November 26, 1997 vol 8,
Play it again, Sam!
Today is the 55th Anniversary of one of the greatest films that ever came down the pike - "Casablanca" with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. After all these years, do you realize that Bogie (Rick) never, ever said "Play it again, Sam"?!? But do you realize that someone else has been saying "Play it again" for nearly 2000 years? And He is sending in His leading Lady to tell us all to heed His Word and return to Him, the Master Producer of Heaven and earth. We're talking about God the Father, of course, and sadly He has gotten mixed reviews throughout this long-standing production of mankind, but still He perseveres, loving us all so much He has sent the Mother of God to us in a special way. The nature of her performance is the gist of this week's installment of THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS detailing the nature of Private Revelation in our forty eighth installment of this on-going series. Click on The Relevance of Private Revelation
The Relevance of Private Revelation
Installment Forty Eight
Private revelations, imparted to thousands over the centuries, have never been proposed to the faithful as articles of faith. When the Church approves them, it merely states that they contain nothing contrary to faith or morals. The La Salette, Lourdes, Knock, Fatima, Banneaux, Akita and Betania apparitions are an example of this. Yet Garabandal, San Damiano, Medjugorje, Ecuador and numerous places in the United States as well as other apparitions sites around the world too numerous to mention, are also Private Revelation even though they have not yet been officially approved by the Church. Most probably, because of the plethora of apparitions and the time involved to investigate and prove without a shadow of doubt that they are authentic, few of these will be approved. Yet that does not mean they are not worthy of respect and notice for the message coming out of all of these places is the same. It is the Gospel message. There is nothing new. The same holds true for the countless messages from visionaries, locutionists and prophets. Prophecies are predictions of future events that could not have been known by natural means. This does not mean specifics or dates, but rather causes and effects that will definitely affect us. In the last ten years prophecies have increased a hundred-fold and not all are of God, but when we begin to judge we have stifled the Spirit and must discern carefully adhering to Saint Paul's wise words in 1 Thessalonians 5. Throughout the ages, for the benefit of men and confirmation of faith, God raised up prophets. Generally speaking, the gift of prophecy is a sure sign that the possessor is a messenger of God. However, again, we must always discern carefully and look at the fruits.
&bnsp;We must listen and learn through proper discernment for there have always been and are false prophets. In this present day, the evil one is doing all he can to confuse the faithful. How do we know if something is of God or not? There are various discernment processes to go by, but the best gauge to use is: Are the messages in line with Sacred Scripture and the Traditions and Teaching of Holy Mother Church? If they are, how can that not be of God? Surely satan would not bring others closer to Jesus by imitating Our Lord's Blessed Mother. If you study the majority of messages from the apparition sites mentioned earlier and from the many messages from locution messengers and prophets, you'll see their content is strikingly similar. Though their styles may be vastly different, the content is basically the same, for the messages are based on Sacred Scripture. Why? Because we need to return to the basics. And nothing is more basic than what God laid down.
Throughout the centuries God sent prophets to foretell various events and facts concerning the promised Savior. There were stylistic differences in the messages. Amos wasn't as polished as Isaiah for example, yet the content and intent were the same. Ezekiel foresaw the coming of the Savior and how His kingdom would have no end; Daniel predicted the exact time of the Redeemer's birth; Isaiah prophesied that this God-Man would be born of a virgin; and Jeremiah augured how the Messiah would die patiently and willingly like a lamb for our sins. That was the Old Testament. In the New Testament God has sent His Mother, Mother of His Church to modern-day prophets in order to help all God's children return to Him through Divine Revelation.
NEXT WEEK: God's very special Messenger: Mary, Mother of the Church
As Time Goes By...
..."Casablanca" gains in prestige as a classic. But the real classics, as time goes by, are the Heavenly Words imparted in Sacred Scripture. Through them we realize more and more the correlation of Divine Revelation with Private Revelation as Wilmott G. Brown illustrates in his excellent work The Significance of Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje as explained in Scripture. He continues with the unique comparisons of these three sites with previous revelation. Click on Comparisons part two.
The Carmelite order is based upon the prophet Elijah and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Remember both Mary and Elijah were assumed into Heaven; see 2 Kings 2: 11. Some of the Carmelite saints include Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, and Saint Simon Stock. Amazingly, OUr Lady once appeared to Saint Peter Thomas and said, "The order of Carmel is destined to endure until the end of the world for Elijah, the first patron of the Order, asked this of my Son at the transfiguration," as John Haffert wrote in his book Mary in her Scapular Promise. You can participate in the spirit of this Order, by wearing the brown scapular, which was given to Saint Simon Stock.
Consequently, as stated in Malachi 3: 23-24, Elijah or the spirit of Elijah will be sent before the coming of the Lord. For the first coming of Jesus, John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah; now in these apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared in the spirit and power of Elijah to fulfill prophecy and indicate that the second coming of Jesus Christ in glory is near. How near, only God the Father knows the exact time of His coming. Therefore, we are in the latter times or the end time and have covered these prophecies of the end times by various saints over the centuries in earlier installments. Next week we will discuss the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel.
NEXT WEEK: Chapter Six Comparisons - part three
"This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship"
Those were Bogie's words not to Ingrid Bergman, but rather to Captain Renault (Claude Rains) at the end of the film. Those also could be the words of the bishops who are offering all kinds of good advice for the faithful as well as their constituents and which are chronicled today in our on-going coverage of the Synod of America. Click on Daily Synod Synopsis
NOVEMBER 24th AT THE AMERICAN SYNOD
[The following report-- one in a series of daily reports on the activities of the special Synod of the Americas-- comes through the courtesy of the international news agency ZENIT, based in Rome.]
Archbishop Ivan Marin-Lopez of Popayan, Colombia, offered the most remarkable intervention at the American Synod today when he
suggested that bishops and priests should renounce a portion of their
own worldly possessions in a gesture demonstrating their solidarity
with the poor as the Church prepares for the third millennium. His
suggestion was met with silence from the body of bishops
participating in the Synod.
A more popular theme for the Synod was the discussion of the "new
evangelization." Father John Corriveau, minister general of the
Capuchin friars, speaking from long experience in missionary work in
Latin America, suggested that many Protestant sects have been
successful there in part because they give lay people a keen sense of
responsibility for the work of evangelization. He suggested that
Catholics should be equally emphatic about the need to involve lay
people in evangelization. That same theme was echoed by Bishop
Manuel Eguiguren of Salapia, Bolivia, who recalled that Vatican II
had announced "the age of the laity," and suggested that the same
theme-- "the Church of the laity"-- would be appropriate for the
third millennium. He added his own note of controversy, however, by
stressing that the Church could not enter the celebration of the
Jubilee without "confessing our own sins against the equality of
Cardinal William Baum, the American prelate who now heads the
Apostolic Penitentiary in Rome, called for an examination of
conscience in the fullest sense of the term. "Have we been timid or
uncertain in our teaching activity?" he asked. Cardinal Baum
emphasized the need to foster a real sense of sin, and of the need for
the Sacrament of Penance-- which, he pointed out, furnishes a path
to deeper conversion. He insisted that without clear preaching and
teaching on sin and on the "last things" it would be unrealistic to
expect any changes in unjust social structures.
Archbishop Jorge Medina Estevez, the Chilean who now heads the
Congregation for Divine Worship, used his address to respond to the
comments of another bishop, who had asked for a more liberal
approach to Catholics who are divorced and remarried, and now seek
to be admitted to the sacraments. "There is no sense of wishing
communion, when one continues in a way of life that is contrary to
the law of God, such as concubinage and adultery," he said.
"Here's looking at you, kid"
Those were, of course, Bogie's words. but they're really God's informal words to us - His children for He has given us so much as He watches over each one of us in a loving, fatherly way bestowing on us His only-Begotten Son and His Mother as Mother of the Church - a Church that guides us on the path back to Him through the teachings, doctrines, traditions and dogmas and explained to us through the Catechism. We continue our daily capsules on the Sacrament of Confirmation. Click on CATECHISM CAPSULES
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
The Sacraments are part and parcel of our lives and so we continue our "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 with this week devoted to the Sacrament of Confirmation, linked to Baptism and the Eucharist, both sacraments of which we have covered to this point and all three comprising the sacraments of intitiation.
No. 1318 and 1319, page 333 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery; Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:
In the East this sacrament is administered immediately after Baptism and is followed by participation in the Eucharist; this tradition highlights the unity of the three sacraments of Christian initiation. In the Latin Church this sacrament is administered when the age of reason has been reached, and its celebration is ordinarily reserved to the bishop, thus signifying that this sacrament strengthens the ecclesial bond.
A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both in the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.
From the Baltimore Catechism No. 3; Benziger Brothers, Inc. and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. No. 676, pages 139 and 140; Nos. 691, 692 and 693, pages 142 and 143.
Q. Why do we say the bishop is the "ordinary minister" of Confirmation?
A. We say the bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation because in some foreign missions [and remote parishes], where bishops have not yet been appointed, the Holy Father permits one of the priests to administer Confirmation with the Holy Oil blessed by the bishop.
Q. To receive Confirmation is it necessary to be in the state of grace?
A. To receive Confirmation worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace.
Q. What special preparation should be made to receive Confirmation?
A. Persons of an age to learn should know the chief mysteries of the faith and the duties of a Christian, and be instructed in the nature and effects of this Sacrament.
Q. Why should we know the chief mysteries of faith and the duties of a Christian before receiving Confirmation?
A. We should know the chief mysteries of faith and the duties of a Christian before receiving Confirmation because as one cannot be a good soldier without knowing the rules of the army to which he belongs and understanding the commands of his leader, so one cannot be a good Christian without knowing the laws of the Church and understanding the commands of Christ.
Welcome to the Blue Parrot
...Many actually called it "Rick's Place" which was also the title of the original film, until producer Hal Morris changed it to Casablanca. The Blue Parrot was a place where all could come for song and laughter. Since we don't sing, we bring you a laugh or two with our mid-week humor line which we bring you every Wednesday. This week we conclude our two-part comedy on Headline Heckles that can raise the hackles! with the final twenty malaprop headlines. Click on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven!
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven!
Headline heckles that can raise the hackles: Second part
- Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter
- Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
- Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
- War Dims Hope for Peace
- If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
- Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
- Deer Kill 17,000
- Enfield Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
- Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
- Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
- Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge
- New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
- Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
- Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
- Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
- Arson Suspect Held in Massachusetts Fire
- Ban on Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
- Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
- New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
- Hospitals Are Sued By 7 Foot Doctors
"It doesn't amount to a hill of beans!"
Though those were Bogie's words in the film, many radical modernists are saying the same thing about anything that comes out of the Vatican. That is so sad for as Rome goes, so goes Holy Mother Church. It's worked for nearly 2000 years and to assure this continuity the Vatican released yet another Instruction on correcting the abuses of the laity in the ministry to the Priests, most specifically at Holy Mass. We continue with the ninth installment in bringing you this pertinent document. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
on the role of the Laity
INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest
Eighth installment: THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES part four
3. The Indispensability of the Ordained Ministry
For a community of the faithful to be called a Church, and indeed to truly be a Church, it cannot be guided according to political criteria or those of human organisations. Every particular Church owes its guidance to Christ since it was He who fundamentally linked apostolic mission to the Church and hence no community has the power to grant that mission to itself(40)
(40: Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Sacerdotium Ministeriale, n. III, 2: l.c., p. 1004.)
or to delegate it. In effect, a canonical or juridical determination
made by hierarchal authority is necessary for the exercise of the munus of teaching and
(41: Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, Nota explicativia praevia, n. 2.)
The ministerial priesthood is therefore necessary for a community to exist as "Church": "The ordained priesthood ought not to be thought of as existing (...) posterior to the ecclesial community, as if the Church could be imagined as already established without this priesthood".(42)
(42: John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis, n. 16: l.c., p. 682.)
Indeed, were a community to lack a priest, it would be deprived of
the exercise and sacramental action of Christ, the Head and Pastor, which are essential
for the very life of every ecclesial community.
Thus the ordained priesthood is absolutely irreplaceable. As an immediate consequence of this there is the necessity for a continuing, zealous and well-organised pastoral promotion of vocations so as to provide the Church with those ministers which she needs and to ensure a proper seminary training for those preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Any other solution to problems deriving from a shortage of
sacred ministers can only lead to precarious consequences.
"The duty of fostering vocations falls on the whole Christian community, and they should
discharge it principally by living full Christian lives".(43)
(43: Second Vatican Council, Decree Optatam totius, n. 2.)
By following Christ more closely and in overcoming indifference, all the faithful have a responsibility to foster a positive response to priestly vocation. This is especially true for those nations where a strong sense of materialism is evident.
NEXT ISSUE: Theological Principles -part five 4. The Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in Pastoral Ministry
Medjugorje Monthly Message
November 25th Message
Dear children: Today I invite you to comprehend your Christian vocation. Little children, I led and am leading you through this time of grace, that you may become conscious of your Christian vocation. Holy martyrs died witnessing: I am a Christian and love God over everything. Little children, today also I invite you to rejoice and be joyful Christians, responsible and conscious that God called you in a special way to be joyfully extended hands toward those who do not believe, and that through the example of your life, they may receive faith and love for God. Therefore, pray, pray, pray that your heart may open and be sensitive for the Word of God. Thank you for having responded to my call!
For more on Medjugorje, Click on MEDJUGORJE
NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Mama mia! Soon you'll be able to tour the Vatican without ever leaving home!
That's the word today after announcement that the Vatican is offering two CD's that tell us everything we ever wanted to know about the Holy See, its history and the great works of art. Unfortunately, unless you speak Italian it's going to be difficult to understand. But have faith, they promise an English version soon. But will it be in time for Christmas? Click on CD-Rom to read more.
CD-ROM OFFERS TOUR OF VATICAN
VATICAN (CWN) -- The Vatican museums have published a set of
two CD-ROMs entitled "The Vatican," offering an unusual glimpse of
life behind the walls of the Vatican. The CD-Rom set is currently
available only in an Italian-language version; English and French
editions will soon follow.
The first CD-ROM in the new set offers a tour of Vatican City, visiting
the different buildings and explaining their connections with the
history of the Holy See and the popes who have ruled there. There
are also some concrete examples of everyday life at the Vatican
today, such as the schedule of the Swiss Guards.
The second CD-ROM recounts the history of the Vatican and the
popes, and offers a tour of the Apostolic Palace-- although the papal
apartments are not included. The set also devotes a good deal of
attention to many of the famous works of art in the Vatican
El Nino dries the earth, but not the hopes of Filipinos
The Cardinal of the heavily populated Philippine islands is calling on his flock to storm Heaven with prayers and petitions for much needed rain which is non-existent in northern Oceania as a fall-out of the devastating effects of El Nino. While some countries are being drenched in South America, those in the South Pacific are high and dry. It's time for Heavenly assistance. Click on El Nino to read more.
PHILIPPINES CARDINAL PRAYS FOR RAIN
MANILA (CWN) - Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila called on Filipinos to start praying for rain on Tuesday as the
southwest Pacific island chain began to see the first
stages of a drought blamed on the ocean weather pattern
called El Nino.
"We can pray together at Church so that the consequences of
such an occurrence will not be so grave, that rains would
come, that crops and livestock would not be endangered, and
that lives would be saved," said Cardinal Sin in a letter
published on Tuesday. The cardinal also suggested various
water conservation measures the faithful can use to work
together to pass the crisis.
The Philippine government had issued a warning that between
November and next April the country will see drier weather
due to El Nino which is a periodic warming of water in the
A Vatican veteran of Canon Law retires with high accolades
One of the main architects of the revised Code of Canon Law, Venezuelan-born Cardinal Castillo Lara, one of the few left over from Pope Paul VI's regime, is calling it quits after serving five pontiffs loyally. As he moves on, a Motor-City Cardinal revs up in preparing to steer the massive administrative staff. Click on Movin' on to read more.
CARDINAL CASTILLO LARA LEAVES VATICAN AFTER 22 YEARS
VATICAN (CWN) -- Cardinal Rosalio Jose Castillo Lara, the president
of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City-State, will soon
realize his long-standing ambition for "a direct pastoral ministry to
youth" in his native Venezuela. In a warm letter, Pope John Paul II
has thanked the cardinal for his service at the Vatican, where he has
been stationed for 22 years, and offered his blessings on the
Venezuelan prelate's plans to return to his homeland.
Cardinal Castillo Lara was one of the principal artisans of the new
Code of Canon Law, published in 1989, which he now recalls as his
greatest achievement during his years of service in Rome. He later
headed the Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts-- the
Church's final court for matters involving Canon Law-- before
assuming his current position as head of the Vatican City-State.
In the latter position, Cardinal Castillo Lara held responsibility for all
of the infrastructure and administrative workings of the Vatican--
supervising a work force of 2,500 people. He is being replaced in that
position by Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the former Archbishop of Detroit.
Liturgy's Last Week
As we wind down this final week of the Church year, we have all Weekday Masses in Ordinary Time for the rest of the Week, climaxing with the commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday before Advent begins the next day. Click on LITURGY OF THE DAY
Wednesday, November 26:
First Reading: Daniel 5: 1-6
Psalms: Daniel 3: 62-67
Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 12-19
Thursday, November 27:
First Reading: Daniel 6: 12-28
Psalms: Daniel 3: 59, 68-74
Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 20-28
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
We print this today so it's available to you for tomorrow
Lord, we thank You for the goodness of our people and for the spirit of justice that fills this nation. We thank You for the beauty and fullness of the land and the challenge of the cities. We thank You for our work and our rest, for one another, and for our homes. We thank You, Lord: Pause for other prayers of thanks For all that we have spoken and for all that we keep in our hearts, accept our thanksgiving on this day. We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PROVERB OF THE DAY
Today's Proverb carries words of wisdom for tomorrow's Turkey day
"If you find honey, eat only what you need, lest you become glutted with it and vomit it up."
Proverbs 25: 16
For all other standard
features, articles and
columns, click on Archives
November 26, 1997 volume 8, no. 39   DAILY CATHOLIC