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March 27, 2008
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August 31: Feast of St. Aidan
"It is said that Aidan's lavish generosity was such that on one occasion when King Oswin had given him a particularly fine horse for his own use, a poor man met him and asked for alms, upon which he immediately dismounted, and ordered the horse, with all his Royal trappings, to be given to the beggar. Perhaps it was only natural that the King should be somewhat annoyed at the prompt way in which his gift was disposed of, but Aidan pointed out to him,  'that man, made in the image of God, was of more value than his fine horse,' and Oswin threw himself at his feet exclaiming,  'that he would never again grudge anything to the children of God.'"  [Britannia]

September 3: Feast of St. Gregory the Great
"Only two popes, Leo I and Gregory I, have been given the popular title of 'the Great.' Both served during difficult times of barbarian invasions in Italy; and during Gregory's term of office, Rome was also faced with famine and epidemics." [James Keifer]

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WHOEVER DOES NOT CARRY HIS OWN CROSS AND COME AFTER ME CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

Worshipping the true God is an authentic act of resistance to all forms of idolatry. Worship Christ: He is the Rock on which to build your future and a world of greater justice and solidarity.

The Gospel of Sunday, September 5, 2004
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke: 14:25-33

My dear young people... Be worshippers of the only true God, giving Him pride of place in your lives! Idolatry is an ever-present temptation. Sadly, there are those who seek the solution to their problems in religious practices that are incompatible with the Christian faith. There is a strong urge to believe in the facile myths of success and power; it is dangerous to accept the fleeting ideas of the sacred which present God in the form of cosmic energy, or in any other manner that is inconsistent with Catholic teaching.

My dear young people, do not yield to false illusions and passing fads which so frequently leave behind a tragic spiritual vacuum! Reject the seduction of wealth, consumerism and the subtle violence sometimes used by the mass media.

Worshipping the true God is an authentic act of resistance to all forms of idolatry. Worship Christ: He is the Rock on which to build your future and a world of greater justice and solidarity. Jesus is the Prince of peace: the source of forgiveness and reconciliation, who can make brothers and sisters of all the members of the human family...

...Listening to Christ and worshipping Him leads us to make courageous choices, to take what are sometimes heroic decisions. Jesus is demanding, because He wishes our genuine happiness. He calls some to give up everything to follow Him in the priestly or consecrated life. Those who hear this invitation must not be afraid to say "yes" and to generously set about following Him as His disciples. But in addition to vocations to special forms of consecration there is also the specific vocation of all baptised Christians: that is also a vocation to that "high standard" of ordinary Christian living which is expressed in holiness (cf Novo Millennio Ineunte, 31). When we meet Christ and accept His Gospel, life changes and we are driven to communicate our experience to others.

There are so many of our contemporaries who do not yet know the love of God or who are seeking to fill their hearts with trifling substitutes. It is therefore urgently necessary for us to be witnesses to love contemplated in Christ. The invitation... is also extended to you, dear friends, who are not baptised or who do not identify with the Church. Are you not perhaps yearning for the Absolute and in search of "something" to give a meaning to your lives? Turn to Christ and you will not be let down.

Dear young people, the Church needs genuine witnesses for the new evangelisation: men and women whose lives have been transformed by meeting with Jesus, men and women who are capable of communicating this experience to others. The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity.

My dear young people... May Mary, "Eucharistic woman" and Mother of Wisdom, support you along the way, enlighten your decisions, and teach you to love what is true, good and beautiful. May she lead you all to her Son, who alone can satisfy the innermost yearnings of the human mind and heart.

August 30, 2004

Excerpted from Pope John Paul IIís 20th World Youth Day Message, August 2004.

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