* Fatima and the Appointed Time
* Why Genetic Adam and Genetic Eve Never Met
* The Miracle of the Sun
* Lourdes in America
* Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary Leads Us Into the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist
* An Era of Great Popes
* Why I Built a Fatima Family Center in Alabama
* Eucharist Offering of Christ Includes Universe
* True Account of a Pharmacist Who Gave Up Selling Birth Control Pills Because They Kill Human Life
* Questions & Answers
* Fatima Family Forum
* News Briefs & Comments
* Editorial - What Awaits You in this Issue
What Awaits You in this Issue
In this issue you will discover how Science is in harmony with Church teaching on such basics as when human life begins and that abortion at any stage is murder of human life. You will discover also, with a scientific explanation, that while we are all descendants of Adam and Eve according to the Bible and Church teachings, we are likewise descendants of Noah as a common ancestor. A molecular biologist helps us out there. Read: "Why Genetic Adam and Genetic Eve ever Met". If this surprises you, get out your Bible to re-read Genesis.
Readers of the Immaculate Heart Messenger are well informed that every Sacrifice of the Mass perpetuates the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and also brings us the Real Presence of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But that the Eucharistic celebration of the Mass includes "the entire universe praising God" will doubtlessly widen the vision of the Eucharist for many. For that you will need to read: "Eucharist: Offering of Christ Includes the Universe" in this issue. On the first Sunday of Advent Fr. Benedict Groeschell in his Eternal Word Television show "Sunday Night Live" interviewd me on the book: "Eucharist: Heaven and Earth Unite". His program has the highest ratings of EWTN's 24 hour daily telecasts. Mother Angelica writes the preface for that book and they tell me it goes well here at the Most Blessed Sacrament Shrine store. It is my great delight that I could write an entire book on the Eucharist for my final book as an author after writing hundreds of articles on multiple subjects and at least 50 books during the past half century.
As you read this issue, I'm about to enter my 54th year since ordination. After more than five decades striving to live Christ's holy priesthood, the deeper meaning of the Eucharist becomes an ever greater reality and mystery of love in my heart that I know embraces the infinite. I can thus better appreciate why St. John Vianney, patron of priests, said that if one ever fully understood the Mass, he would die of delight. One then would not be able to live on the earth in this life as we now do. I'm grasping more clearly what he meant. The Eucharist is about leading us to heaven, giving us eternal life, to live forever in both soul and with a glorified immortal body (John 6:52-59). In the recently released "Eucharist" book I share the fruit of my decades of striving to live Christ's priesthood.
You will read in this issue how a pharmacist learned what Pharmacy School never taught him; that abortion pills operate in such a way that they can, and often do, kill human life. He wrestled with his conscience for years. He finally informed his many customers that his pharmacy store would no longer sell birth control pills and why. He made national news on television, "The World Tonight" and some major newspapers. That same pharmacist is now writing a book on the subject and he writes in this issue of the Messenger. Don't miss it. Hopefully many other pharmacists will read it as well. Consider giving your pharmacist a copy to read.
The good, the true and the beautiful are what endure always. Dr. Rupert J. Ederer presents his third in a series on "Era of Great Popes" in this issue. Dr. Ederer received from the Society of Catholic Social Scientists the 1997 Pius XI Award for contributions toward the building of a true Catholic social science. His series has demonstrated that tempests raging in modern times, as they have but few times previously in the 2000-year history of the Catholic Church, have had no destructive effect on the Rock of the papacy. On the contrary, saintly-pope-after-saintly-pope, have guided and directed the faithful to the true light that shines in the darkness.
Having lived during the papacy of a fair number of these recent popes, of whose lives Ederer gives a magnificent summary, his "Era of Great Modern Popes", has been for me like a review of my 81 years of Catholic life. He began with Bl. Pius IX, Pope Leo XIII, St. Pope Pius X. It seems that Leo XIII (1878-1903) will one day also be named among papal Blesseds. Leo wrote 85 encyclicals, 11 of them on the holy Rosary. He gave us the Prayer to St. Michael after a vision of our evil times the world was then entering. In this issue Ederer summarizes the lives of Venerable Paul VI, Ven. John Paul I, Ven. John Paul II, and finally Benedict XVI who governs the Church today. I was taught in the seminary that it was essential for a priest to study all encyclicals issued by the Pope so as to think with the Church.
This issue tells us again of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, the miracle that gave credibility to the appearances of the Mother of God in 1917 to the three little shepherd children in Portugal. I felt the importance of relating this account at this time. I've realized that there are many who have never read, or perhaps even heard, of this miracle which vies with great biblical miracles. I've talked in past decades to Portuguese people who were present that October 13, 1917. You will also read in this issue about "Fatima and the Appointed Time" for the year 1917 was a seminal point in history of many events that affect us yet today.
The 150th anniversary of the Lourdes apparitions of the Mother of God is now honored in a special way here at Mother Angelica's Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama. On Oct. 7, 2008, Feast of the Holy Rosary, a magnificent Lourdes Grotto was solemnly dedicated and blessed by Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham. Brother Bernardo was there with his camera that day to take as many pictures as possible. He gave me 50 of the best of his 150 pictures. Thus I share with you in this issue the best of his best.
Finally, a few words about our Forum letters and the future. I am grateful and was deeply touched by many who wrote after the last issue; people placing my health into their prayers, even having Masses offered for this intention. I'd love to acknowledge each letter but I've slowed down. You will find but a few sample letters in the Forum. I read and treasure each letter sent to me, each promise of prayerful remembrances. I've slowed down but continue to do all as before, including editing this issue. My greatest joy is to be able still to offer Mass daily in the lower church of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I try to be realistic in joy of the Holy Spirit so the future of this Apostolate and magazine continue. Thus I am no longer an officer of the Fatima Family Apostolate as of last summer. I'll continue to write as long as possible. John C. Preiss, contributing Editor, explains what is happening in his article: "Why I Built a Fatima Family Center in Alabama". RJF