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specifically for traditional Roman Catholics. This forum will provide
informative articles and commentary on issues related to the One True Faith.
UPDATE (4/27/98)T.C.E. is no longer available in the e-mail format.
"Our Angelic Ties"
When we closely reexamine the story of the angels, we begin to see the
parallels drawn between their existence and Man's ongoing struggles. Our
ties to the angels do not stop at merely the Guardian Angel aspect; angels
have been linked to us from the very beginning of their creation!
Many believe that Man's sin and suffering are a result of Adam and Eve's
disobedience. This is true, but Adam and Eve's sin may not have happened
at all if not for the fall of the angels. So the story of our redemption
begins not with Adam and Eve but actually with the angelic battle in the
We know that God proposed some sort of a "test" to the angels. What
exactly that test was is not known for certain. Some theologians say that
the angels had become too proud, too enamored with their own beauty and
intelligence. Other experts conclude that the test was a two-fold one.
First, the angels were to accept the proclamation that the Second Person of
the Trinity would become Man and, as the God-Man, would be their superior.
The angels (having been created with infused knowledge) knew that they were
of superior intelligence to humans. "Thou hast made him (Man) a little
less than the angels" (Psalms 8:6). To accept this proclamation would
require humility on the part of the angels; this was the first part of the
test. Secondly, the angels were to accept the next proclamation: that the
Son of God would be born of a woman--a woman who would someday be elevated
Lucifer (whose name means "light bearer") was thought to be from one of the
higher levels of angels, perhaps from the Cherubim hierarchy. We surmise
this from scripture, where Ezech. 28:12 says, "Thou a Cherub stretched out,
and protecting, and I set in thy ways from the day of thy creation, until
iniquity was found in thee...thou hast sinned, and I cast thee out from the
mountain of God and destroyed thee, O covering Cherub...I have cast thee to
the ground." Even with all his superior gifts of beauty and intelligence,
Lucifer still was not immune to pride. Upon hearing the conditions of the
Heavenly test, Lucifer cried out, "I will not serve!" He gathered around
him his cohort of followers and dared to disobey the Almighty.
>From among the lower hierarchy of angels, there arose an angel, who was
later to be known as Michael (the name in Hebrew means, "Who is as God")
who rallied the faithful angels and rose to the defense of God. And so the
Heavenly battle ensued--perhaps not a battle of swords, but one of
intellects, wills, and loyalties.
As the battle raged on, Lucifer became even more arrogant and said, "I will
set my throne above the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13). And Michael countered
with this cry: "Who is like unto God?" (the battlecry that later earned
him his name).
We know the outcome of this Heavenly battle. Lucifer "dragged a third of
the stars from Heaven with him" (Apoc. 12:4). And Jesus himself presented
his apostles with this stark image: "I watched Satan fall like lightning
from Heaven" (Luke 10:18). Lucifer and his minions were cast out of Heaven
and became the fallen angels. Lucifer then became "Satan", which in Hebrew
means "adversary" or "the accuser".
So where does all of this tie in to us? What does the angelic battle,
which happened before the creation of Mankind, have to do with our own
redemptive struggle here on earth?
First and foremost, the battle is still going on--a battle between good and
evil, between pride and humility; the struggle between love of God and love
of self. Let us take a closer look at Lucifer's rebellious cry of, "I
will not serve!". Is that not also the cry of an unrepentant sinner? Of
Mankind, caught in the snares of pride, materialism, lust, and egoism?
When we choose our own ways over God's ways, are we not also defying God by
saying, "I will not serve"? And then there is Lucifer's prideful boast:
"I will set my throne above the Most High." What are our "thrones" that we
have placed above God? What in our lives has become more important to us
than our love of God and neighbor?
Are we like Lucifer and "will not serve"? Or are we striving to be like
St. Michael, putting God first in our lives and asking ourselves, "who (or
what) can be compared to God?" There is nothing like God!
But consider again the "Heavenly test". If indeed one of the tests given
to the angels was the acceptance of Mary as their Queen and as Queen of
Heaven, does this test not also hold true for us as well? How many
Christians--yes, even Catholics--heavily dispute Mary's role in the Church?
How many truly honor her as their Queen and Mother and give her the
recognition she deserves?
Here again, our ties to the angels: Satan and his followers refused to
accept Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth, as Queen of the Angels. Would it
not also stand to reason that the reason why Mary has not received her
place of honor among many of us is that Satan despises her so and has
placed blinders on the eyes of so many of God's children?
This brings us to Genesis 3:15, where immediately preceding Adam and Eve's
exile from the Garden of Paradise, God promises: "I will put enmity
between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will
strike at your head, while you strike at His heel". Satan has hated "the
woman" (Mary) from the very beginning! God's words to Satan in the Garden
of Eden were not Satan's first encounter with the person of Mary! Perhaps
he despises her so because he blames her, rather than his pride, for being
outcast from Heaven. After all this time, he still is proud, blaming and
raging, rather than accepting the truth: that is--it was his pride and
disobedience, not Mary, that cost him his place in Heaven.
In stark contrast to Satan's disobedience, we have St. Michael and all of
the loyal angels, the ones who said yes to God, the ones who said yes to
Mary. How devoted they are in their efforts to protect us from Satan and
his demons! Constantly they intercede at God's Throne for us, for our
temporal needs as well as for our salvation. The Holy Angels have a love
for us that is in direct contrast to the hatred Satan feels for Mankind.
Remember, Satan was banished forever from Heaven; he will do whatever is in
his power to prevent us from entering where he cannot go!
We hold dear in our Catholic faith that God has entrusted to each of us a
companion, a Guardian Angel, to assist us in our every need and to safely
lead us to our eternal reward. How sad that so many do not believe in a
personal Guardian Angel, thus ignoring their Heavenly friend. And sadder
still: those who believe but have forgotten their angel, ever present,
ever vigilant at their side--the "voice of conscience" whispering in their
We must never forget the angelic battle in the Heavens, constantly asking
ourselves, is my motto that of, "I will not serve!" or that of , "Who is
like unto God?" And lastly, we must keep in mind that God has put distance
between Satan and "the woman"--Mary, who will surely lead us closer to her
son Jesus. Satan is aware of this--and hopefully, we are too.
by Jeannie Mainzer to commemorate the Feast of the Guardian Angels, October 2
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__________"On the Laity and the Roman Catholic Church"______________
It occurred to me the other day as I was talking to yet another frustrated,
devoted, traditional Catholic mom, that the Lay People are what is holding
the Catholic Church together these days. This mom is fighting an uphill
battle with her parish Catholic school on a variety of fronts. I was
sharing my distressing story about how a large portion of our Catholic
school had united last Spring to try to fight a dangerously errant "Family
Life" curriculum (a.k.a. Sex Ed). Despite a large number of concerned
parents who had signed a letter of petition to the local Archdiocese that
this curriculum be replaced with one that teaches more orthodox Catholic
theology, our complaints have basically fallen on deaf ears. The local
Archbishop, who received a copy of the letter and petitions, has remained
painfully silent, as has the area Catholic Education diocese coordinator.
Everywhere I go, I run into more young, vibrant, traditional Catholics,
most of them parents, who are fighting similar battles. If it's not with
the local Catholic school, then it's with their parish's liberal and
misguided D.R.E. or, worse yet, their parish priest. Our parish D.R.E.
instituted a "Lenten Meditation" series last Lent on Enneagrams - the
dangerous New Age voodoo which mixes occult with superstition and
numerology. Suffice it to say that anyone who's read up on the dangers of
enneagrams these days can tell you it doesn't mix with Catholicism. When
concerned parishioners wanted to give our new pastor the benefit of the
doubt and presented him with information about this perilous bit of New Age
nonsense, he simply ignored it, and the Lenten Series continued. Letters
informing the Archbishop of such anti-Catholic goings-on received the
expected and anticipated silence - the only response we seem to get in
continued cries for help.
As I look around, I see a growing number of battles being engaged on all
fronts. All of these battles are being fought by a courageously small
number of lay people. We are hard-pressed to find truly traditional
Catholic priests who are willing to step out in courage and give regular
sermons against abortion, birth control, homosexualtiy, and a variety of
other issues which are painfully ignored Sunday after Sunday in the
sermons. We had one traditional nun among the several who serve our parish.
She regularly attended Eucharistic Adoration and practiced the corporal
works of mercy. When our new pastor arrived, he promptly fired her,
stating there was no need for such a mission within our Church today.
There are a small number of wonderfully devoted priests and religious who
stand firm in tradition, and I do not mean to nullify these courageous few.
But in all honesty, the battles being waged around here against the
liberal Catholics (who often prefer to be called 'moderate') and the
frightening changes they seek to initiate upon our Church are being waged
and sustained by the lay people. I believe it is truly the laity who are
holding the Catholic Church together these days.
As I was speaking to another battle-weary mom from our parish who is
striving to keep Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration alive in a parish with
absolutely no support from the priests, she made a comment which said it
all: "I just want to be a MOM! - I'm tired of fighting all these battles!"
No truer words were ever spoken! So many of the laity that are in the
midst of conflicts are parents with young children. I know I also would
love to abandon the time and energy I devote in the struggles I fight and
just focus on my sweet gifts from God, my children. But, then again, I
guess it is for them that I continue to fight. It is for their Church, for
the authentic traditions and truths of the Roman Catholic Church, that I
will continue to fight.
God must really need the help of the laity these days. He keeps recruiting
folks like me, and I wonder what in the world He needs with a simple mom
from Kansas. But opportunities keep coming along in which He seems to ask
us to gear up for battle, to prepare to fight for those traditions and
truths of our Faith which are slowly fading away. If this job must now
fall primarily to the lay people, then so be it. We have to continue to
accept the challenges, fight the battles which are worth fighting, and
trusting that it is His Church, and we are only the humble instruments He
chooses to use to bring about change. But I can't help echoing the lament
of my friend, because all I really want to do is be a mom....
by Maria Compton-Hernandez
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"Remembering Mother" by Kathryn Ann Lively
"Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. It consists
in accepting, with a smile, what Jesus sends us."--Mother Teresa
The funeral is over, the television crew have packed up and left
Calcutta, and we are now expected to continue living our lives knowing
that perhaps one of the most influential figures of this century is no
longer here to further her causes for helping India's poor while
setting an example of holiness for us all. Mother Teresa has left us
in body but will always remain in spirit as one shining example of
someone who followed Christ's teachings : to gain eternal life, He was
once told a wealthy man, one must sell everything he owns, give the
money to the poor, and follow Him. Not many people in this day and age
would accept a challenge like that. Mother Teresa did exactly this,
and was the least of God's people on Earth. It comforts me to know
that in Heaven, she will be first.
There is a great push now for Mother's canonization. Personally, I
doubt she would have cared at all for the posthumous title "Saint", or
for the plethora of memorial sites popping up all over the Internet. I
suspect if she could contact us she would ask that we stop with the
virtual mourning and get out into the world and live our lives
according to Christ's Word--to love and serve Him and to help those
less fortunate than ourselves. For her sake, and for the sake of Jesus
Christ, I will try, but that does not mean that I won't cry a little
every time I realize she is not coming back.
To learn more about the blessed life of Mother Teresa, be sure to
explore these links :
Mother Teresa : a biography
(http://www.thomson.com/gale/teresa.html)--constructed as part of a
Women's History Month project Acension Research Center : Mother Teresa
(http://www.ascension-research.org/teresa.html)--a more detailed
biography with excerpts of Mother's writings Nobel Prize Internet
Archive : Mother Teresa
Nobel webpage Lifetime's Intimate Portrait : Mother Teresa
Quicktime video from the TV special of the same name Missionaries of
Charity (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/2960/mothert.htm)--a site
devoted to Mother's order
Check these out!
"Catholic Home Study Course" is on the net! Order materials and study at your own pace from home!
See their website at: http://www.amm.org/chss.htm
+ + +
See "The Catholic Mother's Internet Connection" website - voted one of the TOP 1% of Catholic Sites on the Net! http://www.qni.com/~catholic/mom.htm
+ + +
Check out www.cobweb.net/~dkeene for the Catholic Apologetics Network
homepage. It is great and lists many Catholic links.
+ + +
Awesome tribute to Mother Teresa! Go to: http://www.manzione.com/ATHENA/teresa.html
+ + +
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Youth G.I.F.T (Growing in Faith Together) Box
This Months Challenge: Personal Prayer, Getting Started
by Maggie Geeneby
God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. Prayer is how we
get that personal relationship. Getting good takes practice; you
wouldn't want to go into a basketball game without any practice. You
need to make daily prayer a habit. It doesn't have to be anything too
regimented, though prayers like the rosary are beautiful ways to keep in
touch. Try this simple 10 minutes of prayer every day.
Morning (five minutes):
Each morning go over your day with God. Talk about the things you have
planned, the places you will go, the challenges you will face, the people
you will come in contact with. Tell Him where you think you will need
His help. This is like putting on your safety gear before a game. End
your Morning Prayer with a short scripted prayer (the Our Father, The
Apostles Creed, etc)
Your morning prayer might sound like this: Father, today I take a
Biology quiz, and I didn't study very hard. Be with me during the quiz and
give me the courage to not cheat off the girl who sits in front of me.
Please help my friend Josh, he is trying to quit smoking. I start my
after-school job today; help me to learn everything I will have to know
to do it well. Keep my family and friends safe throughout this day. I
believe in God the Father … (say the Apostles Creed).
Evening (five minutes):
Each evening before you fall asleep, go back over your day and talk to
God about how you did, what you might have handled better, what you did
well, who you encountered. This is like a coaches conference to help you
learn to be more effective next time on the field. End your evening
prayer with a scripted prayer, too.
Your Evening Prayer might sound like this: Well, I made it through the
Biology quiz. I think I did okay, but help me to study better for the
next one. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be there with Josh at
lunch time to convince him not to smoke. My new job is great, I like the
people I work with, especially my new boss. Sorry I fought with my
little brother after dinner; it was really dumb, and made mom and dad
mad. I'll try harder to get along with him tomorrow. Our Father who art
in heaven . . . (say the Our Father).
Try this simple ten minute appointment with God every day for a month.
Convince a friend to be your prayer partner; you can remind each other to
keep your appointments. And remember, God is more likely to help you if
you ask for His help.
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