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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

Dating - What's Too Far?

In today's culture it often seems as though dating has become more of a common past-time and less a search for a suitable marriage partner. Because of this, along with the general decline of moral standards in society, it is often the case that unmarried couples become so physically involved with one another that they can no longer clearly see what is appropriate and modest behavior before God. This is unfortunate, because it is difficult to discern a life-long marriage partner when the eyes of the couple are clouded by uncontrolled sexual passions and desires.


Among dating couples who do desire to live in the grace of God, some of the common questions asked are, "What are we allowed to do?" "Have we gone too far?" "Have we sinned?" There are some general rules that unmarried couples should abide by in order to foster the virtues of chastity, charity and self-control in the relationship so that the couple can truly come to know one another and God's Will for them.

First of all, we must look at the actions of the couple itself.
There are two very different kinds of actions.

Directly Stimulating Actions

The first is the action that is, by its very nature, so closely related to the sexual desires that they serve no other purpose except to stimulate and arouse the persons involved. Some examples of these would be: prolonged and passionate kissing, impure embracing or petting, and sexual intercourse.

These actions are always gravely wrong between unmarried people, and no "good intention" can ever make them right. If the action is committed intentionally and with sufficient reflection, then it is a mortal sin. If there is no reflection, as can happen sometimes when an impure action occurs without any forethought or intention at all, one does not sin mortally. However, it does not change the fact that the act itself was gravely wrong and one should be very careful not to let it happen again.

Indirectly Stimulating Actions

The second kind of action is anything that is in and of itself morally good or neutral, which does not have as its sole purpose the stimulation of the sexual passions. Some examples of these would be: dancing with a boyfriend/girlfriend, holding hands, kissing, affectionate or friendly embracing. While these acts are good or neutral in and of themselves and serve another purpose entirely, they can still have the effect of causing one to become aroused.

Is this then sinful? For every person, the answer can be different, according to his or her intent for doing the action.

Impure Intent

Any boy who has the intention of dancing with a girl in order to become aroused, or in order to arouse her, has already sinned against chastity and charity even though the dance itself might have been morally neutral. His intent was impure. Another example would be if that same boy found that while affectionately embracing his girlfriend he became aroused, and he continued to embrace her with the intent of further arousing himself or arousing her, even though the embrace itself was nothing at all impure.

Pure Intent

The boy who modestly kisses a girl and becomes aroused, but does not intend the arousal has not sinned even venially. Nor does he sin if he remains aroused, but does not will or desire the arousal. However, as soon as he begins to enjoy the arousal or desire it, then it is time to stop whatever action is causing the arousal, even if it is a morally good or neutral action. To continue would be to commit sin.

Near Occasions of Sin

Since people are different, different things can be for them near occasions of sin. By near occasion of sin we mean anything that "sets the stage" TO sin. For example, a couple may know from experience that every time they sit alone in the dark watching movies, the situation between them almost always tends to "go too far." For the sake of their souls then, it would be prudent for them to watch movies with the lights on, or with other friends in the room.

What if they continue doing what they know causes them to sin gravely? Then that too would be sinful, since intentionally putting oneself in an occasion of sin is a sign that one is willing to flirt with disaster - one is willing to sin, if it "just happens."

There are three basic things to keep in mind while dating:

Never seek out anything solely for the pleasure it brings to us. To do these would be a violation of chastity because we lack control of our sexual desires and appetites, and a violation of charity because we see the other person as an object to our pleasure.

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YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS

TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
ROSARY FATIMA JUDE

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

OCTOBER 1
ST. THERESA OF THE CHILD JESUS

St. Theresa, often called the Little Flower, was born in Normandy, France, in 1873. She was the youngest of the five daughters born to Louis and..Read More »

OCTOBER 3
ST. GERARD OF BROGNE

St. Gerard was born at the end of the ninth century in France. Read More »

OCTOBER 4
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

St. Francis was born around 1181. As a young man in his Italian hometown of Assisi. Read More »

OCTOBER 6
ST. BRUNO

St. Bruno was born around 1030. This founder of the Carthusian..Read More »

OCTOBER 6
BLESSED MARIE ROSE DUROCHER

Blessed Eulalie Durocher was born in 1811 in Quebec, Canada.Read More »

OCTOBER 7
OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

It was St. Dominic in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries who encouraged everyone to say the Rosary.Read More »

OCTOBER 8
ST. SIMEON

St. Simeon lived in the first century. In Luke's Gospel, chapter two.Read More »

OCTOBER 9
ST. DENIS AND COMPANIONS

St. Denis is very popular in France. In fact, he is considered the patron saint of France.Read More »

OCTOBER 9
ST. JOHN LEONARDI

St. JOhn was born in 1541and became a pharmacist in Lucca, Italy. Read More »

OCTOBER 10
ELEVEN MARTYRS OF ALMERIA, SPAIN

The Spanish civil war began in 1936. It has been described as a struggle between atheism and belief in God. Read More »

OCTOBER 11
ST. KENNETH

St. Kenneth who is sometimes called St. Canice or Kenny, lived in the..Read More »

OCTOBER 12
ST. FELIX AND ST. CYPRIAN

Sts. Felix and Cyprian were African bishops who lived in the fifth..Read More »

OCTOBER 13
ST. EDWARD

King St. Edward was one of the best loved of all the English kings.Read More »

OCTOBER 14
ST. CALLISTUS I

St. Callisturi, the great pope and martyr, lived in the first part of the..Read More »

OCTOBER 15
ST. TERESA OF AVILA

St. Teresa was born in Avila, Spain, on March 28, 1515.Read More »

OCTOBER 16
ST. MARGARET MARY

St. Margaret Mary lived in the seventeenth century. She is the famous French nun to whom Jesus showed his.. Read More »

OCTOBER 17
ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH

St. Ignatius of Antioch has been well-known since earliest times.Read More »

OCTOBER 18
ST. LUKE

St. Luke is generally believed to be a gentile doctor.Read More »

OCTOBER 19
ST. ISAAC JOGUES, ST. JOHN DE BREBEUF AND COMPANIONS--THE NORTH AMERICAN MARTYRS

Over three hundred years ago, six Jesuit priests and two holy laymen, all from France, died as martyrs here in North America.Read More »

OCTOBER 20
ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS

Paul Danei of Ovada, Italy, was born into a family of merchants in 1694Read More »

OCTOBER 21
ST. HILARION

St. Hilarion lived in the fourth century. He was an unbelieving teenager when he left his home in Palestine. Read More »

OCTOBER 22
BLESSED TIMOTHY GIACCARDO

Joseph Giaccardo was born on June 13, 1896, in Narzole, Italy. Read More »

OCTOBER 23
ST. JOHN CAPISTRANO

St. John Capistrano was born in Italy in 1386. He was a lawyer and governor of the city of Perugia. When enemies of the city threw John into prison, Read More »

OCTOBER 24
ST. ANTHONY CLARET

St. Anthony was born in Spain in 1807. It was the same year that Napoleon invaded the country. Perhaps that was a "hint" of the exciting Read More »

OCTOBER 25
BLESSED RICHARD GWYN

Blessed Richard was a Welshman who lived in the sixteenth century.Read More »

OCTOBER 26
ST. EVARISTUS

St. Evaristus lived in the second century. He was from a Jewish family in Bethlehem. They were living in Greece at the time of their son's birth. Read More »

OCTOBER 27
BLESSED CONTARDO FERRINI

Blessed Contardo was born in 1859. His father was a teacher of mathematics and physics.Read More »

OCTOBER 28
ST. SIMON AND ST. JUDE

These two apostles of Jesus are honored on the same day.Read More »

OCTOBER 29
ST. NARCISSUS

St. Narcissus lived in the second and early part of the third centuries.Read More »

OCTOBER 30
ST. ALPHONSUS RODRIGUEZ

St. Alphonsus, the Spanish saint, was born in 1553.Read More »

OCTOBER 31
ST. FOILLAN

St. Foillan was an Irish monk who lived in the seventh century. Read More »

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