The priority of the task of the New Evangelization, which involves all the People of God, requires that, today in particular, in addition to a "special activism" on the part of priests, there be also a full recovery of the awareness of the secular nature of the mission of the laity. (9)
This enterprise opens vast horizons, some of which have yet to be explored, for the lay faithful. The faithful can be active in this particular moment of history in areas of culture, in the arts and theatre, scientific research, labor, means of communication, politics, and the economy, etc. They are also called to a greater creativity in seeking out ever more effective means whereby these environments can find the fullness of their meaning in Christ.(10)
In this great field of complementary activity, whether considering the specifically spiritual and religious, or the consecratio mundi, there exists a more restricted area namely, the sacred ministry of the clergy. In this ministry the lay faithful, men or women and non-ordained members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, are called to assist. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council refers particularly to this when it teaches: "The hierarchy entrusts the laity with certain charges more closely connected with the duties of pastors: in the teaching of Christian doctrine, for example, in certain liturgical actions in the care of souls".(11)
NEXT ISSUE: Premiss -part three
Pope Adrian was born in Langley, England near St. Albanís where he had been educated. He had applied at the same monastery to be a monk but was refused. Britainís loss was Franceís gain and eventually all of Christendom for Nicholas eventually ended up as abbot of St. Rufus outside Avignon, France. However, his strictness to following the rule and insistence to obedience caused his ouster as the rest of the monks gained up on him and petitioned Pope Eugene to remove him. This the Holy Father did, but rather than demoting the ostracized holy monk, the Pope promoted him to the rank of cardinal, appointing him Bishop of Albano. Seeing his loyalty beyond question, the Pope sent him as a papal legate to Scandinavia to calm problems that had arisen in Norway and Sweden. His wise diplomacy was so well received that he became an official papal legate.
Like many others before him, when first notified that he had been chosen as the successor of Peter, he respectfully declined, not feeling worthy. But when pressed he accepted and the Church was the better for it for he became a strenuous defender of Papal supremacy. He was a strong-willed pontiff who would not compromise when it came to asserting the principles and principals of the Church. One of his first acts was to renew the Treaty of Constance with the German king Frederick I Barbarossa since Adrian needed his aid in quelling the insurgence of Roman families who were once again stirring the pot, as well as attacks on the papal states by good old William I of Sicily. With the Holy Roman Emperor in his corner, Adrian turned to the task at home, arresting Arnold of Brescia the leading agitator of the revolt. Yet the Roman families had dreams of power despite Arnoldís incarceration and sought to negotiate clandestinely with Frederick who had visions of restoring the empire as it was in the days of Charlemagne. The Pope and Emperor met at Sutri on June 8, 1155. Frederick was cold and distant and mistrust of him set in, especially in light of the fact Frederick had not kept his end of the bargain in supplying troops. The emperor refused the custom of holding the reins of the Holy Fatherís mule, and Adrian retaliated by not giving him the customary kiss of peace. Undaunted and to counter this impasse, Pope Adrian arranged to have Frederick officially crowned Emperor at St. Peterís on June 18, 1155. The ceremony was worded and performed so that it looked to all the world that the emperor was subservient to the Pope as it should be. Adrian knew what he was doing and had to assure the cardinals that he was in charge. This did not sit well with Frederick, but Adrian had other plans since he mistrusted the German king so. The first was to make peace with William of Sicily which was accomplished at the Treaty of Benevento exactly a year to the date he had crowned Frederick. Frederick did not take kindly to this "sharing of power" which he had assumed was singular from the Treaty of Constance. Frederick mistook Adrianís promise of "benefits" as meaning fiefdom and a battle of words and will was underway. Things came to a head at the Diet of Besancon in October 1157 when both sides accused the other of dastardly deeds. Adrian was upset that Frederick did not seek justice when the Archbishop of Lund, to whom Adrian had appealed and won over as a papal legate in Scandinavia, was murdered by a robber baron. The thread of accord had totally unraveled and a year later in November 1158 Frederick captured Milan, claiming all of northern Italy and Corsica as his territory at the Diet of Roncaglia. This, of course, infringed on the Popeís right to the territory and Adrian would not approve Frederickís nominee to the see of Ravenna. Frederick threatened the Pope by stirring up the Roman families against him, forcing Adrian to flee Rome for the refuge of Anagni, Italy where the now-exiled Pope tried to rally the Lombard cities against Frederick, even issuing in October of 1159 an excommunication verdict against the Emperor unless he rescind the Roncaglia degrees within forty days from the Popeís decree to him. Unfortunately, neither took place for Adrian died at Anagni on November 1, 1159.
While Adrianís papacy was often embroiled in heated controversy with Frederick and trying to convince the curia that alignment with Sicily was a good thing, Adrian was a generous and forgiving pontiff. He bestowed favors and privileges on the two monasteries that would not have him and he encouraged annexation of the country of Ireland by the English king Henry II through his "phantom" encyclical Laudabiliter which no one can authenticate. This staunch pope He feared no one, yet was open to constructive criticism which was often wisely and discreetly imparted by his closest counselor Cardinal Roland who would become his successor. It was Adrian who coined the title for the popes that has been used ever since: Vicar of Christ.
NEXT ISSUE: Cardinal Roland becomes Pope Alexander III.
O! Hear my Motherly words and pray very much that all my Divine Son has told you shall take firm root in your soul and bring mercy to this sorrowing world.
Mercy must have its roots in prayer which unites the soul to God. Pretense of human actions and speech which look and sound like Mercy, but is nothing more than a masquerade to conceal human pride, ego, self-righteousness and judgmentalness is truly the opposite of Mercy. Pretense of Mercy is self-love. True Mercy from God is love of God expressed with charity toward your neighbor. True Heavenly Mercy does not look at self. It is blind to self. It is blind to all uncharitableness and seeks only to radiate the True Light, my Divine Son.
Pray daily that Mercy may fill you and will not be found lacking in you at the time of judgment. Seek to root out all of the world and your own human frailties which prevent Divine Mercy from glowing in your soul.
It is through Holy Mass and the full Sacramental life of my Divine Sonís One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and through prayer and sacrifice that Mercy dominates and swiftly leads you to unity with God.
With what tenderness does my Divine Son behold the merciful child. This child is in the Refuge of His Most Sacred Heart. Mercy is then poured out in ever-greater degree upon this soul, who accepts Divine Mercy for its own salvation, and also pleads for Mercy for all the world. Keep control over your thoughts, words and deeds by means of the power of Divine Mercy. If you would be merciful that you may receive Mercy, then come to my Divine Sonís Sacred Cross. Cling to this Sacred Cross where all Mercy was opened for all the world. From my Divine Sonís Cross you will learn what Mercy is. You will take it, treasure it and spend it for all the suffering souls, for you will comprehend that Mercy given freely to others is always replaced by even more Divine Mercy which has no limit.
Therefore, little children, live my Messages. Pray, sacrifice, fast and do penance and the Infinite Divine Mercy of my Divine Son shall come upon you and all the world, for it must precede Divine Justice. Please heed my words for you cannot conceive of the critical times in which you live and the shortness of time left for all men to come to my Son.
May Divine Mercy mark the immediate coming years, for I solemnly tell you that if it does not then the sufferings shall increase for every nation, and the souls of many shall be lost. I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
NEXT WEEK: Lesson/Meditation #62:
No. 1278 and 1279, page 325 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery; Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:
The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.
Q. Who can administer Baptism?
A. A priest is the ordinary minister of baptism; but in case of necessity anyone who has the use of reason may baptize.
Q. How is Baptism given?
A. Whoever baptizes should pour water on the head of the person to be baptized, and say, while pouring the water: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
Q. What are the chief ceremonies used in solemn baptism, and what do they signify?
A. The chief ceremonies used in solemn baptism are: (1) A profession of faith and renouncement of the devil to signify our worthiness; (2) The placing of salt in the mouth to signify the wisdom imparted by faith; (3) The holding of the priest's stole to signify our reception into the Church; (4) The anointing to signify the strength given by the Sacrament; (5) The giving of the white garment or cloth to signify our sinless state after baptism; and (6) The giving of the lighted candle to signify the light of faith and fire of love that should dwell in our souls.