November 1-2, 1997   vol 8, no.21




Section One - Saturday and Sunday Features

INAUGURAL DAILY ISSUE


With this issue we begin going daily Monday thru Friday

    The Solemnity of All Saints and the Feast of All Souls marks a new chapter in the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK's efforts to evangelize not only to more but more often...much more often. For more on the changes, click on the editorial in Catholic Pewpoint. The transition from 25 issues a year to 250 represents a massive 1000% increase and promises to deliver timely news and comprehensive, innovative, and inspiring features, articles, columns, on-going series, vignettes, shorts, and much more that one can get immediately. This front page outlines what's inside the first issue of theDAILY CATHOLIC.

Sister Mary Lucy Astuto tells how Purgatory can be pretty scary and it's not something dreamed up!

   In her first column for the DAILY CATHOLIC, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto, a regular for many years to A Call To Peace, reveals how dreams of Heaven can turn into nightmares if we are not ready when the time comes. Read her story in her weekly column Getting to the Heart of the Matter. Click on "My Nightmares and Purgatory".

All Roads lead to Rome!

    We kick off our Site of the Day with the top Catholic site worldwide: the Vatican Web Site. For a review of this site click on Site of the Day to see all the Holy See offers in many different languages.

Shhhhh! If you listen very carefully you'll hear God's voice now

Cyndi Cain reflects on the Psalm "Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts." and reminds us that if we truly listen we can always hear God, thus establishing an unlimited two-way connection with the Almighty that can do wonders for the caller on earth. Cyndi's reflection is contained in the feature "COME UNTO ME" Click on to read her fifth reflection entitled "Are you listening to God's voice? He's speaking to you right now."

Catechism Capsules on a Daily Basis

    Catechism Capsules is a new feature that will highlight a paragraph from the relatively new Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the old Baltimore Catechism which is still relevant today. While the Catechism continues to be the best seller, too often once it's brought home, it only collects dust. We're going to shake off the dust and give readers a very small dose to digest each day of the week. Click on Catechism Capsules to help usher in this new feature Monday through Friday. It's vital for all Catholics to better understand our faith and the importance of living our lives to the fullest as good Catholics. The timely first topic: Purgatory.

PROVERB OF THE DAY

"The plans of the just are legitimate; the designs of the wicked are deceitful."

Proverbs 12: 5

ARTICLES, COLUMNS AND FEATURES for NOVEMBER 1-2, 1997

Pewpoint: Editorial on "Itís time to spring ahead for Godís time clock is never set back!"

      While others may be setting their clocks an hour behind to conform with the "Fall Back" mode, the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK is jetting out into horizons unknown in Catholic circles as we "Spring Ahead" with a DAILY publication that hopes to bring you all the news you need as well-rounded Catholic citizens. This Daily Catholic periodical on the web is appropriately called the DAILY CATHOLIC. It replants the successful bi-weekly publication A Call To Peace which has steadily gained subscribers over the nearly two years it has been on-line and the seven full years in print. The print edition will have itís Auld Lang Syne in December as we focus all our attention on the world-wide web in an effort to fulfill Christís words in Matthew 28: 19, and Mark 15: 15, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations...Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature." While it is not physically possible to reach everyone, the internet will reach a wider range throughout the globe as will print. It is also fasterÖimmensely swifter at breakneck speeds that no one would ever have dreamed aboutÖall reasons that point to our mission as being so vital as we near the pivotal third millennium.
      Like little children, which God and His Blessed Mother call us, we are taking small steps as we begin this daily on-line publication, venturing into many unknowns, many pitfalls and traps laid by the evil one in an attempt to derail us from our goal, but we know that armed with faith and the sacraments we have the assurance of Jesus in Matthew 28:20, "...behold I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world."
      Though we do not join the thinkers that believe the world is coming to an end, we do strongly clarion the call to conversion for we know in our hearts the world is going to changeÖdrastically as we know it. Like little children, the next few years are going to be harsh growing pains for all His little ones throughout the world as satan, seething with hatred, will throw all he has at Godís faithful ones in his last gasp before his Waterloo when he shall be bound in chains - formed by the countless Hail Maryís prayed over the years - and cast into hell for an extended period of time. This will signal the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and usher in the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - the new era of Peace promised in Sacred Scripture - when Jesus will truly return to earth and be known to all Eucharistically.
      That seems so far off when we view the world and even our own Church today, but with God all things are possible. That is why we forge ahead with the DAILY CATHOLIC Monday through Friday, extending our editions from 25 a year to 250 a year! That represents a 1000% increase in publishing and we feel itís time. Therefore, we accelerated our calendar two months ahead. Rather than introducing the daily publication in January 1998, we felt the time was vital to begin on the glorious Solemnity of All Saints to remind us all of our mission as members of the Communion of Saints. The first two feast days of November emphasize this as we celebrate the CHURCH TRIUMPHANT on November 1st and initiate our pledge to help the CHURCH SUFFERING on November 2nd. That is part of our mission as the CHURCH MILITANT here on earth and itís high time we started acting the role and fight back against those trying to wrest Holy Mother Church away from us and God. It is time to restore the sacred. It is time to restore the reverence. It is time to restore the traditions that have served the Church so well over the centuries. The DAILY CATHOLIC will strive to play a part in this conflict with the world with features, articles, series, columns and messages of Public and private revelation that mirror the Churchís credo. In addition, we will keep you up-to-date with news within the Church and on current events from a Catholic viewpoint for we are to be in the world, but not of it. It reminds us of Saint Paulís words in 1 Corinthians 3: 18-19, when he says "Let no one deceive himself. If any one of you thinks himself wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may come to be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." We have all been duped by the modern legions of the devil - the false prophets of today - the secular media. Our radios, TVís, newspapers and internet tabloids are foolishness in Godís eyesÖbut still we clamor for more and swallow all they spew out. Itís time to restore sanity. Itís time to fight fire with fire by using the modern technology at hand to balance the worldís view of God and His Holy Church and the truth which we all truly know in our hearts and souls. Therefore, along with the growing brigade of other Catholic web sites on the net who strive to do Godís Will through the tools He has given us in modern technology, we spring ahead. Some would say we are venturing where angels fear to tread, but then we always have been fools for Christ. Weíve all fallen back enough; hearts have been hardened too long. Itís time for all of us to spring ahead. If we donít: the Fall will be soul-breaking with no spring left in our hearts to see the glories that lie ahead. That would be catastrophic in the annals of time - Godís time!

Michael Cain, editor

COLUMNS: GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

My Nightmares and Purgatory

   No Halloween scare can compare to waiting for Heaven It is most probable that everyone sometime or other has had nightmares. A few weeks ago I was awakening from several of them and then thanking God my experiences were only dreams.

My nightmares were an indication to me that I was not consuming enough calcium. Truly! As a young Sister, I discovered that if I consumed enough calcium in my daily diet, nightmares did not afflict me. On the other hand, if I failed to consume enough calcium over a certain period of time, the result would be a nightmare. The mineral calcium is a "calmer."

Drinking at least three cups of coffee a day, I have noted how jittery I get internally, but if I take olí faithful calcium, I have no ill effects during the day or in my sleep.

When I have a nightmare, I am usually caught in a situation that is frightfully inescapable for me. Someone or some "creatures" are after me to do me some harm and I donít have a way out. As a child, when in a nightmare, I used to be able to "fly" out of the painful experience. That hasnít happened for a long time. Now I just wake up... and thank God!

All Souls Day is upon us and I was thinking this morning of Purgatory and how it is like or unlike my nightmares. Purgatory is for real! It is a place where souls go who are not deserving of hell yet not completely cleansed enough for Heaven. Remember the story Jesus told about the Wedding Feast? There was one requirement to attend the Feast. Everyone had to wear a wedding garment. The "wedding garment" for us to be able to attend the Eternal Feast in Heaven is that we be completely purified.

The process of purification, whether in this life or in Purgatory, is always painful. All of the gratifications and lack of spiritual discipline that led us into sin, and not attoned for in this life, will be paid for in Purgatory.

In that purgacious place there are no villainous creatures who are out to harm the souls that are there, but there are the painful remembrances of past offenses against God which cause great affliction. Souls in Purgatory cannot help themselves nor escape their painful experiences. They rely on the "calcium" of our prayers to allay their suffering and shorten their stay. The price of their unfaithfulness must be paid in full. Their "garment" must be fit for the Feast. But unlike my earthly nightmares, those suffering souls have something my painful dreams do not always supply me. They have HOPE. They know for sure that they will one day "fly" away (most likely with Our Lady) from that place of pain.

Let us resolve every day to pray for the poor souls in Purgatory. But let us pray more fervently than ever for them on the Feast of All Souls Day. Our charity for them may shorten our own stay there.

God bless you!


SITE OF THE DAY: All Roads lead to Rome: the VATICAN CITY Site

    To begin our daily series on Catholic "Sites of the Day" we start at the top with the official site of the Pope - the Vatican City Site at the simple URL: www.vatican.va

In keeping with the universal Church the site offers universal languages, promoting six different languages - English, Italian, Spanish, French, Polish and German. However, often times it is only available in English and Italian. Sorry, no Latin! In addition, many recent features are available only in Italian so it isn't updated as soon as most would prefer.

The site has been on-line for two years now and received a major renovation a year and a half ago when the Monks of the Desert in New Mexico, who specialize in web design, were asked to overhaul the Vatican site pages. They came up with a subdued parchment look with the photos and logos blending into the pages that gives a clean, uncluttered look to it. Especially handy is the file folder-style tabs at the top which allows the browser to look through six categories: the Popes (which include John Paul II, John Paul I, Pope Paul VI, and John XXIII and their major works plus biographies and histories of these four pontiffs); the Roman Curia (which categorizes the various Congregations and their background); Jubilee 2000 (which is a basic sketch of the preparations for the millennium and doesn't offer as much as many other sites on the activities and purpose of Jubilee 2000); Archives (which delves into past documents and current ones, but, like Jubilee 2000, doesn't offer the variety or quantity that other sites we will feature in future issues do); Vatican Museums (which are all text and only feature the artists and pales in comparison to such sites as Christus Rex or EWTN in this area); and News Service. This last one is probably the best feature of the Vatican City site because it furnishes up-to-yesterday's activities of the Pope including his audiences and appointments. They have a special Vatican Information Service bureau that charges $400. a year for subscription to this service and that is quite expensive for the normal browser. Probably the biggest breakthrough is that they offer highlights of the English version of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on-line and it can be downloaded in pdf. file if the browser has room. Presently the October 29th edition is on-line so it is timely. This is a big bonus rather than waiting a week or more for the printed edition to arrive each week...not to mention costs!!! There is no e-mail posted for the Pope, but you can e-mail the editor of L'Osservatore Romano at ornet@ossrom.va. We doubt, however, that it will get to his holiness. That is the only e-mail for the site. When the site was first introduced they offered an e-mail address to send Christmas wishes to Pope John Paul II, but that was disconnected in early 1996.

On the minus side, it takes a while to download the site considering it has so few photos and very little color. While the background is subdued and fits with the historic image of the Holy See, the logos and graphics embossed on it take considerable time to appear. There are also times the back button will not work and you have to back your way out by reversing your steps. For being the high-profile official web site for the Holy See, it is disappointing compared to so many other Roman Catholic web sites who provide so much more. Therefore, on a scale of one to ten Hail Mary's, we're giving www.vatican.va Five Hail Mary's.


REFLECTIONS: "Come Unto Me"

Reflections on Sacred Scripture

by Cyndi Cain

Are you listening to God's voice? He's speaking to you right now.

"Today if you shall hear His voice, do not harden your hearts"

Psalm 95: 7-8 and Hebrews 3: 15
      The majority of people would say, perhaps with a sigh, that they have never heard God speak to them. Hearing God speak is a privilege allotted to a few chosen souls, but not the average person.
      Perhaps the problem, beyond the obvious fact that we are often too busy, too anxious, too concerned to hear Him speak to us, is that we think we have to hear with our ears. Each one of us has heard God speak. No, not with our ears.
      You see, God is Omnipotent. His Voice IS, as He Is. It is everywhere, at all times and for all of us.
      Today you have heard His voice. You just didnít recognize it. Didnít you hear God gently but surely place the sun in the sky so that dawn would come? Were you aware that God spoke as he drew the curtain of night over you? Didnít you hear Him sprinkle the stars in the sky, or scatter the clouds that raced across the moon?
       When your alarm clock buzzed you awake, maybe you concentrated so much on that annoying sound that you didnít hear as He said, "Good-morning," as He woke you. You were rushed, right? You had to get ready for the day, grab a quick bite to eat. Did you know that He said to you, "Here, enjoy the food I have prepared for you this day. It is my gift to you, who are My child."
       How about that traffic commute to work, the countless stressful situations enroute, the guy that cut you off, ran a traffic light or stop sign? Did you hear God say, as He does, "I am With You, I have kept you in the palm of My hand."
       Oh, and donít overlook His voice in the words of your spouse who greets you upon rising, upon returning home from work, and before sleep comes at night. Donít overlook that smile on a face, the grin on your childís face as he/she rushes into your arms as you come home for the evening. Donít forget that He is there, speaking to you as you eat, sleep, play, rest and think.
       You see, you donít recognize His voice because you expect to hear an actual voice. Yes, sometimes that happens, but not always. God doesnít need to shout if our hearts are open to Him. He shouts when we donít pay attention, when we donít hear and listen to Him as He guides us through every moment of every day.
       Yes, today you have heard His voice. Did you recognize it? Did you thank Him for His words? Or, did you forget Him in the rush and stress of life and, consequently, harden your heart.
       His signs and wonders are everyday occurrences, and they are the manifestation of His Voice always present, whispering to you, loving you, correcting your course of action, your words and thoughts, steering everything toward Him. Today, you heard God speak! How can you doubt, when you have life, for He is life. He speaks, and you speak to Him just as easily as you speak to any other person you meet in life.
       He is. Because He Is, you are, and from Him His words echo in your heart, speed to your mind through the grace of the Holy Spirit, and lead you to a conscious and ever-present awareness of Him. Today, you heard God speak! Blessed are you, Godís child, to have heard His voice with your eyes, your heart, and not necessarily your ears.
       If, throughout the course of your life, you do not hear with your ears, how blessed that day in eternity when you shall hear, with all your senses. Then you will know that there wasnít one moment when He did not speak to you!
       Listen! Heís speaking to you now!

CATECHISM CAPSULES: PURGATORY

    To commemorate the feast of the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, we bring you a few capsules on Purgatory. This interim place, where the Church Suffering linger while waiting their eternal reward, has been played down over the last several decades and it's a puzzle why because both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism staunchly defend its existence.

No. 1030 - 1032, pages 268-269 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

[1030]
All who die in Godís grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter heave.

[1031] The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned (604).
The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire (605).
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain ofenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come (606).

[1032] This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore {Judas Maccabeus} made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." (607).
From the beginning the Church has honored the emory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistis sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God (608).
The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Jobís sons were purified by their fatherís sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us hot hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them (609).


From the Baltimore Catechism No. 3; Benziger Brothers, Inc and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Nos. 1381-1385, Pages 307-308

1381:
Q: What is Purgatory?
A: Purgatory is the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.

1382:
Q: Why is this state called Purgatory?
A: This state is called Purgatory because in it the souls are purged or purified from all their stains; and it is not, therefore, a permanent or lasting state for the soul.

1383:
Q: Are the souls in Purgatory sure of their salvation?
A: The souls in Purgatory are sure of their salvation, and they will enter heaven as soon as they are completely purified and made worthy to enjoy that presence of God which is called the Beatific Vision.

1384:
Q: Do we know what souls are in Purgatory, and how long they have to remain there?
A: We do not know what souls are in Purgatory nor how long they have to remain there; hence we continue to pray for all persons who have died apparently in the true faith and free from mortal sin. They are called the faithful departed.

1385:
Q: Can the faithful on earth help the souls in Purgatory?
A: The faithful on earth can help the souls in Purgatory by their prayers, fasts, alms-deeds; by indulgences, and by having Masses said for them.


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November 1-2, 1997 volume 8, no. 21         DAILY CATHOLIC


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