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“I know so many men and women who are Catholic, who are dedicated to Jesus Christ who experience same sex attraction, and they commit their lives like, “I’m gonna live chastely. I’m gonna have as many great friendships as possible. I’m gonna dive into prayer as deeply as possible. I’m gonna serve and love people as deeply as possible.” And they have these incredibly full lives, and incredibly transformed lives. These people, these men and women, like, “No, my experience is I am same sex attracted. I always have been. I don’t know if it will ever change. It doesn’t matter though because what I can do, I know I’m called to love, called to friendship, called to chastity, called to be a saint.“

And I cannot wait for the day. I cannot wait for the day when the Church canonizes the first known homosexual man or homosexual woman saint who dedicated their lives to living chastely, in abundant love, in the power of Jesus Christ because that will be an incredible day, an incredible day, one that will be a message, and this amazing thing is this. The amazing thing is this. That person, that saint, could be in this room. That saint could be in this room.

Maybe you always thought, “Nah, I don’t belong. I’m not part of this, and I need to leave.” No, no, no, no, no. No, no. You belong, and one day, maybe you will be the greatest, greatest, most powerful witness to Christ’s love that the world has ever seen.”

Fr. Mike Schmitz - Love and Same Sex Attraction - 2016 Steubenville On The Lake

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Today the Church remembers Saint Justin the Martyr.

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Ora pro nobis.


Saint Justin Martyr, (born c. 100 A.D. in Flavia Neapolis, and died c. 165 A.D., in Rome, was one of the most important of the Greek philosopher-Apologists in the early Christian church. His writings represent the first positive encounter of Christian revelation with Greek philosophy and laid the basis for a theology of history.


His grandfather, Bacchius, had a Greek name, while his father, Priscus, bore a Latin name, which has led to speculations that his ancestors may have settled in Neapolis soon after its establishment or that they were descended from a Roman “diplomatic” community that had been sent there.


A pagan reared in a Jewish environment, Justin studied Stoic, Platonic, and other pagan philosophies and then became a Christian in 132 A.D., possibly at Ephesus. Soon after 135 A.D. he began wandering from place to place proclaiming his newfound Christian philosophy in the hope of converting educated pagans to it. He spent a considerable time in Rome. Some years later, after debating with the cynic Crescens, Justin was denounced to the Roman prefect as a subversive and condemned to death. Authentic records of his martyrdom survive.


Of the works bearing Justin’s authorship and still deemed genuine are two Apologies and the Dialogue with Trypho. The first, or “Major Apology,” was addressed about 150 A.D. to the Roman emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. In the first part of the First Apology, Justin defends his fellow Christians against the charges of atheism and hostility to the Roman state. He then goes on to express the core of his Christian philosophy: the highest aspiration: an intellectual articulation of the Christian faith which would demonstrate its harmony with reason. Such a convergence is rooted in the relationship between human reason and the divine mind, both identified by the same term, logos (Greek: “intellect,” “word”), which enables man to understand basic truths regarding the world, time, creation, freedom, the human soul’s affinity with the divine spirit, and the recognition of good and evil.


Justin asserts that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the entire divine logos and thus of these basic truths, whereas only traces of truth were found in the great works of the pagan philosophers. The purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was to teach men the truth and save them from the power of demons. In the third part of the First Apology, Justin vividly describes the early Christians’ method of celebrating the Eucharist and of administering Baptism.


In his brief Second Apology Justin argues that the Christians are being unjustly persecuted by Rome.


Justin’s distinctive contribution to Christian theology is his conception of a divine plan in history, a process of salvation structured by God, wherein the various historical epochs have been integrated into an organic unity directed toward a supernatural end; the Old Testament and Greek philosophy met to form the single stream of Christianity.

Justin’s concrete description of the sacramental celebrations of Baptism and the Eucharist remain a principal source for the history of the primitive church.


Justin serves, moreover, as a crucial witness to the status of the 2nd-century New Testament corpus, mentioning the first three Gospels and quoting and paraphrasing the letters of Paul and 1 Peter; he was the first known writer to quote from the Acts of the Apostles.


Though the precise year of his death is uncertain, it can reasonably be dated by the prefectoral term of Rusticus (who governed from 162 A.D. and 168 A.D.). The martyrdom of Justin preserves the court record of the trial:


“The Prefect Rusticus says: Approach and sacrifice, all of you, to the gods. Justin says: No one in his right mind gives up piety for impiety. The Prefect Rusticus says: If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy. Justin replies: That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Saviour. And all the martyrs said: Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols. The Prefect Rusticus read the sentence: Those who do not wish to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the emperor will be scourged and beheaded according to the laws. The holy martyrs glorifying God betook themselves to the customary place, where they were beheaded and consummated their martyrdom confessing their Saviour.”


Almighty and everlasting God, you found your martyr Justin wandering from teacher to teacher, seeking the true God, and you revealed to him the sublime wisdom of your eternal Word: Grant that all who seek you, or a deeper knowledge of you, may find and be found by you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Amen.

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In light of recent event I want to revisit my first Tumblr post. My first post was about St. Catherine Drexel. An American nun who stood up against Rascism for Black and Indegious people, She used the privilege she had as a wealthy, white woman to provide education for Black and Indegious children during the 1850s. When the Klu Klux Klan threatened to lynch her, the children in her care, and her fellow parishioners she stood firm against them.

Her story is a happy one, because she turned and prayed to to God for guidance. The next day a tornado came and destroyed the KKK headquarters killing two Klan members. They never bother her or her school again.

God is with us all. Whether he sends a tornado to wipe out the enemy, or his spirit to face certain and possibly painful death. We need to stand up for what is right no matter what.


God bless, and good luck.

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Today, the Church remembers St. Joan d’Arc.

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Ora pro nobis.


Joan (Jeanne) was born on 6 January 1412 AD, during the Hundred Years’ War betweennEnglandcand France. France had not yet begun to recover from the Black Death, the plague, which killed nearly half of the population of Europe during the middle of the 14th century A.D.


During the war, the English carried out a total war tactic, burning down everything, homes and crops, which led to even more death from starvation. It was during this time of suffering and starvation that a 13 year old Joan was visited by an angel, telling her to help the starving people by bringing the war to an end.


Though ridiculed and misunderstood, she persisted until she was introduced to the French king, and through divine knowledge (she was an illiterate peasant girl) proved that the Lord has indeed sent her. While she was sent to be part of the French army, and was forced to wear armor for protection, Joan only gave advice to the military leaders, and carried a banner, not a sword, with the cross on it. Her presence on the field of battle is accredited as giving inspiration and courage to the soldiers, and subsequent victories were accredited to her presence and counsel.


She was captured through an act of betrayal and handed over to the English army, and was put on trial for witchcraft, heresy, and cross-dressing (she wore armor, which only men were allowed). The trial revealed a young woman of deep faith, who’s answers at the tribunal were so sublime that the inquisitors assumed that she must be a witch, for how could a simple peasant girl have such deep knowledge of the Scriptures and the Faith. She was, of course, convicted. In Rouen, France, 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake on 30 May 1431 A.D. by an English-dominated tribunal. They set her body to fire twice again until nothing remained but ashes, which were scattered in a river. She was found innocent by a Commission appointed by Pope Callistus III in A.D. 1456.


She was canonized as a saint and martyr in 1920 A.D. and is the patron saint protector of France.


Blessed Joan, who was so misunderstood because of your deep faith in a time when women were thought to be incapable of reason, and who was used as a pawn in the dynastic squabbles of kings when all you sought to do was relieve the suffering of the poor people caught in the middle; pray for all those who are misunderstood or persecuted for upholding the true Faith, or used as pawns in the ongoing games of thrones throughout the world. Pray for the poor who suffer in war-torn countries, and that all wars should cease through the peace that can only come from God. Pray that the dignity of all women is upheld and protected.


Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Joan triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death: Grant us, who now remember her in thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world, that we may

receive with her the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Amen.

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“Jesus Christ gave more glory to God, His Father, by His thirty years’ submission to His Mother than He would have done in converting the whole world by working the greatest miracles. Oh! how greatly we glorify God when, to please Him, we submit ourself to Mary after the example of Jesus Christ, our sole model!”

-Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort

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“Who hath a harder battle to fight than be who strive the for self-mastery? And this should be our endeavor, even to master self, and thus daily to grow stronger than self, and go on unto perfection.” St Augustine of Canterbury

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Brigid is celebrated for her generosity to the poor. In her case, most of the miracles associated with her relate to healing and household tasks usually attributed to women.

  • Brigid, who had a reputation as an expert dairywoman and brewer, was reputed to turn water into beer.[16]
  • The prayers of Saint Brigid were said to still the wind and the rain.[26]
  • When Brigid was of marital age, a man by the name of Dubthach maccu Lugair came to woo her. Since Brigid had offered her virginity to God, she told the man that she could not accept him but that he should go to the woods behind his house where he would find a beautiful maiden to marry. Everything that he said to the maiden’s parents would be pleasing to them. The man followed her instructions and it was as she said.[14]
  • In one story, Brigid protected a woman from a nobleman who had entrusted a silver brooch to the woman for safekeeping but then secretly had thrown it into the sea. He charged her with stealing it, knowing that he could take her as a slave if a judge ruled in his favour. The woman fled and sought refuge with Brigid’s community. By chance, one of her fishermen hauled in a fish which, when cut open, proved to have swallowed the brooch. The nobleman freed the woman, confessed his sin, and bowed in submission to Brigid.[16] A similar story is told of Saint Mungo.
  • On an occasion when Brigid was travelling to see a doctor for a headache, she stayed at the house of a Leinster couple who had two mute daughters. The daughters were travelling with Brigid when her horse startled, causing her to fall and graze her head on a stone. A touch of Brigid’s blood healed the girls of their muteness.[16]
  • When on the bank of the River Inny, Brigid was given a gift of apples and sweet sloes. She later entered a house where many lepers begged her for these apples, which she offered willingly. The woman who had given the gift to Brigid was angered by this, saying that she had not given the gift to the lepers. Brigid was angry at the nun for withholding from the lepers and cursed her trees so they would no longer bear fruit. Yet another woman also gave Brigid the same gift, and again Brigid gave them to begging lepers. This woman asked that she and her garden be blessed. Brigid then said that a large tree in the virgin’s garden would have twofold fruit from its offshoots, and this was done.[14]
  • One of the more commonly told stories is of Brigid asking the King of Leinster for land. She told the king that the place where she stood was the perfect spot for a convent. It was beside a forest where the members could collect firewood and berries, there was a lake nearby that would provide water and the land was fertile. The king laughed at her and refused to give her any land. Brigid prayed and asked God to soften the king’s heart. Then she smiled at the king and said, “Will you give me as much land as my cloak will cover?” The king thought that she was joking and agreed. She told four of her sisters to take up the cloak, but instead of laying it flat on the turf, each sister, with face turned to a different point of the compass, began to run swiftly, the cloth growing in all directions. The cloak began to cover many acres of land. “Oh, Brigid!” said the frighted king, “what are you about?” “I am, or rather my cloak is about covering your whole province to punish you for your stinginess to the poor.” “Call your maidens back. I will give you a decent plot of ground.” The saint was persuaded, and if the king held his purse-strings tight in future, she had only to allude to her cloak to bring him to reason. Soon afterwards, the king became a Christian, began to help the poor and commissioned the building of the convent. Legend has it, the convent was known for making jam from the local blueberries which was sought for all over Ireland. A new tradition is to eat jam on 1 February in honour of this miracle.[27][28]
  • After Brigid promised God a life of chastity, her brothers were annoyed at the loss of a bride price. When she was outside carrying a load past a group of poor people, some began to laugh at her. A man named Bacene said to her, “The beautiful eye which is in your head will be betrothed to a man though you like it or not.” In response, Brigid thrust her finger in her eye and said, “Here is that beautiful eye for you. I deem it unlikely that anyone will ask you for a blind girl.” Her brothers tried to save her and wash away the blood from her wound, but there was no water to be found. Brigid said to them, “Put my staff about this sod in front of you”, and after they did, a stream came forth from the ground. Then she said to Bacene, “Soon your two eyes will burst in your head”, and it happened as she said.[14]
  • She is associated with the preservation of a nun’s chastity in unusual circumstances. Liam de Paor (1993)[29] and Connolly & Picard (1987), in their complete translations of Cogitosus, give substantially the same translation[30] of the account of Brigid’s ministry to a nun who had failed to keep her vow of chastity, and become pregnant. In the 1987 translation: “A certain woman who had taken the vow of chastity fell, through youthful desire of pleasure and her womb swelled with child. Brigid, exercising the most potent strength of her ineffable faith, blessed her, causing the child to disappear, without coming to birth, and without pain. She faithfully returned the woman to health and to penance.”
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Courtesy of SaintBrigids.org

Brigid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.
Mothers of our mother, Foremothers strong.
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how to kindle the hearth.
To keep it bright, to preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours, Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light, Both day and night.
The Mantle of Brigid about us,
The Memory of Brigid within us,
The Protection of Brigid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness.
This day and night,
From dawn till dark, From dark till dawn.

Continue reading about St. Brigid of Ireland

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