"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
Bishop Roger Foys of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, joins Notre Dame Academy students Katie Kubala, Laura Caldon, Anna Walsh, Nicole Rapier, and Theresa Summe at the 2004 March for Life in Washington D.C.
Children Are Focus Of Pope's Lenten Message
Mary Leads Suffering to Jesus
In Defense of Life: The Test of Our Greatness
Just a Few Thoughts
Prison to Praise: A Story I Heard Of
A New Creation: Monsignor Ralph Beiting
Pray the News
The condition of children is the focus of Pope John Paul II's Lenten message for 2004. In his message dated December 8, 2003, the Pope said:
"The evocative rite of the imposition of ashes marks the beginning of the holy season of Lent, when the Liturgy once more calls the faithful to radical conversion and trust in God's mercy.
"This year's theme – 'Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.' (Mt 18:5) – invites us to reflect on the condition of children. Today Jesus continues to call them to Himself and to set them as an example to all those who wish to be His disciples. Jesus' words call upon us to see how children are treated in our families, in civil society, and in the Church. They are also an incentive to rediscover the simplicity and trust which believers must cultivate in imitation of the Son of God, Who shared the lot of the little ones and the poor. Saint Clare of Assisi loved to say that Christ, 'lay in a manger, lived in poverty on the earth, and died naked on the Cross' (Testament, Franciscan Sources, No. 2841).
"Jesus had a particular love for children because of 'their simplicity, their joy of life, their spontaneity, and their faith filled with wonder' (Angelus Message, December 18, 1994). For this reason He wishes the community to open its arms and its heart to them, even as He did: 'Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me' (Mt. 18:5). Alongside children Jesus sets the 'very least of the brethren': the suffering, the needy, the hungry and thirsty, strangers, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. In welcoming them and loving them, or in treating them with indifference and contempt, we show our attitude towards Him, for it is in them that He is particularly present.
"The Gospel recounts the childhood of Jesus in the simple home of Nazareth, where He was obedient to His parents and 'increased in wisdom and in years, and in favor with God and man' (Lk 2:52). By becoming Himself a child, He wished to share our human experience. 'He emptied Himself,' writes the Apostle Paul, 'taking the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross' (Phil 2:7-8). When at twelve years old He remained in the Temple in Jerusalem, He said to His parents who anxiously looked for Him: 'How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father's house?' (Lk 2:49). Indeed, His whole life was marked by a trusting and filial obedience to His heavenly Father. 'My food," He said, 'is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to accomplish His work' (Jn 4:34).
"In the years of His public life Jesus often insisted that only those who become like children will enter the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Mt 18:3; Mk 10:15; Lk 18:17; Jn 3:3). In His teaching, young children become a striking image of the disciple who is called to follow the divine Master with childlike docility: 'Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven' (Mt 18:4).
"'To become' one of the least and 'to receive' the little ones: these are two aspects of a single teaching which the Lord repeats to His disciples in our time. Only the one who makes himself one of the 'least' is able to receive with love the 'least' of our brothers and sisters.
"Many believers strive faithfully to follow these teachings of the Lord. Here I would mention those parents who willingly take on the responsibility of a large family, mothers and fathers who, rather than considering success in their profession and career as the highest value, make every effort to pass on to their children those human and religious values that give true meaning to life.
"With great admiration I also think of all those committed to caring for underprivileged children and those who alleviate the sufferings of children and their families resulting from war and violence, inadequate food and water, forced immigration, and the many forms of injustice present in the world.
"Together with such great generosity, however, a word must be said about the selfishness of those who do not 'receive' children. There are young people who have been profoundly hurt by the violence of adults: sexual abuse, forced prostitution, involvement in the sale and use of drugs; children forced to work or enlisted for combat; young children scarred forever by the breakup of the family; little ones caught up in the obscene trafficking of organs and persons. What too of the tragedy of AIDS and its devastating consequences in Africa? It is said that millions of persons are now afflicted by this scourge, many of whom were infected from birth. Humanity cannot close its eyes in the face of so appalling a tragedy!
"What evil have these children done to merit such suffering? From a human standpoint it is not easy, indeed it may be impossible, to answer this disturbing question. Only faith can make us begin to understand so profound an abyss of suffering. By becoming 'obedient unto death, even death on a Cross' (Phil 2:8), Jesus took human suffering upon Himself and illuminated it with the radiant light of His resurrection. By His death, He conquered death once for all.
"During Lent, we prepare to relive the Paschal Mystery, which sheds the light of hope upon the whole of our existence, even its most complex and painful aspects. Holy Week will again set before us this mystery of salvation in the evocative rites of the Easter Triduum.
"Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us set out with trust on our Lenten journey, sustained by fervent prayer, penance, and concern for those in need. In particular, may this Lent be a time of ever greater concern for the needs of children, in our own families and in society as a whole: for they are the future of humanity.
"With childlike simplicity let us turn to God and call Him, as Jesus taught us in the prayer of the 'Our Father,' 'Abba,' 'Father.'
"Our Father! Let us repeat this prayer often during Lent; let us repeat it with deep emotion. By calling God 'Our Father,' we will better realize that we are His children and feel that we are brothers and sisters of one another. Thus it will be easier for us to open our hearts to the little ones, following the invitation of Jesus: 'Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me' (Mt 18:5).
"In this hope, I invoke upon each of you God's blessings, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Word of God made man and Mother of all humanity."
Prayer: Father, may we welcome children, strangers, the marginalized, and suffering in Your name. May we greatly grow in holiness this Lent.
The World Day of the Sick was observed on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. In his message for the day, Pope John Paul II said:
"The World Day of the Sick, an event held on a different continent each year, takes on a singular meaning this time. Indeed, it will take place in Lourdes, France, site of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin on February 11, 1858, which since that time has become the destination of many pilgrimages. In that mountainous region, Our Lady wished to demonstrate her maternal love, especially towards the suffering and the sick. Since then, she continues to be present through her solicitude.
"This Shrine was chosen because in 2004 is the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. It was on December 8, 1854, with the Dogmatic Bull Ineffabilis Deus that my Predecessor, Bl. Pius IX of happy memory, affirmed that 'the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God' (DS, 2803). At Lourdes, speaking in the native dialect, Mary said: 'Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou' (I am the Immaculate Conception).
"With these words, did not the Blessed Virgin wish to express the link that unites her to health and to life? If death entered the world because of original sin, by the merits of Jesus Christ, God preserved Mary free from every stain of sin, and salvation and life came to us (cf. Rom 5:12-21).
"The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception introduces us into the heart of the mystery of Creation and Redemption (cf. Eph 1:4-12; 3:9-11). God wanted to give life in abundance to the human creature (cf. Jn 10:10), on the condition, however, that His initiative would be met by a free and loving response. Man tragically cut off vital dialogue with the Creator, refusing this gift with the disobedience that led to sin. To the 'yes' of God, source of the fullness of life, the 'no' of man was placed in opposition, motivated by proud self-sufficiency, harbinger of death (cf. Rom 5:19).
"Entire humanity was heavily involved in this closure towards God. In view of Christ's merits, only Mary of Nazareth was conceived without original sin and was completely open to the divine design so that the Heavenly Father was able to accomplish in her the project that He had for mankind.
"The Immaculate Conception introduces the harmonious interlacing between the 'yes' of God and the 'yes' that Mary pronounced without reserve when the angel brought the heavenly announcement (cf. Lk 1:38). Her 'yes' in the name of humanity re-opened the doors of Heaven to the world, thanks to the Incarnation of the Word of God in her womb by the work of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1:35). In this way, the original project of creation was restored and strengthened in Christ; the Virgin Mother also shares in this project.
"The keystone of history lies here: with the Immaculate Conception of Mary began the great work of Redemption that was brought to fulfillment in the precious blood of Christ. In Him, every person is called to achieve the perfection of holiness (cf. Col 1:28).
"The Immaculate Conception is therefore, the promising dawn of the radiant day of Christ, Who with His death and Resurrection was to restore full harmony between God and humanity. If Jesus is the source of life that conquers death, Mary is the attentive mother who comes to meet the needs of her children, obtaining for them the health of soul and body. This is the message that the Shrine of Lourdes constantly re-proposes to the devout and to pilgrims. This is also the meaning behind the healings of body and spirit that take place at the grotto of Massabielle.
"On that site, since the day of the apparition to Bernadette Soubirous, Mary has 'healed' pain and sickness, also restoring many of her sons and daughters to health of body. She has worked much more surprising miracles, however, in the souls of believers, preparing them for the encounter with her Son Jesus, the authentic answer to the deepest expectations of the human heart. The Holy Spirit, Who covered her with His shadow at the moment of the Incarnation of the Word, transforms the soul of countless sick people who turn to her. Even when they do not obtain the gift of bodily health, they are able to receive another that is much more important: the conversion of heart, source of peace and interior joy. This gift transforms their existence and makes them apostles of the Cross of Christ, standard of hope, even amid the hardest and most difficult trials.
"In the Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, I noted that suffering belongs to the ups and downs of men and women throughout history, who must learn to accept and go beyond it (cf. n. 2: [February 11, 1984]; L'Osservatore Romano English Edition [ORE], February 20, p. 1). And yet how can they, if not thanks to the Cross of Christ?
"In the death and Resurrection of the Redeemer human suffering finds its deepest meaning and its saving value. All of the weight of humanity's affliction and pain is summarized in the mystery of a God Who, taking on our human nature, was humiliated 'for our sake. . .to be sin' (2 Cor 5:21).
On Golgotha He was burdened with the sin of every human creature, and in solitude and abandonment He called out to the Father: 'Why have You forsaken Me?' (Mt 27:46).
"From the paradox of the Cross springs the answer to our most worrying questions. Christ suffers for us. He takes upon Himself the sufferings of everyone and redeems them. Christ suffers with us, enabling us to share our pain with Him. United to the suffering of Christ, human suffering becomes a means of salvation; this is why the believer can say with St. Paul: 'Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church' (Col 1:24). Pain, accepted with faith, becomes the doorway to the mystery of the Lord's redemptive suffering; a suffering that no longer takes away peace and happiness since it is illuminated by the splendor of the Resurrection.
Mary's unique participation in the salvific mission of Christ
"At the foot of the Cross Mary, made Mother of humanity, suffers in silence, participating in her Son's suffering, ready to intercede so that every person may obtain salvation (cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris [February 11, 1984] n. 25; ORE, February 20, 1984, p. 6).
"At Lourdes, it is not difficult to understand Mary's unique participation in the salvific role of Christ. The prodigy of the Immaculate Conception reminds believers of a fundamental truth: it is possible to reach salvation only through docile participation in the project of the Father, Who wanted to redeem the world through the death and Resurrection of His only-begotten Son. Through Baptism, the believer becomes part of this design of salvation and is freed from original sin. Sickness and death, although present in earthly existence, lose their negative sense, and in the light of faith, corporal death, overcome by Christ's death (cf. Rom 6:4), becomes the required passage for entering the fullness of immortal life.
Health workers in the field of pastoral care serve life
"In our time, great progress has been made in the scientific understanding of life, a fundamental gift of God of which we are the administrators. Life is to be welcomed, respected, and defended from its beginning until its natural end; the family, cradle of each newborn life, must be protected with it.
"Today, 'genetic engineering' is spoken of, referring to the extraordinary possibility that modern science offers to intervene in the very sources of life. Every authentic progress in this field is to be encouraged, provided that it always respects the rights and dignity of the person from his or her conception. Indeed, no one can claim the right to destroy or indiscriminately manipulate the life of the human being. A specific duty of workers in the field of Health Pastoral Care is to sensitize those who work in this delicate sector so that they always engage to put themselves at the service of life.
On the occasion of the World Day of the Sick, I wish to thank all of the members of Health Pastoral Care, especially the Bishops from the different Episcopal Conferences who help in this sector; the chaplains, parish priests, and the other priests who are engaged in this field; the religious orders and congregations; volunteers and those who do not tire of offering a consistent witness to the death and Resurrection of the Lord in the face of suffering, pain, and death.
"I would like to extend my gratitude to health-care workers, medical and paramedical personnel, researchers – especially those dedicated to discovering new treatments – and to those employed in the production of medicines to be made available also to the poor.
"I entrust all of you to the Most Holy Virgin, venerated at the Shrine of Lourdes as the Immaculate Conception. May she help every Christian to witness that the only authentic answer to pain, suffering, and death is Christ our Lord, Who died and rose for us. . ."
Fred H. Summe, vice president of Northern Kentucky Right to Life
As the 2004 elections heat up, there is one issue which keeps demanding a significant amount of attention in all federal and state elections: abortion. It's been over 30 years since Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision by which the intentional destruction of unborn children went from a hideous crime to a "constitutional right."
Let us again review what an abortion is and why this issue must be the ultimate issue of our times.
It is a Child
That human life begins at the moment of fertilization (the union of the egg and sperm) is a well established scientific fact disputed by no one, not even those in favor of legalized abortion.
Abortion is the deliberate destruction of an unborn child in the mother's womb. Since 1973, there have been no criminal penalties for destroying an unborn baby anytime or for any reason up to the time of birth.
It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, over 45 million unborn children have been put to death through legalized abortion. Now, one-third of all babies conceived experience this painful death.
But aren't there "good reasons" which justify abortion?
Less than even one-percent of abortions are performed for the reason of saving a woman's life, or because a woman became pregnant by rape or incest, or that a woman feared her child would be deformed.
Are there real-life situations where the mother would die if she would carry her child to term, but would live if she destroyed her child by abortion?
"In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother's life," stated former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D., world renowned pediatric surgeon at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The women who have conceived a child by the violent act of rape or by incest need understanding, encouragement, and support by family, friends, and the entire community. An abortion cannot and will not remove the suffering from such trauma, nor cause the woman to forget such acts.
Fred Summe provided this photo of a Pro-Life Rosary Procession held in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"Now let's look at the symptoms of an abortion. The woman feels dirty, guilty, sexually violated, down on herself, angry, and fearful or hateful towards men; she may experience sexual dysfunction or a loss of control of her life – all the same symptoms.
"So instead of curing the problem, we are intensifying the same symptoms by offering abortion. Abortion, then, is a 'cure' that only aggravates the problem." David C. Reardon, Director of Eliot Institute for Social Sciences Research.
Many pregnancies may be unwanted, but there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
If a candidate agreed with you on every issue, but supported the legalization of slavery or the legalization of child abuse and argued he was personally opposed, but he would not impose his morality on others, would you vote for him? Would he disqualify himself from your support and vote regardless of the office he was seeking?
Abortion is the ultimate child abuse and is the disqualifying issue of our times.
In the U.S., the responsibility for the continuation of abortion on demand, rests, in the final analysis, with the voters, especially those to whom God has bestowed the Christian faith and the clear consistent teaching of the Catholic Church. It is on us that the survival of our nation depends. As Pope John Paul II warned:
"This is the dignity of America, the reason she exists, the condition for her survival – yes, the ultimate test of her greatness: to respect every human person, especially the weakest and most defenseless ones, those as yet unborn."
Prayer: Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Give us pure, repentant hearts. May a great and ferventprayer rise up for America.
Just a few thoughts about rules and regulations.
We're all faced with a multitude of rules every day. We have
rules at home, rules on the road, and rules at work. These policies range from
hard and fast to just guidelines, but all are designed to make things fair and
safe for everyone involved.
You might have a rule that no one answers the phone during dinner time. The logic of course is that meal time should be reserved for the family. There isn't anything too important that it can't wait another twenty minutes or so. Nearly everybody has an answering machine so the caller can leave a message. Even without a machine, they can call back if the communication is essential.
The State of Ohio has lots of regulations for their roads. Everyone in a vehicle
is required to wear a seat belt. This means you! Whether you are the driver or a
passenger, you must wear a safety restraint. Children are required to be in a
car seat until they are both four years old and forty pounds. Not three and a
half and forty or five and thirty-five but four and forty.
Too many people believe that rules are made for someone else. Many believe that they don't have to follow the rules because disobeying them doesn't hurt anyone but themselves. But like my daughter said, "If you don't wear your seat belt and you get thrown through the windshield, you'll leave a very unhappy family." Ignoring regulations has an effect on others whether you believe it or not. Rules are for EVERYONE. Right turn only lanes, stop signs, turn signals, and speed limits are for the safety of us all.
All parking lots are required to have handicap spaces so that individuals with physical limitations will have an easier time. These spots are reserved for drivers or passengers who are going to enter a building. They are NOT for able-bodied people who are only going to be in the store for "just a minute." Neither are they for a person along for the ride who goes in to pick something up for the handicapped driver. When a driver with limitations parks in this space and sends someone else into the establishment, it leaves one less spot for a wheelchair-bound person. Yes, this rule applies to YOU.
But what if you think a rule is wrong; what do you do then? Take that age/pound rule for children riding in cars. It's possible that a small child won't weigh forty pounds until she's in the second or third grade. How will that little one like to be seen showing up for school and getting out of a car seat? She'll probably be embarrassed but embarrassment is much better than injury. If you really disagree with the decree, work to have it changed.
How about a handicapped parking spot? Even after you park, there
are still three more spots and you're only going to pick up a six pack. Right is
right and rules are made to be followed by all. An extra thirty feet of footwork
won't kill you. "No Turn on Red" signs don't apply to you; you can see clearly
and it won't hurt this one time. Wrong. Rules are NOT made to be broken.
Currently, Ohio requires an individual to be twenty-one years of age before they may purchase or possess alcoholic beverages. But it's no surprise to anyone that there's a lot of underage drinking in these parts. Many teenagers think that this is the worst rule in the world. They can handle beer and who is the government to tell them when they can start drinking anyway? Well, I can't say I completely disagree with them as I know plenty of thirty year olds that aren't mature enough to drink responsibly. The lawmakers made this law some time ago though and have volumes of reports to verity that before twenty-one, the large majority can't handle the results or responsibility of alcohol.
So even though you may not agree with every rule and regulation imposed upon you, rest assured it is there for your welfare. Follow the laws or work to change them but please don't ignore them; they apply to all of us. Thanks, Rita and Christina, my seat belt is fastened.
Just a few thoughts.
by Tyrone Thomas
(Editor's note: Mr. Thomas writes from Michigan. We welcome contributions from prisoners. We would like to hear from a variety of prisoners.)
is a story I heard of,
Back when I was just a wee lad.
About angels singing up above,
It was told to me by my Dad.
I was told the streets were paved with gold,
In a most wonderful place called heaven.
I remember the story even though now I'm old,
Back then, I was maybe six or seven.
Dad said that, "Heaven was a place
Where you never have to pay any bills."
He said heaven was warm as a child's embrace.
So wonderful, so beautiful and so real.
He said there was a river that rhymes.
A sweet place flowing with milk and honey.
There was not the slightest notion of crime,
And souls spent love like it was money.
Now Dad is gone but I'll see him
So he can tell me the rest of the story.
Then with the angels I will be friends,
And live eternity filled with glory.
by Susan Seta
"So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come." — 2 Cor 5:17
When asked in the first grade what he'd like to be when he grew up, Fr. Ralph Beiting promptly responded, "I want to be Pope!" And as can be seen from his letter featured in last month's "New Creation" column, Fr. Beiting has a lot of the same fierce dedication to God's people as does a pope. After having just celebrated his 80th birthday with almost fifty-five of those years being spent in the service of God's kingdom, Fr. Beiting is still a dynamo who breathes new life through his countless works of love fueled by years of faithfulness in prayer. He is a mighty man of God whose life's work inspires and lifts us all.
Fr. Beiting was born into a large Catholic family being the oldest of seven boys and four girls. He remembers having a desire to serve Mass as a youngster because he wanted to be close to the Eucharist. In high school he had aspirations of being an architect. The priest who was the assistant principal of his school had different ideas. He thought that this young high school student should be a priest. The priest asked him to pray about it and try to go to Mass everyday. This was no small request for in order for Fr. Ralph to accomplish that, he had to get up extra early to milk the cows before going to Mass and school. He also had to hitch a ride into town. Somehow he was able to accomplish that and after about six months or so, Fr. Ralph thought that the priesthood "might be okay." Arrangements were made for him to meet the bishop and soon the young man had a new focus. He was blessed with a mentor who accepted only the highest of expectations and Fr. Ralph graduated from school as valedictorian with the highest grade average.
High standards were instilled in Fr. Ralph over and over again. He remembers working for his grandfather who was working on woodwork in a church. This particular piece of wood was in a place that could be seen by no one. Fr. Ralph recalls that his grandfather sent him high upon a ladder to work on fitting two parts of the wooden structure together. When asked how they were fitting, the young man replied to his grandfather that it fit well enough. Nobody was going to see them. "Well," his grandfather answered him, "you've seen it. I've seen it. And, most importantly, God sees it! If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Second best isn't good enough!" With that, the elderly man climbed up the ladder and made the two pieces of wood fit together perfectly. Fr. Beiting took those lessons and applied them to all he did in his life.
Fr. Beiting entered the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1949. His first assignment was to teach at a small school in an urban area not far from where he grew up. That ministry was to last only a year. It didn't take long for the Lord to call Fr. Beiting to his life's work. As a young seminarian he had been assigned to an area in the eastern part of Kentucky where Catholics were few and not very welcome. He helped teach Bible school to children whom they picked up on Monday morning and returned them home on Friday evening. In addition to teaching, work projects such as restoring old buildings, caring for people's physical needs, and so on were all part of the work. Being involved with outdoor, street corner type preaching was an experience like no other the young man had ever had. He was hooked! God had given the young man a special heart for the area and its people. Fr. Beiting fell in love and was to live out that love for more than fifty years. When he was assigned there at such an early point in his priesthood, he was more than overjoyed. Being assigned on the Feast of the Holy Rosary, Fr. Beiting developed a special relationship with the Blessed Mother. He has felt her care over him for many years.
He had nothing but an old rundown house to begin his ministry and a neighbor who was a lawyer who started circulating a petition to get him out of town. Only one out of every thousand was Catholic. In the following years Fr. Ralph threw his heart into his work. He built ten churches and was instrumental in the planning and raising monies for many more. He continued his preaching of God's word in an outdoor setting. He has traveled countless miles taking care of the vast area that was under his care. He labored hard in the field of ecumenism. The number of homes he has helped repair reaches into the thousands. He has provided an unbelievable amount of goods to those in need. He has taught, preached, provided sacraments, and brought hope to a neglected people. He has faced persecution and discrimination. His jobs are too numerous to list. Everything he has done has been fueled with great devotion in prayer and sacrifice. He recalls many years where he was the only one present at his own Masses. He has hosted thousands of volunteers from outside the area and has helped to lead what is largely a youth-oriented group to find that inner satisfaction one has in giving to others. He has been instrumental in leading those "who have much" to give to those who have little. His life's work is impossible to even sum up in that there is so much to recount it would take pages way beyond these few modest words. His letter featured last month spoke so simply and eloquently of a day in the life. So much does he accomplish, so many to whom does he minister, it makes one's head spin. Fr. Beiting has impacted so many lives on such profound levels that only God Himself could hold them.
Fr. Beiting is an inspiration beyond compare. His energy and his capacity to love are truly sensational. He prays hard and applies himself to all he does in a way few do. He is truly a dynamo of life and love. His perseverance is truly God's remarkable gift. His loyalty has blessed countless. His natural abilities as well as supernatural gifts have been given back to God many times over. A good steward he is of all that God has given him. The multiplication of those blessings will go on and will continue throughout all eternity. He brings Christ to others in the most profound of ways. He has declared that, like Mary, he is God's servant. "With God I can do all things," states this amazing man. He goes on to say that with that power there is "no reason not to hope." And hope is the foremost gift that Fr. Ralph has given to countless others. We know that "Hope will not disappoint for the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit that has been given to us" (Rom 5:5). We thank You, Father, for the hope You have poured into the heart of this mighty servant of Yours. May he continue to be blessed and prosper in all that he does!
Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com