Friday, May 27, 2011
Blog # 144 Philip Neri
Blog # 144 Philip Neri Yesterday on the Church's worldwide liturgical calendar we celebrated the feast of St. Philip Neri as an obligatory memorial. Philip was a priest who died a hundred and sixteen years ago at the age of eighty. Each of the Saints listed on the Church's roster who are celebrated annually at Mass around the world had a special significant degree of holiness that was unique to him or her, but also some characteristic gift or accomplishment the Church feels should be lifted up by all of us throughout the world in thanks to God and also as an invitation and source of encouragement for us to identify and duplicate in our common quest for holiness. In this regard we identify the simplicity and poverty of St. Francis of Assisi, the innocense and chastity of Maria Gorreti, the missionary zeal of St. Francis Xavier, and the heroic unconditional love of a modern martyr for the faith. In the case of St. Philip Neri, the characteristic trait that has traditionally been lifted up for our admiration thanksgiving and sharing by way of imitation in our own daily life is the joy with which he lived our faith and which he brought to others. Particularly this year I found the life and approach of St. Philip especially attractive and encouraging in that it seemed to make the challenge of becoming holy supportive of and supported by the simple everyday experiences that we encounter in our desire and efforts to be happy and holy as well. The liturgical readings were well chosen. St. Paul to the Philippians ( 4: 4 - 9 ) " Rejoice in the Lord always!...Think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, and worthy of praise."