November 5, 1997   vol 8, no.24



"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

   †††The above are from Jesus, recorded in Matthew 13:9, Mark 4:9, and Luke 8:8. It reinforces the fact that Sacred Scripture was taught first by ear. For no one could "read" the Word on a wide-spread basis until the fifteenth century. Balancing the scales of time that's a pittance compared to how Scripture from both the Old and New Covenant have been handed down. Scripture is the theme in today's issue as most of the articles and features deal with revelation.

Prayer & Devotion

   †First off, the Prayer today is vital when ever someone reads any passage of Sacred Scripture for only by asking the Holy Spirit to be with us in digesting the Word will it be a benefit to our mind, heart and soul:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy Love. Send forth, O Lord, Thy Spirit and they shall be created and Thou shalt the renew the face of the earth. Amen.


Listen, Learn, and Live what God is Telling us!

   †We introduce the on-going series Age of Marian Apparitions today to the DAILY CATHOLIC with the first part of a detailed study of Public and Private Revelation and their connection and relevance to the life of Holy Mother Church. Click on Age of Marian Apparitions to read the first part on Divine Revelation.

AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

Installment Forty Five

LISTEN, LEARN, AND LIVE WHAT GOD IS TELLING US!

   The title for this installment "Listen, Learn and Live..." came from those early parochial elementary days when Sister Honorata said, "Listen and learn, young man...or else!" The "...or else" instilled fear in all of us and we sat up straight, heeding her advise under pain of ruler-rapped fingers or flying erasers. Back in those days, the good holy sisters were experts in putting the Fear of the Lord into all of us! While we had great respect for them, there was also that trepidation, and rightfully so, if we got out of line. Many a sore knuckle can attest to that. Many of us will also admit we became experts at dodging aerial missiles of chalk! Through the years the good sisters' advise stuck, only to be eroded by society and modern norms that tried to debunk all the values we were taught. Yet, the older we get, the more we realize the wisdom of the holy nuns and harken back to their counsel, astutely rejecting the emptiness of today's world. Their teaching was human but based on something that today's education system is not: Divine Revelation. How sorry we feel for the recent generations who did not have that strict discipline growing up. Their foundation is shaky and their values and morals are easily eroded because they did not listen and learn. Now they are forced to learn and listen the hard way...one they don't understand because they did not really have the basics of their faith taught to them the way generations before them were. That is one of the main reasons for the DAILY CATHOLIC - to inform all generations of the truths handed down through the ages...still as relevant today as ever, if not more so. We are reminded that if we do not listen to the Word of God, listen to the Magisterium of the Church, listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us, listen to the Mother of God who is communicating daily through apparitions or locutions to messengers on every continent - then "...or else!" is the inevitable.

    During the Age of Marian Apparitions, which began with the first Church-approved apparition of Mary (Our Lady of Pilar) to Saint James the Apostle in 40 AD in Zaragosa, Spain and continued up to the present day, having intensified over the last two centuries, the Blessed Mother has not revealed anything new, but rather reinforced all that is contained in Public Revelation. And, throughout the time of the Age of Marian Apparitions, most private revelation has been true to the teachings of Divine Revelation. In this special time, we need to listen to and learn what God is telling us through Sacred Scripture, the Traditions, Teachings, and Doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and through the special blueprint Our Lady has been charting as Queen of Prophets via her messages to thousands through private revelation to live what God is telling us.

&nbps;   Though we don't have to follow private revelation, it would be wise to listen, for we can learn much from what Jesus and His Blessed Mother are asking us to live. Our Lady has been reiterating over and over to "read Sacred Scripture" - to "live it and pray to understand the signs of the times." We are all looking to the skies for the signs but they are all around us and we don't realize it. We must open the eyes of our hearts and souls to truly understand the signs God is sending and has been sending. The nineties are nothing new in respect to private revelation. There has been private revelation since the beginning of time. If we can talk to God and His chosen Heavenly messengers such as Blessed Mary, then why can't He talk to us and allow those He sends to talk to us?

    God speaks to us every day through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the Word, taken from Sacred Scripture. The Holy Father has asserted the importance of the Gospel, "Be Proud of the Gospel. The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people's hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love. Now, more than ever, in a world that is often without light and without courage of noble ideals, people need the fresh, vital spirituality of the Gospel."

    The Gospel, of course, is part of Public Revelation - Sacred Scripture, also called Divine Revelation which is contained in both Scripture and Tradition. So many, especially non-Catholics, place more emphasis on the Bible without realizing the equal role Tradition plays in Divine Revelation. After all, the "Bible" evolved from Tradition...not Tradition from the Bible! But neither is more important than the other for God is the author of Divine Revelation. He cannot deceive or be deceived. The public revelation of truths to men by God began with Adam and Eve and ended at the death of Saint John, the beloved Apostle. It has come down to us through Holy Scripture, written down under Divine inspiration, and through Tradition, handed down orally from Apostolic times. This is Public Revelation which, as members of the True Church, we must believe!

   God asks us every day to listen and learn because all these things He has given us are "signs of the times," and, by going back to basics and reading Sacred Scripture and living it, and only by praying can we understand these signs and know the course to take.

NEXT WEEK: Part Two: The role of Tradition.


To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.

Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture

   †The new Catechism of the Catholic Church strongly affirms the importance of Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church and we bring you a few capsules on this in our daily CATECHISM CAPSULES. Click on Source of Scripture to know exactly where the Church stands.

The Source of Scripture

    Too often Catholics don't realize the significance of Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church and its importance in our daily lives. Contrary to what many think, the Bible is not the sole domain of the Protestants! Rather, it is part and parcel of all Holy Mother Church teaches as we bring you a few paragraphs from the new Catechism of the Catholic Church to confirm this.

No. 105 through 108, page 31 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

[105]
God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit." (69)*

"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.(70)*

[106]
God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while He employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though, He acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever He wanted written, and more."(71)*

[107]
The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm shoud be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."(72)*

[108]
Still, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book." Christianity is the religion of the "Word" of God, "not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living."(73) If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the Eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures."(74)*

* = Quotes taken from Dei Verbum 11.


A Blending of the Old and the New

   † Author Wilmott G. Brown brings us his expertly researched work "The Significance of Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje as explained in Scripture" citing the relevance of Sacred Scripture to authenticate reasons why the Mother of God has come in these times and how they fulfill all that has been prophesied by the Word. Click on "In the Evening and in the Spirit of Elijah" to further understand the coorelation between Public Revelation and private revelation.

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

by Wilmott G. Brown

Twenty First Installment

Chapter 5: In the Evening and in the Spirit of Elijah - part five

    There is a reason why the fulfillment of Malachi 3: 23,24 relative to the second coming of Jesus Christ, should be manifest by an apparition instead of a continuous physical presence (the life of an individual). The reason is that by fulfilling this prophecy by an apparition, the exact time of the second coming of Jesus Christ is more unknown or could span a greater number of years. This aspect is important and is shown in the account of the tribulation and the second coming of Jesus Christ in the 24th chapter of Matthew. Matthew 24: 29-44 says: "Immediately after the stress of that period, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not shed her light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the hosts of Heaven will be shaken loose. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the clans of earth will strike their breasts as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory. He will dispatch His angels with a mighty trumpet blast, and they will assemle His chosen from the four winds, from one end of the Heavens to the other. From the fig tree learn a lesson. When its branch grows tender and sprouts leaves, you realize that summer is near. Likewise, when you see all these things happening, you will know that He is near, standing at your door. I assure you, the present generation will not pass away until all this takes place. The Heavens and the earth will pass away but My words will not pass away. As for the exact day or hour, no one knows it, neither the angels in Heaven nor the Son, but the Father only. The coming of the Son of Man will repeat what happened in Noah's time. In the days before the flood people were eating and drinking, marrying and being married, right up to the day Noah entered the ark. They were totally unconcerned until the flood came and destroyed them. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day the Lord is coming. Be sure of this: if the owner of the house knew when the thief was coming he would keep a watchful eye and not allow his house to be broken into. You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect."

    Notice that in verse 36, it says that the exact time for the second coming of Jesus Christ is unknown, except to God the Father. Moreover, refer to 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 and 1 Thessalonians 5, for another account of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ on the clouds of Heaven. Notice 1 Thessalonians 5:2 which says that the coming of the Lord will be like a thief in the night.

   Consequently, this fits in with Mary's apparitions as being a preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is unknown when the exact time is: it could be very soon or it could not be for many years or some generations. Note that this reasoning is true, even if the two witnesses in Revelation chapter 11 are Enoch and Elijah. Furthermore, notice in verse 44 of Matthew 24, that it says to be prepared for Jesus' return. Mary, through the apparitions at Medjugorje, is preparing God's faithful servants for Jesus' return with the emphasis on daily conversion and prayer. Revelation 12: 17 says,"Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God's commandments and bear witness for Jesus."God's faithful servants are therefore the rest of her children or the remnant (see Romans 9: 29 and Isaiah 1: 9), who keep God's commandments and witness for Jesus Christ. These reason point towards Mary's daily apparitions at Medjugorje and to her messages.

NEXT WEEK: Chapter 5: In the Evening and in the Spirit of Elijah - part six


The Liturgy of the Word is Divine Revelation

   †During this long liturgical period of Ordinary Time, we have the opportunity to delve more into the Word through all the wonderful readings and passages compiled within the Liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. With no saint being celebrated for the next few days, it is an ideal time to turn our attention to the readings. Click on LITURGY for today and tomorrow's preparation for Holy Mass.

Wednesday, November 5

Wednesday, November 5:
Thirty-first Wednesday in Ordinary Time


Thursday, November 6

Thursday, November 6:
Thirty-first Thursday in Ordinary Time


Did you hear the one about...?

   †There's a joker in all of us and a clean sense of humor is a necessary commodity to keep our wits about us in these days when comedy is so often synonymous with immorality and exploitation. To counter the offensive humor so prevalent in our media today, we bring you your weekly dose of the lighter side in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven!" Click on Pathetic Proverbs to have a chuckle or two.

The Lighter Side


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven!

   We have our proverbs from Sacred Scripture which are profound. On the lighter side we present "Pathetic Proverbs"...pointless pundits that do nothing but bring a chuckle:

Pathetic Proverbs

If at first you don't succeed,
skydiving is not for you.


The trouble with doing something right the first time
is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.


The average woman would rather have beauty than brains,
because the average man can see better than he can think.


Vital papers will demonstrate their vitality by moving from
where you left them to where you can't find them.


Clothes make the man since naked people
have little or no influence on society.


Money can't buy happiness. . .
but it sure makes misery easier to live with.


Law of Probability Dispersal:
Whatever it is that hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.


It has recently been discovered that research causes cancer in rats.


Psychiatrists say that 1 of 4 people are mentally ill.
If you have 3 friends who are OK, then you're it.


and finally...

Deja Moo:
The feeling you've heard this bull before.


PROVERB OF THE DAY

"The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked are brief."

Proverbs 10: 27

NEWS & VIEWS

with a Catholic slant

HEADLINES

The Signs continue to come at a warped world at warp speed!

    The natural disasters in Florida, Vietnam, the South Pacific, Central America, the past few days and the unnatural disasters of Supreme Courts point to the fact that we are indeed in those times spoken of in Sacred Scripture. The signs are all around us, and yet, like the ostrich, we stick our heads in the ground, ignoring all the evidence. It may not be long before they won't have any ground to stand on. Click on Wake up, World! to read more.

   Why can't we see the signs of the ages when they stare us straight in the face? Between natural disasters and the unnatural ones occuring in supreme courts across the land, we are losing any foundation of stability. Like that house built on sand we could be washed away as more land and moral foundations are being eroded away. While the Florida State Supreme Court ruled last week that a 19 year old woman, six-month pregnant, could not be criminally charged when she shot herself in the stomach when she couldnít afford an abortion (the child, a girl, was born alive, premature and died two weeks later), the world stands agog at a 19 year old womanís trial which resulted in a guilty verdict which brings a penalty of life imprison, with possible parole in 15 years. Her crime? She allegedly shook an infant, for whom she cared and wanted to live. The child died. Go figure??!!

    Signs that we are headed for some disastrous times: In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the land of famine floods caused by overflowing rivers have killed 57, left thousands displaced, while washing away over 9,000 head of livestock. These people now face malaria and dysentery in ever-increasing numbers. More flooding ravaged the coastal village of Ribeira Quente in the Azores killing 29 people in a mudslide, leaving destruction behind while the same storm headed for the Portuguese coast. Across the Pacific, super Typhoon Keith, swept across the Northern Mariana Islands Sunday night packing winds in excess of 220 mph, only to head northwest toward Guam, still packing winds of 173 mph. Devastation on the Mariana Islands was not known due to downed communication lines, and Guam was said to be bracing for the storm.

    In South America, El Nino continues to wreak havoc, now upon the capital of the Amazonas state, Manauas. More than 1.1 million people live in Manauas where smoke from fires in the Amazon rain forest choke the air and have caused an epidemic of respiratory ailments. The forest fires, always a problem within the rain forest from outside companies defoliating this ecological necessity, have raged uncontrolled due to lack of rain as El Nino builds and gains strength in the Pacific.

   Mexico, in Central America, grieves for the 240 known dead from the October 9th Hurricane Pauline. As this dominantly Roman Catholic country honored the dead on All Souls Day, the grief of the nation was focused on and around the poor villages near the resort area of Acapulco, where 150 of the dead were swept away by a river that left, in its wake, a deep ravine.

   In the United States a very rare and deadly tornado touched down in the community of New Smyrna Beach, where some thirty people suffered a variety of injuries. Late autumn storms of this nature and intensity are virtually unheard of on Floridaís Atlantic Coast, and the citizens of New Smyrna Beach had little or no warning as the tornado literally skipped out of the Atlantic to descend upon the community.

   Stay tuned...the signs of the ages are here for us, if we see with the eyes of our hearts and hear with the ears of our souls, that God is not pleased with His children, as Our Blessed Mother has warned us over and over for many years. Are we listening? Are we paying attention? Does anyone care enough to pray? Those with their heads in the sand may soon realize this for the sand will have been washed away by the reality that these disasters are not going to stop until man stops taunting the Creator of it all and returns to the natural order the Almighty has deigned this world to be.

Information for this article gathered from Associated Press and Catholic World News Service


Another Supreme Court decision on the right to life!

   † ††† On the heels of three decisions handed down by three separate supreme courts in the northern hemisphere, the United States Supreme Court, for once, upheld life...for the time being. Their ruling involved a Wisconsin woman's appeal to cut off the feeding tube of her older sister who has been afflicted with Alzheimer's. As always, red tape has gummed up the works and this case, filed in 1994 is now three years old and the victim in question is caught in the middle. Click on Court to read more.

    "Let her live...while she can" was the reply that came down from the United States Supreme Court yesterday when they rejected Betty Spahn's case for pulling the feeding tubes from her older sister Edna Folz, now 73 and suffering gravely from Alzheimer's disease, a devastating illness that takes its toll on the mind. Both live in Wisconsin and because of Folz' condition, Spahn had argued that she should be allowed to make the decisions for Folz who was totally incapacitated, existing mostly on life-support systems. Spahn had asked her her sister's guardian, who had been appointed by the court in Wisconsin, to remove the feeding tube back in October 1994, but the Nursing Home, where Folz remains, balked. They told Spahn the only way they could fulfill her request was through a court order. Spahn took it to the local court and was turned down, then the Wisconsin Supreme Court in June, but again met with defeat; finally she took it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court but struck out in the most recent decision yesterday. Strike three, ball game over! Not quite, for Spahn's lawyers are appealing the ruling.

   The sadness of it all is that just last week, even though the U.S. Supreme Court had not acted yet, just a few days ago three doctors were called in to assess Folz' declining condition and they ruled, due to her total vegetative state, to remove the feeding tubes. The Nursing Home complied and Folz now is totally in God's hands. But that is where it should be. Man cannot decide something that only the Almighty has the right to do and that is why no supreme court or any court for that matter has the right to rule on matters of life and death. Yet the courts and the system continue, and by so doing, only invite the culture of death syndrome to become even more entrenched in society. Today Abortion and Euthenasia; tomorrow...who knows!?! The prospects are not something one would want to entrust to fallible men who call themselves supreme, but only to the One and only Supreme Being.

Information for this article gathered from Associated Press and Catholic World News Service


"Day of the Dead" in Mexico is hitting home hard thanks to birth control

   † The old country of Mexico is getting older and there may not be any hope for the young since there will be so few young in the future. Blame it on the aggressive policy of birth control instituted a few decades ago. Today the fruit appears to be barren as do many of the women who have defied Church teaching by taking contraceptives. Click on Barren to read more.

   Maybe the hurricanes and the droughts in Mexico are a message from above that God is most unhappy with His once beloved land that was so faithful to His Church. Over the years the people's faith has been eroded by the culture of death, personified by the National Population Council (CONAPO) who was forced to admit last week that by the third millennium Mexico could become "a nation of elders" and that their plan to preach contraceptives has been so successful that it has backfired. Their statistics bear this out. They report that by 2008 there will be a 22% increase in population, but the population of senior citizens will rise to 70%.

   Back in 1975 the fertility rate in Mexico was...well, fertile, with statistics showing the average child-bearing woman having six children each. This has dropped in half some twenty years later and though many blame poor hygenic and poverty conditions for the deaths of many children, birth control has played the major villain in this scenario...so much so that Council officials admitted they need to rise the fertility rate higher than the current three offspring per woman rate. It will entail a whole new education program for the citizens of Mexico, but all they really need do is go back to the basics - to Genesis and see what God's plan was for procreation. Again, another case of man mucking up God's plans because he thought he knew best. When will they ever learn? Manana?

Information for this article gathered from Catholic World News Service


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


November 5, 1997 volume 8, no. 24         DAILY CATHOLIC


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