Audiences, Congregations, & Participation

It’s home to the Church founded by the Apostle Barnabasimg_0381 and guided by the likes of St. Ambrose and St. Charles Borromeo. It was historically more important than the city of Rome in the late days of the western Empire. It’s noticeably cleaner and more orderly than “other parts” of the great republic of Italy. Among Italian cities, it’s second in size only to the Eternal City, but the two would rival one another for their importance both past and present. If one, therefore, finds oneself in Italy for more than a month, Milan is a necessary stop.  Continue reading “Audiences, Congregations, & Participation”

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Christian, Remember Your Dignity!

Aristotle begins his Nicomachean Ethics by observing that all men aim so as to achieve the good. Shortly thereafter, he states as a widely-accepted fact that happiness is aristotlethe highest good that all men achieve for it is something desired for its own sake and not for some further purpose. Thus, we want to be happy not because it will get us more money or more things for example, but simply because we want to be happy. No rational human being would argue against such positions. The problem comes in when we try to be more precise about our definitions. Since, however, Aristotle’s wisdom has stood the test of time as something true, not only in his day, AND because I generally think Aristotle was smarter than most other philosophers (PERIOD) AND because I’m the one writing, we’ll be assuming his line of thinking is generally true.  Continue reading “Christian, Remember Your Dignity!”

Your Will Be Done

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The Basilica of the Visitation where the relics of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantel are housed and venerated.

The last few weeks have provided some real opportunities to be in some very holy places (the Basilica of the Visitation, for example) in the footsteps of some very holy people such as St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantel. What a treat it has been, and it really has become clear that the various places that we visit, especially where the saints have trod (in significant and not-so-significant ways), the Faith in these places takes on a certain flavor of the saints. For example, nearly every Church in Rome (it seems) has 3 required statues/images/side chapels: Our Lady and Sts. Peter and Paul. They are EVERYWHERE! In and around Assisi, it’s Sts. Francis and Clare.  Siena (proudly) has St. Catherine and St. Bernadine of Siena.  Venice has Sts. Mark, Lucy, and (allegedly) hundreds of others that they “saved” from the Muslims during the Crusades…that’s another story for another time.  Annecy, France has St. Frances de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantel.  There’s a real (authentic) pride about having the relics of the saints in “your” Church and/or in your home town, and they are (or at least can be) a real source of inspiration for the faithful, by means of their lives, their teachings, and their witness to Jesus Christ in the world.   Continue reading “Your Will Be Done”