St. Maria Goretti is the patron saint of youth. Take time today to pray for the young people, especially teenagers, in your life. The teenage years are incredibly challenging, and young people need all the prayers and love they can get from the adults in their lives.
Today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, the great herald of the Gospel, preparing the way for Christ. John recognized his mission from God to point to the son of God and the coming of the Kingdom, and he lived that vocation with great passion…even unto death. His attitude toward Christ is summed up in his beautiful words:
“He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
We can all learn from John and point others toward Christ every day of our lives. How can you bring the Good News to people in your life today and this week?
In the book, Cardinal Dolan explains the need for all Americans to embrace a new culture rooted in what Blessed John Paul II called the Gospel of Life – where the sacredness of all human life and the freedoms that are their birthright, are upheld, respected and protected by law.
FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM BEGINS:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has dedicated the fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, to a “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.
St. Anthony was a Franciscan, a man of great prayer and an amazing teacher of Scripture and theology in France and Italy. St. Anthony gives us a beautiful example of what happens when one completely surrenders his life to Christ. He is the patron saint of lost items, the poor, and travelers.
“Attribute to God every good that you have received.” -St. Anthony of Padua
Blessed John XXIII is perhaps most well known for his convening of the Second Vatican Council. He was a humble man, passionate about bringing the Church to understand the Gospel better.
“Mother and Teacher of all nations—such is the Catholic Church in the mind of her Founder, Jesus Christ; to hold the world in an embrace of love, that men, in every age, should find in her their own completeness in a higher order of living, and their ultimate salvation.” -Blessed John XXIII, Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher)
“From Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, author of the bestselling book Consoling the Heart of Jesus, comes an extraordinary 33-day journey to Marian consecration with four giants of Marian spirituality: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed John Paul II. Fr. Michael masterfully summarizes their teaching, making it easy to grasp and simple enough to put into practice. More specifically, he weaves their thought into a user-friendly, do-it-yourself retreat that will bless even the busiest of people. So, if you’ve been thinking about entrusting yourself to Mary for the first time or if you’re simply looking to deepen and renew your devotion to her, 33 Days to Morning Glory is the right book to read and the perfect retreat to make.” (Amazon.com)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Do you have questions about Catholic teaching on Our Lady? Do your friends? Check out this page on our CatholicsComeHome.org website to learn about the Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception…and more.
St. Padre Pio beautifully teaches us, by his words and most especially by his life, about redemptive suffering.
Reflect on some of his thoughts today, and ask him to intercede for you in your own sufferings.
“Jesus said to me; ‘How many times would you have abandoned Me, my son, if I had not crucified you. Beneath the cross, one learns love, and I do not give this to everyone, but only to those souls who are dearest to Me.” -Secrets of a Soul
“When Jesus wants me to understand that He loves me, He allows me to savor the wounds, the thorns, the agonies of His passion…When He wants to delight me, He fills my heart with that spirit which is all fire; He speaks to me of His delights. But when He wants to be delighted, He speaks to me of His sorrows, He invites me — with a voice full of both supplication and authority — to affix my body [to the cross] in order to alleviate His suffering. Who can resist Him? I realize how much my miseries have caused Him to suffer, how much I have offended Him. I desire no other than Jesus alone, I want nothing more than His pains (because this is what Jesus wishes).” -Secrets of a Soul
Today is the feast of St. John Chrysostom, the great preacher. Take a minute to reflect on his commentary about helping others in a spirit of joy:
“Helping a person in need is good in itself. But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may recieve your help but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If,on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver.”
St. John Chrysostom, help us to fill our lives with joyful preaching, through word and example. Pray for us!