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Who was St. John the Baptist? 11 things to know and share…..

John the Baptist is a mysterious figure in the New Testament. He was famous in his own day, even before he became the herald of Christ. We even know about him from outside the New Testament. The Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is June 24 (or June 23 in most places in 2022, because of the coincidence with the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart on June 24) , and the Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist is Aug. 29, so it’s an excellent time to catch up on him. Here are 11 things to know and share … 1) How was John the Baptist related to Jesus? John was related to Jesus through their mothers. In Luke 1:36, Elizabeth is described as Mary’s “kinswoman,” meaning that they were related in some way through marriage or blood. Most likely, it was a blood relationshi...

Locusts and wild honey: Why St. John the Baptist gets a liturgical birthday party…

The Church this week celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist — the feast, effectively, of John the Baptist’s birthday. “St. John the Baptist,” Raffaello Sanzio. 16th century. Public domain. Like John the Baptist himself, there is a lot unusual about this feast.  For example, in most places in the U.S. the solemnity will be celebrated on Thursday, June 23. But if your church is named for John the Baptist, or he’s the patron of your diocese, you might be celebrating the feast on Friday, June 24.   And the Church celebrates nativity feasts only for three people – Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. John the Baptist.  So why does John the Baptist get an ecclesiastical birthday feast in the first place?  The Pillar aimed to find...

Here are some of the most famous drivers to take on Pikes Peak…

It’s time for qualifying at the world’s most extreme hill climb, and the world’s greatest drivers are on the mountain—like they’ve always been. Qualifying has begun for this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and as always, that means some of the world’s best drivers are giving it their all on the mountain. In doing so, they become part of a class of drivers that—if you browse back through the list of entrants dating back to 1916—you’ll find includes some of the greatest and most famous drivers of all time. The first name from the pantheon of greats to hit the slopes was Unser, whom you may recognize as the winningest family in the history of the Indy 500. Before brothers Al and Bobby, though, there was their dad Joe and his brother Louis, who made the familyR...

What is stagflation, and how can you prepare for it?

Runaway inflation has raised fears that the economy is headed towards a return of stagflation but a host of Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs and HSBC believe there remains opportunities for investors to safely navigate this tricky backdrop. UCG | Getty Images What is stagflation? Stagflation is a term coined in the 1970s when there was simultaneous high inflation and economic stagnation or high unemployment, according to Jonathan Wright, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. While there were some nasty recessions back then, many economists aren’t expecting a return to anything like that now, he said. “The sense in which you had stagflation in the 1970s is not one that I think is at all in the cards,” Wright said. However, high inflation is prompting t...

Dead Time, Living Time, Technology, and Leisure…

“I have time when I am not conscious of time which presses in upon me in its empty quality, as lifeless time. He who has leisure thereby disposes of boundless time; he lives in the fullness of time, be he active or at rest.”Friedrich Juenger, The Failure of Technology I find these lines stunning. Indeed, they scare me. Reading them was one of those difficult moments, when with a combination of excitement and fear I get short of breath. Convinced there is an insight here we have simply lost—and one that makes a great difference in life—I struggle to reckon with it. The experience is heightened by its immediate connection for me with another line that lives in my memory and haunts me. It is one of the closing lines in Hilaire Belloc’s great essay ‘The Mowing of a Field.’ There he describes a...

What does it mean to follow “all” of the Church’s teachings?

“In the culture, if you stand for virtues and principles and morals, you are far right,” went a Facebook post I stumbled upon. “In the Church, if you are devout and follow ‘all’ of the teachings of the Church, you are rigid. Got that?” Not untrue, though I’d want to qualify both claims. The second sentence is the one that interests me here. It may be meant for encouragement or for virtue-signaling. In either case, the question to be answered is what “follow the teachings” means. It has more possible meanings than we might think, and some of those deceive us into thinking we’re doing better than we are. A Catholic can follow without following. Does it mean follow as in following a legal commitment? The kind of thing almost everyone does when they hit “agree” to the pages and pages-long lega...

Vatican security concerns flare after shots fired near St. Peter’s Square…

Listen to this story: ROME – Security around the Vatican is on high alert after a renegade vehicle sped erratically towards St. Peter’s Square and broke through police barricades just before the pope’s noontime Angelus address on Sunday. At around 10 a.m., just two hours before Pope Francis was scheduled to appear for the weekly Angelus, a gray BMW was seen swerving at high speed down the Via della Conciliazione, the main street leading up to St. Peter’s Square. Police stationed near the square shouted and motioned to the car in an attempt to get it to stop. However, the car continued veering up the street and then turned and drove along the lefthand colonnade, eventually turning into the Piazza Sant’Uffizio, where tourists were lined up doing security checks and stopping at cafés prior to...

Pope’s Wednesday Audience: ‘Do Not Sugarcoat Your Witness of the Gospel’…

“We don’t have the strength of the young,” the pope continued. “And your witness, too, Jesus says, will go along with this weakness. You are to give witness to Jesus even in weakness, in sickness and death.” Pope Francis recalled a quote from St. Ignatius of Loyola, who said, “Just as in life, even in death we must bear witness as disciples of Jesus.” Even at the end of life we must continue to be disciples of Christ, he urged, noting that St. John the Evangelist, in the Gospel, explains that Jesus is alluding to the witness of martyrdom. “But we can well understand more generally the meaning of this admonition: your pursuit [of Jesus] will have to learn to be taught and shaped by your frailty, your helplessness, your dependence on others, even in dressing, in walking,” he said. More in Va...

Cardinal Zuppi Accused of ‘Incorrect and Misleading’ Spin After Blessing of Homosexual Couple in Bologna Church …

ROME — An Italian Catholic newspaper has accused Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the president of Italy’s bishops’ conference, of covering up what observers say amounted to the first blessing of a homosexual couple in a church in Italy earlier this month.  In an article in Tuesday’s La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, headlined “Blessing of Gay Couple, Cardinal Zuppi’s Lies,” editor Riccardo Cascioli said that the Archdiocese of Bologna made a number of false claims in a statement attempting to justify the ceremony. The “blessing” of Pietro Morotti and Giacomo Spagnoli took place in the presence of six priests at the church of San Lorenzo di Budrio, close to the registry office where the civil union had taken place earlier that day.   La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana reported that it was billed as a ...

For the fallen away: The line between charity and cowardice…

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio – articles – email ) | Jun 21, 2022 Sadly for Catholics today, most of us have friends or family members who have chosen to leave the Catholic Church and worship instead at a Protestant church of some sort, or no church at all. By far the most common cause of this is marriage issues. Catholics may marry outside the Church to escape a failed marriage which has not been annulled, and so they need either a “Christian” church which permits divorce, or a Justice of the Peace. Alternatively, a Catholic who marries a non-Catholic may think it important to worship together as a family, but finds that this must be done at the non-Catholic’s church because the non-Catholic is not willing to worship as a Catholic. Alternatively, the cause could be moral, as someone...

Bobby’s dad was okay. So was mine. John’s wasn’t…..

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We march and fight under the banner of Jesus Christ…

In St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, the training manual of authentic Jesuit spirituality and the most influential retreat program in the history of the Church, the founder of the Society of Jesus has us meditate on “Two Standards” — two flags or military banners — under one of which we must choose to march and fight. One flag is Lucifer’s, the other Christ’s.  Lucifer offers a life of riches, worldly honor and pride, as a prelude to other vices. Christ promises, in respective contrast, spiritual poverty, being hated and humility, which induce to other virtues. St. Ignatius instructs us to make the meditation four times and to beg Our Lady to intercede with Jesus for the grace to be received under his standard and to live in communion with his virtues.  The purpose of...