Saturday, December 27, 2008

January 2, 2009

January 2
Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen
Bishops and Doctors

From Saint and Thought for Every Day by Blessed James Alberione

Saints Basil and Gregory were close friends. Basil was born in Cesarea in 329. He studied in Constantinople and in Athens. Upon his return, Basil dedicated himself to God and embraced the monastic life. He silenced the Arian heretics, and is regarded as one of the most celebrated Fathers of the Eastern Church. He died in 370.
Let us ask St. Basil to strengthen us in our Faith.

His friend, St. Gregory, was born in Asia Minor. He was first made Bishop and later Patriarch of Constantinople. Because of his enemies' opposition, he retired to his native town where he died. He is called "the Theologian" because of his great precision in explaining the dogmas of the Church.
Let us study our religion in order better to defend our Faith.

Drawn from the Writings of the Church Fathers

The saintly Fathers and Doctors of the Church are the people who have written well about God, about Christ, and about the Church. Their writings have stood the test of time because they deal with universal topics, or if they touch on particular questions, they possess an indisputable logic of reasoning and assert timeless principles transcending their own era. The candor of their faith, their loyalty to the Church, their clarity of thought are all gifts which account for their being loved, accepted, and followed.
We should read these precious writings not merely as recreation for the spirit or food for intellectual speculation, rather, we should ponder wisely their entire content and worth. By so doing we will make the wealth of their doctrine and the wisdom contained therein our very own.

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione
Compiled by J. Maurus

Jesus: the unique Master

The teaching authority of Jesus Christ was wonderful, and we have the obligation to be grateful to Jesus Master who is Master in as much as he is "the way, the truth and the life" (Jn 14:6).
Jesus: a singular Master, different from all others, he is such a master by nature. Therefore "Your master is unique" (Mt 23:8), is only one, in that he was first practicing that which he wanted us to teach, and then he was giving the grace. He gives the grace both to believe and follow his examples.
Jesus: a unique master, "You call me Master and Lord and you do well, for I am so" (Jn 13:13).
And those who heard him spontaneously called him with the title of Master: "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by God. No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless God were with him" (Jn 3:2).

What Strikes Me Most

What strikes me most is today's first sentence: "Saints Basil and Gregory were close friends." I imagine they helped one another to become saints. We all need good examples in our lives, and we need friends to encourage us to be better than we would otherwise be. In the Church, we have excellent examples from the Saints to Pope John Paul the Great to Pope Benedict to our Priests and Sisters, all of whom show us the way to Christ. I am extremely fortunate to have so many good friends in my life who are much farther than I on the path to holiness to guide and inspire me. My prayer is that we can all continue to be "Saints Basil and Gregory" to one another on this journey of faith.

Please share your thoughts of what strikes you most today.

1 comment:

  1. I am struck today by the quote from Alberione when he is talking about Jesus Master: "he was first practicing that which he wanted us to teach, and then he was giving the grace. He gives the grace both to believe and follow his examples."

    This is beautiful and a wonderful reminder for me today!! Jesus always gives the grace for what he asks of us and through the incarnation, lived our humanity fully with us. We truly have a God who is with us and provides for the graces we need to follow him.


"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Pauline Prayer Book for our Haitian Brothers and Sisters

Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid
"Fear not, I am with you. From here I want to enlighten. Atone for sin."

Daughters of St. Paul

Daughters of St. Paul
Evangelizing the World!

New faith and family friendly video sharing

New faith and family friendly video sharing
Great Pauline Video Sharing Site


Why a blog? Why St. Paul? Why do I think I have any business doing this?
We are all on a spiritual journey. We all want that journey to lead us to heaven, to eternity with God. For this journey, we need one another.
The journey so far has led me to read and learn about so many forms of authentic Catholic spirituality - Ignatian, Benedictine, Carmelite, Dominican, Franciscan, etc. My biggest problem was that I came to love each one tremendously. I began reading more and more, spending more and more time at the Daughters of St. Paul bookstore on Watson Road here in St. Louis. Who would have thought my greatest conversion story would take place in a bookstore? Mine was not quite as sudden or dramatic as St. Paul on the road to Damascus, but getting to know the Daughters of St. Paul affected me no less significantly.
The sisters are Eucharistic by nature. The first time I entered the chapel in their bookstore, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and one of the sisters was on her knees, gazing at Christ, with an indescribably beautiful smile on her face. I had a glimpse of heaven. I knelt at one of the other kneelers and noticed on the wall behind the monstrance the words: "Fear not, I am with you. From here I want to enlighten. Atone for sin." I had that brief moment of absolute certainty that I was on the right path.
Over the last several years I have worked my way through as many books, CD's, DVD's and conversations with the Daughters of St. Paul that time has allowed. Time is at such a premium for all of us. Years ago we were told that with advances in technology we would have much more free time on our hands. We all know this has not been the case. Our lives are busier and more hectic than ever. Even if we are unable to find time to read good books, see enlightening movies or attend lectures and discussions, maybe we could all spend a little time on the internet supporting one another on our faith journeys. Many of you know more about many aspects of Catholic spirituality than I do.
Pope John Paul the Great called us all to a New Evangelization, to share the Gospel with the world. I am hoping we can all be St. Paul in this blog space by sharing Christ with one another and with others. St. Paul travelled to many foreign and often hostile regions to evangelize the world; we are fortunate to be able to use the internet to reach even farther and more quickly.
The idea of using today's means of social communication to spread the Gospel was given to Blessed James Alberione on the night between the centuries (December 31, 1900 - January 1, 1901). He was a 16 year-old seminary student adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament when a special light came to him from the Host. Following this, Blessed James Alberione became the founder of the Society of St. Paul priests, the Daughters of St. Paul, the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd, Sisters of the Queen of Apostles, and numerous institutes that are also part of the Pauline family.
So what is Pauline spirituality? In my experience, Pauline spirituality encompasses all the teachings of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and love of all the other spiritualities and Saints of the Church. It is the members of the Pauline family who are the happiest people I know! It is loving God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit with all our hearts and souls, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and St. Paul.
So why St. Paul? I can relate to St. Paul. We first meet him in the New Testament as a sinner. He has a thorn in his side that God decides is best not to take away. I sometimes wish I knew what that thorn was, but it's probably better I don't know. I like to pretend it is one of my many weaknesses or faults. If St. Paul could go from persecuting Christ and His Church to becoming the person responsible for spreading the Gospel and establishing the Church in foreign lands, the least I can do is start a blog. I have been especially inspired by my two favorite bloggers, Sr. Margaret Charles Kerry, fsp, and a Pauline Cooperator named Rae Stabosz. I believe Sr. Margaret and Rae are doing just what St. Paul and Blessed James Alberione would be doing with the internet.
In future blogs (which will be shorter than this first post!), I would like to share writings of St. Paul, Blessed James Alberione, and many others. I look forward to others sharing writings from other Catholic spiritualities and writers. An especially Pauline way of sharing is to point out to one another what aspects particularly speak to each of us.
Another Pauline trait is to pray for one another. My prayer is that we support one another on our path to holiness. Our goal is to glorify God in all that we do - so let's do it!