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March 6-8, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 47



PRAYERS & DEVOTION

Today's prayer is the Opening Prayer for Saturday's optional commemoration of early martyrs Saints Perpetua and Felicity

      Father, Your love gave the saints Perpetua and Felicity courage to suffer a cruel martyrdom. By their prayers, help us to grow in love of You.

For more devotions of Lent, click on WAY OF THE CROSS

MEDITATIVE STATIONS OF THE CROSS FOR LENT
On the Way to Calvary

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.


FIRST STATION: Jesus is Condemned to Death

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Weakened by Your Agony in the Garden, You now hear the fateful words of Pilate. Were You afraid, Jesus? I would be, such a cruel death. So unjustified. Permit me, my Jesus, to learn the great lesson of humility which You gave us, as You stood defenseless, offering nary a word to those who sought Your ruin. You, Innocence Itself, accepted the unjust sentence, which came upon You because of my sins. Jesus, touch my heart. Purify it. Convert it fully. Take my hand and help me walk the Way of the Cross with You...the Way of Salvation.

SECOND STATION: Jesus Carries His Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

If You were weak before, how much so now that You had endured a scourging, one I can't even comprehend, but which fills me with horror. Yet they presented You with Your Cross, and with arms of love You received it, in perfect obedience to Your Heavenly Father that all men might be saved. You did not recoil from it. I would have. I still do, because at the slightest suffering I become impatient, frustrated, even angry. I want to run away, to seek solace in others, to deny that suffering is part of everyday life. Permit me, on this walk with You, dear Jesus, to learn in the depths of my soul and heart, to embrace the Cross which is the only way to Eternal Life. Whenever sorrow or suffering come, help me to remember that I deserve to shoulder the cross, because You, Who are the Innocent Lamb, embraced it without complaint out of love for me, a poor sinner.


THIRD STATION: Jesus Falls the First Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

So brutalized were You, my Jesus, that any ordinary man would have already expired. The loss of Your Sacred Blood causes You to fall heavily to the ground. No one showed You the least bit of compassion. Instead, You were kicked, spit upon, whipped and yanked to Your feet with the heavy burden of the Cross upon Your shoulder. Permit me, dear Jesus, to learn the virtue of patience. Let me remember Your example, and when things go wrong for me in any way, let it be the silence of Your Love which seals my lips out of love for You.


FOURTH STATION: Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

My Jesus, can anyone ever know the anguish which was exchanged between You and Your most Holy Mother? Help me to meditate upon this meeting, and to learn from it that You, the Sinless One, and Your Immaculate Mother, call me to give up my sins, my inclination to evil. Whenever I am tempted, let me fall at the feet of Your Sorrowful Mother and there, with the tender mother's love which flows from her heart, receive Your strength to resist temptation, to grow stronger in my faith, in my resolve never to sin again. Let me gaze upon Your Holy Face, my Jesus, and understand what Love really means.


FIFTH STATION: Simon the Cyrene Helps Jesus

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

It wasn't compassion which forced the Roman soldiers to make Simon help You. They feared You would die and they would not have the victory of seeing You die in anguish on Calvary. My dear Jesus, grant me the grace to help You carry Your Cross, making it my own with the full knowledge and assurance that it is You Who helps me to carry it. Only in this way will I be able to bear all with loving obedience, and patience, that Eternal Life might be mine.


SIXTH STATION: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

You never forgot, even in the midst of Your torture, to give to those Who truly love You, a remembrance of Yourself. You desired for all men to remember Your Passion that from it they might learn Love. Imprint the image of Your Holy Face upon my heart and soul, my Jesus. In this way, strengthened by Your merits, let me always think of You, placing You above all earthly cares, until I see You in Eternity.


SEVENTH STATION: Jesus Falls the Second Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

So weakened! Your Holy Face lies on the hard ground, the weight of the Cross even heavier now. You fell, my sweet Jesus, to remind me of the pride and self-love that I cling to in life, rather than willingly, submitting myself fully to Your Holy Will in all things. Permit me, dear Jesus, to learn from You, and to henceforth be mindful to prostrate myself before You, my Lord and my God, that I might learn humility and simplicity in all things.


EIGHTH STATION: Jesus Comforts the Women of Jerusalem

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

The weeping arouses You from the anguish of Your continuing Passion. You manage to speak to the women, and Your Holy words should arouse in me a deep repentance of all my sins. You Who are sinless, went to Your death with peace for You were united fully with the Father. Permit me, my Jesus, to contemplate my offenses against You, to confess them with a contrite heart, and to weep in the depths of my soul, for all I have done to cause You such suffering. And let me always remember that as You gaze upon me, it is with eyes of Mercy, so infinite is Your Love.


NINTH STATION: Jesus Falls the Third Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Life is waning from Your Sacred Body, but there is still a long, painful way to go. You fell, but You did not give up, in order that God's Will might be fulfilled. Teach me, my Jesus, to rise every time I fall, and to understand in my soul that You are there to help me to my feet, that it is You Who sets me once again on the right path - the Way of the Cross.




TENTH STATION: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Your soiled garments adhere to Your Sacred Body because of the clotted blood. What anguish You suffered in order to atone for the sins of intemperance and sensuality. Permit me, my dear Jesus, to surrender to You all of my sins of the flesh, and even more, all of my earthly attachments. As You were subjected to the humility of being stripped, so teach me the joy of being stripped of sin, of earthly attachments in every instance, that I might stand with You on Calvary, a repentant sinner filled with joy and hope at the Salvation You have won for me.


ELEVENTH STATION: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

I cannot comprehend what it was like to have cruel nails pounded into my tender flesh. I shrink from this, my Jesus. Sometimes it terrifies me. But You did not shrink from it. Permit me, my dear Jesus, to remember that it is my sins which have done this to You. You looked far beyond the pain, which I cannot fathom, to the Will of the Father, and the salvation of mankind. Let me remember in times of pain and sorrow, that You hold my hand and give me strength to endure, that You might wound my heart with the Love of Your Own Heart. Divine Mercy was poured forth upon mankind when the lance pierced Your Sacred Heart. My Jesus, grant that I, prostrate at the foot of Your Cross, may receive Your Divine Mercy.


TWELFTH STATION: Jesus Dies on the Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

I behold You, my Jesus, hanging upon the Cross in bitterest agony. You raise Your Sacred Head with the last ounce of Your strength and Will, and You look upon me. A look of such love! Of such compassion! O, permit me, my Jesus, to remain at the foot of Your Cross, gazing upon Your Sacred Countenance. Imprint upon my heart a lively contrition for my sins, which weighed so heavily upon you as You died in agony. Let me hear in my heart the words You offered to the Good Thief, and may I draw comfort from Your loving promises. Help me to look to Your Heavenly Mother, my own Mother, for the guidance I need to remain with You in these last terrible moments before eternal bliss.


THIRTEENTH STATION: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

It is consummated! You have surrendered Your Divine Soul to the Father. Now, Your Blessed Mother, bereft of her Son, and alone of all consolation, receives Your lifeless body into her arms. Those about see only the lifeless body. Mary believes that You, God, will rise again on the third day, and if there is any comfort for her, it is this. With Mary, may I, a sinner, kiss each wound upon Your Sacred Body, in loving remembrance of all You have done for me. The journey is now complete for You. Help me, my Jesus, to complete my journey in this life, with the sincere faith that You shall greet me for all Eternity.


FOURTEENTH STATION: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

What great sadness weighed down upon Mary as she watched Your Body hastily prepared for burial, and the cold, lonely tomb receive the Flesh of her flesh, and of the Father. She watched with tears streaming down her face as the stone was rolled in front of the tomb, her faith her bulwark against despair. Grant to me, my dear Jesus, the grace to ponder the Way of the Cross which all men must walk, in order to come to that moment of glorious resurrection with You for all Eternity.


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

665 - 664 - 663 and counting, hoping and praying..


WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

HEADLINES:

Freedom to Pray in School and Private School Vouchers closer to reality!

      It's a start! The long-stalled effort to restore Prayer in public schools and help parents financially who are paying taxes for public schools while sending their kids to private schools reached a milestone Wednesday when the House Judiciary Committee gave the green light to submit the amendment to the House of Representatives in the next-step process for it becoming law. For more, click on Prayer and Vouchers to read more.

House Committee Approves Prayer, Voucher Constitutional Amendment

     WASHINGTON, DC (CWN) - The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment on freedom to pray in schools as well as allowing the use of public funds for students attending private schools.

      The committee voted along party lines to send the amendment to the full House of Representatives which will need to pass it by a two-thirds margin before sending it on to the Senate for another vote and then to the state legislatures. Sponsors of the Religious Freedom Amendment say it is designed to reverse recent court decisions that have impinged upon the free practice of religion in the United States by distorting the First Amendment. If Congress approves the measure, it must be approved by 38 state legislatures within seven years to become law.

      The amendment would prohibit infringement of "the people's right to pray" and recognize their religious beliefs and traditions on public property, including schools. It would prohibit the federal government or states from requiring anyone to join in prayers or religious activity or discriminate against religion. It would also require equal access to a benefit regardless of religion, allowing parents to use their tax money to send their children to private, religious schools.


Loyal Pastor slain in his own Wisconsin parish

      Less than a year after an Omaha priest was found murdered, another priest in the Midwest was slain late Tuesday night at St. Michael's parish school in Dane, Wisconsin, a predominantly Roman Catholic small town in dairy country. Parishioners were in shock at the murder of Father Alfred Kunz, their loyal pastor for the past thirty one years. For more, click on Murder to read more.

Wisconsin Priest Found Murdered In Parish School

     DANE, Wisconsin (CWN) - A Catholic priest was found lying in a pool of his blood by a teacher at a parish school on Wednesday morning, Dane, Wisconsin law officers said.

      Father Alfred Kunz, 67, pastor of St. Michael's Church, was apparently murdered, but sheriff's office spokesmen refused to give out any further details of the investigation. A parish teacher found the body Wednesday morning when he opened the small school serving about 50 students. Father Kunz and Father Charles Fiore, a close friend, had been in a neighboring city, taping a Catholic radio program on Tuesday evening. Father Fiore dropped him off at St. Michael's around 10 pm. Another priest friend had a telephone conversation with Father Kunz about 10:20 pm which was the last known contact before the murder.

      Father Kunz had been at the parish since 1967 and was known for his uncompromising faithfulness to the Church's doctrines and disciplines, and had attracted about 350 families to the parish despite Dane's small population size of 600. Priests who knew the victim said he was a quiet and trusting man who made himself available at any time for those in need.


British buzz is that is Blair turning to Catholicism!

     First the rumors were that Princess Diana was leaning toward converting to Catholicism, now word is out that British Prime Minister could be considering becoming a Roman Catholic after he has been spotted more than once attending Mass solo. They cite the fact Tony Blair's wife Cheri is Catholic and it could very well be true, but they were in denial at Ten Downing Street. For more, click on Prime Minister to read more.

Britain's Blair Denies Plans To Convert To Catholicism

     LONDON (CWN) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair's office on Wednesday denied media reports that he might convert to Catholicism because he had been seen attending Mass alone.

      The prime minister's wife Cheri is a Catholic and he has regularly attended Mass with her and their children. The British news agency Press Association reported recently that Blair has been seen attending Mass alone at Westminster Cathedral on several occasions since Christmas. An official spokesman for Blair said the prime minister us not converting from Anglicanism, the official religion of Britain, and added that his religious beliefs are a private matter.

      The media report quoted one observer as saying Blair's attendance at Mass created a "serious constitutional awkwardness," and he questioned whether Blair's religious affiliation could influence the Northern Ireland peace process. There is no constitutional barrier to a prime minister being a Catholic, though there hasn't been one since the early 18th century, said constitutional expert Lord St. John of Fawsley. By law, the monarch must be a Protestant. A leader of the Protestant UK Unionist Party in Northern Ireland said that Blair's private religious beliefs would have no bearing on the course of peace talks.

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

PROVERB OF THE DAY

"The start of strife is like the opening of a dam; therefore, check a quarrel before it begins!"

Proverbs 17: 14

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 6-8, 1998 volume 9, no. 47         DAILY CATHOLIC