Monday, July 25, 2022

 Monday Night at the Movies


Introduction to the Gospel of Luke[1]

The Gospel according to Luke illustrates Gods dealings with humanity found in the Old Testament, showing how Gods promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Jesus and how the salvation promised to Israel and accomplished by Jesus has been extended to the Gentiles. The stated purpose is to provide Theophilus and others like him with certaintyassuranceabout earlier instruction they have received. To accomplish his purpose, Luke shows that the preaching and teaching of the representatives of the early church are grounded in the preaching and teaching of Jesus, who during his historical ministry prepared his specially chosen followers and commissioned them to be witnesses to his resurrection and to all else that he did. This continuity between the historical ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the apostles is Lukes way of guaranteeing the fidelity of the Churchs teaching to the teaching of Jesus. Lukes story of Jesus and the church is dominated by a historical perspective. This history is first of all salvation history. Gods divine plan for human salvation was accomplished during the period of Jesus, who through the events of his life fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, and this salvation is now extended to all humanity in the period of the church. This salvation history, moreover, is a part of human history. Luke relates the story of Jesus and the church to events in contemporary Palestinian and Roman history for, as Paul says, this was not done in a corner. Luke is concerned with presenting Christianity as a legitimate form of worship in the Roman world, a religion that is capable of meeting the spiritual needs of a world empire like that of Rome. To this end, Luke depicts the Roman governor Pilate declaring Jesus innocent of any wrongdoing three times. At the same time Luke argues in Acts that Christianity is the logical development and proper fulfillment of Judaism and is therefore deserving of the same toleration and freedom traditionally accorded Judaism by Rome.

The prominence given to the period of the church in the story has important consequences for Lukes interpretation of the teachings of Jesus. By presenting the time of the church as a distinct phase of salvation history, Luke accordingly shifts the early Christian emphasis away from the expectation of an imminent parousia to the day-to-day concerns of the Christian community in the world. He does this in the gospel by regularly emphasizing the words each dayin the sayings of Jesus. Although Luke still believes the parousia to be a reality that will come unexpectedly, he is more concerned with presenting the words and deeds of Jesus as guides for the conduct of Christian disciples in the interim period between the ascension and the parousia and with presenting Jesus himself as the model of Christian life and piety. Throughout the gospel, Luke calls upon the Christian disciple to identify with the master Jesus, who is caring and tender toward the poor and lowly, the outcast, the sinner, and the afflicted, toward all those who recognize their dependence on God, but who is severe toward the proud and self-righteous, and particularly toward those who place their material wealth before the service of God and his people. No gospel writer is more concerned than Luke with the mercy and compassion of Jesus. No gospel writer is more concerned with the role of the Spirit in the life of Jesus and the Christian disciple, with the importance of prayer, or with Jesus concern for women. While Jesus calls all humanity to repent, he is particularly demanding of those who would be his disciples. Of them he demands absolute and total detachment from family and material possessions. To all who respond in faith and repentance to the word Jesus preaches, he brings salvation and peace and life.

Early Christian tradition, from the late second century on, identifies the author of this gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles as Luke, a Syrian from Antioch. The prologue of the gospel makes it clear that Luke is not part of the first generation of Christian disciples but is himself dependent upon the traditions he received from those who were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.


JULY 25 Monday

FEAST OF ST. JAMES THE APOSTLE-ST CHRISTOPHER 

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 10-12:

10 Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, 11the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. 12Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and FEAR came upon him. 

Zechariah was troubled, and he was afraid.  I do not think this was Holy fear for Zechariah’s faith did not equal his fear and he was filled with unbelief.  His intellect outweighed his heart and as a result he was left unable to speak until the birth of his son as the angel told him.  That son was John the Baptist. There are times when we must listen to our hearts and not our heads.

Marriage: The Gift of Love and Life[2]

C.S. Lewis once wisely observed: “When everyone is rushing headlong towards the precipice, anyone going in the opposite direction would appear to be mad.” In July of 1968, the world at large thought Pope Paul VI had lost his mind. For in that month, he issued his long-awaited encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25, 1968), which reiterated the Church’s age-old ban on every form of contraception. A tidal wave of angry dissent erupted over the pope’s decision. Catholic and non-Catholic alike berated “the celibate old man in the Vatican” for hindering the Church’s full entry into the modern era. As we approach the fortieth anniversary of that historic document, I wish to emphasize its importance for our times.  As a backdrop for my remarks, I would like to place it in the context of its time. In the same year that Pope Paul issued Humanae Vitae, another Paul—Paul Ehrlich— published a book entitled, The Population Bomb. In that 1968 bestseller, Ehrlich made some stark predictions. For example: 

·       “The battle to feed humanity is over.  In the 1970s the world will undergo famines …hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death…” 

o   Fact: Food production worldwide is well ahead of population growth, and obesity now kills 300,000 Americans a year.

·       “India couldn’t possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980.”  

o   Fact: Since 1968 India has doubled its population by half a billion and is still self-sufficient in food.

·       Comparing population explosion to a cancerous tumor, Ehrlich prescribed “cutting out the cancer [too many people]” as the only remedy to save humanity.

o   Fact: Today Europe is dying, with most countries fluctuating around the 60% replacement level.    

Against this foreboding background, the reaction to Pope Paul’s encyclical came as no surprise, even though it only restated what the Church has taught for 2,000 years. Namely:

“There is an inseparable link between the two meanings of the marriage act: the unitive meaning [making love] and the procreative meaning [making babies].  This connection was established by God himself, and man is not permitted to break it on his own initiative.” (H.V, no. 12)      In Deuteronomy 18:21 we learn how to tell an authentic prophet from a false one: Has the prophecy materialized or not? Judged by that benchmark, Paul Ehrlich is a false prophet.  What about Paul VI?

Pope Paul predicted four dire consequences if the use of contraception escalated:

1) increased marital infidelity.

2) a general lowering of morality, especially among the young.

3) husbands viewing their wives as mere sex objects; and

4) governments forcing massive birth control programs on their people.

Forty years later the moral landscape is strewn with the following stark reality:

1) The divorce rate has more than tripled. 

2) Sexually transmitted diseases have increased from six to fifty.

3) Pornography—especially on the Internet—is a plague, addicting millions annually. 

4) Sterilization is forced on women in third world countries, with China’s one-child policy in the vanguard.

In the waning years of his life, St. Augustine wrote his mammoth work, The City of God. According to Augustine, the whole world is comprised of two communities: The City of God and the City of Man. Citizens of each city are determined not by one’s birthplace or residence, but rather by the object of one’s love: placing the love of God above self, or the love of self above God. The two cities are still with us. Paul Ehrlich and Paul VI could well serve as icons of each city. In one case, death and darkness prevail—in the other, life and light. Death or life? The choice is ours!

The Transmission of Human Life Is a Most Serious Role[3]

Married people must collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships. The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings. changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships. This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger. There is also the fact that not only working and housing conditions but the greater demands made both in the economic and educational field pose a living situation in which it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family. Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love. But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man's stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life—over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life.

Unlawful Birth Control Methods

·       We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.

·       Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.

·       Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong

Feast of St James the Greater, Apostle[4] 


JAMES, by birth a Galilean, a son of Zebedee and Salome, was brother to St. John the apostle, with whom he was called by Jesus to follow Him. He was present at the transfiguration on Mount Tabor, at the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead, and other like miracles, and at the bloody sweat in the Garden. After the sending of the Holy Ghost he preached the doctrines of Jesus in Judea, Samaria, and in Jerusalem, where Herod caused him to be beheaded in the year 44. His body was brought to Compostella, in Spain, where it is venerated by vast numbers of the faithful, who make pilgrimages to his grave. St. James was the first of the apostles who shed his blood for Christ. 

The Introit of the Mass is as follows:  To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up. 

Prayer. 

Be Thou, O Lord, the sanctifier and guardian of Thy people, that, defended by the protection of Thy apostle James, they may please Thee by their conduct, and serve Thee with secure minds.  

EPISTLE, i. Cor. iv. 9-15. 

Brethren: I think that God hath set forth us apostles the last, as it were men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ: we are weak, but you are strong: you are honorable, but we without honor. Even unto this hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode, and we labor working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless: we are persecuted, and we suffer it. We are blasphemed, and we entreat: we are made as the refuse of this world, the off-scouring of all even until now. I write not these things to confound you: but I admonish you as my dearest children: for if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus by the Gospel I have begotten you. 

GOSPEL. Matt. xx. 20-23. 

At that time: There came to Jesus the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of Him. Who said to her: What wilt thou? She saith to Him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left, in Thy kingdom. But Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to Him: We can. He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink: but to sit on My right or left hand is not Mine to give to you but to them for whom it is prepared by My Father. Explanation. From this gospel we learn that if we wish to become partakers with Christ of the kingdom of heaven. 

Prayer to St. James. 

O heroic apostle, who first of all didst, after the example of Jesus, drink of the chalice of suffering, but now, in the kingdom of His Father, livest upon the holy mountain of Sion, obtain for me, I beseech thee, from Jesus the grace not to shrink from the chalice of suffering and tribulation, but patiently to accept whatever the hand of God may present to me, whether agreeable or disagreeable, and thereby to become worthy one day to be inebriated with the streams of heavenly joy.

The Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela[5]

The history of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela stretches back more than 1000 years to the discovery of the body of St. James during the reign of King Alfonso II (792-842). St. James was already believed to have been the great evangelist of Spain and for many hundreds of years there had been a scholarly and literary tradition supporting this belief. The discovery of the relics of St. James then became a focal point for pilgrims. Though a few pilgrims to Santiago are recorded in the 10th century, and many more in the 11th, it was in the early 12th century, and particularly under the energetic promotion of Archbishop Diego Gelmírez (1100-1140), that Santiago came to rank with Rome and Jerusalem as one of the great destinations of medieval pilgrimage. The first Cathedral was built over the site of the tomb, and gradually houses were established, for example by monks from Cluny in Burgundy and from Aurillac in Cantal, France, along the developing pilgrimage route.

The 12th and 13th centuries are considered to have been the golden age of the pilgrimage to Santiago. Subsequently the years of the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe led to a decrease in the number of pilgrims. However, pilgrims still made their way to Santiago throughout the centuries. In 1884, following academic and medical research, Pope Leon XIII issued the Bull, Deus Omnipotens, which proclaimed that the relics in Santiago were those of St. James. This is recognized as the start of the modern development of the pilgrimage. It was thought that in the 20th Century the growth of mechanized means of transport such as cars and airplanes might lead to a reduction in the number of pilgrims travelling to Santiago on foot or on horseback. This was not to be the case and in the last 30 years in particular there has been a huge growth in interest and in the number of pilgrims travelling on foot, on horseback or by bicycle. Pilgrims were encouraged by the visits by Pope John Paul II in 1982 and in 1989 when World Youth Day was held in Santiago. The number of pilgrims continues to grow. In 1985 1,245 pilgrims arrived in Santiago. In the 2010 Holy Year 272,703 pilgrims qualified for the Compostela.

Things to Do[6]

·        Learn more about St. James.

·        It is traditional in Spain to make a yearly pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela on July 24. Read more about this custom. From Catholic Culture's Library: Pilgrimage To The Stars and Cycling through time on the Camino de Santiago.

·        Read about Santiago de Compostela, the third largest shrine in all of Christendom.

·        Learn more about the pilgrimage to St. James.

·        Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia and final destination of the famous pilgrimage way is certainly among Spain's most beautiful cities. You can take a virtual tour and learn all about this area of the world here.

·        Watch this Spanish news broadcast of the faithful bringing flowers for Our Lady of the Pillar on October 12 during the celebration of the feast at the cathedral, notice the open devotion and enthusiasm offered to Our Lady. Tradition says that Mary appeared to St. James before her Assumption. Read more about the apparition here.

·        Plan your own pilgrimage to a nearby shrine. Pope John Paul II said, "To go in a spirit of prayer from one place to another, from one city to another, in the area marked especially by God's intervention, helps us not only to live our life as a journey, but also gives us a vivid sense of a God who has gone before us and leads us on, who himself set out on man's path, a God who does not look down on us from on high, but who became our traveling companion." Read this letter and try to incorporate its spirit into your pilgrimage.

Way of St. James[7]

Hikers travel the trail across the Castilian plateau. It’s a long walk to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), but the Christian faithful have made the pilgrimage since the bones of St. James the Apostle were unearthed here in the 9th century, spreading the cultural rebirth of Europe. The apparition of St. James was said to aid Christian armies in battles with the Moors, so Spaniards adopted Santiago Matamoros (aka St. James, the Moor-slayer) as their patron saint. Modern hikers follow in the footsteps of El Cid, Louis VII of France, and St. Francis of Assisi to this pilgrimage destination that’s on a par with Rome and Jerusalem. Whether their motives are spiritual or not, the experience of the walk lingers. Most travelers follow a variant of the French Route, which begins in the Basque village of Roncesvalles, in the Pyrenees at the French-Spanish border, and trek 500 miles through the Rioja wine country (see here) and the former kingdoms of northern Spain. Hostels, inns, and restaurants along the entire stretch cater to the pilgrims. Those who lack time or stamina for the 4-plus-week journey by foot walk only the final 62 miles, through rugged but green inland Galicia. At Monte de Gozo, 2 miles from Santiago de Compostela, tired but elated travelers typically get their first glimpse of the twin towers of Santiago’s cathedral. Construction of the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela began in 1078, on the site of a 9th-century basilica destroyed by the Moors, and Maestro Mateo’s original designs rank among Europe’s finest Romanesque art. The cathedral’s elaborate, two-towered Baroque façade, added in the 18th century, protects the now restored original Porta de Gloria from weathering. The impact of the cavernous interior—as simple as the façade is ornate—is heightened by the golden-cloaked, bejeweled statue of St. James above the main altar, embraced by arriving pilgrims. The cathedral shares the vast Plaza del Obradoiro (“work of gold”) with the Hotel Reyes Católicos (Catholic Kings), built by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel in 1499 as a hospice for pilgrims. Now one of the most renowned paradors in Spain, it has rooms overlooking the square and the cathedral and many more overlooking four courtyard cloisters. Only a short walk away, the Palacio del Carmen has transformed an 18th-century convent into comfortable if less majestic lodging. Where: Santiago de Compostela is 375 miles/603 km northwest of Madrid. The most popular route of the Camino de Santiago starts in Roncesvalle and runs 500 miles/800 km across the northern regions of Spain, from east to west. How: U.S.-based Saranjan, Inc., offers 1- to 2-week tours by minibus, on foot, or on bicycle. Tel 800-858-9594 or 206-720-0623; www.saranjan.com. Cost: 8-day hiking/biking tours from $3,150; all-inclusive. Originate in León. Hotel Reyes Católicos: Tel 34/981582200; www.parador.es; in the U.S., Palace Tours, 800-724-5120; www.palacetours.com. Cost: from $105 (off-peak), from $225 (peak). Palacio del Carmen: Tel 34/981-552444; www.palaciodelcarmen.com. Cost: from $100 (off-peak), from $115 (peak). Best times: late Feb or early Mar for Antroido (carnival); last 2 weeks of Jul for succession of fiestas; Jul 25 for feast day of Santiago, celebrated with fireworks, music, and processions.

Bearer of Christ[8]

St. Christopher's feast day is still July 25, and the proper of the Mass in his honor is found in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal still authorized for the Tridentine Mass. The confusion over whether St. Christopher is still a saint arose when Pope Paul VI revised the Liturgical Calendar, which includes the feast days of saints that are commemorated at Mass. Due to the proliferation of the number of feast days over the centuries, the Second Vatican Council in its "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy" proposed, "Lest the feasts of the saints should take precedence over the feasts which commemorate the very mysteries of salvation, many of them should be left to be celebrated by a particular Church, or nation, or family of religious. Only those should be extended to the universal Church which commemorate saints who are truly of universal importance" (No. 111). With this in mind, a special commission — Consilium — examined the calendar and removed those saints whose historical base was more grounded on tradition than provable fact, changed the feast days to coincide with the anniversary of a saint's death or martyrdom whenever possible, and added saints that were recently canonized and had universal Church appeal. Moreover, local conferences of bishops could add to the universal calendar those saints important to the faithful in their own country. In no way did the Church "de-canonize" St. Christopher or anyone else, despite the lack of historical evidence surrounding their lives. St. Christopher is still worthy of our devotion and prayers, and each of us should be mindful that he too is called to be a "bearer of Christ."

Novena of St. Ann[9]


 

Daily Prayer to Saint Ann

 

O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.

 

Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .

 

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death. Good St. Ann, intercede for me.

 

NINTH DAY

 

Good St. Ann, I have reached the end of this novena in your honor. I have asked and ask again. Good mother let not your kind ear grow weary of my prayers, though I repeat them so often.

 

Bounteous Lady implore for me from divine Providence all the help I need through life. May your generous hand bestow on me the material means to satisfy my own needs and to alleviate the plight of the poor.

 

Good St. Ann, fortify me by the sacraments of the Church at the hour of my death. Admit me into the company of the blessed in the kingdom of heaven, where I may praise and thank the adorable Trinity, your grandson Christ Jesus, your glorious daughter Mary, and yourself, dear St. Ann, through endless ages.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER ONE-THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION

Article 1 THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

VII. The Grace of Baptism

1262 The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.

For the forgiveness of sins . . .

1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, "the tinder for sin" (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ." Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."

"A new creature"

1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature," member of Christ and coheir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.

1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification:


- enabling them to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological virtues;


- giving them the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit;


- allowing them to grow in goodness through the moral virtues.
Thus the whole organism of the Christian's supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.

Incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ

1267 Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: "Therefore . . . we are members one of another." Baptism incorporates us into the Church. From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."

1268 The baptized have become "living stones" to be "built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood." By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light." Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.

1269 Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.

1270 "Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church" and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.

The sacramental bond of the unity of Christians

1271 Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: "For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church." "Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn."

An indelible spiritual mark . . .

1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.

1273 Incorporated into the Church by Baptism, the faithful have received the sacramental character that consecrates them for Christian religious worship. The baptismal seal enables and commits Christians to serve God by a vital participation in the holy liturgy of the Church and to exercise their baptismal priesthood by the witness of holy lives and practical charity.

1274 The Holy Spirit has marked us with the seal of the Lord ("Dominicus character") "for the day of redemption." "Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life." The faithful Christian who has "kept the seal" until the end, remaining faithful to the demands of his Baptism, will be able to depart this life "marked with the sign of faith," with his baptismal faith, in expectation of the blessed vision of God - the consummation of faith - and in the hope of resurrection.

Daily Devotions

·       It is traditional in Spain to make a yearly pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela on July 24. Read more about this custom. From Catholic Culture's Library: Pilgrimage To The Stars and Cycling through time on the Camino de Santiago.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: The sanctification of the Church Militant.

·       Read Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality.

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: July

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Let Freedom Ring Day 19

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Go to MASS

·       Rosary



Comments