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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.


TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
ROSARY FATIMA JUDE

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

AUGUST 1
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI

St. Alphonsus was born near Naples, Italy, in 1732. Read More »

AUGUST 2
ST. EUSEBIUS

St. Eusebius was born on the island of Sardinia, Italy, around 283. Read More »

AUGUST 3
ST. PETER JULIAN EYMARD

St. Peter Julian Eymard was born in a small town in the diocese of Grenoble, France in 1786. Read More »

AUGUST 4
BLESSED FREDERIC JANSSOONE

Blessed Frederic Janssoone was born in Flanders in 1838. Read More »

AUGUST 5
DEDICATION OF ST. MARY MAJOR

St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons: Read More »

AUGUST 6
THE TRANSFIGURATION

St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons: Read More »

AUGUST 7
ST. CAJETAN

St. Cajetan was born in Vicenza, Italy, in 1480, the son of a count. Read More »

AUGUST 8
ST. DOMINIC

St. Dominic was born in Castile, Spain, in 1170. Read More »

AUGUST 9
BLESSED JOHN OF RIETI

Blessed John lived in the first half of the fourteenth century. Read More »

AUGUST 10
ST. LAWRENCE

St. Lawrence, the famous martyr of Rome, lived in the third century. Read More »

AUGUST 11
ST. CLARE

St. Clare was born around 1193 in Assisi, Italy. She lived at the time of St. Francis of Assisi.Read More »

AUGUST 14
ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE

Raymond Kolbe was born in Poland in 1894. Read More »

AUGUST 15
THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

This feast of Mary celebrates a special privilege of Mary, our Mother.Read More »

AUGUST 16
ST. STEPHEN OF HUNGARY

St. Stephen was born around 969 in Hungary. This saint's name.. Read More »

AUGUST 17
BLESSED JOAN DELANOUE

St. Joan Delanoue was born in 1666. Her family had a small but..Read More »

AUGUST 18
ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL

St. Jane was born in Dijon, France, in 1572.Read More »

AUGUST 19
ST. JOHN EUDES

St. John Eudes was born in Normandy, France, in 1601.Read More »

AUGUST 20
ST. BERNARD

St. Bernard was born in 1090 in Dijon, France.Read More »

AUGUST 21
ST. PIUS X

St. Pius X, the great pope, was named Joseph Sarto. He was born in 1835, the son of a mailman in Riese.. Read More »

AUGUST 23
ST. ROSE OF LIMA

St. Rose, the South American saint, was born in Lima, Peru, in 1586.Read More »

AUGUST 24
ST. BARTHOLOMEW

"Bartholomew" was one of the first followers of Jesus.Read More »

AUGUST 25
ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE

St. Louis was born on April 25, 1214. His father was King Louis VIII of France and his mother was Queen..Read More »

AUGUST 25
ST. JOSEPH CALASANZ

St. Joseph was born in 1556, in his father's castle in Spain. He went to college and became a lawyer.Read More »

AUGUST 26
ST. ELIZABETH BICHIER

St. Elizabeth was born in 1773. As a little girl, her favorite game was building castles in the sand. Read More »

AUGUST 27
ST. MONICA

St. Monica, the famous mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332 in Tagaste, northern Africa. Read More »

AUGUST 28
ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria on November 13, 354. This famous son of St. Monica spent many years in wicked living and in..Read More »

AUGUST 29
BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. His mother was St. Elizabeth and his father was Zechariah. Read More »

AUGUST 30
ST. PAMMACHIUS

"St. Pammachius was a distinguished Christian layman who lived in the fourth century.Read More »

AUGUST 31
ST. AIDAN

St. Aidan was a seventh-century Irish monk. He lived at the great monastery of Iona, which St. Columban had founded.Read More »

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