Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April 1, 2009

Fr. James Alberione Audience with Pope Paul VI, along with many members of the Pauline Family

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione


Redemption Through His Blood



May God be blessed! How good He is! Men are not like God. Generally, men remember evil more than they remember good. But the Lord is goodness itself. In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul stresses very much this thought: that the glory of God lies in the very fact that He showed goodness towards us when He gave us His Son, and that His Son is glorified in giving us His blood in the redemption. And this means: trust in God, go ahead serenely!



From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus


A two-fold story



If Fr. Alberione were to recall some of his memories which you think would be useful for the Pauline Family, he would narrate a two-fold story: the story of Divine Mercies and sing a lovely Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men.


But he would also tell a humbling story of lack of correspondence to the abundance of divine charity, and he would compose a fresh and sorrowful Miserere for the numberless negligences, sins, and offenses.


Daily in his converstation with Jesus, he meditated and grieved over the various aspects of the second story considering it part by part, hoping to obtain pardon for them through the intercession of Mary and St. Paul.



What Strikes Me Most Today



OK, I have to be honest and admit that I had to do some homework on this one, especially the "lack of correspondence to the abundance of divine charity." After much googling and reading, I saw this from the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2093: "Faith in God's love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him."


So what did Blessed Alberione mean by his lack of correspondence? 2094 goes on to describe various ways one can sin against God's love, or divine charity. They are:



  • indifference

  • ingratitude

  • lukewarmness

  • acedia or spiritual sloth

  • hatred of God


I really could not imagine any of these applying to Blessed Alberione, but then I read more what each means. For example, lukewarmness can mean "hesitation or negligence in responding to (or corresponding with) divine love (or charity); it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.


I think I get it now. After reading Blessed Alberione's biography, it is clear he felt personally responsible for each and every member of the Pauline Family. He was understandably worried about making sure they were physically and spiritually well, and able to meet life's daily needs. He was like a father to a tremendous number of people.


As a husband and father, I am constantly trying to anticipate the needs of my family. I am responsible for providing food and shelter and an education to my children. I have to admit my first thought is not that I should hope in God's abundant charity that all will be provided. I go to work to earn a living and support my family. I try to pray for our needs and thank God for all our blessings, and I try to teach my children to do the same. But I know well how easy it is to feel that all we have is a result of our hard work, rather than giving all thanks to God and trusting in His divine charity. I suspect any time Blessed Alberione felt that he was counting on his own ideas, thoughts, work, plans, or projects, he was somehow failing by not trusting totally and completely in divine charity alone. I know he was much better at giving all thanks and glory to God than I am. So I'll try to use Blessed Alberione's thoughts on this matter as a reminder for me to try to recognize that all in life is a gift of God's divine charity, and I'll continue to work hard to use these gifts from God to be the best husband and father to my family, who are God's greatest gifts on Earth to me!


The video I chose for today shows Blessed Alberione in an audience with Pope Paul VI. You can see the Pope return frequently to Blessed Alberione, thanking him for his contributions to the Catholic Church. And Blessed Alberione thought he had a lack of correspondence to the abundance of divine charity? Boy do I have a long way to go!



What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts - sorry my writing went on so long today - feel free to go on even more if you like!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Launch into the deep
From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
When a new ship leaves the harbour and slowly sails into the sea, it takes off, it is feast for the authorities, for the builders and the general public.
More profound and intense, although less apparent, is the joy that pervades the heart of a young person, of teachers, of persons when one launches out into the sea of life, prepared and equipped well against the storms. For such a person a bright and promising future seems assured. The Lord is pleased and the people admire when he voyages strong and serene in the tranquil waters and amidst storms and reefs, arrives at the port of heaven confident to receive another glorious and eternal gift.
Trust and fear! "By means of our good works, let us make sure the success of our vocation and election."
From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Participating with Christ
United to the passion of Jesus Christ, all labor becomes an element of individual and social redemption. We are speaking of passion in the broader sense of toil - for example, uniting ourselves to the work of the divine Laborer of Nazareth, says St. John Chrysostom. We always pray: "I offer You all my prayers, works and sufferings of this day, with the intentions for which Jesus immolates Himself on the altar."
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most today is the thought of a young person launching into the world like a new ship leaving the harbour. My two oldest children are beginning to look at colleges, and I'm actually having to plan for the day (not too far off) that they won't be living at home anymore. It is such an exciting time in their lives; I remember well how excited I was to move to Kansas City for college when I was 18. But reading the above makes me want to take a good look at anything I may still want to teach them or help prepare them for making a whole lot more decisions in their daily life. I will continue to pray daily that they are, as Blessed Alberione says, "prepared and equipped well against the storms."
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

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

     Time is a great gift of God.  It is a golden box which we can fill with pearls of our good deeds or with the filth of our sins.
     We can waste time doing nothing, doing useless things, committing sins or working hurriedly.
     On the contrary we can redeem time by doing good, by doing our duties first; by always doing something useful.  "So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest."
     There are ways of saving time.  The one who by learning well the subject in the early school years puts a strong foundation on which to build later saves a lot of time.  The one who is in the grace of God and who with the right intentions does his duties with greater love will have a golden harvest.  For St. Paul explains that works can be like gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble.

From Saint and Thought For Every Day, 
by Blessed James Alberione
Know How To Suffer

No one will suffer more than one who does not want to suffer.  No one will rejoice more than one who knows how to mortify himself in a reasonable way.  He who loves his life (unreasonably) will lose it; and he who immolates his life (reasonably) will gain it.  For example, whoever does not know how to be moderate in food and drink will meet with many illnesses and, at the same time, will shorten his life.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the directness of Blessed Alberione's descriptions --> and for me, they are perfect.  St. Paul very clearly states that we can use the time God gives us to perform works that are "like gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble."  Blessed Alberione gives us an image of a beautiful gold gift box (the time God gives us), and we fill it with "pearls" or "filth."  I get the picture!

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

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione, 
Compiled by J. Maurus
Holiness:  The highest fruitfulness

     Holiness is a high tension virtue.  It is the forward thrust and the poetry of the good.  Good done unwillingly, grudgingly and by force is not holiness.
     A saint is not a failed man, a feeble, a weakling who does not know how to play his role in life.  For St. Paul holiness is the full maturity of a person, of a perfect man.
     A holy person is not an escapee, but a performer; he doesn't stagnate, but has for his motto "advance."
     Holiness is life, movement, nobility, ardour, an ardour that instead of waning, keeps on waxing.
     It is indeed so!  But it will be so, only and always, in proportion to one's faith, and determination.  The Lord is with us; and we are His cooperators.

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

To radically change one's manner of thinking, of living and of dying is the wonderful reversal desired and accomplished by Jesus Christ.  It arises especially from the beatitudes.  Those who want to die in Jesus Christ crucify their flesh with all its concupiscences.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the line, "A holy person is not an escapee, but a performer."  I have never heard it put this way before, but it makes sense to me.  I think what Blessed Alberione is trying to say is that being a performer, we should act on our faith, demonstrating it to others in our life and actively sharing Christ with others, as St. Paul did for the remainder of his life after his conversion.  Being an escapee means avoiding opportunities to witness to our faith.  It sounds to me like we can be good Christians and pray and study and attend mass.  But to be a saint, our model should be St. Paul, who was always active, moving forward, refusing to shy away from a chance to proclaim Jesus Christ in every moment of his life, even when he knew well there was a good chance of him being tortured and killed for it.  I'm fortunate to live in a time and place when there is not much chance of me being tortured or killed for my faith, so it wouldn't kill me to work a little harder on evangelizing in my daily life.

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Saturdy, March 28, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,


Compiled by J. Maurus


Keep the balance




On the stage of the world take place so many things. Everyday has its share of news and events. And the world moves on as does the time: one moment is so fine and tranquil and suddenly there comes a storm.


Saints know how to profit from everything: the good as well as the bad. They sanctify the good thanking the Lord for it and loving him ever more who is the giver of all good, for "every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven" (James 1:17).


Sanctify also what is not good, accepting it with resignation and offering it all as expiation for our sins and giving glory to God always.


Always keep the equilibrium: don't exult in good fortune and don't despair in ill fortune. Offer everything to the Lord, knowing that we have to sanctify both the good and the bad.




From Saint and Thought For Every Day,


by Blessed James Alberione


Struggle




A continuous interior struggle between the spirit and the flesh is waged within us. How many weaknesses there are in the spirit! So the flesh takes advantage. It is Jesus who makes reparation for everyone; He asks the heavenly Father to give us fortitude, so that we may resist our concupiscence. How many pure and virgin souls there are!




What Strikes Me Most Today




What strikes me most today is the line, "Sanctify also what is not good, accepting it with resignation and offering it all as expiation for our sins and giving glory to God always." The timing of this was perfect; I needed this one today. Yesterday was incredibly busy at work. I was way overbooked, and I was on call for our whole group. I wound up getting so many emergency cases from the ER that I was performing procedures until 2:30 this morning, and I had to get up at 5:30 this morning to start another full day. I was exhausted today, and finding myself upset and edgy and actually feeling sorry for myself. I have no trouble offering the good up to God and thanking Him for all the blessings in my life, but today I am going to sanctify what is not good - I will try to use it as an opportunity to offer up my exhaustion and even my self-pity as an offering to God. As an offering of atonement for sin, I don't come close to repaying the debt I owe. What I am finding is it causes me to think of Christ in a positive way, when I am most stressed and most likely to deal with stress in more sinful ways (like the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and/or pride.) Perhaps in these more difficult moments, our desire to be nearer the Lord rather than separate ourselves from the Lord must be pleasing to Him.


What strikes you most today?

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

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

This is the way it happens: first, perhaps, one neglects prayer for light reasons; then he will reduce it more and more; finally he finds himself in a sort of forest, confused, with no sense of direction - with all the consequences, because he no longer finds himself on the right path. "Lord, give me light so that I may know myself as You will make me know myself on the day of Your judgment. I want to present myself to You already judged and pardoned."

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

Prioritize your values, plan your day, week, month and your life.
The time to be made optimum use of is that which is set aside for personal reflection.
There are persons of average intelligence with no exceptional gifts but who are assiduous in the quest of the good. These achieve much more in life than those with greater intelligence but fail to make good use of it.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the idea of asking God for the light to know myself as He will make me know myself on the day of His judgment of me. Although the thought scares me, I would rather know now, because I know I won't like what I see, and I would rather have the time to change what needs to be changed now, rather than when it's too late. Still, even though the thought of standing before God at my judgment is scary, I remind myself it is my loving Father looking at me and judging me. Even when I am extremely disappointed in behavior of my children, I know how much I still love my children. How much greater is God's love for each one of us - He sacrificed His only Son to atone for our sinfulness - that degree of love is almost too awesome to comprehend!

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

The Need of Rapport With God


We are surrounded by needs, full of miseries and weaknesses; often only God can help us: therefore, even natural reason convinces us of our need to pray. In fact, at every time and in every place, in every religion, people have prayed and still pray: with vocal prayers, rites and sacrifices. It is spontaneous and natural to have recourse to God when we are in need: either when sin and remorse weigh on us or when we or others have exterior necessities. Let us remember the words of the psalm: "The foolish man thinks that God does not exist." Prayer is absolutely necessary.


From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

The ideal character


Character is a complex of dispositions that partly comes from one's temperament and partly from other sources and influences.

Characters vary; one person's character differs from that of another. Generally it matures gradually with the passing of years.

To form a good character is not a day's work, it takes a lifetime.

A good character is made up of:


  • An open intelligence: it does not mean to have a special intelligence, but to have the serenity that lets one notice promptly the good aspects of things and to weigh their consequences.

  • A firm will: by which one does not make and break good resolutions daily; does not begin a work and put it off; make one resolution and change it.

  • Goodness of heart: that is to have fine dispositions.


What Strikes Me Most Today



What strikes me most today is the definition of open intelligence - "the serenity that lets one notice promptly the good aspects of things and to weigh their consequences." I keep rereading this definition. It is an important aspect of our character, and it seems that this is one that would take years of experience to achieve. I think in this case experience is more important than any learning you could get from a book to be able to readily see the good and have a good idea of the consequences of any given situation.



What strikes you most today?


Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Angelus, by the Daughters of St. Paul.

Feast of the Annunciation

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

The most beautiful day

While reciting the Angelus, three times a day we remember Mary who received the annunciation of the incarnation and gave it her consent. It was the most beautiful day for humanity; it has to be so for us.

The beginning of the saving grace for humanity is precisely here, at Nazareth, a humble cottage where lives a young girl, who till then was concerned with only her personal sanctification. From the moment "the word became flesh," she is introduced into a much greater sanctification, into a very special mission. Her life from then on is intimately connected with God, bound up with the mission of God the Son incarnated in her.

The archangel Gabriel tells her what is her mission, that she need not be afraid, but that she has been chosen to be the mother of the Son of God. He gives her this annunciation and from this springs the great dignity of Mary.

All Mary's other privileges result from this privilege, her divine maternity: to be the mother of God.

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

Annunciation

Today the Church celebrates the greatest event in the history of mankind: the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. This feast is celebrated on March 25th to correspond to December 25th, nine months later - the birthday of the Word made flesh.

Let us thank the Blessed Virgin for her fiat: "Let it be done to me as you say" (Lk 1:38), for at that moment began our salvation. Let us also imitate her in her humble and generous service of God.

The Day of the Annunciation

Let us have profound gratitude for the happiest day for humanity: reparation was about to be made for sin and heaven reopened to mankind. The Incarnation of the Word was fulfilled. God came to live among us; Mary was exalted as the true Mother of God.

The recitaiton of the Angelus, besides reminding us of the great mystery of the Annunciation, should also remind us that there is a paradise awaiting us. We must live in a way that we may reach it; take the road leading to a happy eternity, to eternal glory.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the beautiful Angelus video above, made by the Daughters of St. Paul. It's 3 and a half minutes long. I won't write on and on, so you have time to watch it!

What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" below to leave your thoughts.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Illustration from the Book of Job,
from an Ancient Syriach Bible


From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

Life is a trial

The one who wants to progress should be prepared for trials. The entire life is a test of faith, hope and love.

A test of faith, if we believe, becasue the one who doesn't believe is already judged, is already condemned (Mk 16:16).

It becomes a test of hope when we know how to fight and survive.

At the same time it becomes a test of love, if there is true love of God and true love of neighbor.

It is all a trial and test.

What does it mean? "Has not man a hard service upon earth?" (Job 7:1).

It means warfare. Blessed is the person who having fought is crowned victorious.

In paradise all wear the crown of victory.



From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

Prayer

Prayer is necessary in every time of life in order to glorify and thank the Lord, to give satisfaction for evil and to implore divine mercy. "One who prays saves himself; one who does not pray damns himself."

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is Blessed Alberione's plain language. He says life is a test of faith - period. No rambling about the meaning of life, and others' theories, or different possibilities. And then his comment about prayer could not be more direct: "One who prays saves himself, one who does not pray damns himself" - period. That's all I need to know. I think remembering those two direct messages will keep me persevering and praying. Thank you, Blessed James Alberione!

What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.





Sunday, March 22, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

St. Turibius de Mongrovejo

From Saint and Thought For Every Day, 
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Turibius de Mongrovejo
Bishop

     Born in Spain in 1538, Turibius de Mongrovejo labored for Christ and His Church in the Latin American missions.  As Archbishop of Lima, Peru, his quiet, courage, and balanced approach proved helpful "weapons" indeed for surmounting the many and grave problems facing the Church.  The Archbishop was energetic in correcting abuses and most especially in building up the Faith.  He died in 1606 and was canonized in 1726,
 Let us remind ourselves always that the Christian way of life is the "narrow way" that Jesus preached and lived and died for.  If we are true to that "narrow way" we will reach eternal happiness.

The Help of God

     There are moments in life in which one needs more help from God.  When a violent and obstinate temptation arrives (sometimes it keeps coming back for years), one must pray and have recourse to all the means.  Therefore, it is not enough to avoid the occasions; it is necessary to pray and to continue to pray as long as the danger is there.
     Besides, sometimes we are faced with duties which are unpleasant or even repugnant, difficult, or painful trials.  Then it is necessary to pray, and pray more, until we can say, "May Your will be done, O Lord."  If we  want to be saved, as adults, we must pray.  This is a certain and secure doctrine of theology.  St. Augustine affirms it and the Council of Trent approved his expression:  "God does not command impossible things; when He commands something, He advises us to do what we can and to ask for what we cannot do; and He helps us so that we can accomplish it."


From A Year With Blessed James Alberione, 
Compiled by J. Maurus
Don't be mediocre

     Don't be mediocre; persons who postpone and are unhappy always find either a difficulty or an objection.  They find fault with meals or the timetable.  They don't like this house or that house; they don't want to stay with this person or the other.  And then, they don't like themselves either.  And who is the happy one?  The one who pleases God.
     It is to God that we have to speak, with God we have to deal, to God we have to make our proposal, from God we have to ask forgiveness for our sins and seek what He wants from us.
     But He has already told us:  He wants our whole heart, mind, will and all our energies.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the phrase "Don't be mediocre."  I like short, easy to remember phrases like that.  I'm not good at memorizing long Bible verses, but many Bible stories and lives of the Saints are paraphrased in the simple phrase, "Don't be mediocre."  I've been trying to pray the Rosary more, but last night I was just too tired.  But had I thought, "Don't be mediocre," maybe that would have helped prompt me to follow the Nike slogan and "Just do it."  Then I might have been more tired this morning, but God wants "our whole heart, mind, will and all our energies."  I'll try harder next time.  And then I have to avoid the pride that can follow:  thinking how great I am for sitting on my couch saying a Rosary --> compare that to the tireless work St. Turibius did on a daily basis, or compare it to what Blessed (soon to be St.) Damien endured on a daily basis at the leper colony at Molokai.  
     One other helpful hint I have for when I have problems with pride, I flip to St. Paul's words in 1Corinthinans 27-31:  "Rather God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.  It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.'"


What strikes you most today?  
Click on "COMMENTS" below to let us know.



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009


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

     Healthy spiritual practices require that one knows how to be by oneself, make personal decisions, and live as an adult.
     Decisiveness, energy, tenacity, strict adherence to principles will bring out excellent religious men and women, educators, and spiritual guides.
     Knowing how to provide a welcoming, cheerful, and peaceful environment is a precious gift.  Jokes, yes, but decent ones; be serious, but at the proper time.  Be flexible without being weak.  Love orders, but don't make a fetish of it.  Be obliging, but not partial.  Have respect for the ideas and customs of others while holding on to your own sane and sure ones.

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

     The principal purpose of meditation is to strengthen the will with lasting, deep, firm and vigorous convictions.  Only with these convictions can one resist contrary external influences, that is:  the spirit of the world, the flesh, Satan.  Also, one will obtain through prayer the necessary interior strength to practice virtue, to accomplish his own duties, and to walk in the way of perfection.
     When meditation is lacking, the will becomes weak;  lukewarmness slips in;  spiritual energies are reduced;  and life remains unsatisfied.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.  The first writing from Blessed Alberione today sounded to me like a description of Blessed Frassati.  You may know Blessed Frassati's life story, and the fact that Pope John Paul II thought very highly of him, and even that his body is still incorrupt.  But, did you know who Blessed Frassati's favorite saint was?  Click on his name below his picture at the top of today's blog and you will be taken to the page with the answer.

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

Friday, March 20, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009


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

Meditation moves our whole being: mind, memory, will, heart. It is the soul of the day; it is the heart, the blood circulating in all our actions and exercises. Our life should not be compartmentalized, so to speak, with the meditation book being used and put away without giving it any more thought until one takes it up again the next morning. Rather, according to one's thoughts, resolutions and sentiments, the soul often lifts itself towards God. It revives itself, becomes joyous, evaluates itself in a spirit of faith. What happiness, what generosity, how many merits! And, above all, one feels that he or she is building day by day!


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

     In the way of the Lord, not to progress is to regress.
     In what sense does one regress?  In the sense that our responsibility is proportionate to the graces we have received.
     Everyone has the responsibility, that is, everyone has to give an account of the graces received.  The Lord will never ask an account of what He has not given.  When the servant who received only one talent was telling: "Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvest where you did not sow and you gather crop where you did not scatter seeds.  I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground.  Look!  Here is what belongs to you."  What reply did he receive?  "You bad and lazy servant!" his master said.  "You knew that I reap harvest where I did not sow and gather crops where I did now scatter seeds?  Well, you should have deposited my money in the bank and I would have received it with interest when I returned" (Mt:14-30).
     Where there are talents, there is responsibility as well.  And as the talents grow day by day, that is, increase of grace, so too our responsibility grows.  And thus it becomes imperative:  to progress and not stagnate.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the phrase, "not to progress is to regress."  This is a good reminder to me that I should try to make some effort each and every day to progress in my relationship with the Lord.  Along those same lines, the idea that our life should not be compartmentalized tells me that my goal should be not just to increase time set aside for prayer, meditation, and spiritual endeavors, but to also work on incorporating my spiritual life into my daily walk.  

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


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yes, I found a beautiful picture of a
hydroelectric plant for today's blog!

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
An ideal is the beginning of every activity
An ideal is a clear, precise and lucid point of arrival, a summit to be climbed, a victory to be achieved. It is powerful enough to enlist and organize all our faculties, spiritual, supernatrual, physical, and all the external and internal means for a noble and holy purpose; it lifts up a person and sets him on a social mission according to his vocation.
The ideal particualarly unifies the thoughts helpful for achieving the goal and gathers and removes the useless and contrary ones.
It is like a great mass of water for a hydro project to produce electricity, water collected from thousands of small streams and rivulets.
Life is a serious matter; eternity depends upon it: "I want to live it" was the conclusion of a daring person.
Happy the man who finds the ford of this steep and swift torrent which is named life and is to many so agreeable (Petrarch).
An ideal is a path to follow a programme for the greatest temporal and eternal efficiency in life. It is conceived in the mind and is sincerely loved.
From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Meditating
Meditation forms an upright man, a true Christian, an observant religious, a worthy priest before God and men. Rather than giving up in the face of difficulties, temptations, gossip, various opinions, the man who meditates becomes stronger and firmer. He will be esteemed by men and will be blessed and rewarded by God.
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most today is the importance of meditation. Taking time for meditation is another habit I can work on developing this Lent. With all the benefits described above, I can't afford not to. Meditation seems to be one of those things I just have to make some time for in my life.
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Joseph in the film "Nativity"

On the feast of St. Joseph, this film clip is a good reminder of his cooperation in God's plan of salvation, his self-sacrifice, and enduring strength and courage in the care of Mary and Jesus.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

St. Joseph

Husband of Mary

After the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph is our most powerful intercessor before God. St. Joseph faithfully cared for his little family, Jesus and Mary. No sacrifice was too great for him. Now Jesus shows him His gratitude by granting our requests through St. Joseph's intercession. Pope Pius IX proclaimed him patron of the universal Church in 1870.

Let us go to St. Joseph in all our needs, and especially ask him for the grace of a holy death.

The Great Silent One

Joseph is called the man of deep silence. He came and went, did his work, and gave orders in his home in a kindly way, with a purpose which had matured in him after he had learned the divine will, after he had tried to study what the Lord wanted. His way of giving orders was to make a slight sign, to give a slight hint of what seemed to him to be the will of God. This man of deep silence occupies the first place among the saints, and what an amount of wisdom his mind contained!

In an inexpressible manner, St. Joseph was and is a faithful cooperator in the redemption of the world. He is the foster father of Jesus and His provider, the defender of the Virgin Mother of God, the rescuer of the threatened life of the Savior, the protector of the universal Church, the confidant and hope of innumerable souls who have recourse to him. Let us feel ourselves as living and active members in the Mystical Body of the Church, which Jesus Christ conquered with His blood. As the Father sent His beloved Son into the world as an apostle, so we were appointed to the apostolate. Everyone should feel the responsibility of saving souls.

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

Hearty cooperation between father and son

Education is not mere instruction or concern for discipline or preparation for a profession.

It is the formation of a totally new person.

St. Joseph represented on earth the paternity of God the Father to the Word incarnate. He was full of respect, esteem and love for his foster Son; he was conscious of his duties towards him.

And on his part, Jesus had for Joseph a profound sense of reverence, devoted love, serene trust and constant docility.

St. Joseph, with Mary, had to prepare for the world the unique Master, the Priest, and the Host. And Jesus with perfect dedication aimed at the perfect fulfillment of the will of His Father: both had thus only one aim: hearty cooperation.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the depiction of St. Joseph in the movie "Nativity," as seen in the film clip above. St. Joseph is portrayed as a young, vibrant husband to Mary and Stepfather to Jesus. For all he did to protect and raise Jesus, this depiction seems more fitting than the elderly Joseph at the nativity sometimes depicted.

St. Joseph, Pray for us! (and forgive me if you were older when Jesus was born... if so, I'm even more impressed with all you did!)

What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" to share your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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

     From his early childhood, St. Cyril nourished a great love for the Sacred Scriptures.  Ordained to the priesthood, he dedicated himself to the instruction of the catechumens.  He was bishop of Jerusalem for twenty-five years, years of personal suffering and persecution from the Arians.  He died in 386 or 387.
     To be strong and constant when trials and troubles come our way, let us, too, nourish our minds with the daily reading of Sacred Scripture.

Self-control

     True liberty is not wildness, licentiousness or permissiveness; it is a proven ability to do good and a responsible decision to accomplish it; it is dominion over one's faculties and instincts and over events.  The Church has always defended human liberty.  She wants to introduce man into the infinite riches of faith and grace in such a persuasive way that he can feel himself invited and inclined to consider them, to penetrate them, and to accept them as his temporal and eternal good.

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

     The person improves when he knows how to control himself at the right time and place.
     One who is faithful in small things will be faithful in big things as well; one who is unfaithful in small things will be unfaithful in big things as well.
     One who is obedient will be obeyed; one who is not will hardly be obeyed.
     One who loves will be loved; one who does not love will not be loved.
     The good disciple will become a good master; a bad disciple will be a bad master.
     The meek will do well in society; the pushy will run into many dangers in various situations.
     The one who is pious, religious, orderly, studious, an apostle, will generate and form persons who are pious, religious, orderly, studious, and apostles.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the line "One who loves will be loved; one who does not love will not be loved."  I would like to look at this as another opportunity for improvement during Lent - to find an opportunity to do something or say something to someone to make them feel loved.  I can even think of relatives whom I assume know I love them, but it sure couldn't hurt for me to make sure they know it.

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

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Breastplate, sung by Angelina (EWTN)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

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

     St. Patrick, apostle and patron of Ireland, was born around 385.  He was sent to Ireland as a missionary by Pope St. Celestine.  Notwithstanding many difficulties and hardships, he managed to convert most of the inhabitants of that country.  St. Patrick died around 461.
     Let us usk St. Patrick to obtain for us a deeper understanding and love of our faith.

The Redemption

Redemption is the remaking of man in the order of nature and of grace, according to God's original design.  This was the work of the Son of God, the divine Architect:  "Through whom all things were made."  Redemption of the will means once again enthroning it as man's queen.  God is good, but He created man free, as He created the angels free.  To those who consider things superficially, it would seem that everything went wrong for the divine Maker when He risked creating free beings; but the wisdom, power and love of God give very different explanations!

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

Be studious

     Studiousness is the virtue that regulates our inclination for knowledge as well as our natural curiosity.
     On the one hand it helps us to know what is necessary for life and for eternal happiness, and on the other hand it tempers and moderates the instinct of curiosity, so that we may always remain on the right path and sanctify our minds.
     Thus studiousness is a virtue related both to temperance and to fortitude.
     To study it is necessary that one puts in efforts; one has to control one's mind so that it may not indulge in bad thoughts, to chase away undesirable thoughts and substitute them with good thoughts.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the advice to chase away undesirable thoughts by substituting them with good thoughts. The video above is a beautiful song called, "St. Patrick's Breastplate."  This week I'll try to recall images from this video when I am in need of good thoughts to replace bad ones that I need to chase away.
 
St. Patrick, Pray for us!

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

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Frances de Sales

From Saint and Thought For Every Day, 
by Blessed James Alberione
Total Union With Christ

     Communion increases grace, makes up for losses, invigorates, gives joy of spirit, and acts under the influence of grace to remove venial sins.  St. Francis de Sales says:  "He who receives Holy Communion has Jesus in his brain, in his heart, in his breast, in his eyes, in his hands, on his tongue, in his ears, in his feet.  And what does this Savior do?  He straightens out everything, purifies, mortifies and vivifies everything.  It is He loving through the heart, understanding through the brain, giving life through the breast, seeing through the eyes, speaking with the tongue.  He does all in all.  Hence, we live, not we, but Jesus Christ lives in us."

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

     Recollection means to unify our energies and faculties in order to fulfill our duties.  Recollection is the opposite of dissipation.
     Many scattered strands of gold constitute some strength.  But if we join these strands together we get a thick cable of great strength.  
     Recollection means application of the mind to what we have to do;  application of our heart, of our will and of our physical energies.  In short, it means utilizing all the means, including the external means like space, all, for the purpose of service, that is, to work and make progress.
     Let us gather our forces.  What an amount is wasted!

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the vocab lesson I received from Blessed Alberione's words about recollection.  When I think of the word recollection, I think of remembrance - a passive remembering.  But he says recollection means to apply our minds to what we have to do - an active process involving our heart, our will, and our physical energies.  He stresses this further by saying the opposite of recollection is dissipation - to waste or squander; that's how important recollection is!
     This tells me I need to challenge myself to not just read great writings by St. Paul, Blessed Alberione and other good books, but I need to employ my heart, my will, and my physical energies into incorporating what I learn into my life, and sharing it with others by example and by word.  

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

Saturday, March 14, 2009

March 15, 2009

St. Louise de Marillac
Religious

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

We must courageously admit our miseries and failings.  Drawn out of nothing, we neither subsist nor act without the continuous help of God.  We are attracted to evil by the threefold concupiscence; this inclination to evil grows in us because of our actual sins and our bad habits.  Let us humbly admit it, and without discouragement let us, with God's help, reawaken all our faculties, in order to heal wounds, practice virtue, and move resolutely towards the perfection of our heavenly Father.

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione, 
Compiled by J. Maurus
The good demands effort

     The law of mortification is universal.  Every good that we want to perform requires some effort.
     The same holds good for spiritual life, prayer, study, apostolate, religious observance, etc.  It applies also to recreation, cleanliness, life in the family and society, to business, to proper diet, to preserve one's health, to win trust and esteem of others.  All these require mortification.
     One who tries to avoid suffering will suffer the most; and no one will enjoy more than the one who knows how to make reasonable mortification.
     "He who loves his life (inordinately) will lose it; and he who mortifies it (reasonably) will save it."

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is St. Louise de Marillac - the picture above is from a Pauline book about her.  She lived an amazing, though often painful, life.  She never knew her mother, but her father acknowledged and raised her.  She was told by her confessor to marry (a man who was secretary to the Queen of France).  During civil unrest other relatives were imprisoned and died.  She became a widow and suffered from severe depression.  Yet, despite all this, she went on to found the Daughters of Charity along with St. Vincent de Paul.  Click on St. Louise de Marillac to learn more about her.  
     St. Louise de Marillac, Pray for us!

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

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Faith, Hope, and Love
Original Artwork by Samuel Kim
Click on Samuel's name to view his work.
From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Constant Purification
Purification for paradise is accomplished through the purification of mind and body, through the acquisition of merits in life. We shall sanctify our soul practicing the theological virtues: faith, hope, and love. Make acts of faith, hope, and love every day. We will sanctify our body through the mortification of our senses: sight, hearing, taste (gluttony), smell and touch. With the help of actual grace, the spirit must dominate all the senses. Our body is consecrated through Baptism and the other sacraments.
From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Growth through daily efforts
Daily martyrdom is the commitment to fulfill faithfully all the requirements of the timetable in the office and in the apostolate; conformity to what God permits or disposes of with regard to our health, the various events and circumstances....
The daily routine is a continuous sacrifice. Instead of adoring ourselves with fine words, let us in humility carry out the small sacrifices of our daily life, constantly immolate ourselves, our will, our feelings, our thoughts, tastes and preferences.
Daily sacrifice and martyrdom!
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most today is the entire first paragraph about constant purification. To me, it is a reminder that our faith life should not just be passively waiting for grace to enter our souls. We have to work at our faith lives, especially practicing the theological virtues and mortification of our bodies. But this is not to discount the need for grace, for actual grace is needed to help us to dominate our senses and sanctify our soul.
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Simplicity of Life
There are simple persons who make good progress; there are complicated persons who torment themselves and find the going tough.
The simple seek God and paradise, pass through the only way which is Jesus Christ. They read and meditate on what Jesus taught by word and example and consider Jesus as life and grace: "I came that you may have life and have it in abundance."
The simple persons want their life to be "Christ lives in me."
They aim at the summit. Their feet are turned toward the goal; they behave like pilgrims longing eagerly for the destination, for the glory of God, without deviations, useless halts, and hesitations over dangers. Like a clock that keeps on ticking without ever a stop, we must keep on moving, losing no breath, a single pulse and a single beat.
From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Grace
When one is deprived of this element (grace), he becomes restless and dissatisfied even with virtue and knowledge. He is like a disinherited son who cannot adapt to his new condition - he is dissatisfied. When the supernatural element is missing from life, everything seems incomplete. Elevation to supernatural life is obtained only through Him who is the Man-God, human and divine: Jesus Christ. "Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts" (Romans, 6:12).
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most today is the picture above - I have no idea which Daughter of St. Paul that is. When I look at it I imagine all the people touched by her prayers and actions. She probably has no idea what a tremendous impact she is having on our world. It can be difficult to never know the positive influence you have in the lives of others. Thank you, to all the priests and consecrated religious, who make the world better by your vocation and your response to Jesus Master, Way, Truth, when He asked you to "Come, Follow Me."
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

The spiritual labour


Our spiritual work has two parts: purification and sanctification. The examen of conscience is a great means of growth: clean the plant with expiation and nourish it with the sacraments, good friendships and prayer.

Self-knowledge is precious, rather it is a necessity. It saves us from both a dangerous optimism and a too facile discouragement.

The examen is very useful to strike a stable equilibrium in us.

It helps us to acknowledge sincerely the gifts of God and thank him; use them for growth in holiness. It helps us also to discover honestly our drawbacks and inadequacies and faults in order to eliminate them.

It is necessary to examine our habits: to cultivate the good ones and to root out the bad ones.


From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

Temptations


Everyone is subjected to temptations. Some of them come from the world, throught bad example; some from the devil, who circles about and approaches the weak especially; some from our passions: pride, idleness, envy, etc. In faith and humility we must always pray for tempted souls.


What Strikes Me Most Today


What strikes me most today is the Ignatian Examen of Conscience - one of the things I love most about Pauline Spirituality is that it encompasses and includes all other Catholic Spiritualities. Blessed Alberione felt drawn to the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and Examen of Conscience. Click on "Examen of Conscience" to learn more about it.


What strikes you most today?

Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Let's go to the Lord by the right path

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus


As the direct line is the shortest to join two points, so the right intention is a direct gaze that starts from our heart and without halting at secondary stations or objects, goes directly to God.

The simplicity of heart counsels:


  • "I want to please the Lord,

  • I want to please our Lady,

  • I want that my day be eucharistic,

  • I want to do penance for my sins,

  • I want to provide for paradise."

On the contrary, the wrong intention leads to deflect the motives of our good actions. That is to do them:


because they are seen,


because I want to cut a good figure.


If my aim is only to please my body, to satisfy my vanity, to satisfy my love for comfort and laziness, in short, if instead of aiming to please God, I aim at something human, I do not have the right intention.



From Saint and Thought For Every Day,


by Blessed James Alberione



Suffering and Comfort



Sooner or later everyone is subjected to physical or moral sufferings. They could come from different causes. There are sufferings which perhaps we cannot even manifest to others. Some have personal sufferings; some suffer for others; and some suffer for both reasons. Let us offer the fourth sorrowful mystery of the rosary for those who suffer. May every Christian obtain a merciful heart, like the heart of Jesus.



What Strikes Me Most Today



What strikes me most today is the line, "If instead of aiming to please God, I aim at something human, I do not have the right intention." I like to think I aim only to please God, then I see the list of other aims we may have, and realize human aims play a larger role than I would like to admit to. I especially worry that some motivations are because they are seen by others or because I want to look good. It does help me to read Blessed Alberione pointing it out for us --> not only to be aware of the motivations behind my actions, and striving for "right intentions," (as these form the straightest line between God and me), but also as a way of letting me know that I must not be the only one struggling with human motivations outweighing Godly motivations. This Lent I'm going to try to find opportunities to perform Christian acts without others knowing I did it, to avoid the temptation to make myself look good to others, but to do it for Christ alone (although I may have just blown that one already by announcing I'm doing it, trying to look good to people reading this blog!) Boy do I have a long way to go!



What strikes you most today?


Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Tuesday, March 10. 2009

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



Live, don't just exist



Life is a journey towards eternity: a day is just a portion of the journey. A wise driver has a good mental picture of the road before he starts a journey. So he takes care to have sufficient petrol, machine oil, good tires, and all that is needed.
What would happen if the driver loses control of the vehicle? He should always be alert to drive the vehicle. But self-direction is much more difficult than directing the car.
We must control our heart, which is somewhat insane, our fantasy, our tongue, eyes, taste, hearing, and touch.
We have to control our entire self, and it has to be done everywhere. Be always at the driver's seat, to have control of self at all times. Just like a driver who, for a moment's distraction, can fall into a pit, so too, we, if we do not watch over ourselves, can fall into mistakes after mistakes.
From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Crosses and the Beatitudes
To practice the Gospel's beatitudes: Blessed are the poor, blessed are they who mourn, blessed are they who suffer persecution... is to embrace our crosses: "If anyone whishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." Thus Jesus, our Divine Master, teaches us.
What Strikes Me Most Today
What strikes me most is the line, "We must control our heart, which is somewhat insane, our fantasy, our tongue, eyes, taste, hearing, and touch." Those seem to be a good summary of the sources of near-occasion-of-sin for most of us. Our hearts being somewhat insane reminds me of St. Paul's words: "For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want" (Romans 7:19).
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!