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DAILY QUOTE for May 25, 2015

Even though a man may be unable to attain such a height o...

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May 26

 

Even though a man may be unable
to attain such a height of sanctity,
he ought to desire it,
so as to do at least in desire
what he cannot carry out in effect.

St. Philip Neri


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Children in a family without love become rebellious, reca...

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May 27

Children in a family without love
become rebellious, recalcitrant, stubborn,
selfish and cruel.
Adults who live in a loveless or Godless world
end in despair
which is the last extreme of self-love.
Those who are loved
become kind, ready for service
and quick to love others.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


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SAINT OF THE DAY

Pope St. Gregory VII

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome...

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Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand in Tuscany, Italy. Little else is known of his early life. Hailed, historically, as one of the greatest of the Church's pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all time, his name, Hildebrand, meant “bright flame”. Those who hated him, which were many, interpreted the name as “brand of Hell”.

Hildebrand was a Benedictine monk, for a time living in Cluny, from whence he certainly gleaned the monastery’s ideal of societal reform.

As a cleric, he became chaplain to Pope Gregory VI, and a few years later, under Leo IX was made Cardinal Deacon. A man of outstanding energy and insight, Hildebrand became a power in Rome. It is greatly due to him that the practice of electing popes through a college of cardinals was established.

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cried out for the holy genius who had helped steer the Church for twenty years, “Hildebrand for Pope! Holy Peter wants Hildebrand, the Archdeacon!” Once before the holy monk had eluded the tiara but this time a proper college of cardinals, seconding the popular cry, induced him to accept an honor duly his.

Hildebrand assumed the name Gregory VII, and threw his energy and zeal into a continued reform, especially fighting simony (the sale of ecclesiastical posts) and clerical incontinence.

He confronted Emperor Henry IV head- on about his practice of choosing men for ecclesiastical positions. On meeting with dogged resistance, the pontiff finally had recourse to excommunication which drastically curtailed the proud monarch’s power, ultimately bringing Henry on foot to the Pope at the Castle of Canossa. Because of Henry’s rebellious obstinacy, Pope Gregory saw fit to leave him out in the cold for three days before receiving and reinstating the royal penitent.

But Henry failed to make any true personal reform and alienated his princes who elected another ruler. Still, he later rallied and went as far as electing another Pope, a Clement III, calling down upon himself another sentence of excommunication. He also attacked and entered the Eternal City in 1084, which forced Pope Gregory into exile. Henry had his protégée “pope” crown him Emperor. Ultimately repelled by an army fighting for the true pope, the Emperor Henry left Rome, but complications sent Gregory VII again into exile, this time to die.

His last words before his death were a summary of how he had lived, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.”

WEEKLY STORY

We Grow Old by Deserting Our Ideals*

Youth is not a time of life. It’s a state of mind.  It...

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We Grow Old by Deserting Our Ideals*

*General Douglas MacArthur was so inspired by Samuel Ullman’s poem that he popularized it and kept a framed copy in his office while Supreme Allied Commander in Japan. He quoted it so often in his speeches that it became known as “MacArthur's Credo.”  

Youth is not a time of life. It’s a state of mind. It’s a test of the will, a quality of imagination, vigor of emotions, and a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.  

Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair . . . these are the quick equivalents of the long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.  

Whether 70 or 16, there is, in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement of the stars, and the star-like things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for “What Next?”. 

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair. 

So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the Infinite, so long are you young. 

When all the wires are down, and all the central places of your heart are covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old indeed, and may God have mercy on your soul. 

By Samuel Ullman

Youth is not a time of life. It’s a state of mind.  It’s a test of the will, a quality of imagination, vigor of emotions, and a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.