Over the centuries, and especially in our modern world, religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular have been criticized as causing more problems than they solve. From war to discrimination, many have accused religion and religious people of perpetuating great evils on society. Is this really the case? Matt Nelson examines this question in a piece for Word On Fire. Give it a read and let us know what you think in the comments.
Summer is a time when many of find it hard to maintain the same level of devotion to church as we do the rest of the year. The kids are off school, the weather is nice, and we hear the beach or golf course calling our names. Keep reading for some advice on how to keep the fires of faith burning bright throughout the long summer months.
The Roman Curia is the central government of the Roman Catholic Church. It assists the Pope in helping guide the Church and her people. Read more about the Curia in this article from Our Sunday Visitor:
Have you ever wondered what it means to have a guardian angels? This article explores "5 Facts You Need to Know About Your Guardian Angel." Give it a read and let us know what you think in the comments.
St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) is known as the Apostle of Rome. With his distinctly joyous and personal manner, he was one of the influential figures of the Catholic Reformation. His special contribution was the creation of the Congregation of the Oratory.
Philip Neri was born in Florence on July 21, 1515, the son of a lawyer. As a boy, Philip befriended the Dominicans at the convent of S. Marco. In 1532 or 1533 he went to San Germano (Cassino) to learn business under the tutelage of an uncle, but, repelled by commercial affairs and feeling a pronounced desire for a life of close union with God, he left San Germano after a few months and went to Rome. There he studied philosophy and theology at Sapienza University and Sant’Agostino. He made friends easily and met regularly with some of them at the church of S. Girolamo della Carità for discussion, prayer, and the reception of Holy Communion. S. Girolamo became his home for 32 years. On May 23, 1551, after 18 years in Rome, Philip was ordained a priest. His room, the center for the intimate and prayerful meetings, became known about 1554 as the “Oratory.”
This is the first video in the VCAT series. The VCAT is a Video Catechism for Teens produced by Outside da Box Productions in collaboration with the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. This video is based on "The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson, a poem which describes God's pursuit of mankind to a hound pursuing a hare. This metaphor is used to describe God's unending love and pursuit of His people. Often, we go through life looking for something but not necessarily knowing what it is we are looking for. It is only when turn to God that we realize He is what we were searching for.
This video expressed the idea behind the "I Believe" statements featured in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. These repeated statements represent our unending acceptance of God and His teachings. Just as we find comfort in our acceptance of God, so the young woman in the video finds comfort in her acceptance of the figure who has been pursuing her throughout the video. In the end, God wants us to accept Him and have a relationship with him.
To check out more VCAT videos, visit www.vcat.org.
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
- Mark 10:17-27
Today's Gospel reading poses a question for Christians: "Do I really have to give away all that I possess in order to be saved?" If we take Jesus at his word, this is exactly what we must do in order to enter heaven. But is that really what Jesus wants us to do. It would seem that Jesus does not necessarily expect or believe that all, or even any of his followers to meet this standard. Instead, Jesus wants us to do our best and then trust in God. As He says, "For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God."
So what does that mean for us? It means that we must do our best to share the wealth and blessings we have been given with those around us. We must always look out for our neighbors and help our fellow men and women. This can be done by donating both our time and treasure to charity and those we see who our in need. This is truly what we are called to do as Christians: to care for the community around us. If we do this, then we must trust in God's mercy and forgiveness to do the rest!
The first Pentecost was a reversal of what happened at the Tower of Babel.
In the story of the Tower of Babel, the diversity of languages prevented people from understanding one another. At Pentecost, the diversity of languages presented no obstacle to understanding. at Babel, diversity prevented unity of hearts and minds. At Pentecost, diversity did not hinder unity of hearts and minds.
Consider the root meaning of the word catholic. It comes from a Greek word referring to something that has a universal application. For example, the law of gravity would be a catholic principle - it is universal, it applies to all situations.
In Christianity, catholic means that the Gospels' teachings and values are universal. They can enrich every facet of human life - for young and old, for every culture, for every unique individual. Everyone doesn't have to be the same in order to be Christian.
The Word of God is meant to be like yeast, like salt, like light - going forth and enriching, affecting all human life. Unity is not achieved by huddling together. It is achieved by letting the Spirit of God blow where it will, letting it shine forth throughout the earth, throughout various cultures and age groups.
The Feast of Pentecost is a feast of catholicity. It celebrated the capacity of the Spirit to reach out to everything, and to unite hearts and minds that come from many places.
When people receive the Holy Spirit, they are empowered to produce what are called the "fruits" of the the Holy Spirit.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are:
- Little White Book, Diocese of Saginaw
"I am sending you a saint."
- Note to the superior of the Holy Cross congregation from Bessette's pastor
On this day in 1982, Andrew Bessette was beatified by Pope John Paul II. He became the first Holy Cross religious to become a saint when he was canonized nearly 30 years later in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Alfred Bessette was born in 1845 in a small village southeast of Montreal, Quebec. After his father died in a work accident and his mother died of tuberculosis, the orphaned 12-year-old was adopted by his uncle.
As a young man, Alfred worked as a farmer, shoemaker, baker, blacksmith and factory hand. At age 25, he tried to enter the Congregation of Holy Cross, but was refused due to poor health. The bishop of Montreal intervened and Alfred was allowed to join as a lay brother in 1870. He took the name Andrew.
Assigned to Notre Dame college, located on Mount Royal in Montreal, Brother Andre worked as a doorkeeper, sacristan and messenger, and in the laundry.
He was devoted to St. Joseph and pledged that someday "St. Joseph will be honored on Mount Royal." Many people visited him at Notre Dame because of his gift of healing through the intercession of St. Joseph.
When the Holy Cross Congregation tried unsuccessfully to purchase land on Mount Royal, Brother Andrew allegedly planted St. Joseph medals around the desired land, hoping the saint would intercede on their behalf. St. Joseph did. The land went up for sale, and the congregation purchased the property which would become St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal.
Brother Andre died in 1937 at age 92.
- Little White Book, Diocese of Saginaw
St. Peter Parish is a Roman Catholic faith community. The purpose of this blog is to help parishioners and community members come to a better understanding of our Catholic faith and traditions.
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