WEDNESDAY

November 19, 1997   vol 8, no.34      SECTION ONE



To print out SECTION TWO, Click here.



"Four Score and Seven Sacraments ago..."

      ...Our Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit brought forth on this earth a new covenant, conceived in faith, hope and love and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal in God's eyes. Now we are engaged in a great civil war with each other and the prince of darkness, testing whether that entity or any entity so tempted and so bombarded by the world, can long endure. Only through the Mercy of God and the graces inherent in following His will can we endure this onslaught by satan and stand victorious at the gates of Heaven. In honor of the 134th anniversary today of Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address, we carry the theme of the battle of the Church Militant in today's issue. We begin with our continuing installment of the entire 37-page instruction on the Laity's role in assisting priests, which was released last Thursday with the part three of the PREMISS. The Vatican is out to restore the sacred to the liturgy in the face of many liturgical abuses. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS For the entire document, you can go to the Vatican City site

INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest

third installment: PREMISS - part three

     It must be noted with great satisfaction that in many Particular Churches the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the pastoral ministry of the clergy has developed in a very positive fashion. It has borne an abundance of good fruits while, at the same time being mindful of the boundaries established by the nature of the sacraments and of the diversity of charisms and ecclesiastical functions. It has also brought about bounteous and tangible results in situations of a shortage or scarcity of sacred ministers.(12). In situations of emergency and chronic necessity in certain communities, some of the faithful, despite lacking the character of the sacrament of Orders, have acted appropriately and within their proper limits, in dealing with these realities. The necessary aspect of hierarchical relationship has been maintained while constantly seeking to remedy the situation of emergency.(13). (13. Cf. C.I.C., canons 230, 3; 517, 2; 861, 2; 910, 2; 943; 1112; John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici (30 December 1988), n. 23 and note 72, AAS 81 (1989), p. 430.) Such faithful are called and deputed to assume specific duties which are as important as they are sensitive. Sustained by the grace of the Lord and by their sacred ministers journeying alongside them, they are well received by the communities which they serve. Sacred Pastors are extremely grateful for the generosity with which numerous religious and lay faithful present themselves for this specific service, carried out with a loyal "sensus Ecclesiae" and an edifying dedication. Particular thanks and encouragement should be extended to those who carry out these tasks in situations of persecution of the Christian community. This is also true for mission territories, whether these be geographical or cultural, and for places where the Church is newly planted or where the presence of the priest is only sporadic.(14).

     This is not the place to develop the theological and pastoral richness of the role of the lay faithful in the Church which has already been amply treated in the Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici.

     The scope of this present document is simply to provide a clear, authoritative response to the many pressing requests which have come to our Dicasteries from Bishops, Priests and Laity seeking clarification in the light of specific cases of new forms of "pastoral activity" of the non-ordained on both parochial and diocesan levels.

     Though being born in very difficult and emergency situations and even initiated by those who sought to be genuinely helpful in the pastoral moment, certain practices have often been developed which have had very serious negative consequences and have caused the correct understanding of true ecclesial communion to be damaged. These practices tend to predominate in certain areas of the world and even within these, a great deal of variation can be found.

     These matters cause the grave pastoral responsibility of many to be recalled. This is especially true of Bishops (15).

whose task it is to promote and ensure observance of the universal discipline of the Church founded on certain doctrinal principles already clearly enunciated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council(16) and by the Pontifical Magisterium(17) thereafter.

NEXT ISSUE: Premiss -part four


"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here..."

     ...But that is not important in the overall scope of salvation for it is God's Word and all He has passed down through Tradition, encompassing the Sacraments and the Teachings, Doctrines and Dogmas of Holy Mother Church that are important. In the forty seventh installment of our on-going mega-series The Age of Marian Apparitions we continue our coverage of Divine Revelation, focusing today on Tradition handed down from the Apostles. Click on Man cannot live by the Bible alone!

AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

Installment Forty Seven

INTRODUCTION:

      No matter the age, the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart have been imparting the same message: "Pray! Pray! Pray!" A return to God is the priority and why God has sent His messenger - the Mother of God in a special way to convey God's Will, reinforcing Divine Revelation and His Holy Church. It is only through constant prayer, taken as a bouquet in loving, motherly intercession before the Throne of God, that the hearts of mankind will eventually be softened and all her little ones brought into accord with the Will of God. This continuing in-depth series on the grace-filled mystical phenomena of Our Lady's appearances through the ages and the meaning of her messages will open eyes and hearts because she is the mother of us all and her words of wisdom and warnings must be taken seriously...very seriously!

Man does not live by the Bible alone!

     Had God intended Holy Scripture to be our sole rule of faith, Jesus would never have instituted the Sacraments and His Church (cf. Matthew 16-18). God did not intend Sacred Scripture to be our rule of faith independent of a LIving Voice. Even under the Old Law, the Jews, in spite of their great veneration for Holy Scripture, never dreamed of a private appeal to the Word of God. When a religious dispute arose, it was decided by the high-priest and the council. Their decision was to be obeyed under penalty of death. Thus the Jews did not appeal to the letter of the law, but to the "living voice" of the tribunal that God had established. When Christ came on earth, He did not change this order of things. On the contrary, He commanded the Jews to obey their constituted teachers, however disedifying their private lives might have been.

     Until the Protestant eruption in 1517, no attempt had ever been made to govern people solely by the letter of the law in either civil or religious affairs. Today the same holds true. Governments have laws that we must obey. Anarchy would reign if it were left to individual discernment of the laws.

     But this is what satan is advancing: "Do your own thing!" This is very twentieth century and plays well to our societal conscience. "Cast doubt, question everything, trust no one. You can do or be anything...even God!" This is the battle cry of liberals, modernists, feminists, et alii who wail "It's not fair!" "Equal Opportunity!" "Who are they to tell me how to live my life?" "Who are they to not recognize all-inclusive language when we have a right to have what we want?"

    &bnsp;Listen and learn for the "they" is the Church, established by Jesus Christ. Only through the Catholic Church can we know the true meaning of Divine Revelation which has been authorized by Christ to explain His doctrines, and which is preserved from error in its teaching by the special assistance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Father has zeroed in on this numerous times when he says, "So many problems arise when people think of the Church as 'theirs,' when in fact she belongs to Christ!"

NEXT WEEK: The Relevance of Private Revelation


"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work..."

      ...Which they who fought for the faith have thus far so nobly advanced. Advancing this resolve is God's hand-picked Handmaiden - the Blessed Virgin Mary whose apparitions at Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje coincide with the prophecies and promises of Sacred Scripture as author Wilmott G. Brown expertly details in his work The Significance of Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje as Explained in Sacred Scripture. He begins his treatment on the similarities of these three apparitions of note with the first part of Chapter Six. Click on Comparisons

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LOURDES, FATIMA, AND MEDJUGORJE AS EXPLAINED IN SCRIPTURE

by Wilmott G. Brown

Twenty Third Installment

Chapter Six: Comparisons - part one

INTRODUCTION:    In the inspiring book "The Significance of Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje as explained in Scripture" the author Wilmott G. Brown masterfully reveals the Holy Trinity's plan in these latter times as outlined in Sacred Scripture and the role the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in this scenario. Wilmott's writings provide new insight on Biblical revelation that cannot help but inspire the reader. As the Preface explains, the work "delves into the meaning behind the many apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the last two centuries." Mr. Brown covers both Old Testament and New Testament passages to better reveal the necessary tableau unfolding as we near the end of the second millennium. It is an excellent reference which pinpoints Scriptural passages that confirm Our Lady's vital role in preparing all God's children for the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart which will usher in the glorious Reign of her Divine Son's Sacred Heart. Wilmott has chosen the masterful 15th century painting of the Transfiguration by Raphael Sanzio which capsulizes the ultimate meaning of Mary's messages and how these events relate to Scripture. In this twenty third installment, we present the first part of chapter six on the comparisons of Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje.

Chapter Six: Comparisons - part one

     In the apparitions at Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary came to both fulfill prophecy and to bring back mankind to God. Praying the Rosary is emphasized each time. The apparitions at Lourdes occurred in the morning; the apparitions occurred at noon; and the apparitions at Medjugorje occurred in the evening. It is apparent that mankind is getting closer (evident by the time of these apparitions from morning to evening) to the tribulation and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Even the number of visionaries has increased as well from one at Lourdes to three at Fatima to six at Medjugorje. In addition, a comparison of the dating of thiese apparitions will be explained in future installments.

     As to be expected, all the visionaries at Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje were children when the apparitions started because children are more open to new phenomenon and are more honest. Fatima is the name of the daughter of Mohammed and is to the west of Lourdes, and Medjugorje is to the east of Lourdes, at the junction of East - West (where Moslems, Catholics, and Orthodox live).

     Elijah and Our Lady of Mount Carmel are associated with each of these three apparitions. At Lourdes, the last apparition to Bernadette was on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. At the twenty-fifth anniversary of this last apparition, the Bishop of Nimes called Lourdes the new Carmel. The third vision of the October 13, 1917 apparition at Fatima (the last apparition to the three children), was one of glory with Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and crowned as the Queen of Heaven with the infant Jesus on her knee. At Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in the spirit and power of Elijah by first appearing on the feast of John the Baptist on June 24, 1981. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to contest on Mount Carmel. God provided fire to consume the sacrifice that Elijah made, and the people recognized who was the true God. Later in Kings, Elijah is seen taken up to Heaven in a chariot.

     Elijah was such an important prophet that he appeared with Moses and Jesus at the Transfiguration. From Matthew 17: 1-8 we see this. At Fatima Mary appeared more brilliant than the sun and at Medjugorje on the first day, the feast of John the Baptist, she appeared as a bright figure holding the baby Jesus in her arms. Consequently, the spirit and power of Elijah can be associated with teh brilliance of light. It is one of Glory, much like the second coming of Jesus Christ, when Jesus will return in glory on the clouds of Heaven (see Matthew 24: 30 and also Revelation/Apocalypse 1: 7).

NEXT WEEK: Chapter Six Comparisons - part two


"that our Church, under God, shall have a new birth of understanding..."

      ...through the instruction in the Catechism, both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old, but still pertinent, Baltimore Catechism, which we bring you on a daily basis as we continue bringing you capsule paragraphs on the Sacrament of Baptism. Click on Catechism Capsules for the third installment on Baptism.

THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

      The Sacraments are part and parcel of our lives and so we begin a "capsule series" on each of the Sacraments, bringing you a few capsule paragraphs each day from both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism.

No. 1280 and 1281, page 325 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery; Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

[1280]
     Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized person for Christian worship. Because of the character Baptism cannot be repeated (cf. DS 1609 and DS 1624).

[1281]
     Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill His will, are saved even if they have not been baptized (cf Lumen Gentium 16).


From the Baltimore Catechism No. 3; Benziger Brothers, Inc. and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. No. 648, 650 through 654, pages 134-5.

[648]
Q. Should one who, in case of necessity, has been baptized with private baptism, be afterwards brought to the Church to have the ceremonies of solemn baptism completed?
A. One who, in case of necessity, has been baptized with private baptism should afterwards be brought to the Church to have the ceremonies of solemn baptism completed, because these ceremonies are commanded by the Church and bring down blessings upon us.

[650]
Q. What is Baptism of desire?
A. Baptism of desire is an ardent wish to receive Baptism, and to do all that God has ordained for our salvation.

[651]
Q. What is Baptism of blood?
A. Baptism of blood is the shedding of one's blood for the faith of Christ?

[653]
Q. What is the baptism of blood most commonly called?
A. The baptism of blood is most commonly called martyrdom, and those who receive it are called martyrs. It is the death one patiently suffers from the enemies of our religion, rather than give up Catholic faith or virtue. We must not seek martyrdom, though we must endure it when it comes.

[654]
Q. How do we know that the baptism of desire or of blood will save us when it is impossible to receive the baptism of water?
A. We know that baptism of desire or of blood will save us when it is impossible to receive the baptism of water, from Holy Scripture, which teaches that love of God and perfect contrition can secure the remission of sins; and also that Our Lord promises salvation to those who lay down their life for His sake or for His teaching.


"...that the true faith of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from Eternal Life."

     To help us persevere Christ has given His Church the Sacraments, most notably Himself in the Holy Eucharist, confected at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily. The readings for today's and tomorrow's Masses in Ordinary Time are contained in the Liturgy section of this issue. Click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

WEDNESDAY, November 19, 1997

Wednesday, November 19: Thirty-third Wednesday in Ordinary Time


THURSDAY, November 20, 1997

Thursday, November 20: Thirty-third Thursday in Ordinary Time


"You can fool some of the people all of the time..."

     ...all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time." Those words, by Honest Abe sum up the "fool" part of today's Lighter Side as we bring you humorous headlines that are mainly malaprops - "Headline Heckles that can raise the hackles" - and good for a laugh to ease the midweek tensions. Click on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven!

     Ah, the great malaprop! Headline writers can be guilty of this at times and below we bring you some gems for a chuckle or two or three. Some are ridiculous, some are hilarious, and some make no sense whatsoever. But then one man's humor is another's doldrums and vice versa, but God wants us all to laugh as we continue our journey to Heaven so have a good one on us and enjoy some of these malaprop headlines: Today we bring you the first twenty of forty malaprop heads. Next week we will conclude with the remaining twenty.

Headline heckles that can raise the hackles: Part One