Friday, February 27, 2009

Maestra Tecla (cofundadora de Hijas de san Pablo) Paulinas

A beautiful compilation of film clips of Mother Tecla Merlo.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Venerable Mother Tecla Merlo

"strong woman"

The Prima Maestra (1894-1964) - as Tecla Merlo was called - was not only a superior, but is the mother of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Paul. There will be other superiors who will carry out their duties and follow the example of the Prima Maestra; but they will not be mothers.

She has traced for us the way with many sacrifices, taking certain steps, which at times seemed really risky and difficult. Weak in health, but strong in spirit, she was tenacious and obedient to the point of sacrifice.

The Lord has always rewarded her virtue. Therefore follow her example, her religious and apostolic spirit.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

Self-discipline

Watch over yourself! No medical knowledge can equal your own experience with your body. Watch over yourself! No spiritual director can be sufficient if you do not learn from your own history, which is the teacher of your own right living.

All the truly great, in sanctity, in the apostolate, in learning, in valor, in humanitarian and charitable works, in sublimity of aspirations, guided their bodies "mightily and sweetly," dominating their instincts and passions. They lived according to reason and faith.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the beautiful composite of film clips of Mother Tecla! People who met her talk of her beautiful smile, and this short video is worth watching just to see the obvious love radiating from her every time she smiles. Venerable Mother Tecla Merlo, Pray for us!

What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Venerable Brother Andrea Borello
Model for Pauline life

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

The memory of Ven. Andrea Maria Borello (1916-1948) is ever growing in blessings and veneration among the Brothers, cooperators, and among those who in one way or other knew him.

After the example of St. Joseph, he took great care to animate all his life with an intense spirit of reparation, with a habitual sense of recollection and silence, with serene docility in contributing generously to the technical and promotional aspects of the Pauline apostolate and with constant striving towards Christian perfection.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

Good Health

The purpose of life is to prepare a happy eternity for ourselves: the eternal salvation of the whole man - mind, will, heart, and body. If a man is healthy throughout his whole body with the exception of his head (as in insanity), or his heart, or his blood, you cannot say that he enjoys good health. We prepare ourselves for eternal salvation when our whole being is healthy - mind, heart and will.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is Venerable Brother Andrea Borello. Apparently he was only about 32 years old when he died, yet another Saintly model of Pauline spirituality in the 20th Century. Venerable Brother Andrea Borello, Pray for us!

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Venerable Maggiorino Vigolungo


From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus


Venerable Marriorino Vigolungo


Servant of God Maggiorino Vigolungo (1904-1918) is the first flower of the Society of St. Paul. He is a young saint and a model for aspirants to priestly and religious life.

His heroic programme to make a little progress every day sets him apart, distinguishes him in his vocation.

Maggiorino Vigolungo, inspired by the spirit of St. Paul, and resolved not only to avoid every sin, to keep the commandments, but also to pursue with all his strength the evangelical and religious perfection and tried to make daily some progress in fulfilling his duties.

He is a model aspirant for a new type of vocation in the Church, a vocation which demands intelligence and wider vision of the need ot the Church and openness that embraces all the new forms of apostolate, especially: press, cinema, radio and TV.


From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione


Knowing Ourselves Well


"Know yourself," rather than those many things which profit one little or nothing, when they are not actually harmful. How much useless news there is, how many activities that should not concern us - while meanwhile we lack knowledge of ourselves and forget that the only necessary occupation is that of taking an interest in our eternal end. "Attend to yourself." What does it profit us to give counsels, to judge others' work, to satisfy useless curiosity, if we do not do the "one thing necessary"? Let us read the book of our conscience, taking some time from useless reading, from watching projections and dramatizations not necessary for us. This is great wisdom.


What Strikes Me Most Today


What strikes me most today is Blessed Alberione's words about the new type of vocation needed in the Church, embracing all the forms of apostolate. He mentions press, cinema, radio, and TV. When he mentions the "openness that embraces all the new forms of apostolate," it's as if he knew the internet was coming. And there will likely be other changes we cannot predict in social communication in the near future. Venerable Maggiorino Vigolungo is a saintly model for priestly and religious life, an example of that young openness to new ideas, without drifting from ideals and Truth!


What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beato Timoteo Giaccomo

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,


Compiled by J. Maurus

Blessed Timothy Giaccardo was all to all

Giaccardo entered the Society of St. Paul in 1917 as master of the first group of the small boys recruited with the aim of starting the Society of St. Paul. He was called and remained signor maestro: loved, listened to , followed and venerated by all.

He was the master who preceded everyone with example, taught everything, counselled all, and who built up everything with his warm and enlightened prayer.

He was able to understand everything, opening his soul to everyone, making himself all to all; he was the first to consider himself to be the last. He was most sensible, sweet and delicate.

It can be said that he wrote in every soul and entered into the heart of each priest, brother, Daughter of St. Paul, Sister Disciple, Pastorelle Sister; and all who came in contact with him for reasons spiritual, social, and financial.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

Commitment of the mind

Lack of reflection is to be counteracted by keeping a close guard on the mind. The seed that falls on the highway will not sprout. It must be planted deep in the soil. "Mary kept in mind all these things, pondering them in her heart" (Lk 2:19); she meditated. To hear good things and not meditate on them nor apply them to one's practical life in order to carry them out, is like eating but not digesting. It is to be "a hearer of the word and not a doer" (Jas 1:23). In this case, responsibilities are multiplied. Reflection, application, and resolutions made after a sermon are more important than the sermon itself. They require effort, but guarantee results.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the above quote, "to hear good things and not meditate on them nor apply them to one's practical life in order to carry them out, is like eating but not digesting. Being a gastroenterologist, the last thing I want you to have is indigestion. So here is a quote from the diary of Blessed Timothy Giaccardo for you to meditate on today: "The Catholic press is a ruling idea of my life, an idea that becomes always more complex and concrete: it lords over my mind, my will, my heart; it is a sun before which other ideas disappear, leading me to what I do. I pray for the Press, to train myself into an apostle of the Press, I pray with unusual fervor, I struggle passionately. May this idea in all its parts be developed in me: the Press is the current mission of Jesus Christ which must, with faith, penetrate the society of Christian civilization; it is the mission of propagation and penetration of the Gospel. I made before God through the Immaculate Mary and St. Paul my vows of purity, obedience, poverty and stability in the House in order to work for the Good Press."

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

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

St. Joseph with Baby Jesus
Original Sculpture by Dony MacManus
From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Saint Joseph, a faithful man
By a very noble design of Providence and the invitation of an angel, St. Joseph associated his life with that of Mary.
He was the true spouse and guardian of the Virgin and her honour. He was her companion in joys and sorrows. He was her humble servant and confidant, faithful follower and support at various events during the infancy and childhood of Jesus.
The devotion of St. Joseph to Mary is above that of all other saints; and in heaven he shares above all others in her glory and power; and receives with her and after her a most distinct devotion, above all other saints.
Know, imitate, pray to and preach Mary according to the divine mind and the teachings of the Church and in the spirit of the rerential attitude St. Joseph had for her.
From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
An Evil of the Mind
Pride of mind is the most dangerous disease and the most difficult one to cure. It is this pride which makes faith and obedience difficult. One has so much confidence in his own thinking that he would like to be self-sufficient, and he finds it hard to accept the teachings of faith. At the very least, he would want to subject them to criticism and rational interpretation. Similarly, he trusts his own views so much that he is reluctant to consult others, especially his superiors. Painfully imprudent acts are the result. Such a person clings so sturbbornly to his own ideas that he resolutely condemns any opinions which do not agree with his own. Here we have one of the most frequent causes of the discord which at times arises even among Catholic authors. St. Augustine draws attention to htese unfortunate disagreements, which destroy peace, harmony, and charity.
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most today is the depiction of St. Joseph as the loving father holding his Son. We see the hard working St. Joseph in his face and hands, but at the same time his incredible love of and devotion to his Son. This is my favorite depiction of St. Joseph!
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

St. Polycarp
Bishop and Martyr

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione

St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, is considered the last testimony of the apostolic age.  At the age of eighty-six, he was burned at the stake in the amphitheater of Smyrna.
     In imitation of St. Polycarp, let us prove our love of God and neighbor with deeds worthy of a Catholic Christian.

Dangers

Mental laziness, inactivity, and lack of any intellectual interest whatsoever expose the mind to the danger of becoming the victim of any thought which comes to it.  Mental laziness is counteracted by continual, beneficial activity.  The mind is always at work; it is ready to nourish itself on any food at all.  If it is kept busy with good things, it will not have time for evil.  We must, of course, depend upon grace, but we cannot tempt God.  We always have to use prudence and common sense.  A mind which interests itself in many things and nourishes itself with wholesome food will not accept poison.

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

We are imitators of St. Paul the Apostle

The goals we set are:
  1. To show our gratitude to the father who has protected, guided, and enlightened us during the long years of our life.
  2. To know St. Paul better:  much has been written on his human and spiritual personality, his teaching, and his power with God.
  3. To imitate better his virtues.  He was truly a man of God:  a man filled with grace, an exceptional man, a man to whom were entrusted in a particular way the things of God; a man who in a special way owes much to God, a man who could say:  "the grace of God has not been in vain in me."
St. Paul is the singer of God, a herald of the glory of God, promoter of worship of God, exponent of the laws of God, one set apart by God, the prisoner of Christ, one who lived in Christ.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the line above when Blessed Alberione points out that St. Paul was a man who could say, "the grace of God has not been in vain in me."  I have read over that line several times.   I try to imagine ways in which I can imitate St. Paul more in my daily life, to imitate his virtues, to truly be a man of God.  How awesome for anyone to be able to say at the end of their life, "the grace of God has not been in vain in me."  Over Lent I'm going to try to study St. Paul's Letter to the Romans; this is where Blessed Alberione first realized just how special St. Paul was.  (That will help me with #2 above, to know St. Paul better.)

What strikes you most today?  Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts or ideas you may be thinking about for Lent.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chair of St. Peter

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione

Chair of St. Peter
Apostle

Today we honor St. Peter, the fisherman, who was chosen by the Lord Himself to be the first Pope.  We recognize, too, with gratitude and joy, that every succeeding Pope, to the present, guides the entire Church in Jesus' name.
     Let us renew our love and faithfulness to the Holy Father.

The Chair of Peter

The world is rapidly developing.  Inhabited regions, culture, and commerce change.  Peaceful and rapid revolutions take place through the media of press, radio, films, TV; aviation; political, social, and industrial movements; atomic power.... it is necessary that religion be always present, that it use every new means as a weapon of defense and conquest.  Everything belongs to God; everything must be used for a better quality of life on earth and for heavenly glory.  He who stops or slows down will be overtaken; he will toil in a field that the enemy has already harvested.  The Church is Catholic and Roman.  Many are the pulpits raised against the Divine Master.  But that of Jesus and of His Vicar has a special strength.  Let us draw always more from the center so as to bring the Gospel and Catholic thought ever more completely to the outlying areas.

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

Confirm your faith in St. Peter

After the incarnation and ascension to heaven, Jesus left his powers with priests; and the fullness of power with St. Peter, the Vicar of Jesus.
     And Peter came to Rome, established his episcopate there, and died crucified.
   The Popes are the successors of Peter, having his authority, infallibility, and the office of saving and sanctifying others.
    Whoever wants to stay with Christ should stay with Peter and his successors.  Whoever wants to know the truth should go to this teaching authority; whoever wants to become a citizen of heaven should become, in a spiritual sense, the citizen of Rome.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the last paragraph above, "Whoever wants to stay with Christ should stay with Peter and his successors.  Whoever wants to know the truth should go to this teaching authority;  whoever wants to become a citizen of heaven should become, in a spiritual sense, the citizen of Rome."  We are so fortunate to have the teaching authority of the Chair of Peter.  If we truly search for Truth, we can trust that we will not be led astray if we listen to the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Church.  The Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church give us a black-and-white source of Truths of our Faith also.  When we achieve what Blessed Alberione describes as "Christification," Jesus Christ, Way, Truth, and Life, actually resides in us.  As St. Peter says in Galations 2:20, "...I live, no longer I, but Christ who lives in me."  What awesome gifts Christ has given us in His Church!

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

Friday, February 20, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

St. Peter Damian

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione

St. Peter Damian
Bishop and Doctor

Born in Ravenna, Italy, Peter learned to love sacrifice and prayer.  He became a Benedictine monk and an abbot.  St. Peter Damian was selected as adviser by seven Popes in succession, and at the end of the eleventh century was created Cardinal by Pope Stephen IX.  St. Peter labored long and faithfully for the Faith and left many valuable writings in defense of the Church.  He died in 1072.
     Let us imitate this saint's love for penance and hard work for Christ and His Church.

Knowledge and Charity

As St. Augustine rightly says, knowledge must be placed at the service of charity:  "Knowledge should be used in this way, as a sort of machine for the erection of the edifice of charity."  This is also true of the study of spiritual matters.  In actuality some use these studies more to satisfy their curiosity and pride, than to purify their hearts, to practice mortification, and to build their spiritual edifice.

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

Control the mind

Ideas lead to action.  This is a natural law working in us, for or against us.  Ideas are the beginning of all actions, external and internal.  Control of mind is a fundamental necessity.  The mind can never be free of its traveling companion:  the thoughts.  It is the thoughts that make demands and dominates.
     External factors can have some influence, but they are by themselves amoral.  Man's life is above all intellectual.  One's most intimate friends are one's thoughts.
     The very same thing brings harm to some and benefits to others:  for example temptations, sufferings, and misfortunes.  It all depends on one's thoughts.  The same pain leads one to despair, while for another it may be an occasion of renewal and joy.
     Ideas influence judgment, judgment arouses feelings, feelings determine internal and external actions.  The greatest battles are fought in the mind.  Here all our energies have to be concentrated.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is not about the above writings - my thoughts are with the Daughters of St. Paul in Madagascar.  Sr. Maria Antonieta Bruscata and Sr. Luz Helena Arroyave are currently making their fraternal visit to Antananarivo, Madagascar.  There have been violent demonstrations, resulting in numerous deaths recently.  Demonstrations have been taking place every day from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the large plaza where the Daughters' book center and convent are located.  The sisters have been prudently avoiding going out into the crowds.  The economy is in free fall as well.  
I would ask everyone to please pray for peace for the Malagasy people, and in a special way for the safety of the Daughters of St. Paul in Madagascar.
Today also starts the new week of prayer intentions in the right-hand column - so this week will be for the Daughters of St. Paul in Madagascar.  May Mary, Queen of Apostles, protect them under her heavenly mantle!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Take Your Candle and Go Light Your World- Video Created by Sr. Jocelyn Veritas Kwek, FSP

Happy Birthday, Mother Thecla! This video is the perfect way to honor Mother Thecla Merlo (born February 20, 1894). Thank you Sr. Emi Magnificat Bratt, FSP, for reminding us all of Mother Thecla's birthday! And this video being created by a Daughter of St. Paul makes it perfect for Mother Thecla's Birthday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

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

Be here and now

     Between a past that has vanished and a future wrapped in darkness, we live but a fleeting moment.  We have to look both forward and backward.  The past with its experiences, lessons learned, and helpful counsels received, and the future with its eager anticipation coupled with realistic optimism should buoy us up.  The memory recalls the treasures of the past.  The imagination renders the future events palpable and real. 
     The torch of imagination lights up the way which we shall pass with firm steps and steady gaze.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione

Equilibrium

     The knowledge of ourselves is precious and, indeed, necessary.  It helps us to avoid dangerous optimism and at the same time easy discouragement.  Examining our conscience daily is very helpful for establishing a steady equilibrium.  Let us sincerely appreciate the gifts of God, to praise Him; and let us use them for our progress on the way of our sanctification.  Let us also sincerely admit our miseries, insufficiencies, and faults, in order to correct ourselves.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the line, "The torch of imagination lights up the way which we shall pass with firm steps and steady gaze."  I love yesterday's image of the lamp, today's image of the torch (I really love the picture of the Aboriginal girl carrying the torch of the Church from Pope Benedict XVI back to her homeland!)  I think these fit in perfectly with the song, "Take Your Candle and Go Light Your World," which has to remind us of Mother Thecla Merlo and the light she passed on to her sisters - the light we continue to share with others!  Happy Birthday Mother Thecla!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

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

Think positively

     The sure method is the positive method.  Overcome evil with good (St. Paul).  Nurture thoughts of truth, order, justice towards God, neighbour, self; towards the past, present and future.
     A mind filled with the good has no place for the evil; just as to empty a bottle of air, fill it with water.
     To remove darkness from a room the use of broom and dustpan achieve nothing.  Instead light a lamp and darkness vanishes instantly.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is that the writing above is the one written for February 19th in the book, and it is perfect timing.  I really liked MForeman's comments yesterday - taking the negativity out of my comments, and then today Blessed Alberione tells us to think positively.  When I stop and think of people who are the best examples of living in Christ, they are happy, joy-filled, and at ease; and their joy does seem to come naturally, rather than looking like it's a chore for them.  Reading my comments and MForeman's, I have to say MForeman's comments sound much more Pauline than mine, since every Pauline person I know is positive.  I especially like the reminder that no one is perfect (so I can quit beating myself up over the fact that I'm not and never will be), knowing that is not what God expects of us.  And it's a great reminder that none of us earn our way into heaven - it is only through God's mercy and grace that we get there - isn't that cause enough for our joy?  Maybe at times I make it harder than it should be.  I feel better already!  Thank you!  And I hope other's will share their thoughts by clicking on "COMMENTS" below - we have so much to learn from one another!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

St. Simon the Apostle
Bishop and Martyr
Painting by El Greco

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione

The Struggle Between Good and Evil

I have observed that an ever deeper abyss is being dug between the city of God and the city of the devil.  Evil has organized its forces.  Good has not yet unified all the children of God and the great means at its disposal.  There are many who pretend to plead for union, while in reality they support division. There is too much selfishness!  Complete unity can be reached only in Christ.

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

Beauty Tips

     Your dress should inspire chaste thoughts, modesty of eyes, restraint of touch.  It should not be tempting or be a sign of laziness.
     Have a daily bath to remove dirt from your body:
  • Clean well the face so that your thoughts may be pure,
  • Clean well the eyes for your looks to be holy and your intentions to reflect Jesus,
  • Clean well the ears that they may be open to the Word of God,
  • Wash well the mouth and the teeth that they may be controlled, that your taste may be holy, that your tongue may be holy in every word you speak, that whenever you open your mouth it may be for the Lord.
  • Be careful in speech and use only a few words, like a miser who spends money very carefully.
  • Wash well your hands so that they may do only the Lord's works.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is how the forces of evil are unified, while the forces of good are not.  There is much division even within the Church.  But we are fortunate to have a Holy Father and a Magisterium and a capital "T" Tradition of our Faith.  We often must be humble to accept teachings that may be hard for us, but we are called to follow the narrow path - it's not supposed to be easy.  But our goal should be to unify and support the Catholic Church, the Bride of Christ!

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


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seven Founders of the Order of Servites

From Saint and Thought for Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione

     In the thirteenth  century seven Florentine merchants left everything and retired to a mountain near Florence.  After much prayer, they established the Order of Servants of Mary which aimed to increase devotion to our Lady's Seven Sorrows.  Their good work was rewarded by the conversion of many sinners.  They were canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888.  
     Let us imitate these holy men in their love for the Sorrowful Mother.

Method

     To discipline the intellect, one must study what is more necessary and do so systematically, constantly, and in a supernatural spirit, that is, with the desire to know, love, and practice the truth.

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

Learn from everyone and everything

     To have goodwill means to learn everything that is taught, whether it is regarding spiritual life, study, apostolate, good education or religious formation.
     Commit yourself to learn all that is taught;  not just to learn by rote memory, but practice them in earnest... learn from everything, from all;  from one we may learn how to clean the floor, from another how to cook, from another how to paint and yet from another what is taught in the school.
     Whether one really learns something or what is learned is made use of is not the real issue, but that one should make the commitment to learn.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the idea that to have goodwill means to learn everything that is taught.  With every person we meet, we are given an opportunity to learn - our job is to listen.  The results are that we learn something of value to us at that time in our lives, something that wil be of value at some point in our future, or something that wil be of value to someone else we can teach later.  At worst, we may hear an error, which gives us a chance to think about, study and correct - deepening our own beliefs and giving us opportunities to correct others.  Listening is always good --- so I'll stop now and let you click on "COMMENTS" below so I can listen for a change!
     

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

St. Onesimus
Was a Runaway slave when he met St. Paul
Converted by St. Paul
Baptized by St. Paul
Bearer of St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians
Preacher of the Gospel
Later became a Bishop
First Century Martyr

(Click on St. Onesimus to learn more about this Saint)

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

Think Constructively

Do not habitual kindness, unchanging behavior, understanding, the habit of building on past failures for new, holy progress, the constant effort to overcome evil by doing good - do not all these proceed from the habit of dominating one's thoughts?

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

Prudence in Everything

     Our conduct must be simple yet dignified, not snobbish, affected or put-on.
     Prudence will guide us when to talk and when to keep silence; to be neither sullenly silent nor a chatter-box.
     The prudent and wise person willingly listens to the opinions of others, gladly seeks counsel, and learns from those who have done well.
     And it is always necessary to learn to keep official secrets, and in general to keep intact what is received as confidential.  Don't reveal, nor speak of the defects and failures of others.
     The Bible insists:  reflect before speaking.
     Avoid annoying others or losing time:  what we talk should always be moderate in its presentation and delivery.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is St. Onesimus, one of the first Pauline Saints.  I love the rich history of the Catholic Church, especially the unbroken line of succession of the Popes, the unchanging truths in the Magisterium of the Church, and the incredible Saints who have witnessed to the Faith for us!  And just as we had Pauline Saints in the first century, how fortunate we are to have so many twentieth and twenty-first century Holy men and women to still stand as examples of St. Paul for us today.  May we, 200o years later, continue to be St. Paul to a world desperately in need of Jesus Master, Way, Truth, and Life!

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

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

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

Thought

     Our character depends in great part upon the practice of interior discipline, which leads us to the control of our thoughts.  
     There is a simple method which has been the secret of the success of many undertakings:  "Think it over."  Be prudent, calculate well, make us of means with the help of good advisers and light from the Tabernacle.  All this comes under prudence, which brings peace of mind.

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

Social Refinement

     The just person respects all:  superiors, equals, and inferiors and gives to everyone his/her due:  esteem, respect, and mutual help.
     The just person knows how to live in society and behave uprightly.
     He loves order in his work, timetable, relationships, in arranging his belongings, books, and furniture.
     The just man knows himself:  his intelligence, health, physical health: accepts his social conditions without snobbery or inferiority complex.  
     He doesn't deceive himself with false optimism and pessimism.  He has good equilibrium;  doesn't take dangerous risks nor is he wavering and uncertain in his decisions.
     Wisdom inspires:  the best friendships, the best of books and entertainment, the best guides, the best poets, this according to one's possibilities.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is in the last line above, the mention of "the best of books and entertainment."  It made me think of Sr. Rose Pacatte's series of books, 
Lights, Camera... Faith!  The most recent is based on the Ten Commandments.  The books describe really good movies, some following the themes based on scripture readings at mass; the most recent contains three movies for each of the Ten Commandments.  I was amazed at the great movies in there, many we have seen, many we should see.  Each movie has a great synopsis, review, scripture/catechism/faith references, and a prayer - absolutely awesome!  It's the best of books about the best of entertainment!  For more information, or to even order a copy of one (or all) of Sr. Rose's books, click on Lights, Camera... Faith! 
You can also read Sr. Rose's Movie Reviews on her website!

What strikes you most today?  I'd love to hear about books or movies you may recommend.  Click on "COMMENTS" below to leave your reviews or recommendations!



Saturday, February 14, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Cyril, Monk and
St. Methodius, Bishop
Saints Cyril and Methodius, brothers, who converted many Bulgarians, Moravians, and Bohemians, were made Bishops by Pope Adrian II. Both translated the Scriptures and celebrated the sacred rites in the Slavonic language. St. Cyril died in 869 and St. Methodius in 885.
Let us perform all our work as they did, for God's greater honor and glory.
The Power and Weakness of Imagination
Imagination has been the source of wonderful inventions. It has helped form heroes and has given wing to the greatest flights and ascensions of the saints. But it can become a font of idle pleasures, of selfishness, of senseless dreams. It can create, in fact, an unreal, empty way of life, by reason of which, a man, as though under the influence of drugs, is satisfied with wasting his life in a dream world.
From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Finding Completeness in Christ
The first thing to be attended to in spiritual life is the process of personal formation.
Each one goes to Christ with the problem of self; this is an urgent and unavoidable problem:
to take the right path
to place oneself squarely in truth,
to secure the full development of life.
Every one goes to the Master carrying a good amount of potentials which have to be realized to the full. The mind, will, and heart of each person have to be developed so that the whole of a person, in formative contact with the Master, may become rooted in that complete and well-balanced evolutionary process inherent in the deepest aspirations of life.
And it is to this goal of completeness that each act of Pauline piety is directed.
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most today is the idea above about the problem of self, placing ourselves squarely in truth, and allowing our heart, will, and mind to grow, or evolve, to the heart, will, and mind of the Divine Master. This passage reminds me of St. Paul's message in Galations 2:20, "... I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me... " (One of my favorite St. Paul quotes, in my list of St. Paul favorite quotes listed in the right sidebar.)
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your favorite St. Paul quote.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

February 13, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

The Cross and Penance

Lent introduces us to the devotion to the crucified Christ. The Divine Master from the cross teaches us more by example than by words. He is truly the Master because the other masters only teach, but Jesus, besides teaching, goes before us giving us example.

Lent should lead us to the practice of penance. It has four aspects:

First: to become conscious of the evil done;

Second: to review our life and sins and to consider ourselves to be sinners, though forgiven;

Third: to make sincere resolutions to avoid faults and dangerous occasions that we can and should avoid;

Fourth: be willing to make reparation.

Reparation, for example, to make fervent communions in the place of cold communions;

making reparation for dissipation with greater recollection;

making reparation for sin above all with the practice of charity.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

Identity

Man is what he thinks.

The Christian ideal is positive, not negative. Evil is to be drowned in an ocean of good. Mental discipline will unite the powers of memory and imagination in the proper, enlightened balance. This is possible only in the fullness of Christianity. Let mind, heart and will be united, rooted solidly in the past, and looking ahead to a future paradise which imagination makes more real than our very existence.... And then? The will's action will be vigorous, and the soul will hasten towards the reward of its sublime vocation in Christ Jesus.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the line, "the Christian ideal is positive, not negative." I have been asked what first attracted me to Pauline Spirituality. Without a doubt, it was the positive attitude of the Daughters of St. Paul. They are the truly happiest people I know! The reason for their happiness is their love and devotion to Christ, which gives them the desire to share the Gospel with the world. They want the world to know Christ's love as they know His love. They have instilled that desire in me, which makes me want to work toward becoming a Pauline Cooperator, and sharing in the Pauline charism of evangelization!

Click on Association of Pauline Cooperators to be directed to Sr. Margaret Charles Kerry's site to learn more about this lay branch of the Pauline Family.

What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

From Saint and Thught For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione

Temptations of the Mind

If man is first of all an intelligent creature, made for the truth, it is evident that the first and most serious tempations are directed towards the mind. At the outset, the first battle fought in heaven was one of thoughts and ideas. It was a struggle between the first error, which was Satan's comparison of himself with God and his aspiration to the divine honors, and the answer given by Michael and the good angels: "Who is like God?" Next came Satan't temptation of Eve: "You shall not die; you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Eve let herself be persuaded, and she persuaded Adam. They ate the fruit and their eyes were opened; they understood the evil they had done and the evils that were the consequences. This was another battle between the truth and error. And the battle goes on in the world today. Before conflicts between nations reach the stage of guns and bombs, they are fought on the level of ideologies: for and against God, Christ, the Church, eternal life.

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

Plan of Life

What do we understand by plan of life?

It is the drawing up with the help of a wise person, the list of things one would like to achieve in life.

At the beginning of a school year, in the introductory lesson the teacher makes a plan for the entire year. This can be called the programme for the whole year.

But the plan of life is not limited to just one year of study, or reserved only for one year of spiritual life.

It is to formulate a set of guidelines, fix targets and set goals to be achieved.

However, it is to be done after prayer and seeking counsel.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the plan of life. Two of my children are starting to think about colleges now. As we talk about where they want to go to school, there is much excitement about the plans for their life, and what they want to do in life after college - trying to plan on a college to help them get to where they want to end up in life. We have the same excitement and responsibility as far as planning where we want to be in our futures in this life and in the next life. Our ultimate goal is heaven, eternity with God. Now is the time for us to work on our plan for life, eternal life!

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

151st Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady to St. Bernadette Soubirous

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Our Lady of Lourdes
The apparitions at Lourdes, in 1858, took place four years after the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. These apparitions were like a seal from heaven on the Holy Father's words. Pope Pius X ordered that February 11 be kept as the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Let us greet Mary, "Full of Grace," and ask her for the grace of spiritual and bodily health.
Our Hope
Mary is the hope of all the banished children of Eve, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Let us always trustfully invoke her: "Pray for us, now and at the hour of our death." All to Mary, from Mary, with Mary. She shows everyone on earth her Son. Let us pray: "After this our exile, show to us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus."
From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Will-power and prayer for progress
When we come to settle accounts with God and with others year after year we must find ourselves to have advance a little, to have made some progress.
Progress means walking, taking some steps. To take steps we need our feet. Now the two feet we need to move and make progress are first, the will, second, prayer.
Will means to be resolute, to be determined, to have the disposition to give all the energies and strength of the heart.
Good will is shown when one makes efforts to correct oneself, to subdue pride, to curb ambition; to control the feelings of the heart.
In this spirit one seeks counsel, requests for correction from those one lives with, asks for help, especially to point out the way to progress.
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most today is that if I were you, I would watch the video clip above one more time rather than read anything I might have to say!
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to leave your thoughts, or a review of today's video clip!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

St. Scholastica

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

St. Scholastica
Virgin

St. Scholastica, born at Nursia, Italy, in 480, was St. Benedict's twin sister. Under her brother's direction, she founded the feminine branch of the Benedictine Order. It is related that when she died, St. Benedict saw her soul going up to heaven in the form of a dove.

In imitation of St. Scholastica, let us never lose sight of our great goal, heaven.

Holiness in the Truth

Love of the truth, for the truth and in the truth, is the first and most sanctifying love: "sanctify them in the truth" (Jn 17:17) was Christ's prayer for the apostles. Jesus Christ generated us in the truth. Through it we have become children of God. Devotion to truth is worhip of God: "They who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth" (Jn 4:24). To spread the truth is to give God to men and bring men to God.

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

Defend human rights

The rights of a person are:
Life,
Work and the means to livelihood,
Liberty, both civil and religious,
Choice of a state of life: marriage, priesthood or religious life, simple state,
Formation of one's family,
Respect for physical integrity,
Private property and dignity,
The material and spiritual betterment,
The use of the means to reach these ends.
The rights of a person derive from the nature of man and from the obligation he has to pursue his ultimate end.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the quote from John 17:17. The quote in the New American Bible is, "Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth." Jesus is praying to His Father about his present and future disciples. That is how important truth is. I never took particular notice of this before, but it all fits: Jesus is the Word Made Flesh, "Your Word is Truth," and Jesus Master is Way, Truth, and Life. And Christ's prayer is for us to be consecrated in the truth. What an awesome prayer for us!

What strikes you most today? Please click on "COMMENTS" below to leave your thoughts.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) playing the piano

Monday, February 9, 2009


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

Healthy mind in healthy body
     Don't harm the body, not even by working too much.  Nor deplete your energies and lose your strength by imprudence and carelessness.  Rather try to develop them with a sound pedagogy:
     Develop your artistic talents
     Beautify your office setting
     Enlarge the sphere of your activities as the range of your knowledge, this is both for you and for the common good.
     Develop your personality, paying attention to truth and not to appearance.
     Work which becomes more efficient with industry is an imitation and coming closer to God who is "pure act;"  it can also be the main mortification, which can be intellectual, moral or physical.  Let us imitate God as dearly beloved children.
     Money is a gift of God:  use it well and if you have it in plenty, invest it in more activities for the glory of God.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day
by Blessed James Alberione

The Redemption of the Mind

     The first part of the redemption carried out by Jesus Christ concerned the mind - He preached His Gospel.  This redemption is applied to everyone who detests all falsehood and becomes similar to Jesus Christ in his way of thinking.  This is the fruit of our communication with Him.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is having balance in our lives.   Today's art is actually a YouTube video of then Cardinal Ratzinger playing the piano.   Click on the video to see and hear the Holy Father play - he is awesome!

What strikes you most today?  
Click on "COMMENTS" below to practice the art of blogging!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

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

St. Jerome Emiliani

     St. Jerome was born and raised in Venice.  He became a soldier, and as a prisoner of war, was converted to Christ at the age of 25.  He devoted his life to the education of youth and founded the Congregation of Somasca for this purpose.  He died in 1537 from the plague which he contracted while helping the sick and burying the dead.
     Let us, too, be heroic in our charity.

Right Mentality

     The formation of a right mentality is the first step in the direction of souls and in the formation of young people and Christian characters.  Jesus Christ often reminded us to watch over our interior:  failings against true charity, true humility, true piety.... Is not sanctification of the mind and heart the essence of the Sermon on the Mount and the discourses recorded by the various evangelists, especially St. John?

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

Prepare for a beautiful life

     "I am writing it to you, young people, because you are strong" (1 Jn 2:14).
     Youth is the dawn of life
     May Mary be your morning star.
     Many a time songs were sung in praise of youth who then carry along the lovely strains murmuring them in their heart.  Youth dreams of freedom, independence which at the age of 30 appears much greater than the reality.  Oh!  No one on earth is ever so free as you imagine!
     For God's sake, enjoy your youthfulness;  but feel its great responsibility as well.  Youth is not a chapter isolated from the drama of life or a preface without any connection with the rest of the book.  Rather it is a prelude to all the rest;  the seed for the future growth is the foundation on which the rest of life's structure has to be supported.
     It is you yourself who prepare the most beautiful and eternal youthfulness of the saints in heaven.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is reading about the various Saints who influenced Blessed Alberione, and trying to see what made enough of an impression that he wrote about them and lived a Saintly life himself.  The Somascan Fathers and Brothers have a good description about their founder, St. Jerome Emiliani - just click on his name to be taken there.

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

"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!