November 10, 1997   vol 8, no.27

Entire Text of Today's Issue

It's National Conference of Catholic Bishops Week!

   Beginning today, our nation's capitol gets a dose of grace this week as all the bishops from the United States convene there for the Fall Assembly of the NCCB. We hope the graces flow in unity with God's Will for the Roman Catholic Church in America and that the dissenters will understand that only by complying with the Bishop of Rome will there be peace and progress in their respective dioceses. For full coverage on the week's proceedings beginning today, we recommend tuning into EWTN or WEWN, the latter which is available on the net. In fact, the EWTN web site is highlighted in this week's Significant Sites as we feature one of the most well-respected organizations in the media today. EWTN represents the Benchmark for Catholicism in America. Click on EWTN for a review of this excellent site.

The Benchmark for Catholicism in America: EWTN

   Probably the best known Roman Catholic site on the net is EWTN, primarily because it is the same large organization operated by Mother Angelica and her tremendous traditional Roman Catholic ministry tucked away in the beautiful environs of the tree-shaded monastery where EWTN headquarters are on Old Leeds Road in Birmingham, Alabama. The site is easier to find than her television network, available only on a few satellites and limited cable channels. Just type in Depending on the speed of your modem and the capabilities of your browser, you might find that the site loads slowly due to extensive graphics, but it’s worth the wait. Once there, you'll be moved by the photos melded with type and graphics that can only be described in one word: Edifying!

    Once you’ve connected to the home page you are given a wide selection to choose from to enhance your knowledge of your Catholic Faith. What we like best is that it changes frequently and there's always something new. You can get lost for hours in the plethora of pages in this magnificent site.    Various categories include: Faith: which features a Q & A section, a Bulletin Board for announcements, Prayers, Devotions and a section devoted to the Teachings of the Catholic Church. Another click takes you into News of the Church and is one of the best sources for finding out about the Fall National Bishops' Conference which is currently underway. There’s, of course, a TV section which details the programming on EWTN and the time schedule for these program, (all times listed are Eastern). The Radio section also offers you scheduling, where to tune and how to pick up the signal, via short-wave radio, or via your own computer and the software you need to do this. That is one of the great advantages of this site if you can download the free plug-in to be able to pick up WEWN via AudioNet on your computer. It's a great companion if you have the available RAM.    The EWTN library is one of its greatest assets, consisting of approximately 6,000 documents of the Catholic Faith that you can access. They also provide a Gallery featuring selections on sacred art. One of the most beautiful is their visual tour of St. Peter's Basilica with photos that take your breath away and leave the browser with a sense of reverence and plenty of time to pray between downloads since it does take a while for each large image to be completed. Naturally, EWTN offers a Catalogue Page offering online shopping of religious goods from books, prayer cards, missals, and even jewelry and statues. The General Information section offers press releases and information on contacting ETWN by E-mail or letter, and you can also subscribe to an E-mail list for future updates and postings on news releases.    There is a quick guide to the scripture selections for the week, plus the Jubilee Year 2000 prayer and reflections on the Jubilee Year 2000. At the bottom of the home page is a banner offering these same selections in Spanish. The information in some of the sections was not up to the minute, but focused on EWTN and its apostolate’s goals through the end of 1996. Otherwise, the news releases and sources focused on current events with the accuracy we have all come to anticipate from Mother Angelica. Mother's coverage on the events during the recent death of Mother Teresa and the special tribute to her was especially impressive and very informative, not to mention well laid-out in the sacred style one has come to expect from EWTN. Whenever we check this site out, we enjoy it’s graphics, and its overall quality of superb Catholic teachings, devotions and information.     EWTN joined cyberspace in early 1996 when they purchased the Catholic Resource Network (CRNET) from Worldgroup Manager out of Arlington, Virginia. Previously CRNET had charged for their services and furnished a CD for downloading the vast information. EWTN took that information and added it to their spiritual arsenal. Because of ETWN's resources, no password is needed, because they are able to offer this online to all since financial support for this impressive web site comes, of course, from that given to Mother Angelica through her television and radio programming. Because some pages do not load as fast as others, and their policy is not to carry reciprocal links, one might think we might deduct from that and give a lower rating than expected, but rather than incurring the wrath of Mother Angelica fans and because we love the sight so, there is so much available in both English and Spanish, and because it is so solidly Roman Catholic and the liberals hate it - there is only one rating to give EWTN's web site: a full decade of TEN HAIL MARY's

From Leo to Leo the Church fended off every evil

   Not that Holy Mother Church hasn't fended off the forces of satan since Pope Leo XIII or before Pope Leo I also called Leo the Great and is the subject of today's liturgy, namely because it's his feast day today. You can read all about this great Doctor of the Church and Defender of the Faith who, with the intervention of the Holy Spirit, saved Rome from destruction by the Huns. Just Click on LITURGY for the readings today and in preparation for Holy Mass tomorrow.

   Today's prayer mirrors the protection God affords through His Archangel Michael, satan's staunch rival. St. Michael helped in the events that caused Attila the Hun to turn away from the gates of Rome, and his role was emphasized by Leo XIII when he composed the beautiful Prayer to Saint Michael. Click on PRAYER & DEVOTIONS for the powerful Prayer to Saint Michael.

Prayer of Saint Michael the Archangel

Rome Has Spoken

    Just as the Holy Spirit spoke through Leo the Great, Leo XIII and all the successors of Peter, so also God's Will is manifested in all that Pope John Paul II conveys to the mystical Body of Christ - the people who make up the Roman Catholic Church. The summary of the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem is concluded today with the twelfth installment of the Layperson's Guide to Pope John Paul II's Teaching on the Role of Women expertly analyzed by Dr. Joseph Bagiackas. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.

twelfth installment: VII. The Greatest of These Is Love


   Vatican II speaks of many profound changes in the world today. But some things are unchangeable. To change them would "lead to doubtful, if not actually erroneous and deceptive results" (p. 96).

&nbpsp;  Instead of altering God's plan foar complementary roles of women and men, we can achieve dignity for women by giving the proper place to love in our society. When love is given its proper value at the center of life, then women receive their true dignity, because this dignity is based on love. When women are teated as true equals, they will desire fulfillment in a feminine way, rather than seeking men's roles so as to gain power. The "woman is the one who receives love in order to love in return" (p. 98). This is not only the case in marriage, but it is a universal part of the structure of life and love.

   "God entrusts the human being to the woman in a special way...A woman is strong because of her awareness of this entrusting...The perfect woman of Proverbs 31 is an irreplaceable support and source of strength for other people, who perceive the great energies of spirit" (p. 101).

   The material progress of our time without spiritual maturation tends to lead to a loss of sensitivity for what is human. The modern world awaits the genius of women to correct this growing problem, to re-sensitize our civilization to what is truly human.

Suggestions for further study...

   For many American lay readers, Mulieris Dignitatem is difficult reading for, like most Pope John Paul II's teaching, this letter is written in a European philosophy. Those lay persons who study it should do so slowly and prayerfully. There are 31 sections and it is recommended that you read one section a day, praying about it and meditating for a while. If you do not understand some argument, don't worry about it. Just move on. When you get to the end of your study, you will find your thinking about women and men in the Church transformed, even if you had some difficulty working through the document.

"Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour."

1 Peter 5: 8
   The evil one is constantly lurking, doing all in his power to trip us up. He feeds on the mind, trying to block the heart. That is the gist of today's column by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. in HEART TO HEARTS TALK, a treatise on How to Pray with the Heart. Click on The Journey from the Head to the Heart for part seven..

Part Seven: The Journey from the Head to the Heart

by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

   The mind was given to us by our loving Father so that we can maneuver ourselves through the great labyrinth of life, recognize the dead ends and the detours and ultimately work our way into a solution to any and every problem that besets us. Knowing our fragile nature our God is always at our side either directly or through one of His "assistants" to bolster us up and to redirect us if we waver or get off the track. There are internal "road signs" given to us so that in using the powers of the mind we could find our way gradually to those "avenues" which lead the mind to God. There is an internal hunger within the will fosr that which is the best and it is this hunger that constantly badgers the mind to look for and find that which will ultimately satisfy when that best is found.

   Men of all times have found it easy to follow the path of least resistance. It takes hardly any effort for the mind to be fed by what the eyes see, what the ears hear and what the emotions feel. When the mind is not offered a challenge and the cravings of the body are substituted for the hunger of the will,k the mind is adulterated in going out in search of that which will satisfy those cravings.

   In contradiction to the above there are those who find their full and final satisfaction in remaining in the mind, squeezing from it whatever pleasure or joy it offers and choose not to look any further. They will continue to feed the mind with that which is new, different and/or interesting and do not allow its findings to be presented to the will for its use in converting these into action.

   In speaking of the mind, there is still one other consideration which should be taken up; the theological aspect. What this is, is this: In the Garden of Eden, satan tricked Adam and Eve out of the heart where they were in obeying the wishes of the Lord, and drew them into their heads, taking their mental glance off from God and putting it upon themselves instead. What this means is this: When created, our first parents were in their heart. Obedience is of the heart. Satan, in vengeance against God for being cast out of Heaven, managed to bring on an imbalance in them. He put them into a state of rebellion against their Creator, declaring independence from Him. This is what comes down through the centuries as Original Sin.

   The above situation and condition brings the matter of the mind and will (heart) outside of the human person. It is not simply that man tends to follow the path of least resistance in tilting towards his mind on his own, he is impelled to do so because of this rebellious force within him brought on by the hatred of God by satan. Man's natural condition was weakened. Instead of living his life, leading with his heart, which was the way God intended man to live, he finds it more comfortable , and less cumbersome, to maintain a mental stance, attacking life primarily through the use of his mind reather than his heart. Man opted to govern his life by what made sense instead of by the original plan of the Creator that he govern it by obedience.

   Next week, I will show how the heart was brought back into union with the mind through the Father's special Gift to us - His Only-Begotten Son.

"I am the living Bread that has come down from Heaven."

John 6: 51

    We continue with the subject of the Holy Eucharist in our catechesis, bringing you what the Church has said in both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism with capsule paragraphs to contemplate on without ingesting too much information. Click on Catechism Capsules


    Too many Catholics don't believe in the real presence of Jesus, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. Therefore, we continue our series on the Eucharist, bringing you a few capsule paragraphs from both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism to confirm this.

No. 1360 to 1361, page 343; and No. 1406 to 1408, page 355 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

    The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for al that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all "thanksgiving."

   The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of praise by which the Church sings the glory of God in the name of all creation. This sacrifice of praise is possible only through Christ; he unites the faithful to his person, to his praise, and to his intercession, so that the sacrifice of praise to the Father is offered through Christ and with him, to be accepted in him.

   Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever;…he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and…abides in me, and I in him" (Jn 6:51,54,56).

   The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to His Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on His Body which is the Church.

   The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of His Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord’s body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.

From the Baltimore Catechism No. 2; Benziger Brothers, Inc and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. No. 343

Q: What is the Holy Eucharist?
A: A Sacrament and a sacrifice; in it Our Savior Jesus Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine, is contained, offered, and received.

Medjugorje Monthly Message

October 25th Message

   Dear children: Also, today I am with you and I call all of you to renew yourselves by living my messages. Little children, may prayer be life for you and may you be an example to others. Little children, I desire for you to become carriers of Peace and of God's Joy to today's world without peace. That is why, little children, pray, pray, pray! I am with you and I bless you with my motherly peace. Thank you for having responded to my call!

For more on Medjugorje, Click on MEDJUGORJE


"She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. 'Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.' Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates."

Proverbs 31: 20, 29-31


with a Catholic slant


The Gay Nineties harassing the Church down under

    Using the same harassment tactics gays and lesbians used against Cardinal John O'Connor in New York, Aussie homosexual activists are going after the Archbishop of Melbourne, Australia with taunts and dissent because the Church won't budge on the homosexual issue. That's right, mate, and more power to the Archbishop! Click on Harassment to read more.


   MELBOURNE, Australia (CWN) - Homosexual activists in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, upset at the Church's teaching on homosexuality, have in recent weeks set up confrontations with Archbishop George Pell, causing Catholics dissatisfied with his leadership to speak out.

    Over the past month, four homosexual activists wore rainbow sashes, signifying their defiance of Church teaching, as they received communion at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and last Sunday Archbishop Pell refused to give the Eucharist to the men. Critics of traditional Church doctrine and practice used the incident as the spark for further protest. "I have a strong sense of justice and often there isn't justice within the church. The lack of compassion is very tragic," Dr. Marie Joyce, an associate professor of psychology at Australian Catholic University, said. The Church challenges governments to stand up for human rights and then pays only lip service itself, she said. "The same rules don't seem to apply within the Church."

    But Australian Family Association vice-president Mary Helen Woods said there were many Catholics who appreciated the archbishop's strong stance on Church teachings. "A lot of the guerrilla warfare going on at the moment is really the gay community setting him up," she said. Archbishop Pell said the activists are using the Sacrament of the Eucharist for political purposes. "Here, a difficulty is being created not by the teaching of the Church but by the calculated orchestration of dissenting individuals with a flair for publicity," he said.

   Toss away those prescriptions, and get on your knees. A special study prepared in Rome shows prayer is the best antibiotic to remaining healthy, something many Catholics already know. Click on Prayer to read more.


    VATICAN (CWN) -- Prayer can be an important factor in human health. That is the thrust of an article newly appearing in Camillianum, a review which specializes in pastoral work with health-care professionals. The article takes into account a number of separate studies, done across the world, that link physical health with Christian prayer. The net result is a clear indication that prayer has a positive impact on people suffering from sickness, stress, or old age.

    The two Rome-based researchers who conducted the study, Massimo Petrini and Flavia Caretta, conclude: "Prayer appears to be linked to a certain subjective well-being, and constitutes a widely used resource for dealing with situations of stress or traumas in life." They add that prayers of intercession also have a demonstrable effect, for elderly people as well as those who are ill.

    "Believers enjoy greater physical health and tend to live longer," the authors say. They add that faith and prayer seem to strengthen social life, helping to produce a way of living that is conducive to health. At the same time, when they fall ill, believers seem to be more ready to accept the demands of medical treatment. In one particular study, sick women appeared less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety if they had an active prayer life.

    The studies covered in the article-- led by an extensive American survey-- showed that 95 percent of those who did pray addressed their prayers to God the Father. Among them, 97 percent said they had no doubt that their prayers were heard, and 95 percent were fully confident of a response. In an Italian survey of 3,500 elderly people, 97 percent declared themselves believers, and 67 percent said they turn to God in prayer frequently.

    The study also showed that 43 percent of doctors pray for their patients-- for their recovery and/or the relief of their suffering. Some patients are actually advised to pray, as a way of relieving their suffering and even their symptoms.

Church Bazaar turns bizarre

   Prayers are needed for the parishioners of Our Lady of the Wayside in Chaptico, Maryland who fell to the wayside over the weekend due to salmonella poisoning afflicting nearly 500 people and killing two elderly ladies. Nearly 1,500 attended the annual church dinner which turned into a disaster when numerous diners began getting deathly ill leaving the pastor in shock and dismay. Click on Bizarre to read more.


   BALTIMORE (CWN) - Two elderly women have died, 32 people have been hospitalized, and 450 more have become sick after attending a church supper in southern Maryland last week, public health officials said on Thursday.

    Officials suspect salmonella poisoning is the cause of the sicknesses among the 1,400 people, from as far away as Baltimore and Silver Springs, who attended the 50th annual dinner at Our Lady of the Wayside Church in Chaptico last Sunday. Investigators said they aren't sure where the poisoning originated in the home-cooked meal of turkey, stuffed ham, and fried oysters. People suffering from the symptoms of salmonella -- including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever -- began showing up in hospitals days later, and one woman died in her home and another in the hospital.

    The infection is generally transmitted by food contaminated with animal feces. Health officials said concentrated outbreaks like the one in Chaptico were unusual. Elderly people, who as a group are among the most vulnerable to the effects of the disease, attended Sunday's church dinner in large numbers. "We always have had such a wonderful dinner," said Father John Stack. "This is just a devastation to our people. Certainly we're so sorrowful about the whole thing."


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

We have a winner in the Lotto who's a real winner in God's eyes!

   On a brighter note, seventy-two-year-old parishioner Eleanor Boyer, a longtime volunteer at the Immaculate Conception Church in Somerville, New Jersey, might be able to help the parishioners in Maryland. She won $12 million dollars in the Pick Six New Jersey Lottery Saturday and half of that will be given to her own parish. That leaves three to four million (after taxes) to distribute to relatives, and other Catholic and non-profit organizations. Believing in the axiom, "You can't take it with you," Eleanor wants to share with all and take very, very little for herself. Associated Press reports that she has been driving a 1968 Chevy for 29 years and is perfectly satisfied, not even planning on buying a new car. Says Eleanor, "I live a very plain and practical life." In fact, she's so practical that she will continue her duties as volunteer because she believes in the words "it is only in giving, that we receive." We need more people like Eleanor Boyer in this world! She epitomizes today's Proverb elsewhere on this page.

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

November 10, 1997 volume 8, no. 27         DAILY CATHOLIC

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