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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 »

FATHER NEUHAUS TALKS ON LOVING THE CHURCH

Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things and author of “Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy and the Splendor of the Truth” shared with Zenit his thoughts on thinking with and loving the church and why lack of faith is the Pope Benedict XVI's greatest challenge.


Father Neuhaus explained that one of the main themes of his book is St. Ignatius Loyola's exhortation that we should “think with the church.” He said that the phrse “sentire cum ecclesia” is a marvelous phrase which means that to think with the chuch is also to feel with the church and in short, love the church. If we love the church, then we will her to be, we will flourish, we will her to succeed in the mission she has been given by Christ. It is necessary to cultivate the communion of shared devotion, affection and purpose in a very disciplined way for not all aspects of the church is lovable, just as we Catholics are not always lovable. Nonetheless, we are loved by the church and most particularly by all saints in the Church Triumphant. “Sentinera cum ecclesia” means being concerned never to betray St. Paul, St. Irenaeus, St. Augustine, St Thomas, St. Theresa and the faith for which they and the innumerable others lived and died. He further stated that for all the inadequcies and sins of the Church and her leadership in our time, it means always doing one's best support, and never to undermine, the effectiveness of her teaching ministry. After all, the church is is the bearer and the embodiment of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is nothing less than the story of the world-without the world and we with is, is lost.


Moreover, Father Neuhaus clarified about his background as a Lutheran pastor who was known as someone who “spoke truth over power” and the docility and obedience as typical Catholic virtues which he extols in his book. “ I hope i am still someone who speaks truth ver power, although that phrase has in it the temptation to an arrogant assumption that i have a unique hold of the truth”, says Father Neuhaus. He pointed out that politics is the realm of justice while the Church is the relam of love, as Pope Benedict wrote in “Deus Caritas Est”. This does not mean that questions of power and politics do not arise in the Church. They do, but they are alien elements. The Church is constituted by and for love. Docility and obedience are strong, not weak, virtues. They require sensitivity and responsiveness to the beloved. In such a relationship, one may sometimes admonish, reproach and suggest a better way, but always within the bond of love.


Father Neuhaus also expressed that he is always honored to be associated with Chesterton, one of the great Catholic sipirits of modern times. For Father Neuhaus, orthodoxy is a high adventure-intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically and morally. It is ever so much more interesting than the smelly conventions that so many, viewing orthodoxy as a burden, embrace in the dismal ambition to be considered progressive. He stated further that the Catholic church imposes nothing, she only proposes as Pope John Paul II wrote in the encyclical “Redemptoris Missio”. But what the Church proposes is an astonishment beyond the reach of human imagining -- the coming of the promised Kingdom of God, and our anticipation of that promise in the life of the Church. It is a great pity that so many are prepared, even eager, to settle for something less than this high adventure. He pointed out then that in the book, Catholic matters, he discussed the preoccupation with being an "American Catholic" when we should really want to be "Catholic Americans." Note that the adjective controls. The really interesting thing is not to accommodate our way of being Catholic to the fact of our being American but to demonstrate a distinctively Catholic way of being American.


The main problem in the church today s it has been from the apostolic era and will be until our Lord's return in glory is a lack of faith, says Father Neuhaus. Our sinful nature resists, does not dare to believe, the good news of our salvation now and forever. This has intellectual, spiritual, aesthetic, moral and whatever dimensions you want to name. We have turned the high adventure of discipleship into something dreary, drab and predictable. This is nowhere so evident as in the long-standing intra-Church squabbles between left and right, liberals and traditionalists. In the book, Catholic matters, he referred to the "discontinuants" of both left and right -- those who speak of a pre-Vatican II Church and a post-Vatican II Church as though there were two churches. The alternative is to gratefully and loyally take our place in the glorious, and sometimes stumbling, march of the one Church through time to the end of time.


One major theme in the book, Catholic Matters, is the importance of a revitalized liturgy for renewing Catholic life. According to Father Neuhaus, the banality of liturgical texts, the unsingability of music that is deservedly unsung, the hackneyed New American Bible prescribed for use in the lectionary, the stripped-down architecture devoted to absence rather than Presence, the homiletical shoddiness. The heart of what went wrong, however, and the real need for a "reform of the reform" lies in the fatal misstep of constructing the liturgical action around our putatively amazing selves rather than around the surpassing wonder of what Christ is doing in the Eucharist. All that having been said, however, be assured that there has never been a second or even a nanosecond in which I've had second thoughts about entering into full communion with the Church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through time.


When Pope Benedict VXI got elected, Father Neuhaus first words were “Deo gratias” and he repeated those words everyday since. For him, the Pontiff was Pope John Paul intimate collaborator who has pledged himself to continue and expand John Paul's initiatives and expecially his teaching initiatives. Pope Benedict brings an exquisite clarity to the confusions and set forth the truths by which the Church is constituted, and invite the world to engage the truthc upon which its future depends. The Pope likewise brings a pastoral heart and gentle firmness to the controversies that can turn rancor into reason and recall those who are at odds with one another to their shared devotion- as in “sentire cum ecclesia”. Finally, Father Neuhaus stated that the Pope is not going to straigthen out everything that is wrong with the Chruch, beginning with ourselves. Our Lord will do that in due course.


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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

MAY 1
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER

This is St. Joseph's second feast day on the Church calendar of celebrations. We honor him also on March 19. St. Joseph is a very important saint. Read More »

MAY 2
ST. ATHANASIUS

St. Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. He devoted his life to proving that Jesus is truly.. Read More »

MAY 3
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES

Both of these saints were part of the original group of Jesus'.. Read More »

MAY 4
BLESSED MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS

Blessed Marie-Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. It was May 12, 1840. Read More »

MAY 5
ST. JUDITH OF PRUSSIA

St. Judith lived in the thirteenth century. She was born in Thuringia. This was in what is now central Germany. She wanted to model her life on the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Read More »

MAY 6
BLESSED FRANCOIS DE MONTMORENCY LAVAL

Blessed Francois was the first bishop of Quebec City, Canada. He was born in 1623 in a small town.. Read More »

MAY 7
BLESSED ROSE VENERINI

Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months. Read More »

MAY 8
BLESSED CATHERINE OF ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Catherine was born on May 3, 1632, in a little village in France. She was baptized the same day. Read More »

MAY 9
BLESSED NICHOLAS ALBERGATI

Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. Nicholas' family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law. Read More »

MAY 10
ST. ANTONINUS

St. Antoninus lived in the fifteenth century. Even as a boy he showed that he had good sense and will power. Read More »

MAY 11
ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI

St. Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701. Read More »

MAY 12
ST. NEREUS, ST. ACHILLEUS AND ST. PANCRAS

Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who died around 304. They were probably Praetorian guards under Emperor Trajan. We know little else about them. Read More »

MAY 13
ST. ANDREW FOURNET

St. Andrew Fournet was born on December 6, 1752. He was from Maille, a little town near Poitiers, in France. Andrew's parents were.. Read More »

MAY 14
ST. MATTHIAS

St. Matthias was one of Our Lord's seventy-two disciples. Read More »

MAY 15
ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER

Saint Isidore was born in 1070, in Madrid, Spain. His parents were deeply religious. They named their son after the great St. Isidore, archbishop of.. Read More »

MAY 16
ST. UBALD

St. Ubald lived in twelfth-century Italy. He was an orphan raised by his uncle, a bishop. Ubald was given a good education. Read More »

MAY 17
ST. PASCHAL BAYLON

St. Paschal, a Spanish saint, was born in 1540. From the time he was seven, he worked as a shepherd. He never had the opportunity to go to school. Read More »

MAY 18
ST. JOHN I

St. John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, heodoric the Goth.. Read More »

MAY 19
ST. CELESTINE V

Peter di Morone was the eleventh of twelve children. He was born around 1210 in Isernia, Italy. His father died when he was small. Read More »

MAY 20
ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA

St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor. Read More »

MAY 21
BLESSED EUGENE DE MAZENOD

Blessed Eugene was born in France in 1782. He became a priest in 1811. Father Eugene was sensitive to the needs of the poor and he ministered..Read More »

MAY 22
ST. RITA OF CASCIA

St. Rita was born in 1381 in a little Italian village. Her parents were older. They had begged God to send them a child. They brought Rita up well. Read More »

MAY 23
ST. JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI

St. John Baptist Rossi was born in 1698 in a village near Genoa, Italy. His family loved him. They were proud when a wealthy couple visiting their town offered to educate him. His parents knew the couple and trusted them. Read More »

MAY 24
ST. DAVID I OF SCOTLAND

St. David was born in 1080. He was the youngest son of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and her good husband, King Malcom. Read More »

MAY 25
VENERABLE BEDE

Venerable Bede, the English priest, was famous as a saint, a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England in 673. Read More »

MAY 26
ST. PHILIP NERI

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. As a child, his nickname was "Good little Phil." He was always so jolly and friendly that everyone he met loved him. Read More »

MAY 27
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY

St. Augustine was the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great chose him and forty other monks for a mission.. Read More »

MAY 28
BLESSED MARGARET POLE

Blessed Margaret was born in 1471. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole. Read More »

MAY 29
ST. MAXIMINIUS

St. Maximinius was a bishop who lived in the fourth century. It is believed that he was born in Poitiers, France. As a young man, he heard of a saintly bishop of Trier, in Gaul. Read More »

MAY 30
ST. JOAN OF ARC

St. Joan was born in 1412. Her hometown was Domremy, a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer. Read More »

MAY 31
THE VISITATION OF MARY

Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby. Read More »

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