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Featured Article: New Bible Is Designed Specifically for Young Black Catholics - In January Saint Mary’s Press will publish The African American Catholic Youth Bible®, the first Bible designed specifically for use by young black Catholics in the US. It has taken five years for the initial concept to become a reality. In 2009 John Vitek, president of Saint Mary’s Press, talked with Bishop John Ricard, president of the National Black Catholic Congress. Read Full Story

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NBCC Spirituality Article

The Lives of Good Clerics Bring Light and Serenity
From the treatise Mirror of the Clergy, (Pars 1, Venetiae 1580, 2)

Saint John of CapistranoThose who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice. Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. They must learn from their eminent teacher, Jesus Christ, what he declared not only to his apostles and disciples, but also to the priest and clerics who were to succeed them, when he said: You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its flavor? Then it is good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot.

Article Index

Spirituality Article Index

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The Lives of Good Clerics Bring Light and Serenity

Healing Letters

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Ordering Our Desires

Spirituality Article Index

Truly the unclean, immoral cleric is trampled underfoot like worthless manure. He is saturated with the filth of vice and entangled in the chains of sin. In this condition he must be considered worthless both to himself and to others. As Gregory says: "When a man's life is frowned upon, it follows that his preaching will be despised."

Presbyters who are born leaders deserve to be doubly honored, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. It is indeed a double task that worthy priests perform, that is to say, it is exterior and interior, both temporal and spiritual, and finally, both a passing task and an eternal one.

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Even though they dwell on earth and are bound by the same necessities of nature along with all mortal creatures, at the same time they are engaged in earnest communication with the angels in heaven, so that they may be pleasing to their king and learn how to serve him. Therefore, just as the sun rises over the world in God's heaven, so clerics must let their light shine before men so that they may see their good deeds and give praise to their heavenly Father.

You are the light of the world. Now a light does not illumine itself, but instead it diffuses its rays and shines all around upon everything that comes into its view. So it must be with the glowing lives of upright and holy clerics. By the brightness of the holiness they must bring light and serenity to all who gaze upon them. They have been placed here to care for others. Their own lives should be an example to others, showing how they must live in the house of the Lord.

Saint John was born in Capistrano in the Abruzzi in 1386. He studied law in Perugia and for a time was governor of the city. He entered the Order of Friars Minor and, after ordination to the priesthood, he led an untiring apostolic life preaching throughout Europe both to strengthen Christian life and to refute heresy. He died at Villach in Austria in 1456.

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