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October, 1997



Welcome to Totally Catholic E-zine, the newest Email magazine designed 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 Heavens.

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 above them!

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 ear.

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

(http://www.nobelprizes.com/nobel/peace/1979a.html)--the official Nobel webpage Lifetime's Intimate Portrait : Mother Teresa

(http://www.lifetimetv.com/tv/Intimate/teresa.htm)--excerpts and 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





RECOMMENDED LINKS!

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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