June is a month filled with vacations, summer cookouts, and the celebration of Pride Month. While the latter does not define the whole month, reminders of it seemingly are everywhere. While listening to Fighting the Good Fight on Catholic radio a few weeks ago, the person being interviewed was a man with homosexual inclinations but was striving to live a celibate lifestyle. Towards the end of the interview, he mentioned that what was really disheartening to him during June was just how many Catholics throw on the rainbow pin and celebrate. Here he is, struggling to live a virtuous life, and the community around him celebrates that which he is turning from. So in honor of him, here are a few things to celebrate this month that won’t harm the faith of those struggling around you.
St. Charles Lwanga & Companions (Feast Day: June 3rd)
Charles was a young, Ugandan convert to Catholicism, who instructed fellow pages (attendants) in the faith. He was burned to death because of his refusal to submit to homosexual acts with Bagadan ruler Mwanga and for protecting the faith of his friends. The boys were all between the ages of 13 to 30, so Charles was very young and courageous to stand against a ruler—his boss. And in case we want to write off his zeal as the faith of the early church, this happened in June 1886—so it really was not that long ago that Charles stood up for Catholicism, the dignity of the human person and the sexual act.
Any MLB Team besides the LA Dodgers
Perhaps you’ve heard of the craze surrounding Pride Night this year at Dodger Stadium? If not, the quick version is that the Dodgers organization has invited The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (ironically, an anti-catholic hate group) to be honored on June 16th. After much backlash, the Dodgers backtracked and dis-invited the group, but has now backtracked again and re-invited them. CatholicVote launched a $1 million ad campaign against the Dodgers, inviting all to join a boycott against the baseball team. It is well known that seemingly all MLB teams host a Pride Night some time in June, but honoring a well known hate group seems to be a step too far, and makes it far easier for all us baseball loving folk to look for a new team.
St. Thomas More (Feast Day: June 22nd)
Thomas’ adamant refusal to approve of King Henry VIII’s divorce and new marriage, along with the establishment of the Church of England, cost this fierce lawyer his life. Originally, he was appointed to be the chancellor due to his deep faith, stellar speaking abilities, and steadfastness for the truth, however that was no longer appreciated when King Henry went awry. Thomas is another prime example of standing up for one’s belief even if it is against your boss and it will cost you your life. A great movie to stream this month is A Man for All Seasons, which highlights the life of St. Thomas More and the battle he endured.
The One Year Anniversary of the Dobbs Decision (June 24th)
While this is not the end of the pro-life battle, it is a huge milestone and deserves to be celebrated. Take a moment to celebrate the babies saved and then roll up your sleeves and continue to fight for the families – especially the women and children – who are still victims of abortion. The USCCB released a statement honoring this day, while also highlighting that “each of us is called to radical solidarity with women facing an unexpected or challenging pregnancy.” There is a national ministry called Walking with Moms in Need which does just that, and it’s a good place to start if you’re interested in commemorating this great day with a monetary donation or a donation of time.
St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
Said to be a “theological time bomb set to go off, with dramatic consequences, sometime in the third millennium of the Church” by George Weigel, this series of Wednesday audiences given by JPII over the span over five years (Sept. 1979-Nov. 1984), cover topics such as the human person, marriage, celibacy and virginity for the sake of the kingdom, and contraception. While I just opened a huge can of worms by typing out most of the culture’s hot button issues, the one I want to briefly highlight is the human person. As a philosopher, it was very important to John Paul II to dig deep into the human experience, what it means to be human, who the human person is at their very essence. This great saint was known to immerse himself into the family lives of his friends, walk through dating/engagement/marriage with people and just observe all the multiple facets that contribute to who a human is. First and foremost, each of us are a child of God. This knowledge and acceptance of our childhood and immeasurable belovedness is the beginning of a prolific journey for each of us, and serves as the basis of the rest of the teachings.
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