not of this world

To Jesus through Mary! Good afternoon on this Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. Today’s gospel tells the familiar story of how John met his death through King Herod’s impetuous promise to his stepdaughter, a reward for her lewd dancing.

The scene is uncomfortable and disturbing and leaves us unsettled for sure. However, before we get bogged down in the weirdness and sinfulness of that event, let’s take a look at the bigger picture at play. There’s more going on here than just a lustful king and a rash decision. More on this in a moment!

As usual, we have been scouring the interwebs this week looking for the pertinent, interesting, and useful things, and we think we have a pretty good lineup this afternoon! So, without further ado, let’s get into this!

So, without further ado, let’s get into this!

John Vianney and John the Baptist
When we think about today’s feast, we can’t help but be struck by the juxtaposition that plays out: the innocence, purity, and single-heartedness of St. John the Baptist who loses his life after what was most likely a very inappropriate and impure dance. However, upon further reflection, the contrast isn’t so unusual for God, is it? God’s ways are not the ways of the world. We are to be in the world and not of it. To this end, we found a zinger! If you have not read this commentary about living in the world but not being of it by St. John Vianney, we can’t stress enough how good it is! Please take the time to read it!

Death be Not Proud 
The famous poem by John Donne speaks of the powerlessness of death. We hear this message also echoed in St. Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth when he writes, “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” It is true that Jesus, St. John the Baptist, and countless martyrs have lived heroic lives only to leave this world through an ignominious death, but once we realize the weakness of death, it matters not! In our searchings, we found this piece from the St. Josemaria Escriva Institute that explores this in light of the final moments of St. John the Baptist’s life. We really enjoyed it!

When All You Can Do Is Pray
A couple days ago, the Church celebrated the feast of St. Monica, the fasting and praying mother of the wayward Augustine, who through God’s grace became one of the greatest saints. Like Monica, so many of us have wept desperate prayers to God for our loved ones. This piece illustrates the beauty of her approach to her son’s salvation. Sometimes trusting God in prayer and silence are better than trying to intervene and persuade.

Some Wise Advice for Our Times
With so many folks scared, confused, and depressed about the state of the world these days, it’s hard not to get a little scared, confused and depressed, ourselves. It sure does seem like there’s a dark cloud hanging over us. But, do not let your hearts be troubled! Please read What Every Christian Must Anticipate Today for a realigning of your perspective and a shot in the arm! We really liked it because it didn’t beat around the bush and it reinvigorated our sense of hope. Check it out!  

Marian Minute
This is exciting: it seems that a 40 foot sculpture of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was blessed by Pope St. John Paul II and was lost during Hurricane Alex recently reemerged in the wake of Hurricane Hanna! Check out the full story here!

Also, the Fatima movie is here! Check out this link for details on how to view it!

Saint Spotlight
This coming Thursday is the feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great. He survived much and accomplished much during his life. For instance, the placement of the “Our Father” in the Mass and plainchant (also known as Gregorian Chant) are attributed to him. He was a man of the poor and, although a pope, lived an ascetic life in solidarity with them. Click here to learn more about him!

Liturgical Living 
If you have young ones at home and want to celebrate John the Baptist today, check out this free printable! It’s cute and easy!

Marian Center Update
It’s easy to practice social distancing while attending our exhibit on Marian Apparitions! And you can shop at the Marian Center Gift Shop.

Starting next week, we adjust to our Fall schedule. Come visit us from Tuesday-Saturday, 10 to 3. Hope to see you soon!

To Christ Through Mary,

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

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