'BE STRONG WITH THE STRENGTH OF GOD'
Man Charged With Attacking Father
Charges To Be Filed in Incest Case
70-Year-Old Held in Old Abuse Case
Bookie Faces Trial in Wife's Murder
Jailed Mom Still Has Right to Kids
Mom Sentenced in Death of Girl's Ex
We are perhaps becoming immune to the frequent reports of murder, rape, adultery, incest, kidnapping, and other crimes of individuals against society-at-large. Most distressing however, is the increasing frequency with which these crimes are being seen WITHIN families.
In addition, in the United States women choose to end about 25% of their pregnancies through abortion. This is similar to the Canadian figure of 21%, but is much lower than that of the former Soviet Union (60%) and Romania (78%) where contraceptives are in short supply. In 1993 approximately 1.6 million abortions were performed in the United States as compared to about 4.0 million live births.
The number of divorces in America has increased nearly 200 percent in the last 30 years, while today, the percentage of people marrying is at an all-time low.
The rate at which teenagers are taking their own lives is increasing rapidly. Since 1960, the teen suicide rate has more than tripled. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among adolescents ---behind motor vehicle accidents and all other accidents.
Why is satan so ruthlessly stepping up his attacks against the family?
EXCERPT FROM LETTER TO FAMILIES FROM POPE JOHN PAUL II
"The history of mankind, the history of salvation, passes by way of the family. The family is placed at the centre of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love. To the family is entrusted the task of striving, first and foremost, to unleash the forces of good, the source of which is found in Christ the Redeemer of man. Every family unit needs to make these forces their own so that, to use a phrase spoken on the occasion of the Millennium of Christianity in Poland, the family will be 'strong with the strength of God'."
Meditation of Gianna Talone Sullivan, March 16, 2000:
"My dear little children, praise be Jesus!
There is so much suffering from disease in the world today little ones,especially in those who suffer from the AIDS epidemic.
The family unit is the victim of such suffering. Precious children are suffering and mothers feel they cannot protect them.
Mothers are suffering and children feel abandoned and alone.
Fathers are suffering from the loss of interior strength and ability to save their families.
Sons and daughters are suffering from the effects of rejection by society.
Satan would like to destroy the family unit through deception in the power of free choice, freedom and gender, and eliminate the role of woman as mother completely.
Only a woman can bear children, and the role of a mother can be filled only by a woman because she brings forth life.
The AIDS epidemic is a direct attack on the family unit, but God in His mercy shall prevail.
Many people may find it difficult to connect God's mercy to AIDS, and many may only see His mercy towards the precious souls who suffer from this disease, but truly the effect of this devastating virus is an act of God's mercy on the entire human race.
It is a reflection of the effect of sin on each human soul and portrays the struggle which occurs when the precious gift of life is denied from its inception.
It is an act of God's mercy, little ones, not an act of punishment.
To deny this truth would only spurn God's mercy.
Peace to you.
I bless you in His Holy name and I take your petitions to His merciful heart.
Thank you for listening.
Save the family by returning the dignity of motherhood to its proper place.
Save humanity. Thank you for responding to My call. AD DEUM"
(Rom 12:4-5) Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
The family unit serves many useful and important functions. Rather than discuss the more obvious roles of the family, I would like to highlight one particular role that may be of special importance for the times in which we live.
As Christian we are part of an even larger family which encompasses the Body of Christ. For many of us with close knit families, the idea of being part of a spiritual family is not difficult to understand. It is simply an extension of a relationship that now exists to one on a greater scale. Just as in the natural plane we have a father, mother and siblings these natural relationships can easily be extended to our relationship with the Father and our brothers and sisters in Christ. As Paul says:
(1 Cor 15:46) The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
Jesus Himself refers to this relationship between the natural and the spiritual in his conversation with Nicodemus:
(John 3:12) I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
As we walk in our daily relationships with our bodily family members we can receive valuable insights into our relationship to our heavenly family. The feeling of being "one body" in our earthly family extends readily to our being "one body" in Christ. In difficult times both our earthly and our spiritual families rally around one another to provide love and support. We are not orphans but instead blood bought .
(John 1:12-13) Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
By undermining family relationships satan successfuly shortcuts this vital spiritual link. As the family dissolves so gradually does the meaning of family. The "feeling" of family, both natural and spiritual wilts away as well. Cut off first from the natural and then the spiritual family, each isolated family member becomes an easy target for the next round of spiritual attacks.
(Rev 12:12) Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
As the devil's time rapidly
dwindles away, we are
seeing increasing tribulation throughout the world. Each day
new reports of wars, famines, earthquakes, fires and storms.
poor victims of these events, having often been stripped of normal
relationships, find themselves facing these imposing events virtually
This isolation, both physical and spiritual, increases the impact of
disasters and the desperation of the victims.
1) Fr. John Corapi-- An annointed preacher with a remarkable life story: from Green Beret ,to businessman, to millionaire, to multi-millionaire, to drug addict, to streetperson, to priest. His tapes reveal amazing insights into spiritual warfare gained through his unique personal experiences and fervent meditations. Request catalogue online at http://www.fathercorapi.com/.
2) Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis- Insightful book available online at http://www.bn.com.
3) Catholic One Year Bible- Jesus sets example of using the "sword of the Spirit" in his temptation (Matt. Chapter 4). Also available online at http://www.bn.com.
What can we do?
1) We must realize the spiritual nature of the battle we are waging. Be attentive!
(Eph 6:11-12) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Practical application: When negative events occur in your family or in families around you, understand the spiritual force behind these actions. Realize the origin of the hurtful action or word is not your family member but satan himself.
2) Realize the evil of the times in which we live and refuse to participate in evil.
(Eph 6:13-16) Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Practical application: Stand firm! We must be in this world but not of this world. We are called to be a separate people. (Heb 13:6) So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
3) Pray! Pray! Pray!
(Eph 6:16) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Practical application: Pray! In particular we should make good use of Padre Pio's "weapon", the Rosary. We need to intercede for marriages, families, the unborn, the suicidal, the victims of disasters, and for evangelists who are spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
4) Forgive those who have sinned against you.
(Luke 22:31) "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
(Mat 6:12) Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Practical application: Understand that if not for the grace of God, it would be you commiting the sin and not the perpetrator. Acknowledge the many times that you have fallen victim to the evil one. Taste and savor the peace of forgiveness.
5) Realize that the ultimate victory belongs to the Lamb and His followers.
(John 16:33) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
(Rom 8:35-39) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Rev 20:10) And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
application: We are living out
history in a manner analogous to characters in a book that has already
been written or a movie that has already been played. The
is certain. Be not afraid!!!
Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus