Thursday, December 31, 2009

Friday, January 1, 2010

from The Prayers of the Pauline Family

Prayer to St. Paul the Apostle


Holy Apostle who, with your teachings and with your charity, has taught the entire world, look kindly upon us, your children and disciples.

We expect everything from your prayers to the Divine Master and to Mary, Queen of the Apostles. Grant, Doctor of the Gentiles, that we may live by faith, save ourselves by hope, and that charity alone reign in us. Obtain for us, vessel of election, docile correspondence to divine grace, so that it may not remain unfruitful in us. Grant that we may ever better know you, love you, and imitate you; that we may be living members of the Church, the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Raise up many and holy apostles. May the warm breath of true charity permeate the entire world. Grant that all may know and glorify God and the Divine Master, Way and Truth and Life.

And, Lord Jesus, you know we have no faith in our own powers. In your mercy grant that we may be defended against all adversity, through the powerful intercession of St. Paul, our Teacher and Father.


Happy New Year!

St. Paul the Apostle, Pray for us!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Time Flies

There are a civil year, a liturgical year, a school year, and so forth. There is also a spiritual year. Time flies. Jesus advanced in age and also in wisdom and grace before God and men. If God gives us years of life, every year is a precious gift, whose aim is to grow in wisdom and grace.
May the Lord bless you and make you increasingly perfect. Be like magnets which turn always to the magnetic north. Be magnets! Turn always to God!

What strikes me most today

This has been a spiritual year for me - I have learned so much from so many who have brought me so much closer to God. As this year closes, I thank God for everyone who reads these words, and I pray we continue on this road together to love Jesus totally, and use all means of media we can to bring Him to the world!

What strikes you most today?
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 30, 2009



From Saint and Thought For Every Day

by Blessed James Alberione

Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Formation in Christ


The Church, Teacher of faith, morals, and prayer, works to form perfect Christians, citizens of heaven. This formation is done in Christ, who is Way, Truth and Life. He made Himself Master for us, and in this elevation, Christianization and divinization of man, He is the only Master. The Church, Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, well knows this education and formation of man. Working with wisdom, she communicates and perfects them, in order to make him a worthy member of Jesus Christ, the Head. The Church acts as a teacher who first shows and explains a particular topic, then assigns lessons and homework exercises or practical projects.

What Strikes Me Most Today


Actually, the last sentence above threw me off a little. I'm curious as to what other people think it means. Is Blessed Alberione talking about mass - with the readings and homily showing and explaining a topic? If so, what are the lessons, homework exercises and practical projects? I could see these being practical applications of readings and homilies, or practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. If anyone has other ideas about what specifically he means here, I would love to hear your thoughts - click on "COMMENTS" below to let us know what you think.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Thomas Becket
Bishop and Martyr

St. Thomas was born in London, England, in 1118. During his years of youth and young adulthood, Thomas Becket would not have impressed anyone for his holiness. It was only as Archbishop that his courage and sterling quality of faithfulness began to shine and cast a brilliant light! Because he resisted King Henry II's commands to sanction customs corntrary to the Church's liberties he was assassinated at the altar of the Cathedral of Canterbury on December 29, 1170. Following St. Thomas' example, let us pray for the grace to be willing to renounce for Christ our life in this world so that we may find true happiness and eternal life with God.

What strikes me most today

As I looked for a picture of St. Thomas Becket to illustrate today's blog, I learned a detail of this story I had never heard before. Apparently, four years after his men murdered St. Thomas, King Henry II went to the tomb of St. Thomas to do public penance. That ending reminds me of the conversion of Alessandro, the young man who killed St. Maria Goretti (I believe St. Maria and St. Thomas played an interventional role from heaven in the conversion of their killers.)

What strikes you most today?
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Monday, December 28, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
Holy Innocents
Martyrs

By order of King Herod, many little children were massacred in Bethlehem and its neighb0rhood in the wicked hope that the "King of the Jews" might be among them. These little martyrs confessed Jesus with their death; let us confess our Faith not only with our tongue, but also with good works.

What strikes me most today

The picture today shows one mother's anguish over the death of her baby. I think it is difficult to grasp a massacre or a holocaust. It is easier to understand the anguish of a single murder like the one depicted above, but then we must muliply that pain by thousands or millions! If we thought of mass murder as a multiplication of the devastating loss of even one precious life gifted from God, how much more respect for life our country and our world would have!

What strikes you most today?

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This Saint John the Evangelist
was painted by Francesco Furini
sometime in the 1630s.
Today it hangs in the
Musée des Beaux–Arts of Lyon.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
St. John
Apostle and Evangelist

St. John, the son of Zebedee and brother of the apostle St. James, was the "disciple whom Jesus loved." It was to him that Jesus committed the care of His Virgin Mother. St. John died toward the end of the first century at Ephesus, in Asia Minor.
Let us imitate St. John's purity of mind, heart, speech and action, and ask for the grace to love God as he did.

What strikes me most today

John focused on the most important virtue and gift of God: love. God's love is different from the natural love of humans. John contrasted godly love "agape" with human love "phileo" in 1 John 4: 18-21: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,'and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."
John recognized the contradiction in the idea that someone could love God yet hate his brother. He knew that we humans can distort the concept of love to make it mean just about anything we want it to mean. But God's love isn't like that. Godly love always puts care and concern for the other person first.
That is why we pray to love God and one another as St. John did.

What strikes you most today?
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Stephen
First Martyr

St. Stephen was one of the seven deacons chosen by the apostles to administer the goods of the Church among the poor. Because of his zeal and the "great wonders" which he worked, he was hated. The account of his martyrdom is proclaimed in today's Mass. Following St. Stephen's example, let us forgive and pray for our enemies.

What strikes me most today?

"Because of his zeal and the 'great wonders' which he worked, he was hated." Looking back, what a great honor for St. Stephen to be the first martyr. But I try to put myself in St. Stephen's position - how scared I would have been. The fact that the Church was so young (he was one of the deacons chosen by the apostles, so the Church was really young!), he did not have the benefit of 2000+ years of martyrs, miracles, Saints, papal succession, and worldwide growth of the Church. I would have been scared to death. This is only a greater testament to the incredible faith of this young man. I, on the other hand, have all the benefits of 2000+ years of Holy Mother Church - so why do I let it bother me when people question my motives for wanting to tell the world how much I love Jesus and His Church?
The truth is, when I doubt or question or worry that any of my words and actions are pointing to me and not Jesus, or any other thought that makes me want to back away from evangelizing, I hear in the back of my mind a replay of the reassuring voice of Daughter of St. Paul postulant Emily Marsh with a Buffalo accent say, "All for Jesus!" (I've heard others say this, but it's definitely Emily's voice on the recording in my mind).
(I sometimes hear a Polish accent message and sometimes a Kenyan accent message, but I'll save those for future blogs!)

What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share, especially if any "recorded messages" replay in your mind in times of need.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Christmas

This happy season is one of celebration, for God came to live among us to bring us salvation and true peace. The Church celebrates with extraordinary homage the long-awaited and precious coming of the Redeemer. Every priest is privileged to say three Masses on that day!
With His coming, Jesus taught us to eradicate every vice, and to live a life of righteousness in the faithful observance of our duties. Jesus chose His first earthly adorers from among good, simple and upright shepherds, because they had a lively faith.
How do we rank alongside the shepherds?

What Strikes Me Most Today

How do I rank alongside the shepherds? To start, I certainly have not eradicated every vice to live a life of righteousness as Jesus taught us with His coming. The shepherds were simple and upright. Maybe in the New Year that can be a goal - to live more like a simple, upright shepherd - with minimal (or at least less) vices and who drop everything for Jesus. Not a bad image to follow!
Merry Christmas!

What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
What We Should Learn From Christ

Jesus made Himself a child, needful of everything, and He was God! He endured the rejection of the people of Bethlehem and the flight into Egypt, like one unable to defend Himself. This is humility. If one is proud, let him learn from this Master how to acquire love for the eternal glory, for the highest nobility, which consists in our own sanctification. "He who humbles himself shall be exalted." Jesus humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death: "Therefore God has exalted him."

What strikes me most today

I'm trying to imagine what it was like for Jesus, the Divine Master, to go from God to helpless baby - cold, hungry, powerless, completely dependent on others. We started that way - He started as God and humbled Himself to become a poor, helpless baby - knowing He would suffer and die for us. What an AWESOME God!

What strikes you most today?
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
St. John of Kanty
Priest

St. John was born in Poland. He was pastor, missionary, and a professor at the University of Cracow. St. John is best known for his self-denial and heroic virtue of charity. He died in 1473, and was canonized in 1767 by Pope Clement XIII.
Our charity should win others to Christ.

What Strikes Me Most Today

"Our charity should win others to Christ." Especially in this time of Advent, preparing for Christmas, I think of how much I'd like to help everyone in need. At the same time, the reality is that my time is more limited than it has been in the past and money is much more limited now that I have kids college, high school, and elementary age. But when I stop and think about it, much of the charity I can offer is in my daily interactions with others. Everyone is in need of the charity of a kind word, being noticed and thought of, being remembered, and just sharing a smile or a laugh. As we live more "not I, but Christ lives in me," I think we want to naturally share and radiate the love and joy that is Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life. That is how we can bring the total Jesus to the whole world, one smile at a time. Even in today's world, "our charity should win others to Christ."

What Strikes You Most Today?
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
Complete Homage

True love of God arouses in the soul a zeal that is pure, calm, burning, constant, strong to the point of giving one's life. Instead, when a person is not completely united to God, not dead to himself, not detached from all, his zeal will be impetuous, variable, restless, irascible. In this case, he seeks himself, not God and souls. We reach the perfect life when we live according to the teaching of St. Paul: "I live, not I; Jesus Christ lives in me." The first step to take so that Jesus Christ may live in us is to know and believe in the whole Christ, Way, Truth and Life. We have to know, to meditate, to believe, to imitate, to feel, to love with all our mind, heart, soul and strength.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I know for sure after reading this that I am not detached enough from the world. I often feel "impetuous, variable, restless, irascible" in my faith life. My biggest excuse is that... actually, I was thinking of reasons, but it's more important that I quit making excuses and focus on allowing Christ, the whole Christ, to live in me. Blessed Alberione gives us the first step: "The first step to take so that Jesus Christ may live in us is to know and believe in the whole Christ, Way, Truth and Life." I'm just going to meditate on that tonight (I'm still taking baby steps, but in the right direction! I'm following the Pauline Family who are all way ahead of me on this path!)

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Peter Canisius
Priest and Doctor

St. Peter Canisius was born in Holland in 1521, 28 years after the birth of the famed St. Ignatius of Loyola. He entered the still "infant" Society of Jesus at the age of 22 and spent most of his life in Germany. Father Canisius lived in the turbulent age of the Reformation and actively aided in the Counter Reformation. He founded several colleges, wrote many books on the spiritual life and hindered the progress of Protestantism. His first Catechism of Christian Doctrine, the famous "Little Catechism," is of great value to all. He died in 1597.
Let us pray for priests, that they may be "the salt of the earth."


What strikes me most today

I imagine St. Peter Canisius was surrounded by much uncertainty - the Reformation was extremely popular, Catholicism was becoming less popular, and the Jesuits were a brand new order. So I can only imagine the faith of St. Peter - unwavering in his loyalty to Holy Mother Church. He defended Catholicism every moment of his life. He helped prove what a valuable order the Society of Jesus would be in this world. What an awesome example of living our faith!
St. Peter Canisius, Pray for us!

What strikes you most today? Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
The Importance of Our Thoughts

Jesus Christ is going to come to us as the Way, the Truth and the Life: "Make ready the way of the Lord." This preparation consists especially in a humble disposition and in a feeling of repentance for our sins. It consists also in a feeling of trust in the One who will preach saving truths to us, will show us the way to heaven, will give us back supernatural life.
Discouragement is not permitted to a Christian, much less the surrender of self to a world that would want to draw all humanity towards a godless life. God is infinitely more powerful than man, especially if man is evil. Among men, the Christian is the most decided advocate of scientific and technical progress. Only those who acknowledge themselves as sons of God are free of every slavery.

What strikes me most today

Freedom from every slavery. I remember people saying that true freedom was found in living "my way" or "doing what I want." I knew it sounded selfish, but it sounded like true freedom. Now I am beginning to understand that true freedom comes in using our free will to freely choose God. Then we can end our slavery to sin - for that is what my selfish choices made me, a slave to sin. I choose rather to be a follower of the Divine Master, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the life; there I find true freedom, especially freedom from the slavery of sin.

What strikes you most today?
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
The Eucharist and the Human Mind

In Holy Communion, Jesus heals the sicknesses even of our mind: let the tranquil mind rise to overcome ignorance, lack of reflection, forgetfulness, dullness, superstition, prejudice, etc. Jesus will think in us: "Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20). Intellectual life is the first and most necessary.
Our Communion must not be communions of body only, or of heart only, or of will only; but first of all, of mind. Let us unite ourselves to the mind of Jesus with our most noble faculty, our mind, in order to form one mentality with Him. Let us pray with the liturgy: "O Lord, fill us with your light."

What Strikes Me Most Today

I have to be honest and admit that I really like this picture, and just wanted an excuse to use it. The selflessness and sacrifice of the soldier, receiving the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from the hand of the Holy Father - AWESOME!
Let us pray for all those members of the military who are away from their loved ones as they sacrifice to protect us - especially during this Advent and the upcoming Christmas season. Amen.

What strikes you most today?
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
In Times of Atheism

Atheism is ranked among the most serious conditions, especially in our own times. It is necessary that men love each other with generosity, particularly in the world of today, and so pray: "Lord, save humanity on earth and in eternity." St. Paul wrote: "To him who is able to accomplish all things in a measure far beyond what we ask or conceive, in keeping with the power that is at work in us; to him be glory in the Church and in Chirst Jesus down through all the ages of time without end. Amen."

What Strikes Me Most Today

Mother Teresa - boy, could we use more Mother Teresa's! Loving every individual and respecting the sanctity of all life and of each and every life, without exception. Boy, could we use more Mother Teresa's!
I guess that means we should all be more Mother Teresa's!

What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The School of Bethlehem

May the child Jesus graciously receive us all in to the school He opened at Bethlehem, so that during the liturgical year we all may come to know Him better, love Him more intimately and imitate Him in religious virtues. Let us Pray!

What Strikes Me Most Today

I am struck by the simplicity of prayer. Often I think I need to read Doctors of the Church or encyclicals or advanced theology. Then again I could just pray. If I am just quiet before the Blessed Sacrament, God could teach me more than I could ever learn in a lifetime of studying. The key is quiet, like the quiet of the manger scene above - no words are necessary, no books, no lectures - just the quiet presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us Pray!

What strikes you most today?
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Maturing in Christ

Let us seek perfection until we reach maturity in Christ. Indeed, Jesus Christ gradually forms Himself in the good Christian as He gradually completes Himself in the Church, His Mystical Body.
"My thoughts are not your thoughts" (Is 55:8). Before showing us His love and revealing His heart to us, Christ made us see into His mind with the Sermon on the Mount and the beatitudes.

What Strikes Me Most Today

"until we reach maturity in Christ." Boy, do I have a long way to go. Just this evening, I wanted to go to a Christmas Party where I would have a chance to socialize with a lot of people I really like at work. I also have children who are studying for finals who wanted me to quiz them and help them get ready for exams, including help with a book report, science project and a term paper (needless to say, they all knew about these projects long ago). I did stay home and helped them (actually we're not quite done yet), but I am ashamed of my reluctance and self-pity. I'm their Dad - this is where I should be. I am glad now that I skipped the party; I just can't believe how close I came to skipping family for party tonight. As I said, I have a long way to go to "reach maturity in Christ;" tonight's decision should have been a no-brainer and I never should have been feeling sorry for myself.
Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life, Have Mercy on Me!

What strikes you most tonight?
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Christ Heals the Whole Man

Man has been deeply stricken by original sin; but the Divine Master does not destroy what God made good. Rather, He heals the wounds: "The bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not quench" (Is 42:3). In man there are three concupiscences which make him deviate from the way to heaven. Jesus taught, and in the crib He gave us the example of how to rule and supernaturalize the passions of pride, of covetousness and of sensuality.

What Strikes Me Most Today

"in the crib He gave us the example of how to rule and supernaturalize the passions of pride, of covetousness and of sensuality." I never thought of it that way before. Jesus could have been rightfully proud (He is God after all) - instead He humbled Himself unbelievably small and weak. He could have been covetous - but He was content in His poverty. He could have had all the comforts (and I mean basic food and shelter), but He deprived Himself even of these. It reminds me of yesterday's quote of the "liberating spirit of self-denial." I know these are part of "The Way," so I really better work harder on these. Especially since Jesus did give us such a clear example with his Incarnation.

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. John of the Cross
Priest and Doctor

St. John was born near Avila, Spain in 1542. He entered the Carmelite Order in 1563 and collaborated with the great St. Teresa of Avila in the reform of the Order. His generous endeavors and faithfulness to the spirit of Carmel brought him misunderstanding, suffering, and betrayal. His love for Christ and His cross led St. John down the road to mystical union with God. His writings are spiritual "classics" read with profit by countless individuals the world over. True to Christ's cross until the end, St. John died in 1591.
Let us ask St. John of the Cross for that liberating spirit of self-denial and true love of the cross that he sought after all his life.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I feel like a spiritual wimp when I read about St. John of the Cross. I am really not good at self-denial, especially when it comes to food. I should be more moderate in what I eat for my own health and to avoid gluttony, but I eat more than I need to if I'm stressed, if I'm happy, if I'm sad, or simply just because food is there. I like the term Blessed Alberione used above when he described the "liberating spirit of self-denial." And Blessed Alberione was thin and happy and a Saint - I need to imitate him more - he knows what he's talking about!

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Lucy
Virgin and Martyr

It is believed that St. Lucy was a native of Syracuse, Sicily. Lucy, whose name signifies light, did not neglect to fill her lamp with oil as the wise virgins of Scripture. Of noble origin, St. Lucy gave herself entirely to Jesus after having given away all her wealth. She died for the Faith about the year 304, during the terrible persecution of Diocletian. The name of this popular saint appears in the Roman Canon (the First Eucharistic Prayer).
Let us always be ready to meet death as did this virgin, and ask St. Lucy to obtain for us the grace to keep our soul free from sin.

What Strikes Me Most Today

This is one where I love reflecting on the art work. This image of "The Last Communion of St. Lucy," which could not have been that many years after her First Communion, shows such a peace and certainty. She is focused on nothing but Christ, present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the host before her. It is a great reminder to me of focusing on what is really important - Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life!
St. Lucy, pray for us!

What strikes you most today? Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Our Lady of Guadalupe

In the year 1531, the Blessed Virgin appeared several times to a humble Indian convert. When asked by him for a sigh to prove to his bishop that the visions were truly celestial ones, the Mother of God miraculously impressed a picture of herself on Juan Diego's mantle. Our Lady of Guadalupe is Patroness of the Americas.
Let us practice the virtue of humility so as to merit to know and to love God more.
What Strikes Me Most Today
The whole story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is such an undeniable miracle - Juan Diego's tilma should have disintegrated centuries ago, yet the unexplainable, miraculous image is still perfect. I love to hear people try to explain how Juan Diego, a simple peasant who is now a canonized Saint, hand painted this perfect image with some material still unknown to mankind. The millions of conversions alone testify to this miracle. It just makes me realize more how much I love the Saints, especially Mary, and Our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church! (Secret mystery paint from almost 500 years ago on a grass-woven tilma treated with a second still undiscovered preservative almost 500 years ago still beyond our ability to test? Really?!)
What strikes you most today?
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Damasus I
Pope

Born in Rome in 305, St. Damasus is known as the "holy, innocent and undefiled" Pontiff. He condemned the Apollinarist and Macedonian heresies, restored discipline, repaired churches and catacombs in which the bodies of the then recently martyred Christians lay buried. Pope Damasus also increased the bearty of the liturgy by introducing the singing of psalms and by decreeing that the "Glory Be to the Father" be said at the end of the psalms. He died in 384.
Let us imitate St. Damasus in his love for holy Mother Church.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Even in the 4th Century the beauty of our holy Mother Church was evident. We already had the witness of the martyrs buried in the catacombs. Pope St. Damasus I officially incorporated the singing of psalms and the "Glory Be." He was born more than 1700 years ago, yet St. Damasus could see even then the Church Jesus left us when He gave St. Damasus' predecessor, St. Peter, the Keys of the Kingdom! What a rich treasure we have in holy Mother Church!

What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The Whole Christ in Man

Our being comes from the one God. Our mind, our sentiments and our will glorify the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Father, always through Jesus Christ, who is the Mediator, the Master, Way, Truth, and Life. Man reaches his perfection of mind, heart, and will only in Christ, incompletely on this earth, but completely in heaven.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Man reaches his perfection of mind, heart, and will only in Christ, incompletely on this earth, but completely in heaven. Yesterday I worked with an anesthesiologist who was incredibly depressed. While discussing all the problems he was facing, he came to realize none was devastatingly terrible or earth-shattering. He was more frustrated that things weren't more "perfect" in his life; with grown children and years of experience becoming great at his job, he expected life to be more perfect. Today's reading ends perfectly for my anesthesiologist friend and me. "Man reaches his perfection of mind, heart, and will only in Christ, incompletely on this earth, but completely in heaven." Maybe if we remind ourselves we will not find perfection in this life, we won't be so disappointed now - He will be waiting for us if we persevere!

What strikes you most today?
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Master of Life

The life, preaching, passion and death of our Divine Master are all ordained to bring salvation to souls. His catechesis is completely permeated by the fundamental and eternal truths. The following problem is basic, and common to all men: either there are a judgment and an eternal reward or punishment attached to the moral law - and then one must direct his life to that law - or there are not, and one doesn't think of them; then every precept of the law falls.


What Strikes Me Most Today

"Fundamental and eternal truths" - either there is a moral or not. If so, we better live it. If not... actually I don't even have a good enough imagination to imagine what not. How could there not be a moral law? That means only one thing - I must direct my life toward that truth - The Truth (as in, The Way, The Truth and The Life - Jesus, the Divine Master). I must stand up for Him and His Truths in all aspects of my life! He is real; His truths are real: in fact, He is Truth!

What strikes you most today?
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
Immaculate Conception

The feast of the Immaculate Conception has been celebrated from the earliest times and in all parts of the Church. In 1477, Pope Sixtus IV erected the Sistine Chapel in honor ot the Immaculate Conception. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
God had thought of Mary from all eternity. Since He had chosen her to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate, He willed her to be immaculate from the first instant of her conception. Rejoicing with Mary, the all-beautiful, glory and honor of all Christian people, let us ask for purity of heart, to be freed from all stain of sin, and to be healed from the wounds of sin.

What Strikes Me Most Tonight

I like the last part - "let us ask for purity of heart, to be freed from all stain of sin, and to be healed from the wounds of sin." I sometimes feel it is too late to ask for purity of heart, but I know it is never too late. I really like the idea of being freed from all stain of sin and to be healed from the wounds of sin - the miracle is that it is possible for us - through Mary, Mediatrix of graces, and from the graces we receive from Reconciliation and the Eucharist! (We just need to realize it and take advantage of these awesome gifts!)

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009




St Ambrose Repulsing Emperor Theodosius from his Church in Milan,
Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1620.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Ambrose
Bishop and Doctor

St. Ambrose was born at Treves, Germany, in 339 of wealthy Roman parents. As an adult, he became the ranking government official in Milan and was greatly admired for his meekness, gentleness, humility and obedience. In matters of duty, however, he was inflexible. He defended the Faith against Arianism and notably influenced St. Augustine's conversion. His many hymns and lections have enriched the Roman Breviary. He died on April 4, 397.
Let us, as St. Ambrose, maintain God's rights with firmness.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I suspect the fact that St. Ambrose was meek and humble, yet steadfast in his defense of the Church was very attractive to St. Augustine. I love hearing speakers who are just as St. Ambrose is described. Archbishop Fulton Sheen is the one who comes to mind right now. I'm sure you all can think of others who strongly influence you in your faith life.

What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts or the names of others whose words and/or actions have inspired you (living or dead, canonized or not).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Nicholas
Bishop

Born in Asia Minor, St. Nicholas was known for his great charity, and for the innumerable miracles he performed. He was an ardent apostle and preacher of truth, and it is believed that he took part in the Council of Nicea which condemned the Arian heresy. Because of his devout care of the young, he is looked upon as the patron of children. Seven hundred years after his death, his holy remains were translated to Bari, Italy. Stories of the marvelous generosity turned St. Nicholas into the "Santa Claus" of recent centuries.
Let us imitate St. Nicholas' goodness and love for truth.

What Strikes Me Most Today

St. Nicholas visiting our home the night of December 5th was always exciting. I remember asking my parents if St. Nicholas who left us candy in our shoe was the same as Santa Claus. My parents explained how they were the same, and they explained how St. Nick was such a good bishop and patron of children, he was allowed to live forever at the North Pole, and his job was to celebrate Jesus' birthday in a huge way every year, and to make children happy all over the world, because Jesus wants us to be happy. It was a great lesson in my mom and dad using St. Nick as an opportunity to evangelize. I am forever grateful for the lessons my parents taught me and the magical Christmases they provided for us every year. I miss Dad especially around this time of year, but imagine how awesome Christmas must be in Heaven!

What strikes you most today?
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Master by Nature

Because of His divine nature, Jesus Christ is the first Master, and was such even before His Incarnation; now He is Master also as man. He will never cease to be our Master. The consequences of this are: in creation potency passed into act. As God, He established physical and moral laws; He gave life to plants, to animals, to man, to angels; He infused the light of reason. He is law, life, wisdom and light. Through revelation He manifested His truths, dictated His laws, and communicated supernatural life in the Old Testament, in the New Testament and in the Church. Christ teaches, He gives laws, He infuses grace. He reveals Himself in glory. He will be the possession and the bliss of good souls. He is always the Master, complete and incomparable.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Today I am struck by the phrase, "He will be the possession and the bliss of good souls." I've never heard it put that way before, but that is exactly what He is. He is all I want for eternity for my family and me. He is everything. And best of all, He was, is, and always shall be (Thanks be to God!)

What strikes you most today?
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Friday, December 4, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. John Damascene
Priest and Doctor

St. John Damascene was born in Damascus around 675. A successful businessman turned monk, John suffered much at the hands of the Emperors of Constantinople, because he upheld the teachings of the Church in regard to the religious honor shown to statues and pictures of the saints. His most eloquent writings, however, were about the Mother of God. This holy priest died in 749.
Let us imitate St. John Damascene in his love and defense of the Church and of her teachings, and in his great love for our Lady.


What Strikes Me Most Today

Showing religious honor to statues and pictures of saints can be a touchy subject - I have a friend who is a Baptist Minister who believes we break a commandment by "worshipping idols." Honoring the Saints and the Mother of God are actually ways to give greater glory to God. We want to imitate the Saints who faithfully served Jesus Master. And Mary, of course, is our surest way of getting closer to Jesus - that's what she does. I can see how people could twist these religious truths to make them sound bad, but what a hero we have in St. John Damascene, who stood up for the teachings of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church!

What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Francis Xavier
Priest

St. Francis Xavier was born in Spain in 1506. Convinced by the oft-repeated words of St. Ignatius: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and suffers the loss of his soul?" Francis entered the newly-formed Society of Jesus. He Became the apostle of the Indies and Japan and zealously carried God's words "to the ends of the world." Through the grace of working miracles, with which God had favored him, St. Francis Xavier converted hundreds of thousands of pagans. This faithful servant of God earned the title of patron of the Propagation of the Faith.
Let us try to imitate this saint in his zeal for leading all people to God.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I love stories of the Incorruptible Saints. St. Francis Xavier's body remains incorrupt in a church in India, where he died. His body was never embalmed, and his body was always exposed to the heat and humidity of India with no air-conditioning or even sealed glass.
The most famous and strange incident regarding the body of St. Xavier is that in
1554—the little toe on the right foot was bitten off by a Portuguese lady named Dona Isabel de Carom, “as she was anxious to have a relic of the Saint.” It gushed blood, as if from a living body. Many over the years have taken pieces of the Saint, and every time they do, the body still bleeds fresh blood. What an awesome sign for us of how great a Saint St. Francis Xavier was!

What strikes you most today?
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
He is the True Light

The light which comes from the Divine Master embraces all knowledge, natural and supernatural: the world made according to the design of the Word, revelation, the Church as teacher - all these are manifestations of God-Truth. From the center come all the rays which enlighten every apostle. As Jesus said of Himself, "I am the light of the world." This is true when one is united with and dependent upon Him who "is the true light."

What Strikes Me Most Today

I like how the world is all one great manifestation of God-Truth. And then I think how this world, which we perceive as our reality, is just a shadow of the reality which will last forever in heaven with the Blessed Trinity. THAT reality is why I want to do whatever I can to experience the reality of heaven for eternity, as opposed to the equally real but horrific alternative of eternity in hell, forever separated from God. That is why we must unite with and depend upon Him who is the true light.

What strikes you most today?
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
At the School of Christ

"Glory to God on high and peace on earth to men of good will." Peace among men and in men will be realized as soon as mankind will come to the school of Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life. The Divine Master began this school at Bethlehem and continues it in the tabernacle. The same school is held visibly in the Church, which teaches faith, morals and prayer. Those who faithfully follow it will find themselves on the way of peace and eternal happiness.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Advent! I love Advent. A time for new beginnings. A time to renew my pledge to pray more, learn my faith better, share my faith more, and basically, "come to the school of Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life."

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Artwork: Duccio di Buoninsegna,
The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew, 1308-11,
Tempera on wood panel, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Andrew
Apostle

"Elder brother of St. Peter, and like him, a fisherman of Galilee, St. Andrew immediately left his nets, when he was called by Christ to become a 'fisher of men.' He went to preach the Gospel of peace in Palestine, then in Scythia, Epirus and Thrace. At Patras he gave his life, in imitation of the Master, by being crucified. The relic of his head is venerated in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. St. Andrew is the patron of Scotland.
St. Andrew is the Apostle of the Cross. Following his example, let us bravely face the crosses that come our way for as long as we live."

What Strikes Me Most Today

I am struck by the phrase "the Gospel of peace." The messages of the incarnation, life and death of Jesus really are joy, peace and triumph over death. Yet even after Jesus accomplished all this for us, St. Andrew still had to suffer and die. We all have crosses to bear, but St. Andrew literally bore the cross of Christ and was crucified for Christ. Why should I expect perfect children, a stress-free job and no financial worries? Like St. Andrew and all the Saints, I need to say, "Jesus, I Trust in You!"

What strikes you most today?
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
Towards Heaven

Let us recite often, to the point of making a habit of it, expressions of thanksgiving: "Thanks be to God!" Glory be to the Father; Magnificat; Glory to God in the highest; Blessed be God; and so forth. "Be holy because I am holy," says the Lord. What great joy and gratitude to God there should be every morning when a new day begins. "Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God." We shall gather many merits for eternal life. Comforting are these words of St. Paul: "Strengthened by grace through the mercy of God, let us never lose heart." Let us go forward with faith, always more fervent as we approach heaven.


What Strikes Me Most Today

"Strengthened by grace through the mercy of God, let us never lose heart." I have to admit there are times I start to lose heart. When a child acts really badly or just plain stupidly, when nothing seems to go right, when finances cause worry and strain. But these are exactly the times we need to rely on God most - and in His mercy for the times I feel angry at God or upset with life or just plain stressed and tired. All I can do is remember St. Paul's words: "Strengthened by grace through the mercy of God, let us never lose heart."

What strikes you most today?
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The Modern Media at the Service of the Master

Everywhere we feel the need to elevate preaching, to make progress in catechetical teaching, to emphasize Christian values. Today the means of conveying human thought are many and rapid, such as the press, films, radio, television. To put these instruments of progress at the service of the truth, of goodness, of the Gospel, of the Divine Master, is a very urgent and serious duty.

What strikes me most today

I look at the picture of Blessed Alberione looking over the printing equipment in this photograph, and I know he is thinking two things: 1. all for God - he will spend every penny he has (or doesn't have!) to make Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life known to the world and 2. communication technology is going to explode soon, so we need to start being a part of it now, growing as the means to evangelize more quickly and to greater numbers grows. Knowing him, he probably even knew that someday some amateur blogger in America in the 21st century would be displaying this picture trying to tell people what he was thinking! He wouldn't mind as long as he knew "all for Jesus!"

What strikes you most today?
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
The Value of Time

We live in the fleeting present moment, between a past which has vanished and a future wrapped in obscurity. Man must look backward and forward. The experiences, lessons, and warnings of the past, which can prove most useful, and the anxious thought of the future, joined to a healthy optimism, must draw us ever upward. So it is that we have memory to gather up the treasures of the past and imagination to prepare the future and make things become almost tangible and real now. The torch of imagination lights up the road, but you will have to walk down it, resolutely and steadily.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Just having celebrated Thanksgiving, spending time with relatives and seeing how much my own children are growing up, it's a good time to reflect on "time." I think of fond memories of holidays when my dad was alive, and hope my children will have equally good childhood memories when they have families of their own. Passing on the torch of love of God and love of family is so important, and imagination does play a role in demonstrating the importance of these to the next generation.

What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Feast of Blessed James Alberione
Founder of the Pauline Family
Thanksgiving Day, 2009
38th Anniversary of Blessed Alberione's Death

Blessed James Alberione, called an Apostle for our times on account of the extent and significance of his many works, was born at San Lorenzo di Fossano in the Italian province of Cuneo on April 4, 1884. When he died in Rome on November 26, 1971, comforted by the visit of Pope Paul VI, he had founded six religious congregations and three secular institutes [one more came into being after his death but had been on the drawing boards even earlier], all of which make up the Pauline Family, one of the most modern means for the propagation of the faith in all the world. Sixty some years ago, when the means of “social communications” were still at best in embryonic form, he had a sense that the press, radio, motion pictures, television, and even more advanced and immediate future communication (I truly think he was the first person to foresee the internet, even early in the early 1900's) would have a profound impact on the cultural and religious life of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. And from that time, he foresaw concretely the vast possibilities for employing them in the service of evangelization and became the world's great pioneer in the religious use of the mass media.

What Strikes Me Most Today

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family and friends and, in a special way, for Blessed James Alberione. Through the apostolate of the Pauline Family he founded, my friends and family and I are growing ever closer to Jesus, the Divine Master, Way, Truth, and Life, under the gaze of His Mother Mary, Queen of Apostles, and through the intercession of St. Paul and the communion of all the Pauline Saints and all the Saintly Paulines! What a gift! Thank you to the entire Pauline Family!
Blessed James Alberione, Pray For Us!

What Strikes You Most Today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

God's Forgiveness in Christ



Every pardon gives glory to God and peace to men. Therefore, what beautiful glory our Lord Jesus Christ has in heaven! "There is more rejoicing over one repentant sinner than over a thousand who remained always faithful." When Jesus Christ forgives us, He fulfills the purpose of His Incarnation: "You will call him Jesus, which means Savior, for he shall save his people from their sins."



What Strikes Me Most Today



I have had so many episodes of sinning, trying to progress, backsliding, and starting all over again - despite true repentance each time I've fallen and started to get back up - that I think I've given all of heaven cause for numerous parties. Still, I need to do my best to avoid sin in the future (though I'm sure there will be more parties for my future failings and repentings!)



What strikes you most today?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The First Love

The human person derives his nobility especially from his intelligence. Because of it, he is the image and likeness of God. The main homage to offer to God is submission of the mind - "genuflecting with the mind" - and the wise use of it to know Him and all that is concerned with His service.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I often find myself at odds between really thinking and planning out every detail of life and putting all in God's hands. I think today's writing summarizes the way we should be using our intellect - "genuflecting with the mind." What that says to me is that we first must pray - talk to God, know God, spend time in prayer with God. And then we should align our intellect (which is a gift of God) to serve God, serve others, and even in making daily decisions. This will help us to achieve our goal of knowing God and serving Him and spending eternity in Heaven with God.

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pope St. Clement Adoring the Trinity
by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
(notice the tiara and crosier, symbols of his power,
have been laid aside and placed in the keeping of an angel).

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Clement
Pope and Martyr

St. Clement was the third successor to St. Peter. He is the author of a precious letter written to the Corinthians. Clement was martyred during the reign of Trajan, around the year 100. It is believed that the ancient basilica of St. Clement in Rome is built on the site of Clement's home.
Let us learn from St. Clement to bear witness to the Faith we believe by the way we live.

What Strikes Me Most Today

It's the art again today. Imagine actually seeing the Blessed Trinity! What a great detail Tiepolo adds by having Pope St. Clement, in all his humility, remove the symbols of his earthly power. If Pope St. Clement can be that humble, how much more humble should I be (especially when we are truly before God in the Blessed Sacrament!)

What strikes you most today?
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"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?

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!