of Jesus for each of you. Only if you come closer to Jesus will you comprehend the immeasurable love He has for each of you. Through prayer and your renunciation you will become more open to the gift of faith and love towards the Church and the people who are around you. I love and bless you. Thank you for having responded to my call! For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE

666 and counting, hoping and praying..


WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

HEADLINES:

GOP LEADERS SAY CLINTON MUST DEAL ON ABORTION FOR IMF FUNDS

      WASHINGTON, DC (CWN) - US House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said on Tuesday that if President Clinton wants the House to approve an $18 billion bailout bill for the International Monetary Fund, he will have to compromise on amendments banning international funding of abortion.

      Armey said Clinton still lacks a majority in the House and if he wants the IMF bill to pass he may have to agree to accept restrictions that ban the use of federal funds for groups that lobby foreign governments to allow abortion or provide abortion services, even if money for that purpose comes from other sources. "We are going to continue to press to relieve taxpayers of the burden of that kind of use of their money every place where we have an opportunity to do so," he said.

      Clinton has asked Congress to approve $18 billion of additional funding for the IMF which has been depleted by economic crisis in southeast Asia. The controversy over abortion funding has also scuttled other foreign policy bills, including a plan to send $1 billion to the United Nations as payment for the United States' assessed dues in arrears.


BISHOP NEGOTIATED FOR SIERRA LEONE HOSTAGES

     VATICAN (CWN) -- Seven Catholic mission workers in Sierra Leone were freed by the guerrillas who captured them after strenuous negotiations led by Bishop Georges Biguzzi of the Makeni diocese.

      The freed captives-- four monks and three medical workers-- had been taken from a hospital in the town of Lunsar on February 14. Their captors were troops loyal to the junta of Johnny Paul Koroma, which was forced from power in Sierra Leone in a February coup. Bishop Biguzzi told the Italian newspaper Avvenire that he was able, after "long and difficult" negotiations, to convince the soldiers that they should free the missionaries.

      Bishop Biguzzi added that other Catholics in Sierra Leone had protected their priests from attacks. He said that virtually all Catholic churches, religious houses, schools, and hospitals in the country had been subject to some form of attack or vandalism in the latest outbreak of fighting. At the moment, he said, the country is largely controlled not by any form of government but by roving criminal bands; many missionaries have been forced to flee from their posts and take refuge in the forests.


TEMPLETON PRIZE GOES TO BRITISH AUSCHWITZ NEGOTIATOR

      NEW YORK (CWN) - The $1.2 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion was awarded on Wednesday to the British man who helped negotiate and end to the controversy over a Carmelite convent near the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

      Sir Sigmund Sternberg, 76, executive committee chairman of the International Council of Christians and Jews, was honored for his work in Jewish-Christian dialogue and working to include Muslims in the past year. "I am really a simple soul, a businessman, who, in a modest way, has been smiled on by fortune ... and who has tried to repay the blessings which have been bestowed on me by opening to others a sense of the goodness which lies in us all, regardless of our faith," Sternberg said today.

      Among his accomplishments, Sternberg helped to resolve the conflict over a convent of Carmelite nuns that opened in 1983 near the Nazi concentrations camps where nearly a million Jews were killed, a controversy that ended on Monday with the handover of the convent to the Polish government.

      The Templeton Prize was established in 1972 by investment manager John M. Templeton to recognize people who advance the world's understanding of religion. The prize will be awarded at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in May.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click here .

PRAYERS & DEVOTION

Today's prayer is the powerful PRAYER TO ST. MICHAEL composed by Pope Leo XIII

      Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do, thou O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

For more devotions of Lent, click onWAY OF THE CROSS

PROVERB OF THE DAY

"The just man has a care for the rights of the poor; the wicked man has no such concern."

Proverbs 29: 7

For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.


March 5, 1998 volume 9, no. 46         DAILY CATHOLIC