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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

JULY 1
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA

Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma Read More »

JULY 2
ST. OTTO.

St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day..Read More »

JULY 3
ST. THOMAS

St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin." Read More »

JULY 4
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL

St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve. Read More »

JULY 5
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died. Read More »

JULY 6
ST. MARIA GORETTI

St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.Read More »

JULY 7
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY

These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I. Read More »

JULY 8
BLESSED EUGENE III

Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter. Read More »

JULY 10
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.

St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century. Read More »

JULY 11
ST. BENEDICT

St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful.. Read More »

JULY 12
ST. JOHN GAULBERT

St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh... Read More »

JULY 13
ST. HENRY II.

St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him. Read More »

JULY 14
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk..Read More »

JULY 15
ST. BONAVENTURE.

St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John. Read More »

JULY 16
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. Read More »

JULY 17
ST. LEO IV.

St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.Read More »

JULY 18
ST. FREDERICK.

St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts. Read More »

JULY 19
ST. MACRINA.

St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. Read More »

JULY 20
SAINT CHARBEL.

St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra.. Read More »

JULY 21
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.

St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy. Read More »

JULY 22
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.

St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord. Read More »

JULY 23
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.

St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the.. Read More »

JULY 24
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB

St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the.. Read More »

JULY 25
ST. JAMES THE GREATER

St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother.. Read More »

JULY 26
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE

St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.Read More »

JULY 27
ST. PANTALEON

St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.Read More »

JULY 29
ST. MARTHA

St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. Read More »

JULY 30
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS

St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy. Read More »

JULY 31
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA

St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491. Read More »

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