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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 »

POPE CALLS TO EMBRACE RESURRECTION

Vatican City- “ I live, but I am no longer I”, Pope Benedict XVI stressed these words as he called Christians at the Easter Vigil to embrace resurrection not as event of the past, but as way of leading the world on a transformative path away from violence and corruption.


The pontiff emphasized that “the joy of the Easter vigil” is founded on the fact that through baptism and the resurrection “we grasp hold” of Christ’s hands and “thus we also hold on to one another’s hands, and we become one single subject, not just one thing.


The vigil began at 10 p.m. in the atrium of the basilica, with the blessing of the fire and the lighting of the paschal candle. Light slowly began to fill the basilica as each of the 7,000 people on hand lit their candles from the flame of the paschal candle.

During the vigil, the Holy Father administered the sacraments of baptism and confirmation to seven catechumens from Albania, Belarus, Peru, Japan, Colombia and Cameroon.


Below is a translation of Pope’s homily at the Easter vigil.

"You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here" (Mark 16:6). With these words, God's messenger, robed in light, spoke to the women who were looking for the body of Jesus in the tomb. But the Evangelist says the same thing to us on this holy night: Jesus is not a character from the past. He lives, and he walks before us as one who is alive, he calls us to follow him, the living one, and in this way to discover for ourselves too the path of life.


"He has risen, he is not here." When Jesus spoke for the first time to the disciples about the cross and the resurrection, as they were coming down from the Mount of the Transfiguration, they questioned what "rising from the dead" meant (Mark 9:10).


At Easter we rejoice because Christ did not remain in the tomb, his body did not see corruption; he belongs to the world of the living, not to the world of the dead; we rejoice because he is the Alpha and also the Omega, as we proclaim in the rite of the paschal candle; he lives not only yesterday, but today and for eternity (cf. Hebrews 13:8). But somehow the Resurrection is situated so far beyond our horizon, so far outside all our experience that, returning to ourselves, we find ourselves continuing the argument of the disciples: Of what exactly does this "rising" consist? What does it mean for us, for the whole world and the whole of history?


A German theologian once said ironically that the miracle of a corpse returning to life -- if it really happened, which he did not actually believe -- would be ultimately irrelevant precisely because it would not concern us. In fact, if it were simply that somebody was once brought back to life, and no more than that, in what way should this concern us?


But the point is that Christ's resurrection is something more, something different. If we may borrow the language of the theory of evolution, it is the greatest "mutation," absolutely the most crucial leap into a totally new dimension that there has ever been in the long history of life and its development: a leap into a completely new order which does concern us, and concerns the whole of history.


The discussion, which began with the disciples, would therefore include the following questions: What happened there? What does it mean for us, for the whole world and for me personally? Above all: what happened? Jesus is no longer in the tomb. He is in a totally new life. But how could this happen? What forces were in operation? The crucial point is that this man Jesus was not alone, he was not an "I" closed in upon itself. He was one single reality with the living God, so closely united with him as to form one person with him.


He found himself, so to speak, in an embrace with him who is life itself, an embrace not just on the emotional level, but one which included and permeated his being. His own life was not just his own, it was an existential communion with God, a "being taken up" into God, and hence it could not in reality be taken away from him.


Out of love, he could allow himself to be killed, but precisely by doing so he broke the definitiveness of death, because in him the definitiveness of life was present. He was one single reality with indestructible life, in such a way that it burst forth anew through death. Let us express the same thing once again from another angle. His death was an act of love. At the Last Supper he anticipated death and transformed it into self-giving.


His existential communion with God was concretely an existential communion with God's love, and this love is the real power against death, it is stronger than death. The Resurrection was like an explosion of light, an explosion of love which dissolved the hitherto indissoluble compenetration of "dying and becoming." It ushered in a new dimension of being, a new dimension of life in which, in a transformed way, matter too was integrated and through which a new world emerges.


It is clear that this event is not just some miracle from the past, the occurrence of which could be ultimately a matter of indifference to us. It is a qualitative leap in the history of "evolution" and of life in general toward a new future life, toward a new world which, starting from Christ, already continuously permeates this world of ours, transforms it and draws it to itself. But how does this happen? How can this event effectively reach me and draw my life upward toward itself?


The answer, perhaps surprising at first but totally real, is: This event comes to me through faith and baptism. For this reason baptism is part of the Easter Vigil, as we see clearly in our celebration today, when the sacraments of Christian initiation will be conferred on a group of adults from various countries. Baptism means precisely this, that we are not dealing with an event in the past, but that a qualitative leap in world history comes to me, seizing hold of me in order to draw me on. Baptism is something quite different from an act of ecclesial socialization, from a slightly old-fashioned and complicated rite for receiving people into the Church. It is also more than a simple washing, more than a kind of purification and beautification of the soul. It is truly death and resurrection, rebirth, transformation to a new life.


How can we understand this? I think that what happens in baptism can be more easily explained for us if we consider the final part of the short spiritual autobiography that St. Paul gave us in his Letter to the Galatians. Its concluding words contain the heart of this biography: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). I live, but I am no longer I. The "I," the essential identity of man -- of this man, Paul -- has been changed. He still exists, and he no longer exists. He has passed through a "not" and he now finds himself continually in this "not": I, but no longer I. With these words, Paul is not describing some mystical experience which could perhaps have been granted him, and could be of interest to us from a historical point of view, if at all. No, this phrase is an expression of what happened at baptism.


My "I" is taken away from me and is incorporated into a new and greater subject. This means that my "I" is back again, but now transformed, broken up, opened through incorporation into the other, in whom it acquires its new breadth of existence. Paul explains the same thing to us once again from another angle when, in chapter three of the Letter to the Galatians, he speaks of the "promise," saying that it was given to an individual -- to one person: to Christ. He alone carries within himself the whole "promise." But what then happens with us? Paul answers: You have become one in Christ (cf. Galatians 3:28). Not just one thing, but one, one only, one single new subject.


This liberation of our "I" from its isolation, this finding oneself in a new subject means finding oneself within the vastness of God and being drawn into a life which has now moved out of the context of "dying and becoming." The great explosion of the Resurrection has seized us in baptism so as to draw us on. Thus we are associated with a new dimension of life into which, amid the tribulations of our day, we are already in some way introduced. To live one's own life as a continual entry into this open space: This is the meaning of being baptized, of being Christian. This is the joy of the Easter Vigil.


The Resurrection is not a thing of the past, the Resurrection has reached us and seized us. We grasp hold of it, we grasp hold of the risen Lord, and we know that he holds us firmly even when our hands grow weak. We grasp hold of his hand, and thus we also hold on to one another's hands, and we become one single subject, not just one thing. I, but no longer I: This is the formula of Christian life rooted in baptism, the formula of the Resurrection within time. I, but no longer I: If we live in this way, we transform the world. It is a formula contrary to all ideologies of violence, it is a program opposed to corruption and to the desire for power and possession.


"I live and you will live also," says Jesus in St. John's Gospel (14:19) to his disciples, that is, to us. We will live through our existential communion with him, through being taken up into him who is life itself. Eternal life, blessed immortality, we have not by ourselves or in ourselves, but through a relation -- through existential communion with him who is truth and love and is therefore eternal: God himself. Simple indestructibility of the soul by itself could not give meaning to eternal life, it could not make it a true life. Life comes to us from being loved by him who is life; it comes to us from living-with and loving-with him. I, but no longer I: This is the way of the cross, the way that "crosses over" a life simply closed in on the I, thereby opening up the road towards true and lasting joy.


Thus we can sing full of joy, together with the Church, in the words of the Exsultet: "Sing, choirs of angels ... rejoice, O earth!" The Resurrection is a cosmic event, which includes heaven and earth and links them together. In the words of the Exsultet once again, we can proclaim: "Christ ... who came back from the dead and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever." Amen!


Source: www.zenit.org


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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