Saint Thomas said, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).
Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” (see John 20:24-28) and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).
Thomas should be known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).
Thomas shares the lot of Peter the impetuous, James and John, the “sons of thunder,” Philip and his foolish request to see the Father—indeed all the apostles in their weakness and lack of understanding. We must not exaggerate these facts, however, for Christ did not pick worthless men. But their human weakness again points up the fact that holiness is a gift of God, not a human creation; it is given to ordinary men and women with weaknesses; it is God who gradually transforms the weaknesses into the image of Christ, the courageous, trusting and loving one.
Authentic true power is service. Look at Saint Joseph.
“He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: ‘Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord’”
-St. Bernardine of Siena
Saint Agnes: the Patron of Challenge
132-year-old tradition—the Blessing of the Lambs and Saint Agnes
Every year on her feast day (January 21), lambs–a sign of Saint Agnes’s purity–are blessed at the basilica, and their wool is then used to create palliums, the distinctive garments given by the Pope to archbishops to show their unity with the Holy Father.
One source of Chaminade’s inspiration came from prayerful reflection on the Church community presented in the Acts of the Apostles.
How did the fearful little community of the Upper Room, through the Holy Spirit, become the vibrant missionary Church of the later chapters of Acts?
Blessed Chaminade noted three key elements in the Church of Acts: the centrality of Mary, the need for inclusiveness, and the urgency to foster faith and a deep sense of missionary activity.
Perhaps because of her famous (or infamous) flouting of ecclesiastical authority, Hildegard of Bingen was not canonized by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint, though she was honored locally as a saint. The Church of England considered her a saint. On May 10, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially declared her a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, and has announced that in October 2012, he will name her as a Doctor of the Church (meaning her teachings are recommended doctrine). She will be the fourth woman to be so honored, after Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena and Térèse of Lisieux.
Like many Marian feasts, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrates the protection of Christians through the intercession of the Mother of God.
Salve Regina by Choeur des moines de saint benoit-du-lac
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God, who by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary to become a dwelling-place meet for thy Son: grant that as we rejoice in her commemoration; so by her fervent intercession we may be delivered from present evils and from everlasting death. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
A Passage from St. Faustina’s Diary:
Suffering is Redemptive when you unite it to Jesus Christ.
Saint M. Faustina Kowalska’s Diary # 303
Faustina Kowalska, simply known as Saint Faustina, born Helena Kowalska (August 25, 1905) in Poland then in the Russian Empire — Died October 5, 1938, Kraków, Poland) was a Polish nun, visionary, and mystic, now venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as a saint.