|The Liturgical Calendar|
1. Pentecost (Sunday, June 8)
One of the major feasts of the Church year and one of the very few times we see our priests in their red vestments (the color of the Holy Spirit). Pentecost officially closes the celebratory season of Easter. This feast, of course, is meant to bring to mind the first Christian Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the frightened and cowering apostles utterly transforming them into heroes who, with the sole exception of St. John, would preach the gospel unto martyrdom. Pentecost is a great time to reflect on our confirmation, when the Spirit was poured upon each one of us, along with the call to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations" by engaging in the hard work of the New Evangelization.
2. Feast of the Holy Trinity (Sunday, June 15)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us of the significance of the Doctrine of the Trinity, which we contemplate on this day.
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith". The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin". (234)
3. Corpus Christi (Sunday, June 22)
One of my personal favorite days of the year, the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. On this day we celebrate the "source and summit of the Christian life" (Lumen Gentium, 11) - the Eucharist. It is a day that frequently sees Eucharistic processions, like the following,
4. Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Patrons of Rome (Sunday, June 29)
Two of the greatest saints in history - our first pope, St. Peter, and the missionary to the gentiles, St. Paul - share a feast day as they share patronage of the city of Rome, where they both met gruesome deaths. St. Peter died on a Cross, upside down, while St. Paul was beheaded (he was a Roman citizen and received what the Romans considered a merciful punishment). The strength, wisdom, and courage of these two great men is worth contemplating today, especially as our Western society turns ever more solidly against historic Christianity. Are you ready to be a martyr for Christ? Am I?
5. Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Tuesday, June 24 - not an obligation day)
The last man of the Old Testament and the first of New, St. John the Baptist is well worth remembering for many reasons. One interesting point for today, the Bible tells us St. John was six months older than Jesus (cf. Lk 1:24-27, 36). It also tells us that St. John was conceived right after his father finished his stint as a Temple priest in our late September. Add nine months to September and you get late June as the birth month for St. John the Baptist. Add another six months on and you get late December for the birth day of Jesus, according to the New Testament itself. So much for the myth that Christmas is only celebrated on Dec 25 to replace a pagan holiday! (for more see Dr. Taylor Marshall's Blog)
6. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Friday, June 27 - not an obligation day)
Just about every Catholic Church I've been in has a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is a great day to pray in front of such a statue, asking Jesus once more into your heart. We must always remember, Catholicism isn't about ideas, it isn't even about rules, it's about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Do your Protestant neighbors talk about having a "personal relationship with Jesus"? Good for them. You should too.
7. The Immaculate Heart of Mary (Saturday, June 28 - not an obligation day)
Where would the human race be without Mary's fiat? It was her willingness to follow the Will of God without hesitation that allowed God to enter the world, taking on her flesh as His own. I've heard it said no one looks at their child or quite understands him as well as his mother. How much more true must this be of Mother Mary? The surest way to stand by Jesus is through His mother. Today is a great day to remember that.
8. Feast of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (Thursday, June 26 - not an obligation day)
This one won't be of universal appeal, but, as regular readers well know, St. Josemaria is my patron saint for 2014 and I'd be remiss if I didn't include his feast here. Today would be a great day to pick up a copy of his book The Way, which ought to be required reading for every Catholic. In it, St. Josemaria speaks plainly to his readers, encouraging them on to virtue. We've looked a bit as the wisdom of St. Josemaria already this year on the blog, today wouldn't be a bad day to review some of that wisdom (HERE).
There is a packed month for you, courtesy of the Catholic Church. Live it. Grow in holiness. Strive to enter the narrow way. BE A SAINT!